Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Threats? Lies? Yes. The Con's Want an Election




Well, I guess today brought out in high relief what this government is up to. They are desperate for an election and they are going to force one by hook or by crook.
Why do they want one? To my mind it's not because their internal polling tell's them they are in the lead but perhaps their polls tell them that the Canadians are worried about the economy and if it dives even a little, their inaction will be brought to bear. Maybe they feel they have to get out in front of that mindset but to those who have aleady been affected, it's too late. It's still hard to believe that Harper put Flaherty in Finance given his pathetic record, but here we are.
So, what are the Con's doing to provoke an election? Attaching confidence to the Afghanistan vote, the Budget (not unusual of course) and they took the time today to threaten the Senate just for good measure. Their disdain for the Senate is palpable but they look like toddlers when they go before them and exhibit their tantrums. I'm sure they felt they looked tough today, but imo they looked like idiots.
To begin with, they lied once again. If you haven't followed this, Stock Day came out of his caucus meeting and said that the Senate has held up the crime bill for 10 weeks and Liberal Senators are to blame. Same tactic, new year. It's BS of course because he left out the fact that the Parliament hasn't been sitting for 6 and 1/2 of those weeks. So, the Bill has been there 3 and 1/2 weeks. Weasel politics comes to mind and this guy is the poster child for that. He then laid down the threat that if it isn't passed by the end of the month, it's a confidence issue. Parliament hasn't had that sway over the Senate since 1867, but Stock probably doesn't think the world was created at that point, so what can I say. I jest of course, but come on. They are playing fast and loose with the truth and it's time that Canadians know that too.
Then we have the Budget vote. Fair enough. It's going to be a confidence vote, but this is one that intrigues me. What exactly are they going to do here? They know they are in trouble and to spend anymore will get them in more trouble, as will cutting taxes. My feeling is they will simply give more detail to existing plans and project them further into the future. So, a whole lot of flowery language that amounts to nought. I also believe they were so focused on their agenda that they gave no thought to the future. Who didn't recognise that Harper's buddy Bush had crashed that economy? Most economists, save Harper and his willing servant Flaherty have been pretty clear for a while now.
I tend to think this one issue, the budget, is what we should go on. They may have made it so neutral that it will be difficult to argue and perhaps that is their plan, but better to go on that than Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will still be an issue if we go to an election, but it won't be the issue if the government isn't felled on that vote.
Every pundit and reporter is trying to make Dion's position untenable, mostly because they mis-describe it, but I do not think it is. I saw a poll not too long ago and damned if I can find it but it's response echoed Dion's view.
Harper isn't brave enough to put solid terms of the mission in his proposal that will go to parliament. I think he'll leave it open and disregard the serious aspects that criticise them for not being transparent enough. Someone coined the phrase, Manley Light. I think that is exactly what he'll put forward. Heavy rhetoric on combat and no mention of all the other things that are wong with this mission...those things that require attention. The Lib's should focus on those omissions and when asked, focus on how Harper is content to have a never ending combat role in that country.
Oh yeah. We are going to an election because Harper has realised that a fixed election date doesn't work in this system and he now wants to find his opportune moment, not unlike any other PM. That law, (fixed dates) was one of his first moves and it's a dud. His arrogance thought he could conduct business as if he had a majority and though he's tried, he's been proven wrong.
The other reason to go? Well the scandals are building aren't they?
Bottom line. The Con's look bad right now and they want to shift that image. An election allows them to do that though given the amount of lying they do, they should consider some good lawyers as they venture forth.
See ya at the voting booth!

22 comments:

Steve V said...

Knb, I wonder if their polls do show them doing well, or have the Cons concluded the future looks less rosy. The bad news is starting to pile up as this government moves forward, they are past the stage of living off the Liberal past, and know they have their own legacy. For once, I don't think this drive for an election is necessarily poll driven, as were the previous "threatening" periods. This time, it might be that they see diminished returns in the future. If we get past the next few weeks, then there won't be any real chance for an election for months. They know the economy is tanking for the next couple of quarters, time to jump ship and take their chances.

wilson said...

IMO, it's just time.
-There will be no March bi-elections, which would have likely helped the Libs, and saved Canadians a bundle.
-Libs bank account is not exactly bursting, and leadership contenders are in debt (when do those big loans have to be paid back?)
-And then there is the election platform. The economist vs. the professor. Canadians will expect a prudent govt, not costly social programs.
-It's been very cold. Cold enough there is hope that the pine beetle was cut back or irradicated. Good news for the forest industry.
-Lots of big military contracts handed out across the country, will boost the economy.
-Harper has extra NATO troops and equiptment in the bag, making selling the Manley report easier.
-Canadians are about to fill out their incometax forms, they will be pleased with the extra cash they get back.
-No more scary Harper, bully Harper we can live with.
-No more Bush, Bush, Bush. that would just be silly while we watch Obama Obama Obama.
-re corruption, Canada has risen from 12th (Chretien Martin years) to 9th since PMSH was elected 2006.
-We have a voice and respect on the world stage now, so say former Liberal Deputy PM Manley.
-Canada has not been this united, the Bloc this powerless, for 30 years.
-Even with the downturn in the mfg sector, record employment in Canada, over 300k new jobs created this year.
-Our brave soldiers are no longer in a living hell, the Decade of Darkness is over (credit to Martin for starting that ascent)
etc etc etc

Mushroom said...

Wilson,

Who has spent more, the Grits or the Cons? Harper is not Mike Harris nor Ralph Klein. Does not have the populist charisma of them both. Need a major transformation in the next few days. How about start bashing illegal immigrants once the crime bill gets defeated on a vote of confidence?

Big military contracts may not be enough if MacKay loses to Lizzie May in Central Nova.

Harper is not Obama, he is not even Mike Huckabee. Even Stockwell Day would have won in 2006 against Paul Martin.

I am not sure where you get the facts, but Harper is not drinking Hillier's kool-aid. The Cons are no longer thinking big once the procurement bill was sent to the Treasury. Notice the downgrade in Harper's goals in defending the Arctic.

The other points complement Steve's argument.

Anonymous said...

the cons want an election...in 2009.

is it surprising that Harper has made afghanistan, the budget and a crime bill confidence issues? He has not changed his stance on these topics and has said numerous times that he is willing to put it to the people.

People may not agree with his stance, and that is their right. But at least he's willing to take a stand and be judged accordingly.

I get the impression that libs are maybe just a little angry because they realize that they are a bit snookered...again. Does dion abstain yet again and risk looking like he has no position of his own, or no position he's willing to stand up for other than trying to live another day? Or does he vote the govt down and hope the NDP and the bloc do, too, and risk the optics of his party being against tax cuts, being strong on crime and against our current role in afghanistan? Surely not the best position to be in going into a possible election.

of course, chretien snookered the right even more than this in his time, but because it was the liberal party in the pole position, it was ok and even acceptable.

Ron said...

Threats and Lies are something the Liberals know a whole lot about so we can call that one a wash. Con's may want an election but it is the Liberals who get to make the decision -- Time to stop whining, crying and lying - either give into the Con's and force the election or shut up and let them govern. The problem is you are too weak and afraid of an election at this point and are angry that Dion has put you into this situation. I thought dithers was a great name for Martin but looks like Dion is doing him one better - oh- your number one fan at the Toronto Star (Travers) accused Dion of dithering in his article today --- looks like even the hard core Liberals are having serious doubts. - Doesn't matter if the Con's want an election or not - it is the Liberals who call the tune on that one. Call it or not but please stop whining about it.

wilson said...

'Harper isn't brave enough to put solid terms of the mission in his proposal that will go to parliament.'

Good gawd knb, there will be a vote on the terms of the mission extension.
PMSH will take those terms into an election campaign.

The only noticable fear here is from Libloggers and the LPC.
It's time.
PMSH and the CPC are ready.
Dion and the LPC have been given plenty of time to get their act together (unlike what Chretien/Martin gave Reform/Alliance/CPC)

No amount of English lessons are going to make Dion and Liberal policies anymore coherent.
We need an election to get rid of the obstructionist, stand for nothing, Liberal mentality.
PMSH will get his majority.

Let's see Bob Rae's election platform for a slowing economy. (snicker)

wilson said...

'Even Stockwell Day would have won in 2006 against Paul Martin.'

Mushroom,
do you have higher hopes for Dion?
Martin went into the last election as 60% best PM......
Dion is at 13%

Cons spent more money, yes.
ex:
-A billion more on Natives than the Kelowna accord. And they actually put it in their budget, unlike the Liberals, who promised it during an election campaign but failed to budget for it.
-Followed thru on Martin's military budget, are right on track in that spending.
-Paid out the Chinese head tax, Residential Schools, etc. and 'priceless' apologies to Canadians that were wronged.
etc etc etc

'Big military contracts may not be enough if MacKay loses to Lizzie May in Central Nova.'
oh puleeeese, her own party thinks she sucks!
Come to think of it, same can be said about Dion.

The Obama comment means that Bush is on his way out, linking PMSH to Bush at this point would be viewed as silly. All Dems want to increase their efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq is off the radar.

Mushroom said...

Wilson,

Popularity polls for the PM does not matter. Martin was a dead man walking as PM once the House fell on the confidence motion. Give credit to Harper in wanting the House to fall on his own issues.

Dion will be running on the Grits bandwagon. We may or may not win, so he is your prime target on attack ads. It is our job to challenge this. Game on.

Lizzie May has given the Greens a higher profile and money in the coffers to run a nationwide election campaign. They will have campaign offices for the first time in many constituencies!!!! Yes, there are Greens such as Stuart Parker who wanted a more social democratic Green party instead of the ecological friendly capitalism of May and Jim Harris. But in the end, she is attracting cash and dollars.

With regards to the Obama thing, at least we have one CPC politico who wants to disassociate the party with Bush's republicans. Good luck paddling up current against the social conservatives in your party. In fact, I have nothing against them so-cons. At least, they are truly authentic and tell things as it is. You can have a beer with ninety per cent of them. Having a beer with PMSH? I don't think we have more than a few words to say. Even I find his cats to be more charismatic than him.

Lord Omar said...

but they look like toddlers when they go before them and exhibit their tantrums. I'm sure they felt they looked tough today, but imo they looked like idiots.

The Liberals have before them a plethora of material to create credible election attack ads directed at this ridiculous government. The buffoonery is on display daily and one need look no further than Peter Van Loan's hilarious and nonsensical throw-down aimed at the Senate today. I sincerely believe this government doesn't know what it is doing.

knb said...

Steve, I think we are saying about the same thing.

Indeed things are piling up for them and in spite of them trying to change that channel now, I think they will have a tough time.

knb said...

Good grief wilson. Your tongue must be permantly dyed blue from all that Kool-Aid,;).

You've listed all the Con talking points and needless to say I disagree with most.

I do think that Harper would like to get out ahead of the by elections though. The money issue is thrown around often, but isn't everyone on a level playing field during the election?

That's the first I've heard of the pine beetle being killed off, I hope your right but it's of little use to areas already hit.

Harper is MORE of a bully than ever and yes still scarey, to those of us who sees what he's doing anyway and once linked with Bush...always linked with Bush. He'll be gone, of course but his style will not be forgotten nor will Harper's emmulation of some of it.

Obama is an interesting one to raise. As we watch our neighbours to the south breathe a deep sigh of relief for the first time in almost 8 years, Canada's will be watching and remembering how much better life was under a L/liberal government.

etc. etc.

knb said...

anon @ 8:14, I'd prefer to call it strategy, but yes that is the name of the game.

The hypocrisy though, lies in the fact that Harper locked himself into a set election date and now is doing everything he can to weasel out of it.

knb said...

ron: The problem is you are too weak and afraid of an election at this point and are angry that Dion has put you into this situation.

Amazing how con's think just because they say something that it is true.

In this case, you're not even close to how I feel and something tells I'm not speaking for only my self.

knb said...

Wilson, more dreams on your part, sadly they are my nightmares.

BTW, if we were in government, I doubt that Rae will be appointed Finance Minister.

knb said...

I'm with you Omar. Their is tons of fodder out there. Get the best advertising team out there and have at it. Hopefully one that relates to the adults in the room versus the childish nonsense that we've seen so far from the Con's.

knb said...

BTW, is it even proper procedure for the House to interfere with the Senate?

Surely there is some Act out there that separates these intitutions and guards against such things?

ottlib said...

knb,

The Act that separates the two is the Canadian Constitution.

So the Harper government is blowing smoke as usual. They can no more force the Senate to do something than NATO can defeat the Taliban militarily.

As you say, Stephen Harper wants an election and he wants it bad. He knows that even winning the government, let alone a majority, will be very difficult once this economic downturn really begins to bite. So he wants to go now.

Two or three months of rising unemployment numbers is all it is going to take.

There is a certain amount of irony in all of this, which has naturally been missed by the MSM. At the end of December it was Stephane Dion who was making all of the noises about bringing down the government early in the New Year.

As they say, a week is a long time in politics and a month is a lifetime.

Personally, I am beginning to believe the Liberals should prop up this government a little while longer.

Allow the slowing economy to work its corrosive effect on the Conservatives. Yes, yes, I know I am heartless to try to find advantage in all of those lost jobs. But at least I draw the line at finding advantage in the death of a 15 year old girl.

As well, it is rarely good political strategy to give your chief opponent what they want.

There will be three confidence motions on the budget. The first one will be a day or two after but the last one will be closer to June. That should be the one where the Liberals bring down the government.

knb said...

Thanks for that ottlib.

To be honest, I tend to shift in my opinion of what we should do. That of course is called dithering, but it's quite the opposite isn't it?

If the facts before you change, you open your mind to be able to assess them.

The Con's confuse leadership with rigidity. Leadership is about what is happening now and dealing with it, regardless of what you may have claimed in the past. Ideology is all about ignoring the present facts and sticking to your story, regardless. That's NOT leadership, that's being reckless.

But at least I draw the line at finding advantage in the death of a 15 year old girl.

I cannot quite place what you're referring to. Could you elaborate?

If what you say about the confidence motions on the budget is so, I would agree as I know the facts today.

You're right about how time transmutes in the realm of politics. Bizarre isn't it?

Gayle said...

Today on Newman Goodale said there was no way they were going to let Harper get away with the confidence motion tabled today.

KNB - I believe ottlib is referring to Jane Creba and the disgusting way Harper stood in the place she was killed and campaigned on it.

knb said...

Thanks Gayle. It niggled at me but I couldn't quite place that particular disgusting behaviour and I should have twigged.

I just watched Politics on line. I was watching committee this afternoon so I missed the braaawwwddcast, but I saw Goodale say that. Good move to make the Con's look like the chumps that they are. That's leadership, ;).

More tomorrow on the committee meetings but suffice it to say, the Con's do not know what the heck they are doing. Natural Resources, Ethics and the Procedure committees, told me that the Con's are more inept than even I thought.

Omar is right. This government and these people have no idea what they are doing. It's like bringing up the grade 5 class to teach first year university students.

Pompous is what the con's will attribute to that comment. Truth however is what they ignore.

ottlib said...

There is a simple and straightforward way of dealing with this new motion.

Support it.

It is meaningless anyway so there is no harm in it.

Mr. Dion should stand up in the HofC and state that he supports the Crime Bill passed by the House and that he hopes the Senate will do their due diligence and pass it in a timely manner.

Done. Stephen Harper looks like an idiot. The Liberals do not look soft on crime and the Senate goes about its business in its normal fashion.

In all likelyhood the Senate will pass the Bill by the deadline anyway. It is not like the Conservatives have flooded the Red Chamber with an inordinate number of bills.

Mushroom said...

Ottlib,

Anyway for Dion can go up to the House and tell the PM that the Senate will veto the crime bill and it needs to go through the House of Commons once more. He will then propose amendments calling for the distribution of prescription heroin and force the Cons to defeat the crime bill as a non-confidence motion. I can only dream, can I?