Saturday, December 29, 2007
Always playing to a select audience, it shouldn't be a shock now that our esteemed so-called leader mused this in an interview with LaPresse (conveniently unavailable in english to my limited talents) this week.
You don't think he's expecting his Prairie and BC interior base voters to be cheering this idea on, do you? Maybe that's why he dropped it in the manner he did, knowing that his fan club was quietly nestled dreaming of Religi-CON-estuvus for 2009.
He never plays to the polls (SNARK!), so this obviously is based in some kind of long-time belief in the importance of Canada's two-founding nations concept.
But if its trying to lure sovereigntists into the fold, ala Lyin' Brian, ol smartest geek in the room Stephen Harper is trailblazing down a familiar road.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
For a so-called leader who loves to boast, Steve Harper is suddenly empty of things to brag about.
Although polls are typically last week's news retold and too often fade into the fodder, this one is of real interest. It is the first time the Liberals have taken the lead in a year, since the leadership convention.
And it reflects what has been effectively happening -- a truly ineffective so-called leader, who's favourite sport of 'Whack A Mole' has kept the public and the media's attention off the scent, revealed as a reactionary thug with false declaratory tendencies.
While his accomplishments like The Five Priorities (opaque and often foggy accountability, shell-game on wait times, tough on crime, and 'Canada is Back (of the class)' on the international stage are starting to ring real stale if not fake as Johnny-boy Baird's machismo, Harper's list of negatives, from a mainstream media point-of-view, are now the talk of the town.
Someone who's been linked to the hip to the current prime minister, and right-hand right-side man Day, has slid easily into the lobbying field, working wonders for both the taser and medical industries. When suddenly the minister responsible refuses to comment of a flurry of taser deaths, and a very new and highly contentious medical drug aimed at young girls gets immediate funding from the government, it shouldn't take a full inquiry to follow the dots. But intense scrutiny is deserved.
And when your own appointees are starting to defend themselves from your own muddling -- whether the actually appointing was part of the muddle or not -- is music to the ears of us Liberals who have had to defend some out-spoken and occasionally secret source reports.
Harper's act is a clumsy piece of political opportunism, indeed.
This Globe article is fairly to the point, relaying the idea that Harper has lost his touch, or at least the edge when it comes to spinning to the spinners.
Now it isn't just bloggers, Liberals and progressives alike, pointing out how the CONs have little traction despite what appears to be perfect re-election conditions. The questions and complaints come from Tory faithholds like Alberta, BC's interior and Saskatchewan. Of course, if Paul Martin wasn't able to dance around a couple of puddles, why should we expect this gang that couldn't shoot straight to do it?
While Harper has done his best work silencing his critics internally, the issues like Chalk River and his blatant patronage busts, relying on twice-daily polling while pretending to be above it all, and thumbing his nose with an environmental card he continues to try to play 'Go Fish' with, could stamp him for the rest of his mandate.
By hitching his wagon to a very isolated American administration on global warming, Harper has given Canada a black eye to those looking in. And with half our population having strong ties to other countries, the Emperor's new clothing is going to be noticed at home, too.
He also demonstrated his ham-handed partisan nature, slamming a woman who's served both Liberal and Conservative governments, for doing the job of regulating a highly contentious industry. All the while his own appointee, quizzically named Burns, is now seen as either incompetent or a sleep at the switch. At least he was a loyal fundraiser.
As the media continues to point out these issues, Canadians will be marking these things down on their calendar. Harper will try to put a partisan spin 'Blame the Liberals' on a few more matchsticks in the near future, but this offensive defence is not sticking anymore on its target.
He just made a Scrooge-like Christmas eve conversion to protecting Canadians from dangerous imports, despite this having been in play for nearly 10 months. Change the channel he tries, but the media, which has moved on from the Dion watch to watching a stumbling CON troupe balance its holier-than-thou attitude with its lusty actions.
The people are seeing Harper for what he is, and more and more are finding him to be too much of a bully and not a leader in areas that matter to Canadians.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Real leaders do not fear criticism, nor do they back away from honest debate.
Real leaders walk into the lion's den knowing they are right, take the barbs and arrows, and let their conviction do the talking.
Lester Pearson, in the heat of the flag debate, stood before an angry gathering of Canadian veterans -- who all fought under the British ensign -- and spoke on why he believed it was time for Canada to fly its own colours. He was roundly booed, but he persisted.
Pierre Trudeau, prior to winning his first election as leader of the Liberal party, stood on and refused to budge after an angry gathering of Quebec separatists began to bombard the stage at a St. Jean Baptiste Day parade with rocks and bottles. His aides pleaded with the young PM to leave but instead, he stood his ground.
Stephen Harper, considered by many to be a social conservative, was invited to attend an international AIDs conference, being hosted in Toronto. While his own beliefs may clash with the large contingent of social activists in the crowd, it was expected that a new funding announcement could be presented.
Harper instead chose to go north and sent a minister instead. Upon criticism of the PMs decision, the government cancelled the announcement.
Stephen Harper, at one time having labelled the Kyoto Accord a socialistic scheme, sent his environment minister John Baird to Bali to represent Canada in what was expected to be groundbreaking work for the next global strategy to combat global warming. Instead of reaching out to other countries who wished to see progress and headway on what many consider the most dire issue facing humanity, Baird took his PM's advice and skipped a couple of key meetings, assumedly to meet a constituent at the Bali Hy's restaurant.
But he managed to emerge from hiding to say how disappointed he was in the end result.
Leadership. You get what you pay for.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
If anything, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney put forward a brave face. Not necessarily an honest, smart or repentent one, mind you.
From pointing out the dishonest character that is Karlheinz to then using the Schrieber quotes as supporting evidence, to the 'I'm not a lobbiest' to the 'I was lobbying', it was a meandering and slick but ultimately muddying effort to clean a tarnished record.
He blamed Karlheinz, the media, the past government and came just short of fuming about the use of steroids in baseball.
His mea culpa fell short, in my opinion. Pride, sometimes, is a most disagreeable thing.
John Crosbie thought Mulroney's appearance cleared the air. Well, as you might expect from my partisan rants, I wouldn't want to swallow any of that oxygen.
I think the best response, and unfortunately former Prime Minister John Turner wasn't a member of the committee, that could have been directed to the former Baie Comeau MP, would be this ol' chestnut:
"You had an option, sir. You could have said, 'I am not going to do it. This is wrong for Canada, and I am not going to ask Canadians to pay the price."
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Is the only logical conclusion when you've got the so-called leader of Canada demanding that its all or none when it comes to action on global warming.
His stand, floated by that carnival act himself, John-boy Baird, states that Canada's government won't agree to any target unless it is also signed by developing nations like China and India.
In other words, every country needs to make the same stand and set the same standards. That approach has some support, until you realize that there has been no international treaty that was signed by every nation. Ever. Of course, if you thought the 'cause' was just 'a socialistic scheme', maybe you'd rag the puck and be happy with a tie, too.
Well, its a funny thing. The big announcement from Bali, when not dodging meetings, was to re-install a Liberal program that the CONs axed quite quickly into their 'new' era. Harper's own Green Plan, tabled earlier this year, gives plenty of leeway for Canada's greatest polluters like the oil and gas industry. And he's even brought them along to Bali to help make their argument. Sweet. That's not because they are big backers of Harper, right?
I guess we should be thankful that not even filthy rich Bavarians would invest in this obviously for-sale Tory Team.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I'm shocked - SHOCKED!- to see that the NdP has stepped forward twice in about 24 hours and admitted their errors over two completely different but two wholly characteristic efforts at playing the Moral and Ethical Card.
We're well familiar with Irene Mathyssen blunder, accusing poor ol' Jimmy Moore with displaying soft-core porn on his laptop in the House. A day before the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. While wearing the gaudiest striped tie available at a border outlet store. Apparently, Jimmy doesn't have access to Steve's fashion consultant, either.
She's apologized, sort of. Although a few Dippers continue to seeth at Moore's choice of screensavers (apparently it was his girlfriend and his dog -- both of whom I've seen in person. And yes, if I had a photo of either, I'd not turn away in disgust. But I do believe that James wears the dog collar in that family.)
To the real incredible but nearly buried bigger apology. This time it is House leader Libby Davies, doing her best Charles Laughton impersonation, in giving a mea culpa for the 2006 Federal Election fiasco where the NdP candidate in Abbotsford accused the Liberal candidate and his campaign manager of trying to induce him to withdraw, offering help in getting elected to council.
The accusation hit the fan in the latter stages of that Paul Martin implosion-fest and was feasted upon by many, media, sanctimonious Dippers, and Tory evil-doers alike. The truth has been seeping out after the election (and Paul Martin, RiP) was done.
But you won't find the apology on the NdP website. I checked. There is this old retraction. But you will find this -- so exactly who jeopardized national childcare, Jack?
While the whole apology is part of a court-ordered settlement, which has also cost the NdP some hard-won sheckles, the facts as now admitted truly give a glimpse into just the kinds of depths the High and Mighty had sunk. From yesterday's Globe and Mail:
Ms. Davies admitted that the NDP erred in arranging for Hansen-Carlson to repeat his accusations widely in the media 10 days before the Jan. 26, 2006 election. And she said it made “another serious error in judgment” in failing to make public a letter from Canada's elections commissioner, three days before the election, which cleared the two Liberals.
They failed to make public the elections commissioner's decision that absolved the former Liberal candidate from their screed and pulpit show?
Jack's party has gone from sanctimonious but well-meaning to Holier than Thou to Sly and Deceitful. Thats quite a distance they've travelled under his leadership. What's that familiar rhyme the Dippers like to use? I think it's time to update it...
NdPer, Tory, same ol' story...
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
This is probably the 412th time that he has contradicted his own words, but Stephen Harper really should have his nose rubbed into it one of these days.
His ability to act tough while actually standing for nothing is seemingly a never-ending performance.
Today, he's musing about Bali, Dion and the fact that his own actions will face serious study and possibly consequences as he prepares to put up a STOP sign for anything but full compliance. Using the inaction of others as a defence to do nothing is not leadership.
But when he says the Leader of the Opposition shouldn't be going around complaining to others about the Canadian position, or lack there of, shouldn't he be reminded of this?
There was also a funny line from John 'the Beard' Baird about Liberals and Bloc "getting along." Have you looked into your own closet, lately John?