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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Day One: Harper Says He's Mr. Rogers and Layton Says He's a Canuck Obama. LOL!

Here are some first impressions of the Harper and Layton election campaign launches.

HARPER:

Harper is using TV ads to repackage his image as Mr. Rogers and wants to “welcome us to his neighbourhood.” He will spend millions of dollars to try and convince Canadians he has moved away from his chair kicking micro-manager control freak leadership style.

He will leave Canadians wondering who about the real Stephen Harper. Is the conniving and deceitful promise breaker dead? Is the Eerie Uncle Steve television commercial shot in soft focused sepia-tone with Harper in a sweater vest the real man? I don’t think so.

He has been repeatedly evasive and unconvincing why he is forcing an election now in breach of his own fixed election law. He says in an opening day CTV interview that his government has accomplished a lot since elected, including passing three budgets and plenty of legislation. So he is a successful government and an accomplished leader. So much for a dysfunctional Parliament!

He says he wants to spend $400m of our tax money on an unnecessary election just so he can lead another minority government. What a waste of money. What hubris and arrogance. I expect Harper’s election campaign this will prove unequivocally to the majority of Canadians that he is not to be trusted. If the lead up and the first day are any indication of the future of Harper campaign style it will be about a thousand points of bullshit.

LAYTON:
Jack has already embarrassed himself by claiming to be the Canadian Obama in the launch of his campaign. Spare me. He is running for second place because he believes the pointless popularity poll ranking that puts him minimally ahead of Dion in leadership capability. He forgets or ignores the impact of the Cons who have spent about $2,000,000.00 in carpet bombing television attach ads in the past year framing Dion as "not a leader."

Ironically Dion has obviously personally suffered from the attack ads, but the Liberal brand has not. The Libs have stayed statistically tied with the Cons in popular support in spite of the carpet bombing attack ads by the Cons. Now we have an election and leadership is really an issue. Layton claiming to be an Obama wanna-be is embarrassing and awkward at so many levels. Self-delusion is not a winning quality for political success. Jack’s fantasy narrative as the Canuck Obama is going to at least make him subject to snickering if not outright ridicule.

In reality Jack is pretending to look ahead to take a direct run at Harper. In reality he is actually looking over his shoulder at the growing popularity of the Greens under Elizabeth May. The May Greens will be breathing down Jack’s his neck all over the country. The Greens will prove to be the safe parking lot of choice for the millions of disenchanted voters who want to send a message to the old-school parties…including Jack and the NDP.

CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES:
The real test of Layton’s shift-to-the-right leadership will be if he ends up holding the balance of power if the election outcome is a Harper minority government. He will no longer have the luxury of dog-in-a-manger voting tactic without fear of causing an unnecessary election. Jack likes to criticize Dion for supporting the last Harper government and he brags that he consistently voted against the old Harper government. A new Harper minority Jack will be intimidated, bullied and extorted. That will put the Layton Dippers on the bubble next time.

We will then see just how committed Jack will be to his political principles. We will see him really tested as to the quality of his character if he turns out to be a Harper sock puppet if this election returns another Harper minority.