Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Opposition Filibuster is Missing Phase 2

This is what the current filibuster boils down to:

The Underpants Gnomes' Business Model
I understand the purposes of the filibuster, I understand why people are protesting the budget and supporting what the Liberals and Greens, and eventually the NDP who jumped on board after-the-fact, but I don't think anyone quite understands what "Phase 2" will be yet.

Think of it this way: filibusters are a juvenile, pathetic, and petulant practice that sadly is the only way for the Opposition to make an effective move against a majority government that refuses co-operation. That's just how it is, and people are looking at the situation right now thinking "a pox on all their houses."

What do we expect to get out of this filibuster? We rile our base, and we rile their base. We throw mud at the government, they throw mud at us. Government passes budget bill anyways (unless the unlikely event that this plan works out occurs, the majority government falls, and Canadians burn down the NDP and Liberal offices in Ottawa), life goes on. Canadians make a collective sigh and voting turnout drops another five percent. No one wins.

This sort of process, legal and justified as it is, makes politicians look feeble, selfish, and juvenile. Canadians are simply going to stop caring, and in a practical sense, lower turnout helps the Conservatives more than us; in the long-term, our democracy is just going to become a shambling corpse of actual substantial policy, similar to whatever the thing is that resides in Washington DC.

So what is Phase 2 going to be? How do we turn a filibuster into something useful for us, for Canadians, rather than the giant waste of time that it is? I don't have the answer to that yet, but I don't think the rest of us do either. We just want to make a lot of noise, and we've certainly accomplished that - but what use it is when these tactics turn more Canadians off than it motivates to act?

2 comments:

  1. So, are you suggesting that the opposition parties just do nothing? Not use whatever tools are at their disposal? Simply allow the Conservatives to ride roughshod over them, because, heck, they has a majority anyway and they'll get their way. Gee, if that's what you're suggesting, we might as well tell every opposition member to pack it in and just fill their seats with, well, other Conservatives!

    Going along to get along won't gain them any favours.

    voter turn-out is already low and will remain low, until, hopefully, they wake up to how Harper is destroying the country.

    Plus, I think most CAnadians are slowly realizing how hideously monstrous Bill C-38 is. Why wouldn't they appreciate opposition, well, getting oppositional?

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    1. No CK, of course not - obviously there is no other way, this gov't is just that close-minded. We could try to do public hearings and so on, but the NDP's was a sham and I'm not sure how interested Canadians are in this. Our only tools are making noise, getting facts out there, and sadly filibustering is the only way to do it. Creates attention and people notice.

      But at the same time, it alienates a certain number of people. You can say "hopefully they wake up," but you can't rely on that to win, to make changes, while you're pulling this kind of BS because they think the Opposition is just as bad.

      Look at what happened in Wisconsin. Don't just say "it was outside money," because that didn't do it by itself. The idea was already there that the WI Democrats and, frankly, the unions there, were just as bad. They didn't like the abuse of the recall system. They didn't like having to redo an election, and now almost the exact same numbers we saw in 2010 for Walker vs Barrett are there again. That outside money paid for ads that the GOP new would catch the attention of people already thinking those things, and now that idiot Walker is still there.

      Politics is a bloodsport, yes, but voters don't want to see it becoming a flagrant abuse of the rules. They'll just stop caring eventually, until it's too late. Look at California, for God's sake. That mess cannot be fixed, even with someone sensible like Jerry Brown at the helm. People have just stopped caring.

      And yes, short-term it's fantastic. Short-term juvenile antics always gets you support because it sticks it to the government. Long-term? It'll just wreck our system, to the point where the next Harper won't even have to bury his plans in an omnibus bill.

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