Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week that Was



You don't see too many happy faces there, do you? MP Wasylycia-Leis's expression is particularly telling.

Well, it was quite a week wasn't it? Looking around the blogosphere, I'm mildly amused and a little surprised at the all the anger and outrage coming from the NDP. (Okay the outrage didn't surprise me 'cause the usual suspects are always outraged.) The level of spin going on is quite the site to behold. Not unlike watching a screw being driven into wood with a power drill.

It's just that though, spin. There is simply no doubt that the NDP are not prepared to go to an election now and given that their free pass is now null and void, well, they have no choice but to prop up Mr. Harper. Have the Liberals been forced to do that in the past? Yep and the NDP did nothing but mock, so it's more than a little rich for them to now be upset at the Liberals for doing what they urged them to do for months.

So what now? How long will Layton be forced to drag out this melodrama?

Well, from what I know, the party is in financial trouble, haven't got all their candidates lined up and there is a bit of a brou-ha-ha brewing between two camps in that caucus. There are the Mulcair followers, who I am told were for supporting the government and the Layton camp, who was less sure of the strategy. Whatever strategy belonged to whom is not the point here though, what is interesting here is to learn that they are a caucus divided.

Given that we are obviously going into some tense times, division wreaks havoc when developing strategy. Too many cooks and all that.

Ignatieff, by most accounts, came out the winner this week. There is still more to do, but having established the party back to it's current rightful position of the official opposition, the Liberals can now concentrate on other matters, rather than always being on the defensive.

I know there are many out there that wish that this kind of political manoeuvring wasn't necessary and that political parties could just get on with the job of running the country. I can't say that I disagree with the sentiment, however it is not our current reality and it never will be as long as Harper is PM, imo. Was it perfect before Harper? No, but it's never been this bad.

He is all about strategy, good or bad, all day, everyday. Everything he does and says has a political motive or target. What has struck me this week, not so much from him but from the party, is just how blatantly they are lying now. They always have lied, but they are not being called on it by the media and that fact seems to have goosed their bravado.

As long as such a party and such a man is in power, this is what we are in for. In order to get rid of him, well, strategy and tactics must be employed as distasteful as that may be to some.

So, while MP's are in their riding's this week, watch for the stuff not being covered. Like parties holding campaign schools. Tom Flanagan for instance just gave a speech on campaign fundraising at the Manning Centre, according to Stephen Taylor. That said, I know the Liberals held similar events this weekend.

It's going to be an interesting time, if you are interested in politics.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

The intriguing thing about this is it doesn't help the NDP. Because Harper's going to drop them as soon as his polls look good, and then the NDP will be in no man's land.

How can this be good strategy for them?

KNB said...

Anon, it's not good strategy at all and if I want to get all 'into' it, if what I've heard is true and this is Mulcair's strategy, he's a goner.

He'll have a tough fight in his riding, but couple that with the fight he'll have within the party.

Yea, it's not just Liberals who go through this. Every political party does and there is always a winner and a loser.

Anonymous said...

But if it's Mulcair only, then he must have caucus support because Layton's been unwilling to rein him in. Are you sure about this? Are you sure it isn't the other way around, where Layton is the wimpish one?

KNB said...

It depends anon how you want to define wimpish.

I only have the info I have and come next week will try to get more.

As for Layton being unwilling...it may be unable. Mulcair is a force, one I happen to think would be bad for the party...too nasty and their brand is now Mr. Nice Guy...kitchen table, roll up your sleeves, etc.

I'll try to get more, but wknds are a tough time for extraction.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that made me even listen to and consider fairly the NDP was when Layton used to be a nice guy and seemingly had integrity. In recent years, he employed Harper's tactics and it completely changed my opinion of him. Now, the NDP is not even worth listening to as far as I'm concerned. And that's because they've used such nasty rhetoric and tactics for too many years now. Very disappointing.

I used to have faith in our political process but don't anymore. All the hate and negative campaigning just makes me want to ignore them all. And not vote at all.

marie said...

Anon 10:13 Pm. If you do not vote, you are playing in the hands of Harper. It seems that his goal is to discouage Canadians to vote. The only ones he care that should vote are his narrow minded brain drained followers.

RuralSandi said...

Anon 10:13 - hate the negative campaigning? Well, the only way to get rid of the extreme negativity is to vote against it. You are playing into Harper's hands.

The same tactics of Harper are the same G.W. Bush used - he won.

You know, we bitch about too many elections but we can get rid of a government - the US couldn't get rid of Bush once the truth started coming out. Take a look at Iran and Afghanistan - why are we bitching?

Tomm said...

If Mulcair replaces Layton, the NDP would increase their ride in the polls, at the expense of the LPC.

Your average NDP voter (the core 15%) will vote with them whoever is the leader. It's doctrinaire with those people.

Mulcair, as a Quebecker, brings a certain cachet to the NDP that they've never had and he will strengthen their hand. Otherwise people vote NDP where they have a strong candidate. The leader is only a minor part of the equation.

Tomm said...

KNB,

Sorry about Ignatieff dropping like a rock in the polls. This was not a good week for him. It was a disaster.

He showed that he was just as willing to vote down legislation he hasn't seen, as Layton. He showed an arrogance in Sudbury that he not only isn't responding to, but won't own up to. Even his interview with Delacourt was peevish and petulant.

Canadian's don't like this new Ignatieff at all. At least the old Ignatieff didn't seem reckless.

Cherniak_WTF said...

The level of spin going on is quite the site to behold.
Maybe Iggy will put the NDP and BQ on "probation".
Let's face it, Iggy is impotent and for all the bluster he's pushed forth, basically he can't do much until another party decides.

Hard to spin this for a Liberal victory, as the Connies are still in power at the moment. And yes, I told you so many months ago...

KNB said...

Tomm as I've said we'll see. Way too early to be as foolishly definitve as you are being.

KNB said...

c_wtf, every pundit has given Ignatieff the win nod this week...so you stand alone.

He's in a great position now and Layton? Well let's just see where that goes shall we.

Everything I've said about that caucus is true and you can only presume that the same is true of his supporters.

Gayle said...

"Mulcair, as a Quebecker, brings a certain cachet to the NDP that they've never had and he will strengthen their hand. Otherwise people vote NDP where they have a strong candidate. The leader is only a minor part of the equation."

I am not sure why you think the leader of the NDP does not have as big an influence as the leader of any other party. You are just making stuff up - as usual.

Ignatieff did not drop like a rock.

Gayle said...

"The intriguing thing about this is it doesn't help the NDP. Because Harper's going to drop them as soon as his polls look good, and then the NDP will be in no man's land."

I do not agree. I think Harper needs to prop up the NDP. His greatest success so far occured because of LPC votes going to the NDP. He needs the LPC to bleed more votes to the left, thus a strong NDP benefits the CPC.

Cherniak_WTF said...

c_wtf, every pundit has given Ignatieff the win nod this week...so you stand alone.

The NDP has done what we all wanted done

The Liberals have a bigger challenge: They need to articulate policy and position themselves so that Canadians see them as different from the Conservatives, and better. At a time when the deficit makes substantial new spending all but unthinkable, this is a serious challenge indeed.

The New Democrats, meanwhile, and the Bloc, seem to have less power over their own futures. Jack Layton and his troops must hope that Michael Ignatieff's glow will continue to fade, while what Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc need is some new outrage to be humiliated and angry about.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/done+what+wanted+done/2006516/story.html

For Liberals, new leader, same losing scenario


Today, Stephen Harper is nearer to closing a deal with the voters that stands to make a difference between a victory and an election defeat than when the Liberals first issued their fall election threat.

http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/697510 (Chantal Hébert)

Stop drinking koolaid® - I seemed to enjoy you more before.

KNB said...

Good grief. I'll rephrase. The vast majority of pundits gave Ignatieff the win, in print and on air.

Because I support Ignatieff and that party, that does not equate to drinking kool aid.

In the grand scheme I've said that I think it's too early to tell how this will proceed, but at the moment I am optimistic.

Tomm said...

Gayle,

By God you are right. I looked into the past and the NDP had 21% of the popular vote under Broadbent. 15-20 under MacLaughlin, 7-11% under McDonough, and Layton 15-18%. They are up and down and it appears to be tied to leadership.

My humblest apologies.

Strike my post as being without foundation. I now will not hazard a guess what will happen to the NDP if they change leaders.

I also agree that it is in the CPC's best interests to give voteres that would otherwise vote Liberal, another place to go.

Tomm said...

KNB,

The vast majority of pundits saw that Ignatieff eased himself of a burden. That isn't the same thing as having a good week. Granted there weren't new polls this week that showed a greater nosedive, but that may happen next week, or the one after that. The Liberal's may have not yet stopped the downward momentum.

If the Liberal's oppose everything the Conservative's do, they will look ridiculous.

Remember that they want the NDP voters, plus they also need voter's that are just looking for good government without any social welfare affiliation.

KNB said...

Tomm,just about every political panel held since the vote has said Ignatieff won this week. I'm only quoting them.

As to opposing on every issue, I disagree. There is hardly an issue on which the party agrees. They may both agree on a stimulus package, but they are at odds with it's implementation. What seems clear to me though is that if Ignatieff does vote against, he'll have to say why and present if not policy, some alternative to whatever the action is.

Ignatieff has said he will not be disruptive, but that he no longer has confidence in the government, so, on issues of confidence, he will not support.

There is a distinction there and it will be interesting to see how many confidence issues the government brings forward.

FredfromBC said...

KNB said...

Good grief. I'll rephrase. The vast majority of pundits gave Ignatieff the win, in print and on air.

---------------

You mean, of course, the vast majority of LIBERAL FRIENDLY pundits (which are the only ones you think that count, and thus the only ones you pay attention to..).

The reality is somewhat different whether you choose to admit it or not. As C_WTF and Tomm have both pointed out, Ignatieff 'unburdening' himself (great word choice, BTW) isn't exactly a 'win' for him, since all it did was made Jack Layton relevant again (much to Jack's delight, I'm sure) and Ignatieff himself irrelevant. In short, he's managed to trade places with the NDP...and this is what you consider to be a 'win'?

Much like C_WTF, I also told you months ago that first Dion and now Ignatieff would crash and burn, and I explained why. Let me guess: you thought I was just spewing partisan crap like your friends Rural_Sandi, Gayle and a few others do, right?

Wrong. I was giving you my honest opinion...and why not? It's not like I actually 'fear' the prospect of another Liberal government. If they win, so be it. Not everyone is a rigid, hardcore ideologue when it come to politics. Not everyone is like you with your drive-by smears and your childish sorting through pictures of Conservatives to find the most unflattering ones (PhotoShopped if necessary, right KNB?). Most people are reasonable and rational. MOST people.

I actually tried to help you, but you're just too mindlessly 'doctrinaire' (another good choice of words..;) to see it. I'll restate it one more time, though, just for fun: the Martinites divided your party down the middle with their arrogant insistence that Paul Martin was needed as Prime Minister, and needed NOW (who cares if Chretien had won government three times in a row?). After Martin's flameout (gee, who knew there was more to being a leader than just popularity?) Ignatieff and Rae both stepped forward, but both were too tightly associated with either Martin or Chretien to be palatable to the other 50% of the party, thus you ended up with Dion (who nobody wanted). Now you've *appointed* Ignatieff as your leader, and you somehow expect that he can unite the warring factions and pull off a win?

I'm sorry. Not gonna happen. Ever wonder why so many Liberals are pushing for an election even with today's poll numbers? Because they WANT Ignatieff to lose, so they can GET RID OF HIM. And frankly, this would be the best thing for your party whether you choose to admit it or not. Start over, with a leader *everyone* can get behind...

(or don't...and keep losing...)

KNB said...

Nice theory, but completely inaccurate.

You're entitled to hold it, but it doesn't make it so.

I know not all Liberals are Ignatieff fans, but if you think there are old turf wars going on, you're wrong.

I'd like an election and certainly not because I want Ignatieff to lose.

Oh and for the record, I don't own PhotoShop.

KNB said...

Oh and Fred, the Liberal friendly pundit charge is ridiculous and typical.

This whole Lib friendly media meme is old and patently false.

Gayle said...

As soon as someone raises the "liberal friendly media" paranoid conspiracy, I know I can simply ignore them.

How do you take someone seriously whose entire premise relies on a myth? I suppose the next argument will be that Harper will get his majority because Santa promised him one for Christmas.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I love it when some get all uppity instead of debating the ideas and comments.

Not that I agree with all that FredfromBC but he does have a point in calling some pundits (notice that he did not say the media like Gayle is saying) Liberal friendly.

If there are some Conservative, Mulroney and BQ friendly pundits, why would they not be some Liberal ones?
Notice that Gayle goes into hyperbole...

I don't know Gayle, much like KNB, I think that there has been too much koolaid drunk lately...

I have no love for Harper and what I consider his repressive ways, that said Iggy would be much of the same.

I don't understand all this swooning over Iggy - sure , he's more photogenic than Dion, but he's rather vacuous.

There is something to be said for the warring factions within the Liberals, one sign is WK is back in.... The old backroom boys seem to be driving the party and once again, at some levels the Liberals seem like a frat party.

What I see coming from some Liberals is the same kind of hypocrisy that "we" used to decry.

KNB said...

c_wtf You don't support the CPC but recite every line they put out. It's a bizarre stance.

Ignatieff is nothing like Harper, in no way, on no policy. To make such a comment you have to substantiate it.

You know Harper's ideology, where does Ignatieff match up with that.

Seriously, if he is in your area, go out and meet him. Ask your questions, voice your doubts.

I don't support people blindly, nor do I dismiss them without doing my own research.

Gayle said...

Yes CWTF - the fact that I condemn Fred for clinging onto the media bias myth means I am drinking some koolaid and am swooning over Ignatieff. (In fact, anyone who knows me knows that I am no fan of Ignatieff, but don't let that get in the way of jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions based on one post).

Speaking of hyperbole, and totally ignoring the point...

I get that you and Fred do not like Ignatieff - hell, everyone who has ever read any of your comments gets that. Please try to spare me your self righteousness. I do not pretend to be some sort of objective or non-partisan voice. I just laugh at people like you who do.

And yes, I will continue to disregard anyone who bases their comment on media bias. It is a stupid argument, no matter which party you support. It is a cheap and cowardly way to actually disregard the facts, despite your attempt to pretend that is what I was doing.

Maybe you think we should enter into a serious debate with someone who makes thing up, but I prefer to deal with adults.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Ignatieff is nothing like Harper, in no way, on no policy.
Who is the only Liberal that Harper shook hands when it came to extending whatever they call what we are doing in Afghanistan?

Speaking of in-fighting, I see that Iggy is moving aside Martin Cauchon and what the grass roots want...
Too bad Coderre has other ambitions...

Like I have often said, Quebec does not have it's house in order and the infighting is hurting the party. Too many back room boys playing for themselves.

KNB said...

Afghanistan, we were boxed in, but on that we agree.

Seems to be a difference there now though with Harper's pick for Ajax.

Can't say I'm happy about the Cauchon decision.

I get it. Last time around we were accused of running women in unwinnable ridings, but still, I like Cauchon and was hoping for a different result there.

Life ain't perfect and that's what I've tried to get across in our conversations. Politics aside, life just doesn't always tick along as you would have it...it still is the way it is though and that's what must be dealt with. I don't mean rolling over, I mean facing reality and doing the best with what you are faced with.

I've stated my position on Cauchon, but I'm not going to make an issue of it. If the decision has been made, I can express my disappointment, expect that it will be heard and then deal with what is.

On some issues, that goes stronger, on others you have to weigh the value.

Rod Smelser said...

So, the host posting from Liberal Arts states that there are divisions in the NDP. But the postings here from other Liberals make it clear that there are some real quarrels and deep lingering doubts in Liberaland!

Glad I dropped by, ... it made my morning!

FredfromBC said...

Gayle wrote:

As soon as someone raises the "liberal friendly media" paranoid conspiracy, I know I can simply ignore them.

and

Yes CWTF - the fact that I condemn Fred for clinging onto the media bias myth means I am drinking some koolaid and am swooning over Ignatieff.

and

And yes, I will continue to disregard anyone who bases their comment on media bias. It is a stupid argument, no matter which party you support. It is a cheap and cowardly way to actually disregard the facts, despite your attempt to pretend that is what I was doing.

----------------

Wow, Gayle. When you lose it, you REALLY lose it, don't you?

You must have skipped right past C_WFT pointing *this* out to you:

-----------------

Not that I agree with all that FredfromBC but he does have a point in calling some pundits (notice that he did not say the media like Gayle is saying) Liberal friendly.

------------------

...and of course here is my actual comment:

------------------

You mean, of course, the vast majority of LIBERAL FRIENDLY pundits (which are the only ones you think that count, and thus the only ones you pay attention to..).

------------------

So somehow, out of all that, you manage to work yourself into a frenzy by convincing yourself that I claimed ALL media to be biased? When I *specifically* said otherwise? When someone else even TIPPED YOU OFF to that fact??

Get help, Gayle. Take your meds, see your shrink...whatever it takes to bring you back to normalcy. No one who can operate a computer could possibly be as stupid as you just made yourself look, honey...;)