Saturday, September 12, 2009

Two excellent posts on a sunny Saturday

I read two posts today that provided a welcome respite from poll dissection and election speculation and I will happily ride on their coattails by highlighting them here.

I don't know how Impolitical can continually and with such alacrity suss out all of the key editorials, stories and LTTEs and then make all of the pertinent connections to our nation's dilemma under the Conservatives but there is another example up here. (MEIB)
The strain of illegitimacy that Republicans use in attacking their opponents is infesting our politics too. What else are we to think when we have a political leader who is caught on tape demonizing his opponents. Using ads to question the personal motivations of the Liberal leader, sinisterly impugning intentions. We have a leader who is actively trying to suggest to the Canadian people that a Liberal government is something to fear, that will cause "long-term damage." Who is putting to the Canadian public untruths, running ads that are patently false on this coalition issue. It's something to behold.

One other aspect of this column stood out, and while the Republicans are much more far gone in their disconnect from reality than Canadian Conservatives, there's a grain of truth here too:
The country needs a serious right-of-center party - one that has real ideas, one that can engage in a serious debate with the Democrats, one that has a sense of a larger national purpose beyond winning the next election, and one that can actually attract more Americans to its banner because it has earned their trust, not because it knows how to polarize.
The echoes are a little too eerie these days.
History has cycles. The reactionary energy built up during the 60's and unleashed by the ongoing economic shocks of the stagfaltionary 70's on aging Boomers was at it's peak during Reagan, Mulroney and Thatcher. The scars those three and others inflicted were bad enough but they set the stage for the nadir that was the Bush era and is the Harper embarrassment. Here is hoping that Obama represents the beginning of the end of this low in the current cycle. And that Canada can maintain the momentum in society's swim to the surface.

The second post is by James Laxer, in which he reflects on similarities between Ignatieff and King. It is an interesting take on the subject.
A master of the fine art of letting the Conservatives destroy themselves, King staunchly avoided presenting anything new to Canadians especially during federal election campaigns. He was lucky in his opponents, sharp edged Tories such as Arthur Meighen and R.B. Bennett who were loathed by most Canadians. King’s job was to show up at the helm of a united party and to encourage Canadians to “throw the bums out” and later to keep them out. ...

In the coming weeks, we will watch Michael Ignatieff present himself as a prime minister in waiting. He will offer reassuring sentiments to convince Canadians that he is civilized and vaguely progressive.There will be no new ideas, no green-shift, no reappraisal of the mission in Afghanistan, no plan to rebuild the Canadian economy and create jobs for Canadians. Ignatieff’s campaign will be all about presenting contrasts with the Iron-Heel Conservative of our time, Stephen Harper.
The "Just Visiting" ads were the impetus to re-read Right Honourable Men: the Descent of Canadian Politics from Macdonald to Chretien by Michael Bliss because I recalled the segment on King's earlier career and wanted to compare it to MI. The parallels between the pre-political careers are very interesting. The book and Mr. Laxer's entire post are worth a read.
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