Thursday, October 04, 2007

Harper Out- Manoeuvres Himself?

I think people might be pre-mature in assuming Harper has the upper hand with his supposed "squeeze play". The trick for any party who wants an election, disguise it, so as not to pay the price with a weary electorate. Harper's transparent, tough-guy approach leaves little room for interpretation. I must say, I like the frame that is developing heading back to Parliament.

Harper's over-zealous approach effectively gives the Liberals the opportunity to choose their moment. The Liberals are already painting Harper as purposely plotting to engineer his own defeat. That point should be hammered home again and again, because that ambition isn't endearing and it contradicts all the Harper rhetoric. The Liberals on the other hand are positioning themselves as reluctant, but hardly impotent:
"The only excuse I think they would accept from us for why we had to go to the polls is that we had no choice, that there was something placed on the agenda that was unsupportable." Mark Holland....

Ralph Goodale said the Liberals "will not be snookered or bluffed when it comes to the throne speech."

"We'll look at the throne speech and see whether it passes muster once we've seen it. At the same time, we are not going to compromise ourselves on issues and concerns that we think are important and fundamental."

When you step back, the Liberals have the power of choice, contrasted with the salivating Prime Minister. All things considered, Harper's bullish stance might not translate the way he hoped. A litany of confidence questions only solidifies the idea of bully who doesn't understand the nature of a minority. As a matter of fact, if the Liberals keep echoing the same talking points, when they do decide to pull the plug, they may actually enjoy the high ground with a cynical public. In some respects, if played correctly, the "fish or cut bait" stance has handed the opposition an advantage, which first blush tends to omit.


wilson said...

Perhaps what PMSH is trying to also head off is the Opps ganging up with leg/motions that is contrary to the throne speech (if passed).

Like reintroduce the Kyoto bill.
Oh, perhaps Dippers will do that on their first opposition day!
Bloc could introduce a 'bring 'em home Feb 09' bill.
Definitely, the opps will control the pulling of the pin.

Curious too, is that PMSH corrected his 'consensus' to read 'majority' approval re: extension of Afgan mission.

Tomm said...


You are so wrong here.

The LPC always can accuse the CPC of engineering its own defeat. Regardless whether Harper holds the press conference or not.

Except now they are pushed into a corner because Harper has played his cards before Dion. Just like Duceppe did.

Dion is last to play and he now knows every other card at the table.

He can't pretend that he doesn't.

Harper has finished setting the trap started by Layton and Duceppe.

Dion can claim Harper is engineering his own defeat just like he could have anytime in the last 18 months. The problem is that it will sound hollow to every one except rabid LPC partisans.

Check & Mate!


burlivespipe said...

Aww, the choir has sung, off key as usual.
I like your take on this, although I'm sitting on the fence abit. Harper is continuously being overestimated re. financial acumen, ethically, and now intellectually, but strategically he is very good at playing the game.
Has it won him any support, tho? I think while we may agree that currently the Liberal support may be softest, it appears that unless Harper demonstrates a real platform and one that isn't still playing region against region, we may be in a long staring contest here.
However, he has bought himself possibly more time to load up a few of the bureaucratic pieces needed to alter things 'behind the scenes', and making the likes of Tomm and Wilson feel comfortable. That's a small blessing, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Harper perogued parliament when it wasn't necessary. Harper decides to have a Throne Speech when he is not obliged to.

Now - who the hell is trying to force an election and try to bring his government down? Not rocket science.

He could have carried on and parliament and committees could have been at work the last couple of months.

Talk about wasting taxpayer dollars big time.

Anonymous said...

I noticed tonite on the 'at issue' cbc that Gregg is now the face of Decima=harris he not the old Strategic poll who use to really be way out there for the conservative party....are there any liberal pollsters? Anderson was bad enough now we got Gregg.

wilson said...

anon said
'He could have carried on and parliament and committees could have been at work the last couple of months.'

The whole point is that nothing was getting DONE.
Cons would introduce a bill, the 3 opps would gang up and introduce their own bill. What did that accomplish? What got done?

Crime bills that the Libs and Dippers campaigned on, were ammended and passed in parliament, then are (were) held up by the Senate, for what reason?Nothing was accomplished, even tho the bills were passed.

It's time to take parliament seriously.

If you don't mean it,
don't pass it and then play games with it afterwards.
Canadians want the (a) government to govern.

It would be irresponsible for PMSH to sit back and watch the Liberals using the Senate to delay things, while the Liberals get their sh-- together.

I believe the saying is-
lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

If I were Jack Layton (given PMSH just handed him the power to go to the polls):
first opposition day,
reintroduce the Liberals Kyoto bill.
Dion goes into an election, ready or not.

Gayle said...

"Dion can claim Harper is engineering his own defeat just like he could have anytime in the last 18 months. The problem is that it will sound hollow to every one except rabid LPC partisans."


The fact that you ended that little comment with "check and mate" shows that you, too see that Harper is engineering his own defeat. The question is not whether he is doing so by forcing Dion's hand one way or the other - that part is obvious. He is also forcing Layton and Duceppe - both who have indicated they would be happy to go to an election. But make no mistake, it is Harper who wants the election and everyone knows it. Not one talking head that I saw said otherwise.


I am really sick and tired of people parotting the conservative line about the crime bills. Here are some facts for you:

The liberals offered to pass several crime bills, as written or with minor amendments, months ago. The conservatives refused. The conservatives did not agree until June, which is when the bills passed in the House and were sent to the Senate. (I am not sure if they died on the table because Harper prorogued Parliament...). The Senate has delayed nothing - it is all down to Harper.

wilson said...

Will Dion let Jack reintroduce the Liberal's Kyoto bill to force an election?

Were the Liberals, Dippers and Bloc 'just kidding' when they demanded Kyoto be implimented?

Shouldn't who ever gets the first opposition day reintroduce it?
Is the environment not the #1 important issue to Canadians?

How can the opps allow Harper to not respect the will on parliament?
What are they waiting for, there is no bigger fish, right?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we all care about the environment. but not if its going to cost us.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Harper's huffing and puffing trying to blow the House down.

Anonymous said...

Wilson - see you didn't respond to the lies set out by Harper about the Senate and bills.

Part of getting it done in parliament is co-operation - not using destruction manuals to mess up committees.

Wake up.

Gayle said...

ANon - Wilson takes her cue from Harper. Keep repeating the lie until called out on it - and then never admit to it.

Steve V said...

"The problem is that it will sound hollow to every one except rabid LPC partisans.

Check & Mate!"

This coming from the most rabid of partisans, who measures his koolaid supply by the skid. People can smell opportunism, and Harper's strength sure isn't subtlety or nuance.

Anonymous said...

It truly beggars belief that PMSH can declare that every legislation to follow on from the Throne Speech will be a confidence vote. Sadly, the confidence vote is not a matter for the speaker to rule on.

It's hard to believe that the opposition parties will take this lying down and allow SH to play parliament like Nero's fiddle.

I can't believe that SH is trying to dictate terms. If that's the case, why have a parliament at all?
Do the other parties suddenly become yes men? Wouldn't every thing on the legislative agenda be foreordained as statute law even before first reading?

Does SH think he's God? Or Bush?

Steve V said...


I think you just outlined why Harper's strategy will ultimately fail.