Defining bipartisanship down

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There's a rather serious omission from this ode to Bob Rae and the joys of bipartisanship that's up at the Globe and Mail this morning: voters. We're never mentioned.

Whatever the dictionary definition might be, I had always thought that bipartisanship described the process of legislators from different parties coming together to accomplish things that actually, ultimately, involved the legislature. That certainly isn't the process that's described here:

Quiet phone calls and meetings about a potential training mission took place over several months between government figures, opposition politicians and foreign governments.

What's described here is a conscious attempt to avoid parliament and the people. The article celebrates a process specifically designed to ignore public opinion and get the deal done, or as close to done as possible, before the public even knows what's going on. We've been rendered impotent and irrelevant by our own elected representatives and this article glorifies it.

I guess Rae intends to export democracy by taking ours away from us and sending it somewhere else.

Updated on the flip.

Update:

Here's another one, an op-ed by a senator that begins with "The ultimate test for any democracy" and then goes on to explain why we should all shut up and accept the decisions made for us by our betters. And incidentally, Senator Segal spends a fair amount of his time promoting a report (pdf) prepared by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. I read that report and took issue with its conclusions but it's become blindingly obvious that neither Hugh Segal nor Bob Rae has the slightest interest in the opinions of a mere citizen when a Senate committee has already carefully weighed evidence from all sides of the debate.

Of the eighteen witnesses whose testimony was heard in the preparation of the report, nine of them are currently serving senior officers in the Canadian Forces, four of them are retired officers and one of them is a board member of the Conference of Defence Associations. The Karzai government was represented by the current Afghan ambassador to Canada. Our government was represented by former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander and by Defence Minister Peter MacKay. The eighteenth witness was Terry Glavin in his capacity as the Research Coordinator for the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee.

Am I suppose to believe that a single report based on testimony from an obviously stacked witness list means that democracy has been served?

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8 Comments

As I said at my place, bi-partisanship is elite approved cooperation, whereas coalition is elite disapproved cooperation

In response to your last question--the answer is YES!!! Of course our 'elected' officials and their appointees know what is best for the serfs of the country. I read that we have to get rid of this government because they don't listen to us. The question I keep asking, and no one answers is 'who is there to vote for. Who listens'? With all these 'coalitions' we know that they are all the same. The truth is is that the system is rotten to the core and our votes accomplish nothing. Votes are left in place to make the ruled think they have a place in this country's governance. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Bipartisanship was 'coalition' just a few months ago. Mud was being slung over coalitions but now it is acceptable to the rulers. When do we form a coalition and turf this garbage?

All this marvelous Rae-brokered 'bipartisanship' that has apparently been going on for months, yet on Nov 8, :
"Ignatieff said Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon called Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae "out of the blue" Friday to float the idea of a training mission."

So they didn't inform Iggy about their quagmire negotiations, allowing him to continue to play the part of frowny face in the House ?

To his credit Iggy did say : "This isn't the kind of thing you want to do some secret deal with the Liberals about. This is a conversation that has to be done with Canadians," he said

To his credit Iggy did say

If he was going to follow through and try to force a vote in the Commons on this, today would be the day since it's a Lib opposition day. Not gonna happen.

The US military is already pressing for the *new* training mission to include “mentoring.” The Glob series was meant to oppose the strong public opinion of not supporting the war, so I expect soon we'll be reading about how mentoring is expected of the trainers. (After Lisbon) If Canada doesn't uphold global order think of the waste of all that battle experience. Glob has told us Canada's interests are global and the predatory behaviour of our gob must continue, because Sovereignty in the Arctic is next.

Iggy just gives the *appearance* of including Canadians with his platitudes, knowing full well they are mere distractions. It's a dirty, dirty world and Democracy has nothing to do with it, no matter which gob is in power. When it comes to Canada's future military role, the Con/Libs will always be a coalition and currently one we are stuck with for gawd knows how much longer. And as George says our votes accomplish nothing, it is a meaningless exercise that gives the *appearance* of democracy.

There isn't even the *just enough difference* between the Con/Lib coalition to cast a vote. Obama is our lesson, lots of rhetorical *difference* to get elected, then take your predecessor's policies to new heights. Canadians have yet to look at the cold light of day and say out loud what we already know, deep down, to be the case: democracy, as we know it, is dead. The Global Economy has destroyed *choices* in policies, we're in strait jackets now and democracy as we've known it Is Not Coming Back. First job is to face that reality, then we can make the changes we want. Right now the market is our master, rather than our servant, we *could* turn that on it's head. But there's no leadership burning with any desire to do it.

Defining bipartisanship has already been accomplished by the parties themselves, we just haven't accepted that reality. What would you suggest as the most compelling message Canadians could send to all the parties? You already know my answer pogge, but it is too radical for most and causes endless bickering. I just prefer to skip the endless discussions and get to it.

Jeeze apologize for this very long post, COFFEE!

COFFEE!

You had to do it, didn't you?

COFFEE+COFFEE=COFFEE!

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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on November 18, 2010 8:08 AM.

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