What is the hold that Stephen Harper has over the Canadian people and how can it be broken?

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Sean in Ottawa

If you buy my post above then consider the round of Ignatief -- think big ads-- you can see they will be a failure. The ads should be -- Harper promised you would be better off and more secure. He has failed. This is what it will take to be better off and secure and this is how we are going to do that. This is the only line that can win the next election -- and indeed, most elections.

Sean in Ottawa

And on that point, I am surprised that Ignatief, with all his experts does not realize this.

The NDP should adopt the strategy I proposed above. It does not mean we don't hae principles but you need to focus on what poeple will change their vote on or you aren't in the game. The NDP as a weak party can't do this subtly-- this message has to be overt and clear-- you are not better off, this is why, this is what will make it better. Don't ask the voters to do the math-- you do it for them. You provide detail, argument but you keep to the theme and you don't change it.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

David Olive, on the realities behind Harper's populist propaganda:

Quote:

Since last October, about 486,000 Canadians have lost their jobs. On Sept. 17, the OECD forecast the Canadian jobless rate will be close to 10 per cent for next year. When the "Harper Government" came about, Canada ranked first in the U.N.'s Human Development Index, as it had done for many consecutive years. We now rank third. We are but the 9th most-competitive nation, according the World Economic Forum (WEF), trailing such higher-tax jurisdictions as Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Japan, which invest more heavily than we do in education, enriched pre-school and other social programs.

In the past year, Toronto has slipped to 13th-most important financial capital from 11th, trailing among others Sydney, which may be coincidental with the WEF finding that lack of access to financing is the biggest problem for those doing business here. After the 11 straight federal budgetary surpluses of the Chretien-Martin years, the Harper Government disclosed earlier this month that Canada will be in deficit for the next six years, totalling a projected $164.4 billion in red ink, including a record deficit this year alone of $55.9 billion - double what the government, a bit uncertain in its grasp of Canadian economic conditions, predicted just eight months ago.

Oh, and an across-the-board price increase for coffee, ice cappaccinos and so on just went into effect at Tim Hortons, notwithstanding the tax windfall it anticipates next year. 

The next time I see Mr. Harper holding forth in a donut shop with a sneeze guard for a backdrop, I'll be thinking of Mary McCarthy's admittedly cruel assessment of bitter rival Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'"

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Well, I live in Alberta, so I can't honestly claim that I don't know people who vote FOR the Cons, but I would suggest that those who bother to vote are as often voting AGAINST the rest as much as they are voting FOR anything. Now I realize that this will be interpreted as heresy to the drinkers of the various flavours of Kool-Aid but a lot of voting choices are about as rational as team affiliations in professional sports -- people don't turn up to cheer the best players, they turn up to wave the colours of their (usually local) team. The last couple of federal elections... all the leaders, all the time, just reinforces this. Because it is convenient, because it makes great sound bites, we spend out time making vitriolic statements about the leaders of "the other" teams -- there is very little discussion of platforms, but lots about leaders. Go through these boards and consider the level of commentary about EMay... it is often amusing, but seldom really addresses concerns about the platform of the party she leads. What applies to EMay and Harper applies to Iggy and Jack too... press one of their supporters for platform details, nine times out of ten you will be disappointed at how little of the platform they are aware of. Damn, I can smell the despair in the air.

500_Apples

I think Harper comes off as "professional"... he is benefiting immensely, still I think, from the persona of bumbling that Chretien and Martin developed for themselves.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Still here, George.

Politics used to be pretty simple for a lot of Canadians, I think. We could do it with our eyes closed, and a lot of us did, so the fact that this isn't your father's Conservatives hasn't quite twigged for many and we can't believe Harper could be THAT bad . Our political allegiance was often hereditary and we often voted based on emotion (“I like the cut of his jib”). 

I wonder whether our progressive reputation was ever actually deserved. The period during which we developed the progressive policies we mistake for our national character was this narrow slice of time in which the memory of the Great Depression kept some of the worst excesses of the free marketeers in check and the '60s social justice movement had its brief day in the sun. When Slate magazine asked, almost exactly a year ago, “What's the Matter With Canada?”, my response deep down was, “Maybe we're just reverting to type”.

There's a lot of self-delusion going on with respect to whose blood is going to flow when the cuts we all know a Conservative majority would signal bite deeper. I do think humans are basically selfish, so most of us can get behind cuts as long as we perceive the likely victims to be someone else. Chipping away at that delusion would seem to be the best strategy.

My greatest disappointment in all this is probably the Liberals' inability to field a credible alternative to Harper, because that, realistically, is probably our best bet in the short term. I wonder who putting the party's leadership up to a vote by the general membership might have selected and whether the result could have been any worse than what they got.

NorthReport

I don't think Harper has anything magical about him apart from from being an iron disciplinarian and a good strategist. The main reason he continues in power in the massive failure of the main opposition party the Liberals. Since Chretien was forced out by the Martinites, the LPC has never been the same. So, the ineffectiveness of the LPC, combined with the NDP's, as least so far, inability to replace the Liberals, as the country's main alternative to Harper, is the answer.  

martin dufresne

With all the Zombie movies coming out of this fall and all those TV clips of Harper acting like an undead manattee on remote control,  I can't believe someone won't put together a half-decent spoof.

Remember that kitten he coddled?

Frmrsldr

Uncle John wrote:

Slowly but surely the Tories are replacing the Liberals as the natural party of government, and as a result they will become less ideological. They will wave a few flags like "The Death Penalty" to placate their base, but nothing much will come of that.

The way things are is what was chosen by the voters of this country, and it is the height of arrogance to second-guess that.

Needless to say, we musn't preach this "the CPC is evil" to people, but instead get the message out concerning the benefits of the NDP. However, if you look at history, powerful people in the German government in the early 1930s adopted the same attitude that if Hitler is brought into the government and given some political power, it will 'mellow' him out. - Yeah, right.

Only time will tell if Harper and the CPC will 'mellow' out or if they get a majority and then have a clear path to do all his/their heart desires.

Frmrsldr

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Point out how much we are spending in Afganistan and you might have a hope. The NDP should run an ad saying we are spending X dollars per person on this war. This money could buy Y things that you, ordinary voter, needs.

And, the war in Afganistan is not going to work anyway. Fighting the war on moral grounds is a nonstarter because Con voters are motivated by Greed and fear not morality, not love and inspiration. But fighting the war as bad spending -- together with other spending policies this government has followed-- list the squandered public money is a start and then what we could have done with that money-- in that Afganistan is just a part.

 

Harper and the CPC are ahead of the curve with you on this. They have made spending on the military and prosecuting the Afghan war from 2009 and beyond a state secret.

Sean in Ottawa

I am aware of that but some information is out there and from the announcements that exist people can make estimates-- the fact that the total amount is a secret should in itself be ad material as there is no strategic advantage of knowing the spending. The fact that this is kept secret could be such a big deal if the opposition advertised on it that the government could release the figures or pay a price just for that

martin dufresne

For this there would have to be an opposition.

Frmrsldr

martin dufresne wrote:

For this there would have to be an opposition.

Oh, the opportunity for there to be an opposition exists alright. There just needs to be someone with the guts to oppose.

George Victor

Sean:

"Point out how much we are spending in Afganistan and you might have a hope. The NDP should run an ad saying we are spending X dollars per person on this war. This money could buy Y things that you, ordinary voter, needs."

 

I agree Sean. And running with your economic point, it has to be a campaign with a populist $ message, because that is where Harper (the ":economist" who didn't see the collapse coming until it fell on him) is weak, is "bullshitting the populace and is about to make things even worse by not supporting Canadian industry in its need for a competitive exchange rate on the dollar, "etc., etc.

 

Furthermore, I think the Tar Patch and its Conservative camp followers should be directrly blamed for a large part of the economic pickle we find ourselves in, not just the collapse of Canada's environmental position in the eyes of the world.

 

(Oh, and with apologies for ending on a partisan, party note - I got a call from Jack's phone crew yesterday asking for a few bucks to help get that message out, to try to compete with the Cons millions. Feels so strange having to be concerned with the backbiting rhetoric of folks to the left as well as the right as questions like this thread title are posed. )

KeyStone

Canadians do not love Harper.
There are three easy reasons for the Conservatives' success:

1) Paul Martin: Mr.Dithers who was really a Conservative pretending to be a Liberal.
2) Stefan Dion: perhaps the least articulate (in English) leader the Liberals have ever put forward.
3) Michael Ignatieff: a wannabe American whose entire foreign policy platform is 'do what the CJC tells us to do'

And then we have the ever-bumbling Jack Layton, spouting the ubiquitious 'working family' mantra, ostracizing single people, and the non-working, while tackling such pressing issues as Interac fees. Meanwhile, he continues to be beholden to unions at a time when the only unions remaining in this era of globalization are goverment unions paying almost twice what similar jobs in the private sector pay (counting benefits and wage).

And of course, you have the fact, that the Left vote is split between Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloq vs one right wing party.
Harper is merely taking advantage of the Comedy of Errors known as Canada's political left, as well as the huge flaws contained within FPTP

janfromthebruce

KeyStone wrote:

Canadians do not love Harper.
There are three easy reasons for the Conservatives' success:

1) Paul Martin: Mr.Dithers who was really a Conservative pretending to be a Liberal.
2) Stefan Dion: perhaps the least articulate (in English) leader the Liberals have ever put forward.
3) Michael Ignatieff: a wannabe American whose entire foreign policy platform is 'do what the CJC tells us to do'

And then we have the ever-bumbling Jack Layton, spouting the ubiquitious 'working family' mantra, ostracizing single people, and the non-working, while tackling such pressing issues as Interac fees. Meanwhile, he continues to be beholden to unions at a time when the only unions remaining in this era of globalization are goverment unions paying almost twice what similar jobs in the private sector pay (counting benefits and wage).

And of course, you have the fact, that the Left vote is split between Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloq vs one right wing party.
Harper is merely taking advantage of the Comedy of Errors known as Canada's political left, as well as the huge flaws contained within FPTP

All liberal leaders pretend to be progressive - they are not - folks are stuck in a time warp.

Iggy is liberal neo-con - enough said.

Working families - can be any type of family and working does include those who work for no wages.

It appears that you would like public sector unions to make less $ rather than thinking that private sector union workers should stay the same or get more. It would appear to me that you would love nothing better if Layton and the NDP cut ties with "labour" thus freeing up them to go else where. So why do you think it would be good for the NDP to cut their association with labour? What would be the gain?

remind remind's picture

Jan, it was a union bash, by keytone and nothing more.

janfromthebruce

Well remind, I kind of got that but I wondered where she/he was coming from and thought perhaps asking those questions - if they were interested in discussing it - it would be helpful.

Considering that more women vote NDP and it is women who tend to do lots of necessary work for no pay and/or less pay, it would appear that Keystone is off the mark on that one. Also family is what one imagines and creates rather than in the institutional sense. The fact is "all families work" no matter how they are composed and whether their labour is valued and paid for.

KeyStone

"All liberal leaders pretend to be progressive - they are not - folks are stuck in a time warp."

I don't know if I would say all, but all liberal leaders since Chretien, at least.
There was certainly no time warp surrounding Lester B Pearson.

"Working families - can be any type of family and working does include those who work for no wages."

Well, it's nice that you can interpret this to be all-inclusive, but if that is the case, then why use these terms at all, that may very well marginalize those that don't realize the NDP support those 'working for no wages'. Even with that definition, does it include those looking for work? Does family really include a single person, with no children? It would be a pretty liberal definitiion, if it does.

"It appears that you would like public sector unions to make less $ rather than thinking that private sector union workers should stay the same or get more."

Well, wages are relative. If we doubled everyone's wage, then no one would really make that much ground up, because prices would skyrocket. I don't think that the often male-dominated unions should be able to give union workers a wage that is significantly disproportionate to what they would make in the private sector. Good benefits, conditions and a wage slightly higher to set an example should be sufficient.

Look, if unions can find a way to get private enterprise to share their profits with the employees, that is fantastic. But sadly, most of the companies that are saddled with unions, are not doing well, largely as a result of the union influence. Sure, you can pretend that it's the result of poor decision making, but take a look around - how many private companies with unions are still around? And of those, how many need big subsidies from the Canadian government?

If the government is going to spend money to help Canadians, I would much rather it go to those on social assistance, and the disabled, rather than postponing the end of doomed jobs, so that those that feel they are entitled to $80,000 a year, can continue to earn their disproprtionate wage for a couple more years.

"It would appear to me that you would love nothing better if Layton and the NDP cut ties with "labour" thus freeing up them to go else where. So why do you think it would be good for the NDP to cut their association with labour? What would be the gain?"

Yes, let them go elsewhere. The NDP should focus on the poor, and the most vulnerable, not on the deep union pockets arguing for greater protectionism and government bailouts. I think most Canadians understand when government money goes to help those struggling to get by. Most Canadians do not understand when government money goes to help people keep up their payments on their $500,000 home and three cars.

 

 

madmax

Michelle wrote:
The hold is our first-past-the-post electoral system.  The way that hold can be broken?  If I (or anyone else promoting proportional representation) had the answer, it would be broken by now!

A PR system would create a minority government. Much like the Minority governments we have had for 3 straight elections. Harper has been in control through 2 minority governments. The only threat to Harper has come from the Coalition and Ignatieff choose to walk away from that option. 

Therefore, Harper has been the navigator and in a PR system would be in the same position today, with the same opinion polls as present.  I think it is rather naive to believe that a PR system would change ones views of Harper or the CPC.  

George Victor

Max: "Therefore, Harper has been the navigator and in a PR system would be in the same position today, with the same opinion polls as present.  I think it is rather naive to believe that a PR system would change ones views of Harper or the CPC."

 

The views of ALL would be changed by a PR system, since it assumes that some will have to come together to govern. The recent German "Grand Coalition" was a forced one, but it governmed, and now Angela can more easily mate with a party of the right.

 

Can't imagine Harper mating with anyone at the moment.  

martin dufresne

I prefer not to...

 

George Victor

Smile  The imagery too "ribald"?  It seemed too funny to pass up after Angela.

George Victor

doubled

martin dufresne

Is it coincidence, you think, that the "mating" metaphor was appplied to one of the only female heads of State in the world?

John Galt

With regards to the original post, has it occured to anyone that the reason Stephen Harper continues to be Prime Minister is because Canadians have been paying attention?  I have seen a lot of comments here about how Canadians just aren't "getting it", or are too stupid to know better - as though Canada would be better off without the risky prospect of allowing people to vote for the government of their own choosing and had the good sense to appoint a ruling council once and for all and leave them in charge.

 

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

Ah, a Randroid. You're right; we're choosing to reward abjectly incompetent management.

John Galt

As opposed to what?  Conspiracy theories of varying complexity; sour-grapes analysis of the electoral system; or an abject rejection of the very notion that people left to their devices tend towards rational decisions in their best interest?

At the end of the day, since 2004 Canadians have increasingly shifted towards Stephen Harper, away from the Liberals and the NDP have remained relatively static (as part of electoral support)

 

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

I guess you were out of town for the recent unpleasantness resulting from people left to their own devices making rational decisions in their best interest.

I'm sure someone here will correct me if I'm out of line, but the political analysis here at least aspires to something beyond, “What's in it for me?”

John Galt

So you're saying that your motivations for your voting preferences; your personal decisions, your choices of career, partner, schooling hold no intrinsic value to you?

You work for someone else's sake? You vote for the party you don't want (because having an idea of "what's in it for me?" is somehow foul?)  That you have no self and thus neither should anyone else.

 

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
—John Rogers, screenwriter

John Galt

The same John Rogers who wrote Transformers, Catwoman, and The Jackie Tran Adventures (animated)? 

Because if you want to compare authors, you might want to make another selection. 

If, on the other hand you want to debate the actual issue actually at-hand, we can do that too.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

John Galt wrote:

With regards to the original post, has it occured to anyone that the reason Stephen Harper continues to be Prime Minister is because Canadians have been paying attention?  I have seen a lot of comments here about how Canadians just aren't "getting it", or are too stupid to know better - as though Canada would be better off without the risky prospect of allowing people to vote for the government of their own choosing and had the good sense to appoint a ruling council once and for all and leave them in charge.

Did you bother to actually read this thread before you started trolling?

Because Stellersjay put forward a pretty good argument that the electorate has not been paying attention (ie/ are completely ignorant of such issues as the SPP) and rather than stupid, have been entirely failed by a media which refuses to allow serious issues to be addressed and discussed seriously.

Now if you don't care to discuss such issues seriously, <sneer>John Galt</sneer>, I'd suggest you crawl back under the bridge.

Frmrsldr

John Galt wrote:

So you're saying that your motivations for your voting preferences; your personal decisions, your choices of career, partner, schooling hold no intrinsic value to you?

You work for someone else's sake? You vote for the party you don't want (because having an idea of "what's in it for me?" is somehow foul?)  That you have no self and thus neither should anyone else.

If I had a penny for every time I heard a person say "I voted for X because,"

1) all my friends voted for X

2) it looks like X is going to win and I want to vote for the winner

3) I think X is the most physically attractive of the candidates

4) Y argued that people should vote for X. Y seems intelligent. I'll suspend my critical judgement and follow Y's recommendation because Y appears intelligent and seems to know what s/he is talking about. (I'm too busy and/or tired/uninterested to do any research and critical analysis of my own).

5) the paid political advertizements for X were just like commercials for consumer products: They offered absolutely no information. The (political) announcements appealed to my emotions: If X becomes Prime Minister, those who voted for X will be among the "in" crowd - the "in" crowd are young, affluent, intelligent, beautiful, sexy, cool, loved, admired, etc., people. - (This is just like buying designer jeans, sports cars or perfume).

6) X is a strong leader,

I would be a millionaire.

Harper and the Conservatives have offered us war (Afghan War and the Global War of Terrorism), security - in the form of people being arrested with security certificates and on the flimsiest of evidence. Canadians have been handed over to the U.S. government where they have been sent to third countries under extraordinary rendition and tortured. Canada has its own version of the Patriot Act (sorry, don't know the name). The Conservative government is currently trying to pass warrantless wire tap laws and warrantless internet and cell 'phone "wire tapping" or surveillance laws. The Conservatives are trying to create a law and order "get tough on crime" state where laws and sentences are toughened and human rights are turned into "priviledges" for inmates - just like the U.S. - the country that has the world's highest inmate population. The Conservative government has displayed racist tendencies in its abandonment of Canadian citizens facing dificulties abroad. Stephen Harper has called Omar Khadr a terrorist and is perfectly fine with the fact that he was nearly killed, imprisoned and tortured when a child and that his rights are still being violated today.

You're telling me that these and other terrible things that Harper's Conservatives stand for and want to make official Canadian policy and that enough Canadians using their intelligence and voting rationally, intentionally voted for this brought Harper into office, not once, but twice - and possibly a third time in the near future? Somehow, I don't buy it. However, I would definitely say that there is a need for people to vote more with their head (rationally, logically) rather than their heart (irrationally, emotionally).

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

LTJ, I almost stripped off the “screenwriter” identifier, but left it in case it gave him pause that even the writer of Catwoman recognizes what a steaming pile Atlas Shrugged is.

frmrsldr, your number six reason worries me a lot. I hate to stray into Godwin's Law territory, but all the “We need a strong leader” Harper cheerleaders remind me of Weimar Germany, where that was a common refrain. We know how well that worked out.

a lonely worker

Maybe if the "left" wing parties started acting like real left wing parties and talked about the collapse of capitalism instead of sound bites about "working families" and other third way terms, people would feel they have a real choice.

 

Unfortunately most voters don't see much of a difference as all parties are promising to fix a few items but leave the system intact.

 

Maybe its time to talk about things like the SPP, Free Trade, legalisation of marijuana and scaling back our bloated military / police / jail budgets, abolishing the Senate and launching a national dental care instead of corporate tax cuts (as public dental insurance would remove signigificant costs off company sheets and give the people a benefit as well).

 

Free Trade / SPP / and our relations to the US are real sleeper issues which both Harper and Iggy look vulnerable on and should be emphasised to the max.

 

And before anyone posts a few news releases; I'm talking serious opposition and how "capitalism" yes I used that word is destroying our future.

 

Sure the media will go nuts, but this current "pragmatism" is wearing very thin. Around the world, Social Democratic parties who are hugging the centre are getting wiped out.

 

Right now most Canadians would vote "none of the above" and if you ask them why they will say because "they're all the same". And unfortunately they all are capitalist parties that are all to the right of where they were 25 years ago.

Frmrsldr

stellersjay wrote:

LTJ, I almost stripped off the “screenwriter” identifier, but left it in case it gave him pause that even the writer of Catwoman recognizes what a steaming pile Atlas Shrugged is.

frmrsldr, your number six reason worries me a lot. I hate to stray into Godwin's Law territory, but all the “We need a strong leader” Harper cheerleaders remind me of Weimar Germany, where that was a common refrain. We know how well that worked out.

Absolutely, I see strong parallels between Stephen Harper and Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. "Strong Leader" as he was described in Canadian mainstream media: "Mein Fuerer" "Dear Leader" - North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Italy's Black Shirts, Germans giving nazi salutes to passing columns of marching soldiers, Canada's red shirt Fridays (to show support for the troops, the war and the government that sent them there) "Believe, Obey, Fight!", "Mussolini is always right!" "I need one thousand dead in order to take a seat at the conference of champions." - Mussolini. "Canada won't get any respect unless it has an aggressive foreign policy."- Harper.

The Harper administration has all the trappings of fascism - the glorification and participation in an aggressive war. A police state and "tough on crime" mentality. Harper is personally paranoid - look at his personal attack ads on Iggy - "He's just a visitor" (bad), the Bloc Quebecois - "Separatists" (bad), the NDP - "socialists" (fear the "red tide" - bad). He tries to make people paranoid - fear "terrorists", fear Muslims, fear criminals, fear anyone who is different from us, they are less than human. "Criminals" don't have rights. "Terrorists" don't have rights - we are perfectly justified in torturing them. Harper does not appeal to peoples' intellect, he appeals to their emotions. Harper and his Conservatives are anti intellectual. One of the learned scholars who criticized the Conservatives on their ideology concerning crime and punishment stating that it was not based on research and evidence was referred to by Harper multiple times derisively as "the professor". In nazi Germany, what were deemed as degenerate and dangerous books were first banned, then burned in public nightime bonfires.

stellersjay stellersjay's picture

I've been ticking off the characteristic features of fascism as they've cropped up since 2004 and it's alarming. Harper's use of propaganda is reminiscent of Joseph Goebbels. Leonard Doob summarized Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues back in 1954. You can read his summary at the very interesting website of Professor Phil Taylor of Leeds University. I'd bet my last loonie that Harper has a copy of this.
http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=pmt&folder=715&paper=1143

D V

"Now, to the point: WHAT do Canadians see in this thug??"

Head shape. Should have said anglo-Canadians. You're right about the Quebec blessing.
Get it?

"Jack is berated as "Taliban Jack"" -- most unfortnate, I agree, a major piece of communicative incaution (see last paragraph, http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
but some here might find useful esp. with quotations brought on same webpage, http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ,
http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... ).

"GOP of the north". -- Canada & Israel are the two countries, apart from Britain's special destructive tie, closest to the US, and they both exhibit a lag in detaching themselves from the last US admin., although only by pluralities, and with very different domestic focus.
In both countries there are major delusions about the worth of their connexion to the US by whatever administration. I do not think that Harper nor Netanyahu are favoured at all by the new US admin. Although I must say that, despite the Cons. (& Likud) odium, both have their benefits, a main one maybe developing to be the frustration to a certain extent of American-led designs on our domestic politics. Those behind Obama can live with a chastened Harperite bunch, and they are chastened if ambivalent about governing, but surely prefer their man Ig.-in-as-chief (ever play "My Word"?)

"This isn't the Canada I recognize" -- but only now is the West able to show its clout again (see http://greenparty.ca/node/4765 ).

Liberals should go for the jugular, if they sense they are floundering, with attack ads on Harper (& his mostly inept bunch) whose past is full of quoteable "un-Canadian" indiscretions. I guess they're afraid to turn off by insult a group tha might switch back from Cons. There's a lot of this worry about insulting right-wing folks even among Greens.

Is it ever time for some creative collaborative politicking.

 

George Victor

And Harper will have a copy of Leo Strauss's Natural Right and History on the bookshelf, right beside it, with its teaching about political realism - the view that "war will always be part of the human condition, since there will always be a competition for power, because the desire for power is integral to human nature and therefore unavoidable."(Drury)

janfromthebruce

ah DV, most of your links don't work.

D V

thank you, j'f't'b., the editor here didn't take the links in toto, do have a look on webpage http://www.greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2009-07-14/stephen-harper-bashes-religi... at comments entitled,

"More on "woe is us""

"not so quick, Dan,..." (last paragraph about "communicative incaution")

"for all those squeamish about "Harper-bashing""

"revolutionary Harper"

"Greens mentioned"

"crisp & astringent"

""The Coalition That Wasn't" : "Pity""

 

(they all pretty much follow each other there)

 

i only post all this here, as ever, in those hopes for eventual "collaborative creativity"

 

(if that link fails again put "ious-and-political-protocol" right after "..." for full title; sorry for any troubles with all that)

 

canuquetoo

A good start would be to have Jack Layton's nose surgically removed from Harper's posterior. Is there no unprincipled scheme too low for Layton to seize?

The NDP supporting the neo-cons - that must make principled socialists feel proud.

Sarann

 

Why can't we get rid of the conservatives?  Well, yesterday the PM gave his fiscal update.  The Liberals challenged the figures.  

There was nary a journalist, as far as I could see,  who investigated to see who was telling the truth . 

What did they concentrate on?  The internal machinations of the liberal party, that's what.  The most trivial events going on. 

Did we see any panel of experts on tv to help us interpret the fiscal update.  Not even someone from the Fraser Institute

or the Manning Center for heaven's sake, let alone someone from the reasonable left.   Thursday night we will see

some old journalists opine and gab about it.  We have already seem a lot of that.  It won't  enlighten us one bit.

 

Yesterday, also, John Baird  stood up in question period and stated that 14 projects were underway in Union Markerville,

in spite of the fact that the prospective conservative candidate had been axed for saying the constituency would get

nothing until they field a conservative MP.  Did any journalist dig around to report the real truth.  Not that I heard.

 

The conservatives blanket the country with lies and no one is calling them on them.   The media is underfunded and i

neffectual, it seems.  I would say quite a few outlets have a right wing bias, so it is to their advantage not to dig too much.

The opposition can't seem to keep up and probably has no funds or man power to investigate much of what is happening. 

The public sits around uninformed.  They are busy and they believe what they hear repeated most often.   

I don't know what can be done about this.  Any ideas out there?

janfromthebruce

Well, I beleive that the NDP will be abstaining from the motion. The NDP does not support the Harper govt and are doing their best in preventing a Harper majority. Iggy is no where no prime time, where Layton is leading in Leadership numbers over both Harper and Iggy.  The unemployed and those who fear job loss are thankful.

Sean in Ottawa

canuquetoo wrote:

A good start would be to have Jack Layton's nose surgically removed from Harper's posterior. Is there no unprincipled scheme too low for Layton to seize?

The NDP supporting the neo-cons - that must make principled socialists feel proud.

I am so sick of this kind of crap.

The NDP should just admit that it is opposed to the government and would vote against it if it would not trigger an election that would change nothing and that it was wrong to attack the Liberals so much on this point.

The criticism against the NDP should not be that it is voting against an election but that it was lazy in going after the Liberals for voting with the Cons- it should have been identifying key similarities between those two parties and counting those-- saying on this number of issues the Liberals are not different rather than using support form a vote that is only provided to prevent an election. Instead the party went for the cheap headline and it is coming back to bite them.

It is not brown-nosing to avoid an election the government would only win -- and perhaps win with a majority. The NDP is not wrong to do it now and neither was the Liberals earlier.

The Liberals should have been more effective in their opposition and at times they are not genuinely opposed but to vote for the government or abstain to avoid an election is responsible if there is no realistic chance that a change of government can result. Let's face it elections are not a means to show your displeasure at the government -- they are expensive ways to replace a government or renew a mandate. An opposition party has no business deposing a government it has no hope of seeing replaced.

By voting with the government the NDP is also expressing no confidence in the opposition's ability to replace the government-- and that is a fair assessment.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am so sick of this kind of crap.

The NDP should just admit that it is opposed to the government and would vote against it if it would not trigger an election that would change nothing and that it was wrong to attack the Liberals so much on this point.

 

Let's get this straight. The NDP should tell Canadians that they are voting FOR something they are AGAINST?

They should tell Canadians that they are voting FOR something they think is BAD for Canadians because they are AFRAID of losing an election?

This is insane!

Our democracy is truly broken.

This is why we need free votes in parliament whereby the government can only fall if it loses an unequivocal non-confidence vote. Even budgetary votes should not be considered confidence motions.

The NDP should put the need for free votes into their platform. I think it would be a vote getter.  They could tell Canadians that the Conservatives and Liberals manipulation of confidence requirements must end.

Now that we're in an era of minority governments, structural changes are required for parliament to work.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Let's get this straight. The NDP should tell Canadians that they are voting FOR something they are AGAINST?

A party needs to be responsible with confidence votes or we will have monthly elections. So at times, yes.

You should be able to articulate why you disagree with somethign AND say that since it is clear Canadians are not going to vote out the government we won't force an election on each and every time we disagree. In the case of these facts:

1) Canadians elected the Cons to the most seats.

2) The Liberals are not willing/able to replace them in an alternative government so the NDP does not ahve an alternative there

3) The NDP cannot govern with fewer than 40 seats

4) None of the opposition parties look like they are able to mount a winning campaign

5) The electorate looks like ti would only return the Cons back to the same minority status they had before

the alternative?

Vote the government down and:

1) lose the election

2) lead to a Conservative majority or

3) lead to Canada being ungovernable with the same minority and dynamics from before the election

or

1) vote for the government to avoid an election and be clear about why you are doing it

AND

say what you would do if you got the opportunity.

Uncle John

So, by preventing the Liberals from forcing an election now, the NDP is accomplishing the following:

1: Saving the Liberals from having a worse election than Dion.

2: Saving Canada from a Conservative majority.

This is actually along the lines of the NDP being a party for the altruistic.

This only doesn't work if you want to see the Liberals have a worse election than Dion, or if you want to see a Conservative majority. For who the NDP wants to attract (presumably 'progressive' Liberals disenchanted with Ignatieff), this is probably a good strategy, as it shows that the NDP is doing the work the Liberals are supposed to do.

Sean in Ottawa

The NDP don't care to avoid your #1. They are concerned about your #2 (that's the real shit if you follow the metaphor)

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