03.30.2011 05:21 PM

How odd

For a little while, there, I dreamt I lived in a country where the Prime Minister actually threw down puerile barbs, and got into snarky exchanges, with opposition leaders – on Twitter. It was clearly a dream, because no Prime Minister would ever be so juvenile, so idiotic, to do such a thing in real life.




  1. Namesake says:

    LOL. That’s because MI was too busy engaged in answering the challenge to real people, in real time, live on national TV — with the words, “Anywhere… anytime” — to be twittling his thumbs “speaking up” on the Twitterverse, there, ex-PM…

    …but glad you’re so busy focusing on the social media economy.

    BTW, does your own Facebook page have more friends than this one, yet?


  2. MississaugaLibPeter says:


    Harper’s inside polling must be revealing some less than spectacular results.

    Expect a tantrum next.

  3. Wayne says:

    You can smell the fear from the libs.

  4. fritz says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out why Harper would propose a one on one debate with Ignatieff which would totally take away from his coalition strategy.
    My best guess is by stressing ‘the consortium’ as the only forum for this debate he’s hoping they will say no way even though it would be the best for TV. I imagine he’s correct in that assumption. But what happens when a legitimate organization; say The Munk Center; offers to host a debate in french & english between Harper & Ignatieff. How then does he say he won’t take part.
    BTW the big loser in all this is Elizabeth May whose battle to get in the ‘other’ debate got bigfooted. Hmmm. Maybe that was part of the plan.

    • Warren says:

      God love ya, Gord.

      • JH says:

        Lots of folks saying exactly what Gord said Warren, as are a lot of the local media. I was in Montreal today, that’s exactly what was being discussed.

    • WDM says:

      That’s a heck of a risk to take if all of a sudden the 60% who disagree with the PM on any number of issues think the same thing and decide to vote Liberal. As the clear front runner I don’t see any advantage whatsoever to the PM debating Ignatieff one on one. The ‘coalition’ argument, in my view, has more bearing what the PM is staring down all three attacking him at the same time. If the one on one debates creates a narrative of Canadians having a choice between only the Liberals and Conservatives, Mr. Harper may not like the result, I’m not saying one way or the other whether it would happen, Ignatieff could have a poor one on one debate, but then what? The Conservatives still win by a double digit margin?

  5. Derek K Richards says:

    Canadians want this debate.

  6. Morning says:

    The PMSH tweet suggests he’ll either debate with the other 3 big party leaders, or he’ll debate with Ignatieff–not both.

    • Ted says:

      Is that your guess at how he will squirm away from this or did you actually read that?

      Because that is exactly how I see his peekaboo campaign trying to handle this.

      And if Iggy is smart and savy – and he certainly appears to be so far – he’ll suggest it doesn’t have to be a national broadcast but anywhere (Harper did say anytime anywhere didn’t he) and the networks can tag along if they want.

      • Morning says:

        That is my guess. The statement was “I am open to doing A or B or C or X or Y or Z.” The logic of it is that he’ll do one, not the others.

        “We’re open to any number of possibilities. We could have a traditional debate of Parliamentary leaders, we could have a debate that includes Miss May in such a format, we could have a debate that includes every party that’s on the ballot,” Harper said.

        “We could also have a debate between Mr. Ignatieff and myself, since, after all, the real choice in this election is a choice between a Conservative government or an Ignatieff-led government that all of these other parties will support,”


  7. James says:

    Well, we might as well cut to the chase and have just Harper and Iggy (on behalf of the Lib-NDP-Bloc coalition) have a debate.

  8. Wes Ferris says:

    In Harper’s defence, let it at least be said that he was responding to Iggy’s earlier tweet with the ‘any time’ challenge:


  9. Mark in Ontario says:

    It’s a trap.

    This is exactly what Harper wants: 1 on 1 debate between Conservative Leader and Coalition Leader.

    3 Topics; (1) Jobs and the Economy (2) Foreign Policy and Defence (3) Crime and Justice

    Harper: As you can see, the Coalition position is….
    Ignatieff: There is no coalition!
    Harper: So why are you here?

    Imagine: A French language debate, Harper versus Ignatieff, in a Quebec City hockey arena….with no Gilles Duceppe! Perfect!

    Imagine: An English language debate, Harper versus Ignatieff, in Calgary Saddledome…with no Jack Layton or Elizabeth May….or Gilles Duceppe! Perfect!

    It won’t happen. Jack and Gilles will kick up such a fuss that Ignatieff will back down on his anytime anywhere bravado.

    It was looking good today for the Liberals, until Tony Genco happens and the Liberal campaign went to shit. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so everyone will have good days and bad days.

    • JenS says:

      I hardly think a non-candidate the calibre of Genco throwing a very public temper tantrum because he didn’t get the nod this time around qualifies as the campaign “going to shit.” His motivation is pretty obvious. He was enough of a Liberal to still be trying to be the candidate up until weeks ago.

    • Ted says:

      Why would they kick up a fuss if there is a coalition??

  10. Michael says:

    Response: Even a Liberal majority government (the best option for Canada) would seek the support of other parties for the good of the country.

    Consensus is good, idiot! It beats treating the other parties i.e. voters, as though they worshiped Satan. Maybe if SH didn’t have some pathological need to be the smartest guy in the room he’d have reached out, built bridges, and realized consensus would make him truly look like a leader. Too late, fool!

    • martin cooke says:

      Exactly. The real “instability” comes from the fact that only one person is allowed to know what the plan is…

      Harper’s a smart enough guy, but he should have stayed as a thinktank policy type- that’s where his strength lies.

  11. Has federal politics sunk lower than reality TV?

  12. Phil says:

    By the way Warren, you’re making Iggy look real bad with your description on this post… it’s also factually wrong. Iggy “threw down puerile barb etc…” not Harper. Harper’s manning up and Iggy’s being, well… Iffy yet again. 😉

  13. gretschfan says:

    Ack! The guy’s old school on semi-colons.

  14. Derek Pearce says:

    Bring bring bring it!!! There must be some way to neutralize Harper’s lame “the coalition wants…” even if it’s just “for my first answer I’ll say there will be no coalition but for hte rest of the debate I’m going to ignore all baiting” and then Iggy can simply (and he’s beyond smart enough for it) just debate in a fashion where the supposed “coaltion” doesn’t exist. Iggy has to push for this hard, because it makes clear that he’s the only real choice v Harp and if Hapr then backs out he’s chicken. I can’t believe Harper was stupid enough to set this trap for himself. IGGY, INSIST ON THIS 1-1 DEBATE!!

  15. Mark in Ontario says:

    Counter-response: Nobody, for very good reasons, believes anything a Liberal says.

  16. reformatory says:

    I expect nothing less from the Canadian Nixon. There are no limits to how low he would stoop.


  17. Mark in Ontario says:

    I think Ignatieff is too smart to get caught in the trap. Showing up by himself proves the Coalition exists.

    Ignatieff: There is no coalition!
    Harper: Funny, the previous Liberal leader said exactly the same thing. Before the election, of course. And right after the election, BAM! the coalition came together and tried to take power. You signed the Pact yourself.
    Ignatieff: I didn’t want to sign it, but I had no option. Mr Dion was my leader.
    Harper: But you had an option, sir! You could have said no! The Coalition is undemocratic and bad for Canada, and you could have stood up for your principles and said no, I won’t do it!
    Ignatieff: ah ah…but you said in 1997….
    Harper: You signed the Pact in 2008. Your signature is there for all Canadians to see. You can’t deny that! Are you saying your signature is a lie? That’s your signature, your solemn word, are you saying it means nothing? That your word to the Canadian people is worthless because you will ignore your own promises if it means getting power? Why should Canadians believe anything you say?
    Ignatieff: I promise I will not form a Coalition.
    Harper: The question now is whether Canadians believe you or not.

  18. trollseeker says:

    new poll states that Most Canadians don’t trust Harper’s version of events with respect to the coalition. Duceppe, and the GG Clarkson have confirmed that Harper did indeed intend to form a coalition and guess what… most Canadians believe Clarkson and Duceppe and think Harper is lying.

    The same poll looks at Ignatieff much more favourably and that Canadians are warming up to him. They would be more comfortable with him as PM.

    Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff… that has a nice ring to it.

    stay tuned…..

    • Mark in Ontario says:

      Hi TS: Ahh hubris. You may be over-estimating Mr Ignatieff’s abilities while underestimating Mr Harper’s, a big mistake in politics as Senator Kerry found out in 2004. BTW what is “Prime Minister” Ignatieff’s plan to win 40 seats from Bloc Quebecois in Quebec and how will “winning” a debate with Mr Harper help? Also could you link this new poll about the coalition? It’s interesting that into Day 5 of the election about contempt for Parliament we are still talking about coalitions. I think Conservatives are chalking that up as a win.

      • Ted says:

        Almost all of the coalition discussion is about Harper’s liking it and advocating for it before he was opportunistically against it. Which is why you get the poll like this.

        We’re not talking about Harper’s contempt becuase the Liberals have not been. They’ve been talking policy.

        That may change a bit now with the ad campaign starting, but I think, well guess really, that the contempt and accountability and anti-democracy themes will come out stronger with some democratic reform proposals. That’s the beswt way to do that sort of thing.

        In 2006, Harper didn’t focus that much on accountability issues until well into the campaign and after he gave something for voters to chew on, making them think about him in a different light.

  19. MattMcD says:

    The question is, did Harper get paid for that social media comment?

  20. Prolonged exposure to federal politics may have long-term health consequences.

    Side effects include uncontrolled gas and tweeting, coalition anxiety, economic and deficit blindness (that may be accompanied by a fixation on corporate tax breaks), incidents of parliamentary contempt and multiple prorogation disorder.

    Treatment – consult your sporting goods supplier, typically fresh air, a baseball and gloves will reverse most symptoms.

  21. nic coivert says:

    Harper agreed to the debate because he is willing to bet everything on beating Ignatieff. If he succeeds in crippling Ignatieff he may get that majority, and if he doesn’t he may still hold onto a slimmed minority. Harper is willing to take large risks for large gains, that has always been his style. It certainly is curious though because it really legitimates Ignatieff and the Liberals, which is something Harper and his Bots have been attempting to undue for some time now, and one way they have been doing it is by propping up the NDP whenever they can. This latest move undoes all of that. A risky venture for both men.

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