Was Bill C-311 just posturing?

by BuryCoal on November 20, 2010

in Climate change

The blogosphere is alive with outrage about Conservative senators killing the latest opposition climate bill.

This strategy has been tried before, with the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. It tried to force the government to abide by its legal obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, and the courts ruled that it could do no such thing. As such, repeating the strategy is just political posturing, designed to make opposition parties look better relative to the government (more opposition as theatre).

If we want to achieve different outcomes, we need different strategies.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tristan November 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

1) Politics is never “more” than theatre
2) In politics, “theatre” is always more important than “facts”
3) Successful political movements put theatre to work to achieve real goals

Tristan November 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

“If we want to achieve different outcomes, we need different strategies.”

This is not obvious at all. Applying the strategy that politics is theatre with the goal of supporting existing business elites, i.e. Harper, is working brilliantly. Couldn’t the same strategy could be applied to opposite ends? Couldn’t the theatre of politics be applied against the oil barons, the banks, and against capitalism as the maintenance of economic growth over every other goal?

If not, we need reforms far more radical than you are willing to consider.

Anon November 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm

The opposition parties are just using climate change as a way to gain popularity, relative to the government. There seems little reason to expect them to take meaningful action if they took power.

That is especially true given post-Dion anxiety about carbon pricing.

Milan November 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Climate change is much more important than the current infighting within the Canadian political system.

Right now, some parties are trying to use it as a means to bolster their popularity, relative to the government.

We don’t need that sort of superficial tactical commitment to climate change, we need policy-makers who understand that most of the world’s remaining fossil fuels need to be left unburned.

. November 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Canada senate kills climate bill ahead of UN summit

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has defeated a climate change bill calling for cuts in CO2 emissions.

Conservatives killed the motion backed by opposition parties 13 days before a UN climate change summit is held in Cancun.

The bill called for a reduction of greenhouse gases in the country by 25% from 1990 levels.

Canada’s House of Commons originally passed the legislation last year.

It was then reintroduced in May and passed again, before being struck down by the Conservative-led Senate late on Tuesday.

. November 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Orders of the Day – Conservative Senate majority 1, Climate Change Accountability 0

By Kady O’Malley

Not surprisingly, New Democrats are in full outrage mode over the sudden death of the party’s much-celebrated Climate Change Accountability Act on the floor of the Red Chamber yesterday afternoon after the speaker unexpectedly called the second reading vote, even as its sponsor, Liberal senator Grant Mitchell, protested that he didn’t want it to stand.

NDP environment critic Linda Duncan has described the move as “reprehensible,” and later this morning, Jack Layton will head over to the Senate Foyer to denounce the undemocratically appointed denizens of the Other Place for overriding the will of the Commons.

From what I can tell, the move was perfectly legal under the current Senate rules, but undeniably sneaky, since it was clear from Mitchell’s reaction that the opposition hadn’t been informed of an imminent vote. Still, all’s fair in love, war and procedural trickery.

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