Saturday, June 07, 2008


As I'm sure most of you have read in the Globe by now, Dion seems to be at odds with some members of the caucus as to when to call the election.

He seems committed to wait but he's being pressured to go now, the reverse of course of what was happening a short while ago. What has changed his mind?

It's hard to tell really. Perhaps the reluctance to change plans that have been put in place over the summer in terms of rolling out the tax shift and other policy ideas? While I respect the desire to take some time to lay out the environment plan carefully, I do think he'd have some powerful allies to help him explain the mechanics.

My sense is now is the right time. Watching the media panel on Newman's show yesterday, (ff to 39:00), I had mixed feelings. Somewhat excited to know that some Lib's want to go now and somewhat disappointed to learn that Dion is dead set against it. As always, I'll take the reports with a grain of salt, because I haven't heard Dion proclaim on this, but because names were mentioned and I haven't seen any of them come out to say it is untrue, you have to believe that the dynamic or at least a form of it exists.

A couple of things stand out. If Dion is really as isolated as is suggested, that is not a good thing. I understand Dion to be a pretty stubborn guy but I also read that he is collegial. So, I suppose we must ask what trait will dominate? The last time he was adamant, he seemed to take the collegial route. Could that happen again? My sense is that it could if, and only if, the arguments being put to him are logical and not craven.

I'm sure there is angst in the party about their ability to win. I'm also sure that Dion wants the conditions to be such that they can. That is the argument that must be put forward to him.

Don Martin of course had the best argument of all. The Con's do not want an election right now. Now, Don is not the most Liberal friendly guy and if you were the cynical sort, you may think that he was putting that out in an effort to lay a trap, but I don't think so. The panel all seemed to agree and it must be remembered that they all speak to many of the same people so he would be called out if he was spewing nonsense. (For the record, I happen to like Don Martin and consider him one of the more affable reporters who happens to lean in a different political direction than I do.)

So, what are we faced with? What is the down side to going now?

1. Summer elections are a terrible idea!

Yes I know but I tend not to fall into the conventional wisdom camp. If there are issues during a campaign that capture Canadians attention, they show up just as they do during a snow storm.

2. The Party is broke.

They have secured funds for the maximum election spending.

3. There is no platform.

Their policy and platform has been in the works for many, many months. My bet is this. It's ready. It's in the box to be wrapped and it's sitting on the wrapping paper. A bit of tape to seal it and a few bows to present it shouldn't be what holds us back.

4. A tax of any kind cannot be sold during an election.

On the surface that is a sound argument, except for that fact that the only people to shoot down the tax shift idea are flat earthers and tabloid opinionators. Sure, they have their audience...the 30 something per cent who love Harper. Who cares? For every juvenile and inaccurate article written about this topic, my sense is 3 will appear to explain it and justify it. Not just from Lib's, but from the rest of the credible community who understand it.

5. We haven't got 33% of our candidates, as women, in place.

I can't find the website at the moment, but at last check I think we were at 35% or 37%.

I guess I could go on forever with resisting arguments, but if the Con's being tired and not in favour of an election is not enough of a motive to go, well, I'm afraid I'd have difficulty in finding another one.

There is an obvious paucity of policy with the Con's. They have been on the defensive their entire term and there are no new ideas that I've seen offered. It's still the tough on crime and we cut your taxes meme and that's what they rely on. What they ignore are is how many people and groups they have ticked off and they have no answer for them.

So, here's hoping that Dion will be persuaded. Here's a reason that you can keep the faith. In the Globe report, they say he's not dealing with this and won't attend a meeting because he's gone to the cottage this weekend.

Uh, not so. He was at the GM plant today. Who knows where he will be tomorrow?

One last comment. Before the discussion on the panel got into the Liberal discussion, Susan Dellacourt made an interesting point. She was referring to the presser that James Moore called this week re' the Zytaruk tape and said, "it doesn't seem that the Conservatives are accustomed to being asked hard questions about stunts or things they are trying to pull..."

No kidding? For over 2 years no one has called them on it! My frustration aside, it is an interesting point, especially if we consider the upcoming election.

Maybe, just maybe, the press will notice what the Con's are doing, both in terms of what they are doing to the country and how they are pulling stunts to deceive it's inhabitants.

Timing? I think it's now.


wilson said...

''Their policy and platform has been in the works for many, many months. My bet is this. It's ready.''

And so is the Cons platform.

''On the surface that is a sound argument, except for that fact that the only people to shoot down the tax shift idea are flat earthers and tabloid opinionators.''

Add to your list of flatearthers: Premier McGuinty, and Buzz Hargrove and the unions, and Jack Layton and the NDP.

Anonymous said...

Janke has a post up which means buckler and company are taking this seriously and would like to kill it before it goes too far. Martin is not a fan of Harper, if he were he wouldn't be on Don's show.

Sir Francis said...

The Cons will swagger and shout "bring it on", but the fact is that the thought of an election makes them fill their diapers.

People vote against governments rather than for them. Going to the people now would take the CPC seriously off guard: Harper doesn't have an issue, has not had time to frame the debate and would need to expend much of his campaign's energy on dispelling the aroma of incompetence and corruption that haunts his government.

There is no such thing as an ideal time to wage a campaign, but Dion will not likely ever get better conditions than the current ones.

The Pundits' Guide said...

"I can't find the website at the moment, but at last check I think we were at 35% or 37%."

Which website were you looking for? The Pundits' Guide currently has the Liberals at 36.8% female candidates, with 76% of all Liberal candidates named or nominated overall.

Click here to see a list of who-all they are.

knb said...

wilson, you may be right about the Con's and a platform, but they certainly haven't brought anything new to the table for a long time.

Personally, I can't think of a thing that they will campaign on. Crime?

Dalton has merely said that he feels cap and trade is the better way to go for the province, but acknowledges that tax shifting is another way to go.

Buzz? Pretty obvious don't you think? Layton is out of step with everyone else on this and will be called out. At least he recognises the need to put a price on carbon.

The Con's on the other hand are completely isolated. No one supports their program.

knb said...

Martin is not a fan of Harper, if he were he wouldn't be on Don's show.


Well, Martin certainly isn't a Dion fan.

knb said...

It certainly feels that way doesn't it Sir Francis?

I do however think that if the House remained sitting, things could get worse for the Con's, but with word out there that they intend to prorogue until November, well that just gives them too much time, imo.

That said, if we do wait I suppose it would be a real campaign about ideas. At this point I expect only attack from the Con's.

As I was saying. Honestly, does everyone in that party have the mentality of a 5 year old?

knb said...

The Pundits' Guide, lol.

Indeed it was your blog I was looking for.


The Pundits' Guide said...

Hey, glad to be of assistance, knb.