Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good Move Stephane

An election is a certainty, which is why Dion agreeing to meet Harper TOMORROW is shrewd politically:
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with his Liberal rival Stéphane Dion in a Labour Day showdown that will almost certainly precede an election.

Mr. Harper's spokesman says the afternoon meeting will take place Monday at the Prime Minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

Dion's proposal to meet on September 9th would never have happened, given hyper Harper's drive to avoid the by-elections, among other things. In agreeing to a meeting Monday, Dion gets the opportunity to put out his talking points to an attentive press corp. No meeting, Dion loses another chance to frame Harper as opportunistic, he can muse about Harper's posturing, he can look like he is amenable to moving forward.

I look at the meeting like a bonus press conference for Dion, so politically it's a good move, regardless of what happens in the meeting itself. Thanks for the free coverage, if I were the Conservatives I would have had Harper busy tomorrow, prior to his unilateral election call.


Antonio said...

I think Dion should come out to the cameras and say:

"I had a good discussion with Prime Minister Harper. I want Parliament to work as much as possible. I will consult my constituents and Liberals across the country to see if they want an election. Mr. Harper will have my decision September 9th."

Joe Calgary said...

"he can look like he is amenable to moving forward."

... Or that he's once again "Backpeddling" on his on convictions.

He should have stuck to his guns... again.

liberazzi said...

Angus Reid is showing 36 Con vs. 28 Lib? How is that possible when all the other polls are showing a tie? Is this the same polling firm that gets all sensitive when you dispute their findings i.e. threaten to sue?

Gayle said...

liberazzi - I think that was Ipsos Reid.

JC - The only people who care about that "backpeddling" thing are CPC partisans who would not vote for him anyway.

I admit I saw no point in Dion meeting with Harper...until I read Steve's blog. :)

The Grumpy Voter said...

I thought he had no time in his schedule to meet until after September 9th? Maybe Iggy stole his daytimer.

Anonymous said...

Antonio, that is perfect . . . bet you'd thought I'd never say that.

An excellent response.

Richard said...

he said we wanted one in July. Now he's not sure.
are we really that fickle, or just unpredictable?

Greg said...

I agree with Wells.

MississaugaPeter said...

Being a minority government,

Being a fixed election date has been set for October 19, 2009,

Shouldn't the Governor General see if a different minority government could be formed before an election is okayed?

Shouldn't the Governor General see if Dion is willing to form a minority government until October 19, 2009, before an election is okayed?

After meeting Harper, Dion should arrange a meeting with the GG.

OttawaGrit said...

Hey Steve, not to change the subject, but since we're talking election stuff, I'm hearing crazy things about the race against Baird in OWN these days...still no candidate even though elextion is only a few days away...and Bob C is apparently really scared of David Pratt...

One of the OWN board members says that Bob C has personally been asked to be appointed by Dion to be the candidate - and is he mad about David Pratt jumping ahead of him - that's why he's demanding that the OWNFLA board appoint him as the candidate.

But there's another problem since this Ottawa U prof ElKadri has sold quite a few memberships of his own and wants an open nomination. ElKadri has apparently sold 500 memberships and David Pratt also said in the papers the other day that he's also out selling hard.

OWNFLA board is having an emergency meeting this tuesday (should be a total gongshow...) where Pratt, Chiarelli and ElKadri will have to make a case before a special committe as to why they are the best guy to take on that blowhard Baird. Then the board's recommendation will be sent to Dion, who will appoint the candidate.

What really ticks me off is this would totally break the OWNFLA constitution! how can we as Liberals say we respect democratic choice with this gongshow, especially when the nomination has been postponed at least twice to allow Bob C to be the candidate...I'm thinking that the fix is in to get Bob the nomination even though he can't make a decision one way or another....and say what you will about Baird, but even he had to fight a nomination last time even though he was Doug Finley's choice for candidate...

We screwed up in Saskatchewan with Joan Beatty - and now this, in a riding where we could regain it...really is tough to be a Liberal sometimes...

wilson said...

''Shouldn't the Governor General see if Dion is willing to form a minority government until October 19, 2009, before an election is okayed?''
Does or could Dion get the confidence of the House?
Libs would have to join with the Bloc, as Dippers don't have enough MPs to give a coalition more than PMSHs 127.
Then there may be a possibility there.

Wrong again Gayle, it was Angus Reid.

Only problem is, Antonio , it's the Prime Minister's decision to make, not Dion's, never has been Dion's decision to make.

Steve V said...

"Wrong again Gayle, it was Angus Reid."

If there's one thing you're an expert on, it's WRONG, so point taken.

Steve V said...

ott grit

Thanks for that, I had no idea.

Raphael Alexander said...

Steve, is there anything Dion does that you don't think is politically shrewd? This is your farthest branch you've crawled out on yet.

Gayle said...

wilson - I was referring to the threats to sue, not the results.

But it is amusing to see you take such pleasure over such small "victories".

MississaugaPeter said...


I believe the Bloc would not vote to force an election if Dion became PM. I believe that the Bloc would say, "let's honor the fixed date", hoping Conservative support in Quebec would fall when they were not in power.

The chaos and look on the faces of the Conservatives and Harper would be incredible.

Steve V said...

"Steve, is there anything Dion does that you don't think is politically shrewd? This is your farthest branch you've crawled out on yet."

Is it now? Just happened to watch the CBC News, and guess what, Keith Boag just reported that it made sense for Dion to agree, because he gets a chance to go in front the cameras and make his case, speak to the PM breaking his commitment again. Ya, I was really reaching there....

lib pollster said...


look at the personal approval numbers of Dion v Harper.

Harper's blowing him away.

In a liberals perfect world, a generic conservative without a leader, would be running against a generic liberal without a leader.

But Harper's running against Dion,

and as the vote draws near and the press polls want to come close the actual vote for bragging rights, watch as the spread between Harper and Dion in THE question resemble the more specific personal numbers.

This one won't even be close.

It's a Harper majority, which is why Harper's claiming it'll be another minority.

Dishonest, yes, given his internals are clearly showing he's going to win big, as are the Liberal numbers,

but that's politics.

Blues Clair said...

It's amazing that Conservative supporters completely forget that Harper was once written off by the media and his approval ratings were in the dumps. StupId.

Anonymous said...

I do so love these people who think Dion's leadership numbers before he's ever been out in front of the people during an election mean more than a fart on paper.

What's going to be more fun is seeing what happens during the election, because unless he manages to step on his own tie while walking out to the podium, I don't think his numbers can get any lower, and I'm so going to love hearing the talking points when they start to climb.

And I say this not even knowing if I like the man, myself, but I think to myself of all the people at the Liberal convention who did, so he can't be a total reject.

Omar said...

Keith Boag just reported that it made sense for Dion to agree..

And if Keith Boag says it all makes sense, well brother you can take that opinion to the proverbial bank, LOL. Dion should have stuck to his guns and met Harper on the 9th or better yet, not have met with him at all. Now is not the time to be seen back peddling on your decisions. Silly man.

Steve V said...


Let's see how silly is when he's on the news tonight, blasting Harper. You people are THICK.

As for Harper's "blowing Dion away" on leadership, last time we saw such a gap, between Harper and Martin, the Liberals were up 12% in the polls. The fact the Conservatives haven't capitalized should be worrying, especially when you consider Dion has no place to go but up.

Omar said...

When 'who' is on the news tonight blasting Harper, Dion or Keith Boag? And what do you mean by "you people?" To fill in some blanks for you Steve, I wholeheartedly wish to have Stephane Dion and the Liberals sweep back into power with an impressive majority bolstered by seats from both Ontario and Quebec. I am generously donating for that scenario to become reality. That being said, I will not vote Liberal as I strongly believe my MP is a stooge who deserves replacement. In West Nova, Team Liberal is on their own.

Steve V said...

I just can't believe how anyone can describe him as a "silly man" for agreeing to meet Harper. If Harper is going to an election, it provides Dion with an opportunity to make his case, in a high profile setting. Seems a no brainer, and my point about Boag was simply a counter to the silliness of not seeing how that fact is a political plus.

Why did he Liberal strategists agree to meet, you don't think they weighed what it would mean? Sheesh.

Steve V said...

Anyone just see the 10 minute Dion press conference, live on three networks? Wow, he surely looked silly there, passionately and powerfully making the PM's arguments look ridiculous. Nobody even asked about "why did you change your mind". We play chess too :)

Gayle said...

I didn't see the press conference (the Eskimos are playing), but I did read the article at the Globe.

They got another chance to point out Harper is being opportunistic and running scared of an election later in the fall. Nice.

Steve V said...


Dion looked great, very animated and clear. I wonder if there were words exchanged, Dion seemed offended and FIRED UP. One of his better performances.

Steve V said...

Oh, go Stamps! ;)

Gayle said...



That said, given the way my guys destroyed the Stamps, maybe you should cheer for them more often. You seem to give them bad karma. :)

Steve V said...


Omar said...

So Mr Dion feels his 15 minute meeting with the pm was “a joke” and a “charade” and nothing more than a “face-saving exercise” for Mr Harper?

Sounds like silly time to me, but hey, I'm not advising the guy. ;-)