Thursday, August 20, 2009

♫ You Say You Want a Revolution ♫

By now, no doubt, most of you have read this story, describing the supposed new strategy to be undertaken by the Conservatives in the next election. In fairness, I can only treat this story as speculation, as I would reading a story about Liberal strategy, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to hold up.

If you consider that Harper and his caucus have never let go of the ridiculous 'scary coalition' language, it stands to reason that they will rely on that as being one of their boogeymen.

The article refers to using the 'majority needed' tactic to withstand the recession. Given that most economists are now predicting that we are on the upside of that, that seems an odd strategy, but what intrigues me more is this bogus idea that they still believe that they are more fiscally responsible than the Liberals. Every empirical fact shows that not to be true and is easily countered with fact, but therein lies the challenge.

If indeed this is the strategy and likely Harper's last kick at the Can. uh can, I think we will be in for spate of fact twisting such that we have never seen in this country. The last election was bad and the aftermath worse. Indeed they were feeling so bullish that they completely tipped their hand as to how they would behave with a majority. The result? Prorogation.

His supporters hate this term, but there is no denying that Harper is a bully, or at least employs those unsavoury characteristics, often. That has not gone unnoticed. An election campaign, when he's not relying on blue sweaters, brings that out in him in spades. The poor man just can't help himself.

Here's the thing though. Also according to the article, the Conservatives plan to fight for a majority based on calming things down and not being in a perpetual state of 'election ready'.

Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn confirmed the new messaging in an interview this week.

"We have had three elections in the last four years, and that's a lot. A minority can have its charms, but over the long term, a country like Canada cannot continue to be eternally governed by minorities," he said. the concept about a nano-second of thought, why have we been in this state again? Oh, yes! Because the majority of Canadians (and in our system that means the majority of the House) do not agree with the Conservative agenda. In other words, they are the cause of what they seek to rectify.

Bruce Anderson has some interesting thoughts on the issue, but I wholly disagree. He seems to have bought, or believes that Canadians have bought, that this crew running government are really a middle of the road, do nothing party. Ha! Doesn't polling involve research and reality checks? At the very least, you would hope so before making proclamations.

Ironically, the tactic in itself could actually give the Liberals an advantage. 'Tired of the unrest for the past 4 years? Remember how that wasn't the case under the Liberals?' Okay... I'll never be hired to develop campaign marketing strategy, but you get my drift.

There are just too many groups out there that are unhappy. This for instance, I found interesting.

Finally, I found this article by Peter C. Newman insightful. He speaks of someone that the Liberals are apparently wooing, Daniel Veniez. He was a Harper supporter and in fact an appointee. Here's what struck me about what Veniez had to say.

He left politics to become a senior vice-president of Repap Enterprises, a lively pulp and paper company, and became a Stephen Harper supporter in 2006. “I wanted him to succeed,” says Veniez. “He was from the West, obviously smart, while the Liberals had become like the PC party that I left in 1992—tired and intellectually bankrupt.

While I admired Harper, like many Canadians I didn’t trust the Reform crowd, their social conservative bent, and their dogmatic theology on economics, social and foreign policy. But I also thought that the party was maturing and that they had renounced their populist and evangelical impulses.”

Veniez became a successful West Coast entrepreneur and in 2007 was appointed by the Harper government as chairman of Ridley Terminals Inc., a Crown corporation that operates a Prince Rupert, B.C., bulk commodity hub. Tories had been suggesting that he run in one of three Vancouver ridings but by then his hopes for the Conservative Prime Minister had evaporated. “The PM’s policy of incrementalism was inconsistent with my vision of responsible governance and leadership. It’s really the mindset of big “r” Reform—his small-tent western and rural populist base, and its Christian fundamentalist core. And that’s anathema to my essential DNA.

“The Conservative party and its leader are permanently angry,” he goes on. “That’s an ingrained part of who they are and what they represent. On a visceral level, they remain a protest party and have turned themselves into a protest government. They manage by negatives and are genetically incapable of inspiring hope or thinking big. They attack, assassinate character, tell lies, lower the bar on public discourse, and engage in tactical and divisive wedge politics and governance. The tone, strategy, and culture for this government are established by Harper, a cheap-shot artist and cynic of the highest order.”

Yep. I'd say that sum's it up pretty nicely.

♫ You Say You Want a Revolution ♫


Steve V said...

I just did a quick post on those comments from Daniel Veniez. Such a perfect description.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how Harper gets away with being a great deal higher in the polls than Ignatieff in trustworthiness,would be better looking after the economy,than Ignatieff, better at fixing the debt.etc, etc I couldn't believe it. According to that poll, we are doomed, It is a new poll but offhand I can't remember the name of it.

Karen said...

It is perfect isn't Steve?

Nice to see reality in print for a change.

wilson said...

'Tired of the unrest for the past 4 years? Remember how that wasn't the case under the Liberals?'

Actually, it was the case then too. When Paul Martin had a minority it was non-stop election time.
Remember Belinda crossing the floor to keep Libs in power for a few more months.

Only when Chretien had a majority (with as little as 38%) was there peace in Parliament,
except for the infighting of the Liberals amongst themselves.

What was wrong with the coalition was Dion explicited said NO COALITION.

So it was a lie.
MI said it was not legitmate nor stable, and would divide the country.
Has he changed his mind on that?

This time, if Libs are willing to enter into a coalition with Dippers,
say so.
Jack has the right to know if he gets a seat in cabinet
(handing Dippers power will be a raod there is no turning back on IMO)
Another go around with the BLOC?

I can accept a majority of Canadian's MPs forming government,
IF that is what they voted for.

But just what would Canadians be voting for in a coalition?
They wouldn't know until AFTER, months after the election, what the LibDippers agreed to.
That is rather scary KNB,
especially given MIs history of taking a stand and then caving.

Karen said...

Anon, that's the natural reaction of people knowing someone in power. The incumbent always wins on these things.

Summer polls? Interesting, but not true measure, imo.

Election? Bring it on!

Karen said...

Wilson, what is wrong with your reading. Go get your glasses, we're taling about majority here. That's what Harper wants...but the only time it was calm in this country, or sort of, was when the Lib's held power and you can bet your cat that we'll exploit that.

No. Urban myth. Dion said no coalition...never happened. When he ran, he ran as a Lib and wasn't interested in merging parties, but he never said no coalition.

Mild 'death panel' tone there my friend.

Ignatieff didn't say it was illegitimate, he said the way it had been spun was.

NO ONE is talking about coalition and cabinet posts. sound as nuts as the gun toting goons in the US health care debate.

The coalition does NOT exist. If this is going to be the push point, you'd better tell Jack, because he's attacking Ignatieff.

Poof! Nonsense dispensed with.

Cari said...

I like Harper out in BC, at a BBQ, a couple of weeks ago.... "We were not elected in spite of the Economic crisis..we were elected because of it"..what a total fabrication!
A great many people believe him, sadly.

wilson said...

Urban myth KNB?

Sept 24, 2008

''In Burnaby, B.C., Dion rejected any suggestion of a coalition with the NDP, saying:
"We cannot have a coalition with a party that has a platform that would be damaging for the economy."

Dion rules out coalition

''Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion flatly rejected forming a coalition government with the New Democrats today on the heels of hints from NDP Leader Jack Layton that he'd be open to the idea.

Mr. Dion, speaking after an address to a Vancouver-area business crowd today, said he could not work with Mr. Layton in this way because the NDP leader wants to hike taxes on business.

“We cannot have a coalition with a party that has a platform that would be damaging for the economy. Period,” the Liberal leader said.''

wilson said...

Ignatieff labels Liberal-NDP coalition as illegitimate

“There was also a question concerning the legitimacy of the coalition that troubled me,” he confided...

The power sharing deal between the Liberals and New Democrats, with support from the Bloc Quebecois, was not undemocratic,
Ignatieff told the crowd of some 150 Montrealers gathered in a downtown theatre,
but it would nonetheless have given Canadians the feeling that the parties had
“in some sense or another stolen power.”

“That was my first doubt. I couldn’t guarantee the long-term stability of the coalition.”

RuralSandi said...

Wilson - give it a rest. You spend all your time (using post-it PM talking point notes?).

Fact is - Harper/Layton and/or Harper caused the last 3 elections.

Harper called the last one (illegally according to his fixed election date rule) because he didn't want the sh*t to hit the fan before he could get elected again - that's closer to what really happened. And, if he didn't know what was coming - he's not much of an economist. So, enough of your BS.

You continue, Wilson, to play this nonsense of old news - we could start putting up Harper statements if you like - it's not pretty.

Gene Rayburn said...

Cut and Pasting is Wilson's only defense. She probably has a room wallpapered with such information.

Agreed, she needs a life.

Karen said...

Not to mention that wilson's conflating and distorting with the links she provides.

Pre election, Dion was clear on no coalitiion because of NDP stance on taxes. He was responding to the many ?'s suggesting that he team up with Layton to stop a vote split.

Post election, Layton caved on many of his platform promises, clearing the way.

And on Ignatieff, he didn't say that the coalition was illegitimate, in fact he said it was democratic. What he was referring to was the assinine spin that wilson and her gang had put on it, creating discomfort in the country.

Gayle said...

Well at least wilson has changed her talking points on the coalition.

In December it was all about the coalition being an illegal coup. Now, as KNB points out, she twists the facts to suggest the only reason she opposed it is because Dion said there would be no coalition.

See, wilson sees herself as some political analyst and a player on Harper's team. The current idea is to pretend that if the LPC said they would support a coalition prior to any election, there would be nothing wrong with that.

Except, of course, the CPC wants that to happen so as to legitimize their campaign strategy.

In any event, there is never any reason to discuss a coalition until after the election results, as wilson no doubt knows.

Alberta Report said...

Blammm! Off goes Wilson's foot again... LOL too funny.