Heather Mallick decries proroguement of Parliament
For many Canadians, if any one particular word could be used to describe Heather Mallick, it's almost certainly "tiresome".
Mallick demolished her own credibility with a vindictive hit-piece on Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential election. Under most circumstances, appealing to such ignominity would have to be treated as an ad hominem attack.
Unless, of course, it serves to appropriately characterize an individual as an ideological attack dog.
Similarly, the phrase "instant emergency" should strike most people as a tautology, unless it serves to describe a situation in which a particular course of action is only deemed to be threatening or troubling now.
This is, frankly, the only realistic manner in which to treat the complaints of Mallick and her compatriots over Stephen Harper's recent proroguement of Parliament: only suddenly is an emergency, or even an outrage.
"If there was a gold medal for shafting democracy at the Winter Olympics, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper would win it," Mallick fumes in a recent op/ed column. "Just before the games open in Vancouver, he has halted Parliament in its tracks, suspending it for the second time in little more than a year."
"Canada will not have a House of Commons until March 3," Mallick continues. "Instantly, we are a part-time democracy, a shabby diminished place packed with angry voiceless citizens whose votes have been rendered meaningless."
Mallick doth protest far too much. After all, she's made it clear on many previous occasions that Mallick doesn't consider this "diminishment" of Canada to be sudden at all. In fact, Mallick seems to think that Canada was diminished the moment it elected a conservative government.
In fact, she insists that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been planning that "diminishment" for a good, long time.
"Harper, that strange vengeful man you will see in February clapping awkwardly as Olympians leap off mountains and shoot past in the luge, has been on a mission since his youth to turn Canada into a pale, watery version of the United States of America," she complains. "Even then, the US was well into its identity-switch into the undereducated, paranoid, self-destructively aggressive overspent mess we watch now with grim fascination."
Of course, as some other commentators have already noted, Mallick and her ilk were suspiciously quiet on some of the occasions in which the Liberal Party prorogued Parliament.
Mallick and her compatriots insist that Harper is proroguing Parliament to escape from the "scandal" surrounding the treatment of Afghan detainees. There is a fundamental facetiousness at the centre of these claims -- one that insists on treating this matter as if it were the province of the Tories and the Tories alone.
In reality, there's a great deal of blame to go around. Some of it does indeed lie with the Conservative Party. Some of it rests with failures in the chain of command within the Canadian Forces, and more still lies with the Liberal Party who negotiated the prisoner transfer agreement in the first place.
In truth, proroguement of Parliament is a routine event. While Harper's previous proroguement was decidedly not routine -- it was done to head off an undemocratic attempt by the Liberal Party, NDP and Bloc Quebecois to impose an irresponsible coalition government on the country.
Whereas the current proroguement is intended to give Harper time to prepare phase two of his economic plan, take advantage of the diplomatic opportunity that is the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and -- if you believe Don Newman -- position for a spring election.
Which still beats the hell out of what the Liberal Party used proroguement for, hands-down. For his own part, former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien prorogued Parliament on four separate occasions.
On September 16, 2002, Chretien prorogued Parliament so he could prepare a Throne Speech that would test the resolve of the pro-Paul Martin faction within his party, which were trying to force him out of office faster.
On November 13, 2003, Chretien progogued Parliament again. This time, Parliament was prorogued in order to prolong Martin's transition into the Prime Minister's Office.
Whatever individuals like Mallick may want to complain about, Harper has yet to prorogue Parliament just to give himself an advantage in internal party wrangling. Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party literally kept Parliament waiting for them to settle their internal squabbles.
So, one may ask: which was the greater outrage?
Heather Mallick, by omission, has come up with an ideologically partisan answer. It isn't any kind of a surprise. Rather, it's precisely what those unfortunate enough to encounter her ramblings have come to expect of her.
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A CAW Workers' Voice of Reason - "Heather Malick Reinforces The Fact She Is An Idiot"