12.13.2011 03:48 PM

Prime facie B.S.

The Speaker finds:

Yet, despite all that, there was no “prima facie” case.  Because (a) Cotler continued doing his job and (b) people have read about it in the paper, and will hereafter be “wary.”

That is unmitigated bullshit. To use a hockey analogy: was Cotler supposed to drop to the ice, and stay there until the guy who gave him a head shot was suspended from further play?  Will this kind of thuggery stop, now, because a few scolding newspaper editorials were written?  It is to laugh.

This ruling was a test of a new Speaker, and he has utterly failed it.  There was a reason why the Prime Minister’s Office favoured his candidacy.

And now we’ve seen why.  He’s their water boy.


  1. Tom says:

    Except the PMO didn’t “favour his candidacy” at all – the Tories tried to cut a deal with the NDP to have another, favoured MP serve as Speaker, but the Dippers balked so the Tories closed ranks.

    Of course you, and Cotler, think it’s bullshit. But if you had the resources, and you were in charge you’d do the same damn thing – or far worse. What a bunch of crybabies.

    • Pat says:

      Also – and I don’t mean to speak for you Warren – I’m pretty sure WK has had access to those resources. In case you’ve forgotten, the Liberals dominated the 90s and early 2000s, and WK wasn’t exactly a casual bystander…

    • Outsider says:

      What an assinine defence of the indefensible. You rabid right-wingers will be your own worst enemies, guaranteed …

  2. Mark Francis says:

    What would constitute a prima facie case, then? His electoral defeat?

  3. scanner says:

    If they wish to, the Members could make the Speaker’s job a living hell.

  4. dave says:

    Cotler needs to sue. Now. RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

    I’m good for money and gratis law-library research.

    Sue the asses off the “pollster” and the Conservative Fuckwad Party.


    • The Doctor says:

      What would the legal cause of action be? Sorry to sound like a lawyer, but . . .

      • Warren says:

        Election fraud. They were spreading false information in respect of an election and a candidate.

        • Matt says:

          I’m curious as to how you figure this is election fraud? There is no election and there are no candidates. I’m not saying it’s right. I think it was a terribly stupid move by both the CPC and by Campaign Research but it’s clearly not election fraud.

          I’m sure there is something there to punish somebody though. It’s got to be a crime for a pollster to lie.

          That said, was it a breach of privlidge in the HoC? These actions weren’t directed by the the government or a sitting MP, they were directed by a political party. These actions didn’t stop a member from doing his work, didn’t stop him from attending committee, didn’t stop him from raising questions in the House or stop him from helping his constituents. Sure he had to answer more phone calls and emails but he was able to do his job.

          Again, not saying it’s right. I just don’t see how it’s a breach of privlidge or election fraud. I’m no lawyer though…

          • The Doctor says:

            Warren, I was responding to dave, the first poster, who used the word “sue”. You know as well as I do that that implies a civil action. Now you’re talking about a regulatory/quasi-criminal prosecution, which of course is quite a different matter.

            I’m pretty much with Matt on this one. I haven’t checked the statute, but I’d surprised if it covers stuff like this completely outside of an actual election.

            But I agree the CPC’s conduct was scummy.

            I think some people are forgetting that not all scummy conduct in this world is legally actionable. E.g., cheating on your spouse is scummy. But it’s not illegal.

          • Warren says:

            Here’s a crazy idea: why don’t we let the police decide that, and not some people in an Internet chat room?

  5. Chris P says:

    So does this mean you will be offering free legal support to go after the Conservatives in court?

  6. Anon 123 says:

    Warren, can’t Cotler sue both the polling company and the Contempt party?

  7. JStanton says:

    … you know, I’m just exhausted. What more can possibly be said about the corrupting of our democracy and political culture by Mr. Harper and his cabal that has not already been said? What more can possibly be needed to demonstrate the consistent failures of the LPC that have delivered this dis-heartening event, and their need to immediately mobilize? What else can possibly occur to shake people out of the stupor that has allowed Mr. Harper to persist?

    We need a game changer. Mr. Harper is going nowhere good, the LPC is going nowhere fast, and the electorate is nowhere to be seen.

    I think I’ll drink again tonight.


    • hollinm says:

      If you need a game changer it ain’t Sheila Copps and Bob Rae.

      • Koreen S. says:

        I would not be too certain about Bob Rae not being the man for the job. He SHOULD have been leader all along…since Paul Martin. He is brilliant, dedicated and has integrity. If you were a member of the Liberal party you would know what is going on and tonight’s message was a very positive one. Does anyone really think that the party of all the great people past and present is really done for? I do not believe it for a moment. There are FAR too many well intentioned, kind and thoughtful people in this country. The party will regain its strength and then, watch out. Drink if you must, JStanton but don’t be too despondent..there is hope…Harper and his corrupt party will not last forever.

      • JStanton says:

        … hey, you know, what would really impress me is if you came up with something insightful that contributed to the discourse, and just perhaps moved this sorry-ass state of affairs forward.


      • Pete says:

        hey Mervin, you are on so many blogs and newspaper sucking at the Tory teat with all your nonsense. Haven’t they given you a paid job yet?

  8. James Bowie says:

    In a minority parliament this ruling would never stand. The members would challenge the chair, and that would be the end of this speaker.

    In situations like this it is lamentable we don’t have a Speaker like Milliken, who was a legal expert and an accomplished academic. AS has no education whatsoever to recommend him to be the speaker, and now it’s showing. Rulings like this that fail to cite meaningful authority and obviously favour the speaker’s party bring shame on the office of the Speaker.

    • Jason Hickman says:

      James, whatever one thinks of the Speaker’s ruling, but I disagree that he “fail[ed] to cite meaningful authority”. I read the complete version of what he had to say from the link to DA’s blog that WK provided. The Speaker cited several rulings of Speakers past, which is often done when points of order, privilege, etc are made. The complete text, assuming that DA quoted him exactly, does not exactly “favour the speaker’s party”, even if he ultimately found that it wasn’t within his purview to find a prima facie case of contempt.

  9. ernest lustig says:

    I hope and pray Irwin does not quit

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Ditto. And, like dave said, I hope he sues their asses off.

      If he decides to sue, hopefully there will be a way we can contribute to Cotler’s legal fund if he needs a bit of help, because when it comes right down to it, helping Cotler would be helping Canada.

      Damn, I hate this government.

      • hollinm says:

        On what basis would he sue their sorry asses. They hurt my feelings?

        • The Doctor says:

          That’s what I keep wondering about here. It’s not defamation in the classic sense of the word, because defamation usually requires that whatever was said significantly diminishes the reputation of the victim (in this case Cotler). I’m trying to keep an open mind here, but I’m not really convinced that Cotler’s reputation was “sullied” by what went on.

  10. Brian says:

    In the age of the autodialer, phone banking can’t be that expensive. If the phoning into Cotler’s riding is so wrong – and, frankly, it is – then why not retaliate?

    I’m sure there’s a long list of unknown, rookie government MPs who might retire – or might not. Or might face accusations of wrongdoing. Or might not. Etc.

    • hollinm says:

      The Liberals don’t have the money nor the people do such a campaign. They are broke.

      • Pete says:


        Are you aware the Libs just raidsed over a million dollars in the last 12 days. That’s enough for a few phone calls in Harpo’s riding if they choose to sink that low.

  11. kre8tv says:

    All I can say is that the Speaker has lived down to expectations. Unfortunately.

  12. kre8tv says:

    Okay actually I have one more thing to say. Politics isn’t immune from karma. The stuff these bright bulbs keep pulling and thinking they’re getting away with will catch up with them and likely when they least expect it. At that point all the controlled messaging in the world won’t be able to save them. History teaches that unchecked power combined with a sense of immunity and immortality is a sweet drink that always turns to poison. Wait and see.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Not meaning to be a pessimest, but WHEN????????? It seems like the electorate is in a fucking coma. I tried to tell some people up here about the implications of that crime bill and they looked at me as if I were crazy!

      Either that or the antidepressants a lot of them are on are wicked powerful, because I swear their brains are in *park*!

      • pomojen says:

        Ditto – but WHY for the love of christ. WHY. I really want to understand this. And here’s an advance “piss off” to anyone who replies with some bullshit spin about the electorate not being asleep and actually supportive of this constant stream of shit.

        Usually I have a crumb of respect for the idea that people are disenfranchised because they feel that the nation state is not where the power lies…that there are other things to contribute energy to in the pursuit of change. That’s not the view I subscribe to, but I at least get it sometimes. However, we are seeing instance after instance of an unethical, immature and ideological frathouse of a governing party clearly exerting power in undemocratic, antisocial ways. Clearly the levers of the nation state are not totally disconnected from the power to effect change. And this is the wrong fucking change.

        It sickens me that we will have to wait another 3.5 years for another chance to get rid of these bastards. And that the electorate might be so disconnected, other parties so weak and ineffectual that we might end up stuck with this twisted ideological party at the helm.

      • Michael S says:

        Brains are in park because they’re playing Angry Birds.

    • And that is exactly what happened to the Liberal Party.

  13. hollinm says:

    Kinsella talks about thuggery. What a joke! The master of dirty tricks and thuggery. For God’s sakes it four years until the next election. Are people that stupid in Mount Royal that when they see the name of Irwin Cotler on the ballot they know he is not retiring etc.?
    Yes it was a dirty trick but worse things have been done in the name of politics. Does Kinsella remember Barney the Dinosaur and the campaign to name Stockwell Day Doris. It happened all the time during the Chretien years but the media ignored it because it was their beloved Liberals.

    • Tim O'Malley says:

      A supporter of the Lemming Strategy, are we ‘hollinm’?

    • Justin says:

      Ohh boo hoo, go cry elsewhere. The actions that Warren took were during elections and is nowhere near what the consevatives have done. They have commited fraud.

    • pomojen says:

      Always with Barney the Dinosaur. And the Doris Day thing – that was actually a comedy bit. And it did not involve secret polling and phone calls to manipulate anyone. I know plenty of people who would say they’ve been called worse things than Doris by better friends. And still laughed. I had no idea it was possible to be so thin skinned. But thanks for reminding me about that….I had forgotten and it’s a funny comedy bit. Also, thanks for using two examples of “thuggery” that are, on their face, not even close to thuggery.

      You know, when people trot out the same cliched, over-repeated lame-ass example of the Liberals or anyone else “doing the same thing” as some kind of answer to criticism of some pretty low and dirty shit coming out of the conservative party of canada, it accomplishes 2 things:

      1) Underscores your lack of material evidence to prove your point. Really. Put your Barney doll to bed. It’s old.
      2) Underscores how very immature, how very facile your attempts to defend these actions are. That the whole “you guys did it too!” strategy really is the lamest. It’s worse than lame. Weren’t the cons supposed to be beneath this manipulative smallness? You cried and cried about how awful and corrupt the Liberals were. Yet you hold up these things to show that what YOU are doing is OK. How very grade two.

      I am not even a Liberal. I voted for them once, when I was afraid the con candidate in my riding would win via splitting the vote. But hell, I would tattoo “Liberal” on my ass if I thought it would get rid of this governing party. And Irwin Cotler is a decent, brilliant and integral man from all that I have heard, read and seen. If he wasn’t a million years old, I would suggest he run for the leadership. Attacking a decent and honourable person in this way, who won his job competition fair and square….It’s shameful. And the ruling by the speaker is at least, if not more, shameful.

      Wake the fuck up. Or shut the fuck up. Whatever suits you better.

    • kre8tv says:

      Hollinm, now that comparison is just plain silly. I’m just watching from the sidelines of course, but what I see is this: when Warren or anyone from his campaign team gets you in their sights, you know who is talking, what they are saying and have ample opportunity to respond…all in the public domain. Well there’s also that little matter of what they have to say being rooted in fact. But these days, it seems facts don’t matter as much as what people simply feel is true.

    • Philip says:

      ” It happened all the time during the Chretien years but the media ignored it because it was their beloved Liberals.”

      Did it now? I’m sure you can prove that?

      Because otherwise, hollinm, you would just be some little bitch running their mouth.

    • Michael Bussiere says:

      The media didn’t ignore Barney or the Doris Day petition, stupid, they were all over them because they were funny and underscored the intended issues. This recent business with Cotler is taking place after a recent election win and was based on an implicit lie. And, tax dollars are paying for the defeated Con candidate to kiss ass in the riding until the next election. Never, ever, ever have we seen the likes of this party.

      I remember one commentator suggesting there is actually something pathologically wrong in Harper’s head and we’re seeing the evidence more and more. This guy is a goddamned paranoid Nixon nutcase.

    • James Bow says:

      Right. Deliberately misleading voters about a member of parliament between elections is exactly the same as a joke made during the campaign trail, or a criticism of policy done to humorous effect.

      The difference, if you haven’t clued in, is that the dirty trick you are defending actually sought to deceive voters, while the latter was (a) not dishonest and (b) done in full view of the campaign allowing for rebuttals and for the voters to decide.

      Really, if you’re still steaming about the Barney the Dinosaur quip and the Doris Day campaign, you have an incredibly thin skin and you bear a grudge like nobody’s business. You all seem incapable of thinking beyond the simplest equation of “Conservative, good; Liberals, bad.” Wake up and try to think outside the partisan box for a change.

      • James Bow says:

        See, here you’re raising an apple in a discussion that has primarily been about oranges. Hollinm says, “Yes it was a dirty trick” and “worse things have been done in the name of politics. Does Kinsella remember Barney the Dinosaur and the campaign to name Stockwell Day Doris”. Your comment basically amounts to, “it may not have been a dirty trick.”

        That’s not the argument, here. I’m not talking to you, I’m responding to Hollinm, who up and says, “yes, it was a dirty trick”. As far as he’s concerned, the Conservatives did wrong, but that’s okay because they’re Conservatives, and the Liberals did worse things by placing a plush doll on a table in front of Stockwell Day, and a comedian who has no ties with the campaign office of the Liberal party lampoons a lampoonable idea brought to the table by said politician.

        So, what further embarrassment? If you don’t believe that dirty tricks occurred, why are you talking to me, and not taking Hollinm to task for saying that such dirty tricks, if they existed, were acceptable?

    • Outsider says:

      Ho hum … The It’s-OK-cos-it’s-our-guy-at-the-trigger is as tiresome as it is arrogant.

  14. MIchael says:

    Prime Minister’s Office … *its candidate

  15. MCBellecourt says:

    hollimn, I’ve seen you trolling just about every news thread in this country. You’re trolling here. I, for one, am withholding your dinner.

    No bones for you, pal.

    Ignore him, gang.

  16. patrick deberg says:

    The important thing is to do what needs to be done. Build the party from the ground up. The last election I went to see my liberal member at an early meeting at the legion and the doors were locked tighter than a drum going over the Niagara falls! I couldn’t get in to hear her. The LPC has grown fat and lazy with ineffectual leadership. Every newspaper in the country has 10 to one right wing to liberal opinionator so nothing gets heard. My brother, a organizer for the electrical construction union tries to draw adherents to the liberals and they show him one of Warren K’s columns where he pounds the public unions. So I have to go into damage control. The left splintering is leaving the high ground unreachable again. Each faction has the same thing at heart but are more divided than the Reformatories were. The Conservatives paint the ADSCAM debacle as an affront to democracy instead of what it really was a desperate attempt to keep Quebec within Canada, a concept the CPC cares little about and would probable celebrate. This is what scares me more than anything. The people in charge of Canada now don’t like Canada!! They see Alberta as the high water mark and Ontario rurals as retarded cousins that help in the haying season. We are the backwater to them. And they don’t like us. At all. They cut our brake lines, paint our signs with crosshairs, slash our tires, threaten our mothers and we are busy fighting each other for the power that is already ours. We need to go to old age homes and sing christmas carols, not lawyer conventions and bang idiot sticks. We should be fighting fire with fire, tooth and nail for the only thing the Cons hate is the poison they create being thrown back at them. The left must unite to save even the next 3.5 years for a massive destruction of the underpinnings is underway. It will take everything we have to hold what we have in place let alone fight the decay. A pox on all our houses !!

    • The Doctor says:

      “Every newspaper in the country has 10 to one right wing to liberal opinionator so nothing gets heard.”

      Apparently you’ve never heard of the Toronto Star. Or the Georgia Straight. Or the Tyee. Or . . .

      • Attack! says:

        Ok, maybe the Star doesn’t have that 10-1 right vs left columnist ratio, but apparently, you think it’s okay to cite a free weekly, mostly entertainment ads paper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tyee ) & an online magazine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tyee ) as alleged counter-examples to what was clearly intended as a generalization about daily newspapers with an ellipsis to make a specious generalization in the other direction. What’s up with that, Doc?

        • Attack! says:

          oops, the first link was supposed to be for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Georgia_Straight

          • The Doctor says:

            The Georgia Straight has HUGE circulation in the Greater Vancouver area. It is hugely influential. And the first 10-20 pages of that paper typically consist of nothing but political and current affairs coverage, from an explicitly and unapologetically left-wing perspective.

            I wish I had a dollar for every Georgia Straight cover that had a picture of Stephen Harper or Gordon Campbell depicted as the Devil, a Monster, sporting horns, fangs, etc. These images regularly grace newspaper boxes througout the BC Lower Mainland.

            Do you live here? Do you disagree with what I have said?

    • Whew – “Comfort and Joy” to you too!

  17. Philip says:

    The Georgia Straight vs. The National Post, The Globe and Mail and the entire QuebecCorp media line up? A little apples and oranges in my opinion.

    • The Doctor says:

      Hardly. The Georgia Straight rightly bills itself as “Canada’s Largest Urban Weekly.” In 2008, its audited circulation estimate was over 804,000 readers. As for those big papers you mention,

      “The most widely read paper in the country is the Toronto Star, which, as of the six-month period ending on March 31, 2007, averaged 634,886 copies sold on Saturday, 436,694 Monday to Friday, and 442,265 on Sunday. [3] The second most widely read paper is Toronto-based national newspaper The Globe and Mail, which averaged 374,000 copies on Saturdays, and 303,000 Monday to Friday. The most widely read French-language newspaper is Le Journal de Montréal, which averaged 319,899 copies on Saturday, 267,404 Monday to Friday, and 264,733 on Sunday. Unlike in the United States, newspapers in Canada published their biggest and mostly widely read editions on Saturdays.”

      Yes, the Straight is a Weekly. But more people read it than any of those others.

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