Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Trick that Wanted to be a Treat

It's tough to miss the political strategy involved in today's mini-budget. First of all, in spite of Flaherty standing in the House and saying that this would be just an update, (lied again), indeed it is a mini-budget. That said they may still get a bounce in the polls as a result but I think it will be short lived and settle back to where it was, or has landed according to this poll.

I'm quite sure that many Lib's will be upset with Dion for not taking the Government down over this but his last vote didn't appear to hurt him or the Party. Every interview on the street, no matter the political stripe, said they were glad that Dion did not provoke an election.

Indeed, it gives the Government and Jumping Jack an opportunity to take swipes at Dion but it also puts him in the public eye. In fact it gives him a chance to explain some policy positions, which he rarely has a chance to do. I enjoyed his stance tonight. We all knew he wasn't going to vote this down tomorrow but by articulating that the Liberals will choose their own time to bring down the government, he insinuates that they are in the drivers seat. The Con's can try to manufacture an election by opening the car door, but the Lib's have the keys. The Con's typically, cut off their nose to spite their face by putting term limits in place so dependent on the polls the Con's will continue to construct their own demise if they deem it favourable.

Back to the polls. First of all, this "North Star" reference is lamer than all the other "cute" names they come up with for policy or just general rhetoric. Don't you always think they are speaking to 5 year olds when they name their programs? Maybe it's just me. Anyway, the poll found that in spite of overwhelming satisfaction with the economy:

Decima placed the Tories at 33 per cent in overall support - three points lower than in the last election, down slightly from earlier this month, but still four points ahead of the Liberals.

So, the Lib's went up a point and are only trailing the Con's by 1 point when you take the MOE into account. In Quebec, they are even, with a surge for the PQ. Poor Bruce Anderson. Try as he might, he cannot twist the news for the Con's. In fact, he demonstrates that in trying to twist the Liberal record, the Con's have conned no one.

Just last year, the scandal-plagued Liberals were turfed from office when unemployment was already at a 30-year low.

People aren't stupid, they live their reality in spite of what Governments say.

I know many will Libs will disagree with me but I think Dion has done the right thing. He's given himself and the Party more time to pounce on an issue that matters to Canadians.

What the Con's put out today was risky. The GST cut will buy most Canadians a pizza a month. It's a foolish move and one that I know is popular, but will amount to little if our dollar continues to rise. The Con credo of encouraging spending versus investment and savings, has yet to bear fruit. Furthermore, Flaherty was clear today that there will be no big spending programs under this Government. So, nothing for environment, nothing for Child Care and Early Development, nothing that comes close to Kelowna, indeed nothing. They are raiding the coffers and leaving little if anything for social spending. Good luck with that when Canadians are told the truth.

That is their goal of course. We've known that for a long time. They are determined to change the face of this country. What they are putting in place will paint a much clearer picture of their true motive and we'll be doing the painting.

That is why I think what Dion announced today was the right thing to do. The more entrenched the Con's get in their ideology...remember, not supported by 60% of the country, the better the chance the Lib's have at presenting their case.

I know media is all over this and will present the Flaherty move as brilliant. But there are times in life when you have to sit back and think, watch, to see how your opponent is making his moves. It's not as important when weighing strategy to think of the immediate. It's far more important to look to the future and plan.


wilson said...

''nothing for environment, nothing for Child Care and Early Development, nothing that comes close to Kelowna, indeed nothing. They are raiding the coffers and leaving little if anything for social spending''

It's the Conservative way, KNB, instead of throwing money at a problem, the fix can usually be found in policy.

Martin gave the provinces a huge boost in healthcare bucks.
Wait times have increased.
The problem is the policy/system, not lack of financing.

Cons actually budgeted in more for First Nations than the Kelowna accord 'promised', plus a number of historic land deals/policies.

Cons introduced the first ever mandatory compliance regulations on the environment file, more to come. Provinces received big enviro bucks. Lakes being cleaned up, new clean water policy, national enviro reserves...

Social spending went up since PMSH was elected. Funds were also redirected from admin costs to the actual programs. So improved services do not have to come from increased spending.

Targeting one select group of children to receive funding (as in 9-5 public daycare) is way outside Conservative thinking. All children of preschool age get something , rather than all funds going to 14% of the under 6 population.

Keeping the economy strong and the unemployment rate low, is what ensures strong social spending.
Take care of the economy and jobs, the coffers will be full for Canadians social needs.

rockfish said...

Good post, KNb. Harper is throwing all he's got at this tax cut; while it looks good and few if any will reject it, there are always strings attached and most Canadians know it. The tax rate, for one, is returning to post-CON levels; the economy down south is seriously wobbly and sending similar quakes this way. Canadians are interested in more money in their pockets, but they are also wanting answers on various other files, especially files that CONs are apathetic about, like environment, universal health care, social services.
I wrote that besides not being able to take these blue-suited charlatans for their word, that this is their last ditch attempt at building a bigger bounce for a forced election in the coming months.

Timing is now the best tool we've got. These CON clowns apparently believe everyone has the same price tag.

RuralSandi said...

In the words of Paul Wells"

Look over there
Paul Wells | October 30, 2007 | 12:50:09 | Permalink

Back in the mid-'00s, we used to enjoy a chuckle whenever the Paul Martin crew would come up with some extraordinarily contrived sideshow in an attempt to bury an embarrassing headline. But even that PMO would never have thought it could get away with announcing tax cuts on 24 hours' notice, simply to bury an auditor general's report.

I used to work at a newspaper that, if it spotted such a transparent dodge -- at least from a Liberal government -- would have buried the tax cut on Page 4 and monstered the AG report. But there is no newspaper left in Canada with that kind of self-confidence, is there?

Is there?

...so why aren't our dumb MSM not realizing their being had and why aren't they talking about the Auditor General's report? Boy are they easily manipulated.

Jay said...

I wonder if the Harpies know that North Star is a gay comic book superhero from Marvel comics.

So-cons must love that.

Scotian said...


This is another example of where Harper and his fellows are taking from the GOP lock stock and barrel their ideas and beliefs assuming that since it worked so well for the GOP in America with Americans that it should work the same here, after all according to Harper et al there is no real difference between the two cultures. Which of course as you know I have strongly disagreed with all along. This is one of those examples where Harper's blindness to the differences between American culture/society and Canadian culture/society may well come back to bite him in the ass almost as badly as claiming that Martin supported child pornography did in the 2004 election.

Canada is a nation where there is not a majority belief in the public in the rightness/correctness of the free market before all other things, a nation where government programs are not automatically seen as a waste of taxpayer dollars, a nation where government is seen to have a role in aiding the least well off/fortunate in our society instead of simply rewarding those who succeed and the devil take the rest mentality that the GOP have represented for decades now in America. Indeed, real Canadian Conservativism is rooted in part in the belief that the free market unchecked is not a good thing, that there needs to be government involvement so as to mellow out the extremes of the free market while using it as a distribution method overall. That there needs to be government involvement to protect the economic sovereignty of the Canadian economy from being completely outside the control of Canadian citizens. That the government has a role in the safeguarding of Canadian jobs and economic infrastructure and that those that cannot compete in the unchecked market are not left behind, that this is a culture which believes that the essential worth of human dignity matters more than simply being rich/wealthy in money alone does as the primary goal of our society/governance.

This is a classic example of what I mean when I say that Harper et al do not understand Canada, Canadians, and Canadian society. That they are clearly far more impressed and enamoured with the American beliefs and society/culture than Canadian, indeed that they clearly think that Canadian culture is something to be feared/opposed going by all Harper said on the record about Canada and Canadians from the late 80s until 2005. That because of this ignorance to violent antipathy for Canadian culture and traditions/beliefs the Harper CPC represents a clear and present threat/danger to what it means to be Canadian, indeed to Canada as a nation itself.

Too often people think I am using overblown rhetoric when I say this when I truly mean it without inflation/exaggeration. What really amazes me are those that claim to be proud of being Canadian yet clearly want to emulate the American model lock stock and barrel despite Canada having deliberately and consistently choosing a different path since the founding of the nation in 1867. Harper's kind of Conservativism is a betrayal of those Canadian believes and worse, his operating style is clearly that of an authoritarian that beliefs the little people/citizens/voters do not need to know what he is doing in their name and inherently anti-democratic. Indeed, Harper's approach presents a real threat to the very concept of representational democracy, and his actions clearly show his contempt for it, but then that is hardly unusual for someone steeped in Straussian beliefs as Harper is. Otherwise things like the noble lie and that only the elites are qualified to govern or even have a say/opinion regarding how we are governed would have offended him and turned him away from Straussian thinking instead of being Canada's flag bearer for it throughout most of his adult life (late 80s to 2005 again) in this country. He only stopped being open about it when he finally got it through his head that there is nowhere near enough support for those beliefs within this country to even form a minority government let alone a majority one even given the advantages first past the post gives to political views that are not shared by a majority of voters.

Great post KNB, right on the money IMHO.

knb said...

Wilson, with respect, I'm well aware of the difference between the two party's.

One works and with evidence one does not. Guess which party is the loser.

rockfish. The US economy is something I'm not sure many Canadians are paying attention to. We should be, so good point.

Same price tag? Point well taken.

Sandi:But there is no newspaper left in Canada with that kind of self-confidence, is there?

Is there?

...so why aren't our dumb MSM not realizing their being had and why aren't they talking about the Auditor General's report? Boy are they easily manipulated.

It's a question that I ask myself every day. I do wish people like you were still there. You were our asset and I'm sure you left for your own reasons.

My question for those who are in the industry is, when did your reason decide to quit?

Jay...LOL. I hadn't a clue, but good one. Circulate that trivia around con circles and we'll see it disappear soon enough.

knb said...

Scotian, you and I are in sync vis a vis ho Canadian's think.

I still worry about media, because Harper plays into the sound bite world. It's beyond the dated KISS principle. It's now down to KIS&S. Keep it simple AND stupid.

Media buy it and many only the time to read that headline.

I know we are smarter than this and I know, if told the truth, we as Canadians will rally.

Who will be the truth tellers? We await you.