Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Facebook Fury

It seems "grassroots" Canadians are in a fury over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament.

Or so says the Toronto Star.

And what's the Star's evidence of this fury?

Well, it seems more than 28,000 people have joined an anti-prorogation Facebook page.

OK that's impressive.

It certainly shows that lots of people on Facebook disagree with the prorogation.

But clicking a link on Facebook is no measure of emotional intensity.

And it's emotional intensity which fuels "grassroots fury."

You need such intensity to pick up the phone and complain to your MP or to a radio talk show host, you need such intensity to get citizens marching on Parliament Hill or to attend rallies. You need such intensity, in short, to mobilize the grassroots.

So far I don't see any evidence of such emotional intensity among Canadians when it comes to shutting down Parliament.

And that's not surprising. The fact is, people rarely get all that worked up about process or procedural issues.

It's the kind of thing which excites constitutional scholars, political columnists and partisans, but nobody else.

Anyway, if you want to have a say on this issue, you can vote on the latest Libertas Post survey.


Anonymous said...

How does it feel to sit in the ivory tower and not have to actually go out and see people who are really upset over this?

Gerry Nicholls said...

It's the Ivory Tower crowd which is really upset over this.

Manuel said...

The average Canadian doesn't have a clue whats going on in Canadian politics at any given time, they see something that might sound like they disagree with and hop on it assuming it's the popular thing to do. My personal favorite line from the facebook group was a man saying he felt like he lives in Iran because of this. These people are so out of touch with reality that their opinion isn't something to even consider.

Michael Harkov said...

Well Anon, if the right people are supposed to be upset over this, then where oh where is the Leader of the Official Opposition on this matter? Perhaps he can be reached for comment in Europe, where he is taking a vacation.

Funny that; the Liberals are making a huge deal about Harper's "prorogation vacation" of Paliament and mocking him endlessly for it, yet Ignatieff is vacationing in Europe And Harper is still in Ottawa. Hypocrites much?

Derek said...

here's a much better group on facebook - EXTENDING the prorogue for 10 months of the year!


Kit said...

I don't think I have enough real and factual information about this prorogue business to be upset about it, let alone furious, and I sure as hell won't decide that based on the headlines in the Toronto Star, Kady O/Malley's latest blog-vomit, a half-assed CBC radio survey or because some left wing silver spoon socialist in either the Liberal or NDP parties tell me I should be...
In fact I am looking forward to a few months of civilized behavior coming from Ottawa - something you don't get when Parliament is sitting (around).

Anonymous said...

Jean Chretien must be laughing his ass off. How many times did he prorogue Parliament? Usually to avoid scandal.

Anonymous said...

I wish all those idealistic students would organize demonstrations on behalf of their counterparts in Iran who are dead, in jail, or getting their heads bashed in.

Anonymous said...

I'd bet at least even money that half of the people signed onto that Facebook page don't even know what "prorogue" means.

And the other half probably don't even know the Prime Minister's name.

Good grief!

Frankly, IMHO the MSM in this country...certainly not unique to Canada...are losing it, and losing it big time.

Boy, it's a good thing we have the CBC to at least maintain some sort of standards.


Just threw that in there for comedy relief.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 28,000 grass roots Liberals are posting against the prorogation of parliament. Good job, Liberals. If the recent polls are correct you managed to get every Liberal left in Canada to post on Facebook.
By the way, did the Iggomaniac post from his vacation hideaway?

Ted Betts said...

Want some more facts about the Harper Holiday, Kit?

The Harper Holiday killed over half his fall agenda. 33 bills in all were killed. Crime bills. Consumer protection bills. Election reform bills. Some of these had already been introduced two or even three times before.

Of the 33 bills Harper killed, 17 had not even received second reading in the House, 8 were in House committees, 5 or so were being held up by the Conservatives and only 3 were even in the Senate.

Harper is good at introducing bills with lots of fanfare and attention. He's just not so good at getting things done.

Who knows what the cost of that is to tax payers, but clearly millions and millions squandered for absolutely no reason other than political gamemanship.

Another fact for you Kit. With the Harper Holiday, Harper has shut down Parliament for the third time in 16 months. Over the last 4 decades, Parliament has sat for an average of 145-150 days per year. Harper in 2009? Just barely over 100.

Another fact. Mulroney never saw any need to prorogue during the Calgary Olympics.

Another fact. There was no need to take a 3 month Harper Holiday to prorogue or introduce a Throne Speech. He could have prorogued January 24 and come back to Parliament on January 25.

Another fact. Whenever Harper has faced any serious heat that has affected his polls - investigations into in-and-out scam, Cadman's "financial considerations", environmental regulations, detainees, etc.... he has cut and run from our elected representatives by shutting down democratic committees, suing the democratic opposition, breaking his own law and promise to hold elections, proroguing Parliament now for the unprecedented 2nd time in a year.

Kit said...

Thanks for the facts Ted. You included some editorializing, but I discounted that. I just can't see what the problem is, half of what you complain about could be attributed to a minority government and a hostile opposition.
Guess it depends on your point of view.
Still, even though I am now armed with Ted's facts, I am still not furious and will never allow the Toronto Star to tell me how I should feel.

Anonymous said...

As I understand this, thanks to an amendment to parliamentary procedures about 15 years ago...under the Libs...all existing bills return to be carried forth from they left off.

All that's required is a simple procedural vote by the House to allow it...which generally is always forthcoming.

Have a hard time imagining that the Libs would want to get blamed for wiping out all that work in progress. And doing so by blocking a procedure they enacted in the first place.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Top Can said...

If Harper is in Ottawa, why does he need to prorogue? What can he possibly get done (i.e. legislation passed) without the House in session?

Anonymous said...

The fact that His Harperness has granted Peter Mansbridge an interview suggests that something is happening out there.

The CBC was excluded for his year-end interviews.

I guess if he grants The Star an interview, we'll know that he is panicking.

A silly question for The Learned Nicholls: can you unprorogue i.e. can Harper say, hey my budget is ready, y'all come back on the 25th and vote for it, and then let's go do the 2-man luge with John Baird at the Olympics?

Alberta Girl said...

"33 bills in all were killed"

You mean those bills that were gutted by the Senators... I am sure they will be brought back once we have a majority and can get them through as the house voted them.

Face it Ted, you are shooting blanks here.

Oh - and Springer...we must think alike in our thoughts that the majority of FB members wouldn't have a clue about what they joined.

After all over 83,000 joined the group Look - A Bandaid!

Roy Eappen said...

Where is iggy Ted?

Ted Betts said...


Please come back to the reality based world.

When 40% of his legislative agenda was passed by the Senate, and over half of the remainder hasn't even gone to the Senate yet, and there are only 3 bills currently in front of the Senate (one of which was introduced by the Conservatives and immediately suspended and has not been brought to a vote or to committee)... can we please do away with this fantasyland that it is the Senate that is holding things up or that they gutted anything.

As they say, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Ted Betts said...


If Harper cares so little about his own legislation that he would put the boots to it not once but twice, why would the opposition be interested in having him rush things through Parliament again? Seriously, this will be about the third or fourth time Harper would be introducing some of these bills. I strongly suspect he doesn't intend them to be laws, he just wants to use them for the public announcements.

Besides, it seems he's gearing up for an election in the spring. Which means he'll essentially have accomplished very little since he closed out the Parliamentary session in April 2008.

jad said...

Iggy's in Florence and Jack is snorkeling in Belize. The only leader who is "trying to make Parliament work" these days is the PM.

Anonymous said...

Gerry, all the parties agreed behind closed doors months ago to do this. Why? They know we have minority government and anything can happen during the Olympics, anything that can make Canada look really inept. I don't like liars and cheats in the media. (real conservative)

Rightchik said...

28,000 Facebook users are upset with the Conservative Government.

Hmm, maybe they can put their money where their click is by each donating $1100 to the Liberals. That would actually send a real message and help the Liberal leadership candidates get out of that little mess they are in right now with Elections Canada!

Somehow I think that their outrage ends where their wallet begins.

Anonymous said...

I was jsut curious, just what planet to you come from. I mean you`re so completely out of date and wrong in pretty much everyway you must come from somewhere far, far away. From one of your new friends (among 67,000) from CAPP

J. Kenneth Yurchuk said...

Since you posted this, the number has grown to 68000, at a rate of 1000 new members an hour. Also rallies are being organized across the country for Saturday, Jan 23rd.

We'll see how that goes, but Mr. Nicholl's I think you misread the motivation behind this protest group.

1) They're angry about shutting down committees doing important work. True or not, Mr. Harper gives the impression of cawardice and fear of what the se committees might reveal. Shurely he has nothing to worry about....does he?

2) Folks are REALLY ticked off at the impression that the Conservative MP's are getting a paid holiday for a couple of months. While we all know this isn't the case, that is still the impression many people have.

Anonymous said...

You are incorrect. At the moment there are 67,169 members of that group on facebook, and they are clearly furious.

Douglas Hunneman said...

Thanks for the suggestion Rightchik. I did sign on the Liberal party website and was surprised to find out I could easily donate using a credit card. I only gave them 250.00 though although I did join the party for 5 years for another 56.00. I am average and i care about this issue and I also care about the Afghan detainee issue.

Anonymous said...

See this is the problem, your loyalties lay with the Far Right, not Canadians. We are a Democratic Nation and you or the Northern Foundation will not change that. Reality is you rely on disinformation, belittling remarks, bully tactics. A bully always ends up getting his in the end, and Harper is going to get his.


John Prince said...

Based on the climbing numbers (~67,000) on the Facebook page against proroguing parliament it should be clear to anyone with half a brain that Harper and his conservative hoard’s time is up, and even political shills like the author here and his neo-con commentators along with their bought and paid for msm cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Your time is up, and it is about time, thank god!

Harper and his nutcase conservatives (Reform/Alliance) have done enough harm to this great country, just as Bush and the Republicans have done in the states. The people there and the people here have had enough, and seen enough, damage done because of these people and their fundamentally flawed, failed and self-serving ideology.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The spittle coming off some of these HarperHaters is hilarious-and I don't even like Harper. They actually think some 'downfall' moment is coming? NEWSFLASH: NO ONE CARES ABOUT PROROGUE OR YOUR STUPID FACEBOOK GROUP. Maybe if you could come up with a real issue and take a position on it that isn't dead stupid you guys could get some traction.

Anonymous said...

What? What's your point?