Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Scared

Ohhhh, nooooo. The NDP, have released a series of "scathing" radio ads, "attacking" the Liberals. I caught one today, had about the same professional quality as Dion's last video appearance, but I'm sure Canadians will be moved. Hardly surprising, listening to Mulclair's petty comments yesterday (questioning where Ignatieff paid taxes), on the heels of Layton's jilted lover routine, this makes sense.

One thing to keep in mind, the timing of these ads means that while the budget was being released, and Canadians were learning the details, the NDP were huddled in a corner, planning their attack, buying up ad time. That's exactly what Canadians were looking for from political parties, during this crucial time. In addition, when was the last time the NDP ran attack ads against the government, outside of an election?? Interesting, that.

Here's the deal, the NDP are the big losers yesterday, and I know this, not because of my reaction, but because of THEIR reaction, it speaks VOLUMES. The best part, it also demonstrates why a coalition with this bunch had the real prospect of turning into a nightmare for the Liberals, one hand around your shoulder, the other with a knife at our throat. Thanks, but no thanks.

Anyways, unless "bitterness" is the new winning buzzword in Canada, these ads are about as threatening as Wade Belak on a breakaway. Consider me amused, at best.

Below, a sampling of the tremendous backlash against Ignatieff and the Liberals for their pragmatic decision:
Winnipeg Free Press – Editorial, January 29, 2009

“In fact, Mr. Ignatieff not only passed the test, he came out of it looking as if his party not only saved the nation in this time of economic crisis, but that he had vaulted himself into the captain's chair without having to endure the tedium of actually navigating the ship of state through the shoals ahead.”

---

Benoît Aubin – Chroniqueur, Le Journal de Montréal, le 29 janvier 2009

« En se positionnant comme le professeur qui corrigera les devoirs du gouvernement aux trois mois, menaçant de lui coller un zéro et de déclencher des élections, M. Ignatieff s'est aussi octroyé une bonne mesure de ce que Robert Bourassa appelait «la seule chose qui compte vraiment en politique» : du temps, pour voir venir, et manœuvrer. »

« M. Ignatieff s'est sûrement valu un hochement de tête positif de la part de millions d'électeurs qui en avaient vraiment soupé du vaudeville qu'était devenu le parlement d'Ottawa - et qui apprécient la quasi-certitude offerte hier qu'il n'y aura pas. »

---
The Globe and Mail – Editorial, January 29, 2009

“Mr. Ignatieff made the correct decision yesterday in announcing that the Liberals will support the budget delivered on Tuesday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Flawed though it may be, it mostly embraces the approach the Liberals advocated - and its defeat would force the country into another prolonged period of political uncertainty that it can ill afford. Even to play a tactical game of chicken by demanding major amendments in return for the budget's passage could have forced the Liberals into a corner, creating a stand-off that Mr. Ignatieff was smart to avoid.”

---
Jean-Marc Salvet – Éditorialiste, Le Soleil, 29 janvier 2009

« Michael Ignatieff s'est-il écrasé devant Stephen Harper? Non. Il a agi de façon responsable. »

« Le PLC et la coalition ont déjà poussé le gouvernement dans ses derniers retranchements. Ils n'auraient pas obtenu plus. Ils l'ont forcé à bouger. Ils ont modifié son code génétique. C'est un exploit. »

---
The Brantford Expositor – Editorial, January 29, 2009

“Ignatieff's phrase that he is putting the Conservative government "on probation" shows a strength that has been absent from the Liberals for some time.”

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Waterloo Region Record - Editorial

“In Ignatieff, the Liberals appear to have found someone whose intellectual skills and political smarts are the equal of Harper's. The matchup of these two should prove productive and interesting.”

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Don Martin – Columnist, National Post, January 29, 2009

“Mr. Ignatieff has given the Liberals a sense of renewed vigour and a big bounce in the polls. With this budget-expediting move, he has proven himself a shrewd strategist on par with Mr. Harper's reputation, at least before his record was soured by that fall economic update fiasco.”

---
The Toronto Star – Editorial, January 29, 2009

“Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is right, therefore, not to rush to the barricades with the other two opposition parties to defeat this budget and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government with it. That would mean either putting the coalition in office (which, unfortunately, many parts of the country would see as illegitimate) or forcing yet another election (which would be the fourth in five years). ‘Canadians need that like a hole in the head,’ observes Ignatieff.”

---
The Ottawa Citizen – Editorial, January 29, 2009

“One hopes that both Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper will carry on with the grown-up work of getting Canada out of this recession, while ignoring Mr. Layton's petulant taunting from the sidelines.”

Hang in there Michael, just ride out the maelstorm and hope the nation's fury wanes. Fingers crossed.

45 comments:

Antonio said...

teehee mulcair

queue the music

na na na na

na na na na

hey hey hey

goodbye

knb said...

Goodbye Mulcair or the NDP? I thought Mulcair was hugely popular out your way Antonio?

Steve V said...

It's not like he won in a landslide last election.

Anyways, I wonder if these hard hitting ads are running in Quebec, could be a game changer :)

leftdog said...

Not surprising to see all of the far right Liberals (who REALLY should be Tories) coming out of the woodwork with their typical NDP hatred. Mulcair and the NDP's rising numbers in Quebec scare the hell out of the RightLibs!

catherine said...

Steve is far right? Is that in curved space or what?

Steve V said...

leftdog

I'll let my past voting behavior speak for itself, but thanks for the inmature reaction. Seems a trend these days :)

Anyone know how you get FOX News on your cable provider, need to keep up with my peeps?

Antonio said...

im right wing because I support the Afghan mission and corporate tax cuts to keep canada competitive...

oh wait up until 2 days ago, so was the NDP too

when I was involved with the Young Liberals in Quebec, I was one of the most left wing VP Policy theyve ever had, mostly (ironically enough) because I believed in deficit spending to build infrastructure

Steve V said...

On a serious note, I'm of the opinion, and I actually posted regarding this "worry", that the last election provided the NDP a real opportunity for a Quebec breakthrough. The Liberals timid campaign in Outremont gave the NDP a beachhead, and Mulclair did have many attributes. With the Liberals weak under Dion, coupled with a Conservative Party that really didn't speak to Quebecers on core issues, it gave the NDP a chance to make inroads. The fact that the NDP didn't get any more seats, and Mulclair was tooth and nail to hang on all night, meant that the window probably closed. As objective as I can be, with the Liberals now back in the game, I don't see much realistic opportunity for the NDP in Quebec moving forward (could be wrong). I think the best chance is gone now, the real danger passed.

Chet Scoville said...

I strongly suspect that the reason the media is applauding is not because Ignatieff himself is so great, but because he decided to support Harper. If at some point he decides not to, they'll turn against him in a New York minute. In other words, I doubt this is really about Ignatieff at all.

catherine said...

Chet, I have a different sense. I sense the media is tiring of Harper. I think the FU really harmed him. I think they are applauding Ignatieff because Harper did make major concessions and it is tough times and they just think it is good to have a roughly stable government for a few months.

Well, perhaps the National Post is applauding Ignatieff only because he is supporting Harper's budget. But, even the NP has been a bit more critical of Harper than usual.

Greg said...

when I was involved with the Young Liberals in Quebec, I was one of the most left wing VP Policy theyve ever had, mostly (ironically enough) because I believed in deficit spending to build infrastructure

Most of the neocons started out as Trotskyists. Just sayin.

Steve V said...

Chet

I disagree, you just get the sense that Ignatieff has a level of respect with the media, that wasn't present in the past. Sure, they can turn on anybody, but Harper is damaged goods, Layton is old news, Ignatieff has some latitude. People react to a sense of confidence and competence, as long as the Liberals appear to be on the move, Ignatieff looks strong, I think he'll be okay.

Anonymous said...

"One thing to keep in mind, the timing of these ads means that while the budget was being released, and Canadians were learning the details, the NDP were huddled in a corner, planning their attack,"

We also now know that while Ignatieff was going through the motions of pretending to be in a coalition with the NDP, he was making late night calls to Flaherty to find out what "face saving" demand he could make of the Tories when they unveiled their budget that the Tories would let him get away with.

Antonio said...

yae greg i guess its been a long two years...

on mulcair tho Steve

youre right

he wont get that kind of exposure again

the Libs need to appoint a candidate now though, and not one at the last minute

MsZ said...

I don't see how the NDP rate any special mention for playing politics with this whole budget drama. Ignatieff's decision not to attempt any substantive amendments was purely political, as well as his decision to lead the NDP on throughout the proroguement ( not sure if that is a word) when its pretty obvious he had no intention of being part of any coalition.

So I can't imagine Mulcair and Layton were the only one huddled about discussing political strategy while waiting for the budget, No?

Anonymous said...

oh you're so brilliant, citing right wing corporate media -- from the Globe to the Winnipeg Free Press -- on the greatness of right-wing Michael 'bomb the arabs' Ignatieff.

the flaws in the budget are gigantic.

pay equity? environment? childcare? a green revolution? EI eligibility? totally unnecessary tax cuts? science research? etc. (see Thomas Walkom in today's Star or the professional analysis at the Progressive Economics Forum).

moreover, anyone with a brain can predict that the Liberals will come to power next and implement massive cuts to social programs, just as they did in the 1990s.

for god's sake, how can you justify this bs and still sign on to Progressive Bloggers.

The liberal party once again propped up the right wing conservatives, which just prorogued parliament for heaven's sake.

the liberal party is a pile of trash, stocked full of middle class opportunists and corporate lawyers, who have zero progressive credentials, let alone principles.

good job for the NDP to call a spade a spade.

i can't wait until the NDP starts pulling quotes out of Iggy's books, in which he justifies American militarism, torture, and even the criminal bombing of vietnam, which killed up to 3 million people.

it's amazing to see the idiocy of liberal 'progressives' who support ignatieff. these types are totally living in a fairy tale world of make believe.

'harper put on a leash', 'Parliament made to work'...lol

Steve V said...

anon

The "bitterness", such a shame. And yes, the Toronto Star is a very right wing paper. Yawn.

MsZ

Oh, but they do deserve special mention, because they're different remember? Other parties play games, but the NDP is only concerned with the kitchen table, which is why Layton pleaded for votes yesterday. If you're arguing the NDP are just like the other parties, I'm real good with that.

Steve V said...

anon

Maybe I should have included the quotes from the former NDP finance minister in Ontario, that neocon...

catherine said...

The CTV had coverage of these ads which was positive for Ignatieff (wow, isn't that a change). It's under "on the offensive" under the latest lineup.

They said the NDP plans to run them in ridings newly won and in Ontario. They also said the NDP is preparing ads for Quebec.

Anonymous said...

What the NDP does or thinks is a non issue. The flipside of this is the question:

how much has Ignatieff's support of the Harper budget merely legitimized Harper's leadership, especially on this issue?

Joseph said...

On the last anon, the answer is "none" - short, simple, to the point, and accurate.

Harper doesn't gain by caving after running to mommy for a time-out.

Anonymous said...

@ Joseph:

But, Harper is still in power (with tacit support of the media quoted above) and his spin machine will try to characterize him as being a more concilliatory Harper, having given a budget to appease the opposition. The spin war will be along these lines I bet.

To be fair, the coalition was an unreasonable (and dumb) idea that would have potentially damaged the country, but at least the threat of it held Harper to account (something that Ignatieff is now taking all the credit for). There was no choice but to pull that stunt to protect the pm from implementing some very destructive and undemocratic legislation.

Anonymous said...

"the coalition was an unreasonable (and dumb) idea that would have potentially damaged the country, "

I suppose that if you are rightwing Tory you might believe that - but i don't see what's "unreasonable" or "dumb" about parties coming together in a time of national crisis and governing by consensus. It happens all the time in Australia, Ireland, Germany etc... what's not to like. On top of that - for the first time a sovereignist party from Quebec was prepared to support a federalist government and essentially give up on the old strategy of obstructionism.

Joseph said...

Anon, that is a different dilemma than your initial statement. My answer still applies.

But if you're point is Harper intends to reshape his entire image based upon this budget, I have strong doubts. First, it remains to be seen if Harper really intends to sell himself as a reasonable, conciliatory kinda guy. I'm not saying he won't tacitly, but the rage is pretty high in conservative corners as well so I'm not sure how "cooperative" they'll let him be. You get the feeling they think he ripped up the sacred conservative scrolls on budget control, though there is no sign any conservative in the past 30 years knows a damn thing about fiscal restraint.

Personally, I have no reason to believe Harper can play nice for long. I anticipate a return to petty Harper soon enough. It is apparently his default mode.

If this has truly been a road to Damascus moment and he can sell himself as a cooperative agent of benevolence - which can only be done through future actions - then we can all be relieved. His ability to sell another image by words and photo ops alone has been torched. He'll need more than sweaters in the future.

I don't think it's gonna happen.

Steve V said...

"But if you're point is Harper intends to reshape his entire image based upon this budget, I have strong doubts."

I think, all you need to do is ask yourself one question- have the events of the past two months, strengthened or weakened the government and Stephen Harper?

The answer is obvious.

Anonymous said...

this comes down to a matter of social interests and class power -- either support the broad interests of Canadian business or the broad interests of working people and the progressive community.

iggy chose to side with the former.

and he made the job easier for progressive people: we know much more clearly who the real enemies are: the Cons AND the Libs. nothing is new here

what a joke that this blog is on the progressive bloggers site.

RuralSandi said...

Considering the way Layton has responded (he's such a political whore) do you really thing the coalition would have lasted or worked?

So, Layton and Duceppe - that other coalition NDP/BLOC coalition planned the coalition right after the election and they had attack ads ready - Layton obviously can't be trusted and I think perhaps Iggy and Rae figured that out. I heard Rae say there was a chemistry problem and Iggy said there were things about the coalition he wasn't comfortable with.

You know, Layton wets his pants over Obama, tries to be him (check out the NDP website - Layton in his shirts sleeves, a shirt that sure doesn't fit him right) and yet Obama doesn't demonize - he doesn't believe in it and ran his campaign that way.

And, Mulcair gives me the creeps - he has an anger problem and has difficulty controlling it.

Steve V said...

"what a joke that this blog is on the progressive bloggers site."

LOL.

You should email the site and ask that I be removed.

Steve V said...

"You know, Layton wets his pants over Obama"

Did you hear him dropping Obama's name today in QP? It's hilarious, because the guy's policies show no relationship to that of the NDP. Dennis Kucinich maybe, Obama, oh please Jack, get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should have included the quotes from the former NDP finance minister in Ontario, that neocon...

or the former NDP premier in Ontario, that commie...

Mushroom said...

Hey Steve,

Don't forget that great Australian Labor PM, Kevin Rudd. Might as well mention Gordon Brown at the same time at Jack Layton.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to understand why all these Liberals are busily defending the Tory budget. Next thing we know you'll all be voting Tory in the next election!

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff and Harper have so much significant overlap between them now which elucidates the fact that they are two heads on the same monster of neo-liberalism, a right and left version of the same entity. One which puts the ruling elite and transnational corporate interests ahead of those of workers, and consumers.

Not all the media is quite so uncritical of Ignatieff either, "Ignatieff blows chance to aid country".

Anonymous said...

the liberals have a candidate in outremont = martin cauchon. the executive won't work for anyone else. that is unless cotler retires and cauchon makes a move for tmr. i wonder how the jewish community would feel about that.

Anonymous said...

As a life long Liberal, nothing makes me more happy than to see the archaic unwilling-to-modernize NDP marginalized and put into its place once again, 13% territory :)


-ITC

Steve V said...

anon

Congrats, you found one! Okay, so 98% of reviews are fair to positive.

Interesting comments from Hebert tonight, she said the mood in Montreal is such that despite support for a coalition, Ignatieff seems to be getting a pass.


"I'm trying to understand why all these Liberals are busily defending the Tory budget."

Tell Jack, if wants power, hoodwink some more Canadians, instead of looking at us as his meal ticket. K? Old Layton had no problem ditching corporate tax cuts, once he tasted power, so spare me the purity.

aweb said...

The best part, it also demonstrates why a coalition with this bunch had the real prospect of turning into a nightmare for the Liberals, one hand around your shoulder, the other with a knife at our throat. Thanks, but no thanks.

I hope you're self-aware enough to see how the above passage works just as well for the NDP right now, by switching the one word. The two parties signed an agreement, one backed out, the other says mean things about them. The party that once again supported (usually in absentia) Stephen Harper as Prime Minister is not the one that gets to play the wounded victim card.

CuzBen said...

Hey - I like Wade Belak. Not much of a hockey player but one of the funniest athletes out there. Ever catch his brief online comedy show "Wade a Minute"? Hilarious.

Very much agree Steve. I'm lovin Ignatieff as leader. Stands above the fray that Harper and Layton embrace. Now there's your overlap.

Anonymous said...

"As a life long Liberal, nothing makes me more happy than to see the archaic unwilling-to-modernize NDP marginalized and put into its place once again, 13% territory :)"

Well, I guess you are going to keep being unhappy for many more years since the NDP is still at 18% in the latest poll and can only gain as anti-Harper voters get disgusted with the Liberals propping up the Tories.

Mushroom said...

Scott Andrews of Avalon. The first defector from the Grits to the Coalition. Jack Layton will probably welcome him with open arms.

Joyce said...

I agree with Thomas Walkom of The Star. Amendments were necessary. I think not forcing amendments will be the key issue in all of this. If Harper had not agreed to the amendments, he would have brought down his own government and it would not have looked like a power grab. This was not a time for business as usual.

Antonio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antonio said...

joyce

what purpose is an election the Liberals cant afford, even with a bad budget.

Harper is 11 seats from a majority government. The Liberals cant afford to give him a chance to get that majority, and dragging the canadian people to another election was not the answer.

(for any doubting the election, we saw no good reason to trust Jack Layton after his little ideologue spiel yesterday, I doubt Michaelle jean would have trusted him)

Harper will wear the recession and prove that he is a bonehead once and for all.

An election that would not change the man in the PM's chair isnt worth it.

The budget wasnt perfect but it was a start in the right direction. Thats how most canadians feel.

Joyce said...

Antonio,

I think the GG would have turned to the coalition.

Anonymous said...

"Harper will wear the recession and prove that he is a bonehead once and for all."

How many Canadians have to lose their homes and suffer from malnutrition during the recession under Harper's horrid rule - just because the Liberals don't feel they could do any better and don't want to be in power during tough time?