Reboot Alberta

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mr. Harper, Your Time is UP!

So the Federal Liberals have their political mojo back and are ready to be a political party and a political force once again. The key message from Michael Ignatieff coming out of the Liberal Caucus meeting this week is "Mr. Harper, your time is up!" Yes it is and it is about time too!

The Liberals are back, they have some buck and bravado to boot. So will we have a fall election? That depends on Jack Layton all of a sudden. The NDP have to shed their sheep's clothing of the past 4 years and now have to stifle their sanctimony. They loved to talk about how they were "consistently" not supporting the Harper government as if that was some symbol of political integrity. It was pure positioning and political opportunism, and a safe bet because of how weak an unprepared the Liberals were to face another election. But that was then and this is now.

Layton met privately with Harper recently. I am sure they are working on a deal to prop up Deceivin' Stephen for a while longer. Harper is hoping to buy some time by doing some Dipper pandering. He want to give the economy time to really turn around so his Con Artists can take credit for it. Layton will trade an early election for regulated credit card rates. Harper will give him an all-party committee to study the issues like with EI!

This gamesmanship is not new for Harper or Layton. Layton cut a deal to prop up Martin' s minority and even had the nerve to claim the Martin budget as an NDP budget in the bargain. Hyperbole and histrionics are part of the political game but Layton can go overboard. Harper was cutting a deal with the Bloc a few years back to force the non-confidence vote to defeat the Martin government. So Harper has proven that he will even hop into bed with separatists for the purposes of gaining personal political power. Old-time Reformers (are there any other kind?) must be fuming at the prospects of a repeat of that possibility.

So we have had at least two recent and really unnecessary elections - both caused by Mr. Harper's hubris. First, when he defeated the Martin minority when Canadians had just elected it. We were insisting we wanted our politicians to learn to work together for the good of the country. That was our political agenda in electing a minority government. But that was not the goal of Deceivin' Stephen. He cut a deal with the separatists and pushed us to the polls.
The next unnecessary and unwanted election was the last one. That was when Harper was too scared to face the House of Commons. Instead he shut down Parliament and prorogued the House then slithered off to ask the Gov Gen for an election. That too was and election that nobody wanted and to prove our discontent, we stayed home from the polls in record numbers.

Now Deceivin' Stephen is saying, rather sanctimoniously, that he "...hasn't met a single Canadian who's saying they want to see an election right now." As if that matters to him as some kind of foundational principled way that he stands by. The last two unnecesasry election were one that he caused. We didn't want or need them but that did not matter to Harper because he was on a mission to gain absolute personal political power.

So will we have an election this fall? Ask Jack Layton. It is in his hands right now. After the Bloc news conference today we may also see a different scenario emerging. Will Duceppe try to take the stage as the primary prop manager to keep the limp and languishing Harper government afloat? What price will we have to pay and what is Harper's price? What will he pay to Jack and/or Gilles to retain the Hill and preseve his personal political power?

The only federal party that will be talking to, for and about Canadians now will be the Federal Liberals. All the rest of them will be in back rooms "cutting up the cash" as Lyin' Brian used to say.
Remember when Mulroney was one of Harper's mentors and role models? Harper officially shunned Mulroney politically when he finally had to fulfill his promise to call the inquiry into the Mulroney/Schreiber affair. Speaking of cutting up the cash, Mulroney proved to be pretty good at that all by himself as he admitted in his inquiry testimony.

The next election is inevitable, it is only a matter of time. One thing for sure Harper's time is up! It is time for Canadians to shun Deceivin' Stephen just like he did over the Schreiber Affair and just Canadians did to Lyin' Brian in the 1993 election leaving his majority government with only 2 seats.
With some luck and an informed, activist and engaged citizenry maybe we can get back to some peace, order and good government with a Liberal majority. the only way to get it done is with an election So let's get on with it! Over to you Jack - or Gilles! What do you say?


  1. "peace, order and good government with a Liberal majority"

    Here I thought the entitlement feelings ended a while ago.

    Screw majorities, let's see another minority which results in some sort of formal post-election (or even pre-election, imagine that!) coalition. Make the politicians who are prone to "hyperbole and histrionics" tone it down and put there egos in check. Do you honestly think that Ignatieff with a majority will be anymore transparent than Harper (even if he is less Theocratic)?

  2. Anonymous10:48 am

    Do you really have to descend into name-calling? Really, you sound like you are taking lessons from Kinsella, or from the CPC war room afficionados, and end up marginalizing your post.

  3. Harper and the conservatives got to go! Good post, Ken.

  4. Anon@10:48 You are right. Name calling is problematic, but with these guys fire sometimes demands fire, particularly where Mr. Harper is concerned.

    As for name calling, lets just look a the Harper attack ads on Dion and Ignatieff for some examples of name calling that need a response.

    I think Harper's record of deceit on the economy is clear, just look at the farce and obfuscation of his infamous and misleading November Fiscal Update. I will enumerate other examples in future posts.

    Harper's hypocracy comes from his bemoaning in what he now says is "political gamesmanship" over a possible election call. Consider that he constantly played political chicken before the last election. He made every little inconsequental legislative act he proposed as a "confidence" motion. If any of them were defeated it would trigger an election. Pure political gamesmanship like that of Mr. Harper does not instill confidence in Caandians of his continuing suitability to govern.

    His time is up and Canadians know it.

  5. Anonymous4:05 pm

    Ken - I really like your blog. I read it regularly. I like that the content is well-thought out and well-explained. I just don't understand how you lose all objectivity at the federal level and how partisan your posts get during a federal campaign or at the prospect of one. You accuse all of the parties but the Liberals of entering into gamesmanship for the sake of power, but make no mention of the coalition attempt after the last election. Last year you wrote in reference to the Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition "Coalitions are the natural consequences of minority governments and that is exactly what is happening. Canadians in their collective wisdom wanted the best ideas to be considered from all parties."

  6. I have no problem with coalitions - you are right they should be the natrual consequences of minority government. There was in fact a de facto coalition between the Dion Liberals and the Harper Conservatives because the Liberals were unable to fight an election so they always "supported" Harper.

    At the same time you could argue the NDP and Bloc were part of in informal coalition because they always voted the same way against the Harper government - and they knew they would.

    What Canadians wanted was a real co-operation that was intentional for the good of the country. What we got was one party playing against the weakness of the other coupled with the other "opposition parties" playing other games of symbolic opposition.

    Only when Dion called all the opposition parties together into an actual coalition in an effort to bring down the Harper government did we see a real political co-operation.

    Too bad the purpose of the real coalition was to defeat the government and not to make parliament work. It was potentially a way to address the "collective wisdom" question and to take the best ideas from all paries except the Conservtives. But that was not to be as Harper used all the procedural buttons he could push to retain power.

    The culture of the Harper government was not to find common ground for the purposes of good government. He was always focused on finding ways to use political power and tactics to defeat others. He was extremely good at that but those days are over.

    Now we will see the NDP getting practical all of sudden and coming around to supporting the Harper government. Because, truth be told, they fear an election more than anyone else these days.

  7. Anonymous6:27 pm

    I have to agree with the last anonymous commenter. This blog just took a turn for the worse.

  8. Karen7:35 pm

    I find it interesting that the Liberals refusal to no longer prop up the Conservative government is being interpreted as forcing an election. Mr. Ignatieff has merely said they will no longer do it. They cannot bring down the government on their own; now Mr. Layton will have to actually evaluate proposals before he and his team automatically vote against them. Of course, Mr. Harper also has the choice not to make every freaking proposal a confidence vote; something he has repeatedly done.

    Why are Conservative election preparation activities seen as 'prudent planning', yet Liberal preparations seen as something out of bounds. Just once, I would appreciate balance in our media about this type of thing.

    I don't want an election either, but people can't have it both ways. It is not the responsibility of the Liberal Party to let the Conservatives do whatever they like and then have it thrown in their faces that they are weak. Enough is enough.

  9. One of my favourite things about Canada is that the next election is always inevitable.

    As for the rest... if I believed that any one of them was gearing up for whatever they do next (be that an election or anything they can do to avoid one) because they were genuinely trying to look out for Canada first and putting the opportunity to get one up on one another to the side for just one second, then I'd relish the possibility of an election.

    Sadly, it looks to me like their priorities go "winning elections first, vision for the country second."

    Too bad.

  10. Anonymous11:54 pm

    If Ignatieff is perceived to have caused the election, he and the Liberals WILL be punished! Even his own MP's are describing this decision as driving a car right over the cliff!!

    It's much too late for Iggy to define himself for an election that will take place in the next 2 months.

  11. Swing voter6:07 am

    Maybe if it was more clear what the liberals planned to accomplish with a majority, I might vote for them.
    I mean, aside from the fact that Iggy's not Stephen?

  12. Anonymous7:41 am

    Harper's record is strong and he's a far better leader than Joe Clark or Brian Mulroney ever could be.

  13. Anon@7:41 continues the tradition of Harper's cheerleaders. Here is another uncredibile anonymous comment that is a meaningless meandering without facts or analysis to substantiate the claim. Thx for nothing...other than wasting our time.

  14. Thx Swing Voter, your point is well taken but remember Iggy has been around since December so it is not surprising we don't know him wel yet. Harper has been Prime Minister for 4 years and we know him only too well.

    I am prepared to vote againt the Harper government but I would rather vote for a new government that I can trust and believe in for a change. Meeting that end is Iggy's obligation in the nest election, whenever it is.

  15. George6:48 pm

    Proroguing parliament was wrong? So when a pack of thugs want your lunch money, you just give it to them?
    Did you forget to take your pills, Ken?
    Sorry, I've been gung-ho watching you argue against Bill 44 and the parental opt-out clause (you've even corrected me on some points), but I can't believe this post. Haven't you claimed to be a life-long Conservative - in provincial politics at least? And you think that Liberals at the federal level is the answer? Good grief, I can't wait for the next NEP, 20% interest rates, and a bottomless pit of captured carbon.

  16. It's a minority government George - anything can happen. Rather than talk and engage with the opposition for the good of the country, he shut down Parliament instead. I think that was typical of his politics - cut, bully and run.

    Never been a life long conservative...a progressive conservative for sure and a proud red tory. Not a long step federally from that position to a blue liberal.

    You won't see any NEP but do you think Harper will be inclined or even able to control inflation and interests with all the money he is borrowing? He has been the biggest spending PM in a long time if not history. Fiscally conservative - based on what?

  17. Swing voter8:39 am

    Good point Ken: The fact that Iggy has not articulated a clear case for what he will do with a majority suggests that he should not be pushing the Canadian voter back into the voting booth this fall?

    Harper has not done well either in 4 years, true, but given that the last Liberal majority brought us Shawinigate and the last Conservative majority (yes I know they are not the CPC) brought us the GST, maybe the Canadian electorate is simply displaying a healthy skepticism of majority governments?

    Iggy could have spent the summer generating headlines about what he would do if elected. Right now, I (and I suspect many others) are not convinced. Harper governing (such as it is) with the minority sword of Damocles over his head is perhaps not a bad compromise given the options, IMO.

    I think the best result either party can hope for given a fall election is yet one more minority. Cheers!

  18. Anonymous9:44 am

    What Canada needs is a prime minister further to the right of Harper. We need someone who will protect our children since the Alberta government is intent on subverting the rule of law in not implementing Bill 44 and all of its benefits immediately.

  19. Anonymous1:28 pm

    There's nothing "blue liberal" or "red tory" about this blog. It's nothing but hard core left wing commentary.

  20. Anon @ 1:28 your language comprehension levels must be very low. Remedial reading is recommended.

  21. Anonymous6:08 pm

    I can't believe how partisan and left wing this blog is. I'm sure Michael Ignatieff cuts cheques daily to keep this mindless drivel going.

  22. Anon @6:08 - I truly value my Constitutional right of free speech and association and use it freely and openly. As for you..who are you...why are you anonynmous? You are clearlyu afraind of your own Conservative party and the retiribution its leader will bring down on you for not staying on mesage.

    And why are you wasting our time adding nothing to the substance of the issues. You must be a neo-republican reactionary who got lost on your way to disrupt a health debate townhall and found this blog. Will we know you when you appear on FOX? Why not come clean and out of the closet? Cowardice and fear of your leader Stephen Harper is now way to live your life.

  23. Surely it is not unreasonable for the New Democrats to refuse to trigger an election that is certain to be a catastrophe for their Parliamentary caucus. This is not cynicism - merely politics, which after all is the art of the possible. I think it is quite reasonable for New Democrats to try to squeeze some concessions out of the Conservatives in return for letting them remain in power for a time. By doing so, they are taking the strategic course they think is most likely to enable them to make their vision of a better Canada into reality. By the same token, Mr. Ignatieff was within his rights upon assuming the leadership of the Liberal Party to break the deal his predecessor had made with the NDP. But surely the NDP owes him nothing after that, and nowhere is it written that Mr. Layton should fall on his sword for the mere convenience of Mr. Ignatieff. Most Canadians would like to be rid of Mr. Harper's dreadful government, I am sure, but I for one can hardly condemn the New Democrats for wanting to wait for a more opportune moment to contest an election. In the mean time, as a minority restrained by the NDP, the Conservatives can do rather less damage than they could with a majority.

  24. Thx for the comment David and of course Layton wants to jiggle the agenda for a more opportune time to defeat the Harper government. But it is now in his court, not the Liberals.

    The budget has been passed and the home reno credit will be law soon - unless Harper continues his gamesmanship and tries to tack on some stupid policy to it. I am thinking like reviving his proposal for making it mandatory for 12 year olds accuesed of a crime to have to face adult courts.

    I don't see an election this fall because, while neither the Libs or the NDP were ready last spring, only the NDP is ill-prepared to go now.

    The Libs are ready willing and able to govern, the Cons are not and the Dippers get to decide when the next election will be.

    All elections are about leadership, change and vision, and the next one will be no different.

    So Mr. Layton, Canada awaits your election call. We many not want one but we know we sure need one. It is the only way to move past the out-dated traditional father-knows-best ideology of Mr. Harper and to move the country into the 21st century.

  25. Ken,

    I admire just about all of your work until you start talking federal politics. At that point it seems like reason is thrown out the window to make room for harsh, personal, and hyper-partisan attacks. I just don't understand how you don't think it's hypocritical to write this about the Prime Minister, but not apply the same rules to Mr. Ignatieff.

    "So we have had at least two recent and really unnecessary elections - both caused by Mr. Harper's hubris. First, when he defeated the Martin minority when Canadians had just elected it. We were insisting we wanted our politicians to learn to work together for the good of the country. That was our political agenda in electing a minority government. "

    I'd like to hear your explanation of the difference, but preferably without the aforementioned attacks. ;)


  26. The Martin Minority was short lived and as a result of Canadians wanting to punish the Liberals over Adscam. The minority Martin government was our collective wisdom indicating we wanted some changes.

    Martin was not Chretien but he was still seen as in the Liberal power during Adscam so he had to take some of the heat for it. That election showed anadians were not yet trusting the Conservatives with power.

    When Harper joined forces with the Bloc to defeat Martin he got a minority based on our collective wisdom to give Harper a chance to see if he could lead the country. His triggering an election then, with Bloc support, was democratically fine because volatility is the nature of minority governments. Just as is the case today.

    Harper looked like he was on his way to a majority in his next election against Dion. As soon as that majority became possible, Quebec withdrew its support for him. Harper pandered to Quebec for a majority and even speculated on it in the campiangn. When is appeard Harper may get Absolute power citiznes srated to reconsider his leadership.

    Quebec led the withdraw even when he "acknowledged a fiscal imbalance" - that in fact does not exits. He also had promised that Canada, under his leadership, would recognize a QUEBEC NATION. This is a position that would foster separaton and is diametrically opposite to the originating principles of his party doctrine.

    As for Ignatieff, he has been leader of the Liberals only since December and we have only seen him in one Parlaimentary session serving as Leader of the Opposition. He is realtively unknown but I do like what I hear from him, espeically on the importance of the oilsands to Canada, not jsut Alberta. He was able to force some EI concessions in the last Harper budget.

    He also supported the stimulus budget to respond to the recession. This recession, the worst since the 1930s, was something Mr. Harper was denying even existed in last November's fiscal update when he was touting a surplus budget for the last fiscal.

    He mislead us as our leader when he knew or at the very least ought to have known we were already in recession. This was something he later admitted to knowing at the tiem of the November Fiscal Update.

    It is not as easy to be as definite about Ignatieff because we are just getting to know him. The fact he is well travelled, has written several books, taught at Harvard and in Europe all appeals given the globalized world we now inhabit.

    We have seen a raft of examples of Mr. Harper's penchant for negative and misleading politics for the past 4 years that he has been Prime Minister. He has a record and it is legitimate to comment on it in a free and democratic society.

    If I have been harsh on him in some readers minds, let me assure you I have tempered my language about his abilities and activities while he has been in power as Prime Minister.

    I can only imagine what damage he would do if he had a majority government given the centralized power he has put in the Prime Minister's office since elected.

  27. Ken,

    Thanks for the response. I certainly respect your right to criticize the PM's record and share your resentment for negative politics. The CPC is not the only party that uses negative advertising, but at the very least they are using the LPC's own words against them. None of the "guns in the streets" garbage we've seen from other parties.

    I would suggest that the results of the 2006 election was not solely a response to corruption and Adscam though that dominated public discourse. It was also a vote for a change in direction, and a show of confidence in the new vision of accountable government, lower taxes, and a stronger place in the world that was offered by the Conservatives. Since then, Canadians have reinforced that sentiment by electing a stronger minority less than one year ago.

    The past year has seen a great deal change. It wasn't long ago that the prospect of PM Dion and Finance Minister Layton was a legitimate possibility. Your criticisms of the PM's statements on the economy are fair in hindsight, but hindsight is always 20/20. At the time, there were a great many economists who were saying the same thing. I don't view it as a slight that the PM had to swallow his pride and introduce a deficit budget for the good of the Canadian and global economies. It's not an easy thing for a Conservative government to do on principle, but the PM recognized the need for a coordinated approach to stopping the recession. This position of the government appears to be working, and has not wavered since the introduction of the budget in January.

    What it comes down to for me is that this is just political gamesmanship driving by a new Leader of the LPC who wants a shot. Voting in favour of one budget does not constitute cooperation, nor does it reflect the kind of leadership Canadians were looking for when they elected another minority parliament. It looks to me as though Ignatieff is facing an economy coming out of recession, a slew of major international events in the near future, and a fading opportunity to become Prime Minister. As a result, I don't think it is a stretch to say his decision to outrightly declare that this government's "Time is up" is driven by self-interest and is contrary to the desire of most Canadians.

    I would like to see the CPC and our PM take a more open approach to working with the opposition, and the opposition to through aside the political games and make Government work. This would include offering some concrete policies for the government and the public to examine.

    Thanks again for entertaining the question, I'm sure this debate will continue in the months to come.

    Enjoy your long weekend,

  28. Anonymous12:06 pm

    It's time for a federal election once and for all. Enough delaying things - like the provincial government who is delaying Bill 44 which will harm children all year round.

  29. Graham Fletcher12:17 pm

    Ken: If I have a brain aneurism, I want a Doctor who works on brains working on mine, not a foot doctor who parachuted in because there might be an opening for a brain doctor that might have more status than a foot doctor.

    If there is an opening for the highest political position in my country, I want a Canadian who has lived here as a Canadian, who knows Canada from the inside, who has actually taken public transportation and enjoys the national sport.

    Twice now the Liberal party has found a niche player to helm it. The first couldn't spell Alberta in a language that Albertans, except some non-Parisienne French, could understand, and the second decided to pop in after being a non-resident Canadian for 30 years.

    My point is this: Can the Liberal Party not find a really capable truly resident Canadian out or 30+ million Canadians living in this country, without having to continually go to Quebec, or if that didn't work, some other extra-Canada resident?

    Why aren't mainstream Canadians applying for the job?
    I want a brain doctor who has worked in that field for my brain, not some foot-doctor who is a brain-doctor wannabe, that lacks the resident credentials.

    That is why I love Harper - he lives like I do, I csn relate to him, PARTISAN POLITICS ASIDE (and I have lots of partisan politics). All politics is local, and Iggy and Dion ain't local. Chretien and Martin were at least that.

  30. Graham my friend, you obviously need both a brain doctor and a foot doctor. If you had used your brain before posting this comment you would not have put your foot so firmly in your mouth with it.

    Traditionalist like you are afraid of the outside world and hope for a return to the Canada of W.O. Mitchell. You ilk will continue to live in fear of change and progress and can only rant and rage against the tides.

    There is no "us and them" anymore in "our" globalized interdependent world. We are all becoming citizens of the globe, hopefully we can do this fast enough to preserve our species.

    We need political leadership who has experienced other parts of the planet and is comfortable in the other cultures of the world. Leadership can't be about retreating into ones own trembling and terrified tribe.

    We are also a bilingual country. I know Dion and can tell you he "got" Alberta and his accent was not his defining quality, here or elsewhere. His commitment and proven capacity to protect the environment was his essence and his gift - and it still is!

    As for Iggy, how long can the Conservatives survive by promoting an anti-intellectual, anti-Canadian attitude about him? It is so Joe McCarthy!

    We need his kind of experience in a knowledge-based economy. We need leadership in this country because he has a proven record of actual global experiences. He has a world-view perspective and a personally profound sense of how much better Canada can and should be.

    As for your comments about language, don't be intimidated by people who speak French. It is part of the fabric of our nation. My advice is take some time to learn Mandarin if you really want to survive and thrive in the new world order.

  31. Anonymous4:55 pm

    Iggy sure doesn't sound very Canadian here

  32. Graham Fletcher5:18 pm

    Ken: je vien de Quebec puis je comprendre les francais....

    #1: I wrote the "brain" thing to help you out with the brain attack response. Thanks for playing.

    #2: crap! I am neither afraid nor trembling. I want a guy whose first instincts come out of a "Canada first" attitude than an intellectual. I grew up in Quebec, and Trudeau was the worst and most intellectual PM we ever had. Disaster. Nobody could spend money we didn't have faster than this guy. He was the Canadian inventor of debt.

    My comfort zone is that I want a guy who is comfortable in Canada, who truly lives life like a Canadian - not some parachuted in intellectual who thinks he ought to be PM.

    Consider this:

    He says that the best performing economy in the world - not my words - the words of a whole bunch of economists and world leaders - is in the toilet. Bullcrap. Same ol' "tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth" stuff that we are also tired of. We were tired when Dion trotted out in butchered English, and we are tired of it from Iggy the parachuted intellectual.

    The phony sincerity of how we can do much better as Canadians in those ads are more of the image and no substance we can expect from Liberals.

    You can help me out though because this otta be easy. Please tell me where I can read about the Environmentally friendly stuff Dion had passed while the Libs were in majority. I can't find anything but there must be a ton of it.

    You didn't answer my question, btw. Can the Libs not attract an English speaking resident long term lived-here Canadian?

  33. Hi Graham
    #1 I like playing with you, especially when you get metaphorical.

    #2 I know you grew up in Montreal but I suspect you posted comment in French was something you had to look up. I suspect French is was not your second language. I know you well enough to know that broken English is your second language ;-)- just like mine!

    You are wrong now about Trudeau as the biggest spender. Harper is the biggest spending PM in history of Canada - and that includes war time. He has spent 80% of $50B of borrowed money since January. That is according to his own calculations.

    He is admittedly on his way to $96B deficit by year end. Four years ago he inherited a $13B surplus from the Liberals. Go figure!

    Kevin Paige, HIS personally appointed fiscal conscience, says the deficit will be closer to $150B. Of course Harper says he is wrong, but just like so many times before, once vornered, Harper comes clean and tells the truth when all other options are exhausted.

    Just as Harper said the last Nov Fiscal Update that we were not in recession, knowing all the while we had been in recession since last July.

    Harper was also saying last Nov that Canada would be in surplus in fiscal 09-10. Is he that incompetent, that deceitful or just following his natural instincts to say whatever it takes to get elected?

    As for Dion's record as Min of the Environment, it is a long and successful record that I will take some time to research and enlighten you. Stay tuned.

    As for PMs from Quebec, how do and did you feel about Mulroney? Until his hubris over took his good judgment, he was the most politically successful Prime Minister in the history of the country. His Quebec heritage was one of his great and justifiable prides. You must of thought him inappropriate to govern too.

    Graham my friend, in your heart of hearts you a grumpy old Reformer who feels Harper has betrayed you values. You can't forgive him for that so you like so many other like you, are grasping at straws.

    You are hoping that lashing out lke this will serve to preserve political power for your antiquated views and governing philosophy for Canada.

    Your anger grows, especially now, because you knows Harper is about to go down in electoral flames. He will be destroying the Conservative brand in the bargain. All because it is always about Harper, not the party and definitely not the country.

    Readers need to know that Graham and I are good friends. We just disagree about politics. We say things about each other in public we would never say in private.

    I await your rebuttal Graham.

  34. Igloo Arsonist11:24 pm


    While I wouldn't necessarily disagree with the points you have made with regards to the CPC, the NDP, or the Bloc. That fact of the matter is, Ignatieff hasn't really inspired me (as a Young Liberal). As a young person who has voted in every election (at the federal, provincial, and even municipal level), I have probably voted in more elections than the average Canadian have in their lifetimes. However, based on what I have seen thus far of Ignatieff, I am left wondering... do I really, really have to make a choice this fall? The LPC has not articulated any new policies or positions that are strong enough to even arouse my interest. EI reform? Nope. Greater international influence and status? Sure, but there are more pressing matters. I need to know that Ignatieff has more than imitation-Obama charisma before I can share in your joy at the prospect of a fall election. What positions do the Liberals have? What new direction can the LPC take Canada?

    I may be a LPC member. It doesn't mean that I am blind or oblivious to the other political parties and I am in no way blind to the inadequacies of the LPC.

  35. Anonymous11:30 pm

    What we need to see is Bill 44 on a national scale, urgently. Harper is too left wing for this. Failing to bring this on a national scale will harm our children.

  36. Igloo Arsonist, I don't think there will be a fall election. It will only happen if Harper tries to sneak in some reactionary policy alone with the supply bill to legalize the home-reno policy for example.

    Iggy is very new to us, only in the spot light since about April budget debate. Not a lot of time since selected leader in December - Christmas haitus, budget profile andoff to the BBQ circuit to meet party members and smaller pockets of Canadians. This is while Harper gets to play on the international stage and gather in media attention.

    The fact that Harper and Ignatieff are tied in the polls, given these facts,is an amazing political accomplishment. I think more itme is needed for Iggy to define himself and he is. The Harper negative ads on Iggy being "unCanadian" because he is educated and worldly backfired on the Cons.

    The attack ads did not define Iggy (like the did Dion) but we have yet to see or have him defined in our mines. That is coming now with the Liberal ad campaign and more visibility from this new leader.

  37. Graham, Ken
    Settle down, boys.
    We have a once-in-an-epoch opportunity to create clean energy out of the oil sands (the technology is there) and use that wealth to accelerate the green economy we can share withe the world. Abundant, green, sustainable energy is within our reach if we used the oil sands wealth to fund alternatives.
    This is the real governance opportunity and challenge for Canadians. Let's move beyond schoolyard taunts and reward politicians who have their eyes on the big picture.

  38. "We were insisting we wanted our politicians to learn to work together for the good of the country. That was our political agenda in electing a minority government."

    Please don't do this, Ken. It's total nonsense. It's anthropomorphizing the entire voting populace as if they were a single entity. What we expressed was a preference - in an extremely restricted first-past-the-post system - for who should represent us locally, taking into account things like who we would like to be in charge federally. The result, more due to accidents of regional dispersion and the voting system, was a minority government.

    We did not select a minority government. We may have preferences about how it should act once we discover that's what we ended up with, but we certainly did not intend it.

  39. Gauntlet, you are right. Canadians went into most of the last election disengaged and disinterested in politics. The low and declining voter turnout indicates that.

    To say we wanted our politicians to work together and that is why we elected a series of minority governments is a stretch of credibility. It is not accurate to say that was the collective wisdm of the nation going into an election.

    However the reality today, according to polls, indicate we are not yearning for another election now. Rather it seems, given the minority situation, we expect that our political parties adapt to that reality and find ways to work together for the good of the country.

    We have had effective and good governing minorities in the past where that cross-party cooperation has happened. It does not seem to be possible today for some reason.

    Your comment is well taken and your criticism is well founded. Thanks for bring these points to my attention and to the attention of the readers of this blog.

  40. Graham Fletcher11:42 am

    Ken: My buddy - there is a difference between anger, and enthusiastic bemusement. I'm hugely bemused. As a partisan Conservative, an election this fall would bounce Iggy out of contention again, and again the LPC would get yet another "not ready for prime time" decision. So although it is clear to me that an election this fall is an Iggy ego trip, it won't get the results he wants.

    For instance: the Liberal party with a coalition (why did Bob Rae claim the coalition didn't exist on Rutherford last week - embarrassed perhaps?) wanted to force a change of Government because Harper wasn't saying he was going to drown Canadians in debt. Now the Libs want to force vote because the Cons have spent too much, but about the same as the LIbs suggested needed to be spent last year.....?

    Now the Libs are saying that we have spent too much, but are complaining that Harper hasn't spent enough fast enough???


    See what I mean? Simple bemusement, and the fact that the Libs cannot find in their own Canadian backyard a guy who actually lived here and can communicate to most Canadians.

    My Canadian guy Harper? doing a great job!!!

    Spare us the intellectuals - I want a guy from the trenches, whose first instinct is "Canadian" whatever that may be.

    For instance: Harper's first instinct among all
    world leaders on the Durban II anti-jewish hate fest was to cancel all Canadian participation. Obama followed suit. Would Iggy have the same decency instincts? Iggy would debate this to death. Harper simply does the right thing.

    The Canadian economy is still the envy of the world. Iggy thinks we can do better. Better than number 1? Who is he kidding?

    So bemusement Ken - something I learned after the Dion fiascos. The Libs, as some of these others in this blog are saying, don't have a compelling message or differentiator yet.

    btw - Rae was talking about delays in getting stimulus money out. I've been involved in two RINC (stimulous money) applications, and the questions they ask and the rules they set tend to guaranty against Adscam handouts, and it takes time for due diligence. - no wonder
    Rae and Iggy so upset (OK - cheap shot, but somehow....).

    Satya - congratulations on the book!!! Haven't read it yet. Can I buy an autographed copy?

  41. RE: the plethora of posts. Who says Canadians aren't interested in politics??

    Have you read "Seeing" by Jose Saramango (who also wrote "Blindness")? The populace shows their discontent with the current political landscape, by casting blank votes in unprecedented numbers. Something like 75% of the ballots are blank! The politicos panic. What does it mean? Who is behind it? How do we stop it? It's a fascinating political study in the guise of a novel.


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