“[Mr. Dion] is essentially refusing to meet and, not only refusing to meet, refusing to speak by phone,” Kory Teneycke, Harper's communication director, said Monday.
“This is a sign that he's, for all intents and purposes, broken off communication with the prime minister
Harper is expected to indicate Tuesday whether he'll wait to meet Mr. Dion before determining whether he should call an election. But Mr. Teneycke hinted there's no need for a meeting, arguing that the Liberal leader's failure to arrange a meeting so far speaks volumes.
“In the age of modern communication, if some body's saying they can't find a way to talk to you, with cell phones and telephones and the fact that they live in the same city, only a handful of blocks apart etc., I think you're getting an answer.”
Handful of blocks apart, isn't Harper heading off to another Arctic photo-op, all patriotic and what not? Isn't Dion scheduled to be in Winnipeg for a Liberal caucus meeting early next week? Is there some DEADLINE that nobody knows about? Harper is acting like a bomb is about to detonate unless Dion immediately cuts the yellow wire (or is it the blue one, egads man!) The Conservatives are actually trying to sell Canadians that Dion must "text message" with the PM before the middle of next week, or that amounts to not wanting a meeting? Are you stooges for real?
This sounds reasonable:
Mark Dunn, Mr. Dion's spokesperson, said the Liberal leader is committed to meet with Harper before Parliament returns on Sept. 15. But given Mr. Dion's travel schedule and a planned Liberal caucus meeting from Sept. 2-4 in Winnipeg, he suggested a meeting isn't likely before the end of next week at the earliest.
“What's the rush?” said Mr. Dunn, accusing Mr. Harper of “manufacturing a crisis [over parliamentary dysfunction] when none exists.”
I know it's hard to keep track, Harper ups the ante almost daily. Wasn't it just a few days ago that he mused about "taking the next few weeks" to decide, that he wanted clarity prior to the September 15th Parliament return? Now, here we are, and Dion must meet today or it's a sign that we DESPERATELY need an election. Last time I checked "late next week" is about 10 days prior to September 15, ample time for Harper to get a feel, about half the time he originally needed.
If the Harper team thinks this sort of nonsense is "softening" up the electorate for a fall vote, I think they are in for a rude surprise. Meet me right this minute, or forget it, let's have an election. Opportunistic, cynical, VERY transparent, juvenile, petty, condescending, it all congeals to paint Harper in a very bad light. Yes, manufactured desperation is incredibly attractive and convincing. How are those by-elections internal polls looking Mr. Teneycke? Ouch.