Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stephen Harper and the Road to an Early Election

I didn't watch the ceremony at the National War Memorial, but I see that Stephen Harper made it back from China just in time to take the starring role.

So he could take advantage of this country's massive emotional upheaval.

Pose as a Great Strong Leader keeping us safe in a time of war, Canada's Churchill or our Big Daddy.

While extracting every drop of political advantage out of the situation.

And with his every action, as Duncan Cameron points out, dishonouring the very meaning of Remembrance Day. 

The Harper government wants the tribute at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month to be a celebration of the Canadian Forces participating in a war on terrorism. Gloating over military prowess dishonours the ceremony.

Remembrance Day is for the living to honour the memory of those Canadians who died so that Canadians can live at peace. The glorification of the military at war is not what people gather to remember.

To push a political advantage, the prime minister was prepared to leave a meeting of world leaders early, in order to use the 11th of November for partisan political purposes.

But then Harper has violated our Canadian values from the moment he came to power. He has staked his survival on portraying himself as a Great Strong Leader...

And his opponents as weaklings, or terrorist STOOGES.

And so far it's working for him...

Big time.

So are the job numbers.

The Canadian economy added 43,000 jobs in October, pushing the jobless rate down to its lowest level since November 2008.

He is preparing to spend billions to bribe Canadians. Today Joe Oliver will present his Fiscal Update.

To an audience of big business types, who had to pay to hear it, and will no doubt be cheering loudly.

And any time after that we could be off to the races. Or as Michael Warren suggests, off to a very early election. 

Stephen Harper is not the most likable prime minister we’ve ever had but he ranks among the most politically savvy. He’s assessed the political landscape between now and Oct. 19, 2015 — the last possible date for the next federal election — and concluded an early election is his best hope.

Harper has one major advantage: the power to call an election anytime between now and Oct. 19, 2015. Don’t be surprised if he brings in a pre-election budget in snowy February and calls an election for later that month.

Before war fever fades, the economy heads south, and Harper's golden coach turns into a pumpkin...

Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but one can only hope that the progressive parties are prepared for that eventuality. Because in that regard this isn't encouraging. 

As of this past week, the Conservative Party reached the 50% milestone in terms of the percentage of its 2015 slate of candidates nominated on the new boundaries.

The Liberals, for their part, have reached 40% of a full slate, while the NDP moved up to 15% over the past week.

The Liberals, and especially the NDP, need to get their asses in gear. Stop fighting themselves. Prepare to come of out of the gate like bats out of hell.

And above all pound home this message, as often and as loudly as they can:

The ONLY reason the Cons want to go early, and break their own election law, is so they can make sure this sordid soap opera doesn't come back to haunt them...

So that if Stephen Harper does decide to go early, there will be a price to pay.

But beyond that we all need to psych ourselves up for what is surely coming. And prepare to fight the Cons harder than we ever have before. Take no prisoners, and show them no mercy.

For as fall turns to winter in this grim Harperland, and the shadows grow longer...

The smell of danger is in the air.

He will strike when he thinks we are sleeping...

And since the very survival of our country is at stake.

It will be the struggle of our lives.

And failure is not an option...

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  1. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Here's an idea.Along with wearing the poppy for those who choose to do so, wear another symbol,the peace symbol right next to it.

    1. hi me the red poppy is a symbol of peace, not a way to glorify war. Harper may try to make it so, but the dead speak for themselves...

  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    That Harper is advancing in the polls is unbelievable. It truly shows what a bunch of fucking idiots there are in this country. I can only hope that people will take a long hard look at what he's done during his tenure and that saner heads prevail in the run up to what will be an early election. Harper wont wait with the senate court cases looming and as he has done in the past, he'll do what's best for he and only he. He is a cancer that can be beat by voting him out or even if it takes a coalition to do it.

    1. hi anon...yes it is a frightening thing, and it does speak to how easy it is to fool some canadians and lead them around by the nose. But this great fear and war fever should prove short-lived as it always has before, so I'm still confident that we will defeat him and that sanity will prevail...

  3. Anonymous11:57 AM

    This blog never fails to make me laugh.

    What kind of job is a bad job? Any job created while Harper was Prime Minister! Good job numbers are a BAD THING because they HELP HARPER.

    Oh what a delight for me. Ideological purity to the nth degree, but every so often, you get dragged back into pragmatic considerations.

    I really don't think Harper will call and early election. He has entirely too much to lose by being thought of as a hypocrite for breaking his own law, again. Canadians gave him a pass when he was in a minority situation; his own justification was that the election law applied to majorities, and not minorities. Okay, well now he's in a majority. Whether you think the former was an outright lie, or a lesser distortion depends largely on your bias, the latter however will not be ignored, or go unnoticed.

    And, his ability to bring home seats just isn't there. Threehundredeight has him at 122 seats, vs Trudeau at 136.

    What you really should be worried about isn't an early election, but the CPC's ability to make Trudeau look very, very stupid. They will almost certainly go on an attack-add blitzkrieg. Given his penchant for gaffes, and stupid statements, it's exremely likely to be effective. In that situation, you'll just have to hope that either the anti-incumbancy sentiment in Canada is strong enough to overlook just how idiotic Trudeau is, something I consider unlikely. Or, that the Conservatives will swing too hard and hurt themselves, which is much more probable.

    Either way, the Liberals and the NDP have lost the initiative, and though Justin's fundraising numbers looked better through the summer, he was still beaten handily by the CPC.

    If you want the left to win, you'd better start opening your wallets.

    1. The job stats are deceptive. Many of the jobs created in recent months are only part-time jobs and/or low paying jobs, so some families (both one parent and two parent families) have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to pay the basic bills. Putting food on the table is a higher priority for these parents than getting a tax credit to put their kid in a sport. Only the richer families (who have the extra income to begin with) can afford to enrol their kid in hockey and other organized leagues, and so can take advantage of the sports credit the Cons are offering.

    2. hi anon...I'm glad I make you laugh, in this grim land that is no easy accomplishment. But I think you're wrong about Harper. If he can go early he will, and he won't care a damn about breaking his own law. Being the only Prime Minister to have been found guilty of contempt of Parliament, the law is small potatoes. But unlike you I don't think his attack ads will work, he's cried wolf and played dirty too often. I think that when they come to vote Canadians will decide they had more than enough of him and will vote him out. But you're right about something, the left really does have to open its wallets...

    3. Anonymous7:59 AM

      What you really mean is that the attack ads won't work... on you, and the already convinced. The undecided however may well be another matter all together.

      A fun fact is that Canadians decry attack ads as being "mean" and "nasty." Okay, I can see their point of view. BUT, when pressed Canadians themselves effectively if not explicitly admit that attack ads do in fact, work. Reportedly, many people would say in one breath that they hate attack ads, and in the very next breath reported that they couldn't vote for Ignatieff because he was "just visiting."

      You might be correct, but I think it's a stretch; the facts just don't support your point of view. The exception to the rule is if the Conservatives get desperate, they try too hard, and it comes back around to hurt them, like this: Or this:

      Whether that happens or not is likely to be a function of poll numbers, and whether or not any attack ads can cast a negative light that isn't fear-mongering on Justin Trudeau. For the latter, I think it was Ray Heard who said that the best attack ads against Justin Trudeau, feature Justin Trudeau. As such, you can take the latter as a given. The former probably has too many moving parts to get an accurate read on at this time. You're focused on Duffy, and other dramatic scandals while ignoring the bread and butter criticism of the Harper government which may resonate far more with Canadians. As such, you'd better hope that leftists start donating. A lot. A lot more than they have been. Good luck, because it's always been in the leftist nature to want someone else to donate on their behalf.

  4. There is a role for a clown to play in the Echo chamber. Something stupid and untrue is said, but then the big guys report it as fact and it becomes part of the meme. It works beautifuly in the US.

    1. hi Steve...I do like to play the role of the clown or court jester sometimes. I find it a good way to get some simple truths across right under their noses. In this distracted world, the simpler the message, the more powerful it can be...

    2. actually Simon I commented on the wrong blog, this one would make sense under the Ezra previous/

  5. Really hard to say if they'll pull the trigger early, as they will need an event to rally on. They have already started their election campaign (TV and telephone).

    The way they been mouthing off to the Russians (like a little boy taunting a bully on the street, from the safety of his front door), I feel they are looking for additional threats to levy at us. (Christ! When have we ever practised this type of foreign policy?) If at all, they will at least wait until they need to extend/expand the military campaign in Iraq. Then tie the elction platform to external "threats" facing Canada ( and the all rhetoric that accompanies that).

    Regardless of when the election is, keep up your good fight, and continue to inform/remind people of what's going on. I refuse to believe that these "folks" share the same vision, or represent the values, of the majority of Canadians.

    If Canadians are going to the polls, let us spread the word and make sure they are reminded of all the crap pulled. If the people then decide to re-elect these Fascists, we will know that the Canada we once knew no longer exists. Four more years of this, and no one will recognize this once revered and respected nation.

    1. hi Blue you I feel the Cons are desperately searching for an excuse to call an early election. I don't see one myself at this point, but as I pointed out his window of opportunity threatens to be a narrow one, so who knows what he might do. I certainly will never stop fighting him, and I'm still confident that sanity will prevail. Because as you point out, if it doesn't, the country we love will be unrecognizable...

  6. Anonymous8:14 PM

    Dear Simon, you say "the struggle of our lives." And it is the struggle of our lives. Unfortunately, not enough Canadians realize this. Too many have their heads buried in the sand and too many will be bought. And therein lies the danger. Things are not looking good because those who will be bought don't realize that he will give them candy with one hand and take away their health care with the other. Poor fools and those of us who have our eyes open will suffer because of their stupidity. Nevertheless, I and you and others like us will keep on fighting them to the end. What else can we do?

    1. hi anon...I certainly hope it's the struggle of our lives, because I sure wouldn't like to fight another one as long and as depressing as this one. And it does pain me to see how some Canadians can be bought so cheaply. But as I always say, we will keep on fighting them, and sooner or later we WILL defeat them...

  7. Anonymous4:44 AM

    Pollster Allan Gregg calls it “an unholy alliance with journalists who routinely misconstrue data and ignore margins of error.” And he warns us about putting too much stock in polls. When asked who among the pollsters we should believe, he says:

    “Nobody,” says veteran pollster Allan Gregg, an outspoken critic of his own industry and chairman of Harris-Decima, which conducts polls for The Canadian Press. As far as Gregg is concerned, the election campaign has magnified problems with political polling: methodological issues that are skewing the results of both telephone and online surveys; commercial pressures that are prompting pollsters to over-hype their surveys.