Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ballot Questions

Harper's mini-speech today in the Niagara region was littered with insightful wording that just might be strategic error. Take this sentence as representative:
Our long-term objective is to lay the groundwork for Canada's long-term future prosperity.

Harper's continually referenced the "long term" or the "future", always speaking to current infrastructure projects underway, within this idea of preparing Canada. I took the emphasis on the long view as a direct attempt to blunt the emerging Liberal theme of offering a vision and plan for the future. The repetitive word dropping wasn't an accident and the timing was obvious. However, I'm wondering if this direct counter to try and demonstrate Harper does have a comprehensive plan for the future actually validates the Liberals.

I've read a few columns today that ponder Ignatieff's potential "ballot question". A few intrigues, a few slams, but the Liberal election frame has people talking. It would appear, it also has Harper REACTING. I mentioned the other day, when people worried about the ballot question, that you can create one with a concerted effort and allowing everyone to digest (let's not forget last year Harper manufactured a crisis argument during the dog days of summer, with nothing looming, and within weeks it became an accepted election justification). What I've seen today suggests we are well on our way, generally speaking, to legitimizing this ballot question.

I appreciate why the Conservatives would want to stay ahead of any criticisms they see on the horizon. It's smart on one level, but when your opponent actually wants the discussion, you might be out foxing yourself in the end. Liberals need people to buy into our arguments on the vision and future election angles. Today was a positive day, Harper's buying.


Anonymous said...

I agree.

Maybe they're realizing the "changing Canada so you won't recognize it" philosophy won't play so well now that Canadians have evidence of what that means.

Let's have that discussion of vision, Stephen. I look forward to it.

Steve V said...

"Let's have that discussion of vision, Stephen. I look forward to it."

I'd love to fight on that turf. If they want to validate our thrust by responding, it plays right in for me.

Here's another article today, focusing on our ballot question. Not a bad review either:


Cathie from Canada said...

Well, I'm not so sure -- the editorial in the Star Phoenix was pretty negative on an election, as were other opinion pieces I read today, Ignatieff was being seen as opportunistic rather than principled. This worries me.

Anonymous said...

That Star Phoenix editorial really didn't paint anyone in a good light. I would hardly call it pro-Harper.

It seemed a plead for any party to take the financial deficit situation seriously.

I think it is a stretch to call it a slam on Ignatieff.

Plus, as objectively as possible, it was sort of a strange premise for an article, seeming to suggest elections should never be held when "something serious was happening."

Please remind me the last time that occurred. Was it the the first two weeks of March in 1947?

Hmmm, maybe not. There are always serious issues to be considered, especially when your talking about future deficits? Were they really meaning to suggest we shouldn't have an election until the books are in the green again? That's about a logical conclusion as any.

Steve V said...


I read a good Martin column, a couple others that entertained the idea. I mentioned a "few slams" in my post, so I didn't mean to suggest universal approval. What I would say overall, is that people are talking about this narrative we've established.

I also note today, a sense with some in the media that the Libs look organized and poised, "taking the initiative". When's the last time you heard that?

I'm waiting for these ads, if the theme is the same as the "ballot question", that would be positive.