Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Ballot Box Question - Leadership?

Harper spokesperson Kory Teneycke has responded exactly as you'd expect, to the charges of plagiarism that are dogging the PM today.

With a shrug and a dismissive comment he attempted to toss aside the fact that Harper plagiarised parts of his speech given in the House by depicting it as 'old news'.

"I'm not going to get into a debate about a five year-old speech that was delivered three Parliaments ago, two elections ago, when the prime minister was the leader of a party that no longer exists," Teneycke said.

He went on in an interview with Chris Hall of the CBC, to suggest that the real issue of the election is the economy and the Liberals are trying to divert from that. Hmmm. I thought the Conservative brain trust wanted this election to be about leadership?

What kind of leader plagiarises? A dishonest one.

The Conservatives I imagine are scrambling at this moment and we can only hope that the media will not buy their ridiculous spin once again.

This is important. It speaks to everything about Harper that he has tried for so long to conceal about himself. His character. Anyone willing to speak to the constituents of this country as an elected official, be he the PM, the Leader of the Opposition, or just an MP for that matter, should be expected to speak with integrity, honesty and most importantly with his or her own voice. Not just their own personal voice, but one that reflects, and is relevant to, this country and it's history.

Those of us who have watched this man over the years may not have been aware of this particular incident and gawd knows the media didn't seem to notice or tell us about it at the time, but I can tell you I am not the least bit surprised to learn that the man stooped to this level. He in fact will do anything to grab support, any and all support he can get, without regard for the ethics (or lack there of) involved in attaining it.

Consider the following actions in direct contradiction of how Harper said he would conduct himself and the business of the country:

- the appointment of Michael Fortier
- the poaching of Emerson
- the partially enacted Accountability Act that gives him room to cheat it.
- the character assassination of the Opposition Leader and members of the Liberal party.
- the 'Quebec is a Nation' ploy
- the cover up of Afghan detainee torture allegations
- Income Trust promise
- the disregard of Canadians detained abroad, especially in the US
- doing what he said he never would
- lying about an Environment plan
- lying about what his opponents are proposing
- breaking the fixed election date law for partisan reasons

Quite the stand up guy that Harper! Shall I go on?

Harper is not a politician, nor is he interested in governing this country in a manner that would take into account all of it's citizens. He is an ideologue in politician's clothing, willing to employ every and all unethical tactics to gain power to shape the country into his narrow ideal. An ideal I may add that has succeeded no where in the world as a democracy and has no relevance in the integrated world in which we live.

As this story gains momentum, I'm reading elsewhere that the BT's are bringing up Rae and Ignatieff quotes from the past.

Nice try guys, but issue is plagiarism, ethics and integrity. We're not talking about a change in philosophy or political stance. To the best of my knowledge Harper has never stood down from his desire to go to Iraq and I certainly haven't heard him deny this latest allegation.

Leadership is the last word that any Canadian should associate with Harper.

Update - Harper is asking the consortium to extend the debate on the economy to 1 hour from 12 minutes.
Update II - The NDP are rushing to defend their buddy Harper. What a surprise! See last paragraph.


Steve V said...

Why does Harper suddenly want to talk about the economy, I thought the fundamentals were strong and any recession talk is purely an American circumstance? Maybe they're polling shows that he looks increasingly out of touch with reality.

BTW, the LAST thing the NDP wants is a detailed debate on the economy.

Steve V said...

CNN picks up the story. Nothing to see here...

Anonymous said...

The NDP did not defend Harper. They pointed out that there are Liberals that held similar opinions to Harper and Howard. I am sorry that it is hard for progressive liberals to stomach that their deputy leader supported the invasion of Iraq and justified torture but hey - he is your guy, so suck it up and stop blaming the NDP.

Why do Liberal activist not understand the NDP is a DIFFERENT PARTY and part of it's job is to point out the differences between themselves and ALL other political parties. My god the arrogance of liberals is freakin' astounding.

Anonymous said...

Oh and steve - actually that is the first thing the NDP want because they have a platform that is half the cost of the Liberal platform and they have a solid way to pay for their platform. Maybe you should read Douglas Bell in today's Globe:


knb said...

Apparently the story has travelled the the globe Steve.

The economy is going to be an interesting debate to be sure. Don't worry be happy...it's too dangerous a time to change, is tough to condense into one sentence.

knb said...

anon, one day perhaps you will see that the NDP and Con's are hell bent on destroying the Lib's and if that requires linking arms and skipping together from time to time, that's what they will do.

To not realise that is naive beyond comprehension.

As to Ignatieff's views, no one is denying he held them. Not even him. The difference is of course is that he is not the leader of the party, he did expressed his own views, not someone elses's and has since realised he was wrong and admitted it.

There is no comparison, just Jack jumping in front of the mike as usual.

knb said...

Douglas Bell? Nice guy I'm sure, but an authority on sound federal fiscal management?

Layton's plan is ludicrous. From a socialist standpoint, I'll say it's well intended, but it's not remotely feasible in the real world.

Call me when you have a credible national economist to endorse his plan.

RuralSandi said...

If I can find it, I will. Years ago Ignatieff said that if he was wrong he would be upfront about it....and he was. He wrote an article, last year I think, about his error.

He also said during the leadership race that he spoke to Chretien about a decision of going to war - he made the effort to find out.

What has Harper taken responsibility, as a leader, for???

Everytime a file is messed up - he fires someone. Yet, he calls the shots.

He blames public servants, he blames Liberals, he blames everyone and never, never takes responsibility. This is a weakness, not a strength.

NDP are trying to say they are the change that Canada needs (copying Obama). The problem with that is, Obama is trying to bring to the Americans what we "already" have - universal health care.

Layton has lied. He uses Gary Doer as his example of how an NDP can run government - BUT, Layton neglects to say that Gary Doer has lowered corporate taxes. I could go on.

Strong union influence (most of his caucus were union activists/employees in one way or another), high corporate taxes - absolute recipe for corporations not to invest, lay off workers and/or leave Canada. Not worth the risk.

knb said...

Yes Sandi, the prescription you write vis a vis the NDP plan is bang on.

I didn't realise that Ignatieff had said that he'd admit if he was proved wrong. That would be interesting to read.

Omar said...

..but the issue is plagiarism, ethics and integrity.

I'd say so. And only two days after the original speech was given! How crass is that? I guess when your moral standards are thin to non-existent such fraudulent behaviour comes easily. How people are impressed with this snake oil salesman is very difficult to comprehend.

MD said...

knb and ruralsandi: Ignatieff's mea culpa was published in the Aug 5, 2007 NY Times in a piece entitled "Getting Iraq Wrong." I can't link to it anymore because their archives require paid subscription.

I was always deeply opposed to the war, but I did not like his piece for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was condescending, verbose, and really only a minor change of opinion.

In a broader context, though, the NDP attacks highlight one of the reasons I've been attracted to the Liberal party. True, the party has war hawks and doves, pro-business tax-cutters and big government types, progressives and even some strong social conservatives. But the reason that the party contains the widest diversity of opinions is that it is the least ideologically rigid. It is therefore most capable of making decisions based on reason over ideology (on things like InSite for instance). It also means that on any controversial issue, opponents can usually name Liberals on both sides. Unlike a lot of Tory and NDP supporters, I don't view the ideological purity of a party as a reason to vote for it.

The biggest Liberal Iraq war hawk I can remember was David Pratt, who later became Defense Minister. He is now engaged as a severe underdog in a quiotic battle with Minister Baird. I view Pratt as having been a capable Minister and despite my disagreements on that issue, I wish him the best of luck.

knb said...

Thanks for that MD.

I agree completely on your description of the party and I suppose that is why I feel most comfortable here.

We seem to have entered a cycle however that is fixated on black and white, either, or.

It drives me mad and shuts all reasoned debate.

MD said...

knb, I understand your frustration, especially given the dismal polling numbers. I remember how demoralized I felt when Mike Harris won his second majority.

All you can do is keep fighting the good fight. Canada has, in general, built an extraordinarily pluralistic, tolerant, and prosperous society, and it has done so because of the perserverance of dedicated individuals like you. I do not consider Conservative victory to be a foregone conclusion, despite the fact that most everyone I know does. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

CROP poll out folks showing the Conservatives tied with the Bloc in Quebec.

I see the Libs throwing mud around hoping to climb ther way back from the precipice. Good luck with that. Unfortunately, a series of bad decisions by the Liberal Party including their leadership pick has wrecked the party until at least one more election cycle.

knb said...

anon, can you pls provide a link to the poll?

Steve V said...

"actually that is the first thing the NDP want"

Yes, yes, the NDP on the economy, right in the socialists wheel house. Any economists come out and endorse the plan? I can think of a many who support the Lib ideas, but haven't seen much backing that fiscally prudent NDP plan? Ah, what do they know, better to play class warfare, and ignore the global economic realities.

Steve V said...


Then why are Conservative organizers in Quebec on the record saying "things don't look good"?? Oh, and the other polls today confirm the Con erosion, Bloc at 40% now. Hopefully Blackburn holds on, looks like Fortier is DONE.