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Looks like Harper is going ‘all-in’

I expected Harper was going to try and change the channel from the Census controversy by doing stuff like he’s shown with the copying of the Liberal Express; go out to some events, (try to) kiss babies, hand out some money here and there, etc.

What I didn’t expect was that his change the channel events would be as highly controversial if not more then the Census; the decision not to renew the Veterans Ombudsman’s term, apparently because of his criticisms of Veteran Affairs, and the highly suspicious decision by the RCMP to shuffle their head of the Firearms decision to French immersion training for a position 9 months after he was hired on the eve of him delivering a report to the Canadian police Chiefs defending the long gun registry and presenting evidence that it indeed works. There are folks in the media besides us Progressive Bloggers who think that move reeks of political interference

Add to this the story in the Globe this AM that rumour is Harper apparently wants to get rid of the current chair and vice-chair of the CRTC and replace them with Conservative-friendly cronies that will swiftly approve Fox News North.. er.. SunTV’s application for a coveted Group A License, and looks like Harper figures he might as well go all in with these changes/axings/firings/replacements and hope that no one is noticing.

I’m not surprised the CRTC is next,if that report is true. It seems pretty brazen, even for Harper, if he attempts this. That said, regardless of what he tries to do with the CRTC, with what has gone on with the Census and now more independent commissioners and civil servants resigning or not being renewed, My position is starting to harden on trying to take the Conservative government down in the Fall session. However, The opposition parties, and Ignatieff in particular, will have to be subtle about how they go about manoeuvring the government into a motion of non-confidence.


16 comments to Looks like Harper is going ‘all-in’

  • Stan

    The census long form is vital, is it?

    Can you name the questions on it that you consider vital and explain why they are vital?

  • Mik

    I definately agree that the OLO should force an election this fall, but ruling parties numbers usually drop towards the end of the session and I’m sure the Harper government will do their part by imploding some more. So, let’s say late November.

  • Redrum

    And for what it’s worth, even tho’ the Cons made gains in BC in the latest poll, that might go south soon, now that their ex-Premier’s efforts to get the HST repealed have been stymied in the courts, w. the prov. gov’t saying hey, this was a federal matter, and now he’s threatening to make the Cons’ pay in the polls if they don’t reverse it, then. He (Bill Vander Zalm) was on Power & Politics about it yesterday:

  • TofKW

    F&W agrees with you Scott that this is the time, and I’ve already posted my detailed views on this subject there. Go time is this autumn OLO …make it so!

  • Will M.

    I am ready for an election.

    Hey Scott, why don’t you do a blog, soon or when there actually is an election on what questions we’d like to ask PM Harper.

    I know I have a few.

  • ck

    Yup, an election should be held sooner than later. Problem: Harper’s polling numbers went up in the today’s EKos Poll.

    It shows a reduced minority, but something tells me that if an election ain’t called now…

    Iggy’s bus tour went well, but the Hapercon friendly media is trashing it. Jane and Joe Six pack who hang out at Timmy’s can’t or won’t think for themselves and are content to let the likes of Fox News North or NattyPo do their thinking for them;

    I have a feeling that Harper’s old “coalition with the separatists and socialists” is going to work like a charm even though it is fiction, because of that same Timmy Horton’s crowd who don’t think for themselves.

    Sad state of affairs, really. They’d rather have a totalitarian Harpercon regime over the minute risk of that coalition.

    No one will even bother to attempt to correlate how Duceppe will even justify joining such a coalition when he’s reviving sovereignty in Quebec these days. To a logical person, that would be counterproductive, now wouldn’t it? It won’t happen.

    Nonetheless, that is the only reason I can think of for Steve’s come back in the polls.

    Apparently, folks are still angry about the census, but are willing to sacrifice that due to fear of the non-existant coalition.

    Anyhow, I think the best we can hope for is a Harpercon reduced minority. No matter. already a step forward. Steve would need at least 2 parties instead of just 1 to get anything done, thus his divide and conquer games wouldn’t be all that successful.

    Iggy did his best with the bus tour. But he is burned, thanks largely in part to the Harper-friendly media and that is likely to remain that way. I can’t see his polling numbers getting better. Maybe it’s time for the Liberals to drop the gauntlet. Iggy will have to go at that time. It’s time for a new leader who can bring it home.

    Otherwise, if we wait, Steve could get his majority and then we’ll be stuck for Gawd knows how long.

    For those reasons, an election is needed now.

    • @ck, with respect, You have no evidence,that a couple of “coalition” fearmongering coalition speeches (which he has done once to a CPC gathering a couple of days ago) is the reason for a slight bump in 1 specific Ekos poll. The Ekos people certainly dont claim that to be the reason why.

      As for fearing the week-by-week trends of any particular poll, and when to go or not, I’d point you to Steve’s argument:

      Some Liberals are waiting for that day when the Liberals are well ahead in the polls and victory looks almost assured. I would argue, that day may never come UNTIL we have a campaign, unless of course people are prepared to wait for a couple more years, even that offering zero guarantees of anything. A campaign offers the Liberals the best high profile opportunity to bring the soft support back into the fold.

    • Anon ABC


      It does looks like Harper has decided to go all in for his agenda. I suspect he is reconciled to the realization that he will never win a majority so he might as well get as many of his agenda implemented as he can. He likely figures that the opposition, especially the Libs, are too scared to trigger an election to stop him.

      As to polls, they come and go but some people are putting way too much emphasis on them. One example: recall that Martin started the campaign in 2006 with over 40% and Harper with way lower than that. And we know where that went.

      There are many reasons why many polls are unreliable(grossly underestimating the actual margin of error because of violations of assumptions; biased or flawed methodology/analyses; genuine difficulty with polling even for the most reliable pollsters, etc.). Here is an example that shows that more than 60% of multiple polls by multiple pollsters fell outside the margin of error of the actual election results: There are many other examples.

      The trouble with the Libs waiting for polls to show that they are clearly leading before they trigger an election is that: (a) Harper gets to continue to do his damage (Travers’ article in the T.O. Star a few days ago on Harper vandalizing Canada), and (b) it plays into the framing that the Libs are unprincipled and are in it only for themselves and will not stand up unless they can get back to power.

      Perhaps the only thing that one can glean from polls of voting intentions is that the gap between the Libs and the Cons has been quite consistently small in the last 3-4 years(except for only very few occasions when, for example, the Cons had polled at or near 40% shortly following Ignatieff’s declaration last Fall that the Libs would no longer support this government and it was the NDP that actually prevented an election).

      If Ignatieff and Layton are unable to win more seats together with all the gifts that Harper has been giving this summer, then we are in trouble either because we have opposition leaders who are incapable of campaigning (certainly does not apply to Layton, we will see what Ignatieff can or cannot do) or Canadian voters are still apathetic to what is happening.

  • Kring

    At last. Bring it on. 🙂 Will Iggy mean it this time when he states brazenly that, “your time is up?” Or will he cower away again?

    And speaking of “Joker”……….. 😉

    Heh. Fitting. 🙂

    • TofKW

      @Kring, “At last. Bring it on.”

      Such bravado from a team that’s in trouble from the members within their own ranks (check out CPofC donation numbers lately?)

      Careful what you wish for, you just may get it …and I’m certainly hoping so.

      • Kring

        Why all of a sudden is there moderation, Scott? Something troubling you? 😉

        Such bravado from a team that’s in trouble from the members within their own ranks (check out CPofC donation numbers lately?)

        “Trouble within our own ranks?” “Bravado?” LOL

        The Conservatives have outfundraised all of the opposition parties, combined, in the first quarter of 2010. They earned two-and-a-half times more cash in donations than the Liberals in the second quarter. Have I seen the numbers? Oh yeah, I have. Obviously you haven’t.

        You guys are going to get buried. “Be careful what I wish for”? I have and I say it again – Bring. It. On.

        Oh, and “Harper friendly media”?

        The PPG has characterized this PM as “a control freak” for not answering reporters’ questions. But “Harper friendly media”, eh? LOL. Sometimes I almost believe you belive your own tripe.

        • Snort.. my spam filter sometimes will automatically ‘catch’ things and mark them as either to be moderated by me, or directs them to the spam filter – sometimes I catch them, sometimes I don’t . Ask Redrum on here; I’ve had to do several retrievals from the moderation queue/spam filter of his posts; ones that dont normally oppose my POV.

          So.. try not to exhibit typical Conservative paranoia. Your posts and rantings don’t trouble me in the least; they’re amusing, actually. When you go too far and post something over the top.. I’ll make sure you’ll know I did the moderation on purpose.

        • Redrum

          @Kring, re: the moderation thing: yeah, if there are links (esp. 2+) his firewall flags it & he has to check in with his spam filter. I’ve taken to emailing for longer posts I don’t want to be lost.

          re: the un/friendly media: well, the friction you’ve ptd to was over the PMO’s restricting access, not over any of his other policies.

          The reason most of us think “the media” is more Con-friendly is because of their editorial stance: i.e., what the mostly right-wing op/eds say (PMO talking pts, mostly); the way 3/4’s of their columnists lean; what stories get carried, & where; & which letters get published. And that’s by design, to align with their corporate owners’ interests.

          The reporters, on the other hand, aren’t as uniformly Tory. But they’re not Libs or Dippers, so much, either. Most of them are jaded, cyncical bastards who don’t believe any pol. and want to trip all of them up. So it’s BS to call them left-leaning, too. Some are, some aren’t.

          As for the CBC, sure, its not exactly enamored w. the Harper govt, that’s no secret, but it gives plenty of representation to their pt. of view, esp. on political panels. Half the time the Cons. don’t even bother sending a rep. to Power & Politics on breaking stories since Solomon shouts out their points for them so well they don’t need to.

  • Subtle is the key word. No “joint announcements”, or declarations of war. Just let the Opposition meet privately, and figure out strategy – just like Harper did in 2005. This joker’s time is up.

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