Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Turn It Around Would You

I am resigning myself to the fact the coalition topic won't go away, despite the inherent inanity of obsessing about hypotheticals. What I find a bit perplexing from our side, not so much the response, but why we seem content to play defence. All this talk about constant elections, all this rationale for a majority, it all evaporates if you place Harper at the center of uncertainty.

Ignatieff speaks about "not playing well with others", it's a decent line, so the conversation is there. However, we need to go for the jugular on this score, Harper doesn't deserve a majority, he deserves a goddam PINK SLIP. All the frustration Canadians feel about the nonsense in Ottawa, who is the common denominator, who yields the most influence to dictate tone? Yes, we do keep having elections, and the constant thread is Harper at odds with everyone.

You don't reward this behaviour with another mandate, you kick it to the curb. How can the person that has resided over this tumult have the temerity to demand another, STRONGER mandate? Speak to Canadians sense of entitlement, earned mandate, has Harper behaved in a manner that deserves more power? The Liberals need to stop engaging in endless hypotheticals, trying to appease, for fear of suspect phrasing, they need to tell Canadians if you want peace in Ottawa, REMOVE THE IRRITANT. It's a referendum on Harper, he's the PRIME Minister, the buck stops there for crying out loud! SEIZE all this negative energy Canadians feel about their elected representatives and make it a verdict about Harper, because really it speaks to common sense.

I forced an election in 2006, I manufactured an election in 2008 during the summer, I've prorogued Parliament, I've failed to engage with other parties to pass my budget, everywhere you turn, Harper is the common thread. It's all about HIM, not hypotheticals, not fear mongering, it's all about a country that needs to turn the page on this divisive period in our history. Coalition no, but make working co-cooperatively a virtue, not a boogeyman. Sick of elections, sick of constant bickering, well SO ARE WE CANADA, SO ARE WE, let's move beyond it and start fresh. Harper isn't the solution, he's the problem.

23 comments:

CuriosityCat said...

Right on!

Tof KW said...

The coalition thing won't die in the media, because Harper & his minions keep bringing it up.

You're not going to get Harper to stop because he needs to win a majority, or it's the end of his political career. He knows it. Another minority and he will lose government either by another non-confidence vote, or from turmoil within his own party.

Instead of turning this back on Harper, who we all know won't shut up about the evil coalition regardless ...this needs to be turned back on the media. Shame them for being nothing more than an extension of Harper's talking points and failing to discuss real issues in this campaign.

Steve V said...

"The coalition thing won't die in the media, because Harper & his minions keep bringing it up"

Right, so let's roll with it, we have a very compelling counter, THIS GUY is the problem, not our system.

gwilliamjr said...

I believe the Mansbridge interview puts an end to your theory TofKW, and the nonsense from the very start that this election was not about forming some sort of coalition if the Cons were to win another minority. Its a smart and desperate move, but, its two weeks too late.

Steve V said...

Yes, that Mansbridge interview, how provocative. Funny.

Kirk said...

So true. And I've responded to various cries about "four elections in 7 years" by pointing out that Harper is completely and utterly responsible for the 2006 (after trying to bring down Martin for 2 solid years) and 2008 elections but the rhetoric around this is pretty deep and it will take a all out effort by the Liberals to get the message out.

Steve V said...

Kirk

You are right, it can be complicated, but it quite simple really- if you have someone who has failed at his job, does he get a raise or does he get a pink slip? There is weakness behind these Cons numbers, the Libs have to rally the anti-Harper vote and get it out. Making it about turfing him, he's the irritant, I think it the Libs last best hope. Playing it safe with nice language, to late for that IMHO.

Steve V said...

Interesting Nanos finds people comfortable with Harper majority has dropped since Feb, despite his central theme:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/canadians-still-divided-over-prospect-of-harper-majority/article1991634/

Firmed up core support, but NO where what is needed.

Dame said...

Coalition as the “Axis of Evil? “according to Harper...how ridiculous he is.....
Harper is so much one man ruler he barely engages his own Party. essentially UNLAWFUL in our parliamentary system..
Coalition it is the Pragmatism what our time dictates... within our system and law. Completely legitimate.. So what is the problem ?

Gayle said...

I thought Ignatieff should have said Harper gets first crack, but he is going to have to cooperate to get the confidence of the House. Given his track record (cite examples), we don't hold out much hope. But we are prepared to respect the choice of Canadians and give him the opportunity to do so as well.

Dame said...

OK I didn't "quote" Harper by words ...I just hear his constant messaging... about the "dangers lapping our shores...

xyz said...

BTW can we all agree that after this election its about time to merge the Liberals and the NDP? It would end this coalition drama for good and give a nice change of narrative on the left. Not to mention a boast in fundraising. The only way I see a merger happening is if both the Dippers and the Liberals are humbled at the polls i.e. NDP hopes crushed in Quebec and loss of seats in ROC and total Liberal seats be under 90-95. That would foster an environment where both the parties will have incentive to merge and we will finally be able to have a united opposition against Harper.

Omar said...

Our very own Liberal Democrats with the Greens as the viable third party. Works for me!

Jennifer said...

I'm totally with you. I had someone spouting talking points the other day, and was able to shut them down though historical fact - by reminding them that in a somewhat similar scenario to what occurred a few weeks ago, Harper forced 2006, then that he - not the other parties - begged for 2008.

I'd take it a step further, too, and hammer away at the media to accurately report how our Constitution works. They need to report that as fact. It's incumbent upon them to provide the context, and it is something we should have spent the past two years doing. Someone needs to write it so it's simple and interesting, and get it out there. My 9-year-old is learning it in elementary school civics - surely it oughtn't be beyond the typical voter's comprehension. (Though my boy is very bright ... :-))

Miles Lunn said...

While one can argue whether Harper deserves to be defeated or not depending on one's perspective and certainly this blog gives plenty of reasons for it, I have found generally speaking most governments whether good or bad tend to last 8-15 years. Where the difference lies is how badly they fall once people finally say it is time for change and that get defeated. Some like Paul Martin in 2006 have a relatively soft landing suggesting it was more fatigue with the party but not outright anger while others get annihiliated much like Kim Campbell did in 1993 suggesting people are really really mad. Not to suggest a Harper majority would be good for progressives, but the Liberals would have a much better chance at getting a majority and staying in power for many years if Harper wins a majority rather than if he wins a minority. I am not saying it is a good thing if he gets one, I am only pointing out long-term the party may do better if he does than if he doesn't.

Scotian said...

Miles Lunn:

The problem with that though is how much in that time will Harper gut the powers of the federal government, further devolve powers to the Provinces (who once they get said powers are not going to be handing them back when the Libs return to power), further cripple the national fiscal health for the long term so that it takes at least another decade of austerity measures yet again to regain some fiscal sanity, AND deal with the almost certain inflamed national unity issues in Quebec a Harper majority government would almost certainly trigger? Especially if the next Provincial election in Quebec causes a PQ government?

Look, if we were talking about a party/government that had an interest in leaving the general mechanisms of government intact then I would agree with you. The problem is Harper is a destroyer of those mechanisms which prior governments both Lib and PCPC had developed and evolved over generations. This is no small part why he is so toxic to the long term health of this nation, and why I have been so damned hard core about him since before he came to power.

Simply put, after a Harper majority there may not be much a federal government left for the Libs to take over, and the repairs they would have to do would almost certainly not be popular (assuming repairs are actual doable, Harper could do a lot of permanent damage with just one majority, he's already done a lot with his minorities and already weakened the inertia against him within the civil service and government infrastructure to such radical destruction) either. Were we talking about a more normal government and PM then I would agree you make sense, but not this time, this time is different, Harper is different, and not taking this into account could be the end of this nation. And no, I am not trying to be melodramatic, I really mean this.

lance said...

Scotian, please explain these apparent holes:

"further devolve powers to the Provinces (who once they get said powers are not going to be handing them back when the Libs return to power)"

Why should the Feds have these 'powers' (shazam, you're a mouse)

And I really think this is a choice statement:
"the repairs they [ed: Liberals] would have to do would almost certainly not be popular"

To recap, you're worried because the Feds under Harper are respecting the BNA and the Constitution regarding separation of Federal and Provincial jurisdiction and that in order to continue jumping into Provincial business the Liberals may be unpopular?

Do I have your concerns right?

BWAHHAHAHAH

Miles Lunn said...

Scotian - Coming from a family with people on all sides of the spectrum and having friends across the political spectrum, I am able to see both sides on most issues. The reality is your average right winger and left winger are not as far apart as some like to think. I believe the biggest difference it not the final outcomes they desire, but more the methods on how they believe it should be achieved. It also comes to priority. Both tend to value equality and freedom but those on the right generally believe freedom takes precedence over equality while those on the left believe the opposite. As for undoing the damage of the Harper government, I always have said if there is a will there is a way. In BC, we had the NDP for ten years and pretty much everything they did was undone by the Campbell government. It is true in the US Obama has failed miserably to undo much of what Bush did, but I would argue that is more to do the fact there isn't strong public support for undoing what he did. Otherwise if 80% of the public was outraged at what Harper did with a majority and wanted it completely undone, I think it could be. Now if say 45% agreed with what he did then you are absolutely right. Also I have found governments on average tend to grow more than shrink. Never mind in the case of social programs, I think provinces would pick up the slack, although it would still cause difficulties. For example Harper is very weak on the environment, but the three largest provinces have taken strong action which has at least partially although not fully compensated.

Steve V said...

"I have found generally speaking most governments whether good or bad tend to last 8-15 years."

There is some truth to that, and the notion that governments defeat themselves is also easily argued.

Scotian said...

Miles Lunn:

Coming from a family with people all across the political spectrum is not exclusive to you, I come from the same background, and quite honestly I find the way you try to use that argument/claim to marginalize my voice a little despicable. My family roots and current family is spread across the political spectrum of this nation too, which is why I identify Harper as qualitatively different, indeed alien, to traditional Canadian values even right wing Canadian values, so why don't you?

I've said repeatedly that Harper is not traditional to our Canadian conservative thinking, not even our traditional right wing but that many to most people even on the right side of the spectrum still do not grasp this. My problem is Harper, not the right wing of Canadian politics that has traditionally existed. Keep in mind you don't get a CPC government with a Harper PM, you get a Harper government with dictator Harper whose voice you follow absolutely or you get expelled from cabinet if you are lucky and caucus if you aren't willing to show throat to the man.

Look Miles, I have warned for years exactly the kind of abuse of power we would see from Harper since before he came to power, and gotten mocked for it, my patience with that has gone by the wayside. You want to disagree with me and my views, fine, but you don't pull that "well because I come from a politically diverse family I must know better than you" crap you did, especially since the implication comes with it that I must not have a similar background and be raised in some sort of political hothouse much narrower in view. The reason this pissed me off so much is because I have for years made the point that I came from a family which spanned the political spectrum not just in their voting but in active party activities and indeed as elected representatives so I was raised in a diverse political family to see the various sides of the political spectrum. You really offended me with this Miles Lunn, you really did.

Which I might add really disappointed me too because in many ways you tend to make a lot of sense, the problem is you don't see the reality that we are not talking about typical Canadian political realities when we talk about Harper, which as I said in my last comment is why I am so damned hard edged in my opposition to him! This is not typical Canadian politics we are talking about here, not a typical leader, nor a typical ministerial government with the first among equals PM concept but a Presidential Harper dictating all down to the most minute levels within his cabinet. WHY can't you see how far outside mainstream Canadian political thought, even Canadian right wing political thought that reality is???

On that note, I am out of this thread, I don't need the stress getting this upset causes my health.

GEODE and JAH said...

My sentiments, exactly. Well done.

Jennifer said...

Perhaps the good news of the coalition thing coming up again is that it seems some media is actually starting to accurately portray the facts of our style of democracy. 'Bout time.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/04/20/chris-selley-not-everything-ignatieff-says-is-proof-of-a-coalition-conspiracy/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Steve V said...

Jennifer

You'll note the British example, wherein voters became less afraid, actually more resigned, as the campaign wore on. Harper's obsession with the topic has led to a protracted debate and that might actually lessen the fear.