Friday, August 29, 2008

Strategy, Tactics and Timing

So the game and speculation continues. Harper meets with Gilles Duceppe to basically say nothing. His game? Present the facade that he's making an effort to work with the opposition leaders. He's not though, or not at least according to Duceppe.

Tomorrow, he'll play the same game with Layton and he won't even bother to meet with Dion.

Here's the thing though. If you're going to have your officials go to the press even before your pretend meeting with Layton and they speculate that the election will be on the 14th of October, what the heck is the point of trying to present an alternate reality? He really does think Canadians are stupid doesn't he?

Officials in the Prime Minister's office say that Stephen Harper will likely call an election next week and send voters to the polls on Oct. 14.

These officials told The Canadian Press no decision has yet been made, but they indicated he will go to the Governor-General sometime between Sept. 2 and 7th.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe met with Harper Friday morning and said Harper "absolutely wants to call an election."

As an aside, Aaron Wherry at MacLeans seems to be hearing that October 14th would not be ideal. That does seem like odd timing and certainly not a group that Harper would want to tick off.

There's another timing issue though that seems to be working against Harper and co. It's that old nuisance of, events conspiring against you.

Sadly, the Listeria outbreak is not calming and indeed, there has been another related death. It's awful when such things play into the political narrative, but it's a fact that they do.

Since the Liberals jumped on the leaked memo from the CFIA in July, they should be expected to continue to hit the government on this point. What is gaining steam though is 3rd party support and more information. I'm sure Harper didn't plan on going into an election with all of that building in the news.

Nor am I sure that he expected the backlash in Quebec to his Arts cuts. The rest of us did of course, but it's a sign to me that he and his 'people' are really out of touch of where Canadians are. I mean really, if Chantal Hebert is taking this tone, what more do you need to know?

It's difficult to keep up with the number of groups he's angered and if the Con's do not think that any of that will play out during an election, they are dreaming.

Is it possible that he allowed himself to believe that the country was shifting to the right since he took office? Listening to a bit of conservative talk radio this afternoon, his followers certainly are taking that line. In fact, one host went as far as to say that McCain's choice of running mate ensures a Conservative sweep across the US and Canada this Fall.

What utter nonsense. No one knows yet how our election will turn out, but what we progressives have on our side is the mountain of evidence that Conservative ideology is, (when it is accurately laid out), not being embraced in large numbers. When the results of said ideology come home to roost, they are certainly more likely to be rejected than embraced and it looks like that just might be happening at the moment.

In addition to what I've already mentioned, the Con's also have the small problem of the economy to contend with.

And finally, it appears that Harper is going to try to paint Dion with political spectrum brush, I suppose in retaliation for Dion pointing out just how right on the spectrum Harper really is.

This in my opinion, (if Harper keeps it up), will be damaging to him. He's spent an awful lot of capital, (both political and real), in trying to present a moderate stance. As soon as he starts using the rhetoric we see and hear south of the border by the Republicans, Canadians shy away. Most Canadians see themselves as progressive and to suggest that that is a bad thing, as the Con's are beginning to do, will reap them few rewards. In fact, it may have NDP, Green and young supporters looking to and seeing the merits of Dion.

Perhaps he's trying to pull the far right back into the fold if they thought Harper had been too centrist, but they were never going to vote Liberal anyway. What's the point? Is that all he feels he can draw on and does he have internal numbers that tell him that will push him through?

I have the sense that the master tactician and supposed superior strategist's veneer is starting to peel away.

I say, keep it up.

Update - A factual analysis that I think supports my supposition.


Anonymous said...

Cant believe Harper is going to hold the election on a Jewish holiday....very weird.....

The Mound of Sound said...

Fine analysis, KNB. And that picture! It just keeps bringing those words "smug" and "prick" to mind.

Anonymous said...

There is no speculation. The Conservative ads are already airing. The the only thing he has to do is make the circumstance fit his decision.

Anonymous said...

There is no speculation. The Conservative ads are already airing. The the only thing he has to do is make the circumstance fit his decision.

knb said...

Anon, it's not yet confirmed and I doubt he'd do that, unless he knows something will come out on the 15th.

knb said...

MoS, thanks and funny you should mention the photo.

One of your choices is what I have it filed under, ;).

knb said...

acid, he will struggle to make the circumstances fit his agenda, but you're right. The decision has been made.

Silly him imo, but I may be proven wrong.

catherine said...

Do you think the misappropriation of personality and Cadman tape case has anything to do with the timing? Kady liveblogged it today and it sounds like Harper's lawyer will ask for this case to be delayed as otherwise it could turn up during the election. It didn't sound like he had any good reason for asking for the delay, but I have no idea how flexible judges are on these matters.

catherine said...

It seems the delay is requested primarily because Harper's expert tape witness is going on vacation to Europe. The Liberals had asked to have a single expert, agreed to by both parties, but Harper's lawyer wanted their own tape expert. How convenient that they found one who just wants to vacation now.

penlan said...

OT: knb,

It seems that the commenter Johnathon, under another name which is Tom Robinson, has uttered physical violence threats at CDLU's blog. This follows some terrible vandalism & the cutting of brake lines to a no. of cars at the homes of Liberal supporters. They have Lib signs on their lawns.

Here is a comment from someone at the same blog & post that I think is appropriate:

"Every incidence of commentary such as the above from "Tom Robinson" (ie Johnathan) should be forwarded to both the local police, local crown council office and the RCMP. Do not delete them - just forward the comment and the link. IP information can be gleaned from the ISP and follow up can be done. Any blog receiving such should forward them as well. This individual is clearly unbalnced and could well prove to be a danger to others."

And here is "johnathon/Tom Robinson's"

IP's can change, I'm not sure how that works, but that is the one that was used in the desire he stated to have someone blow up the Liberal riding association in Guelph, as well as some other nasty statements.

knb said...

I was just reading about that penlan. Disgusting doesn't begin to describe it.

Odd isn't it that the graffiti is only being signed with NDP and Liberal tags? Okay not odd...telling.

RuralSandi said...

Harper has governed on hate, spewed hate for anything Liberal and his followers are manipulated by him.

Look at what happened in Guelph.

Harper is influencing hate and crime.

Do we want this in Canada just because someone has a different political stripe?

Yup, I feel Harper is indirectly responsible for this hatred and sickness.

By the way, Oct 14 is a Jewish holiday and Thanksgiving.

Boy, he must be scared of something.

Why not a week after that? What's a few days?

penlan said...

Yes, that is interesting that none of the tags are signed with "Con". Telling is absolutely right.

And Gayle is right. The increase of hatred & rascism definitely appears to be increasing since Harper was elected. Or perhaps it was always there but now all these bigots feel it's safe to now come out of the woodwork. After all there "champion" is in his mini-whitehouse.

penlan said...

Oops...sorry that should be "ruralsandi" not "gayle".

Brain-farting here plus typing too fast. ;)

Gayle said...

Here I was thinking you had ESP... :)