Monday, February 05, 2007

Shot Across the Bow

Ezra Levant was on Newsworld, discussing the Western Standard's latest cover story- Stephen Harper as the Incredible Hulk. Levant described the issue as a "shot across the bow", letting Harper know that his conservative base in Alberta won't tolerate actual action on GHG's. Of course, Levant played the typical, narrow tribalism, Alberta is the scapegoat, other regions get a pass. Levant described the "green" surge as a nuisance that needs to neutralized. Levant also made some crazy statements about water vapor causing 97% of GHG (it's really 1/3 to 2/3) and the science "shaky".

Ezra Levant scares me, much in the way the American neo-cons do. However, rather than dismiss his outrageous absurdities, I see Levant as a window into the Harper soul. In describing this latest article, Levant states that he doesn't really think Harper will sellout Alberta, he just wants to make sure he doesn't flirt with the idea. By sellout, Levant patently admits, actually doing something about GHG. Levant argues that Harper must negate the issue, with some platitudes and window-dressing legislation. Levant uses the "nation" vote as references, saying at first conservatives were offended, but later realized that Harper was astutely making a nothing gesture to weaken his opponents- no substance, no problem. Levant speculates that the new language we hear from Harper is just damage control and politics. I thought Conservatives appreciated this person as a man of principle?

Today is an interesting day, first we have the Fraser Institute's "denier" publication and then we hear the National Standard show no genuine concern for the environment, merely a tactical question. Both entities represent the Harper base, and both show the same contempt for real environmental action. You won't hear Harper say any of these things, politically he can't afford to, but I don't think it much of a leap to see these publications as a window into Harper's true soul. I was convinced, but today just reaffirms the notion that this Conservative Party is an enemy of the environment at its core. We have heard Harper's base today, we have heard them LOUD AND CLEAR. It ain't pretty.

9 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I don't think you have to be anti-environment to be Conservative, it just so happens the hard-core ones are more fixated on their ideology than reality. Many Conservative leaders such as Arnold Schwartznegger, British Conservative leader David Cameron, Brian Mulroney and God forbin even now Preston Manning recognize the importance of dealing with the environment. It is dinosaurs like Harper, Bush, Cheney, and John Howard who don't get it.

Steve V said...

"I don't think you have to be anti-environment to be Conservative"

Agreed, and I don't mean to generalize. However, if someone characterizes themself as an anti-environmentalist, you can be pretty confident that they support a certain party.

knb said...

Wasn't that the most bizarre interview you've ever seen?

You are right to be afraid of Levant, he's our David Frum wannabe, (oh yeah, David is ours too).

I thought it remarkable that Levant actually said what he did, out loud. Translation, "make the east believe you're working on something, make it pretty, do nothing and protect Alberta. We'll love you if you do that. Do anything concrete, you're done!"

Here I go on another media rant, but for heaven's sake, Ezra, twice, threw out the bait to Newman, but Don as usual was more interested in listening to himself speak. The bait? Twice Ezra followed his aforementioned rant with, "then Mr. Harper can get on with doing what he wants to do". All Newman had to say is, "and what is that?", but noooo. Newman went on and on with his "but, but..." posturing of his own hypothesis.

Levant was stunning tonight as was anyone speaking for the Fraser Institute. These are the people with whom Harper is affiliated and the media had better point that out tomorrow.

Canadians are being duped and it had better be portrayed as that.

I know that every party plays games, but this particular game is dangerous. That goes for Jumping Jack too. He who calls Martin, Mr. Dithers, Harper, Mr. Denier, Dion, Mr. Delay, I suggest we dub him, Mr. Devious or Mr. Deception.

Enough with games. This may be cute in Ottawa, but the rest of us are not amused.

Steve V said...

"Wasn't that the most bizarre interview you've ever seen?"

Knb, bizarre is the word. Newman was beyond passive, despite the fact Levant was offering up plenty of ridiculousness.

For anyone interested, you can view it
here
, Monday 28th minute.

burlivespipe said...

The whole ad campaign (thanks for the free piggyback, giant media tortoises!) is essential to the defining of Dion in Ontario and BC specifically. Alta is safe, tho you may be nearing possible seat losses with some of the counter acts that have been taken (Quebec as a nation, income trusts, nuclear power etc). However Harpor while a terrible economist does have a calculator. 106 Ontario seats and 36 BC seats trump the Edmonton-Calgary troop of 28...
Have you seen their latest commercials? It's their replacement plan for the 1-tonne challenge, with some erzats comedian confronting average car owners in various stages of fueling up, carrying a portable tv... He turns on Harpor to talk about the renewable fuel bill blah blah blah, of course doesn't mention that the past government also had that on the agenda. Everyone's like 'Huh? Wow, what a great government!'" The host then crosses paths with a big suv owner and says, boy i bet you wish you had a better fuel efficient vehicle. To which the suv owner says, it's a hybrid.
Yep, even square and dull when they are trying to be hip.

Miles Lunn said...

Steve V - I agree pretty much all the anti-environmentalists are in the Conservative Party and I would go farther and say almost all them come from the Reform/Alliance side of the merger/takeover. Even in the Reform/Alliance, a small minority are pro-environment, especially when you consider the Reform Party was quite strong in British Columbia, which is also one of the greenest provinces, mind you being an ex-British Columbian myself, much of the Reform Vote appeared to be protest votes as opposed to right wing votes. About 1/3 of British Columbians vote for the most anti-system party regardless of where they are on the spectrum.

Burlivespipe - I think Harper's main targets are holding Rural Ontario and picking up seats in the 905 belt while in British Columbia I think he is targeting Vancouver Island and the suburbs of the GVRD. Vancouver proper and the 416 have likely been written off as the Conservatives don't have a living hell in hope of winning any seats there. Heck I think even the suburbs are becoming more and more difficult each election.

In the case of Quebec I think he is hoping to pass along a big fat cheque, otherwise classic vote buying. Still I don't think the ads will work. The problem is Stephane Dion has few negatives unlike Harper had in 2004 or even McGuinty in 1999 so I don't think it will be easy to negatively define him.

Susan said...

I saw that too and was first astonished that Newman had him on at all, and then that he just sat there. Then I thought, giving him the benfit if the doubt, that he must have deliberately let him blather on so he could hang himself, and Harper for that matter.

Mark Dowling said...

I was thinking about "other regions get a pass" and then I saw miles lunn's comment re: BC being "one of the greenest provinces" - not under the Campbell Liberal they aren't, given their desire for offshore oil, their building of coal fired power and so on. This gets some play in the media but not as much as it should.

Steve V said...

Levant also made a comment that Alberta is the economic engine of Canada, and the only reason the country has a surplus. I'm sure British Columbian's wouldn't take kindly to such an inference, because their economy is doing quite well thank you very much.