03.13.2011 04:15 AM

In today’s Sun: getting a handle on scandal, a manual

To campaign or not to campaign? That, increasingly, is the question.

The Liberals are all of a sudden gunning for Tory bear. If the Opposition’s rhetoric is matched by action, we could be heading into an election a lot sooner than later.

The ballot question: Do you think the Stephen Harper Government™ has been as ethical as it promised to be?

The Liberals’ strategy seems straightforward enough. These Cons — the ones who promised transparency and accountability — have now irrevocably become what they promised to destroy. To invoke a Manning-ism, they’ve been Otta-washed.

36 Comments

  1. One must remember that Paul Martin was a pretty good finance minister, and he lost the election after he became Liberal leader. Good economics will not always save a leader and his(/her) party.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      I agree. The reality is that the Liberal Party supported the government on the Action Plan. All we wanted were quarterly reports.

      The issue is: Are you better off today than 5 years ago? The answer is no for most people. More people are in greater personal debt than 5 years ago. Unemployment rate is much higher and as a result over 100,000+ more unemployed/quit looking for a job. And collectively, we are $100B+ more in debt than 5 years ago, that is just less than $10K per taxpayer.

      Harper is no great economist. All he did was borrow $100B+ the past two years. I liken it to a family with a $400K debt load. And let’s say dad lost his job and decides why cut costs around the house, I will just take out a $100K+ of credit. Two years later the family has $500K debt load which if interest rates increase, is quite a sum to cover. The dad still hasn’t looked for a job and gets more lines of credit, putting his family even further in debt. He decides to even take a vacation ($6B+ business tax cut), buy a new expensive car ($30B+ planes) and buy a cottage ($10B+ super jails). and then he dies suddenly and the family has to pay off his debt!

      • Sean says:

        …talked to a lady at work the other day… “my husband was very, very busy last year when everyone had tax credits for window repairs… thats over and now we’ve got nothing…”

        • The Doctor says:

          So I guess she and her husband are going to vote for the party that promises a brand new $50 billion economic stimulus package. And that would be . . . which party?

      • hugger says:

        Spoken like the true fossil you are Gord.

        Firstly, I would like to know your source regarding the EU coming around on GM seed. Last I read was the Wiki leaks item about US government officials suggesting low key economic warfare to push the agenda.

        The end game has little to do with concerns for feeding the world, oddly it seemed to manage that prior to the introduction of the current pet project from the people who unapologetically brought agent orange to the world. Economic, drought factors etc. taken into account of course It has to do with capturing one of the few remaining independent means of producing the most basic needs of mankind and they will use any means to accomplish it.

        Yours and the GOP’s version of market economics are what is driving the CPC policies to make Canada little more than a source of raw material. A finite item I might add, which to most with critical thinking skills, would be of concern when taking into account the long term.

        Cite some regulations the CPC has eliminated which is beneficial? Seems to me Harper was all for deregulating the banks and the investment industries? That’s what you get when dealing with soundbite ideologues. Ill thought out concepts that if turned into policies, would be disastrous. Like your vision of health care for Canada.

        Does investment in green technologies cost money? Gee, I expect so. Did the Exxon’s and BP’s of the world magically inherit all that oil infrastructure? I expect not. Does the cost come down with extended production and redevelopment? Of course, think any type of electronics. I remember when the first acquaintance of mine bought a VCR. $1,600 in the 80’s.

        Just because Dino’s and reapers like yourself can’t see the benefits, doesn’t mean others can’t see farther than that.

        Which brings me back to P P Peter and the Jets, and the new Adscam vs. things like Fundy tidal power development.

      • hugger says:

        “What largely caused America?s collapse was government interference in the market for real estate ? Fanny and freddie and the NINJAs and Mark to market rules. The freefall didn?t slow until those mark to market rules were removed BTW.”

        Clearly Gord, you have sent an SOS. Of course the lame defense ignores the 8 years the Bushites had to reverse Fannie and Freddie but instead of doing that, instead of providing true Conservative governance, what did they do?

        Why the wiretapped Spitzer 5000 times in order to discredit him before he could let the cat out of the bag on the Wall Street bankers and investment brokers ponzi schemes now known as the housing bubble. The Republican housing bubble scam Gord. 8 years into it makes it theirs to own.

        You are tugging on superman’s cape again, and if you keep it up I will take your bullshit apart piece by piece.

        Starting with your refusal to provide an answer to the CPC 7.5 percent spending increases and their 14% increase in the civil service which you have yet to provide any justification for.

        Let the game begin.

      • hugger says:

        It is well documented that George Bush and associates had many failings, and that was not the foremost. Also, can’t see your opin on Spitzers downfall at all. More fodder for another day. It’s late, old eyes are not performing so I will leave the field for now.

        Think about the discussion Gord. Take from it what you can.

  2. ElitistattheGates says:

    With all the CPC’rs announcing they won’t run again…how long does it take to announce new candidates? Is there time to do it before the next budget comes down?(assuming it’s voted down)

    • David says:

      The conservatives could run card board cut outs of Pierre Trudeau in the ridings of those MP that are retiring and they would get elected. So they will have candidates in place if the government falls. I would not be at all surprised if some high profile candidates run for some of these seat perhaps a BC cabinet minister or two.

    • JenS says:

      I don’t foresee that as much of an issue. I’m quite certain none of these decisions came as surprises, so I suspect, in each case,there’s someone waiting in the wings.

      I totally see WK’s points in the column, but at the same time, tend to think it’s time to, for lack of a better phrase, put up or shut up. It is becoming increasingly difficult to accept the Cons actions yet be tacitly letting them away with it by not posing the confidence question. And maybe that’s emotion over strategy, but I also contend principle is not for nothing.

      • Philip says:

        Well put on the put up or shut up comment. Good or ill, we have to follow up on the non-confidence motion now. I personally think we will better than third party status this time around. Ignatieff isn’t Dion, by a long shot and I don’t mind hitting the doors behind this guy. The past three weeks I have gone out of my way to talk to random people, customers, co-workers, people on the TTC about the Conservative Party and the feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly negative about them. Completely not scientific or even accurate but I guess I’m saying that I do hear a frustration about this government. Whether that translates into votes or seats, I don’t know but I guess we shall have to see.
        If I have a fear, it is this: what if we held an election and no one came? Between the Conservative Party’s voter suppression ads and a general voter disconnect, I fear that we could see a low 50% voter turnout. While this could be tactical success for some parties I do fear for the functioning of our democracy.

        • JenS says:

          We’re regularly having elections to which no one comes, unfortunately. I can’t wrap my brain around it, but it is so, at all levels. I think one of the key strategies will have to involve engagement and getting the vote out. But I’ll admit, I have no idea how to do it at this stage of history.

          • nic coivert says:

            Part of the Conservative strategy has been to tar everyone with the same brush. They love to echo the words ‘but they are all the same… and the Liberals wouldn’t be any better’… etc. They have done more to perpetuate notions of politics and politicians as inherently dishonest and self-serving than any other party, ever. And they stand by that notion with their bahaviour as well, as long as they have people mumbling about the crookedness of all politicians then they dampen any chances of a revolt at the poles. The Cons prefer to err on the side of apathy. This is just another example of their disingenuous attitude towards democracy. It is far easier to destroy than build, Harper knows this, he doesn’t waste time on construction.

    • Sean says:

      honestly, “Blockwell / Doris Day” was ridiculous, but I’m going to miss the guy. One of the all time classic characters of Parliament Hill for sure.

  3. Namesake says:

    It’s too bad you took that ’20 pt. gap in the Rest Of Canada excluding QC’ figure from the concern troll ‘Mark in Ontario’ so much to heart, & have perpetuated it.

    As I’ve pointed out,
    – it wasn’t an official number: it was based on a home-made reconstruction of the last, 13-pt. national lead Nanos poll, without due regard for weighting the respondents for their age, sex, & region;
    – the field dates for that poll were Feb. 11-14: before any stuff really started hitting the fans; and,
    – even then, it’s only a 19(.4) gap for the ROC (+/-4), and just 9(.3) for the three more volatile regions of BC, ON, & the Maritimes, combined (+/-4.7).

    And if we turn to the latest (of the more reliable) poll(s), EKOS, which:
    – has three times the sample size & a broader sampling method, and
    – was done Feb 24-March 8 — after the Oda Ado and while some of the CPC’s other affronts to democracy were starting to percolate,

    …and we do the same unsanctioned reconstruction, the situation is only half as daunting:

    it’s only a 13(.2) gap for the ROC (+/-2.3), and just 7.6 for the three more volatile regions of BC, ON, & the Maritimes, combined (+/-2.6).

    And as I also pointed out, back in the 2005/6 election — which was ALSO about government arrogance and integrity — the aggrieved Opposition was able to reverse the 9-point national gap that existed at the corresponding period three months before the election and eke out a 2-point victory (by, um, over-spending on attack ads).

    So with a little karmic justice, if history repeats with the same point change from the last regime-change federal GE when the scandals mounted & the bums got thrown out, the results will be:

    Con 32.7% / Lib 34.6% / NDP 18.9% / BQ 9 to 10% / Gr 5%

    http://warrenkinsella.com/2011/03/to-campaign-or-to-not-campaign-that-is-the-question/#comment-28538

    • Sean says:

      Namesake, have you ever thought of being a com.s guy for one of Toronto’s major sports franchises? I think you’d be fantastic in that roll.

      • JH says:

        Especially for the Leafs where it is all spin, all the time. NS is an eternal optimist like my mom – she always said ‘live in hope and you’ll die in wonder’.

        • Namesake says:

          No, I’m pulling for the Libs, who are more like the Canadiens (24 Stanley Cups) than the PC-like Leafs (stuck at unlucky floor 13 forevermore).

          Whereas the CPC are like the Flyers: goons, with only 2 final victories to their name, to date.

      • Mike says:

        Role, fur chrissake @Sean. Otherwise, good question. On the street, the anger… the anger. Polls be damned, incumbents are in serious danger everywhere. When is the last time you saw anybody forgiving the crimes of pirates? I cannot find the words to describe the sense I have–things ARE changing. Too many people are too well informed to permit all of this to continue. The oligarchs seem to be in grave danger. Too bad–they might have to endure some pain. Unfortunately, that seems to be the human condition. Schadenfreude aside, watch what you wish for.

  4. nic coivert says:

    Or, in a creeky echo of Preston Manning, who Harper betrayed in the end, “there is a democratic deficit in Ottawa.”

  5. Namesake says:

    This just in:

    Just as with the second shameful progrogue last year, the Speaker’s Rulings on THIS year’s latest abuses of democracy have produced a major dent — an 11 point drop — among the CPC’s usual greatest supporters: the 55+ age group.

    “Among decided voters, voting support for the Conservatives has fallen …from a high of 52% on February 11, to 46% on February 25 to …41% [currently, on March 13] .

    Support for the Liberals rose the same 10 points from 32% to 36% and now to 42% during the same period.

    …More than 2,000 CARP ActionOnline readers responded to the poll March 12 and 13.” http://urlm.in/hhde

    Imagine that: a dead heat, even among older voters!

    • Namesake says:

      Whatever helps you sleep at night.

      The issue here isn’t the political views of the organization, but of its members, fully half of whom support the CPC — when they aren’t screwing up so noticeably — as I’ll show below.

      And, sure, it’s an online poll, and thus its results have to be taken with a grain of salt, and especially shouldn’t be reported with a standard MOE (as, oops, they do), but as with all the recurring polls, the important takeaway point isn’t the precise numbers but the relative CHANGE from their previous iterations;

      and in this case (unlike most of the standard ones where the pollsters pull the theories out of their posteriors), there are also some very explicit questions and data to EXPLAIN the change:

      to wit, 60% answered that the triple header of Oda, the Speaker’s Ruling, & the In&Out court ruling made them less likely to vote for the gov’t; and,

      given a range of options to describe their reaction to the Speaker’s rulings, a third selected “Government reactions show contempt for democracy.” http://urlm.in/hhej

      And unlike most outfits running online polls, CARP actually gives quite a good accounting of its polls’ methodology, universe, and relative representativeness and accuracy, here: http://urlm.in/hhef

      And as I indicated at the outset, it can — or should — scarcely be said that the Canadian Assoc. of Retired (or at least 55+) People’s MEMBERS who respond to these polls are mainly ‘left-leaning’:

      as the chart in the current poll results show (here: http://urlm.in/hheh ), for most of the past year or so, most months, about 50% were intending to vote CPC (except when it dipped from 55 down to 45 right after the census debacle)…

      …compared to about 38% LPC (just eye-balling it), and 10% or so NDP & 7% or so Green.

      And they also show their internal polling of vote intentions just prior to the 2008 election, here: http://urlm.in/hhei

      which shows the same thing: the 10% of swing voters you just lost thanks to these official smack-downs and the Govt’s & its spokes-people’s defiant & contemptuous reactions to them were all with the CPC, then:

      49% CPC, 32% LPC, 13% NDP, 7% Green

      (which, as they point out, was 10 pts. higher for the CPC than the 39% the last Strategic Counsel poll before the 2008 election had for the 50+).

      So, yes, please, Con-heads, go ahead and thumb your nose at CARP and its 300,000 members (70% of whom vote), and dismiss their warning as totally unrepresentative of anything to worry about, and go on merrily abusing our Parliamentary institutions and public service and mocking those who express concerns about that… you’re your own attack ads.

      • Namesake says:

        Ouch. I’ve got whiplash just watching that 180, and queasy from hearing the ‘full, shameless bluster ahead’ even after the reversal.

        So: yes, you concede that half of this seniors’ interests group respondents — a clear majority over the other parties, and well in line with the polling from independent organizations — are normally Cons. supporters, and that they’ve just lost a fifth of that support which has shifted over to the Libs over the govt’s abuses of trust, to make it a dead heat.

        But now you maintain they’ll soon forgive & forget over economic reasons.

        Well, except for the fact that they’re old enough to remember that that’s malarkey: that it’s the PC and CPC who have consistently wrung up the most extravagant deficits even in relatively prosperous times, and that it always falls to the LPC to clean up their mess and get the country’s fiscal house in order.

        And as CARP itself points out, given the very nature of internet polls, the ones who actually fill out its surveys skews towards its younger & more affluent members (who ARE actively online), but if you really considered what their WHOLE membership thought about whether the CPC is really looking out for their ec. interests, well:

        I’ll bet they’re none too thrilled at the way the hard-hearted Harper Government has turned a cold shoulder to the NDP’s request to top up the Guaranteed Income Supplement and to cut the HST on heating so fixed-income seniors don’t have to choose between having decent heat OR decent food, each month;

        or the way it’s rebuffed widespread calls to ensure that the CPP that so many of them are relying on is in good shape for all subsequent retirees, and have opted instead to throw more business to private RRSP plans that their insurance & banking buddies run… the same companies that have been eating up their savings (if they still have any) with management fees, in the same class of companies that caused this global recession in the first place.

        So, sure, go on, take their support for granted, CPC, thinking it will suffice to scare seniors into voting for you by talking up crime and Tamil terrorism, while you spend all your time (and much of the taxpayers’ resources) courting the “ethnic” vote.

    • Bugzy says:

      Bull Sh*tGord. Are you ppl so dense that you can accept all the shenanigans by Harpers Party of propaganda BS spreaders? Have you no morals or a grain ofcommon sense at all? It appears no with these Con trolls.

      • Philip says:

        Gord can be relied upon to show up every day, to AstroTurf the comments with his tired neo-con shuffle. If you need a quick giggle, ask “Professor” Gord why Obama got elected. Then buckle up for the ride on the crazy train down to Conspiracyville. I imagine he believes he is doing the Lord’s work amongst the heathens.

    • Jan says:

      ‘Left-leaning’ in Conspeak means they advocate for their rights.

  6. Tiger says:

    Vote this year, vote next year — happy to do it either time.

    Elections are fun.

  7. Patrick Deberg says:

    Gord,
    I take every poll with a grain of salt but if the Carp group is split that does spell TROUBLE for the CPC. This is where the votes are buddy!!

  8. JH says:

    First a personal comment. I’ve had some experience with CARP and quite frankly an enterprising investigative journalist would do well to have a look at the organization.
    Secondly the Leger and Leger Poll just released that was done for Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette would seem to confirm WK’s thesis re the ROC and a Conservative majority. It was also done after the speaker’s ruling. Chantale’s little ditty about Bloc financing being in the crosshairs might also be a sobering thought for Mr. Duceppe and company. There’s no doubt that is a winning platform plank across the country and will hurt the BQ most of all.

    • Namesake says:

      Not so fast… true, the new Leger poll reports:

      CPC 36%, LPC 23, NDP 18, BQ 10, GR 10
      http://urlm.in/hhib

      which, yes, is a new low for the LPC (after an unprecedented & obscene amount of advertising against them and for the gov’t).

      But it’s NOT majority territory (no sleight of hand, please: it generally needs to be over 40 for ALL of Canada, not just ROC, for that).

      and it’s NOT an increase for the CPC:

      in fact, it’s actually in the lower third of the range this partic. polling co. has found for the CPC going back 5 years (b/w 34 & 41 since Jan ’05).

      http://legermarketing.com/documents/intvote/IVFEDEN_canada.pdf

      And, again, the campaign itself would mean the end of the Libs ‘Rocky’ strategy of, um, absorbing all the punches for the first 11 rounds, and they’ll finally get to fight back on an even playing field once the election’s called and the much-abused advertising spending caps come into play.

      • hugger says:

        I liked my version of the Rumble in the Jungle better.

        Ali also said some things that were pretty profound in the great scheme of life.

        I remember he said, ” no viet cong ever called me nigger”

        Before that, I thought he was all bluster and show. It’s good to able to rethink.

        • hugger says:

          Just to clarify, my comment wasn’t intended to encourage anyone to rethink their position regarding the opposition parties standing for principles and representing the Canadian people to the best of their abilities.

          It was a general comment intended for all people, including myself.

          I think it’s time for an election.

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