View From The Hill By Keith Beardsley – Time For Harper to Sit Down Over Minister Attacks

Dr. EvilCFN – This past week we have seen Prime Minister Harper keep with tradition and stand during Question Period to defend two of his embattled ministers. One has to wonder why?

The foul ups and bad optics that Veteran Affairs minister Fantino created for himself, should not require the Prime Minister to defend him. It is his department and the buck stops with Fantino. Ministers have to know their files. This includes knowing whether funding announcements are accurate and being prepared to answer all questions on their implications. Ministers require a lot of political sense too. How can one not understand the backlash that would come from shutting local Veteran Affairs offices or the political damage that would result in a pre-election year?

Ministers also have to understand that cameras and mics should always be treated as on. That is pretty basic stuff really. Fantino’s highly publicized meetings and missteps with veterans and a veteran’s widow leave you shaking your head. The optics were horrible and the backlash predictable.

Speaking of poor optics, Leona Aglukkaq sitting in the House reading a newspaper while ignoring serious questions on the northern food program (which directly impacts her riding) is one of the worst examples I have seen in decades on the Hill. The arrogance and lack of concern it displayed was stunning for its stupidity. All by herself she created her own Marie Antoinette moment and it will haunt her for years to come. Over the last few years the only one that beats that is probably Pierre Trudeau giving people the “Salmon Arm salute”. Arrogance is costly and never wins votes for you or your party. Aglukkaq should be run into the House ASAP and stand and apologize, it is the least she can do.

Over the years the Conservatives have made it a habit of designating other ministers to take questions when someone is in trouble. However, it is much better to let the offender take the heat for their actions. Like his Liberal predecessors, it is unlikely that Harper will fire either one of them when they are under attack. That is a victory he will not give to the opposition parties. The ministers will be dealt with later.

For now the Prime Minister has done what is required, IE stood up once and defended them. Now it’s time for him to sit down and let the ministers swing on their own.

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  1. Keith Beardsley….sorry. But the PM is where the buck stops. Yes, the ministers should be held accountable. But in the end Harper is the PM, he is resposnsible.

  2. Fantino should be defending himself as should any cabinet minister. Harper should be defending himself for appointing so many incompetent low-lifes to his cabinet.

  3. Furtz….we agree. The next year or until the election is going to be interesting.

  4. Uhhh no. It would be a cold day in hell the day I voted Conservative.

  5. I have never voted for Harpoon Harpo at all and when I voted I voted for Olivia Chow’s husband and he died and the votes were split which was a big mistake. I will not vote at all and learned my lesson.

  6. Yeap, not voting solves all the problems.

  7. What Keith Beardsley and too many political commentators fail to recognise or acknowledge is that(apologies to Abraham Lincoln)with the Conservatives we have “government of nonentities, by nonentities, for nonentities” with Harper as the nonentity in chief standing up to defend his appointed nonentities. Pathetic and sad for Canada.

  8. What’s interesting, PJ, is that Harper will travel around the world to meet the leaders of Pogo-Pogo and Lower Slobovia, but he refuses to even speak to the premier of Ontario. Very strange behavior for a Prime Minister of Canada heading into an election. What is he afraid of?

  9. What indeed? Well said Furtz. True to form, he runs away from a real challenge. And has no concept of responsibility.

  10. What’s Harper afraid of? Perhaps the truth and facing the Canadian taxpayers it seems.

  11. Lower Slobovia (stroke of brilliance, Furtz) is just about Harper’s level. Key question for 2015–because Harper is on record as aiming to change Canada out of recognition–is: Do Canadians want/will they agree to be turned into Lower Slobovians?

  12. The truth of the matter is, you are all right. Harper is not worthy. After all the missteps & lies, he should be tossed. The problem starts there. Who to replace him? Trudeau? not likely, he lacks the insight to deal with tough problems. Mulcair? Seriously?
    I suspect I am like many, at a crossroad & in a real quandary. It appears that any way I vote, I am done, so how to pick the lesser of three evils.

  13. Geoff Stephenson, Harper has proven repeatedly that he is unfit to captain the ship. From his Cabinet/Senate appointments to the disastrous mismanagement of military procurements, veterans affairs etc, he has proven that his style of “one man government” doesn’t work. I’m pretty sure that both Mulcair and Trudeau have enough smarts to surround themselves with the sharpest minds possible, and take advice.

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