Saturday, August 14, 2010

Drip, by Single Drip

Jim Travers wrote an interesting piece today. I know that some Liberals aren't pleased, but I would ask them to sit back for a moment and consider what he is really expressing. (It's important to note that he is a columnist. I saw some right leaning friends take issue, as if he'd written news, but please, can we keep things in perspective here?)

That said, I think he is expressing a sentiment that many share. This Conservative party, under Harper, is dismantling the Canada we know. Now, this seems to be coming as a surprise to some, which frankly I find both appalling and hilarious. Either you were too lazy to do your homework, or too cynical to believe that there really was an agenda with Harper. Either way, it's time to wake up.

Does that expression of frustration make Travers a Liberal? Absolutely not and I think it's time for us all to realise the incredible country and people we've become. That is to say, we are a tolerant nation that does have social values and believes in the structures that have brought us here. Is that the majority of Canadians? Yep, pretty much. The only group who is contrary to that opinion, happen to be the party in power and they command only 1/3 of opinion and truth be known, they are a pretty splintered group. That said, they would only vote Conservative, or not at all.

The rest of us, so 2 thirds of the country, do not applaud what Harper has done, but we know we are between a rock and a hard place. Travers is so frustrated, that he lays blame at the feet of the Liberals. Essentially: how could you let this happen?

Well, I would ask that he too step back a bit and reflect on how the media treated the Liberals every time there was a move to topple. Headlines went something like:

- Arrogant Liberals believe they deserve power
- Liberals still have not rebuilt
- Liberals misguided
- Liberal leadership woes
- Lib's still think they are the natural governing party
- Lib's haven't cleaned house

It went on and on and on. And yes, Travers played a part in that narrative. Was there deep analysis into what the Conservatives were doing/planning? Little to none and I'm still trying to put together that entire beating drum.

When the Lib's thought they should move, BAM!...30 seconds later the headlines rolled.

Now, the realist in me admits, the Liberals have made mistakes. I have not supported every decision taken and I too want to put this government out of the misery it is causing most of us, but Travers has to take into account some reality too. Not blaming, but the media played a role.

Here's what isn't said, though I think Travers was on the Liberal Express briefly. Those who are negating the value and benefit of the tour Ignatieff is doing this summer, are doing it at their peril. He is speaking to both small and large groups, listening to them and gaining a sense of how to connect the dots.

Sound simplistic? You'd be wrong in my opinion, to draw that conclusion. You see, with every drip, (dot), a greater mass develops and it is much easier to hit a larger target.

Harper may have thought he was clever to put out controversial policy in the doldrums of summer, but he has provided Ignatieff with more fodder and that makes it easier to develop a narrative.

Don't count the Liberal party out...lest you want to join the pool of drips.


CK said...

Great post! Ordinarily I enjoy reading Travers' columns and I respond to them in my own blog posts as he usually hits them out of the ball park. But not today.

I want to thank you for saying what I've been saying all along and that is the media has played a big role in the LIberals' uphill climb. It ain't easy when most corporate media outlets are in lockstep with the Harpercons.

Those who claim that the media not being on side is a lame excuse are underestimating the power of the media. Twenty years ago (yes, I'm that old!), I wrote a paper for a Canadian poli-sci class at Concordia about how the media dictates the outcome of electoral campaigns, so I'm quite versed on the subject. Case in point, how else does a puritanical wingnut like Sharron Angle who wants to bring back prohibition and Christian reconstructionist rule have higher polling numbers across the board (may have changed; my info is about 3 weeks old) in a casino and night life capital like Nevada?

I think the LPCX was a success. We started to see Ignatieff come into his own and I hope this brings him and his party more confidence when parliament resumes. Yes, the loss of Mario Lague was a terrible blow and the departure of Jean-Marc Fournier (although, something tells me Donolo shouldn't replace him quite yet; he may have a problem winning his own by-election in St-Laurent) is, to say the least, a complication they didn't need, but the Liberals can work through adversity. Ignatieff showed that by continuing with the scheduled stops on the tour.

Ignatieff, however, may sing the "Canadians don't want an election song" though. I think the time is now. I think we should write our opposition MPs and tell them we want an election now; to not vote along with whatever insidious motion or bill Harper is cooking up no doubt chock full of his signature poison pills.

If we wait for positive Liberal coverage from the corporate media, Harper will bounce back as he has a propensity to do and he'll no doubt cause more damage.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

This Conservative party, under Harper, is dismantling the Canada we know.

The Liberal Canada that we know.

Thank goodness.

CK said...

Michael, what is so great about it?

Mr. Lorne said...

The Liberals dismantled the Canada I knew over 30 years ago. For good or bad, change does happen. I could rue about how much better Canada was before multiculturalism, socialized health care, and how these programs were brought forth on an unsuspecting electorate but it would be for naught.

The most we can do is continue to be the best country we can. Will further changes be made down the road? Probably, but the essence of what we know as Canada will always be there in spite of any ideological shifts.


RuralSandi said...

Hmmm....typical simplistic view Michael has.

Funny, all the things Harper toots about Canada (envy of the world economically, etc.) were measures put in place (banking regs) by the Liberals. Harper lobbied and voted against the very things he's bragging about now.

I suspect Michael doesn't even understand at all what's happening and is just doing the Con PM instructed input on sites that talk about Ignatieff and/or Liberals - pretty lame.

Media seem to like to participate in a pile on and then wonder why things turn out the way they do. They are like school kids - pick on one guy in the schoolyard.

Kirbycairo said...

No Michael, not the Liberal Canada; the Canada that respected international treaties, that believed in the principles of democracy, that maintained the supremacy of the House and its elected members, that believed in minimal political interference with bureaucracy,and a Canada that was a leader in environmental commitments and international law. This are not Liberal values, they are the values of democracy which Harper is dismantling.

RuralSandi said...

Leeky Sweek - you sound a little like a bigot.

I am old enough to remember what Canada was like 30 years ago as well.

If you think our healthcare is so bad, look at what's happened in the US. If that doesn't wake you up, then you don't know what the hell you are talking about. You just like to throw this "socialist" word around.

I can't imagine how horrible it would be to go back to women being like second class citizens, people losing everything they have over an illness, and anyone different being shunned. How awful.

CK said...

Leeky Sweek: Socialized Medicine? you have a problem with universal health care? I bet you still use your gov't health card. There's an easy solution; cut it up and use the private clinics. There's one in every jurisdiction now. Don't give me the tax thing, because if harper is successful, taxes will still go up in some form or another and you can't say it's illegal neither, because these private for profit facilities exist legally. So, how's about you put your money where your mouth is?

Mr. Lorne said...


I was only presenting a comparative statement which is not necessarly endorsed by me. BTW, I dìdn`t use the word ``socialist.` That type of impertinence is unworthy of your argument.

CK, your statement is frought with conjecture and is not worthy of a further response.

Michael said...

Hmmm....typical simplistic view Michael has.

Don 't misunderstand; it is because it doesn't have to be complicated. The ways and means by which the Liberals have made it so over the years are legion. And that is coming to an end. :D

CK said...

"CK, your statement is frought with conjecture and is not worthy of a further response."

Sweeky Leek: Impressive; using big words to deflect and distract. Why don't you answer the question? You don't like universal health care so why do you still use it instead of one of those private for profit near by? Simple question.

Michael said...

Ignatieff dismissed calls that Canada should have followed Australia’s policy on refugees and turned the Tamil refugee boat away.

“This is Canada, not Australia,” Ignatieff said. “That means Canada has principles, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our international obligations.“

So Canada has principles but Australia doesn't. *SIGH* What an idiot........

RuralSandi said...

So, nothing warrants a response from Sweeky Leeks - in other words, doesn't have a viable answer.

Michael - specifics please, otherwise you just doing the old instructed PM approved rants.

CK said...

"So Canada has principles but Australia doesn't. *SIGH* What an idiot........"

Is that the best you can come up with. It's pretty heartless & inhumane of Australia to turn a rickety ship full of desperate refugees.

racist, are we? Good Gawd, what are you so scared of?

Karen said... didn't actually just say that.

Simplicity...thy name be Michael. Shiny objects and all that.

Obviously, Ignatieff was pointing to the differences...and hey, if you didn't know this before, under Rudd, the rules were just like ours...they have now reversed position and given their geographical situation, you might understand the political push. I disagree with it, but that is neither here nor there.

We have no such I put you in the category of someone who doesn't do homework.

Ahh, that doesn't bode well.

Karen said...

Thanks CK. That was a really thoughtful comment.

I will respond more fully tomorrow...and yes, I'm that old too.

Michael said...

Michael - specifics please, otherwise you just doing the old instructed PM approved rants.

Um, not my rant; that was your Annointed One being "specific" in his opinion of Australia's level of respect for "international obligations" and lack of "principles" when compared to Canada. Spitting in the eye of one of our closest allies to make a partisan jab. Yeah, nicely done, you elitist fop.

Apparently, the UK and Germany accept only about 5% of total refugees that make landing. We accept a much, much higher rate. I wonder what Iffy has to say about their "principles" and lack of respect for “international obligations”.

We have no such I put you in the category of someone who doesn't do homework.

That "problem" isn't the one we've been discussing; it is something else entirely. And seeing as you're no teacher, excuse me when I say that you don't exactly have anything to teach.

racist, are we? Good Gawd, what are you so scared of?

*eyes rolling* oh, please..........

Good night, all. Watching Ignatieff in "action" again in all of his elitist glory has been rather instructive for the Canadian voters - again.

Karen said...

Michael, even you have to see the irony in writing, 'you elitist fop'.

Oh, and if you employ the juvenile moniker 'Iffy''re pretty much done in my books.

Most of us can have an adult conversation without resorting to nonsense.

Jim Parrett said...

Very sad to read this post. Travers point that the Liberals are not waging an aggresive opposition is very true. The capitulation to the Cons on the torture docs was horrendous. The Libs could have and should have fought harder to enhance the gift they were given. They barely put up a fight. Where are the ads deconstructing Harper's anti-Canadian history of quotes? The national media is a conservative monopoly so forget the media. They don't come into play. The country is being raped with hardly any opposition. The Liberals were a powerhouse not that long ago. Now they are just a whimper. Iggy has some good points but leadership is not one of them. Canadians are not signing up when in a time Con disintegration, the Libs should be the majority. It is a sin and I'm with Travers on that part of the issue. We need braver Libs.

Michael said...

Oh, but before I go, yes they were rejected by Australia. But why not try for the Tamil Nadu State in India where 80% of the people are Tamil speaking? And what about Malaysia and Singapore when each have Tamil as one of the official languages? Both have accepted these people in the past. Real Tamil refugees would be satisfied with going to any of these countries, but it is rather interesting and convenient that they seem to be dead set on only going halfway around the world to Canada - an over- generous welfare state with a rusty sieve for an immigration policy, and a perpetual sucker for an Opposition party.

Why are they "refugees"? Sri Lanka is no longer a war zone. Tourism is on the rise, the IIFA Awards were held there and the next Cricket World Cup will be hosted by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is well on on it's way to becoming a stable country now. Also, about a quarter of their capital's population is Tamil, which should be reason enough to reject any refugee claimant from that country.

Good idea, Liberals; let us allow ALL the queue jumpers in. Apparently there are two more ships on the way, so why the hell not? Lets make it 10, 50, right? Canada is in a generous mood. It's not like our straining health care system can't handle them as well, so come on in!


Karen said... have nary a clue.

Tourism on the rise?

You are yet again, someone who does no homework...good at eating pap though.

Look up gov't held camps. Look up the requests to get the UN involved again.

Look up the government in Sri Lanka you seem to extoll.

Come back when you have educated yourself.

CK said...

Ok, Michael, then call up your travel agent and book your next sun vacation in Sri Lanka then, why don't you?

Jymn, the problem is, as I've mentioned in the above comment is that the media is end all; be all when it comes to electoral campaigns. It is conservative friendly, as you've pointed out. A huge hurdle to surmount.

We can criticize all we want, but how do we surmount conservative friendly media with associated polling firms who may or may not skew the polling numbers? Ipsos-Reid, Leger and Harris-Decima come to mind. Nonetheless, that is all those parties have to work with.

For the Afghan torture file, before one criticizes the Liberals for going along with the cons on this one; one must take a second glance at Speaker Milliken's decision way back when; the one where most celebrated without paying much attention to the not so hot part.

"Now, it seems to me, that the issue before us is this: is it possible to put into place a mechanism by which these documents could be made available to the House without compromising the security and confidentiality of the information they contain? In other words, is it possible for the two sides, working together in the best interest of the Canadians they serve, to devise a means where both their concerns are met?"

Since Harper was in posession of those documents, the decision gave Steve discretion as to what would be a danger for national security and what would not.

Next, the Bloc Quebecois also went along with Harper even though Quebecers wanted an inquiry for the most part and wanted to see the documents. Yet, the folks in Quebec are not really chastising Gilles Duceppe's decision.

Plus, the detainee documents were a terrible issue to go to election with. Not when Jane and Joe Canuck at Timmy Horton's for the most part, have no sympathy for 'Taliban "Thugs who throw acid on girls' faces" being beaten up by their own'. It would have been an election loser, big time for any opposition party. Layton has nothing to lose as the NDP will never govern; their polling numbers consistantly remain the same. Do I agree that it's ok to torture detainees overseas? Of course not, but I'm realist and I know that most Canadians simply don't care, and as you've seen from certain commenters here, bigotry is on the rise in Canada.

As I've also mentioned above, Ignatieff is starting to come into his own. The bus tour has been a success over all, in spite of the best efforts of Sun media and Natty Po.

I never believed Ignatieff was suitable due to his long absence from the country, but he's here and he's not going anywhere at this time. I say let's make the best of what we have.

Another thought, for Ignatieff to go, that means he has to lose the upcoming election. That also could mean a Harpercon majority if held much later down the road. A terrifying thought I'm not willing to entertain right now.

However, there is something we can do; and that is write our opposition MPs, showing support for an election sooner, rather than later. It's the only way to get our message out to them, because, the conservative media sure ain't.

Michael said...

You are yet again, someone who does no homework...good at eating pap though.

So disprove what I've said. You haven't, because you can't. That isn't "pap", that is reality, uncomfortable and inconvenient for you as it is.

Look up gov't held camps.

Which we both know are being closed as we speak as people are being let go. How do you think these ships that are being launched have people to fill them? "Homework", indeed. But nice try.

Look up the requests to get the UN involved again.

Ah, the UN. Now THERE is a credible organization. Most of its membership do not even conform to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights despite it being a requirement of membership. They've had countries as known human rights violaters being members of their Human Rights Council. Ironically enough, Libya was one of them. But just this June, Libya ordered the UN to close it's refugee agency. How is THAT for irony, hmmm? But, but, but........"The UN!!!!!" LOL.

Look up the government in Sri Lanka you seem to extoll.

I don't "extoll" them; what I said was merely the truth. Again, uncomfortable and inconvenient for you as that is.

Come back when you have educated yourself.

I obviously already had before arriving. And that is part of your problem here; not everyone in Canada is going to buy this Liberal tripe automatically anymore. You speak of "educating yourself", but you have nothing to teach. So don't fret, I won't darken your door again. I very much look forward to this matter of refugee reform being the contentious issue discussed when Parliament resumes. It should prove a slam-dunk for the Tories. :D

Loraine Lamontagne said...

We've never before had a prime minister to whom it is secondary that Canada ends up as one national government or two national governments or several national governments.

Harper's vision of less governement at the expense of the survival of the country as a whole is a first.

ottlib said...

Where has Mr. Travers been since the Conservatives formed the government?

Oh yes, focusing on the Liberals while virtually ignoring what the Conservatives have been doing. Indeed, he is still doing that as the theme of this column is more focused on the Liberals than the government.

It should also be noted that this guy was already panning the Liberal Express, along with most of the rest of the pundits, before it got started. I am certain that if Mr. Harper would not have got himself and his government mired in the Census fiasco we would have seen many more columns from this guy about the ineffectiveness of the Liberal Express this summer.

While I appreciate the fact that this guy and others like him are finally realizing what the Conservatives are doing (or at least finally deciding to report on it as they have known all along) his lateness in the game just further demonstrates that he is a hack.

CK said...

Loraine, I'll bring up something even more frightening. Here is the latest article from Paul Krugman about what's happening in the US; result of twisted priorities of smaller government, lower taxes for the rich, and prioritized quick deficit reduction:

Scary! harper could well do this in Canada; wouldn't put it past him!

Sooooo backward:

Here's my two cents:

Gayle said...

Oh Michael. "Prove me wrong"? Anyone who makes silly statements and defends them with "prove me wrong" has just proven himself wrong. That is the kind of thing you say when you know perfectly well that your statements are unproveable. It is the way you argue in the school yard.

But it was good for a laugh though.

By the way, the vast majority of refugee claimants stay in the same region of their country of origin. This means statistically speaking Canada has a lot fewer refugee claimants than many third world countries.

You have to do something a bit more complicated than say "but we allow more claims" in order to make an intelligent argument on this topic. The reasons claims in Canada are more successful might be a good place to start.

Good luck.

Gayle said...

Oh, and I think you will find that even though some countries deny more claims than Canada, most of them allow people to stay under a different classification. That means people are not kicked out - they are just not called refugees.

Gayle said...

KNB, while I do not hold the opinion that the media are biased for or against a particular party, with some obvious exceptions of course, I must admit I was amused by Travers' point. I too immediately turned my mind to the fact that the liberals were taking a beating for even suggesting an election.

The truth is the liberals have not been in a position to run a campaign for a while now. They certainly do need to get their own house in order before they try to run the country. There was no point in forcing an election they could not win.

I am cautiously optimistic the tide is now turning.

Brian G. Rice said...

Your comments on the media's role in the Liberals problems are bang on, but I would go further than that.

If Harper had been given a majority (God forbid) by the people of Canada, no one would blame the Liberals, NDP or the Bloc for the sins of the government. There is some idea entrenched in the minds of Canadians that in a minority government the Opposition has some magical power to limit the power of the ruling party. They really don’t. The only power they have – if all three parties agree – is to force an election. Given the current polling numbers, there is no guarantee that an election would actually change anything. Harper would likely end up with a (reduced) minority, and off we go again.

There will be an election. It probably won’t happen in 2010. It may not happen in 2011. By law, it does have to happen in 2012. The Opposition’s primary job has to be pointing at that the Emperor-in-his-own-mind isn’t wearing any clothes. Forcing an election, even assuming the NDP or the Bloc would support such an idea, has to be done when it will actually result in a change in government, otherwise we are simply extending the lease Mr. Harper has on government.