Thursday, June 06, 2013

There Is No "Rathgeber" In "Team"

Frankly, quitting over a crappy little Private Member's bill that was little more than a gratuitous shot at the public doesn't impress me.  But, as usual when we have these Tory on Tory struggles, I don't care who wins as long as someone gets hurt.


Rene said...

"I don't care who wins".

You have Harper, his PMO, assorted minions including Dmitri Soudas on the one hand and a Conservative MP who represents his constituents' desire for open and honest government on the other, and you state you don't care who wins.

You don't have to agree with Rathgeber's policy proposals to respect his integrity, and I imagine if you were to compare Rathgeber's popularity and standing versus Harper's in many of these Alberta ridings, Rathgeber would come out on top.

Rathgeber's comments to the Globe after the parliamentary committee hearing where his proposed bill was gutted by Conservative committee members on the PMO's instructions are revealing:

“I’m obviously very, very disappointed both with the government position and certainly with the [committee’s Conservative] colleagues, many of whom philosophically support this legislation unequivocally, but seemed powerless to resist the instructions that were given to them by the PMO [Prime Minister’s Office], by the whip or wherever the final instructions came from."

"So, not a single witness testifies that $188,000 was inappropriate [as a level of salary disclosure], except for those who said it should be lowered. Not a single witness testifies that $329,000 or $444,000 is the appropriate benchmark. Not a single [Conservative] government member spoke in favour of the motion [to overhaul the bill], which was interesting. And it’s carried on a vote of seven to four."

"So, again, it’s complete disregard for the evidence and really, in many ways it makes a mockery of the whole committee process. If the decision has been made and the members have been instructed how to vote prior to the hearing of the evidence, it really begs a rhetorical question as why we bother dragging witnesses – some at great distances and great expense – to have them give expert testimony when the decision’s already been made up. I mean, that’s the way justice has been done in China, where the outcome of the trial is determined before the evidence is even presented."

"I think the more lasting problem, the more lasting damage, especially given all of the problems with the Senate, and all of the problems between the PMO and the Senate, and the allegation of backroom deals. I think the more long-term problem is damage to the [Conservative] brand. The brand, which the party and government was elected on a promise of accountability and open government."

And now Conservative hacks such as
Soudas are challenging Rathgeber to quit and run again in his riding as Independent, out of apparent concern for his electorate they scarcely demonstrated with respect to Emerson's electorate.

I did rather enjoy Rathgeber's comparison of Harper's PMO
to China's Politburo.

Jim Parrett said...

As usual, your post put it better than I could. Excellent.