Saturday, October 6, 2012

Disgusting Liberal Hackery at the Toronto Star

Glenn Greenwald is forced to ruefully observe that Democrats who decried bush II's regime of illegal spying on US citizens and his regime of rendition and torture (denied by bush II in that dunce's own clumsily fraudulent way) are now completely onside with Barack Obama's stated claims of the right to detain US citizens without charges and even to assassinate them. These former defenders of the US Constitution are now enthusiastic destroyers of it. All due to the sickness of partisan politics.

Is this disgusting Toronto Star article evidence of the same disease amongst Canadian Liberals when it comes to Canadian parliamentary democracy? Are the Liberal Party supporters who were so enraged by harper's abuse of the power of prorogation, his contempt of Parliament, his omnibus legislation and his election fraud going to show themselves as infinitely understanding of such crimes if only a Liberal politician is doing it?

I hope and pray that this article is not symptomatic of a trend among Liberals. That it is an isolated case. And that respect for the spirit and the forms of our limited democracy is stronger than partisan ties.
Energy Minister Chris Bentley faces extraordinary punishment — possibly jail time — after opposition MPPs used their majority in the legislature to ram through a motion to probe the $230 million cancellation of two power plants.
Oh my! How horrible! Those nasty opposition MPPs are "ramming through" a motion to force the government to provide information that they, as the people's representatives, have a right to see! And poor Chris Bentley might have to go to jail (on an outside chance) just because he's violating the spirit and the letter of the law and the basis of parliamentary democracy! What is this world coming to when elected governments are forced to be accountable for their decisions????
“It’s a very difficult thing to have to listen to,” a sombre Bentley told reporters Tuesday after the 53-50 vote to send his fate to the legislature’s finance committee.
Kindly Chris Bentley! I'm starting to feel as bad for him as I did for those victims of police brutality at the G20 in Toronto or in the cells of the Ottawa Police Service that Bentley presided over and didn't do shit about! Oh, poor, poor, stupid Chris Bentley!
In their zeal to investigate how Liberals scrapped the plants to save the seats of five Grit MPPs in Oakville and Mississauga, the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats believe the minister could be in contempt of parliament.
Why not just say "fanatical zeal" and get it over with? Why not just come right out and say that it's not fair that the Liberal Party of Ontario has to respect the right of the people's representatives in the legislature? Why not just come right out and say that you (as journalists or as employees of the Liberal Toronto Star) don't believe in open, responsible government when it's your team on the hot-seat?
If the legislature concludes Bentley is — something that has not happened to a minister in the 220-year history of an assembly predating Confederation — he faces penalties as severe as incarceration.
Another way to put that would be "No minister of any government in the legislature's 220-year history has ever demonstrated so much contempt for it's rights." Why is this continuously being framed as some unreasonable thing that is going to happen to poor Chris Bentley? Why are we hearing more from him about his reaction to this process and still nothing from the people (our representatives) who are initiating this process? (I already know btw, this is just typical partisan hackery. These are rhetorical questions.) 
Rallying behind him, Premier Dalton McGuinty charged opposition MPPs are smearing an honest man for political gain and setting a “terrible precedent.”
“These attacks, these threats, this heavy handed, unprecedented process — using the full force of the legislature against one MPP — these are decidedly not in keeping with the standards and traditions we seek to uphold,” McGuinty told reporters at a hastily called news conference at Queen’s Park prior to the noon vote.
While I don't approve of this partisan blustering, I am partly grateful that it has been presented here. It just shows what a shameless bull-shitter McGuinty is. It shows that even when he's being hypocritical and pompous he still comes across as a total dweeb. He tries to twist the fact that it's HIS government that is so unprecedentedly bad into blaming the opposition for having to resort to unprecedented actions (in this legislature) to deal with it. What a shameless, lying, dishonourable man. (And I find it hilarious to portray McGuinty's hypocritical yammering as his "rallying behind" Bentley. McGuinty has made Bentley the fall guy here. (Although it is of his own free will that Bentley has decided to spit on the principle of the rights of parliament and democratic accountability.)
The premier had been scheduled to make a “good-news” announcement at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan School of Pharmacy, but scuttled it late Monday night to refocus on the political crisis that has engulfed his one-year-old minority administration.
 Awww! Those nasty opposition MPPs! Such party-poopers! McGuinty was going to announce some "good news"! But you assholes, standing up for the rights of the legislature against the miss-use of public monies, had to instigate a crisis and spoil everything! Oh wait; It's McGuinty's government that instigated the crisis!!!! Assholes! 
Tory Leader Tim Hudak conceded it’s “a sad day” for the legislature but said the chips must fall where they may for Bentley and the Liberals.
 Obviously, I don't like Tim Hudak. I can't even be sure that either the Ontario PCs or the ONDP won't stoop to the same depths of the Ontario Liberals in this political culture that has been so totally debased by stephen harper at the federal level. But I do know that in this instance, Hudak, as leader of the opposition, is legitimately empowered to do what he's doing here, and the essence of what he's doing (whether he's genuinely loyal to the traditions of democracy in this province and in this country) is defending the important power of democratic oversight. It's as simple as that. So to instead write that he "concedes" that what he's doing is terrible, to twist his words "sad day" for the legislature and make it seem like he is the one doing all the damage and causing the "sadness" is simply atrocious. 
“They made the choice and now they have to live with it,” said Hudak, adding “it’ll be up to committee” to recommend to the legislature by Nov. 19 whether the minister should be jailed or face “the appropriate sanction.”
The crisis stems from the delayed release of 36,000 pages of documents related to the Liberals’ cancellation of power plants in Oakville and Mississauga.
More details are expected to emerge as witnesses appear before a legislative committee, which has until Oct. 24 to begin hearings.
McGuinty noted Bentley is at risk being the first minister ever found in contempt of parliament in the Ontario legislature, a serious offence with “profound consequences for his career, his reputation and his life.”
For fuck's sake! Can we make this less about McGuinty's snivelling about poor Chris Bentley and more about what is actually going on here????? That McGuinty is denying the people's representatives some very basic information about his use of our money??? That McGuinty is (unprecedented for this legislature's 220-year history) in contempt of parliament????
Ignoring the premier’s emotional appeal, the Tories and the New Democrats exploited their political advantage, although the two parties differ on strategy moving forward.
Naked partisan hackery. I don't know what else there is to say.
“We’re less concerned with penalizing Bentley,” said NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson, noting the important thing is finding out why at least $230 million was spent for partisan electoral reasons.
Horwath emphasized that the committee wants to investigate the power plant debacle, not Bentley’s personal conduct.
“It’s not all the responsibility of the minister, the premier has some responsibility to hold here as well,” the NDP leader said.

Did you read that? Hudak says it's a sad day for the legislature. This statement is presented as some sort of “concession.” It's even being presented that Hudak is saying that Bentley's potential punishment is what makes it a “sad day” for the legislature! And, finally, at the very end of the article, we hear the ONDP member say that they're not even concerned with going after poor lil' Chris Bentley!! For fuck's sake! Was the whole article an exercise in diversion, spiced with partisan self-interest and slathered with contempt for parliamentary demcoracy?

This is the nadir of Canadian democracy people. The Toronto Star reveals itself as a hopelessly hypocritical liberal rag. The Globe & Mail's coverage of this brings to mind Jon Stewart of The Daily Show hooting “Awwwkwaaard!” what with their corrupt support for the anti-democratic stephen harper.

Is it really the case that neither the professional political class nor the professional media grasps the significance of Canada's parliamentary system? Leftist pinkos like me might think that our democracy needs to be improved. But we don't think it's something to be abused and derided.

I have to say that sometimes the comments section of online corporate news breaks one's heart, but as of this writing, the comments to this story are uniformly unsympathetic to Bentley and the Star's hackery.


opit said...

Leftist pinkos like me might think that our democracy needs to be improved.

'Leftist' you say ? That's hardly thinking outside the box. It IS the box.

Parlez ment. Talking Place. The spot where bitching, whining and complaining were presented to Authorities. Power for effecting change ? Terrorist ! Revolutionary !

thwap said...

Sure. Parliament used to be an event. It was when the Crown spoke with his barons. Parlez.

But it's also where laws get made. Stuff like the national health care program. The anti-terrorist bill. The national recognition of same-sex marriage. The de-regulation of the meat industry.

My idea is to make Canadians recognize and appreciate the idea of democracy. Not to resign into self-defeating cynicism.

What else is there? Going head-to-head with the forces of the state in the streets? To produce what?

opit said...

:) There's no intonation online. I was referring to the epithets levied at people who try to study the situation and come to responsible suggestions. Thinking outside the box is verboten. That should be no surprise when the facts of any case are massaged to conform with official dogma.
People seem to overestimate the benign neglect possible consistent with a desire to retain ultimate control. Your words were taken as a sour official style mockery worth noting.

thwap said...

Okay. I thought you were saying that the whole thing is a crock of shit, so why worry about it.

opit said...
Laments by the Great Practitioner
Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and Rumsfeld and Clinton had ties to Monsanto, for instance
I could continue. The rape of Iraq is detailed concidely in the Panelists' The Real Winner in Iraq was Monsanto video. The point is, the state corporate ( fascism ) allows no such thing as a level playing field before the law, even discounting the inequality of opportunity for competent representation available for those with the funds to pay almost any amount.
So I'm saying there is a definite supply of crocks or urns or football fields of fecal refuse...and I insist on worrying about them.

thwap said...

Then I think I was right the first time.

Which is to say that those crocks of shit are all we have. Demanding that elites respect their own crocks of shit and adhering to them ourselves is the best strategy for mass mobilization that I can think of.

It's either that or delusions about street battles or resigned cynicism.

opit said...

"Demanding that elites respect their own crocks of shit " No fascist government does that. 'Demand' is a nonsense word without a way to make the heedless of constraint for themselves follow the rules they impose on others : the competition as it were.

thwap said...


I don't know what that means. What is it supposed to signify? What practical action is it calling for?

What sort of resources would we need to make the elite follow the rules they impose on others?

Like, really, what are you saying? Are you saying it's hopeless? Are you calling for street battles? What?