Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It will take maneuvering so convoluted ...

that it will make Jack Layton seem consistent but it is now an accepted tenet of the conventional wisdom that it is actually Stephen Harper that wants an election. That he will do it is likely. What will be most interesting is the way Harper brings it about.

And he has a good reason to do so. That polling lead that seems so insurmountable? Seems not as awesome as the lead mentioned in this article from just before the 2008 election. And Harper needed an assist from the future Senator Duffy to salvage a minority.

I remember reading a blog post back in 2007 noticing the pattern of the Conservatives polling higher when the House is out of session when they can manipulate the message and then see the trend plummet when they are back in the House and Canadians see what a bunch of jack-asses Conservatives are. An optimist might think that the Conservatives are due to bring some focus upon themselves.
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Stephen Harper; Master of the Art of Unintentional Irony

The Opposition Liberals are determined to bring down Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government on Thursday despite Harper's claim, made in New Brunswick on Monday, that a "fragile" recovery may be at risk if the country is plunged into its second election in a year.

"Doing anything less than staying focused on the economy is reckless and irresponsible," Harper said. "Trying to force an unnecessary and wasteful election in the middle of a global recession is not in this country's interest."

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Harper has yet to answer two exam questions

Back in November of last year while Mr. Angry was jettisoning his economic principles when faced with a real world economic crisis, I asked a question:
"If at the first time you face a major crisis you are forced to abandon your economic philosophy does that not mean your economic philosophy is bollocks?"
Still waiting.

Today Jim Travers gives reason to pose a similar question with regards foreign policy. To wit (MEIB):

Midweek, Harper played to his party base by not speaking to the forum Liberals love and Conservatives loathe as the epicentre of wishy-washy, do-gooder internationalism. By week's end, he was wisely, if reluctantly, bowing to shifting global realities. ...

He grasps what makes heads bob over coffee and fritters, even if it embarrasses chattering classes nervous about the damage to Canadian multilateral traditions and vital interests. And he's pragmatic enough to understand when going with the flow, no matter how unappealing the direction, is the only viable option.


Of Harper's two performances, the second was the more demanding. Comfortable in his political skin in Oakville, the Prime Minister spoke scripted lines through gritted teeth in Pittsburgh. Faced with hosting an increasingly irrelevant G8 summit or throwing open Canada's doors to the G20, Harper, under considerable world and U.S. pressure, chose the lesser evil of speeding a bright Paul Martin idea toward its logical conclusion.

Wise or inescapable, Harper's choice is rich in ironies. Timing and circumstances are forcing a Conservative prime minister to bring his Liberal predecessors' global governance vision into focus. If that isn't galling enough, it now falls to Harper to set a prestigious place at the table for China, the economic elephant Martin spotted in the room and the Dragon this prime minister tries so hard to ignore.

Smaller annoyances add both to the difficulty of Harper's decision and the credit he deserves for getting it right. Canada's approval is now stamped on a collegial approach to solving world problems that isn't central to the Prime Minister's thinking or record. At the same time, morphing two summits into one adds pressure and prestige to foreign affairs, a department he particularly distrusts and starves of resources as well as influence.

In the end – and the Muskoka summit will now wrap one power broking era and begin another – Harper has improved Canada's prospects of not being pushed aside in the scramble for places in the elite club of nations. To wait would have only drawn attention to the receding importance of a host country whose relatively small economy and population make long-term inclusion in the G20, let alone the G8, far from certain.

Canada's challenge now is to make the Huntsville summit more than symbolically memorable. To safeguard this country's future G-Something membership, Harper will have to craft an agenda that moves beyond accepting inevitable change to reinforcing this country's role as a willing agent of change.

For Canada to hold its world place, the Harper who stands up in Huntsville must be the shrewd prime minister seen this week in Pittsburgh, not the crafty politician who swilled coffee in Oakville.
Perhaps it could be phrased thus:
"If you are forced to abandon your foreign policy philosophy when it is tested by the real world, does that not mean your foreign policy philosophy is bollocks?"
Given the discredited reputation of Tom Flanagan and his ilk referring to the "thoughts" of The Calgary School will not be accepted for credit.Recommend this Post

Someone's been taking his All Bran

Helps counteract all those trips to Timmy's.Recommend this Post

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OK Canada, time to face reality

You were allowed to enjoy your summer even though, for a lot of you, that entailed ignoring the rampant incompetence of the Evil Blue Meanies. Such as the meltdown in the nuclear isotope industry. You indicated your displeasure with the thought of performing your civic duty by punishing the Liberals in opinion polls taken after the likelihood of an election was increased.

But September is almost over. It is time to move on and face reality. Are there really 35% plus of Canadians who think these guys deserve their vote. After a day when they get caught breaking the rules and like a five year old deny it?

Despite adamant government claims to the contrary, dozens of photos of Prime Minister Stephen Harper have vanished from the taxpayer-funded website that promotes the Conservative economic plan.

The photos disappeared after The Canadian Press questioned the government about complaints of partisanship in federal advertising, including a website plastered with Harper photos.

"We have not removed any pictures of the PM," a Privy Council Office spokeswoman insisted late Monday.

A spokesman for the prime minister made the same assertion.

After being presented with a cached image of the www.actionplan.gc.ca site from last week which featured over 40 photos of Harper, the government did not respond to further inquiries on the matter Tuesday.

I believe a time out is called for.

Maritime lobster fishermen in need of financial help got a lift of another kind Tuesday when they were directed to a toll-free number that was supposed to detail an aid package but connected them to a lusty sex line instead.

One of the several toll-free information numbers released by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea hooks callers up to a sex line that offers fishermen nary a detail on the lobster stimulus package.

“Hey there hot stuff, I’ve been waiting for your call,” a breathless female voice proffers.

“Are you ready for some tantalizing fun?”

Sorry Madam, but there is nothing tantalizing or fun about these twits.

But everyone has bad days. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow Harper will make up for missing the climate change talks going on in NYC while he was there to talk to Mayor Bloomberg. Although he will make it for dinner.

Actually no. The tragic history of today gets repeated as a farce.

The Prime Minister’s itinerary for tomorrow. No really.

Oakville, Ontario

11:30 a.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity.

Tim Hortons Innovation Centre
226 Wyecroft Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6K 2Y1

*Photo opportunity (cameras and photographers only)

The Globe and Sun suggest the Prime Minister will be skipping Barack Obama’s address to the general assembly to make the trip to Oakville.

Now I realize that at least 20% of the Conservative vote can be explained by SoCons and other troglodytes who will believe almost anything. But as for the other 15+%. Come on people.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Stephen Harper the original Tele-Poli-Vangelist

We are about due for the next Conservative fundraising missive. Perhaps, if a major effort is called for, a contribution from the Eminence Grease to lay the ground work with another of his embarrassing editorials. For those of you uncertain as to what I am referring to, I have blogged quite a bit recently on the increasing importance of fundraising as an end for the Conservatives rather than a means. This has led to the distortion of the public policy debate by the introduction of initiatives designed to enhance ongoing contributions from their base rather than deal with real world problems facing the country. The need for a strong fundraising apparatus is apparent when one recognizes that a political party requires a bureaucratic apparatus to survive. The proof of this lies in an examination of the state of the Liberal Party finances from 2006-2008 and the effect it had on their strategy over that time. After a time, however, every bureaucracy gets to the state where, as with a living organism, it seeks ways to survive in its own right. And as it grows it needs ever more food, in the form of donations, to cover the "burn rate".

So if the Conservative Party Of Canada is straying from it's original purpose, what does it most resemble? When the focus on fundraising is combined with the abandonment by the Harper Conservatives of the principles on which the Reform movement was based, parallels can be drawn with television evangelical personalities. This isn't too surprising when one considers the other parallels between the Conservative base and evangelical Christians. As with the televangelists and their churches it appears to an external observer that Harper is only paying lip service to the extreme beliefs of his followers in order to maintain a bank account. Perhaps if Harper were to get his majority he would bring about all of the hateful fantasies of the Theo-Soc-Neo-Econo-Cons but thus far Canadians have been spared that sad fate so we can only review his government based it's minority status. Perhaps with a majority he would lean on other excuses for not bringing about the transformation his followers seek. There are lots of possible scapegoats. The liberal bureaucracy, the liberal courts, the liberal media. Blame anything so long as it keeps the money rolling in. Just as a preacher will blame others for the delay of the Rapture and call for more donations to bring it about.

These parallels include:

1. "Strong Leader" figures with no apparent heirs.
The Conservatives have expended a significant amount of time, Party funds and government money projecting Harper as the epitome of a strong leader. His leadership is not strong enough, however, to tolerate any substantial underlings.

This is similar to televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Oral (aka Or else) Roberts. All of these preachers are more identifiable with the public than the churches they lead. The people associated with the church owe their loyalty to the headman and the headman alone. This flows from the next similarity.

2. Leads organization they founded as the epitome of the true faith
Harper is credited with uniting the right. And it is true that the current Conservative Party is a creature of his making. This occurred after he resigned from a position with a right wing party of which he had poor prospects of ever leading. He resigned and went into the wilderness so to speak. When he brought the new party into being, he was seen as a prophet of a new true conservatism that previous leaders could not measure up to.

Each of the televangelists referenced above also formed their own church that projected the virtue of being a true vision of Christianity. They did not rise to their current positions by paying their dues within an established structure.

Whether the organizations preach religious or political dogma, these organizations are based on an extremely conservative viewpoint. The identification of identifiable groups (homosexuals, liberals, news media) are key to the growth of the organization.
Whether it is Harper, Falwell, Roberts, Haggard or Swaggart these men are leading an organization they can take the majority of the credit for.

3. The failings of the Leader are not the fault of the faith
Every one of these leaders has fallen off their self-established pedestal. Falwell was investigated by the SEC for bond irregularities. Oral Roberts was accused of having a West Coast home and country club membership purchased for him with church funds. Jimmy Swaggart has been caught not once, but twice, with prostitutes. Not to be out done, Ted Haggard was caught with a male prostitute and metampetamine drugs.

Paradoxically, these personal failings did not cause a collapse in the support of these men. Nor did the persistent failings of the leaders of the evangelical faith cause the followers to question the tenets of their belief.

Stephen Harper has been found guilty of an even worse transgression (in the eyes of the Reform base). He has been accused and convicted of implementing Keynesian policies solely in order to save his office. The inability of the Hayek/ Freidman economic model to relate to the economy and politics in the real world has been demonstrated time and again. As with Marxism, a model based on the panacea of a single mechanism is doomed to fail. But failure does not raise doubt in the minds of the followers of these dogmas. They still believe in the fantasy and believe that their leaders were ambushed by external circumstances. In Harper's case it was the "Global Economic Uncertainty". But for that, he would have brought about a Conservative Heaven. (However hellish that would be).

4. The need for an apparatus to process the donations
Consider this passage from an online article on televangelists (MEIB):
A major part of each religious broadcast organization therefore is its fund-raising section. Fund raising consumes a large part of each organization's regular budget. In 1979, 35 percent of the Rex Humbard organization's budget, or $10.5 million, was spent on the building of audience loyalty and the solicitation of its financial support. (4) For the program "The Old Time Gospel Hour," the figure was $10.99 million or 23.7 percent of the organization's budget. (5)

Such large amounts of money are needed for several reasons. One is simply to meet the costs of processing the large number of individual donations which comprise the backbone of the broadcastes' support. Jerry Falwell's organization in 1976-77, for example, received nearly 80 percent of its $22.2-million income from 762,000 individual contributions. (6) Any organization that does not develop the capability to handle such volume is effectively cutting off the source of its own lifeblood. Thomas Road Baptist Church in 1976-77 used about 60 people daily to sort through the day's mail of around 10,000 envelopes. The Oral Roberts organization is reported to have a similar mailroom, capable of handling 20,000 pieces of mail each day. (7) Each contribution and letter must be accurately recorded and classified for subsequent computerization and recall when the financial planners are calling out lists of names for future mail appeals.

This bulk mail is not only the lifeblood of the broadcasters but it also becomes a type of barometer of the broadcaster's performance in relation to his audience. When faced with the reality of meeting expenses of $1 million each week or else beginning the downward spiral of reducing the syndication of one's program, a broadcaster becomes very sensitive to the audience feedback provided by one's mailroom. The daily report on both income and issues from the mailroom becomes an important item in each broadcaster's daily briefing. Evangelical broadcaster, Tom Bisset, describes some of the pressures under which a broadcaster works:

If a broadcaster touches a "hot" subject even accidentally, he will know about it in a week or even days. Mail, the broadcasters' lifeline, is a built-in polling device that records audience preferences with Gallup-like accuracy. So, unless broadcasters have iron-clad formats, their programs begin to focus on those issues and emphases that bring in the mail -- and the money. The necessity of paying for air-time also prompts broadcasters to follow the money.

A "Strong Man" at the head of an organization he created. Failing at it's stated aims. But backed by a well organized process to fleece money from the suckers. Sound like our Prime Minister.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

The NDP conundrum

... Layton has to decide who the New Democrats are.

Do they want to be a political party that aims to become a government, as some provincial parties have done, or remain a political lobby group that is happy to generate some good ideas implemented by others?...

There is a split in the party. There are some who are tired of being in opposition and want to be in government. Others would prefer to remain in opposition and keep preaching what is right for Canadians without being bothered by the annoying question of what is possible. Going in either direction presents some problems for the NDP leader. However, the worst decision is not to make one at all and risk losing both options. ...

It is up to the NDP leader to decide in which direction he wants to take his party. However, Layton has to understand that he can't take it in both directions at the same time; he can't simultaneously please the ideologues and the pragmatists.

After so many years in Ottawa, the NDP has to decide if it wants to be a party getting ready to be in government or a parking space for potential Liberal votes. ...

He doesn't have a lot of time to decide, probably two weeks. In that time, Layton has to choose if he wants to attack the Liberals and upset the ideologues in his party or go after the Conservatives and help send Ignatieff to 24 Sussex, Harper to Stornoway and, in the process, himself back to Toronto. ...

For the time being, in the fight between Harper and Ignatieff, the loser is Jack Layton.

What he doesn't mention is the obvious problem that choosing pragmatism means that Harper remains in power. Which should be anathema to the NDP.
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Suppress the vote (9)

WesternGrit had an interesting post on Wednesday on the Conservatives vote suppression topic. Go read it here. Liberals ignore this at their peril.Recommend this Post

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So, the NDP rejected the budget without reading it and...

Now they have supported the Conservatives without reading the fine print.
One day after claiming victory for extracting employment insurance reforms from the Conservatives, New Democrats now say they've read the fine print and the government's latest bill is not the prize they had hoped.
This post isn't intended to slam the NDP but rather to lament the ineptitude of all of the parties to the "left" of the Conservatives. Just as the NDP was wrong to crow about the 79 non-confidence votes by the Liberals, so would Liberals be wrong to harp on this point.

While progressives fight amongst themselves Lawrence Martin points out how Harper benefits. Yes I know it doesn't mention the NDP, Bloc or Greens directly but it follows that Harper benefits the more the Opposition (representing the majority of Canadians) squabbles.
He lords over all. It's a jaw-dropping performance. It's as if he's bulletproof when, in fact, he's highly vulnerable.

Vulnerable? There's a wonderful litmus-test question once posed by Ronald Reagan. In campaigning against Jimmy Carter, the Gipperfamously asked whether the country was better off than it had been four years earlier. If the Harper foes put forward that query, they might find more appetite for going to the polls.

This is the worst government I have ever seen anywhere in this country. And I have lived under the administrations of Getty, Klein and Stelmach. There is so much to make Harper own up to but he is getting a free ride as long as he can sow the seeds of dissension and distraction amongst the people representing the majority of Canadians. If we all act together he could be gone tomorrow. Then we can have the fight for the crest of the progressive mountaintop.

Attack Harper not each other.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Even for someone as classy as Dion

There must be an urge to say I told you so. I first read this during the coalition conniption and didn't have time to blog on it.

The world's biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil, has softened its hardline position on climate change by throwing its weight behind a tax on carbon emissions.

In a significant shift in stance, Exxon's chief executive, Rex Tillerson, told an audience in Washington that he considered a tax to be a fairer route to curbing emissions than a cap-and-trade system of pollution allocations.

"As a businessman it is hard to speak favourably about any new tax," said Tillerson. "But a carbon tax strikes me as a more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach."

He must have been reading this guy.

Gregory Mankiw is a professor at Harvard University and a world-renowned economist. He was chairman of U.S. President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers and adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Mankiw definitely understands how markets function and he, too, prefers market solutions to public policy problems....

But Gregory Mankiw suggested something considerably different when I called him at his Harvard office. Gas should be taxed much more, he said. So should lots of other energy-related products. But be sure to off-set those taxes with cuts to income and other taxes.


His reasoning is straight out of Economics 101. It starts with "externalities."

Take a Sunday drive and your car emits various gases, including carbon dioxide. This adds to the rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide that are the principal cause of climate change. But do you pay for having contributed to the flooding of Bangladesh? No, you don't. That is an externality: A cost suffered by someone other than the responsible party.

Taxing people to ensure they pay for the external costs they impose on others is fair, but fairness is more the bailiwick of philosophers than economists. What economists care about is the efficient allocation of resources, which markets do wonderfully -- except when there are externalities involved. So making people pay for externalities improves market efficiency.

But this could be a temporary lapse.

Except: Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) is concerned that Australia's proposed carbon-trading regime will lead to unstable pricing and favours a revenue-neutral carbon tax, the head of the oil major's Australian unit said on Friday.

"It's important to understand that allowing the cost of carbon to be determined by traders on a carbon exchange carries the potential to make carbon costs inherently unstable," Exxon Mobil Australia Chairman John Dashwood told a conference.

But that is just Australia, right?

Nicolas Sarkozy today vowed to lead the fight to "save the human race" from global warming, launching a carbon tax to encourage French families and industry to cut their use of fossil fuels.

From 2010, France will become the biggest European economy to levy a carbon tax, following other successful schemes introduced by Nordic countries in the 1990s.

Dion is too classy. So let me do it for him.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

If you'll have me

I would be proud to be a member of that 'left-wing fringe group' called 'women'. This may seem a bit odd coming from from an XY blogger but as a husband and father of two daughters, I would like to get a t-shirt too (in an "I am Spartacus" kind of way). X-L please.Recommend this Post

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tax and Spend Conservatives

In this mornings post on this week's lame Conservative fundraising letter I gave Irving Gerstein a pass on the use of the hackneyed "tax and spend" slur in order to focus on the give away line about their burn rate. The Republican provenance was so obvious as to be unworthy of the typing to point it out.

But a post on Robert Silver's blog cries out for a withdrawal of my previous clemency.
"Embedded in the forecast for EI premiums in the government’s Update is an assumed increase in the EI premium rate in 2012."'

Ding, ding, ding. "Increase in the EI premium rate"...that sounds an awful lot like a payroll tax increase to me. What does Orr have to say about that?

"Mr. Flaherty pledged to return to balanced budgets without a tax increase. Isn’t an increase in EI premiums a tax increase?"

To repeat, isn't an increase in EI premiums a tax increase?

The answer? Yes, yes it is.

We have had born painful witness to the wanton pattern of increased spending by Haaper and the Calgary Cretins. Now we can see how they are slipping an increased tax load onto the backs of Canadians.

Tax and Spend Liberals indeed.
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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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Mailing in a fundraising mailout

With sincerest thanks to Penlan I am able to provide you with the most recent Conservative fundraising letter.

Take your time and read it all the way through.

See you at the end of the letter.
Sept. 9, 2009
Dear Mr. Xxxxx,

Michael Ignatieff is back.

After 34 long years abroad, he's back and tired of waiting for power.

We must take his threat to force an unwanted election seriously and be prepared to fight a national election campaign next month. That's why I'm writing to you today: to ask you to
make a contribution of $200 or $100 right now by following this link.

Michael Ignatieff is not a patient man.

He has been party leader for only half a year, an MP for a little longer. That's a long, long time for someone with a strong sense of entitlement to wait for what he feels he is owed:
  • Ignatieff wants the power he feels he's entitled to, and has signed his name to the Coalition deal with the Bloc and NDP to get it.
  • Ignatieff wants Canadians to pay for an unnecessary and wasteful election.
  • Ignatieff wants to implement a higher tax-and-spend regime on Canadians.
The problem is that Ignatieff wants all of this just when our economy is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He wants to force a $300 million election on taxpayers even as our economic action plan is starting to beat off a global recession and only 12 months after the last federal election.

Canada cannot afford a Prime Minister who is just visiting.

To you and I, Ignatieff's threats to force an election are absurd and irresponsible.

However, we have to believe he'll do it, and we must be prepared to make our case to Canadians should an unwanted election be called. The Conservative Party of Canada needs your help because our economic future is at stake.

help us get our national campaign ready to roll out by making a contribution of $200 or $100 right now by following this link.


Irving Gerstein, C.M., O.Ont.
Chair, Conservative Fund Canada
All the usual patterns are present. The bi-weekly appeal on the Wednesday/Thursday before payday. The request for a higher level donation is repeated as well. The questions about the Conservative burn rate rise again. More on that later.

As we can see from Canpolitico's post on the previous letter, other things are repeated as well. Such as this sentence:
That's why I'm writing you today, to ask you to make a contribution of $200 or $100 right now
with the words
by following this link
added to try and spice up the uninspired rehashing of the previous letter. Oh yeah. The coalition drivel (I spelt it right in this post) is included as if my rote. Reading this I got the feeling that Mr. Gerstein's heart wasn't in.

A sign that he was just "mailing it in" is that a good job of proof reading would have caught a blooper like the second last sentence:
The Conservative Party of Canada needs your help because our economic future is at stake.
Did he mean to say that Canada's economic future is at stake? Perhaps but that is not what he wrote. I prefer to go with the interpretation that he has subliminally exposed a concern about the trend of their expenditures versus their income.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Caolaition bottom line

Regrdless of what is said before an election in the event of a Liberal minority government Ignatieff is not just entitled to seek Opposition support for his government's programs he is obliged to. Loser Steve could rail agianst a "coalition" all he wants but it will be entirely legal.

Everything going on today is just to blunt the only weapon the Conservatives seem to have.
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Like an elk in the rut. No chess moves here. Just bugling.

There has been lots of twaddle about Grand Master Harperov setting up the Liberals to leak the Soo video as a pre-election gambit. Just another example of how smart Mr. Angry really is. This is given as an explanation as to why he let Mr Tetreault, a Liberal, video the speech. Why he even looked straight at the camera for gosh sakes!

There is another explanation. Harper thought he was among the faithful and he could feel the juices flowing. Once he got to speaking on his one true passion, nothing was going to stop him. He might have even recognized the danger but he couldn't help himself. Perhaps this will serve as an analogy.
Males engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling (sparring), and bugling, a loud series of screams which establishes dominance over other males and attracts females. The bugle call is one of the most distinctive calls in nature.
Out west it is always wise to pay attention to bugling elk. Avoid them at all costs.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An explosive way to break a log jam

Perhaps there is some interesting strategy behind the predicament Ignatieff has placed NDP voters in. As I laid out in my previous post the NDP supporters face an existential question.

It is conventional wisdom that until something is done to budge the core vote that each party possess, we are doomed to minority governments. If the Liberals have decided that they have moved as much of the Conservative support as they can, perhaps this is a way to carve the slice needed to form a government off the thin NDP flank.

It maybe that the Liberals are hoping that the NDP supports the Conservatives and thereby show Layton to be as much of a Toom Tabard as Harper is. The explosive effect this could have on NDP support could be just what we need to break the log jam.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whither the traditional NDP voter?

The big news tonight is that the Liberals have announced their intentions:
Michael Ignatieff set Canada on what could be an irreversible course toward a fall election, announcing the Liberal Party he’s led for nine months will no longer prop up the minority Harper government – and instead will actively seek to defeat it.
As a result the Layton bluster about supporting all those politicized non-confidence motions has been blown away by the wind that has filled the Liberal sails:
One of the only apparent obstacles to an October or November ballot – the fourth in six years – is the fact the New Democratic Party is now reserving judgment on whether it will follow suit. Keeping the Conservatives afloat however would be a significant political departure for the NDP.
Mr. Layton's party prides itself on the number of times it has voted against the Harper government. Its political storyline is that the NDP is the only true alternative, or opposition, because the Conservatives and the Liberals are so alike.
The NDP hasn't been able to significantly grow beyond their core support. Moreso than almost any of the Opposition parties, the Conservatives are inimical to what the core supporters of the NDP stand for. Now that the Layton era NDP has been shown to be a canard, where will the core go? Will they ignore the fact that the Party is now just a vehicle for the fluffing of Layton's ego? Will they stay with the NDP out of habit and nostalgia for the old days? Or will they lend the Liberals their vote to get rid of a government they hate?
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