Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let's Dance

Clearly, the Liberals think they've hit on a winner, with the debate angle. Keeping up the pressure, Dion will write a letter to Harper, which will be available to all media outlets. Perfect:

Dion challenges PM to 'green' debate

OTTAWA — St├ęphane Dion took on a rare aggressor's role Sunday with Stephen Harper, daring the Prime Minister to debate him over the Liberals new green plan.

The Liberal Leader made the challenge on CTV's Question Period Sunday, where he also characterized Mr. Harper as vulgar for suggesting the Liberal plan would “screw” taxpayers. “I would be very pleased to debate it at any time,” Mr. Dion said. “And let me tell you one thing ... I will always debate in a respectful way, in a meaningful way, because it's what Canadians deserve.”

Sources said that Mr. Dion intends to make his request official with a letter to the Prime Minister. It's the first effort of an aggressive sales pitch which began after the announcement last week.

Harper's people better develop a better talking point- is there a Canadian alive that still believes our question period is a place for serious debate?:
“If Mr. Dion wanted to have a debate with the Prime Minister he should have, for starters, shown up for Question Period during the last week that the House of Commons was sitting,” Sandra Buckler said.


So far so good.


Raphael Alexander said...

There isn't a single reason to debate Dion. Not one. Until he topples the government, I can't blame him.

Steve V said...

Of course not.

Scott Tribe said...

Yes.. going around charging that the Green Shift will "screw" Canadians and darkly hinting out West that this is NEP 2 will suffice, eh Raphael?

I'm sure all that hyperbole will convince Canadians to agre with Harper. (smirk).

Anonymous said...

Harper should challenge Dion to a PPV wrestling match instead, WWF style, with Julie as the referee wearing nothing but Bernier's missing briefs.

All proceeds will go to paying off Dion's campaign debt and Harper's jelly donut bills.

ottlib said...

Stephane Dion is focusing on the wrong person.

Stop worrying about what Stephen Harper thinks about the Green Shift Plan. Canadians are smart enough to realize that Mr. Harper's statements are nothing more than partisan BS.

And challenging him to a debate is silly. If on the off chance Stephen Harper accepts the challenge the Liberal plan to promote the Green Shift Plan is in the crapper because the media will focus on the preparations leading up to that debate.

As well, after such debate the media will not focus on the Green Plan. They will focus on who "won" the freaking debate.

I am certain that there is more to the communications plan for the Green Shift Initiative than just announcing it. Unless challenging Stephen Harper was always part of that plan Mr. Dion should not have issued the challenge and he should definitely not continue to issue the challenge.

Talk to Canadians about the Green Plan. That is what Mr. Harper is afraid of and he would dearly love it if Mr. Dion changes focus from doing that.

Steve V said...

"And challenging him to a debate is silly. If on the off chance Stephen Harper accepts the challenge the Liberal plan to promote the Green Shift Plan is in the crapper because the media will focus on the preparations leading up to that debate"

I think people are missing the point here. Who cares if they debate or not? What matters, Dion has responded to the initial barrage and has effectively made the story, for a newscycle or two, about wanting to debate Harper. I appreciate the tactics here, had the Liberals not hatched an effective counter, it would have been more of "is he crazy?". Instead, it's about the "aggressor", pure political gold for a guy who's leadership numbers are abysmal. The debate is whatever as far as I'm concerned, it's the fact that we seem to have our act together here, doing a good job keeping them off balance. That's the point, it's war right now and I think we're up a pawn ;)

Raphael Alexander said...

Scott, I don't recall saying once "NEP". Although kudos for recognizing I'm out west now.

Raphael Alexander said...

That's the point, it's war right now and I think we're up a pawn ;)

It's a poisoned pawn. :)

Steve V said...

You're lost. Where's the downside?

Anonymous said...

For the first time, I was convinced this week that Dion wants to be PM. He looks like someone who knows he's smarter, more thoroughly prepared, and with the temperament needed to get everyone on board.

marge said...

It's amazing how far Dion has managed to lower the bar for his followers:

after abstaining or supporting the CPC big votes, waffling, stumbling, mumbling,

the party faithful are ecstatic Dion is actually coming out for something, anything........

even if it is for a massive tax grab.



Love, love, love it.

Gayle said...

Thanks for the comment biff/marge.

And yet, for some odd reason, Harper does not seem to want to take him up on that offer.

Funny that.

Raphael Alexander said...

And yet, for some odd reason, Harper does not seem to want to take him up on that offer.

It really hurts to be the irrelevant party. Don't worry, the Cons sat in your seat for 13 years.

The Mound of Sound said...

You're right Steve. Harper set himself up for this with his Republican-modeled, eternal-campaign style negative ad campaigns against Dion as "not a leader."

Harper, like your garden-variety schoolyard bully, was showing that he could push the little wimp around.

Now the "little wimp" is taking advantage of Harper's stupidity by challenging him to a David versus Goliath debate. Classic. Priceless. Harper is already on the wrong side of Canadian public opinion on this one so he'll look like Big Oil's idiot if he heaps scorn on ANY reasonable proposal Dion lays out.

For once I see a significant stumble by Harper and, with endless relief, signs that the Libs noticed it and plan to use it against him. That's what real, honest politics is all about. Not the Bushist regime we have in Ottawa at the moment.

My battered faith in the party may just yet be redeemed!

mitch said...

Our budget: the single most important document which affects how the government taxes us and how it will spend those taxes:

Dion takes a powder.

Crime bill, Afghan vote, immigration,

powder, powder, powder.

Now this brave act as leader of the ....ahem, opposition..... is to write a letter asking Harper to debate on the one issue that seems to interest him (though not enough for Dion to actually act on and vote against the government)?

You know, they could have actually "debated" this issue in parliament by seeking to amend the budget to include this proposal. But that would be actually standing by your convictions and letting the chips fall where they may.

Dion's like the wimp at a hockey fight who turtles at the first sign of a fight, then when the referee is safely in between the two players yells "let me at him".

Writing letters and asking for debates after parliament has close. This has you all fire up?


How sad, this once great party.

RuralSandi said...

Ya, well - here's how concrete Harper's "plan???" is:

BTC: Fight confusion
By Aaron Wherry
June 20th, 2008 at 10:06 am

Jason Kenney, yesterday: “We have an absolute commitment in regulations that will be released in the fall.”

John Baird, June 2: “We said we would get the first draft of the regulations out in the fall of 2009.”

Environment Canada, Mar. 10: “Proposed greenhouse gas regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette later this year, and the regulations finalized in 2009 to come into force as planned on January 1, 2010.”

....Harper's problem - he hasn't figured out if he has a plan and/or when it will be implemented - ah, minor problem right?

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Good finds, Sandi. Harper ought not let Kenney or Baird of Environment Canada do any talkin'. If they don't have a plan (and they don't), they oughta just clam up. Kinda funny that Harper's hidden agenda is that there is no agenda. I reckon that's a non-agenda worth hiding. Canadians care about the environment. We care about the planet we're leaving to our children and grandchildren. We want a plan and we are willing to make some sacrifices.

Harper's message seems to be, "Don't worry. Be happy. Be glad Big Oil is making billions. So-called greenhouse gases are harmless, if they even exist."


Steve V said...


The referee? Seems to me like you are hiding behind parliament to rationalize why Harper doesn't need to defend his views. Bottomline, Harper should relish the opportunity, if Dion really is crazy and a wimp. I find the excuses beyond lame, and there is no question in mind that Dion has seized the moment.

Steve V said...

From today's G and M

"If he is so clearly incensed by Mr. Dion's green plan, Mr. Harper should welcome the opportunity to debate him."

justin said...

I love this... it is great to see that Dion and the Liberals have grown a pair. Harper is looking so un-Prime Ministerial right now, he should have tried to stay above the fray and let the surrogates do the talking. By going out on his mad rants against Dion and this plan he has fallen right in the middle of the conversation! This is a winner for the Liberals, they should have every surrogate parroting the debate line.

Steve V said...


Isn't it nice to see "a pair" exists. I think this is like wind in the sails for the grassroots, finally something to embrace.