Friday, October 02, 2009

Oh, There are Differences

The meme that the is being pushed in the media now is that there is no difference between Ignatieff and Harper. It's based on um, nothing, as far as I can tell and of course it's a very old theme employed by the NDP and the Bloc at times.

As the story line goes, there is no difference between these two men and their policies. What is hilarious though, is that line is generally followed by, Ignatieff should put out some policy. So, his policies are the same, but we don't know his policies. Not terribly clever, especially when you consider there is more than one author taking this tack.

That said though, listening to his speech in the House of Commons yesterday, he laid out pretty clearly why he no longer has any confidence in the government. Did he lay out policy? No of course not, that is not what yesterday was about. But you certainly got a sense of how he would be a vastly different leader than the one currently in place, as well as a feeling for what kind of policy he would lean toward.

Should he put policy out? Well, that's the question isn't it? There are risks and rewards associated with that. As much as I'd like to see something, the chance of it being fairly debated in the current environment, with the current government, range from zero to none.

Don't get me wrong. I do not expect Ignatieff to be treated with kid gloves, but it would be nice to see some pushing in the public square for a civil dialogue on issues of import for the country.

In that respect, I thought his speech yesterday was really good strategy. He tapped into what most Canadians want from their government. That is, they expect it to be a force for the collective good. Obviously, that is not a new concept and one that the country expects, but until this speech, it hasn't been framed quite so clearly, that they are not receiving that from Harper.

Here, he started to do that by showing what a lack of vision Harper has. Indeed he went further and explained that Harper's vision, if you can call it that, is to back government out of the picture. The 'Starve the Beast' ideology is precisely what Harper is up to and I don't recall that being laid out quite so clearly before, ever. It's not a hidden agenda. It's one that is quite well known in political circles, but hasn't been laid out there for mass consumption. About bloody time it was.

Not only did he lay this out, he also revealed how it is not being challenged in the main. That is something that I want to follow and I suspect we may see some of that going forward. Here's hoping as they say, for more reality.

You've likely seen it, but here is his speech.

For the record, he got good reviews for the speech from corners I wouldn't have expected.


Lizt. said...

Michael may as well as had a 2 minute speech, for all the media gave a damn.
An Angus Reid poll came out to night. The Cons are 10 points ahead of the Liberals..same as the election of last year I am at a is it the Cons can cheat and lie, and it does not matter..what does Harper hold over these very gullible people. I am at a complete loss.

KNB said...

Lizt, it's the meme. Do I get it? No, but I'm annoyed at how much of public opinion they drive.

That said, we have to push for fair hearing. If we get that, unlike the last election, it will be clear...but we have to push.

I honestly do think that the media are under enormous constraints. Imagine being asked to produce a story a day, or even a week without many if any resources? I get it, but I think those who make the rules are delusional. It is they who are playing a role here.

Polls are obviously driven by what people read. To me,it's that simple.

Figuring out the lying and cheating takes resources...and we know what the gov't has done to the CBC.

I suspect we have very clever, frustrated media people out there, that would love to delve. I don't really see this as a bias issue, it's just easier to take talking points and write based on that shallow knowledge.

My gawd, some jorno's are using a term coined by one of the most pernicious commenters on this blog. What does that tell you?

They are smart people...the more Ignatieff presents this way, the less they will be able to ignore it. Their intellect won't allow it.

ottlib said...

As I stated yesterday the Liberals now have an election theme and they should push it for all its worth between now and next Spring, when we will have the next election.

Forget about specific policies. They will come but for them to be effective they need to be put into context.

For the first time in a very long time the Liberals are ignoring the short-term political crap we see from the media and they are actually implementing a strategy.

It started with getting out from underneath the Conservatives by stating they did not have confidence in them any more. Then Mr. Ignatieff set out his broad economic goals and now he has presented an election theme that has been a proven winner for the Liberals many times before. I look forward to seeing more as the weeks and months unfold.

I would advise Liberal supporters to do the same. Ignore the short-term stuff reported by the media. (Coderre anyone?) In the final analysis it really does not matter. Instead focus on pushing the message Mr. Ignatieff articulated yesterday into the country's consciousness.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Canadians can get to know and trust Ignatieff if he doesn't give out at least some specifics on how he will run the country differently than Harper. The UN Climate Change Conference is coming up in a couple of months in Copenhagen. Couldn't he at least tell Canadians a little bit more about how he intends to fight climate change, particularly when he is supporting the development of the Tar Sands? These issues are going to be all over the media in a few weeks and Harper has nothing to offer, except the Green Infrastructure Fund which will essentially give the Tar Sands a free ride.

penlan said...

"My gawd, some jorno's are using a term coined by one of the most pernicious commenters on this blog. What does that tell you?"

Would you mind sharing that term with us? Or did I miss it somewhere here?

RuralSandi said...

Are you referring to Wilson's "Iffy"?

Childish then and childish now.

Give Harper a name and Wilson would go crazy.

Deceivin Stephen
Mr. Angry

.....there's more, but the media don't want to put any negative light on Herr Harper (it's all about taxpayer funding).

Omar said...

I've always been very partial to 'fatboy'.

The Liberals should revive marijuana decriminalization as a policy plank. Going into election the messaging from all sides surrounding this issue would of course be intense, but it has the potential to produce huge voter turnout. Which is a good thing. You want an issue that has the potential to bring together and galvanize Generation X and beyond? This is it.

RuralSandi said...

Proof that the media are playing biased games

Olympic symbol....they're all attacking Hedy Fry who's statement wasn't exactly an accusation - ignoring NDP's Charlie Angus - who's statement was closer to an allegation.

"NDP MP Charlie Angus said "anyone can see" the resemblance. "If the Conservative party had nothing to do with this, then it would be suing the Olympic team for trademark infringement," he said.




OTTAWA - The Conservative government is playing political games with Canada’s Olympic athletes, say New Democrats, who point out that the new Olympic logo for Team Canada is remarkably close to the logo of the Conservative Party.

MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) says the Conservatives have no business turning the Olympics into a promotion for the Conservative party.

“How could you Mr. Harper? How could you peddle your political logos on the backs of our athletes who work so hard for all Canadians?”

Angus says the 2010 Games should be a moment for all Canadians, regardless of their political affiliations, to come together. Instead, it is being turned into a Conservative Party branding exercise.

“The Olympics should be promoting Team Canada, not Team Harper. The government owes an apology to all our hard-working athletes. Do the right thing, Mr. Harper. Keep your partisan logos off our Olympic athletes.”

In addition, Angus notes that the promotional ball caps for the Olympics are made in China.

"This is classic Conservative Party behaviour. They stick their party logo on Canada's Olympics and then have the Olympic-branded goods manufactured at a factory in China. This is a slap in the face to our manufacturing sector."

Gayle said...

"My gawd, some jorno's are using a term coined by one of the most pernicious commenters on this blog. What does that tell you?"

And yet, as soon as she perceives negative coverage for Harper she will complain about liberal media bias.

Hate to say this, but the reason the media are distracted from the story by liberal infighting is because there are too many liberals ready to tell the media about that infighting. I do not think it is bad right now - just a few rumblings - but the media are seizing on it. Everyone seems to believe Ignatieff can pull himself out of it.

I do find it confusing however. Watching At Issue on Thursday and I heard the pundits say the LPC should take two years to settle down and focus. Coyne said Ignatieff should have said from the outset they would not bring the CPC down. How would that work? They get up and say they are opposed to a CPC measure but will not bring them down over it? And how well did that work when Dion tried it?

RuralSandi said...

too many Liberals talking about the infighting.......ah, wouldn't that be ex-Lib/BLOC - Jean Lapierre? He's not an insider but he is now a roving Quebec reporter of the quality equal to The Inquirer.

And, probably disgruntled Ray Heard who still ranting over the losses of his friend John Turner.

********************Donas Kim Leaman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
********************Donas Kim Leaman said...

Great Blog post.

Very insightful and lots of interesting comments.

Lizt, I agree that Harper's Hold on Canada is a bit of a mystery. Part of it though, is his strong support from seniors who cannot differentiate between the Progressive Conservatives of Old and the Current 'Reformers' who have Hijacked the party they grew up supporting. How is this relevent/ well for one thing, they are more likely than most to answer their phones, more likely to complete a survey and more likely to believe in the accuracy of and be influenced by these polls.

As KNB ( the author here)clearly states, and rightly so in my opinion, Harper is content to keep voters away from the polls, while catering to and solidifying his base.

To rid Canada of Harper and his strange hold over us, it basically is a matter of getting those who did not vote in the Thanksgiving Election last year to get out and voice their disaproval of this manipulative egotist.

As Omar has also pointed out, maybe it is time for the Liberals to propose the Decriminalization of Cannibus. That will get the attention of some 8 to ten million voters.

Maybe, to paraphrase the man who upstaged Yo-Yo Ma, last night at the NAC:

We'll get by with a little 'Hemp' from our friends.

Omar said...

Oh, it is more than past time the Liberals proposed the decriminalization of smoking a plant, but we wouldn't want the LPC to appear too drastically different from the CPC, now would we?