Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pander de Jour

Oops, wrong shot...that's Harper's Starbucks photo op.

Ah, here we are. The official pander of the day. The Timmie's crowd.

Watching Harper supporters on the web, I can't help but notice just how chuffed they are by all the bizarre and frankly shameful moves that Harper has made this week. It occurred to me that he is simply preaching to, or comforting his base.

A reporter made a similar comment tonight and that made me think through my initial sense a little more.

If you look at what most sensible people are saying, not attending the Climate Conference was a major faux pas and one that clearly has pushed us to the back of the room, if not outside in the hall. But if you carry that sentiment through to it's logical conclusion, doesn't it just make the portion of his base that either denies climate change all together or sloughs it off as inconsequential, happy?

Then we have the snubbing of Pres. Obama's speech. It's no secret that a portion of his base spends all of their time hanging out with the Glenn Beck crowd, so... by not putting any significance, in perhaps one of the most significant speeches to be delivered at the UN, he makes that group smile?

Instead of staying for the important speech he goes to an announcement/photo-op at Tim Horton's? Just typing that feels ridiculous, but when you consider the content of Obama's speech and what it could mean for the direction of the UN going forward, snubbing it simply underlines Harper's known contempt for the institution, doesn't it? Again, feeding his simplistic base.

Following this line of thought, it has also occurred to me that it's a bizarre strategy to be putting stimulus money into riding's you already hold...unless of course you are concerned about losing them.

To me, if you were confident about your base, you'd be pouring money into riding's you'd like to hold. The whole, 'see how fantastic we really are' pandering. But no, that's not what they have been doing. Instead, he's saying, 'hey, I know I'm spending a ton, but see, having me in power means you aren't being ignored...I'm still your guy!'

If I conclude anything about all the odd behaviour, including the tape we saw at a rally, it's that in spite of all the bluster from party strategists and in spite of all prop's that some opinion media give Harper, the Conservative party is worried about and spending time firming up their base. Not because they are worried they will vote for another party of course, but that they won't vote at all. Only polling or reaction to grassroots dissent would seem to drive this, imo.

Interesting strategy, but I would suggest that the risk is high. Former Progressive Conservatives certainly won't be impressed and in that case, there is a good chance they will vote for another party and it sure as heck isn't the NDP.


Anonymous said...

Did the Conservative paying for this stunt, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Did the Conservative paying for this stunt, I wonder?

.. Conservatives pay ... [note to self: use "Preview"]

Also wondering if this running-away-from the UN was just Harper's way of avoiding a comparison to Obama's speech .. you know, just simple envy, inferiority complex ..

Karen said...

Anon, no, you and I paid...of course.

There is something to be said for you last comment. Oddly, we have Lawrence Cannon speaking on Saturday, at 1800...yeah, sigh.

We absolutely look pathetic and I know Harper is actually flying back from the Timmie's non event to partake in some big talks tomorrow...but the sheer arrogance of all of this is certainly resonating.

They call Ignatieff arrogant...Ha! He has nothing on Harper.

You won't see that written, but Demand more!

Anonymous said...

KNB, just how many countries followed Canada's lead and walked out on the tyrant from Iran's speech?

Thought so..............ha!

Anonymous said...

If you're not too busy being oh so witty, how about telling us what Harper was saying at Tim Horton's. Something about the chain moving its head offices back to Canada? Interesting... And also saying Canada would be walking out on the speech by the Iranian idiot at the UN, which they did and were followed out by the US and others. Also very interesting.

Oh well, at least you got your Starbucks joke in again. Good one.

Karen said...

For the record, Anon's of all stripes, it's easy to gain a name. Really, to follow a thread of anon's is insane.

To the last two, you apparently agree with my theory. You're happy now. Steve gave you what you asked for...pant, pant, yes?

As for walking out on the speech...uh, if you check again, you'll notice that I didn't mention that.

Click, click...try to change the channel all you like, fact is, you just proved my point.


Cari said...

They are missing the point..And Harper was down to see Michael Bloomberg, complaining how the
Liberals did nothing on Climate change.but, the Cons cut around 6 billion from the Liberals Climate change things they did not have..MAGIC.
I thought he should have at least shown up to hear Obama.

A Eliz. said...

A well known fact..Harper detests the UN (Mike Pearson had something to do with the formation of the UN).... as far as I am concerned, Harper is very ignorant

Tomm said...


I think Harper does this stuff just to get the goat of all the Harper Haters.

He seems to like baiting you guys. Remember the AIDS conference. Remember how John Baird let David Suzuki chase him around a Home Show because Suzuki wanted an audience and John Baird just wasn't interested. I think that was pretty much the same thing.

The Parliamentary Press Gallery shenanigans? Perhaps they collect fossil awards like you recycle bottles.

He arranged the Timmie's return to Canada to coincide with the UN speeches. He must have.

By the way, some of you seem so bent that you forgot that the one speech he did give at the UN was extremely well received and very powerful. Don't mistake Harper's being good at something with whether he likes doing it.

Anonymous said...

You know, the funny thing is the German Chancellor has an election on Sept 27. Yet, she'll be attending the G-20 meetings in the US.

Sometimes, being the head of government of a country means you show respect and courtesy to other leaders. Skipping out on a speech by your most important next door neighbour, the US, just so you can show up at a corporate photo-op (btw: Tim Horton's changed their head office in June -- that's right, three months ago) is disrespectful.

Of course, Harper's never had trouble showing disrespect. I wonder how many stories we'll hear after he's gone of instances where he was rude to foreign leaders in private.

RuralSandi said...

So, it's more important to have a photo-op (why not Stockwell Day - it's his portfolio isn't it?) - to push a company that left in the first place because of the Mulroney Conservatives - who are now back - offing artery clogging junk food and minimum wage - now that's innovation for you.

Other leaders are into keeping themselves in shape (Clinton learned his lesson re junk food) and our leader can't keep away from Timbits.

By the way - Canada did not take the lead in walking out - many countries were involved.

Anonymous said...

Can you walk out of a hall in Manhattan from a Tim Horton's in TO?

No, I think not. Not doughable.

But Harpo still tried. He must like the feel of speaking from behind a polished plexi display full of mediocre pastry.

Anonymous said...

Well, whatever Harper is doing it seems to be working for him. Latest CBC poll has him making headway in Toronto of all places.

Anonymous said...

It's called pandering. KNB had nailed it.

FredfromBC said...

RuralSandi said:

By the way - Canada did not take the lead in walking out - many countries were involved.


Yeah...all we did was leave before the Iranian president even started his speech, after announcing that we would be doing so days in advance. No leadership there, no...

Just can't resist the cheap shot, eh Sandi? Digs about his weight, too? Grow up...