Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lead Balloon

It actually makes you angry on one level, the way this Prime Minister is clearly manipulating genuine human plight for NAKED partisan advantage. That said, I do find it somewhat refreshing that Harper's new projection, the great international humanitarian, is basically going over like a lead balloon, the disconnect so striking to border on embarrassing.

The principles Harper is proposing to the world are sound, the issues real, some response warranted. Improved health care for moms and their babies, boosting food production, promoting economic growth, all laudable goals to help the impoverished. It's not the message, but the messenger. Here's my cynical take on the chronology, which I'd wager is BANG ON.

Serious political problems at home, plummeting support that has sent shock waves through the PMO, completely derailing their ENTIRE winter and spring strategy, which was supposed to set the stage for electoral bliss. In the midst of the hammering the Conservatives were taking, a natural disaster occurred. The government responded with opportunistic zeal (I'm sure there was a genuine component, but only a fool doesn't consider "the wheels turning" in the PMO), high profile photo ops, swamping the media, seeing this event as the channel changer they desperately wanted.

The PMO saw the positive press for their Haiti response, which SUDDENLY produced this epiphany- we can re brand this Prime Minister as a humanitarian, taking a lead on the world stage, an advocate for the disadvantaged. Never mind, that all policies to date either contradicted the new messaging and/or demonstrated COMPLETE AND UTTER INDIFFERENCE, the PMO plowed ahead with the notion, cobbling together new initiatives. It was all political calculus, but this PMO believe if you say it, they will come, any level of true historical inspection a temporary obstacle.

I admit to a pungent VOMIT taste in my throat, reading and listening to this new creation coming out of the PMO. It's so callous and opportunistic, so at odds with this guy's career and record, the poor used as a pawn to improve a tarnished image. Supporters will give Harper the benefit of the doubt, probably defend the authenticity of his motives. Lap it up, repeat the words, never question, basically turn off all brain activity to accept HARPER THE HUMANITARIAN. I'll leave those to their almost pathetic delusions.

I suggest a read of Travers today, because I think it representative of the general tone, as people digest this AWKWARD metamorphosis:
No, the problem is Harper is a political changeling. Instead of the rigid ideologue feared by many voters, his guide rail is expediency. He will say and do whatever is necessary to take, protect and manipulate power.

An initiative borne of political calculation, further fuelled by desperation and timely opportunism. Nothing more, nothing less, to suggest otherwise proves that common sense isn't as common as advertised.

I think it's all shameful in the end. On the plus side, Harper is now contorting wildly, which only undermines his credibility further. Canadians will soon put this political animal out of its misery.


A Eliz. said...

This is not quite on Subject . but related to the lies.
I was watching Nicholson on CPAC, yapping about the Liberal Senate holding back his crime bills etc, etc. The reporters got to him and he was visibly mad. He was asked about most bills dying because of Prorogation,and the Liberals were not holding them up...Wow!
He got red in the face, and spewing..'It is because the Liberals are soft on crime, that is why it has to be changed..because the Liberals are soft on crime.'
I thought he would blow a gasket!

Jerry Prager said...

I think that CAPP has finally proven to the media that the Canadian people have their backs if they go after these guys and their lies.
The Great Con Unraveling has begun.

220,854 members and climbing minute by minute.

Once the media starts enjoying the freedom to do real journalism, they're going to feast on Harpercon guts.

However, that doesn't mean the Libs are any other party are going to get a free ride from CAPP, it's time to fix this broken democracy.

RuralSandi said...

Did you read Kady O'Malley/Susan Delacourt blogs? The Cons are lying right on the "government" Justice Dept website. Partisan shots on OUR tax dollars.


CAPP - keep the challenge to ALL political parties.

Tomm said...


You have a note "IGNORE the trolls" at the top of the comment box. Please read the 3 posts before mine. If I ignored the trolls, there would be little left for me to read.

Thank goodness I don't ignore them.

Tomm said...

Harper's views on the safety and health of women, maternity, and young children may be of no interest to you since you don't believe anything he says, but your non sequitor that he then does not believe this, or wishes to change it, is puzzling.

But I guess, if you think him to be evil, crazed, or some sort of robot, than Jim Travers dissection would have more than a little attraction.

As the host of the G8 and G20 he has a unique position in which to add items to an agenda and open a door on something he thinks the world needs to focus. Of couse this is in opposition to the Liberal agenda item of counting carbon molecules.

But, go ahead and ignore that for the comfort of abuse.

reed said...

the problem is will the opposition have the will to call him out?

I for one hope they do and i hope they enter into an informal coalition agreement ahead of time so there can be no charges of a surprise coup.

Take this guy down please.

Gene Rayburn said...

Tomm Defend Big Daddy autoprogram initialized successfully.

Tomm said...


Borg operatives know only beauty and peace. We are of the
collective. Join us.

But I guess you've got your own kool-aid to sip on.

A Eliz. said...

Mary Simon and some Inuit are saying that Harper should start at home with poor women and children..before the world.

Gene Rayburn said...

ha ha kool aid, that's from Conbot Talking points 1.0. Thanks for the memories Tomm.

rockfish said...

Tomm, please show and highlight his speeches during any campaign that address poverty, that address imbalances and issues that hit women. Please note that last campaign he couldn't even utter the word 'poverty' and made the issue a non-factor. While Dion's Green Shift (as flawed as it was) attempted to address some serious issues regarding poverty, as did the 5-10 plan (sic), Harper couldn't find a glass of water big enough to mumble some platitude about it.
Harper has no ground when it comes to this sudden concern; John Howard has stopped writing speeches for him and now his ad libs are so unbelievable as to make Kenny vs Spenny look like Leave it to Beaver.

RuralSandi said...

Tomm, I'm not a troll. Speak for yourself.

You are fooled, but please don't put us in your category - naive and gullible.

weeble said...

I would venture that the current Harper government believes that his 'tough on crime' bill improves the conditions for women and children. What we have not seen are true programs designed to make things better. We have no national daycare initiatives, no initiatives on early-learning...nothing. In fact, we have regressed with that stupid $100 a month junk..that is not what we need.
You want to help women and children, then fund support programs and daycare programs designed to facilitate their working.
We are the laughing stock of the G8...maybe why it has become the G20, to bring in some good ideas..not the drivel that Canada presents.

Tomm said...

For all of you that think poverty, maternity care, and the lives of young kids in Canada is in some way equivalent to those same issues where people are actually dying because of them, I feel sorry for you.

Poverty in Canada is a political wedge issue. Just like the Chief of some First Nation driving his new diesel pick-up while berating the government for not being generous enough with his people. And yes, a photographer will find babies drinking pop, kids mis-using drugs/alcohol, broken windows,and low literacy rates. But where is the balance? Are those women and kids dying from malnutrition? no food or support available? no doctors or vaccines?

The poverty index in Canada is a statistic used by the poverty lobby to push quality of life issues. It is about homelessness, fairness, and abuse. It is not about pregnant women or babies dying in the streets because there is nowhere to go.

Make sure your comparisons are fair.

Tomm said...


Trolls mis-use the blog by being off topic and saying outrageous things. You did both.

Sorry for pointing it out.

Paladiea said...


I thought Harper was PM of CANADA. I also thought we were broke.

Please though, continue to bend over backwards for him. It's hilarious.

Tomm said...


Canadians have often been generous internationally by giving aid to those in crisis and helping with international development efforts. If your post is in some way denying us doing that, than I'm not sure who you can vote for. Perhaps form the "ME" party and vote for yourself.

Paladiea said...

According to Harper's legislative agenda the "me" party is the Conservatives.

Or are they not. "Not a leader" is springing to mind.

Tomm said...


I thought you didn't want him pledging international support?

Pick a side.

Or as I suspect, it isn't what he says, it is that HE is the one saying it.

Have you been absorbed into the Hate Harper Cult?

If so, we can't really have a conversation, because you will just disagree with everything he says or does.

RuralSandi said...

Tomm, you obviously didn't read what was pointed out.

The Justice Dept is making partisan attacks in a press release, a release that is lying. The Justice Dept is a "government" department and is supposed to be non-political and non-partisan. Harper wants to lie he should do it on the Conservative website, not the site of Canada's citizens.

Not outrageous - it's the truth and they are doing this on OUR taxpayer monies.

So, Tomm, if a Canadian child is hungry and/or family living on the streets it's okay with you. Sad

RuralSandi said...

Tommy boy - meant to say as well, I was adding to Lizt's comments - not quite on subject but related.

Paladiea said...


Please read carefully. Harper should look after Canadians first. It was what he was elected to do.

And yes, if a liar tells me something, it's not the something I take issue with, it's the someone.

That's not a fault. That's common sense.

D said...

Kudos to the Canadian population for not buying into Harper's Haitian manipulation.

I hate to be blunt, or to diminish the suffering of the Haitian people in any way, but their disaster was Harper's opportunity -- and according to EKOS, he's not off the hook for simply doing his job.

After attacking the Chretien/Martin Liberals ad nauseum on their failings as the governing party; Harper, by defacto, lowered the bar for governance to the point where the vast majority of Canadians are happy when their politicians show up, smile, and write a cheque. In essence: doing their job.

However, after his second prorogation request in 13 months (his third overall since 2006) Canadians are starting to wake up and pay attention.

Simply doing what is honourable -- helping those in distress and need, is not enough to generate waves of support. That's cause Canadians expect their government, Liberal or Conservative, to do exactly what Harper announced on Monday.

The second test for this government, and the resolve of our collective memory to remember the real Harper, is the Olympics.

Do you believe we can have a better Canada? I do.

Tomm said...


I didn't go looking after your material because it was off topic and appeared to be both irrelevant and petty.

But since you want some comment I'll do what I can.

You said:

"...Did you read Kady O'Malley/Susan Delacourt blogs? The Cons are lying right on the "government" Justice Dept website. Partisan shots on OUR tax dollars.


I am disappointed that Kady O'Malley and Susan Delacourt are digging up dirt to report on. I guess they just don't like this government very much and want to embarrass them.

I read Kady's blog. She posted Marlene Jenning's letter to the Clerk of the Privy Council complaining about the announcement of 5 senators as being a partisan announcement. Jenning's letter was a partisan rant. Didn't you read it? It is indicating that the CPC used announcements in partisan's ways on government websites. How petty is Jennings willing to go in support of "ethics"? Oh right, this is the woman who is outraged because the Olympic symbol (black "C" with a red maple leaf in the middle), and infrastructure sign colours are not red and white like those of the Liberal Party of Canada and in the proper Liberal font.

Sorry Rural.

Why don't you post about the CPC winning their lawsuit with Elections Canada? or Elections Canada spending taxpayer dollars to see if they can get a different judge to agree with their "punish the Tories" position?

Now we are really off topic. Sorry Steve.

Fabio Van Manly said...

Tomm the Troll is getting harder and harder to ignore, Steve. Your blog your rules and all that, but I don't see why his comments shouldn't get the "click" just like any other CPC shill who arrives here just to promote Harper lies and half-truths.

Tomm said...


Thanks for the support. I guess you guys just don't want me.

I'm leaving now.


Don't ask me to stay.

...last line...

Steve V said...

Tomm is fine. Terribly, terribly lost, but fine ;).

Fabio Van Manly said...

Well, Tomm, I was extremely tempted to give you the patented Ti-Guy, "Fuck off and die" response, but decided to take the diplomatic route.

Jerry Prager said...

Tomm, the only reason Harper cares about the health of third world women and children is so that they'll be fit to work in corporate wage slave compounds making consumer goods for the west.

Gayle said...

"I would venture that the current Harper government believes that his 'tough on crime' bill improves the conditions for women and children."

I am willing to bet they believe their tough on crime stance will win them votes. And that is all that policy is about.

The real work on developing crime policy for the safety of our citizens was done by the previous government. This one is just tinkering.

Jerry Prager said...

Rural Sandi: keep 'ALL parties' challenged: I don't speak for CAPP of course, I am a member because it is a Canadian voters movement.

So, let me talk about that instead. The Canadian voters have had enough of all parties. As Guelph MP Frank Valeriote suggested at the discussion after the Jan 23, the party whips are the problem: they don't have them in Britain, the Brits don't trust their parties, and using the power of the Westminister system they got rid of them.

Enough is enough with the whips, let's put an end to the sado-masochism that keeps Canadian voters in a divided state.

What CAPP does is allow Canadian voters to meet, rant, rally, speak our minds, vent our frustrations, .
intellectually grapple with conflicting and common ideas and so we come to trust other Canadians again.

CAPP is an almost unmoderated free speech zone.

One thread was deleted because there were some extreme homophobic rants that we tried to wrestle with
it until Christopher White got rid of it, grieving the loss of freedom of speech, but realizing that hate laws were being crossed.

Only five people out of some 123,000 members have been asked to leave, one of those is undergoing review.

We get busloads of Harpercons who arrive on schedule, who maraud through our discussions and cause division, especially between the Liberals and the NDP, but

there is a solid minority of conservative - mostly former PC's, and internal dialogue indicates that they are solidly anti-prorogue.

Even some Harpercon's are hanging onto the hope of us keeping the Libs and the NDP in line, and though they are going done fighting for him,

Harper is done.

Use contempt of parliament to get rid of him I say.

Tell the GG to choose another conservative PM I say.

On two conditions:

that the PM creates a fair share cabinet, based on multi-partisan proportional representation,

and that the PM steps aside, if he/she cannot keep the confidence of the House, the House having defaulted to being the Loyal Opposition, with no party whips.

Remove Harper for contempt, let him reap the lead balloon whirlwind he has sown.

Let the nation start over.

It is the grandest Liberal cause of them all: the creation of the greatest equal liberty.

It's a social democrats' dream.

And it conserves the great power of the Westminister System, and harnesses it for the greening of the nation.

Steve: the word verification says
dingl, so there you are, ding!

Jerry Prager said...

223,000, not 123

Jerry Prager said...

and this

"Even some Harpercon's are hanging onto the hope of us keeping the Libs and the NDP in line, and though they are going done fighting for him,"

means 'they are going down fighting for him.'

Malcolm Barry said...

Mr. Travers had an excellent article and Harper is a Chameleon and voters are realizing this more every day. Harper is stinging from the comments of Travers and it will be interesting as to the comments from the PMO and and other reporters.

marie said...

tomm, Please go else where to preach your bogus religion. I have my faith and its no where as extreme as yours. The only people I know that get into extreme religions is those that have had a lot of issues in theeir own lives.

Religion os good but practise what you preach. I think one would assume your a troll and spining here is a lost cause because all your doing is taking up space. Maybe I should say you spinners are all wasted space. You guys live in a vacumm and I am not ecer going there.

marie said...

For all of you that think poverty, maternity care, and the lives of young kids in Canada is in some way equivalent to those same issues where people are actually dying because of them, I feel sorry for you.

Have you been absorbed into the Hate Harper Cult?

Is that the same as you trolls( and you are one) self absorbed into Hate the Liberal cult which you belong in.

As for Harper and the women and children, he knows damn well that he needs women support and you know what, us women do not trust this Lying SOB and his party. it doesn't matter how much he promises, we all know that his record for keeping promises is very questionable. King Stevie is acting like a spoiled brat trying to bully others to his way of thinking. Most women aren't that gullible to beleive this bully control freak

Goodbye troll. Have a lousy week. You really do deserve that. And go preach else where like your Con blogs.

Tof KW said...

Add CTV's Question Period to the list of critism in regards to Harper's sudden interest in the safety and health of women, maternity, and young children. This morning on their Strategist panel, Tom Flanagan was quite diplomatic on the topic and basically said he wants to see something in writing and with numbers attached before he comments. Jean Lapierre was much more blunt, saying among other stinging commentary that Harper has zero credibility on this issue. If I can find a clip I'd post it, it was a wonderful and succinct 30 seconds of calling out Harper on his latest BS.

RuralSandi said...

TofKW - I saw that segment and Carol Taylor and she defends Harper to the hilt. She insults Canadians on a regular basis. She said today there was nothing wrong with Harper's progrogation and that Canadians don't understand. The woman is on mars. They do understand and it's the abuse they object to. Well, Harper put on an economic committee (paid big bucks I guess) and she feels so important now.

Harper's choosing to help woman and children - to get votes and avoid dealing with climate change in the next G8, G20 summits.

Tof KW said...

Hey Sandi, there was a reason I never mentioned her. This is CTV after all so at least one Harperbot spokesthingie is mandatory (or in many cases two or even all three), though you would think the primary one should be Tom Flanagan. Tom wasn't exactly scolding him today like he's done on CBC a couple of times now, but not a blatant cheerleader either - and even that is unusual and refreshing really.

As for Carol Taylor, ya she's a work of art - wanted to reach into my TV and slap her for at least a couple of comments. Canadians not understanding prorogation was one of them. Sorry Carol but Canadians know all there is to know about prorogation now thanks to Harper, and don't approve of his hiding from the opposition. Read the polls at all Ms Taylor?

Steve V said...

What makes Taylor exceptionally boring, you already know what she'll say before she utters a word. Nothing worse than a predictable hack, I'd swear she was angling for a Senate appointment, if Harper didn't just fill the vacancies.

Vindicator said...

The fair question seems to be: where was Harper's concern over global infant mortality four years ago?

Moreover, where was the concern about infant mortality on Canada's aboriginal reserves?

Then again, where was it under previous governments -- of any political party -- on both the federal and provincial levels?

Steve V said...

It's a shameful record. That said, Harper has the ability to make his predecessors look downright progressive. Martin looks like a native rights activist now compared to this guy.

I pushed this idea to a Liberal a few months ago. Ignatieff should travel to some reservations, not photo op stuff (don't even invite the media), but start to put the problems into the public debate. It went over with a yawn.