aardvarkcola

Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa

A cartoon featured a dutiful secretary advising her boss, “Rahim Jaffer on line one.” She continued: “And on line two.” I believe it was a National Post Cartoon, back when Rahim Jaffer was an Member of Parliament representing an Alberta riding.  He’s out now. His wife will be soon. No idea why the Prime Minister is holding back.

The use of office staff to impersonate the boss, is not what Jaffer’s wife, Helena Guergis, the Minister of for the Status of Women, was doing. Let’s be very clear. When confronted, she pleaded innocence, said the staff were doing their own thing, and said it was all inappropriate. So there.

Uh-huh. Would you fall over yourself writing letters praising your boss in a newspaper if you were yelled at to fetch her shoes? She had a tantrum and wanted to sue Air Canada because people found out she had a tantrum? She lords it over staff like that and we are expected to believe the praise of Miss Is-My-Crown-On-Straight is voluntary among staff and, what this- her mother wrote one of the letters? Uh-huh.

I’d list who wrote what, but the Star has done that. Here’s the article.

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Some news items become household conversation, then at work,  fodder for water cooler grazing. These issues are bigger than themselves. They are elephants released from envelopes and cannot be stuffed back in.

Helena (not just Helen) Geurgis, the former beauty pageant contestant and mall soap peddler sued her pageant way back when. Now she’s a federal cabinet minister. Reportedly she aimed legal sights at Air Canada somehow thinking she was victim after she yelled at airport workers and called the PEI community she was trying to fly out of a “shithole”. She was “working her ass off” for us, she said, apparently. Must have been hard work indeed as she yelled at a staffer to fetch her shoes. Must have been so tired. I wonder if she still wears that beauty pageant crown or just abstractly feels its on her head still. It must be tight.

There’s more written about and said about Miss Simcoe-Grey, sorry, it’s Mrs. but more about that in a minute. I mention all this only because one must. Otherwise, those who scan these things would think it’s not an issue at all if I didn’t write about it.

While we’re at it, let’s quickly pen in her husband, too, Rahim Jaffer, former MP, again Conservative, somehow walking out of court with a cocaine possession charge tossed out. Again, it’s been written about, in is it really-us-and-them fashion. But, that’s what good lawyers are for, I suppose.

Again, apologies all round, I only mention it all because if I didn’t, someone perusing this blog might think, well if I didnt mention it there’s no issue.

And actually there is. This blog is written in Alberta, the bastion of Conservatism.

Here’s a prediction for you. If Guegis isn’t tossed overboard with the garbage, crown and all, Rahim Jaffer will only be the first Alberta Conserative MP to lose his or her seat. This issue is that big. Actually, I take that back. It’s bigger.

The pair really are beyond words, but so soon after her husband should have laid low, Miss Simcoe-in-grey really illustrated to us peons who’s important around here. One would think we couldn’t vote.

That and I haven’t mentioned the letter writing. My goodness. There is something rather gallling about that. But skipping nearly to the end, it was a newspaper response of sorts to it all that could only come from a Conservative source. The gist of it was, the Liberals have done it, too.

Really, now. Not being a Liberal, I’d still venture to say at no time in Canadian history has there ever, ever ever, I mean, ever, been anything quite like this.

And with all that ugly mess mentioned, I’ll wash my hands. The anonymous staff-praises-Helena (not just Helen) Guergis through coordinated letters to newspapers after being ordered to fetch her shoes must come later.

Michaëlle Jean, the immigrant Port-au-Prince born beauty and later tele-journalist who now holds Canada’s highest government office, has, as nature thankfully intended for her good looks and graces, no balls.
In fact, to verify such recognition of her official potential pin-up status, early on as Governor-General she declared, “I am hot!” to an Ottawa MP-press annual dinner where the government officials almost ritually make fun of themselves.
This past week the reins of government were thrust into her small hands to determine if a just-elected prime minister’s government will live or die.

One option provided her- in banana replublic style- just shut down parliament altogether to the PM can avoid a vote of non-confidence. Another option- grant a tri-party coalition of the second-best (declared so in the national election just six weeks ago) get to run things.

Not to second guess Her Excellency, but it was an opportunity to show the importance and necessity of a strong, wise and precedent-aware Governor-General.
First, no prime minister should be able to shut down parliament to avoid a vote of non-confidence. Now that it has been done, and G-G Michaëlle Jean has granted the prorogue sought by Prime Minister Harper, future prime ministers can use the same tactic citing historical precedence. Not a good thing in a parliamentary democracy.
There was, however, no doubt that Michaëlle Jean would grant his wish.
Her Exellency is hot indeed, but strong-willed she is not.

Her eyes are light as a bird, searching for safe perches of approval. In one photograph of her with Harper, she looks more nurse than Governor-General, her eyes full of compassion and concern.
Her role was to tell Steven Harper to face his music.
She should have gathered all the leaders at Rideau Hall, and read her decision sprinkled with history and precedent so future G-Gs, hot or not, will have a blue print to go by.
Her third decision to be made was whetherto grant the tri-party coalition the government benches.
That’s a tougher decision.
The sitting prime minister of Canada is a trained economist and disciplined leader who has just lead one of the longest-lived minority governments in Canadian history. Not a bad choice during a world financial crisis. The alternative is an opposition leader who has already declared he is leaving the leadership of his party, and who would lead, only for an interim period til March, two left of centre parties with the support of a third party whose sole purpose is to promote the independence of the only province it runs in. The coalition announced plans to spend millions right away as an national economic stimulus package.
The recent announcement that 71,000 jobs have been lost in Canada includes Southern Ontario’s automobile manufacturing woes and Elections Canada layoffs. Take away those elements and Canada looks like an oasis of economic stability compared to the United States. Why the hurry? Why not wait for the January budget?

The mother of all G-Gs, the aging Queen Elizabeth II, is filmed as she visits her horses, a kerchief ’round her hair and tied up under her chin. She wears a longish unflattering coat. She doesn’t look like a queen in this garb. She looks very ordinary, like a charwoman, more dressed to clean the stable than to rein it. But as a Queen, day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, she does a remarkable job at the pointy end. Her decisions are right. History will be kind.

Meanwhile, her representative in Canada, Michaëlle Jean, has reduced her Governor-General’s role to charwoman. She has declined to take a strong stand that would provide a historical corner-stone of precedent. Instead she cleaned up after Harper made his mess, an unelected official shutting down Canada’s elected parliament, following the opposition outcry to Harper’s attempt to take away millions of dollars in government grants away from federal political parties. A good idea, but the timing and lack of consultation revealed him to be a mean and petty man. It was an observation made long-ago by the opposition, now apparent to all. The actions of the opposition leaders following that decision (that was certain to provoke) has destroyed Harper’s once statue-like image of a strong, disciplined leader. He is wounded, and so is Michaëlle Jean, and in fact, so are they all.
There is a lesson here somewhere. Perhaps it is this. Never tell a socialist they can no longer have free money. You’ll damn well pay for it, and Harper has.

And perhaps one more lesson. If we continue to have a Governor-General, and it is an old post, older than the presidency of the United States by more than a 130 years- going back to Augustin de Mesy who began his term as Governor General of New France in 1663- it should be an elected position if the powers include shutting down an elected House of Commons. Ten years before the term of de Mesy began, the original House of Commons in England was shut down by a man named Oliver Cromwell, whose ambition included replacing even the monarch. The shutdown in that instance lasted seven years. The shutdown in this case will last seven weeks. You’d think parliamentary democracy would have evolved somewhat more in 355 years.



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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence

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