Sunday, June 26, 2011

Well, That Was A Good Use of Time

After pretty nearly three days of non-stop debate in the House of Commons on Bill C-6 (back-to-work legislation for CUPW), it ends in an easy government victory as the New Democrats shut down their filibuster operation and call it a day.

One wonders now - why the hell were we put through that?

Two answers spring to mind: one, the NDP wanted to do a stunt, and they pulled one off. Two, the Conservatives wanted this game to be played, and it was played well.

The third reason, some may say, is "conviction." Well, let me ask you this: what good is conviction when it looks more like stubborn a-holeness?

Don't get me wrong - I don't agree with the government's actions. But the unions and the NDP and even the Liberals to an extent just ended up wasting all of our time, with some fancy speeches to be sure, but for nothing better than, in the minds of some, "stand up on conviction."

That's great, but at the end of the day, it's gotten us nowhere, and it may even end up hurting the NDP, Canada Post's services, and the entire ideal people were supposedly standing up for. What good is that ruler up your backside when it just hurts your own cause in the end?

Maybe I'm wrong - maybe Canadians will flock to the NDP for standing up to the government, even if they failed spectacularly in the end. But for me, personally, I now have less respect for the new Official Opposition than I do for the Conservatives. And that's pretty damn low, let me tell you.

5 comments:

  1. It seemed to be Liberal philosophy during the Conservative minority that opposing the Tories was a waste of time and I guess they still think it is.

    Fortunately we now have an official opposition that believes in fulfilling it's constitutional rule of opposing the government when it is wrong.

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  2. Rww,

    That's a tad unfair, don't you think? The NDP can afford to "oppose" the government because it knows it'll lose every battle anyways. The Liberal concern during those minority Parliaments, and the Conservative concern during Martin's government, was that they could actually win those battles, well before they were prepared to do so.

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  3. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe Canadians will flock to the NDP for standing up to the government, even if they failed spectacularly in the end.

    I think it will make NDP supporters more passionate about their party. It could be the equivalent of a money blurt.

    Fortunately we now have an official opposition that believes in fulfilling it's constitutional rule of opposing the government when it is wrong.

    The filibuster pretty much collapsed on Saturday aftenoon. If it were impotant to keep it up, to oppose the Conservative government, you'd think they'd continue it to the bitter end. And what did it accomplish except to delay the inevitable by a few days?

    It'll be interesting if the NDP will continue filibustering every government bill they oppose. They can't show less support for something like cuts to government programs than they did for union issues.

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  4. Ted Hsu had a few interesting comments on how the filibuster could have been more effective:

    "My last comment is this: that I would have liked the filibuster to have occurred at a different point. What I heard was some eloquent speeches about the history of the labour movement, the importance of collective bargaining, etc., lots of emails read by Conservative MPs about the pain caused by the lack of mail service. So what we got were two sets of speeches that were more ideological and less about problem solving than I would have liked. I would have preferred the main filibuster to have occurred in Committee of the Whole at the clause where the Conservatives imposed a wage settlement that was worse than what Canada Post was offering. The reason is that it's easy for the average, busy, person to understand that point and I think we could have maximized the pain and political cost, and maybe even gotten a concession."

    Hsu might have a point.

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  5. I think he may indeed, Sharon. Thanks for the quote. I'd like to see his kind of thinking around more often.

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