Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stephen Harper and the REAL Nightmare Before Christmas

Uh oh. It seems I might have been a bit hasty when I declared this to be The Con Nightmare Before Christmas. 

Because although the Cons are just as ghastly as they were in that story, the monstrous Stephen Harper is now smiling, as only he can.


And the real nightmare arrived YESTERDAY !!! 

The governing Conservative Party has taken a slim lead over the Liberals, according to a new poll that also found a “sizeable” improvement in public sentiment toward Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Nationally, the Conservatives now sit at 34 per cent support among committed voters, with the Liberals at 33 per cent, a narrow lead within the margin of error, according to the poll released Tuesday.

It is really SCARY. 

Half the country now thinks Canada is headed in the right direction, and more people have a favourable view of Mr. Harper, the Abacus poll shows, calling it a “sizeable shift” in sentiment.

And it does prove that in this grubby Harperland you CAN buy the votes of some Canadians...

Even with their OWN money. Because that's how dumb and greedy they are eh? And that's how low we have fallen.

But of course, there are other factors. Events have favoured him with a war and a terrorist scare, so he can pose as a Great Strong Leader.

And with the help of the MSM and his massive propaganda machine, also play the role of a Great Kinder Gentler Leader.

Abacus chairman Bruce Anderson believes the Conservatives have been seen to be less partisan, driving a rebound in the party’s support and that of Mr. Harper. “That’s what I see as being the big story here – the Conservatives have probably changed their approach, and that’s manifesting itself in less downward pressure on their numbers and more openness to the Prime Minister personally,” he said.

Travelling from photo-op to photo-op, posing as Great Mother Leader in a country where food bank use is soaring, and millions of kids and their parents go to bed hungry.

While suckling and muzzling his own Con babies...

So they don't ruin his new image, while soiling themselves.

And then of course, if we are going to be completely honest, we also have to admit that both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have failed to live up to our great expectations.

Justin for all his refreshing qualities is NOT baby Jesus...

Mulcair, despite his strong performance in the Commons is NOT our angry Moses...

And both have failed to attack the Cons effectively enough, or even more importantly failed to inspire Canadians with a compelling vision of something better.

And the good news? Both leaders are decent Canadians, as is Elizabeth May, and all are quite capable of picking up their game in 2015. And we'll make sure they do. Or ELSE.

And try as he might, or bribe as as he might, Stephen Harper is not, has never been, and will never be a Kinder Gentler Leader...

Not with this record.

So the phony spirit of his satanic Xmas will fade. The passage of time, and climate change, will melt his rubber mask.

His economic record and his many scandals will come back to haunt him.

And by the time we're finished with him he should look more like the REAL Steve...

So relax, and enjoy the holidays.

The monster is STILL the monster.

And we are STILL going to destroy him....

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  1. First and foremost, I don't pay any heed to polls. I just hope I don't get so Peeeee... Oooooed by voting day, that I stay home!

    In the meantime, I will be paying Attention.

    1. hi Kathleen...I don't blame you for not heeding the polls because they are all over the place, and only the trend line really counts. But please don't stay home on election day, because what is clear is that the final result could be close, and we need every progressive out there and voting...

  2. I maintain polls in between elections are just more propaganda. Still there are at least 30% facist morons living in Canada, and they vote.

    1. hi Steve...I don't know if they are propaganda, although they can serve to demoralize people. I just wonder how reliable they are, when we're so far away from an election, and the public mood is so volatile...

  3. Simon:

    There is a reason why I refuse to assume he will be defeated until after I see it with my own eyes after the next election. I agree with you regarding how unimpressive both Mulcair and Trudeau have been so far, but I also think one of the main reasons for the CPC rebound was the way the harassment issue was turned into a partisan disaster that smeared both Mulcair and Trudeau and their respective parties while leaving the Harper CPC untouched and in a position to cheerily snipe both sides while not looking like they were. I know you've tried to stay away from that issue, and for the most part I've been willing to respect that, but I do not think you can ignore the impact it had on helping the CPC recover some in the polls.

    As you know this is one of those points where I blame Mulcair et al far more than Trudeau and the Libs, and I do because of who actually decided to release information on who these accusing MPS were, who tried to pretend it was Lib sources doing so until the media itself outed the NDP as the sole sourcing, and then while claiming to be oh so careful of the privacy of the accusers spilled so much information that not only could they be identified but also told us all about their emotional state, all the while Trudeau and the Libs said nothing back in response.

    This is important to the change in polls because not only did it blacken both sides and turn this into an incredibly messy issue, it also took up a lot of the oxygen that otherwise could have been better focused on the actions of the Harper CPC, especially the veterans and aboriginal files which had major issue flares during this period. It also allowed the CPC to look by not being a part of this to somehow be the better party than the other two, and that I think cannot be underestimated in its potential impact for those who are swing centrists who aren't political junkies like those of us that read and comment in political blogs.

    It is also another thing which makes the chances of cooperation between the Libs and NDP a virtual impossibility. That was an exceptionally ugly thing Mulcair and the NDP leadership pulled on Trudeau, who clearly was acting in good faith, had consulted with the NDP leadership, ans was told by their whip that whatever actions the Libs felt appropriate regarding their members was up to them, and then when they acted, while protecting the identity of the accusing MPs as much as possible given that it was clear something had to be said for why MPs were being suspended form caucus and the right to represent the party in an election. Trudeau was very careful to limit the available information to personal misconduct of a form unacceptable in this day and age, that was clearly vague so as to not make it too obvious what the actual complaint was, he carefully did not give anything on either gender or party of the MPs in question, and he refused to even after the NDP had essentially done the outing confirm their identities.

    This behaviour is one of the reasons you will hear no talk from the Lib side about coalitions, or a cooperation strategy, besides, they also tried that in prior elections, and the NDP was no more willing then than they appear to be now, so it is not hard to see why the Libs are choosing not to. For those that feel it should be the Libs doing the bulk of the concessions because of the current seats in Parliament, that would be fine if the polls reflected anything remotely similar, or that there was a history of the NDP ever having any serious chance to even form a minority government of any size in terms of MPs elected, unlike the Liberals who have, as has been complained about by many, been Canada's "natural governing party" for most of our history and especially post WWII.

    To be continued...

  4. Continuation:

    As I've said for a decade now, I keep pointing to the reality of Canadian political demographics for why if you want to keep Harper out of the PMO or get him out of it, the only realistic choice is the Liberals, not because they are somehow so much better than everyone else, but because it is clearly the main choice enough voters to block Harper will go for. The collapse of the "Orange Wave" in 2011 at the last moment and the major shift to Harper was because even knowing how bad Harper had been so far he was still seen as more acceptable for centrist swing/unaligned voters than the Layton NDP. This was blamed by Dippers at the time on those nasty treacherous "blue Liberals", which only showed yet again this misunderstanding of the nature of the actual voting public by those making this argument.

    As I have said for well over a decade, for me the only priority is stopping Harper, because on process issues this man is the worst disaster this nation has ever seen politically, he managed to surpass the Quebecois Separatists in that, no easy feat. The level of destruction he has been doing to our social fabric, social contract, governing infrastructure is beyond even my worse fears, and whenever I hear anyone claiming there is no difference between Harper and ANY other leader/party, especially the Libs who actually have a record governing which built up so much of what Harper has been dedicated to destroying, I truly despair.

    The partisanship problem is far more one-sided than far too many Dippers are willing to face (I am not including you here Simon, I've seen enough from you to believe you also can see what I am talking about despite being more naturally drawn to the NDP yourself), and while I do not excuse the Libs for when they contribute to this problem, I am also not willing to play nor enable the both sides equally do it defence/argument. It is not true, one does not have to be a Lib partisan to know that, indeed the Harper CPC is well aware of that, they count on it to prevent the very alliance/coalition they most fear, it has been after all their best ally for the last decade now (granted Ignatief was clearly not a minor one as well, and not just from when he was leader but during his scheming for it, the divisions he created and played within the Libs seriously weakened them too).

    The problem with ideological parties is that you are either with them or against them, and the NDP is in some very ugly ways a mirror image of the Harper CPC, especially in their tendency to see everyone center-wards from them as being on the other side/extreme, which does us all a disservice. Purity before all else, the reason so many hard core Dippers hate the Libs is because they don't have this purity fixation, they will use whatever works in both campaigning and governing, and despite all the screaming about how horribly unprogressive the Libs are Canada still developed pre-Harper into a fairly progressive nation/government overall, which puts the lie to that Lib Tory same old story defence for why ideological purity should be/is more important for "progressives" than uniting to stop Harper is, since everyone knows the only real way to do so that has any realistic chance of success is behind the Libs. When I say everyone, I mean the leadership of every party with any elected MPs, whether they publicly acknowledge it or not, it really is that obvious.

    To be concluded...

  5. Conclusion:

    So my point to Dippers is this, which matters more to you, stopping Harper and all the massive destruction he does to our society, or your own partisan electoral interests, because you cannot satisfy both at this time. If there was any chance for that the last election was the best chance ever to see it, and aside from the collapse of the BQ vote to the NDP the NDP in the ROC did not better than their best under Broadbent. Given how much the Harper Government(tm) has been rigging our electoral processes for the next election in their favour, how can any serious political observer of any political stripe/flavour or lack of not understand that the only other choice for government that has any real chance is the Libs, pure and simple, and even that will be a hard fight thanks to the way the CPC/Harper games the system.

    It may not be preferred, it may not taste nice, but reality is what it is, not what we wish it was, and this is the Canadian reality as it currently is. We need to start from that reality to have any real chance of getting rid of Harper from power in the next election, else we risk giving him another mandate, possibly another majority, and I really do not know if this nation can survive as a Canada any of us would recorgnize were that to be the outcome.

    I'm sorry Simon, I know I sound like a broken record on this point, but it really is because I cannot see any other choice. I've followed federal politics for over four decades now, all parties, all leaders, and how the voting results break down each election. As I've said in every election for the last decade, were this just the PCPC instead of the CPC, I would just say let whatever result comes from honest hard campaigns by all parties be what it brings, but we aren't talking about the PCPC, we are talking about the Harper CPC which is something entirely different, alien, and extremely destructive/corrosive to Canada, politically, economically, socially, internationally, in every possible way in fact.

    It kills me that I see this sitting here in Halifax, and I have to live the Cassandra role in full, not just the accuracy, but also the contempt and disbelief in what it said/forewarned that she suffered. I so hope this election is when that cup finally passes from my lips, but given what I've been seeing, I am not all that confident that it will be. Even if Trudeau was everything his detractors claim, he would STILL be so much better and less destructive than any more Harper government that there should not be any argument in what considers itself the reality based community.

    My problem with Mulcair is because I do not see him as winnable, not because I think he is a bad man or politician, but he clearly does not resonate, he has lost multiple MPs since becoming leader, lost in all but one by-election since becoming leader, and after being leader for well over two years, including spending significant time touring the country he is at best treading water less than a year out from the election. It is, alas, really that simple, fair, not so much, but then life is rarely fair now is it...*sigh*

    So in the end for Dippers it comes to which matters most, stopping Harper, or letting him win yet again because their purity matters more than stopping the greatest political, evil ever to rise to power in Canadian history. The Libs have their own issues in this, but the main deciders here are as they have always been, the NDP.

    1. hi Scotian...look I'm not saying the harassment allegations didn't damage both parties, which is why I have stayed away from them, lest I pour more gas on the flames of what I see as a very small fire, compared to what is at stake for this country.
      But I'm not really taking a position on the situation as it stands. I'm just pointing out that it looks to me very likely that the Liberals and the NDP will be forced to work together whether they like it or not. So they shouldn't waste their time fighting each other, and should concentrate on the real enemy. I also wish to point out that the two parties are not THAT far apart, as Mulcair takes his party slightly to the right to try to attract Liberals, and Justin takes his party slightly to the left to try to attract NDP supporters. And I will never stop believing that, under our present system at least, ONE progressive party is better than three...

    2. Simon:

      Oh, I agree that they are far less apart than to listen to either of them talk, but again, which of the two is the more adamant about that not being the case? THAT is where my concern lies in this, because I agree, to stop Harper we need both of these parties to work together, all I'm saying is that the reality is the NDP are the junior partners for that enterprise and the sooner they accept it the better for us all. Remember Simon, Lib Tory Same Old Story is still strong within the Dipper base AND alas the leadership, despite the massive amount of evidence that shows this to be utterly, totally, and complete bullshit when applied to Libs and CPC. As well, it isn't the Libs who have been waging a decade long now war of extermination against the NDP, but it has been the other way around. My point, is that the main resistance to cooperation came from the NDP, is almost certainly still within the NDP, and regardless of what the leaders say publicly, at this point that isn't changing anytime soon.

      The NDP really poisoned the well in that harassment fiasco, it may be as you call a very small fire vis-a-vs the rest of the country, but it almost certainly made the idea of cooperation from the Lib side all but impossible. If Mulcair/NDP leadership were willing to shiv their own in a partisan attempt to harm Trudeau all because he acted like a leader, then how can they trust the NDP going into an election campaign where the NDP are clearly at a major disadvantage?

      As to after the election, assuming we have a minority situation, it is almost a guarantee that the Libs will be the larger and therefore dominant party in such a relationship, and do you really believe Mulcair is just going to go along with that, especially after all of his own rather dismissive attitude about Trudeau? Not to mention this will be taking place in the backdrop of the Harper CPC claiming coup d'etat overthrowing the "will of the people" and his willingness to trigger a Constitutional Crisis and have what many, including myself fear his tame Governor General siding with him further destroying what is left of our governing framework.

      You know my POV Simon, you've seen it over the years, I care first and foremost for the removal of Harper, I simply advocate the path I see as the most REALISTIC for that to occur, not the path I might politically prefer, not the path I would hope might work, but the path I see as the best/most probable to make it a reality, and for better or worse, that has always run through the Libs as government, not the NDP.

      I think yours and my idea of what is a progressive party is a bit different than the Dipper purists who can't see any real difference between the CPC and the Libs, and would be mortally affronted by your daring to claim there is any similarity/closeness between the NDP and Libs as you did in your reply to me. I want a government that respects our customs, our laws, and our traditions, not a Destroyer and Salter of the Scorched Earth, which is what we have in Harper. Until I see evidence that the NDP at the party level recognizes Harper as he truly is and/or stops equating Harper and Trudeau in any meaningful way, I have to hope and pray that the usual NDP voters finally see this lets be honest fairly naked truth/reality and do what the leadership clearly has been unwilling to date, which is place stopping Harper as the top priority whatever else the cost.

      It is the NDP which has far more to lose in cooperation, electorally speaking, so it is they who are going to be the clear stumbling block so long as they place expediency for power ahead of principles, the sin they derided all other parties for doing for decades now. Ironic, no?

  6. Anonymous8:11 AM

  7. Huck Farper, have a great xmas, Simon.

    1. hi WILLY....Now that's the true spirit of the season. Merry Christmas Willy to you and yours. And may 2015 be your happiness year ever !!!

  8. I'm not sure that on-line polls are all that scientific.

    As for the photo-op with Laureen helping at the food bank - why do we even need food banks in a rich country like Canada in this day and age? Just the federal Cons trying to make sure Matt 26:11 remains true - Jesus saying "you have the poor with you always".

    1. hi UU4077...yeah I know what you mean. Who gets those polls, and how do we know that they are truly representative? But what one can get from them is a fairly good idea of what the trend lines are. And as for the food bank photo-op, you'd think the Harpers would not want to remind us that food bank use is soaring in this country. But then they are trying to soften his image, and they are desperate...

    2. UU4077 wrote: Just the federal Cons trying to make sure Matt 26:11 remains true - Jesus saying "you have the poor with you always".

      Jesus also said these words in Mark 14:7.

      From a 2005 article:

      In North America, this passage has often been misused by churchgoers and others as an excuse not to do anything about the poor -- since they're a perennial problem, they choose not to help themselves and it's natural to have a large gap between the lower-class and the well-off.

      But the Dictionary of Biblical Tradition says most Christian theologians say the phrase, "For you always have the poor with you" (which has been translated in different ways through history), should
      be read in light of the Hebrew admonition to always assist the poor, who continue to exist because of society's sinfulness.

      While some church patriarchs have cited Jesus' quote to justify their extravagance on ceremonial vestments and church buildings, most theologians believe Jesus was saying that permitting a woman to spend her hard-earned money to honour him was the exception to what Christians should most often do: Lend a hand to the downtrodden.

      Jim Wallis devotes a fascinating chapter to this passage about the poor in his best-selling new book, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (HarperSanFrancisco, $34.95).

      During many of the hundreds of speeches Wallis gives each year in the U.S. and Canada, he says he often asks the audience to name the Bible's most famous text about poverty. They always shout out, "The poor you will always have with you!"

      But the audience, Wallis says, only ever remembers the first part of the verse, not the part about being kind to the poor, and also misses several other things -- like the whole context and meaning of the text.

      For starters, Wallis, an influential evangelical Christian who leads
      the ecumenical Sojourners movement out of Washington, D.C., points out that Jesus doesn't make his comment while eating with a bunch of business executives or top politicians.

      Jesus says it while sharing bread with a leper, a social outcast.

      In that context, Wallis says Jesus is telling his apostles that, at least on some occasions, they don't always have to be "politically correct" and be cheap about devotion.

      Wallis says Jesus feels he can ask his followers to spare a special moment for worship because he assumes they will always be in social proximity to the poor, always identify with them, always be on their side.

      Instead of being a typical middle-class North American, who remains physically distant from the poor and writes them off, Wallis says Jesus was in effect telling his followers: "Look, you will always have the poor with you, BECAUSE you are my disciples."


  9. yep
    smells like germany in the 30s on my alberta porch
    keep smiling
    and learn to drag your knuckles
    the last thing you want to do is stand out
    in a fascist occupied state
    added to justy and toms' interpersonal problems
    which guarantee a vote split
    is their dreamy political decency
    i bet they actually think this is going to be a fair fight

    1. hi lungta...I don't blame you for detecting the stench of fascism in the air. Because using fear and internal threats to inflame and scare the population is the trademark of every tin pot dictator. But as for the progressive parties, hopefully reason can prevail and they can focus on the real enemy...

  10. Capt Krunch.2:08 PM

    It sure say's something about what the Liberals and NDP are offering when the Conservatives appear to take the lead.

    1. hi Capt. I said in my post Harper has ben helped by events over which the progressive parties had no control. But one also has to admit that their performance has not been spectacular to say the least, and that they will have to do better in the new year...

  11. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Happy Christmas Simon

    1. hi anon...thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours. And thanks for the Christmas carol. I interpret that to mean that the three progressive ships are sailing merrily along, while the Con ship is foundering. After all they've done to this country it's only right that should be forced to swim all the way back to Alberta... ;)

  12. Merry Christmas, Simon

    1. hi Kathleen...thanks a lot, and Merry Christmas to you and yours. Next Christmas will be even merrier once the Cons have been evicted, but let's practice for that happy day by celebrating this one too... ;)

  13. e.a.f.8:10 PM

    with all the money the cons are spending on advertising, no wonder they went up in the polls. Now Mulcair and Trudeau haven't been helping themselves by attacking each other. The NDP did no one any favours by attacking the Liberals about the sexual harassment issues. Better to have kept their mouths shut. Scoring political points at the expense of each other only helps harper.

    Of course we don't really know how the poll was conducted so it may all just be a load of bull shit.

    The Liberals, NDP and their supporters need to work hard to keep their agendas in the public eye and to remind the public of the cons disgraces. If we forget, history will repeat itself.

    The CLC recently ran some feel good ads about unions. They might have saved the money and ran some ads about poverty in Canada and remind working people that with the cons, working people haven't done so well, i.e. higher child poverty, increased age for pensions, etc. Come the federal election, organizations need to be ready to deal with the misinformation the cons will be sending out, at our expense.

    1. hi e.a.f...yes combine the fickle hand of fate, the Liberal NDP squabbling, and more than half a billion dollars worth of porky propaganda and it is not surprising that the Con number have been boosted. But what is encouraging is that despite all of that those numbers haven't climbed by that much. Which tells me that this rally is fragile and could very easily collapse as quickly as it arose. And yes, the Liberals and the NDP must be more aggressive and creative in getting their message out. Because while people like you and me monitor them closely, they are not reaching enough Canadians...