Friday, February 15, 2008

Looking Forward

Stephane Dion experienced some short-lived relief from the usual suspects in the media. It would seem however that they, the media are just chomping at the bit for an election, so they are back to telling us what is going to happen and offering their advice to Dion and Harper.

Whatever. I'm much happier to read about real strategy and a view of how this country should be moving forward, what it should look like.

Today Stephane Dion released a plan to address the failing infrastructure in the country.

A Liberal government would spend any windfall surpluses beyond $3-billion on fixing Canada's failing infrastructure, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion promised Friday.

Mr. Dion's windfalls-for-potholes pledge is a direct attack on the Conservative government's refusal to fork out more cash to fix what Canadian mayors have described as an infrastructure crisis.

”Canada is facing an aging population. We will not pass onto our children crumbling bridges, leaky water pipes and insufficient public transit,” Mr. Dion told a Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in Ottawa.

I haven't looked at the plan closely but at first blush it looks promising. The word visionary is thrown around far to often, but having a vision of what Canada could look like with the right programs in place is important. In contrast, Harper has an ideology on how and when government should involve itself, but as to how Canada would look is not on his radar in that he'd allow market forces etc. to figure that out. That attitude of course completely ignores the reality of what we face today and while it provides a vision for those of us who disagree with this ideology, vision is not something that he can claim. He has no intellectual ability to move the country forward. He simply lives in the narrow mindset that less government is good, regardless of the impact on the country which completely ignores all of it's history. He may be clever, but I don't call that bright.

Interesting to me are his followers. I'm not convinced that they really understand what he'll bring. They call the Lib's divided, but take a look at the Con's. Libertarians, PC's, Alliance, Reform etc. They all have different agendas. Harper is trying to sate them all, so he throws them crumbs and tells them to shut up and be grateful. I suspect there are a few who are saying, 'Please Sir, I want more', but the media cannot explore the divides in that Party, they are shut out. Gee, I wonder why there is so focus on the Lib's who let them in?

Back to the subject, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities seems to think Dion has a great plan.

The following statement was released today by the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Winnipeg Councillor Gord Steeves, in response to the announcement this morning by the Hon. Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Opposition, to delegates at FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference in Ottawa.

“The message from Mr. Dion to Canadians today is as simple as it is powerful: ‘Our cities and communities matter,’ and we applaud him. This may be one of the most significant federal policy announcements of the last decade. It is bold and it is visionary, with the potential to change the face of our country.

I mentioned yesterday that part of me doesn't want to give Harper what he wants and while I still feel that way, I noticed a lot of advice from journalists warning both Dion and Harper that now is not the time to go. In 2 instances, L. Ian MacDonald and Chantal Hebert, (no Dion fans they) referenced that Dion had been on Tout le monde en parle. Both made reference to the fact that the appearance helped him, though they offered the good news in their typical back handed way. Suprised? Not me.

In his column, MacDonald referred to the Nanos poll that shows how Dion is doing in Quebec and Ontario. Not good for Harper, in a phrase.

Lib's - 33%
Con's - 31%
NDP - 19%
Lib's - 43%
Con's - 31%
NDP - 19%
Con's - 23%
Lib's - 22%
NDP - 12%

In fact if you heard L. Ian MacDonald tonight on Duffy's show, he sounded downright panicked, lol. He spoke to how Harper needs more time to cozy up to Charest, but alas L. Ian, (who does that with their name?), your guy chose Dumont and that was a mistake. He was referring to the fact that the Lib's have a big machine on the the ground and the ADQ has nothing. L? Ian?, actually closed the interview with "Mr. Harper had better get with that!". In other words, Warning, warning, Will Robinson!

So here we are. There is something to be said about holding back and watching that trend line of the Con's continue to decline. At the same time seeing policy and seeing Dion on his own terms is a good thing. He and we need more of that.

BTW, if anyone has vid of Dion on the show, please send me a link. I did not know he was going to be on and I'm sorry I missed it. I watch it often and for some reason I did not that night.


Anonymous said...

I watch the show, tous le monde en parle and Mr. Dion was very good on the show and stayed for over an hour. He has a sense of humour and held his own on this show which can is very interesting on how you have to be honest with the audience which is discerning.
I cannot imagine how Mr. Harper would fare on this show.
I am a fan of this show and what it every Sunday.
Angelle in Vancouver.

Anonymous said...

For your informatin, I have copied a few of the letter or posting on the site from Tous le monde en parle in regards to Mr. Dion appearing on the show.Angelle in Vancouver. I also check out the site and they do not have copies of their shows.

5 février 2008Sujet du message : Stéphane Dion
Lorsque vous l'avez reçu à votre émission, vous avez mentionné que les stratèges politiques autour de M. Dion lui avaient conseillé de faire des apparitions à certaines émissions de variété et ce, dans le but de redorer son blason et le rendre plus sympathique aux yeux de la population.

Hé bien, je dois avouer que ça fonctionne.

J'ai toujours eu l'image d'un homme politique inatteignable, alors qu'après sa visite à Tout le monde en parle, il m'a semblé beaucoup plus préoccupé par les vraies questions de l'heure. Somme toute, un personnage quasiment sympathique et de toute évidence beaucoup plus près du peuple que l'on croyait.

Nom : Suzanne Léonard
Ville : Varennes

Sujet du message : M. Dion
Avez-vous remarqué avec quelle intensité M. Dion écoutait les autres invités? Je n'apprécie pas M. Dion et ses positions en politique. Mais je dois reconnaître qu'il m'a beaucoup impressionné par l'intérêt qu'il portait aux autres.

Quand au reste de l'émission, j'ai beaucoup apprécié, comme très souvent.

À la prochaine.

Nom : Serge Gingras
Ville : Aylmer (Gatineau), Québec

Karen said...

Thank you Angelle for your input. I wish you had a vid to share, but I really appreciate your take on the show.

You're right of course. The audience is a real barometer on that show. I'm surprised but delighted that Dion stayed for so long and I'm so angry at myself for not having caught the show that night.

Mr. Harper would be seen straight through his nonsense in my opinion if he had the courage to be on such a show. I don't think he has.

Dion knows who he is and who he is not. Harper pretends not to be who he is and he's not who he shows us. He'd do poorly on that show. It requires honesty and real time reaction. Not Harper's strong suit.

Karen said...

Anon, interesting. Thank you. You're right, they do have a comments section for that show and you showed us a couple. I wish they had vid though so we could evaluate for ourselves.

Maybe we should write the show?

Anonymous said...

Do not think that writting the show would help, as they explain on the site the reason there is no video of the show availalbe has to do with the artist, music and content no having a way to pay or compensate the cost if it is broadcast on a vidio or tape.
I will get an identity so I can get away from using this Anonymous option as I alway like to stand behind my word.

Anonymous said...

Serge, is it possible to give me directions where to find a site to translate french to english? I had it once but lost during an exchange of transferring info from my old computer to my new one.

Would be much appreciated.


Karen said...

Irene, I think I know the program you speak of, but they are all bad.

Go here. and cut and paste then take a big dose of salt. It's humourous how it is put out there, but smart people get it.

The distinction of gender is particularly funny, but so it goes.

For the record, I couldn't write in French to save my soul.