To me the story of the tape is not so much what Harper said, because after all, for those of us who follow this man, well we've known what his agenda has been all along.
No, the story to me was how the media reacted, as if it was a surprise that Harper would speak in such a manner, because after all, they have been telling us for years that he's mellowed, become a centrist and now understands that you cannot run this country from the right. Article after article, usually with the term Tory in the title, have been trying mightily to convince the masses of a kinder, gentler Harper since he was elected.
During the last election some of them were, laugh out loud funny, falling for the blue sweater and allowing him to get away without announcing policy until the election was practically over and even then, his announcements were ridiculous.
So to me, the tape is more of an indictment against the lack of real information we are provided by some quarters, while of course confirming precisely what Harper's agenda is.
Since it's release though, it certainly seems as though an election is underway, if not by convention, in spirit.
Any CPC member that can find a mic or camera has been pushing the coalition meme that Harper emphasized on the tape and for that reason, Ignatieff came out today to make it perfectly clear that there would be no coalition. It would seem the PMO is not happy with Ignatieff's clear declaration as I heard Baird and that buffoon Poilievre still pushing it today, but the media are reporting it clearly, so if they want to continue down that road, they will simply look more ridiculous.
Now, I know there are a good many Liberals out there that still like the idea of a coalition, but it's important to understand why this faux talking point is being pushed by the PM. Yes, he's trying to scare the public again and bastardize our system, but it's more than that.
What does Harper have to offer? He's not big on the vision thing, Flaherty has already tipped his hat and told us that there is no plan to get us out of deficit, what else does Harper have? Killing the gun registry? More crime bills? Selling off assets? These may be part of his agenda, but they are not exactly vote getter's.
No, Harper needs a way to derail and distract during an election. So, he would love nothing better than to take the focus off ideas and his track record and have everyone nattering about a coalition. The Liberals today took action to ensure that doesn't happen.
If you are one of those Liberals who is unhappy about this, I'd ask you to consider how life in this country was before Harper made a mockery of this option. We can work co-operatively with other parties...it's just Harper who cannot. Admittedly, I'm presuming here that Layton has learned an invaluable lesson and wouldn't play silly beggars again.
One last thought. I saw an ad today for Canada's Economic Action Plan. Overall, I think this advertising is ridiculous and completely unnecessary, but more than that, it crossed a line in my opinion. The majority of the ad tells us where the stimulus money is going, but there is one line in there, that smacks of electioneering to me. A man appears after various sector announcements outlining what the stimulus is doing and tells us that 'we must stay the course', implying of course that a change of government is inadvisable.
I can't find the ad on line yet. I just saw it today. If you see it, I'd love your take and if you find it on line, please forward it to me.
Update : This news clip contains that portion of the ad.