Thursday, October 26, 2006

Liberals Declaw Harper

Yesterday, Harper made a rare appearance before the House of Commons press gallery. The only reason Harper stopped, he saw a clear opportunity to maximize political advantage. Harper attempted to marginalize the opposition on crime, saying they would “pay a price at the polls” for rejecting his judicial package. I must say, this is the perfect counter:
OTTAWA (CP) - The Liberals are offering an olive branch to the governing Conservatives to pass more than half of their proposed tough-on-crime bills.
Under the Liberal proposal, six pieces of crime legislation the Tories want approved would get speedy passage through the Commons.
Liberal critic Ralph Goodale says that would leave plenty of time to study and debate another five bills that are seen by the Opposition as more contentious.
Goodale predicts the proposal would save the government a month of dealing with the legislation.

This “olive branch” is pure political gamesmanship, effectively taking the heat off the Liberals, neutralizing Harper’s claim and putting the onus back on the Conservatives- when in Rome. Harper’s preference for politicizing every issue makes the Goodale response all the more effective. Now, the Liberals protect themselves from the Harper attack by unilaterally dictating what they will support and what they won’t. Harper can’t make the blanket statement because the Liberals can point to items that they embrace. Goodale’s move isn’t an “olive branch”, it’s “return fire”. Nice.


Saskboy said...

Good point. Well played, Liberals.

A BCer in Toronto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A BCer in Toronto said...

Harper fired back by shoting the peace dove and saying the Liberals are "half-tough on crime." Seriously.

(Dr. Evil voice)What an a-hole!(/Dr. Evil voice)

Steve V said...

He actually said that?

A BCer in Toronto said...

burlivespipe said...

Can we fire back and say Harpor's half-off on accountability? Or half-wit on tax relief? Or half-smart on illiteracy? Or half-full on BS?

cdntarheel said...


Good point, Steve. It may be good politics. But what do you do when your Party doesn't fight against legislation you question - namely this 'tough on crime' nonsense. I guess we need to pick our battles.

Gavin Neil said...

A clever move, but not all co-operation is in fact antagonistic. If harper thinks those things need to get done, he should quickly agree and get them done. The world is not an all or nothing world, and there's nothing about the proposals that require them to all be passed together.

What i'm saying, I guess, is that this is only a cynical attack if you assume that Harper would rather watch all 11 proposals die than get actual work done, if it measn appearing to agree with the liberals on anything. And while I think that's probably true, you have to at least pretend that our government wants to get work done, right?

(pause while people review coverage of the Belind-as-a-dog fiasco).



Steve V said...

I watched a roundtable where the consensus was that everything in Parliment is now done through the lens of the next election. Would Harper torpedo a compromise to claim the Liberals are soft on crime? No question.

Steve V said...

This is relevant to motivations.

solipsist said...

I've been checking out your blog - and I like it!

I have no political affiliation, but I can't stand the poseurs "running" the show right now.

What we need is coalition governments, and I hope to see them soon. We are at a crossroads in Canadian political history, and I hope that we make the right choice through "collective intelligence" (if Canadians actually possess such a thing).

Because of the Liberals' lack of an effective leadership candidate (please - not Iganatieff!), I would hope that all parties can see the writing on the wall, and will look seriously to forming a coalition. It's perfect, and would relieve us of the embarrassment of the present, (p)syc(h)ophantic, neo-con pretender gov't. that we are currently enduring.

Check out my blog @ artbag.

Say, what are you doing posting from Oz?

Steve V said...


Thanks for the link!