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In brief: Deceivin’ Stephen and fall elections

I see Deceivin’ Stephen has started his campaign to convince Europe that yes, we really do care about GHG. What’s amusing is how the paper describes the effort: Prime Minister Stephen Harper racheted up his expressed concern about climate change today – even they are skeptical. You can see later in this article from the prepared remarks why they and others should be skeptical: Harper is stating to the world we are “an emerging energy superpower” (note the contrast to Dion who says he wants Canada to be an environmental superpower). I also note near the bottom of the article that Harper has decided to try and poison relations with Russia now, since he’s done about as well as you can do with messing up relations with China.

I’ve never been particularly crazy about Scott Reid (former adviser to Paul Martin), but he does seem to make a good case here advocating that Dion and the Liberals should try and force an election in October 2007, rather then waiting for the Spring – an excerpt from it:

If that sounds risky, consider the alternative. The Conservative Prime Minister clears his cabinet of chronic mistake machines like Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor and reboots his policy agenda with new legislation. He then spends a year blitzing the airwaves with yet more negative political ads and finally, next March, triggers an election on his own terms after a budget of his own design. By way of contrast, an expected prorogation and second Conservative Speech from the Throne offers the leader of the Opposition an ideal opportunity to seize control of this Parliament, set the nation’s political agenda and secure an election date that his opponent does not prefer.

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11 comments to In brief: Deceivin’ Stephen and fall elections

  • Richard took the fightin' words right out of my mouth. Those Harpoids who continually twist the past gov'ts achievements into 'non-events' seem to have little concern for fiscal responsibility — perhaps all too obvious considering the muddled financial flubbing done by their man and his Flintery minister. But lets keep dwelling on a 10 year old scandal, shall we? I guess that dog continues to lift its head but it won't hunt. Not when you've got your own accountability gap growing larger and larger, pilphering the patronage jar while silencing members of your own party (along with members of the public service — hey how dare you try to publicize your novel on global warming! We're shutting down the gov't website on climate change for that!)… If you continue to endorse 'negative playbook strategies' you CONs who are riding the Harpor wagon will find you can't tell up from down in the gutter.

  • If Dion gets any less popular in Quebec, he may soon rival malaria. Did this factor into Reid's analysis?

  • janfromthebruce

    Actually Scott, another minority govt with the NDP or liberals in the dominant minority position would displace the cons. When liberals get majorities they act like conservatives, as history has shown Canadians. That old tired strategy of "vote liberal" is well, tired. Last I saw, the polls have the NDP leading in BC, ahead of the cons and libs. Strategy – vote NDP – only party that can knock off con seats. 😆

  • It's hard to argue with the fact that the Liberals did little to make Canada a greener country.
    However, when Chretien came to power after the disastrous Mulroney years, Canada was an economic basketcase, and had little room to do anything but make drastic cuts. We know what happened next. Eight straight years of budget surpluses, and the best debt to GDP ratio among G8 nations.
    I wish they had put some of that largesse towards our greenhouse gas problem, but another truth should be apparent. We didn't know then what we do now.
    We have a real chance now to do something incredible as a nation. We could lead the world. But Harper is promising little, and will deliver even less, according to environmental experts. And he seems determined to side with George Bush — the worst president in US history — on the matter of climate change, which is sure to piss off our European allies. 
    I'm discouraged and frustrated by Harper. He expects future generations to pay for our sins, and that is morally reprehensible.

  • Aaron: I have always been a fierce critic of the Conservatives long before I became a Liberal in December – I am nothing but consistent in that regard. They are a loathsome party run by a loathsome leader with loathsome policies. The only one who gets apoplectic on here with fits is you leaving your hysterical Tory propaganda in response to the blog stuff I write. If you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to read the blog.

    As for Dion being “weak” …Dion has long been underestimated, and even the media observers are saying he is becoming more comfortable into his new role.. all opposition leaders who are new have had a history of being accused of performing “weak” – that includes Chretien and Harper… so look at that before you keep to your accusations of calling him weak.. personally, I’d prefer if you and your Blogging Tory friends keep thinking that he is a weak leader – when he is elected the next Prime Minister of Canada, I’ll remind you of that claim.

    As for the NDP, with 14-17% of the popular vote, the last party I’m worrying about is the NDP. Why? Because the fair majority of voters will realize only the Liberals have a realistic chance of upseating the Conservatives and removing them from power. Same goes for the Green voters on the environment. I expect votes to come over from those 2 parties in an “anyone but Harper” strategic vote. We have a larger pool of voters to draw from then the Conservatives do, Aaron… and I’m as confident as you are your way that after the next election, the neo-cons/theo-cons/so-cons who are running Canada into the ground will be removed from power and a far more progressive government will take over.

  • ALW

    Scott,

    I don't accuse *all* Liberals of drinking Kool-Aid, yet every time I post something remotely positive about Harper, you respond with this epithet. In that case, I guess your entire blog has to be written off as Liberal Kool-Aid drinking.  So you can stop with your supposed equivalence on partisan blindness since I criticize my own side more in one week on my blog than you criticize your party in a year.

    In spite of your constantly daily apoplectic fits, at worst our numbers have dropped to tie with the Liberals, at best run a 5-7 point lead.  I am not sure why you fall into the incredibly simplistic trap of believing that poll numbers from this week will somehow be relevant in six months' time, because they won't be. 

    I would probably be concerned if we were facing a reorganized Liberal party with a strong leader, unified message, full war chest and obvious pool of accessible voters.  Instead you have a weak leader, crossed-wires, no money and are busy fighting with the Greens and NDPs for the far-left vote, instead of trying to win back the people who abandoned you in the last election.

    There are a number of things the Liberals could use as fodder, but the environment and Afghanistan won't help you any good, because for people who share the New Liberal positions on those issue, there's a more credible and principled option: the NDP.

  • Aaron said:

    Average Canadian will pass judgment on Stephen Harper when the times comes.  And I like his chances.

    Of Course you do, Aaron, Conservative Kool-Aid drinkers all feel the same about their particular party. You’re blinded by your own partisan bias as much as anyone else on here is.

    The fact is, the Conservative polling #’s have dropped drastically since the environment and the incompetence of handling Afghanistan have become main themes, and I see no reason why that won’t continue to be millstones around Harper and the Conservatives’ necks.

  • mushroom

    I agree with Scott Reid's strategy, except for one thing:

    THE MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT!!!!!

    Stephane Dion going on the campaign trail promising a x billion dollar tax cut, Stephen Harper gets to be Mike Harris and offers y billion dollars of tax cut and substantial slashes in government spending.

    Albertan Tories are happy. Dion gets to be Lyn McLeod circa 1995.

    Any future Liberal government needs to be honest and accept the fact that there will need to be a tax INCREASE of the upper income levels. This is needed to promote progressive policies needed to overcome income disparities and the end of social exclusion for the poorest Canadians.

    Dion needs to articulate this theme in the next few months. If Liberals want an election in the fall, I would rather run on a progressive agenda than support Scott empty populist promises c. 2004 and 2006.

  • ALW

    Mike – long time no see!

    Ah, "unneeded military transports" – would that be a policy disagreement?  How is that on par with stealing money? And "disputed" bid process? At least there was a process.  And bidding.  For something with an arguable public purpose.  But if you want to flatten it all out onto the same moral plane as "stealing" thats your prerogative.  Funny sort of ethical code you have, though.

    I certainly did not say that the Tories can "do nothing too".  I said that what you *can't* expect them to do is instantly compensate for ten years of inaction.  It is intellectually dishonest, and completely partisan, to say otherwise – and I know how you feel about hyperpartisanship.

    Average Canadian will pass judgment on Stephen Harper when the times comes.  And I like his chances.

  • “Oh, except we aren’t stealing any money.”

    I guess spending billions on unneeded military transports which are then given out to a former client of Gordon O’Connor in a disputed bid process isn’t technically “stealling”. But by all means, lets bring that up during an election and see what the Average Canadian thinks of that.

    That’s a great defence you have there Aaron – the Liberals did nothing so we can do nothing too. Or do something minimal and innefective and let the most polluting industry in Canada for the past 13 years (according to the government’s own numbers), the one almost soley repsonsible for the increase ibn GHG emmission during those Liberal years, exempt form the regulations. I wonder what Average Canadian will think of that?

    For a party that seems so knee-jerk anti-Liberal, you guys sure seem to go out of your way to act just like them, or worse, when you get the chance.

    And don’t fool yourself, Average Canadian has noticed.

  • ALW

    Ah, I see.  Liberals talk talk talk about climate change for a decade, do nothing: a-ok.  Tories talk talk talk about climate change for a year or so, and (according to  you) do nothing: outrage!

    As for an election, sure, bring it on.  But I guess you either have no idea about the financial state of your party then, or you (as usual) fail to put yourselves in the shoes of Average Canadian, who sees this government as "whatever", i.e. the sky isn't falling. 
    You may not be happy with this government. You may disagree with most of its policies.  But the fact of the matter is that most people can't tell the difference between this government and the last.

    Oh, except we aren't stealing any money.  And sadly, you guys set the bar so low that's about all that's really necessary.

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