Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flanagan's Theory

I wondered where Tom Flanagan had disappeared to. He seemed to be getting a fair bit of press there for a while by telling us what Harper's real plans are.

For some months though, he seems to have been silent, but now that an election is in the offing, we may be seeing and hearing more from him.

Today he's speculating on the reason for Harper calling an election. Well, not the reason exactly, but why it makes sense.

Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, believes Harper would be satisfied to return with a strengthened minority - a result that would throw the Liberals into chaos, thereby advancing the prime minister's longterm strategy of destroying Canada's so-called natural governing party.

"I don't think Harper has to be thinking about a majority at all," Flanagan said in an interview.

"Strategically, this is sort of a prolonged war of attrition."

As Flanagan sees it, the first major battle in this incremental war occurred in 2004, when Harper managed to reduce Paul Martin's Liberals to a minority. In the second clash in 2006, Harper won his own Conservative minority.

The third skirmish, which Harper appears set to launch next week, likely won't kill what Flanagan jokingly refers to as "the evil empire." But, if the Tories can win a few more seats at the Liberals' expense - an outcome Flanagan considers realistic given Harper's superior campaign skills and the Tories' fatter war chest - he predicted that would be enough to throw the Grits into a longterm tailspin that could eventually lead to their demise.

He's a charmer isn't he? That is something that I find is pretty consistent with many Harper Conservatives. They are most joyous when they are deriding something or especially someone. Anyway, there you have it according to Flanagan. Harper's quest for power is based solely on his desire to destroy the Liberal party. Wouldn't that make a lovely campaign slogan?

For those of us who follow this stuff, Flanagan's words come as no surprise but it is galling to read that the Leader of this country is more interested in satisfying his hatred for all things l/Liberal than he is in actually developing this country and moving it forward. That is the face of the kind of politics we are being led by. Disgusting.

Rather than shutting this character down though, I hope he starts making more appearances because he talks about Harper's agenda in a way that explains the stealth by which Harper is taking the country apart and hones in on how he is duping Canadians into thinking one thing so he can go about doing the opposite.

What a contrast to Dion. Say what you will about the Liberal leader, he is not in politics to destroy, but rather to build. He will make that quite clear in my view.

It seems to me that this election is going to come down to the campaigns that are run. Flanagan seems pretty confident that Harper is going to do a much better job of this than the Lib's. In addition to his belief that Harper is a better campaigner, he mentions that the Con's have a bigger war chest. While that is true, I do not understand what difference that makes during an election. Everyone has a level playing field right? At least they are supposed to. We still have that little problem of the Con's over spending during the last election and I guess there is no guarantee that they won't do that again. I'm sure Mr. Flanagan delights in that bit genius strategy.

Well, there is no question that the Con's have the Rove method of running campaigns perfected, but that is not a guarantee of anything. In my opinion, that type of campaigning obviously can work, but it's really dependent on the mood of the country. Is the mood right at the moment to listen to relentless attacks, fear mongering and lies? I think the Con's are forgetting, or perhaps ignoring, that Karl Rove has severely damaged if not destroyed much of the Republican party. McCain is fighting like hell to remove himself from Bush and what Rove created. Something tells me that Giorno and other Harper insiders are on the wrong side of that wave, especially in Canada.

I think one of the biggest advantages that the Liberals have is how the Con's seem to underestimate them. Indeed, the Liberal party has gone through a rough period, but it seems to me that struggle would only make the team stronger. And it's important to remember that the current configuration of the Liberal party is not what it was. Media don't speak to the changes we've seen, but the party has a new face and a strong sense of renewal. The prospect of putting the strong Liberal team up against the Conservative benches certainly doesn't fill me with dread. In fact it brings an image of the adults speaking to the kids.

It's been said that Harper wants to make this election about leadership, I presume because he's convinced that his attack ad's have done their job. Well, we'll see. Dion is not one to back down and based on his most recent reactions to Harper, I don't imagine he'll start now. Truth be known, Dion is looking like a leader because he's driving the agenda and that, as I've said before, is a major reason why Harper must pull the plug now.

It's also been said that Harper will go after the Green Shift by painting it as complicated and devastating to the economy. Both charges are patently false of course. In fact, Senator Grant Mitchell lays out that falsehood quite effectively, here.

It's going to get interesting, so don't forget to donate what you can, here.

Stick around Mr. Flanagan. You play to the Liberal advantage and we like you for that.


Johnathon said...

I hope the Liberal Party gets destroyed and has to rebuild.

The corruption, elitism, and immoral policies have to go.

Tom Flanagan is a great brain and ny guess is he'll be right.

Go harper Go!!!!!!!!!

Johnathon said...

Don't think Harper has done anything for Canadians?

Well Don Martin thinks so,

Taxes have been reduced across the board, the GST cut by two cents for shoppers, income splitting granted to seniors and a dandy tax-free savings plan for everyone. Those who earn a living using tools or the parents of sports-minded children get special tax breaks for their equipment.

Criminals who buy, sell or use guns for violent crime will be hit with tougher mandatory prison sentences. A new age of sexual consent is in place so fathers like me can warn boyfriends to keep their paws off our daughters until they’re 16, but preferably a lot longer.

Idiots who race fast cars down residential streets could end up parked in jail without their vehicles. Those who drive high on drugs can now have bodily fluids extracted for testing to secure impaired convictions.

Immigration policy has been refocused on applicants the economy needs, not those who would likely land in welfare lineups. Hundreds of ‘lost’ Canadians denied their rightful status have had their citizenship restored.

Consumers have guaranteed improved food labeling, although that’s no comfort to listeria-poisoning victims, and Canada led the world in banning bisphenol A products like baby bottles after the chemical was found to be a hormonal disrupter.

The government has put a candle in the Canadian military’s “decade of darkness”, although credit for funding boosts should be shared with the Paul Martin government. We fly Globemasters just like the Americans now and have new helicopters, tanks and armored vehicles coming soon to bolster a mission in Kandahar that was extended by MPs until 2011.

Our increasingly important Arctic coastline is being reasserted under the Maple Leaf control with stepped-up patrols, aggressive mapping and wider jurisdictional claims while kept under the eye of an advanced satellite the government blocked from falling into American hands.

Those Scotch-swirling stroke sessions between cabinet ministers and lobbyists seeking political favors are allegedly a thing of the past thanks to a paper trail of all contact, although “accidental” meetings have been known to happen in bars and restaurants for precisely the same purpose.

Even so, it’s more complicated to buy political access now. The old $5,000 Liberal limit on donations to parties, candidates or leadership hopefuls has been lowered to a modest $1,000 annual maximum.

While greenhouse gas emissions have not yet been hit with the hefty carbon tax proposed by the Liberals, the government has moved to regulate reductions over the longer term. National parks, particularly in the north, have been dramatically expanded in size.

Senators are being targeted for fixed terms and possibly forced to stand for election in the future.

A hefty helping of compensation and an emotional apology in the Commons has started healing from the decades-old native residential school tragedy. Less dramatic apologies were issued for the Chinese head tax and to the descendants of passengers on the Komagata Maru, turned away in 1914.

Of course the sudden demise of the 39th Parliament will leave dozens of important initiatives stillborn, including legislation dealing with copyright protection, food and product safety, youth crime, a national drug strategy and identity theft.

And you can honestly say that Harper hasn't done anything for Canada?

Gimme a break.

Saskboy said...

I think he had to lay low after Cadscam broke in the news.

knb said...

That was cute. Inaccurate, but cute.

Consumers have guaranteed improved food labeling

Oh, jonathon, you Love your Harper don't you. So much so that you ignore that his government implemented regulations, not through parliament btw, that actually resulted in killing people.

I know, you're proud now.

I love that you come here, because you put on display the idiocy that represents Harper.

Perfect! Please don't change.

penlan said...

That's true Saskboy! Thanks for the reminder. Flanagan's name was bandied about as one of the people involved in the alleged bribe. Along with Finley's. The 2 of them went to see Cadman together if I recall.

penlan said...



penlan said...

And speaking of Cadscam here's the latest breaking:

"OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is asking a judge to reject expert testimony that compares him to an authoritarian ruler."

And there is supposed to be a hearing on that on Sept. 22nd. - right in the middle of a possible election.

You can read it here

wilson said...

EVERYTHING Flanagan says or does is pure Conservative strategy.

I was going to spell it out for you, but....figure it out for yourself.

p.s. 'the Leader of this country is more interested in satisfying his hatred for all things l/Liberal ...'
is not even close

JK said...


Let the LPC bloggers spend there time defending instead of promoting....

Anonymous said...

Johnathon needs to get out more often. Gimme a break, really means gimme a break from someone who can't even be identified.

Cowards have no place in reasonable discourse.

I'm absolutely these are Harper's motives, run the party down, and put him in a position where he can govern like a majority.

The problem is, sooner or later the electorate gets very sick to the ultra-right wing. Just look at the US, and the Bush administration. It simply is not sustainable by virtue of the extremeness of the party. No matter how hard they try to moderate, they will always go back to their ultra right wing agenda.

Canadians, by far are more centrist, and unless Harper can fundamentally alter Canada's culture, we will always swing back to the centre sooner or later.

Steve V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve V said...

Actually, everything Harper does or thinks, is predicated with hatred for the Liberals. It's why all his policies are reactionary, why he generally gets rid of, before he has alternatives, why he's bereft of ideas already, no longer driven by reversing legacy. You don't have to spell that out to me, it so fucking blatantly obvious, it's ridiculous. It's not conservatism, it's just reactionary negativism, it needs an enemy, it's like oxygen.

RuralSandi said...

Suggestion - delete/filter Jonathon - he's a nasty troll. I know Red Tory and others have done this.

And, he'll go on and on and respond over and over - and he's a total bigot.

me dere robert said...

I hope you Liberals are paying attention to what he's saying. As bad as he is he does tell it like it is sometimes. Don't miss this important point:

If the Liberals lose even a handful of seats, Mr. Flanagan predicted they'll immediately dump Leader Stéphane Dion, a forecast echoed privately by plenty of Grits. The party would have to embark on a costly leadership campaign before most contenders from the last contest, including Mr. Dion, have paid off their leadership debts.

If you dump Dion after the election you'll be in more of mess than you are now.. stick it out with him and you'll have success. We all use to say Harper would never be PM.. look how that turned out (with a lot of patience on the part of the Tories for sticking with him).

Anonymous said...

Does anyone even listen to Yawnathon?

Scotian said...

Well, I guess I picked a good time to come back from my self imposed exile from Canadian politics, indeed all news in general by the sounds of it. I just left a short post announcing my return from exile and my current health status at Saundrie so I won't repeat them here. I will be spending much of the next couple of weeks mostly catching up on what I missed over the last half year at certain blogs whose work I trust, this one being one of them, and then I will start being the annoying long winded commentator I always have been once again, so be warned...:)

Until then though I will make the odd comment as I feel comfortable doing and if I am missing part of the context because of that absence I ask people to bear with me as I went totally disconnected from all news during my exile knowing that if I did not I would not be able to keep myself from getting drawn back in before I was really up to it.

knb said...

Fantastic news Scotian!

I'm absolutely thrilled to see you back and your timing could not be more perfect!

I'm really looking forward to your insights and especially your ability to recall events from the past that relate to today's moves by Harper.

Welcome back.

knb said...

penlan, something tells me that this case is going to be postponed.

knb said...

Indeed acid reflux. Harper believes if he says it enough that Canadians will simply 'change' from being who we are.

Aside from the 30% of sheep that follow him, that's not going to happen.