Monday, January 18, 2010

Handling Dissent: Epic Fail

Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament mob dissenters

If one were to follow any number of the arguments against Stephen Harper's proroguement of Parliament, they all add up to a critique of Harper's inability to handle opposition.

So it's on that particular note that it's amusing to see how well the vaunted Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament handles opposition within its own group.

For one thing, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament requires anyone to join the group before they're allowed to post comments on the wall, or to participate in their forum.

In other words, the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament has been tailor-made in order to avoid having to tolerate any opposition within its own ranks.

A good case in point is that of Timothy Sorsdah, who recently posted a link to Terry Glavin's National Post Full Comment blogpost about the Liberal Party's complicity in the torture of Afghan detainees. As The Torch so recently reminded Canadians, the Liberal government of Paul Martin had received numerous warnings about the prevalence of torture in Afghan prisons while they were negotiating the prison transfer agreement they instructed General Rick Hillier to sign on Canada's behalf.

Keeping in mind that one of the opposition talking points has been that Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament in order to avoid questioning over this matter, one can't help but be amused as some of the response Sorsdah's reminder gets:

Peter Exel is clearly what most Canadians should recognize as a common partisan lunatic: forever looking for some way to deflect any uncomfortable revelation about his favoured political party.

Matt Boudreau's response is a little more amusing; not only was the Liberal Party in no position to shut down Parliament or the detainee abuse committee when this matter surfaced, but they've been pretending -- from the opposition benches -- that they aren't responsible for the entire mess in the first place.

Another equally-clueless individual is Peggy McLaughlan:

If McLaughlan doesn't understand what the La Presse revelations have to do with the proroguement of Parliament, she simply hasn't been paying attention to her own group's talking points.

Without the torture issue, CAPP don't have their "cover-up" issue, and would have to admit that the proroguement of Parliament is for entirely legitimate purposes: re-organizing the Senate, preparing stage two of the economic program (something that as dedicated a panic-merchant as Murray Dobbin has actually acknowledged), and taking advantage of the diplomatic opportunties posed by the Olympics.

This would defeat the entire purpose of the group. So one fully expects they'll never do that.

It's on that note that the extent to which some of them simply do not get it is utterly astounding. Consider the example of Shane Ambridge:

Ambridge seems to think he can simpy declare the Liberal complicity in torture "off topic", and end it at that.

But in order for this to work, the topic would have to actually be off topic. When one considers the extent to which the torture issue is central to the Proroguement issue, it doesn't take a political scientist to recognize the relevance of these revelations to the entire issue.

Once again, either CAPP has a legitimate cover-up issue, or they don't. And seeing as how it's the Liberal Party who are trying to cover up their complicity in torture by pinning it on the governing party, it's extremely evident that CAPP simply don't have the issue.

That they would be so resentful of Timothy Sorsdah for pointing this out to them simpy reveals the most active members of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament for what they truly are: not democratic activists, but a core of partisan hacks and ideologues who have helped deceive thousands of other Canadians into holding a view of the current proroguement of Parliament that simply does not hold water.

It's remarkable that a group that has accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of shutting down Parliament to avoid the Opposition has been so utterly hostile to any opposition within their own group.

Remarkable, but not terribly surprising.


  1. Peter Exel is clearly what most Canadians should recognize as a common partisan lunatic: forever looking for some way to deflect any uncomfortable revelation about his favoured political party.

    Hello, I am Peter Exel and the question that I posted was Valid. I am not a Partisan, I care nothing for Jean Chretien or Paul Martin, if they are complicit in covering up Geneva Convention violations then I would love for them to be in the Hauge alongside Slobodan Milosevitch.

    You are way off the mark and by the looks of the number of comments, completely unnoticed.

    I pity you.

  2. LOL

    Ooooookay, Peter.

    So, then, a question for you:

    Who negotiated the original Prisoner Transfer Agreement, Peter? Who approved it?


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