4:53:47 PMSpotted at Scottsdiatribes
Now the senators are kind of ganging up on him, and daring him to do tricky things like define pornography, or come up with a single pornographic film that has received government funding.
McVety is going on and on about the survey from Compas, which, as it turns out, to no one's surprise at all, was commissioned by... Focus on the Family. I do love how McVety pretends to have been surprised by the results.4:56:54 PM
The first woman to speak up so far is Senator Line Gravel, who also points out this is the first time the bill has received any significant amount of scrutiny because the House committee dropped the ball.
McVety tries to be clever, and asks whether Gravel is accusing Stéphane Dion of abdicating his responsibilities. With a withering glance, she tells him that she's not interested in making this about politics, and when McVety claims that he isn't either, another senator notes that it certainly sounds like he is. Then, while McVety flails, and Rushfeldt attempts to pull him out of the radius of the propeller, she smacks him around with the point that if this bill passes, American films will be able to qualify for the tax credit when Canadian films would not.
This is almost painful to watch. Also, "Family tax dollars" is the phrase du jour. Coming soon to a talking point near you!
Finally, Gravel tells McVety she's seen him on television many times, and has heard him take credit with her own ears, so he can just quit with the disingenuous denials. Okay, I may have paraphrased the last bit, but that was the gist.
Now McVety is going on a poor-me monologue. Poor, poor Charles McVety. He's "irrelevant" to this process, and yet he gets beaten up (in debate) by people who make fun of his faith. Or, as is the case here, very politely eviscerate his argument by demonstrating that he can't answer even the most basic questions on the policy without speaking notes.
If this bill is rejected, it will delay accountability for another year, he says. Accountability delayed is accountability denied! Wilfrid Moore, again, like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, notes the document McVety is citing - an AG report - doesn't actually say what he claims it does. Which is always embarrassing.
Finally, it's time for Trevor Eyton, the sponsor of the bill. Remember, senators tend to be far more independent-minded, which means he's not just the government's dogsbody on this file. He promptly breaks McVety's heart by asking him, once again, whether he spoke with anyone in government about the issue. And once again, McVety adamantly denies any discussions. "Some of the media has been misreporting that," says another senator.
Eyton brings up the minister's now infamous slip of the mic, when she admitted that she hated the bill, and plans to hold consultations during the parliamentary hiatus. McVety makes sad noises over the suggestion that she'll only talk to the industry and not "community groups" like, well, his organization.
Having had a chance to look at the survey, the chair is now picking it apart, much to McVety's discomfort. He brings up another survey by Angus Reid that asked specifically about the bill, and found 47% were against C-10 being passed in its current form. McVety tries to interrupt, and the chair smacks him down. "I didn't interrupt you," he reminds McVety.
"I'm not," McVety interrupts, sulkily.
The exchange then descends into utter farce when McVety is forced to admit that the only way he got his poll to say what it did was by asking a ridiculous question like, "Should the government fund child pornography?"
David Angus tries to force McVety to admit that he misrepresented the AG's report, which didn't say one word about pornography, and he gets all bale-faced and balky.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
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