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Monday, October 5, 2009

Time for some Tory spokespersons to grow up

This past Sunday, I watched CTV’s Question Period with hosts Jane Taber and Craig Oliver. The two did a great job of giving the Grits on the show a good old-fashioned spanking. This I found rather surprising since they are usually cheerleaders for the Grits.

But what really appalled me was the performance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s parliamentary assistant, Pierre Poilievre.

His adolescent behaviour was disappointing at best as he ignored every question or request for opinion and offered instead a silly “commercial” for the economic stimulus the government has used to try fight the world-wide financial crisis to get us out of the recession.

Question Period is a serious program on which serious issues of national importance are discussed. It is to programs like these that many of us tune in to hear adult discussion of the political topics of the week. Mr. Poilievre’s disrespect for the audience was insulting.

These are serious times, and Mr. Poilievre’s performance was reminiscent of the sort of silly, school-boy tactics we were treated to after the last federal election. Those tactics, in part, precipitated a political crisis last fall and in a drop in public support for the party this past summer. Our elected members seemed to have learned a lesson for we saw a definite improvement in their behaviour over the past several months. But I guess some leopards just can’t can’t change their spots. As soon as the opposition loses its teeth, they return to form.

It’s time for these caucus members to grow up and recognize that they are voted for by adults. And they are sent to parliament to represent us, not to some high school debating society where their silly tactics might buy them a cheer or too.

I, for one, want serious adult representation, not boyish nonsense.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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14 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I could not agree more, when Jane asked him about the problems the Liberals were having in Quebec and he starts spouting off about the home renovation tax credit. I am truly amazed that Jane didn't say "What the hell are you talking about?"

    -

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  2. It definitely wasn't Pierre's best performance; however, I imagine the Tory strategy is to refrain from piling on and stick with their economic message.

    But you are right, QP is a serious program and its viewers deserve better than what Poilievre served up yesterday.

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  3. I couldn't agree more.
    I watched QP and was embarrassed by his answers. He was being asked specific questions and instead gave scripted answers that had no relatonship to the questions being asked.
    I thought this guy was Conservative shinging light?
    It did bring to mind the constant criticism by the MSM of the PMO being to controlling and that's a bad thing.
    NeilD

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  4. A more skillful person would have reframed the questions in a manner leading to his selling points. I assume the person in question needs more training or simply find someone that can do the job? (real conservative)

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  5. Funny but that's exactly what I said to my wife when we watched it. It was like someone said to him, no matter what question is asked, push the positives. He had ample opportunity to get in a few good zingers but he chose to be a jerk and I think it turned a lot of people off.

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  6. "Question Period is a serious program on which serious issues of national importance are discussed. "

    No it's not.

    QP is a liberal love in - the only reason they were giving the Libs a rough time, is because they are pissed that Iggy has, once again, taken the party downhill.

    As they sat discussing the 'politics' of Harpers performance and how much the Olympic emblem 'resembled' the CPC logo, I realized that any semblence of being un-biased was just a show.

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  7. When they get rid of Craig and Jane I may watch the program again. Meanwhile I just don't care.

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  8. As noted in my post, Alberta Girl, QP are cheerleaders for the Grits, but that does not make the show less important.

    As for the Olympic logo, of course it resembles the CPC logo--a maple leaf inside a large "C". How does that show bias?

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  9. Anonymous at 6:47 is quite correct except that almost every answer coming from ministers in QP is more a commercial or turns the questions back on the Liberal's former governments.

    They call it Question Period, not Answer Period and the Conservatives want to keep it that way in order to conceal how shoddily they are running the nation.

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  10. I have to disagree about QP being an important show. Power Play is an important show...Question Period is one long ad for the Liberals.

    That said, I tuned in to watch it for the first time in months only to see how Jane and Craig (both Liberals as far as I can tell) would handle things in light of the Liberal plunge in the polls. Yes, Pierre was less than impressive... but he only used the same tactics as the other two and Jane (as usual) made little or no effort to reign *them* in, did she?

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  11. I thought Taber was uncharacteristically pointed in her questions of her Liberal guests. No Grit cheer-leading there.

    We expect politicians to toe the partly line, but expect the PM's spokesman to be more expert at it.

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  12. Torontonian, you seem to have missed the point. The comment referred to QP (Question Period) the CTV Sunday program on politics, not the QP of the House of Commons.

    As to your comment: "…in order to conceal how shoddily they are running the nation." Is that an attempt at humour or irony? Have you not read the recent polls? Apparently most Canadians believe the Tories are doing quite well.

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  13. Russ, your point does not invalidate Torontonian's. Objective measurement can show decline even as polls rise.

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  14. Only, Geekwad, with one heck of wishful thinking.

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