Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"I say you need to be elected to the Parliament of Canada to become a minister." Stephen Harper Quote on Jan 12, 2006!

Harper specifically said only 27 days ago, "I say you need to be elected to the Parliament of Canada to become a minister." Yet less than one month later he says one thing and does another by rewarding Michael Fortier , a Quebec back room party organizer with a plum appointment as a non elected Cabinet Minister. More specifically, Fortier is now the powerful Minister of Public Works and Government Services. Minister Fortier is even quoted as saying "I didn't run in the election because I didn't want to run in the election". To make matters worse Harper also appoints Fortier to the Senate. Remember Harper saying he would elect, not appoint Senators if he became PM? In addition to this, Harper further admittedly ok's a fishing expedition and then himself poaches Liberal David Emerson with a plush senior cabinet job as bait. Meanwhile about 40 odd members of his own caucus previously voted to no longer allow MPs to simply cross the floor like this anymore!

How can any Canadian or Conservative or especially any reformer at heart countenance or square these questionable behaviors? Is this business as usual on parliament hill? Is this evidence that the democratic deficit will continue flourishing under Stephen Harper's Conservative Party? Has anything really changed?

Video Flip Flop By Stephen Harper

View the flip flop evidence yourself from yesterday's broadcast of Don Newman's CBC newsworld. Download the CBC Newsworld clip at this link. You will need Real Video to see CBC newsclips. To get free Real video, if you don't have it, go to this link first and download Real Video. If you don't want to see the preamble or the whole hour show, pause it first, then move it forward about 28 minutes. The whole sequence of interest is only about 3 minutes long. At this point Newman shows a clip of a Jan 12, 2006 interview with a Radio Canada host in French with English subtitles, (the actual English text is shown below). Then Don Newman asks Calgary Conservative MP Jason Kenney for his comment about Stephen Harper's flip flop when he in the video says "I say you need to be elected to the Parliament of Canada to become a minister." recorded on January 12,2006.

The Translated French dialog segment from video is paraphrased word for word;

French interviewer: "Mario Dumont who is giving you his support today, he would make a good Minister. If you take power and do not have many MPs what do you think?"

Stephen Harper: "I appreciate Mr. Dumont's support. Mr. Dumont has many positive ideas for Quebec and I think that Mr. Dumont would like to avoid another referendum and would like to respect Quebec's autonomy in the Canadian Federation. I cannot, frankly, I cannot name any ministers during an election campaign, but I say you need to be elected to the Parliament of Canada to become a minister."

French Interviewer: " Well, if you get a minority government (with) not many MPs from Quebec, what would you do at that point?"

Stephen Harper: "I have the intention of having winning candidates in Quebec because personally, I think this is quite realistic."

In summary Harper basically tells the interviewer that he would not consider putting Mario Dumont in his cabinet because he is not elected to parliament and that is Harper's requirement. I guess back room political organizer, Michael Fortier, is Harper's exception to his own rule!

After the short subtitled French Interviewer/Harper clip, keep watching Conservative MP Jason Kenney squirm and ridiculously try to justify Harper's flip flop reversal. It's just great. His face says it all. Right after this segment you may also enjoy the short segment, "Is Harper camera shy?" or ring around the rosy as I would call it.

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