Friday, April 29, 2011

Petty Nash

A lot of things get distorted in a campaign, and I've really just ignored some of the bullshit, because well, it's BULLSHIT. Chiefly, the NDP and their "positive" campaign, which seems to divide election 2011 into two distinct segments, the first half a mirage apparently. See, to truly believe this rubbish, one must forget that prior to the Quebec surge, all Layton did was bash Liberals, his stump speech said more about Ignatieff than Harper. In addition, the NDP ran attack ads against the Liberals. I read articles, commentaries, all independent observers detailing the NDP "obsession" with attacking the Liberals. It's a fact, a truth that exists beyond the lame spin from NDP supporters and sympathizer friends, that is the inescapable TRUTH. You know what it's fine, because in politics that's the name of the game, but please, please STOP with the revionism. Of course now it's all love and sunshine from the NDP, which is smart strategy, given the wave of change, that's the easy call. I commend the NDP war room for positive messaging in the home stretch. I have also put aside my partisan considerations and adopted a "greater good" mentality when viewing possible election outcomes.

Apparently Peggy Nash didn't get the new memo, because she is running a LOWBALL campaign of DISTORTIONS against one of the most progressive voices in the country, a real world example of how the flowery projections we must nauseatingly endure don't quite match the GUTTER politics that so often is the real story behind the smiling mustache. So, I'm challenging the moral high ground Dippers and their sympathizers to decry this crap from the Petty Nash campaign- come on show some consistency- or is just partisan convenience, because going after an honorable man like Kennedy in this BULLSHIT way is just "broken Ottawa" in every conceivable way, is it not?:



Here's another newsflash, it's stuff like this that will make many Liberals less inclined to support the NDP after this all shakes out, and count me NOW as one of them (with any geniune enthusiasm that's for sure). What a low rent attack. As an aside, way to kick ass Gerard Kennedy, you're clearly the better man or woman in this fight.

39 comments:

Greg said...

Agreed, low rent. Of course, I think sending out Bob Rae to denounce the NDP is pretty low politics too. Better to get rid of all that crap.

Tof KW said...

The only silver lining if the NDP indeed end up overtaking the Libs as official opposition ... their promise the moon policies and their self-righteous bullshit will finally be under media scrutiny.

Oh and yes, the NDP needs to be reminded that regardless of the outcome on the 2nd, both parties will need to work together to unseat Harper, and Nash's idiocy isn't the way to go when you're trying to win friends.

Steve V said...

What? Come on Greg. Rae left the NDP, so if he wants to express why, that's hardly out of bounds. I don't think that was smart strategy on our part, but he was an NDP Premier, so he sort has a perspective on the party, whether helpful or not.

Tof KW said...

Oh and Greg - the Reformatories are the last people who should preach to the Liberals about lowball attacks.

pogge said...

Judge them all by the same standard. I've seen Liberal supporters claim that the lack of Lib attack ads against the NDP early on was out of pure motives. I think it more likely that the Libs hoped the NDP would be ineffective and wouldn't need to be attacked. That's what the Red Door/Blue Door rhetoric was about -- to suggest that the Dippers were irrelevant. Oops.

Meanwhile (my emphasis):
"“People have seen the Liberals in power before and they’ve seen them make all kinds of promises, very similar to what New Democrats talk about, but then they’ve seen them come into power and do precisely the opposite,” Layton said, when asked why he hasn’t mentioned Ignatieff in stump speeches and has only targeted Harper."

Guess it depends on which sources you were reading.

Steve V said...

pogge

Of course it was pure motives, the NDP were dead in the water why bother with them. Your bullshit selective quote doesn't say much for your bias to be honest. I've heard the speeches, without editing, it's irrefutable. Canadian Press, CTV, CBC, seems only dipper sympathizers can't acknowledge the blue sky, but that's not really my concern, life's too short.

Greg said...

My point is Steve, the parties, and our politics, would be better off selling the positives of their own parties and leaving it up to the voter to decide. Otherwise, it devolves into personal attacks, distortions and outright lies.

kirbycairo said...

Come now, you simply cannot compare the so-called bashing of Liberals by Jack Layton anything like that perpetrated by the Harper Conservatives. The line of Harper's attack was consistently personal and had nothing to do with Ignatieff's actions in the House or his policies. They blatant ad hominem critiques that were tasteless and demeaning.

Layton did not, by and large "bash" Ignatieff, rather he pointed to his actions as leader of the opposition and particularly to his consistent support of Harper in many House votes.

Now, I for one was very disappointed with the whole "missing votes in the House" approach because though it related to his actions in the House it had an air of "personalism' about it. Furthermore, even if I don't support Ignatieff, I understand that he was the leader of the official opposition and a party that has been trying to rebuild its once powerful brand, so to speak. In fact, I wrote to Layton personally expressing my disappointment with such an approach.

But overall, Layton has treated Ignatieff in a straightforward, normal political sense. And though Ignatieff has fired back many times at Layton, his critiques have been generally non-personal and fairly respectful. Unlike Harper, who used the word 'snake-oil,' Ignatieff has been pretty good about not creating a poisonous atmosphere.

However, Layton's effort to point out that Ignatieff has supported the Harper government many times, hardly constitutes "bashing." So with the exception of the "absentee" accusation I think you claim is overstated.

The Jurist said...

Sorry, but I don't see a challenge to the numbers or facts relied on by Nash, and declining to agree with Kennedy's spin as to why he's missed votes looks like a genuine difference of position rather than a "distortion". I'll decry any tactics that genuinely deserve it (and an actual distortion of fact would qualify), but this falls well short.

Steve V said...

Jurist

Of course you don't!!! Predictable is kind.

Steve V said...

"Come now, you simply cannot compare the so-called bashing of Liberals by Jack Layton anything like that perpetrated by the Harper Conservatives."

This is why commentary is really a study in human psychology. Where did I say anything remotely close to that?

pogge said...

And incidentally...

In the riding I'm in, the strongest challenge to a Conservative incumbent had been coming from the NDP in recent elections with the Liberals placing third by a good-sized margin. If this was all about stopping Harper, you'd think the Libs might have backed off and let the Dippers operate. Instead they sent in a Liberal from a completely different city -- Thornhill isn't all that close to Oshawa.

By all accounts, James (Morton's Musings) worked hard and ran a clean campaign. I'm not faulting him as an individual and there's nothing at all against the rules here. But obviously that was all about the greater glory of the Liberal party and not just about stopping Harper. There's a potential there to split the progressive vote, which is exactly what we're supposed to be avoiding, isn't it?

Judge them all by the same standard.

Steve V said...

That someone calls going abroad to find for environmentalist causes "spin" says a lot about how much of HACK you really can be, it is truly and utterly amazing!

Anyways I know the drill... sad.

Steve V said...

pogge

And what exactly does that have to do with this post, I mean it's nice argument, but incredibly irrelevant to attacking a good progressive in this way.

pogge said...

Your bullshit selective quote doesn't say much for your bias to be honest.

I remember why I normally stay out of these conversations. When I agreed with you yesterday, I was your friend. When I disagree with you, not so much.

There are other reports out there to confirm that early in the campaign Layton didn't mention Ignatieff until asked about the Liberals by reporters. But never mind. I must have imagined it all.

pogge said...

PS: I agree with you on the specific case of Nash's attack on Kennedy. So did Greg. Your post went beyond that to generalize so we did too.

Steve V said...

" But never mind. I must have imagined it all."

The tapes don't lie. Yes the Canadian Press reporter who followed the campaign was making it up, imagining it. You brought a quote to make an argument, but it's selective in nature, because the evidence really does speak for itself. I guess you didn't see the attack ad either then? Just the facts, just the facts.

Steve V said...

pogge

Actually the "high road" campaign that NDP supporters argue is the example of generalization, mine pointed to a specific case, in a highly competitive riding, with national campaign interjection, which doesn't quite jive with the nice frame we hear.

sharonapple88 said...

This is disgusting.

Meanwhile (my emphasis):

Well, we all know that Layton's stand didn't take long to change. After the debates, the shift changed to attacking the Liberals. The focus, Ignatieff's absent voting record. It's gone all the way to Newfoundland, although I've seen reports circulate around Toronto about NDP campaigners making this an issue.

I suppose the ads were so successful, that they've decided to use it on all MPs.

I'll decry any tactics that genuinely deserve it (and an actual distortion of fact would qualify), but this falls well short.

From the video

Gerard: The NDP gave 122 -- what they call absences. In one day, when I was in Mexico, there were 27 votes. Most of them about the same subject.

He also mentions he was there for an environmental conference when, went to 35 meetings, where Canada appeared to be absent, convinced people to switch their views. He also has letters from Baird and the Liberal Whip about these absenses, and that he's asked Nash to remove this, but this has continued to appear in letters, telephone campaigns, and cavesers.

They're trying to paint him as lazy and indifferent -- this from an MP who was voted in 2010 as one of the hardest workers by other MPs. How is this not a distortion?

Steve V said...

Just to add, on the same standard front, the moment I heard that Volpe's people were removing Green signatures I deplored it.

I guess the point here, this idea that certain parties operate with a different mentality doesn't tend to hold water. Nash will do anything to try and win this riding, disappointing when Kennedy is a class act. It's easy to be positive when you're up, but you really see the totality when it's a dogfight. Big time fail from Nash and the NDP here.

sharonapple88 said...

Actually the "high road" campaign that NDP supporters argue is the example of generalization, mine pointed to a specific case, in a highly competitive riding, with national campaign interjection, which doesn't quite jive with the nice frame we hear.

Here's another low blow -- a press release the NDP had on Ignatieff's stand on abortion. Their reality check apparently failed a reality check.

Ditto a NDP release on Liberals opposing pharmacare.

Compare this to reality checks on Costing the NDP platform. :P

Steve V said...

sharon

And our side is attacking the NDP relentlessly. I just find it a bit rich to attack Kennedy, when a full 20% can be attributed to one admirable example, nevermind the rest. As a matter of fact the whole "attendance" angle, while a national winner for the NDP and soundbite Jack is really a bunch of bunk, not one vote hinged on Ignatieff and he was out speaking with Canadians, taking questions, visiting with stakeholders, doing the job of opposition leader. Again, make hay, sure, but it's really a very superficial attack that has little practical merit.

Steve V said...

I saw this detailed synopsis of the debate from a fellow Prog Blog, WELL worth the read:

http://progressiveproselytizing.blogspot.com/2011/04/parkdale-highpark-riding-all-candidates.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProgressiveProselytizing+%28Progressive+Political+Proselytizing%29

sharonapple88 said...

Again, make hay, sure, but it's really a very superficial attack that has little practical merit.

Very little merit. This whole election is boiling down to gossipy crap...

And I'd like to note the two NDP attacks didn't pass reality checks. Attack the Liberals, but make it on something real.

Steve V said...

"Very little merit. This whole election is boiling down to gossipy crap"

It really is, and the real spark was all about "oh let's go to these guys who haven't screwed it up yet". People will fluff it up, but that's the jist.

I will say, when Jack made that crack in the debate I was disappointed that Iggy lacked the political instinct to bury it right then and there, it spoke to natural instincts. Not a criticism, but in this world, it's one liner snipes that grab attention, and people who can do that tend to thrive. Substance, there has been none of it all campaign, surely that is something we can all agree about.

Dr.Dawg said...

Of course now it's all love and sunshine from the NDP

And all bitterness and hatred from the Liberals, apparently.

Steve V said...

LOL!!!

James Bow said...

Ease up a bit, Steve. Speaking as a previously unaligned individual who is going to vote Liberal in Kitchener Centre, your reaction is a little strong. Take a deep breath. Sometimes, being the adult in the room means rolling with the punches.

Remember your priorities, man: beating Harper. Don't let your anger at one NDPer colour your impression of all its supporters, and focus on getting out the anti Harper vote. If you break down and start fighting among yourselves, Harper wins.

Miles Lunn said...

Although my blog is non-partisan, I really hope the NDP does not come in second in seats. Canada has been well served by centrist governments historically be it the Progressive Conservatives or Liberals. The annihiliation of the Progressive Conservatives was not a good thing or nor would it be of the NDP.

Interstingly enough in Europe, most of the countries in the biggest mess have polarized politics between left and right while those that have done better such as Germany and also here in Canada are less polarized and have two main parties close to the centre. Regardless of the name tag, Canada is best served by one party slightly right of centre and one slightly left of centre. My hope after this election is the Liberals form the official opposition, the Tories dump Harper and replace with a former PC such as Jim Prentice or Bernard Lord and the Liberals choose someone close to the middle. This may be dull and boring but it works.

Josh said...

Interstingly enough in Europe, most of the countries in the biggest mess have polarized politics between left and right while those that have done better such as Germany and also here in Canada are less polarized and have two main parties close to the centre.

What? Germany's two largest parties are the Christian Democratic Union and Social Democratic Party, about as close to an amalgam of the CPC and NDP as one can get. That they have Greens and and even further Left Party is a more recent development. I don't expect the Liberal Party of Canada to disappear, but it seems more likely to end up as Canada's version of the Free Democrats than anything else. Having said that, Germany has a considerably more consensus-based political culture, a more organized and collaborative federalism, and 50 years of proportional representation and coalition government.

So I certainly agree that we'd do well to follow their example in a number of respects.

Gayle said...

"In the riding I'm in, the strongest challenge to a Conservative incumbent had been coming from the NDP in recent elections with the Liberals placing third by a good-sized margin. If this was all about stopping Harper, you'd think the Libs might have backed off and let the Dippers operate. Instead they sent in a Liberal from a completely different city -- Thornhill isn't all that close to Oshawa."

There is a guy named Alvin Finkel who is heavily involved with the NDP in Alberta. Read what he has to say about the NDP and their unwillingness to do what it takes to get rid of Harper:

http://catch22campaign.ca/profiles/blogs/the-lone-ndp-riding-in-alberta

After the last election Mr. Finkel wrote a column in the Edmonton Journal denouncing the NDP's hypocrisy in seeking strategic voting in one riding, and actively working against it in another. It is pretty obvious the NDP are far more interested in electing its own members than they are in defeating Harper.

I will vote for Linda, and I am cheering for an NDP government, but I really think that whole "taking the high road" thing is utter bullshit. The NDP are just as dirty as the rest of them. One of the reasons I hope they win government is because that will all be exposed.

Steve V said...

"Remember your priorities, man: beating Harper."

That's why I'm in a campaign office, so the lecture isn't required :) I have a soft spot for Kennedy, Nash should pull this stuff and keep it above board.

Miles Lunn said...

Josh - True the SPD is similiar to the NDP and CDU to the Conservatives but that is really only when in opposition or when campaigning. Once either gets into government, they tend to both be rather centrist. After all, the Merkel government is not that much more right wing than the Schroeder government, in some ways even to the left on a few issues. The FDP is more of a classical liberal party like the BC Liberals as opposed to the federal Liberals although I agree it could become like that but because of our system if we have a two party system between the Tories and NDP we will probably get majority governments most of the time.

Also, I should note to those on the left on this board that ideological righ wing governments be it Mike Harris or Margaret Thatcher all replaced socialist governments so getting a socialist government only increases the chances of a right wing ideological government as when one government deviates too far from the centre, people go to the other extreme to correct it.

sharonapple88 said...

And all bitterness and hatred from the Liberals, apparently.

Yeah, because when someone tries to smear a candidate with distortions, there are suppose to be no hard feelings....

As for tactics like these.... the whole election has been littered with them.... I just wished that we'd expect more from campaigns and our parties than things like this.

Remember your priorities, man: beating Harper.

No of course. Sometimes I wish some NDP supporters could keep this in mind.

I will vote for Linda, and I am cheering for an NDP government, but I really think that whole "taking the high road" thing is utter bullshit. The NDP are just as dirty as the rest of them. One of the reasons I hope they win government is because that will all be exposed.

That's one of the things about the NDP that drives me crazy. All parties politicize and spin, but somehow the NDP still wants to be seen as the "conscious" of the country.

Steve V said...

sharon

It's just projecting, pay it no mind :)

sharonapple88 said...

It's just projecting, pay it no mind :)

Good advice.

Its just so hard to follow it. :P

Also, I should note to those on the left on this board that ideological righ wing governments be it Mike Harris or Margaret Thatcher all replaced socialist governments so getting a socialist government only increases the chances of a right wing ideological government as when one government deviates too far from the centre, people go to the other extreme to correct it.

That seems to be the way it goes. You could even though in David Miller (NDP), who was replaced by Rob Ford (Conservative) as mayor in Toronto.

The way it goes in Ontario, politicians with lengthy stays tend to have no strong political bent to the left or the right. This makes sense since sometimes it seems as though people with a strong ideology have a tendency to try and force a "solution" even when it's obviously not working. Economy slowing down... tax cuts... economy still slowing down... more tax cuts. :P

Steve V said...

Adam Radwanski

Have to say, the NDP's 'part-time MP' attack on Kennedy seems unfair to me. He has some shortcomings, but laziness is not one of them.

Bill Oates said...

Layton did the same thing to Ignatieff in the debates. With his butcher-shop grin he gave him the butt end. The NDP are no more principled than anyone else. They only say they are.

bazie said...

Thanks for the link Steve and yes, I obviously completely agree on the "voting record" issue.

It should be noted that any "good" attack ad has a grain of truth to it and a large portion of implicit character insinuations. In this case the presentation of voter records from Nash has undoubtedly been biased and given the strong reaction so many have had it would seem like people are extrapolating the character insinuation as far as they can.

Sigh, if only we could focus on POLICIES not PERSONALITIES.