Monday, April 02, 2007

"We need to get back to power as soon as possible."

I guess we know what today's talking point was in the Conservatives briefing email. I heard Baird, Bernier, Lord and two strategists all refer to the above quote today, which tells us a great deal. Repeat, repeat, repeat, swamp the airwaves with one, simple theme, to paint a picture. All the players synchronized together to weave a plausible truth.

You have to hand to the Conservative strategists for sheer audacity. On a day when the Tories showcase their "war room", we are bombarded with the nonsensical- it's really Dion that wants an election. Amazing. On a day when another round of attack ads are unleashed, the Tories have us believe that they just want to govern, it's that dastardly Dion that's itching for an election.

The parroting today gives us a window into the looming campaign. The Conservatives "Training Sessions" (nothing to do with an election call mind you) stressed the daily talking points. The war room will dispatch the daily phrases to the hinterland, and all the Tory minions will echo, saturating, in hopes of dictating the debate. Today was a window into the power of message control. A pointed, mis-information campaign, that makes the truth a casualty.

I just wanted to add this photo, read the monitor:

Dion made us open this 17000 square foot facility. We are all pablum feed fools in Toryland. Hilarious, but frightening.


knb said...

It's disgusting really isn't it? They actually count on people being stupid, they count on it!

What gets me is that some cannot see how this parallels the strategy used by the Bushites. I mean, is it not obvious how that all worked out?

Geesh, as I type I'm listening to CBC news. Another case of messaging is being reported. The NDP obtainined documents under the Access to Information Act, that lay out the messaging strategy for Afghanistan. That is, focus on development, not defense, send MP's to Afghanistan, bring Karzai to Canada. I don't type quickly enough to pick it all up, but here's just another example of "fool the people".

The conservatives sounded like idiots today. I confess that I know little about Bernard Lord, but I say keep him on as a commentator. He's nasty, but he sounds stupid, as in unintelligent.

The truth has been the biggest loser since Harper took office, you're right Steve. How does any politician fight that? How does a politician, who apparently have no credibility, call another politician a liar?

I guess the answer is you don't. You point out the inaccuracy and idiocy, with sincerity and Dion can do that.

Steve V said...


I remember a leak in the fall that the Conservatives would try to re-frame the Afghanistan debate, nice to see this get the light of day.

BTW, I've watched Lord and Kennedy a few times now, and Gerard generally gets the better of him. Kennedy should be front and center as much a possible, he's a great advocate, and knows how to put others on the defensive.

daniel said...

Oh, the righteous indignation...

Yes, the Conservatives rely on twisting the truth to get elected - but you know what? So did the Liberals. Certainly not a bright spot for the Tories, but hardly a wedge that the Liberals could drive.

As for GK vs. Lord: My opinion is that Kennedy spews the same mundane talking points as any other strategist - he just does it with more conviction. Lord defended himself fairly well (when GK wasn't trying to fill the air, that is), but was nothing stellar.

Scotian said...

Yep, since they cannot win the war of ideas on substance they are going to instead going to try on deceptive sloganeering, just as the GOP did to great success in America over the last couple of decades and especially the last six years. We know where this will lead us if it is not opposed and stopped; all we have to do is look at the wreck the GOP and Bushco have made of a once great and open/democratic nation to know that. Combine it with Harper's core beliefs about radical decentralization and further integration and alignment of government programs/policies with our American cousins and there is no question the Libs need to return to power as soon as possible if only to prevent Harper from destroying us all.

If the CPC had substance to offer and things that they know Canadians would be happy/proud of, wouldn't they be touting those horns instead of the constant "Liberals=evil" line we have been seeing, especially since the election of Dion as leader? Indeed, it appears it was Dion's election as Lib leader that had more to do with the Harper flip-flop on the GHG debate and the environment issue as a whole, and not Layton's claim that it was his NDP. What makes this truly sick though is that Harper changed because he saw he was politically vulnerable to Dion on this and not because he actually has changed his mind regarding manmade global warming, let alone as to the urgency of needing to deal with it and deal with it strongly. That should tell anyone all they need to know about the real Harper IMHO, but there are sheep in every crowd I suppose. It is just too bad that Harper and the CPC approach is to look/recruit first from sheep instead of looking first for people of strong minds and thought to help expand their base and their range of ability to govern, but that would require loosening of the ideological prerequisite of the new Conservatives.

Steve V said...

"Yes, the Conservatives rely on twisting the truth to get elected - but you know what? So did the Liberals."

Daniel, I'm an equal opportunity cynic, but that doesn't detract from the point that Canada has never seen a propaganda on this scale, nor such a focused dis-information campaign. As Scotian points out, this is the export of the mean-spirited, GOP style wedge-politics.

Canadian campaigns, although rough, have always been more tame and substantive than our American counterparts. Harper has embraced the American model, and everyone will see the full monty when the "war room" ramps up. What worries me, the slippery slope, as other parties adapt and begin to implement the same techniques. Liberals are not above criticism, some of the tactics in the last campaign were objectively unseemly, but while Liberals have visited the gutter, Harper takes up permanent residence. You hear it in the rhetoric, the mean tone, you see the pattern in the policy, forever calculating.

If you want to disregard as "righteous indignation" based on partisanship, that's fine. My disgust starts with the premise that this government approaches the voter with the same zeal as a amoral corporation peddling a good. It's all about the sale, packaging and product. On the environment, the concern isn't the future, just crafting something to present as credible and take the issue off the table. Issues are simply vote potential, played for advantage. Everyone does it some extent, nobody has come close as it relates to degree or scope.

knb said...

daniel, please tell us what the Liberals out and out lied about to get elected. If your cry is going to be Adscam, save your breath.

You know, you and others continously cry, "so what, you did it too". The party who said it was going to do it all differently, gives itself absolution. Surely this must be the second definition of insanity.

The Liberals have not been perfect over time, but the man you call your "leader" is in a league of his own and you show your ignorance by accepting what is going on.

If you are someone who believes his every word, that is sad. But you, you who recognises what is happening, you excuse it? Shame on you and your hypocrisy what you are reducing this country to.

knb said...

They apparently have money to burn and will stop at nothing.

When is the last time you saw a Federal Government attack a Premier and province? Here.

If this isn't a "don't mess with us", big bully response, I don't know what is.

Steve V said...


Let them waste their money, it won't matter in the end. NFLD will be painted red election night, as will most of the east coast.

Having said that, I remember one commentator saying the Tories would try and make Williams pay for daring to confront the government so aggressively.

BTW, wait for daniel to bring up the "guns in the streets" ad, it's the famous response, and one that has already been criticized by most Liberals, which is more than I can say for the Blogging Tories now.

knb said...

True enough Steve. Not only criticised by the Lib's, but it didn't actually run, except for the media playing it over and over. (Actually I think it did have one airing before it was caught), but the point remains.

Steve V said...


And, by comparison, these guys kept running an ad that lied about Goodale, despite his complete vindication.

I'm hoping that this latest ad in Quebec backfires, judging by the early reaction the reception is less than endearing. BTW, when did Andrew Coyne go off the reservation?

Tomm said...


Great post.


You are dead on, it is very much a propaganda war right now.

I also saw Duffy tonight and McGuinty and Kennedy both have to relax, THEY look like the bullies. Not an easy job when Jason Kenney is on point for the CPC. Nobody else gets a word in edge wise with those two. Might as well have been Scott Reid.

If the LPC wants to win this game, they need to back off and present some policies.

Dion telling Canada that the barley vote was rigged and that he would force a marketing monopoly on western farmers isn't policy; it is suicide.

Mark Holland pilfering files and trying to make a big splash about some little nuggets found in the booty isn't taking the high road. Again, the LPC is playing right into the CPC hands. The LPC needs to start resembling a European federalist party with a wise and respected chairman at the helm; not Hugo Chavez's northern ally.


Steve V said...

"not Hugo Chavez's northern ally."

Come on.

"If the LPC wants to win this game, they need to back off and present some policies."

Only someone that wants a Tory majority would advocate that approach. Yes policies, but hit back, and hit back HARD. Nobody is saying Baird is a "bully" on the Tory side are they?

knb said...

BTW, when did Andrew Coyne go off the reservation?

:), a while back actually, he started pointing out what was not sitting right. I haven't always agreed with the man, but he's one I have for the most part respected, even more now. He's showing he's more about truth than politics and I say touche.

knb said...

McGuinty and Kennedy look like bullies? LOL! You say this with a straight face with Jason Kenney sitting there grinning while spewing lies?

Personally, I don't like "overspeak" on any program. It muddles the point and I think Kennedy does do that sometimes, but if he didn't cut in, especially on Duffy, he'd never get to make his point and shoot down the lies that are being spoken. Duffy's not going to do it, he grins along with Kenney.

Tomm, chavez? You're usually much more reasonable than that.

Tomm said...


Open your eyes. The LPC has become way to aggressive. You are the first to criticize the CPC for its aggressiveness. If you think they're taking the "low road" why would you want to share it?

In regards to the Chavez comment, the LPC has to separate itself from the wingnut left, and get tougher on terrorism. It has to find common ground with "some" US foreign policy. And it has to quit hammering at "American neocon" "bushite", "American Republican" as adjectives for the CPC. Most American's may intensely dislike Bush and the direction of their government but that doesn't make them any more favorable to "foreigners" attacking their internal business. I know that because I lived there when Reagan was going through alzheimers.

I'm not just spewing rhetoric here.

Be true to your path. If its on a high road, then get on it. Listening to Kennedy use the word "fear" 3 times in the same sentence isn't making the LPC any friends.


Tomm said...


I know that you think that the LPC is in the ring with a heavyweight and needs to act like a heavyweight, but remember Ali's style.

The LPC has pretty much armored itself against Adscam, therefore it doesn't need to defend anything anymore. It doesn't need to defend voting against the budget. It just needs to be confident in itself and quit attacking. Start doing the plank per day like Harper did. He ignored Martin the entire time. And it worked.


p.s. why am I giving you free advice? Want to know where to send the bill when it works?

rockfish said...

There's no end to the vile and mean-spiritedness from this new Tory regime, but I do feel it reveals a nice tasty achilles, if we just put our teeth to it.
Forget talking 'bully', but instead stand and deliver the straight goods:
Harpor promised accountability -- and put his bagman in the senate in charge of public works.
Harpor promised to protect income trusts and provincial rights to its resources -- then slapped new taxes and equalization formulas that could cripple investment.
Harpor promised that the courts would hold him accountable -- then proceeded to stack the selection process with his friends and chums.
Harpor has made a lot of promises over the years -- Iraq, slashing social safety net, two-tier medicine, firewalls between provinces -- it's not only the promises that Harpor has broken, but the ones he may keep that should concern Canadians.

Red Tory said...

Tomm -- I take it that Chavez comparison was meant to be a bit of wild hyperbole, but your assertion (and you’re by no means alone in this) that the Liberals are somehow cavorting with the “loony left” is pretty laughable. There never seems to be anything to back this up other than accusations that Dion once had a youthful dalliance with Marxism and I’m really at a loss to understand the basis for this charge unless one buys into the nonsense that the Liberals are “soft on terrorism” and “soft on crime” and so on.

Steve V said...

Let's not forget Harper's the one with the Joseph Stalin fascination, well at least according to close aides.

Anonymous said...

When a hockey team or football team come out at the beginning of a season proclaiming they're going to win - that's OK.

But Dion coming out pumped up after the leadership race talking about winning isn't? It's simply getting your troops upbeat and nothing else and Harper is using this.

Dion never said he wanted an election. He was pumpled up and pumping up the Liberals

Now, how much of the taxpayers' money went into Harper's silly war room - he gets $1.79 per voter from taxpayers.

Jason Kenney - is he gay? I'm not trying to spread something here, but really he comes off like a gossipy blue haired lady. Watch his hands. I was just curious.

Red Tory said...

Steve -- Good pic, btw. I have one up too on this. ;)

Can you tell me how that link thingee at the bottom of the post works. I can't seem to figure it out.

Red Tory said...

Steve -- So how do you do that? I'm sure it's some simple little trick, but I can't seem to get it.

Steve V said...


I don't know Red :)

Red Tory said...

Automatic I guess.

knb said...

Tomm, my eyes are wide open and I disagree with you. I don't see Kennedy or anyone else stooping to the level I've seen from some of the unsavories in the con camp.

I do not expect the Liberals to just sit back and allow the lying to go unchallenged. The only moderator I've ever seen chime in to correct a point, (to all parties btw), is Don Newman. The rest are happy to let propoganda and misinformation to get on the air. I do not see defending the truth as "stooping" and veering off the high road. Scott Reid, I fully agree he goes way over the top and I personally would take him out of the limelight. Who'd you pit against Tim Power's is beyond me though, they are quite equally matched.

As for the rest of your comment, what left-wing nut has the LPC attached themselves to? How are they "soft on terror"? Since when do they not support some US foreign policy?

All of those assertions are fabrications. This country didn't just become active on the terrorism front when the Con's came in. We were working well with the US vis a vis border security, we supported the Afghanistan mission, etc. and I have heard more than one US official comment on how well they worked with McLelland etal.

Before the con's came to power, were Canadians running around in fear claiming that the Government wasn't protecting them? No of course not.

All of this, including the Chavez comment, have only become part of the conversation since Harper instructed his troops to put it out there. It's all lies and that needs to be pointed out, not ignored.

Steve V said...

Just a quick comment on Kennedy. These shows that Kennedy appears on demand a forceful approach to be effective.

I remember people criticizing Kennedy during the leadership race for sitting back too much in the debates, showing too much "decorum". The fact of the matter, within these television forums, you have to blunt and aggressive or you lose, it's the nature of that arena. If Kennedy is cutting people off and taking an offensive tone, I say good, he understands the medium.

daniel said...

daniel, please tell us what the Liberals out and out lied about to get elected.

Gee, either you guys are all REALLY new to politics, or just have highly selective - dare I say "rose-tinted" - memories.

knb, if you can find a copy of the 1993 Red Book, or have a few videos of the 2004/2006 Liberal attack ads, I suggest you find them and re-formulate your answer accordingly.

I love how all of you were so quick to assume that I was some CPC-partisan, come to spoil the otherwise monolithic opinion around here. I'd actually place myself in the Blue Liberal-Red Tory mould of the political spectrum, and if you guys want to win people like me into the the fold, the subject matter in this thread isn't gonna cut it.

Really, in terms of advertising, the Tories haven't been dirtier than the Liberals since 1993, and if the past two elections' Liberal ads weren't campaigns of fear, I don't know what is.

Honestly, people, any electable party has a battle HQ like the CPC's tucked away somewhere; you all appear equally as fooled as those "Conservative zealots" you all love to talk about.

ottlib said...

daniel said:

"I'd actually place myself in the Blue Liberal-Red Tory mould of the political spectrum..."

Then daniel I would expect you to be less supportive of the Conservatives just because of the budget.

As a fiscal conservative I liked how the Liberals eliminated the deficit and began paying down the debt. As a fiscal conservative I see the most recent budget as a threat to that because the economic assumptions of the document are way out of whack.

If the the economy grows just half a percentage point less this year than this budget forecasts (probable to likely) we are looking at another deficit by this time next year. A deficit I would remind you that would be completely preventable if this government cared more about governing than winning a majority government.

Daniel, as a Blue Liberal/Red Tory you should be howling with outrage at this budget and this government. The fact that you are not limits the credibility of your assertions of your political leanings. The fact that you actually seem to support this government despite the budget would seems to further indicate that you are just a CPC partisan, despite your protestations to the contrary. However the real kicker that puts paid to your assertion is your statements that you cannot blame the Conservatives for lying to you because the Liberals did it too. Classic, Harper hypocracy and it places you directly in his camp.

So lose the claim that you are a Blue Liberal or Red Tory. It is not true. If you truly believe it then you are delusional. If it is just a line then you are being misleading, which proves Steve's point.

Steve V said...

Just to pile on ottlib's comments, daniel you claims of objectivity fall on deaf ears. You drink the koolaid, and you inability to acknowledge the Tory manipulations, dodging and weaving with past Liberal transgressions (which I criticized btw), proves you are nothing more than a Harper apologist. SDA is more your speed, leave us to our delusions.

knb said...

daniel, there is not one thing in your comment that leads me to believe your claim, red tory/blue lib.

Nice try though.

Did you know that spending is up 14% under Harper? Worse yet, it's scattered, vote getting, spending, transparant as Saran Wrap. Have Liberals ever done this, yes of course, but Steve was going to be different, do everything differently. It seems to me that we as a country were far more fiscally sound under the Lib's.

I'm not interested in playing games. If you like Harper, fair enough, just don't hide behind some fabricated persona.

Steve V said...


Did you see Newman today when he said, pharaphasing:

"I talked to a prominent Conservative in Alberta, who said that the government was just doing what it had to get a majority, but would then return to the principles it initially ran on."

That's the excuse now, freely admitted. Yes, we are political parasites for the sake of self interest, we have no soul, but re-elect us so you can see the real thing. These people are UNBELIEVABLE.

knb said...

Oh, damn, I missed that! I must stop flipping stations, (hah, you thought only men did that, :).

Indeed, they are unbelievable, but I think we'd better start believing them.

Too bad Newman couldn't name his source, but I'm telling you, as prepared as Harper thinks he is, he still doesn't have the gang under control and there will be trouble or missteps and damage control for sure.

For the record, what I did see of Newman, he exposed the fright-factory in a pretty non-partisan way I thought. Hopefully, non-lazy media will read between the lines and run with something.

BTW are we paying for this attack against Williams? I only caught a bit of that.

Steve V said...

Yes we are!

knb said...

Well, that is garbage and should be a headline, but it won't be will it?

Hmmm, maybe now is the time to write to the media and ask why aren't you reporting this, "We the taxpayer" stuff? They report it for the small stuff.

Damn, the country needs to know that we are paying for Stephen Harper's petulance.

Come on blue lib/red tory, surely you would agree with that?

Steve V said...


I'm waiting to see the exact wording of the Williams ads. I suspect they will have an election ad aspect, which by ALL RIGHTS should get the media's attention.

Albera Report said...

Who is the 'real' Jason Kenney?