Vote ABC — Anything But Contempt

Pam
Pam Frampton
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“(You’re) hungry for the word, but God would never speak through such as these … They’ll tell your troubles to the lord for how ever much you can afford.”

— From “Bread and Circuses,” by 10,000 Maniacs

The most honest words to have come out of Stephen Harper’s election campaign so far are the ones that pop up when you click on the photos and videos he sends in his daily flurry of electronic news releases.

“This link might be a fraud,” it warns.

No kidding.

Sounds like an apt description of the leader of the only government in the Commonwealth to have ever been declared in contempt of Parliament.

On a campaign stop in rural Ontario Monday, Harper’s stage props consisted of a gaggle of young people leaning awkwardly on bales of hay on a farm in Wainfleet, Ont.

On his whistle-stop tour of St. John’s the week before, he propped up his desperate agenda with a gaggle of uncomfortable-looking young people and a handful of political has-beens and hypocrites who helped lead the charge against him during Danny Williams’ ABC Campaign of 2008.

I say it’s time for a new campaign, even if Williams isn’t leading it.

After all, what’s changed since then? The budget tabled just before Parliament dissolved contained cuts to three agencies that are key to this province: Marine Atlantic, ACOA and DFO.

You think that was a coincidence, or was Steve still punishing this province because of bad blood with Danny? Or was it because he figures if he was going to make cuts we’re one of the provinces that matters least in terms of the number of seats at stake?

Why not ask Fabian Manning, Trevor Taylor, Loyola Sullivan or John Ottenheimer — Harper’s new Newfoundland disciples. Presumably they would endorse Harper’s budget.

Lord knows he must have something going for him to draw those four out of the woodwork. Watching their shameless sycophancy as they offered themselves up to the federal Cons in recent days has been, as my father so sagely noted, like poking an ant’s nest with a stick and watching what scurried out.

Fabian, Trevor, Loyola and John — Williams stalwarts all, until the next gravy train comes along.

And Dunderdale, too, so quickly willing to align herself with the provincial government’s former foe, all for the wisp of a promise of something Harper might do down the road if the stars are aligned and we are cursed to find him leading a majority government.

“I don’t feel like I’ve thrown my political fortunes in with the federal Conservatives,” the premier told the media on Monday.

Perhaps someone should take her aside and quietly explain what a Faustian bargain is.

 

To recap

For anyone who may have missed some of the subtleties of this campaign so far, allow me to elucidate:

Dunderdale, realizing that the Muskrat Falls development cannot go ahead without federal help, cosied up to Harper in an attempt to win his support. (Too bad she didn’t get it in writing).

Fabian, Trevor, Loyola and John — some of whom had cut their provincial political careers short due to ill health or a new-found desire to put family first — sniffed change in the wind. Now that Williams is out of the picture and the provincial government has handed Harper an olive branch, what better time to try to settle in at the trough again. ABC Campaign? What ABC Campaign?

And for Loyola and Fabian, who sacrificed their financially cushy “situations” — a fish ambassadorship and a Senate seat, respectively — there’s the added benefit that Harper will owe them a debt for having offered themselves up, even if they lose the election.

Fabian was even foolish enough to point out publicly that the real decision-making is in Parliament rather than the Senate, which makes you wonder why he was content to remain in such an ineffectual position for so long and accept a big fat paycheque. Oh wait — I forgot. His Senate seat combined with a lack of Tory MPs in this province made him the perfect federal representative to be sent home now and again with the government chequebook.

Not a bad job if you aim to throw your hat back in the political ring.

When Harper finally deigned to speak publicly after his government was found in contempt of Parliament — that’s something for the old résumé, hey? — he lamented the fact that Canadians were being forced into an election they did not want.

Really? Some of us have been chomping at the bit to get rid of Harper, and I’m looking forward to marking my ballot for a candidate who will represent the people’s interests instead of someone who’s eager to represent Harper’s.

Because make no mistake, any Conservatives this province sends to Ottawa will be sent back here to shove Harper’s agenda down our throats; they won’t be up on Parliament Hill risking their political hides and lucrative paycheques and pensions to stand up for you and me.

Recent history has shown us that. John Efford, anybody? Loyola Hearn?

I urge everyone to get out and vote on May 2, regardless of your political affiliation.

Just remember, though. A vote for Harper is a vote in favour of someone who showed contempt for your Parliament.

Contempt for you.

 

Pam Frampton is The Telegram’s  story editor. She can be reached by email at pframpton@thetelegram.com.

Twitter: pam_frampton

Organizations: Conservatives, Marine Atlantic, Tory MPs

Geographic location: Ontario, Wainfleet, Newfoundland Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Edward Power
    April 12, 2011 - 14:41

    Well said Ms. Frampton. The sorry sight of these four former PC members crawling from the woodwork to run as Federal Conservatives is sickening to watch. Health issues are miraculousy cured. Young families have apparently experienced growth spurts and sudden maturity. Political foes that were, and still are, guilty of inflicting financial harm on their province are now political allies in the Great Leap Forward with the Harper Government. I dearly hope that they are sent packing back to the obscurity they sought a short time ago. And pundits wonder why people are so turned offf by the political process.

  • Barry Kentner
    April 12, 2011 - 02:12

    Will it be Get rid of child poverty or get rid of the Childish deficit ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4kauBNZEog Give the gift of (a life), make Child poverty an issue !, Watch , pass around , get mad and vote

  • Don Fogwill
    April 10, 2011 - 22:35

    Right on Pam. Tell it like it is. You just may have made a few more people stop and think about what kind of government we need and to get out and vote.

  • James Wolfe
    April 10, 2011 - 13:34

    Why vote when they are all the same? All tax and spend, big government, pro union, lying scum bags. They have all proven this, for decades now. These people deserve no respect. Its all about greed, just follow the money. We now have over 3.5 million people working for government across the country. Average salary in government is about 70 thousand (including benefits, pension, bonuses...) yearly and rising. Average salary in the private sector is around 45 thousand yearly and dropping. Over 10% of government employees now make over 100 thousand yearly. In the private sector the number is under 2%. Look to Greece, Ireland and Quebec (all bankrupt), this is where Canada is headed if we don’t stop equalization and get spending and government growth under control. This tax and spend, union scum, socialist, big government, social engineering that has been destroying this country has got to stop. Yes, it has left Quebec and has been spreading throughout the rest of the country since the 1960”s, that’s right over 5 decades of massive government growth, massive government hiring, skyrocketing government salaries and more and more debt. Thanks Trudeau, Tanks kebec (original native spelling). Don’t believe me; go check the stats for yourself. Solution? Well there is only one. A new party and a new leader. People from the private sector with no relationship to any of the mainstream parties. One that details before an election what they stand for. We need a party with specific, fiscally conservative policies. One that defines essential and non-essential (expensive waste) services in a platform before elections. One that will cut waste, reduce taxes, eliminate departments, downsize government...repeal bad laws (the charter, bilingualism, multiculturalism...Bill 101...), one that will tell unions to rot in hell. No more lies, propaganda, and spin, what we now get on a daily basis. Canada needs a party that stands for integrity, honesty, transparency and common sense. One that is proud of our real BNA history.

    • Nursey
      April 11, 2011 - 11:24

      Yes, James... maybe we need some sort of armed citizen's militia too. Okay. Back to your bunker you go where the nasty old black helicopters won't get you...

  • aubrey smith
    April 10, 2011 - 12:56

    Re Chris's remark about Ms. Marshall .I agree completely .Very disappointing .One of the few people with any real integrity is now merely one of the many people without any real integrity.I always thought integrity was ingrained ,not a make-up you applied to suit the moment

  • Roy Riggs
    April 10, 2011 - 09:37

    Well written, Ms. Frampton

  • Jack Dreaddy
    April 09, 2011 - 20:14

    Im abstaining from Federal Politics. They all suck. But I do not think there is a widespread sentiment against Harper in this province on the level too, or near, to, what there was in 2008. I think most of the people vouching ABc are people that wouldnt have voted for Harper anyways. Most of the people I see going on are Liberal and NDP members. The success of ABc is based on the number of traditional Tory voters who go for it

  • HarbourMaster
    April 09, 2011 - 18:24

    Ms. Frampton is spot on in her analysis. The only thing that has changed since the last federal election is we have a new premier Ms. Dunderdale. All the other chess pieces are the same. Unfortunately our new premier is much weaker than our prevoius one and is following her traditional role of being a "Yes" person. I have not forgotten I am voting ABC.

  • Sam Brace CD
    Sam Brace CD
    April 09, 2011 - 12:22

    Ms Frampton has stated the facts correctly and Ms Dunderdale had better heed her remarks. She will pay the price in the provincial election as soon as it becomes clear that King Steven and his "Harper" government will again renege on their verbal promises. The CON party has shown its true colours over the years in it's CONTEMPT for any person, province, or elected body that stands in it's way. The only one of Pam's points that I take issue with is the statement that Ms Dunderdale should have got Harpers promise ref Muskrat Falls in writing. It would not matter if it were in writing because he does not honour written promises either - ask Danny. Another point that NL should consider is the flagrant CONTEMPT Harper demonstrated for the proposed EU Treaty on the Fishery in 2009. Harper wanted to approve it as a bargaining chip for a free trade agreement with the EU. In July of 2009 It was voted down 147-142 in parliament because it was a give away to Europe at the expense of our east coast provinces. Guess what - the very next day Harper signed the treaty anyway!! CONTEMPT? The only media report of this arrogant action was a report by RALPH SURETTE of the Chronicle Herald. Later that day he was told by a Harper staff member that "the government is not happy with you" I think this was a threat against Mr Surette. Typical Harper bully tactics. ANYONE BUT CONTEMPT

  • Sam Brace CD
    April 09, 2011 - 12:15

    Ms Frampton has stated the facts correctly and Ms Dunderdale had better heed her remarks. She will pay the price in the provincial election as soon as it becomes clear that King Steven and his "Harper" government will again renege on their verbal promises. The CON party has shown its true colours over the years in it's CONTEMPT for any person, province, or elected body that stands in it's way. The only one of Pam's points that I take issue with is the statement that Ms Dunderdale should have got Harpers promise ref Muskrat Falls in writing. It would not matter if it were in writing because he does not honour written promises either - ask Danny. Another point that NL should consider is the flagrant CONTEMPT Harper demonstrated for the proposed EU Treaty on the Fishery in 2009. Harper wanted to approve it as a bargaining chip for a free trade agreement with the EU. In July of 2009 It was voted down 147-142 in parliament because it was a give away to Europe at the expense of our east coast provinces. Guess what - the very next day Harper signed the treaty anyway!! CONTEMPT? The only media report of this arrogant action was a report by RALPH SURETTE of the Chronicle Herald. Later that day he was told by a Harper staff member that "the government is not happy with you" I think this was a threat against Mr Surette. Typical Harper bully tactics. ANYONE BUT CONTEMPT

  • sam
    April 09, 2011 - 11:14

    Maybe it is time for another approach with the Federal Government. At the time the ABC served its purpose to show the Feds that we were not happy. Danny stood up for us and we all appreciated it. But it is a new time, with a new leader...maybe it is time for us to try to do things differently. And don't condemn those who are putting themselves forward for the better of the province. Maybe the media should step up to the plate and do the same thing. Pam...maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and do something to try and make a difference, not only condemn people who do!! I wouldn't know Harper from any other politician, i am voting for the person who i think will do the best for my riding!!

  • Chris
    April 09, 2011 - 08:11

    You neglected to include Beth Marshall among the Harperites. I once admired Ms. Marshall and the role she had as Auditor General in helping expose the spending scandal in the House of Assembly, her refusal to be bullied by Williams and her subsequent suffering in silence when banished to the backbenches - especially when more incompetent members were appointed as cabinet ministers (see Wiseman, Burke, Hickey, King, Skinner, et al.) But I cannot help but feel she has betrayed us by acting as Fabian Manning’s campaign manager. She too will sell Harper’s agenda, which includes cuts to ACOA, DFO and Marine Atlantic. Throw in the $11 billion in ''undisclosed cuts'' the federal Tories have announced in order to eliminate the deficit and I think we are in for a world of hurt. And by leading Manning’s campaign, while still being paid her Senate salary, she now embodies what we have come to despise about politicians in general – that integrity and a conviction to one’s principle’s can be bought. I thought she was bigger than that.