Friday, October 12, 2007

Fool Me Once...

To read the press today and how they have described the "Blue Ribbon" panel appointed by Harper, you'd swear that it was a statesman-like thing to do.

It's beyond me where the press have been living for the past 20 months, but Harper does not have a non-strategic, nor a non-partisan bone in his body.

It also makes me wonder where the hell Manley has been. I know he has credibility, I know he has experience, but if he honestly thinks that Harper isn't using this, and him, to his advantage, he's dreaming. Naive wouldn't have been a word I'd put in the same sentence as Manley, though perhaps it's not naivety. Perhaps it's honest conviction with respect to our "duty" vis-a-vis the Afghan people, combined with a touch of ego, but that does not excuse turning a blind eye to what this PM is all about. To suggest that this is all about policy and not about politics, (a take on a phrase used by Manley today), is to provide Harper cover.

I only saw a bit of the press gallery panel on Newman's Politics, but it would seem that Manley has made himself persona non grata within the party. I don't know that I'd go that far, but certainly his political instincts seem to have been dulled.

On it's face, there is nothing wrong with appointing a panel, though didn't Harper appoint "Widget" to bring forward a report that would be shared with Parliament? How did that turn out?

Come on people! Harper does nothing, not one thing, that he doesn't see potential political gain from. This is not about Harper suddenly becoming collegial over night. It is all about him wanting to appear to be just that. He will use this panel to deflect questions in Question Period. He'll use it to deflect questions from media. He'll use it to counter Dion's obvious collegial attitude. He'll use it to dupe Canadians and for that I give him points. He's done that well. Isn't that something to be proud of?

Sad really. Canadians are apparently content to drift along with the current without giving any thought to where they may end up.

My only comfort is that fact that Rory Stewart holds Manley in high esteem, (that according to Don Martin). Stewart is critical of the Canadian mission and sees opportunity elsewhere. Will Manley turn to him? Will the rest of them listen? Who knows?

The bottom line is to suggest that this is not a non-partisan panel, is foolish. Manley is right of centre and he's joined by 3 conservative partisans and Pamela Wallin, who has spent the past few years trying to prove the US point of view to Canadians.

Fool me twice...


Anonymous said...

It is what i have said before the liberals are divided. I don't care the bull Dion and company try to say that they are united they are not this today is proof !!!

I just don't get it with you people on the left. Someone disagree with you and their automatic are branded a fool.

Let us see if Dion has any backbone and vote against the throne speech next week on mass not just a few and the rest have the flue.:)

Sean Cummings said...

I've often thought if Manley were Liberal leader, he could beat Harper. I don't believe he is persona non-grata either - there is a camp withing the Liberal ranks that wants Dion gone yesterday. This is an excellent way for Manley to raise his profile.

Anonymous said...

Manley is no fool and I believe he is a closet conservative. This is a good position for him, as was said, it raises his profile. Plus, if he does a good job heading this panel and decides to switch teams and run with the party that will control the government for the forseeable future, many conservative doors will be open for him.

Anonymous said...

Manley is a creep for doing this. Pure and simple. He now has no political future, unless he wants to pull a David Emerson. And Emerson can't even walk the streets of Vancouver without getting spit on.

Anonymous said...

Anon post 7:54 Your a loser. I thought the liberal party was supposed to be this great big tent party I guess not.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get it with you people on the left. Someone disagree with you and their automatic are branded a fool.

I think that many have said this is a good move by Stevie... Making it look like a non-partisan panel but knowing full well the conclusion ahead of time.

You are the fool if you don't see this move for the cheap politics that it is.

knb said...

John, your argument is ridiculous. Manley is a Liberal, as am I, but we're not in caucus obviously.

Do all Liberals think alike, of course not and Manley was always right of centre. Do all con's think alike? Casey, Williams, Hangar, Manning to mention a few, come to mind.

Sean, you are dreaming in technicolour.

Anon @7:16, likewise, technicolour.

Anon @ 7:54, I don't think he wants a future in politics, he justs wants relevance. Sadly he chose this as his stand.

knb said...

cherniak_wtf, exactly.

I confess that I'm bewildered by the fact that so many are buying this.

How on earth did we all become so passive?

Feed me, feed me, I'll take what you give, seems to be the current mantra.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

KNB how will Dion look when he lets the throne speech pass after seeing the latest poll where 67% are happy how the country is going and that 40% of them would vote Cons. 28%
would vote Lib, don't forget that it is the second straight poll that says 28% for the libs.

Let us see how Dion will let the throne speech pass next week.

Remember Dion is supposed to be a man of conviction this is what you libs keep saying at least. The throne speech will not contain what Dion wants we all know this.

Next week we will all count how many liberals will forget how to vote. Will you be there
counting along with me?:)

knb said...

John, you'll notice on this blog, I don't go after polls, whether they favour us or not.

To be honest, a poll commissioned by CFRB (that would be CJAD in your parts) and Canwest, I'm just having some problems buying.

That said, at this point in time they mean nothing and if the man you adore buys them, he's buying dryer lint.

What is clear is Harper is in a baiting mood. Even the right media, CTV and Duffy were saying that is what he is doing. He's being a bully and he's pushing Dion into a corner.

This isn't a freaking chess match, it's a country you fool.

I'm not quite sure how you can be proud of a bully, but you have perfected that art.

Guess where sympathies go when that is finally exposed?

Anonymous said...


"This isn't a freaking chess match, it's a country you fool."

Sorry to bust your bubble KNB but your the one who is a fool for buying the crap that comes out of the mouths of your liberal leaders I.E. left wing.

The only reason i mentioned this poll is because you did the same let me remind you it was Wednesday, October 03, 2007
the tittle was:
Well, If You Don't Have Momentum.

This was on your blog remember?

I like the direction this country is going,you can't stand it, because your so full of hate.

I'm no bully sorry to disappointing you.
Believe what you want i pity for you.

sassy said...

KNB Stewart is critical of the Canadian mission and sees opportunity elsewhere. Will Manley turn to him?

Now that's a very interesting question, (almost as interesting as your commnent the other day about a conversation between Stewart and Dion, ha little did we know then)

I really don't know what to make of John Manley's acceptance of this "position". Did you catch Don Newman earlier this evening? I can't recall who said it but someone on the program said (speaking of John Manley on this panel) "does he [Manley] realize that this will be his last public appearance?"

knb said...

sassy, I think it was Delacourt and she was being a bit facetious, but honest.

Line yourself up with Harper, then you silence yourself.

On the other point, I really want Stewart to have a voice here. We'll see.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry, but I feel I need to point out the following inconsistency, if I may be so bold. First, you excoriate the PM for not having a non-partisan, non-strategic bone in his body (I will not even question this premiss--let it stand). Then, you dismiss, with ironizing inverted commas no less, the possibility that Mr Manley, like M Dion a member of the Cabinet who sent CF to Kandahar, might actually feel that was the right call and might have involved an idea or assumption of "duty". Far more important, you go on to suggest, than Mr Manley's convictions or good faith is how this plays into the machinating Harper's hands.

Excuse me if I ask: is this not simply vilifying Mr Manley for NOT being strategic and hyper-partisan? If that is a fault, presumably the honest belief that the Afghan mission is a matter of gravity which involves a national, and for the likes of Mssrs Dion and Manley both, personal obligation and honour should be something to be, by contrast, lauded--no?

Just wondering...

DMD Regina

Anonymous said...

Do you for a minute really believe that if Harper gets a majority that he'll take anyone's advice? He's buying time pure and simple. If Harper gets a majority we're in Afghanistan for a very long time.

They criticize Dion - for what? He wants out of the compbat part of the mission and stay in the peacekeeping, rebuilding, etc. part - what's so hard to understand there? He believes Canada should keep its honour - what's so hard to understand there?

Layton is made because and NDP'r was not included in the panel - duh - why bother as Layton wants out NOW.

knb said...

DMD, interesting observation, but for the fact that I'm not vilifying Manley.

I'm attempting to understand his motivation and how he appears to have not considered all the ramifications of such a move.

Duty and honour are indeed attributes to be lauded. They, in and of themselves do not necessarily eliminate the need to consider political consequences.

As I said, Harper appointing a panel, is fine, but it's pretty clear what motivated him here.

Had he put together a panel of experts on the area, (Rory Stewart, Sarah Chayes, Gwynne Dyer, Eric Margolies, to name a few), in an effort to inform a House committee, he likely would have been commended.

That's clearly not what is going on here.