Before he left his throne in Ottawa today, and set out for Toronto, I'm sure Stephen Harper had deluded himself into believing that this would be another Great Makeover Day.
A day to show his rebellious subjects that he is now a Great Kinder Gentler Leader.
A day to show them that even a leopard can change its spots, or a hyena can lose its teeth.
And still remain a Great Strong Leader, willing and capable of gumming a Fantino.
Julian Fantino is out as Veterans Affairs minister. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Monday the embattled Fantino will be replaced by Erin O’Toole, a southern Ontario MP and former member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Fantino will become associate minister of National Defence, a post he previously held.
But sadly for him, it wasn't much of a gesture. Because although Fantino's departure was definitely something worth celebrating...
The fact is that he should have been fired, and he wasn't...
Because he needs him too much.
Obviously, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t want to fire him. He could have done that months ago and spared his government some grief. But he’s betting that Mr. Fantino, the former chief of the Ontario Provincial Police and of many other Southern Ontario forces, is still a popular figure with swing voters in the electorally crucial bedroom communities of Southern Ontario.
And if you've ever seen Erin O'Toole on Power and Politics...
You know that O'Toole is just another tool of the Con regime.
And that the crimes of that foul regime will not be that easily forgotten....
So let's give that makeover effort an F for Fantino.
But Harper wasn't finished. Next he would try to prove that he doesn't hate women, liberals and lesbians as much as many of his restless subjects imagine.
By meeting with Kathleen Wynne after shunning her for more than a year.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss a number of issues related to jobs and the economy for the first time in a little over a year this evening, The meeting, held ahead of the gold medal World Juniors hockey game in Toronto, lasted less than 45 minutes and ended shortly before 7 p.m. ET.
But that wasn't exactly a great success either. The meeting couldn't have been shorter or chillier.
And the fact that his prolific Twitter feed failed to even mention the meeting, tells me that nothing has changed, and that he only agreed to hold it so it can't be held against him in the election campaign.
Especially since he did tweet a lot about this next event in Toronto...
What a proud moment for Canada! It was great to be in the crowd to cheer on our team to victory #WJC2015 #TeamCanada pic.twitter.com/TsUN3wVO6g
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) January 6, 2015
Because he is determined to portray himself a Great Hockey Leader, or just a nice guy.
But again sadly for him, on a chilly night in my neighbourhood, his reception was no warmer. One of my friends, who watched the game in a sports bar, told me that when Harper appeared briefly on TV he was greeted with deafening boos, and a lot of words that can't be printed.
And of course this ruined EVERYTHING.
In an apparent attempt to keep pace with Kim Jong-un, a Canadian federal agency has blocked government employees from accessing a paywalled news site that reports on the government's inner workings. According to e-mails obtained in an access to information request by Blacklock's Reporter, Shared Services Canada has put in place a government-wide blackout on access to the Blacklock's website without explanation.
Because it shows that even as he poses as a Great Kinder Gentler Leader, his sinister minions are trying to muzzle the internet, knowing all too well that social media will be their greatest enemy in the next election campaign.
Which is why I prefer this picture of him at the hockey game...
Because we do need to throw a net over him and his foul regime, before he does turn us into a country we don't recognize.
And what all of the above also tells me, is that an election could be closer than most imagine.
Because in addition to his frantic campaigning, and Harper's radio ad claiming the opposition would rollback his porky plan to bribe voters with children under eighteen, which I told you about yesterday.
There is apparently also another ad out there, which is not yet online, but claims that Justin Trudeau is too "high risk in a high risk time."
And since it comes just before Harper decides whether to extend the Iraq mission in February. And considering that the Duffy trial will begin on April 7, and that the length of an election campaign is about 37 days.
The election call could come also come in February.
This is a real possibility...
And we must be ready.
And the good news is that judging from the messages I have been receiving in the last few days, a lot of progressives ARE ready. As am I.
So grab your signs and prepare to join the Great Stop Harper movement.
For the monster is stirring, he could strike without warning.
And he must be STOPPED...
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An early election call is making more sense by the day Simon especially with the petro economy unravelling by the day (but deep down we all know that the drop in oil is no accident) and Trudeau's message is solidifying. Great closet leader knows that the Duffy trial will bring out some bad publicity and better to be in another "strong stable majority" than on the campaign trail when that stuff starts to leak. By then, he can have the communications folks control the message and he would come out smelling like a rose, like he always does.
Um though think this through: As long as he postpones the election he can out spend the Liberals the NDP the Green and the independents combined with his offensive tax payers paid for ads appearances BS hockey and next baby kissing. Flying around the country fawning over minorities etc. He is going to use time on his side because once the election is called he can legally not out spend his opposition. But when has Steve ever let the law in the way of his shameless thirst for power? He probably cheats on his income taxes too?
He got an incredible endorsment from TSN. Who owns this signals?
You're right Simon. Erin is prettier than Julie.
What a great read your article was today Simon. Everyday your postings are worth reading, but today particularly so
What a way to ruin a hockey game. I'm surprised he didn't try to jump into the team photo. It reminds me of Forrest Gump and how he always managed to be in a photo or film of history defining moments except Forrest's weren't planned photo-ops.
Simon: the prove you're not a robot text has gotten near impossible to decipher. Very frustrating and has caused me to give up posting many times.
Slithery stevies " I hate veterans crusade " needed a sociopath and up stepped Fandango; a useful idiot. Don't expect the new tool to undo any of the Conservative/ reform damage.
This is not a demotion for Big Julie. He just needs another year for his House of Commons pension. Closet stevie will go the full Poutine and send lots of undeclared money to Vaughn. After a year , an appointment as ambassador to the Vatican. Lots of drink, no work and another pension.
O'Toole is slippery, slimy and smooth and can talk for a long time and say nothing. Not much of a veteran either I am told.
Like I said......O'Toole (a lawyer) will continue to do Harper's bidding, but things are now more insidious
insidious: causing harm in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed
O'Toole is VERY slick and smiles like the Cheshire cat.
hi bcwaterboy...I'm glad you agree with me, because I'm having a bit of trouble convincing people I know that Harper could call an elections soon as next month. I know it's a scary thought, and maybe he will hang on. But it should be obvious that the tanking price of oil is going to damage his economic phone credentials and the longer he dithers the worse that damage could be. And of course I can't imagine him wanting both Duffy and Wallin to haunt him. And then there is that new Trudeau ad designed to coincide with the Iraq War decision. So as I said, we better be prepared...
hi mogs...yes can can spend more money on ads, but after a while they have less and less effect, and the more time he spends as Prime Minister the more people will get sick of him. He's fighting history as much as anything else, so the sooner he calls an election the better for him...
hi Steve...yes I saw that and practically vomited. That's what happens when you send a dumb jock to question a Prime Minister...
hi anon...wait Erin is a slight improvement, but not THAT cool. But of course Neil Young is always great...;)
hi Pamela...thanks a lot. It's too long like so many of my posts. But I like writing, I hate the cut and paste stuff that you find so much on the blogosphere these days. I could do that too. Write a few lines, do a graphic, and leave it at that. But my world is richer and more multidimensional than that, and I want to share it with my readers....
hi anon...it was horrible. And his stormtroopers were all over my neighbourhood. I went to the supermarket which is right next to the Air Canada Centre, and even it was full of police officers !!! I guess our Great Leader knows that he isn't too popular... ;)
I'm sorry to hear about the robot text, I had no idea it was that bad, so I'll remove it as soon as possible. I moderate comments so I really don't need it....
hi rumleyfips...yes Fantino does seem to lead a charmed life. His whole career has been a screw-up, but somehow he always comes out intact. And yes Harpo still needs him to try to keep Vaughn. I can't believe Fantino's constituents think he is doing them a favour, but ethnic politics is like that so we shall see...
hi anon...yes you're right, O'Toole is a better performer, much friendlier and jollier, but he always defended Fantino, and like all the other Cons just parrots his PMO lines. I've seen him made to look like a jolly fool many times, so he won't do them much good....
hi David...well he may smile like a cheshire cat, or an ordinary one that just ate a mouse. But as I said he is just another Con regurgitating his parrot lines, and in any debate is usually reduced to looking like a beaming idiot.And after what the Cons have done nothing is going to save them...
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