Friday, October 26, 2007

Going Forward

Well, the week played out pretty much as expected. The media has been beating the "why did you sit down?" drum, but Dion has held his own.

He made the right decision. As much as I would like to send this government packing, the TS was not the moment.

Keeping the House sitting is a much better strategy. The media seems to roll their eyes at the con election spending story, but I think there is something there. The media still does not speak to Dion about real issues, they are still consumed with "gossip" but there are greater issues that would give Canadians more interesting information.

Here's what is odd. They consider their fight with Harper, "inside baseball". If there is real in-fighting in the Liberal Party that is fair game but should that be the sole focus? Often, commentators rail about the Lib's not having any policy. When is the last time you saw a reporter ask Dion about policy? As it relates to the media and the Lib's, they report inside baseball and do Canadians a disservice.

Today of course, there was Hillier apparently contradicting the Government as it relates to Afghanistan. I know he was all over the airwaves saying he did not do that, but there is no question that our mission there is confusing to most Canadians. We've been told, 2009 in Parliament, 2011 in the Throne Speech and 2017 by Hillier.

To be frank, I think even Hillier is optimistic. I do not think the conflict will ever stop, but to be sure it's better to have a National military prepared in that country than not because then it's up to them.

Anyway, I think a sitting Parliament can better keep Harper's feet to the fire.

Many on the right will suggest that the Lib's and other opposition party's are using the military as a political football. Absolute BS. If the opposition is not able to question the government of the day on such a serious foreign policy issue, why have a parliament?

This is where the con's are going wrong in my view. Secrets and hiding will not play well to the view of Harper. Perhaps you noticed today just how many con's hid behind the Manley panel. Many of us predicted this the day it was announced.

So we know the con strategy and the Lib's have their own. The more the Lib's expose the con's as hiding, the better. The list is growing.

By keeping the House sitting and having the Lib's pushing the con's, will bring up an issue that the Lib's cannot ignore, nor support. That's when we go. The GST will not be it, because it will be buried in what we can defend.

Harper will test that theory, but he has the burden of not contravening his so called "sell by" date, term limits. It'll be tough to push an election without being obvious.

Interesting times to be sure.

Update - Here and here.


knb said...

For the record...I was frought by spam today, so for the moment, anon postings are off.

For those who want to remain anon, it's easy. Sign up and show no info, just a name you make up.

TerryJ said...

Dion gave a terrible interview on CTV tonight.

Q. You oppose everything in the throne speech and the direction of the government.
Dion. Yes.

Q. Then how can you not vote against these policies.
Dion. Because Canadians don't want an election.

Q. You are opposed to a GST cut yet you also will not vote against that, why not.
Dion. I was in Tim Horton's today and people told me they do not want an election.

Q. Why haven't you been able to connect with Canadians.
Dion. Let me turn that around and say why can't Mr. Harper seem to raise his poll numbers.

Q. But why are Canadian's not embracing you.
Dion. When an election comes I will have a platform and Canadians will like me then. We will offer an alternative to the far right wing, American Republican style of George Bush govenment blah blah blah

Well at least he didn't start up with the hidden agenda angle again....

Steve V said...

"but Dion has held his own."

Knb, I have to disagree, Dion was creamed this week. Not even Dion, but the entire Liberal brand, from all quarters.

I agree about the house sitting, but you do mention the next embarrassment, namely the GST. The Liberals will point to the principled flaws, but the more they articulate, the more it begs the question- then why not vote against? Hopefully someone can come up with more than "Canadians don't want an election", because no one seems to buy that rationale at face value, and even we Liberals know that isn't why we don't vote against. It has nothing to do with that, so we can't expect that argument to save face. Sorry to be so optimistic :)

RuralSandi said...

A poll says 68% of Canadians don't want an election.

In my area we went from the last Federal election to a municipal election to a provincial election in a year and a half.

I would like a break until at least the New Year. Also, volunteers are electioned-out right now.

knb said...

terrj, I saw part of that interview. It wasn't fantastic, but nor was it the worse I've seen.

I'll tell you what I'd like to see.

Q - Why is it that people do't know you?

A - Because people like you only ever ask me that one question. Perhaps if you asked me something more subsantial, then I would have a chance to illustrate who I really am.

knb said...

Steve, I do understand where you are coming from and indeed the GST is going to be a tough one.

Ruralsandi is right though. I can't remember where I saw that poll, but most people were happy that Dion did not force an election. I think that in itself softens the blow a bit.

I just think we, (bloggers, wonks, etc) get a bit too myopic at times. We stare into the eye of the storm and therefore cannot judge the damage, if any, being done elsewhere.

The two recent articles I linked to are somewhat encouraging.

Please don't get anymore optimistic, it's bad for your health, ;).

Steve V said...


Fair points for sure. I would just add, there might be difference in people not wanting an election, and people believing the Liberals don't want an election.

ottlib said...

Stephen Harper received a similar hammering from the pundits in 2005 when he sat on his hands during a series of confidence motions over the 2005 budget.

It did not have a long term impact on him or the Conservatives and I believe that one of the reasons why was Canadians were not yet ready for an election.

Bringing down a sitting government is serious business and the parties that do it better be able to justify it to the electorate.

The Liberals would not have been able to do that this time. The Throne Speech did not have any ideas or provisions that the Liberals could have latched on to to justify it.

sassy said...

Sorry to read about that spam stuff, seems to be happening a lot these days.

knb said...

Thanks Sassy. I've never had that before. It reaches way back into your posts and took hours to get rid of.

I saw closing anon down as the only option because that is how it was entering.

Delete one, only to find two more.

Idiotic stuff.