Thursday, January 03, 2008

Are They for Real?

I do not have much time this evening so I'll keep it a bit light, though I would submit that there is a deeper aspect to what I'm about to ruminate on. Feel free to expand on what you may think the impact might be.

For some reason I decided to take a look at the Conservative web-site today. I could not believe what I saw. I have commented in the past as to how juvenile I find the site, well that hasn't changed. In fact I'd argue it's more obvious now.

Now contrast that to what the Lib site looks like. To begin with it looks professional. The next thing you'll notice is that the Lib site speaks to issues that should concern all of us. By that I mean all Canadians. The Con's are speaking to the sheeple and the most juvenile of of that group, or at least I would like to think so. Surely there are more sophisticated Con's than those who would be enamoured by such a ridiculous display? The Lib's are speaking to the people, though I'm not sure who reads the site.

The point being the media constantly accuse the Lib's of having no policy, no direction, no focus on the issues. Are you kidding me? Media, give your collective head a shake.

Kenya is obviously a situation that needs to be addressed. I've seen no comment from the government, save do not travel there. There are horrendous photos coming out today as to what is really happening. Sri Lanka is another very difficult situation today. The Lib's have commented and offered help. The Con's, Harper? I've seen nothing.

What kind of PM do we have who is so ill equipped to comment on such events? One who is inept imo.

I imagine that he is as vacant intellectually on these issues as he has demonstrated elsewhere in the world. His world after all has always been Canada and the battle between right and left. It's time for that to die. He's the PM of Canada, not the PM of the "right". He has no grasp on world affairs, in fact he sounds as myopic as the worst parody of Americans.

Tonight I was listening to someone from Iowa...ready to vote and she was asked "what do you think Canadians think of this process?". Her response was, "I don't even know where Canada is." Sad, beyond sad, but true. Mercer, it's time to go down there again and expose this, but I digress.

Harper is not that stupid, but how he's playing this next election, I say bring it on. I'm done with stupidity ruling the day.

Media, either roll up your sleeves or educate yourselves. What you are feeding us is nonsense.

There are media exceptions. I won't name them lest I be accused of currying favour, but many just fall into the pit of their own narrative.

Call me crazy but the Con's seem only concerned with ridiculous spin against the Lib's. That suggests fear to me. Fear of the Lib's of course...and rightly so. The media seems not to have picked up on that. They are apparently content with moving the "he's not a leader" story.

I think it's time to say we are embarrassed by many who report in this country. The Con's have done it for ages and yes they sounded whiny, but good grief, facts are facts.

It took 9-11 and Iraq for the reporting in the US to come up to speed, but I would argue that is just happening now. It's 2008!


and compare.

Off to Iowa...


Jay said...

Pretty sad.

It enrages me that no one in the media has taken a look at what the conservatives have to offer on their website. Whats this garbage about contravening the elections act? Would that be in any way similar to what the conservatives themselves are already under investigation for? Fossil of the day award? The Conservatives have 14. Yet they make a big deal out of one for Dion from a couple of years ago.


How f**king stupid are conservatives. They swallow this hook, line and sinker when its ONLY the conservative party site peddling in such low brow, low IQ, childish, locker room antics.

If this useless twit wins the next election, I am seriously thinking of getting the hell out of this country, not because of who the PM is but the shear number of brain dead morons that would put him there. I couldn't live comfortably knowing I live with so many ignorant fools.

Sorry for my diatribe but that website is infuriating and absolutely vacant of anything of use to Canadians or anyone who honestly expected something from the Conservatives. I'd like to think that real conservatives would feel alienated and extremely let down by the childish antics of stephen harper and his party of unknown nobodies but sadly I know I am wrong on this. This is about as low any known canadian politician has gone. It must make Steve proud, another shameful milestone.

Red Tory said...

It's interesting to contrast the CPC's website with that of their Conservative counterparts in Britain ( where you get actual policies, speeches, position papers, a video blog from the leader and so on. Sure, they have hit pieces about Labour but it's not focused on demonizing and trashing other parties or their leaders the way the CPC's is. But then they're full of nasty, vitriolic, shrill people, so what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

I agree the CPC site is juvenile, and the LPC site is better.
I've noticed the NDP site (I'm a swing NDP/Lib voter) sometimes mirrors the CPC site, using the same images/messages about Dion. Given this, and the NDP's new "religious-left" movement in their new Faith Commission, I've given up on the NDP for now. I gave up on the CPC long ago. Both of these parties are dragging down the political debate in Canada, with simplistic sound-bites, focussing on image ( such as not-a-leader) rather than substance, and now both eroding secularism in politics.

RuralSandi said...

Well, if Obama wins the nomination and does become President, perhaps we should send him a book on Canada because he knows diddley about us and even referred to Canada's president.

With all the CPC money - why are they so tacky?

You'd think if Harper had any class, he'd realise how crappy his website looks - not a good "image" for a person that's so image conscious.

Jay said...

"Canada's president"

Not surprising, we are low on the radar for most countries. Maybe Obama was referring to Harper's wet dreams.

knb said...

Good diatribe jay.

What I find astonishing is how they get away with it. That they behave in this manner sadly doesn't surprise me.

When I think of what has been said in the House and how they behave at Committee, I simply cannot understand how some Canadians, including some media, take them seriously.

knb said...

That is quite the contrast RT!

But then they're full of nasty, vitriolic, shrill people, so what do you expect?

True enough, but as I said to Jay, it's hard to understand how they are considered to be a serious party.

I sometimes think it's because they took the name the Conservative Party of Canada, so they are considered no different than the PC's. If their name better reflected the fringe elements of their party, perhaps they wouldn't be received the same way.

btw, I think they are making the government site look junky too, though I cannot say that I remember with any accuracy what it looked like under the Libs.

knb said...

anon:Both of these parties are dragging down the political debate in Canada, with simplistic sound-bites

Indeed. I wasn't really aware of the Faith Commission. Thanks for the info.

knb said...

sandi: You'd think if Harper had any class, he'd realise how crappy his website looks

One definition of classy,
b: having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior (a classy guy)

I think we can safely rule out this quality when referring to Harper.

ottlib said...

knb said:

"I simply cannot understand how some Canadians, including some media, take them seriously."

The electorate receives their information from the media and the media, for whatever reason, has decided to play down the bullying, locker-room antics of this government. Or depict is as "leadership". Ugh!!

The reasons for that could be the subject of a doctoral disseration so I will not go into them.

Suffice it to say that I did not have much respect for our media before the Harper government and my disdain for it has only deepened since his election.

Ryan said...

"Given this, and the NDP's new "religious-left" movement in their new Faith Commission, I've given up on the NDP for now."

Agreed on the point about the NDP site being little more than sound bites about "getting things done." What would be the problem with reaching out to faith groups with a social justice agenda? The churches that are interested in social justice etc. aren't usually socially conservative anyway. After all, Tommy Douglas was a Baptist minister.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, I support politics, not religion, in government. Churches, mosques, synagogues, etc., should reach out to faith groups. Political parties should reach out to voting citizens and try to address their civil concerns, not address their religious concerns. Isn't that what priests and ministers are for? By saying one's religious beliefs are relevant to politics, the NDP (together with the conservatives) are paving the way for Canada to become like the US, where all candidates are routinely subjected to faith based. Look at some of the links on the NDP faith website which have faith-based questions addressed to candidates, and if the candidates don't seem religious enough in their answers, the priests and ministers give them low marks which presumably are passed on to their congregations. Really, who needs this stuff. Jack Layton is out to lunch bringing religion into politics like this.

Dame said...

I Could scream when Harper walks or talks with two /fat/thumbs up ... it is sooooooooo below of any standards for a supposedly statesman... and he does this routinely a very primitive "message " OH Grrrrrrrr.
He actually has a very simplistic mind.. /what is a relic from old long passed times./
I could Visit the Cons website only twice was such a shock to see how the Harper Cultists are fawning the "DEAR LEADER" ...and the Blue is hitting you like a log. it is very unfriendly and cold.

Anonymous said...

typo: that should say US candidates are routinely subjected to faith based tests.

From the NDP link "faith in politics: what did the leaders say", one learns that Harper got an A, Martin a C, and Layton a B, because Harper talked about "obligation to god" in government, Layton scored some points for saying one needed a "prophetic voice in politics" (prophets are good apparently for religion) and for having a minister co-write his answers (the churches thought this looked good for Layton's ability to cooperate with Harper in the event of a minority government -- just amazing what one can read into these religious answers), whereas Martin didn't sound strong enough on bringing religion into politics. The Green Party refused to answer, presumably getting an F. And there you have it.

Of course, that was before the new NDP Faith Commission, so I assume Layton will work his way up to an A in the next election. I hope to vote for someone who doesn't rate more than a C, an F would be better, on the "how much are you willing to invoke religion in your role as a politian to score some votes from our church" exam.

Ryan said...

I agree that religion should not have a direct influence on politics, and I understand your objections, but the NDP has always had connections to faith groups, specifically the United Church. It would be naive to think that this is somehow a new thing, rather than returning to an old strategy.

I think what is being missed here is that many faith groups share the same secular concerns as everyone else. Churches, along with every other organization (ie environmental groups, labour unions) can provide organizational strength. I don't think that it would be a problem because the progressive churches don't really have a moral agenda to push, besides social justice, which if I'm not mistaken is what the NDP is supposed to stand for in the first place. I know no progressive Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists that believe that the government should put forward any sort of sectarian agenda. None.

Now, I agree about Layton's silly tactics, but I do see the faith and justice commission as a potentially good thing to elicit progressive church-goers as allies for progressive causes.

Ryan said...

Anon--we might as well not clutter up KNB's blog with our discussion. Feel free to drop by my blog, I'm interested in talking about this further.

I've got some "prophecies" to share ;)

Anonymous said...

Yes, sorry, don't mean to clutter this blog, particularly since I think the original post about the CPC site is a good one.

I'll just add that the NDP Faith and Social Justice website does give the impression they want to balance the religious right with a religious left in a common fight against "secular fundamentalism" as Blaikie puts it, and provides a link to "faith tests" for candidates, which is exactly what one sees in the US where agnostic/atheist candidates (or even just candidates who do not want to discuss their religious beliefs publicly) don't stand a chance.

I see your blog, Ryan, and if you post something on the NDP Faith group, I will likely join in.

knb said...

Yo, ryan and anon, I'm interested in this too.

Feel free to clutter.

knb said...

ottlib:The reasons for that could be the subject of a doctoral disseration so I will not go into them.

Indeed, but I think it is time we start looking at this.

I watched what happened in the US and I'm gobsmacked that we're repeating the error.

I would like to find a way to call them out.

LOL, me vs Canwaste is not going to happen, but there must be a way.

knb said...

marta, you honesty make me laugh out loud, in a very good way.

Your frustration is mine.

I suspect we'd have a great laugh sharing a bottle of wine, (or pot of tea depending on your preference).

He has to go, he's changing this country into something I do not recognise.

I wish I could "live blog" like Kady O'Malley does, but this aggregator is not set up for that. Election night would be fun...and it's coming.

Ryan said...

Anon-I'm not sure where you're getting the right and left vs secular idea. I'll post about it shortly.


knb said...

ryan...obviously I am not adverse to you directing the conversation to your blog and I'll wander over to observe, but having the conversation here does not offend me.

It's interesting.

Dame said...

knb ...that would be a day to remember .. we Could read tea leaves and predict the Big guy's fall??? hah .

This blog is Almost Live very fast paced with themes and ideas and anyway if you want to hear from readers you need to give us time....

Ryan said...

No doubt, KNB.

I just figured it would be a hot topic, and might get out of hand ;)

Anonymous said...

Ryan, where I am getting the idea that the NDP Faith Commission wants to balance the religious right is from their mission statement which includes:

We believe that the neo-conservative right has unfairly seized the religious discourse and have used it toward their own ends. The religious right has been so successful at this, in recent years, that many have come to associate religion with intolerance, conservatism, capitalism and even imperialism. This must stop.

We hold the opposite to be true. Many progressive and social democratic principles can be founded upon, and guided by, religious values. Love, forgiveness, generosity, dignity, liberation, equality, respect, as well as the support and acceptance of the poor and marginalized are but a few of these values. We proclaim it loud and clear: there is a religious left!

It is clear from their mission statement and from other posts on their website (as well as elsewhere on the web) that one purpose of the NDP Faith Commission is to give religion a better image than the political right has given it. I will not vote for any political party which in any way thinks it is one of their roles to improve the image of religion. I empathize with the bad rap religion gets from the evangelical-political movement, but it is not the role of ANY political party to correct this image. And it will back fire. People will soon be sick of religion in politics whether it comes from the right or from the left.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Martin received a grade of C by the religious inquisition because he was accussed of "leaving his faith at the door" when acting as a politician. Well, politicians leave their faith at the door by publicly focussing on civil matters, representing ALL their constituents and doing what is best for all of Canada, all without publicly invoking their private beliefs about religon.

With the latest move by the NDP, I now see the Liberal Party as the one political party which still supports secularism in government and politics. I'm hoping Dion will not let me down.

Ryan said...

Please link me to the "rate your politician" thing. I responded to the rest on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, here is a link:

One can get to this from the NDP Faith site (it is the last link under issues) but that link takes you to the front page of the magazine and then you have to search.

Note that the christian organizations which cooked up this faith test, then held a press conference a couple weeks before the election, to announce the candidates' responses and the ratings. It is exactly this type of action (setting up a faith test and seeing if politicians pass it) that will help move Canada to the US model where politicians either have to lie about their "faith" (does Bush really, truly love Jesus or does he really love himself and the money and success of getting elected, so he says he loves Jesus -- who knows) or you can kiss anyone but religious people who want to talk about their "faith" publicly from entering politics. I am appalled that the NDP site links to the stuff in a positive way, rather than linking to it and warning: THIS IS THE STUFF THAT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.