I have been thinking about doing a blog post on this approach to political messaging used by the Harper Conservatives ever since I read it. Susan Riley has done it very well in this column.
Mr. Tom Flanagan, part of the Harper Team brain trust, is quoted as says that any edict, announcement or partisan attack does not have to truthful, merely plausible to be acceptable to align with the Harper governing philosophy. This has to be very disturbing to citizens of Canada. Is this a satisfactory value set for someone to be holding the highest office in the land? I sure don't think so.
We have seen so many examples of how this governing philosophy of the Harper government has played out in the 4 years he has been in power. Just search Harper in this blog for examples. Thank goodness Mr. Harper has never had the absolute power of a majority government.
Mr. Harper used this "truthiness" trick in his now infamous November Fiscal Update when he promised a surplus budget in this fiscal year. He also denied we were in recession. He knew both statements to be untruthful but "plausible." And that was enough of a "defensible position" for him to justify his intentional misleading of the Canadian public?
He had to come clean and he finally tells us we have the largest deficit in the history of the country, but his numbers are still being disputed by the government's own Budget Office. He still asserts that he is the best guy to manage the economy. He tells us 80% of the billions of stimulus dollars are into projects around the country. Maybe, but he offers no evidence and the plausibility of this assertion is under suspicion. Can we trust him to tell us the truth on this file? Mr. Harper makes assertions but he offers no proof. Without proof are we Canadians going to continue to accept his spin as plausible and therefore give it validity?
One of his own candidate is saying the stimulus money is being directed mostly to Conservative constituencies for political purposes. Mr. Harper has been silent on that issue. Perhaps the truth is so strong in support of that representation that anything else that may be said can't even reach the level of merely plausible. Is it just too far a stretch of credulity to say the stimulus finds are being fairly distributed that the issue just gets ignored by the Prime Minister?
Isn't that a sad state of affairs as we are trying as a nation to help those who lost and are still losing jobs, lost their businesses and are still loosing them, as we all commit enormous amounts of borrowed money that we need to get through this recession. The times call for statesmanship not partisanship Mr. Prime Minister.
Tomorrow morning Mr. Harper has to deliver his second Economic Report Card, a condition imposed on him in exchange for Liberal support of the Con budget (sic). Will he tell us the truth or will we merely has to settle for a plausible yarn? Is a plausible yarn acceptable in a time where we are struggling with the worst recession since the Great depression and a fiscal crisis that is the most serious we have faced in 80 years? I urge every Canadian who cares about the stability, sustainability and future of this country to watch and read Mr. Harper as he delivers his Economic Report Card. As yourself if he is telling the truth or merely spinning a plausible political yarn!
Canadians need the truth so we can plan and adapt to the new realities. What if all we get tomorrow is a plausible yarn to push a partisan political position of Prime Minister Harper? If that happens we citizens have to conclude and say that our Prime Minister has breathed our trust, breached our faith and that his conduct is unacceptable, inconsistent with, and unbecoming anyone who is worthy to be entrusted with the highest office in the country.
Time to come clean Mr. Harper. The verifiable evidence based truth is the only acceptable response from our Prime Minister. we all need to know what is really going on in the economic, social and environmental state of our nation. Only by changing and start telling us the truth, instead of pushing a plausible untruth, will Canadian citizens continue consider it plausible and appropriate for you to be re-elected to lead our nation.