Thursday, March 27, 2008

Harper Says Uncle

The only time our Prime Minister is magnanimous is when he is in retreat. I take today's press release, wherein Harper praises McGuinty, as an admission that the bash Ontario strategy is an abysmal failure:
“I want to congratulate Premier McGuinty and his Government for developing programs that will use these federal funds to strengthen the Ontario economy, improve public safety, and expand the public transit system,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Working together, our governments are getting things done for all Ontarians.”

Given the unprecedented incursion into provincial matters, these comments are laughable:
“Our Government is committed to the federalism of openness, an approach to federal-provincial relations that relies on respect for jurisdiction...

We read plenty from "unnamed" Liberal sources, interesting to hear what Conservatives are quietly saying about the government's misguided strategy:

Two longtime provincial Tory organizers privately expressed their bafflement, but didn't want to speak for the record.

We even have a disgruntled Conservative (sound familar):
"The sense I get from talking to people is that it looks like a one-way fight," said Mark Warner, the erstwhile Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre who was dumped last fall by the party and subsequently supported Liberal Bob Rae.

"It kind of looks like Patrick Roy's son going after the other goalie. People are talking about it, but it's more framed in the way of 'Why?'

"Some of the (Tory) candidates running in the ridings they're targeting have said to me they don't understand what this is all about."

James Travers tried to figure out what this was all about today, but he never did explain how alienating voters was a positive.

CTV reported today that John Tory was unhappy with the offensive, which seems reasonable, given the increasing perception that he was really a bit player in the entire debate, reduced to repeating Flaherty's lines.

People can spin all they want, but today's press release from Harper was no accident, it was damage control. I guess some of those internal polls were telling them the same thing everyone else already knew, this strategy was a political boner of the highest order.

8 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

No real surprise here. This though seems to fit a long pattern of the Tories which is have someone else test the controversial policies and if the public reacts positively, Harper takes credit. If the public reacts negatively Harper backtracks and passes the blame onto the other one. I just hope voters pick up on this trend, not just here but elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

The only ones who cried Uncle were the Ontario Liberals when they asked that the criticism stop.

Can you say "good cop"?

Anonymous said...

So then Flaherty's the "bad cop".

Hmm, now I guess the Ontario Liberals know now what it feels like to be pissed on like Alberta has been for so long by them when they need a bogeyman.

Well we've all learned a lesson and it won't happen again. Right?

Anonymous said...

I think it's more like - the Ontario Liberals stood up to a bully and extended an olive branch like statesmen. It's called grown up/maturity/statesmanship.

Even other provinces were stunned by what Harper/Flaherty did.

More evidence that Harper governs by the polls.

He backed down - leadership? Na, I don't think so. Petty, childish - yup.

Anonymous said...

Harper/Flaherty/Conservative party
are the schoolyard bullies all grown up, but still sneering, blaming, and antagonizing everyone else. No wonder Harper is so keen on Bush, takes one to know one.

wilson said...

A good Lib.vs.Con battle is what is needed at the federal level. It wakes up the voters.

Cash infusion to a select few
vs. cross the board aid
(like the child care policies)
is one of the consistant differences between the Libs and Cons. It's a fundamental difference, and should be fought.

PMSH hardly said Uncle, he merely gave previously promised funding to McGuinty,
but with a lot more media coverage than he would have gotten, without the 'tax vs. cash' fight.
Right out of Chretien's hand-book.

Antonio said...

harper says uncle

I wonder where he picked it up from...

Steve V said...

"PMSH hardly said Uncle, he merely gave previously promised funding to McGuinty"

Harper never makes that announcement, with the kind words, had it not been for the blowback. Do you even know PMSH?