04.04.2011 09:50 AM

It’s official: the Tory campaign is stupid


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    Michael S says:


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      Thor says:

      Of course, were they to have been photographed paddling a canoe or playing ping pong….

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    PoliticalPundit says:

    Harper is not Day!! This will appeal big time to the Tim Horton’s crowd, especially the big boys who love their ‘big toys!’

    Harper’s low-bridging and bubble approach seems to be working in spades. Why? Because he has convinced a great many Canadians, who are being made to fear for their jobs or who are currently underemployed, that it is ‘Harper or Chaos’.

    This is why Harper framed the election around the coalition issue and which the Ignatieff team did not see coming. The idea of a dreaded coalition of immoral liberals and the beyond-the-pale socialists and secessionists, Harper is convinced, will scare the living daylights out of hard-pressed middle-class Canadians.

    This polls confirmed this for the Tories so they based their entire election camp launch on this approach – drive the coalition idea until the big lie is firmly embedded in the minds of fearful Canadians. And it has worked in spades. Better the devil they know, Harper and his contempt of Parliament, than the devil, Ignatieff, they have been convinced is not a Canadian, does not have their interest at heart, and will leave Canada once defeated.

    This was Mackenzie King’s very successful mantra in 1935 (It King or Chaos) against a beleaguered R. B. Bennett’s New Deal. King simply ridiculed Bennett, and offered little in terms of a platform except the prospect of freer trade with the United States.

    Politics is 99% perception and therefore has little to do with reason.

    Ignatieff now understands this reality but it just might be too late to attract disgruntled Canadian liberal minded voters with a very different emotional message.

    Ignatieff can only turn around Harper’s polling momentum if he can convince, using a very emotional approach, NDP and Green voters, and perhaps many Bloc voters, that a Harper majority government intends most certainly to kill the social service state and to relegate the left-of-centre parties to the opposition benches for a generation.

    In short, it will be ‘Harper and Chaos!’

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      Warren says:

      He looks like an idiot.

      Logan Day, all is forgiven.

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      Roger says:

      Isnt the “coalition pact” in effect until June, 2011?…So, how is it a big lie?

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        Warren says:

        Were you paid for this comment?©

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          Roger says:

          Course not Warren….but it’s true, isnt it?….and why is it that anyone who makes a point or questions anything is “paid”? If I were “paid”, I’m sure I could make up a whole slew of nonsense instead of simply asking a reasonable question….know what I mean, Warren?..:P

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            Warren says:

            Take a Valium. We’re just joking around. You’re part of the team that pays for astroturf, not me.

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        The Other Jim says:

        Roger – Do you actually believe your stupid conspiracy theory, or are you just a shill?

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      Warren says:

      If that’s the case, it’s a great photo!

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        JStanton says:

        …it’s so obviously a setup. His business depot cash clerk blue shirt and nylon jacket, his ill-fitting helmet, stiff, unnatural posture and grimace give it all away.

        This is not a man out on the land, doing what men do.

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    Harith says:

    It’s funny because he rode an ATV the last time as well.

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    bell says:

    I don’t get it. What is wrong with that picture? What segment of the population thinks riding an ATV looks like an idiot? So handing out hotdogs is primeministerial but riding an ATV isn’t? Maybe if they got a photo of him rolling it, but it doesn’t look like that happened?

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      CQ says:

      “Toronto” thinks riding an ATV looks like an idiot. This is why the Leafs always miss the playoffs. and the Blue Jays. And the Raptors. And the soccer club, TFC. And why the University football team is so hapless (2-78 across a recent ten year span) as well.
      Sports is bad. Loony-left Ont. teacher types teach us so.

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        nic coivert says:

        It is funny because it is so fake, maybe he could ride into a fake lake and like fake hunt a fake duck.

        Harper, just faking it.

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    MontrealElite says:

    Harper is “Evil” Knievil

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    Dave Roberts says:

    Harper in a leather vest for the Calgary Stampede looked stupid. This isn’t even in the same ballpark.

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    Michael Behiels says:

    The HARPERITES never released a platform in 2008!

    Canadians deserve better.

    Harper should be compelled to release a comprehensive platform in which the CP lays out its priorities for both the public and private sectors.

    I suspect that Harper will not release a comprehensive platform. He will ride on Flaherty’s lame budget. If he gets his majority, and it looks like he will, he will have Flaherty craft a new, much tougher budget on spending in the pubic sector while raising further spending in the private sector. If he only gets an enhanced minority, Harper will have to get Flaherty to craft a more public-spending friendly budget or be defeated in the House.

    Most certainly the GG will not give Harper request for another election a nano second of thought. He will call on Ignatieff to form a government and to try to obtain majority support in the House.

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    Tim Lemieux says:

    Maybe he was trying to imitate Stone Cold Steve Austin:

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    james curran says:

    I’m sorry, but that dumb shit looks like a giant version of Gazoo from the Flinstones.

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    Scott Crawford says:

    Harper sort of looks like Gazoo from the Flinstones…wait a minute – maybe Stock is advising this campaign?

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    Brad says:

    he is riding a Yamaha, he should be riding a Bombardier Can-Am if he wants to do in better in PQ, even though some models are being made in Mexico now

    but he does look like a dork

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    Soup says:

    I can’t say I’m fan of Harper, and I think his lot needs to be tossed out, but this pic doesn’t look bad to me in anyway. Sure he looks out of his element some, but the smile on his face actually looks genuine for once.

    Also to refrence the above comment, that’s not a gun case. It appears to part of the front rack, or prehaps scabbard for a hatchet or small-ax. c33

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    Bruce M says:

    What!!! No picture of septegenarian Chretien waterskiing?
    Anther 6 weeks of this stuff: Thank God we don’t live in the States, where Obama just announced his campaign for re-election: A two year campaign “begins.”

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      smelter rat says:

      Incorrect again Gord. The Reformatories, however, have been. Fortunately for the taxpayers, now they need to spend their own money on campaigning instead of sucking on the public tit..

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      MattMcD says:

      ’08 is a bit of a stretch. The Conservative candidate in Vancouver Quadra only put up election billboards in December ’09…

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    JH says:

    Just for a little levity on this oh so serious Monday –
    Pic reminded me of that Kinky Friedman song – ‘up against the wall you rednecked mother’.
    the verse that went:
    Well, you know, he sure likes to drink that Lone Star beer
    And chase it down with that Wild Turkey bourbon liquor.
    He got a ‘57 GMC pick up truck with a gun rack
    And a “I’d Rather Be A Roper Than A Doper” bumper sticker.
    My apologies to any TO elites out there, but Kinky is one of a kind and funny as hell. And bourbon is way ahead of lattes (kidding- I’m kidding FFS!)

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    Ted (not the other one) says:

    I’ll be impressed when he lands a jet on an aircraft carrier.

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    Michael Reintjes says:

    Its a great phot and damn dorkish……kinda like this photo to be fair..

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    Patrick Hamilton says:

    How old is this article again?….a rather ham handed attempt to attack Ignatieff, under the guise of comparing photos, methinks…..Iggy is a far better campaigner these days, much to Mr. Harper’s, the Reform war rooms, and your chagrin, Im sure….

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    Michael Behiels says:

    ****** This just came in over the wire so to speak. Warren, you might already have it. I hope you don’t mind it I post it on your site.

    The issue goes to the heart of Canada’s beleaguered Constitutional democracy and the democratic rights of every Canadian Citizen.


    An open letter to Canadian journalists, from the Canadian Association of Journalists, contributed by Charles Morrow.
    A few weeks ago, many journalists nodded knowingly at this Tweet by Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn.
    “My Friday giggle… a spokesperson who emails me “on background” and then says: I can’t answer your question.”
    It’s a bit of gallows humour about a problem that began as a minor annoyance for reporters working on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and has grown into a genuine and widespread threat to the public’s right to know.
    Most Canadians are aware of the blacked‐out Afghan detainee documents and the furor over MPs’ secret expenses. But the problem runs much deeper.
    Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the flow of information out of Ottawa has slowed to a trickle. Cabinet ministers and civil servants are muzzled. Access to Information requests are stalled and stymied by political interference. Genuine transparency is replaced by slick propaganda and spin designed to manipulate public opinion.
    The result is a citizenry with limited insight into the workings of their government and a diminished ability to hold it accountable. As journalists, we fear this will mean more government waste, more misuse of taxpayer dollars, more scandals Canadians won’t know about until it’s too late.
    It’s been four years since Harper muzzled his cabinet ministers and forced reporters to put their names on a list during rare press conferences in hopes of being selected to ask the prime minster a question. It’s not uncommon for reporters to be blackballed, barred from posing questions on behalf of Canadians.
    More recently, information control has reached new heights. Access to public events is now restricted. Photographers and videographers have been replaced by hand‐out photos and footage shot by the prime minister’s press office and blitzed out to newsrooms across Canada. It’s getting tougher to find an independent eye recording history, a witness seeing things how they really happened — not how politicians wish they’d happened. Did cabinet ministers grimace while they tasted seal meat in the Arctic last summer? Canadians will never know. Photographers were barred from the fake photo‐op.
    Those hand‐out shots are, unfortunately, widely used by media outlets, often without the caveat that they are not real journalism.
    In the end, that means Canadian only get a sanitized and staged version of history — not the real history.
    Meanwhile, the quality of factual information provided to the public has declined steadily. Civil servants – scientists, doctors, regulators, auditors and policy experts, those who draft public policy and can explain it best to the population — cannot speak to the media. Instead, reporters have to deal with an armada of press officers who know very little or nothing at all about a reporter’s topic and who answer tough questions with vague talking points vetted by layers of political staff and delivered by email only.
    In addition, the Access to Information system has been “totally obliterated” by delays and denials, according to a scathing report by the country’s information commissioner. Requests are met with months‐long delays, needless censoring and petty political interference — the most cringe‐worthy recent example involves a bureaucrat forced to make a mad dash to the mailroom to rescue a report on Canada’s real estate holdings after a senior political aide ordered the report “unreleased.”
    Politicians should not get to decide what information is released. This information belongs to Canadians, the taxpayers who paid for its production. Its release should be based on public interest, not political expediency.
    This breeds contempt and suspicion of government. How can people know the maternal‐health initiative has been well thought out or that the monitoring of aboriginal bands has been done properly if all Canadians hear is: “Trust us”?
    Reporters have been loath to complain about this problem. But this needs to change. This is not about deteriorating working conditions for journalists. It’s about the deterioration of democracy itself.
    Last month, reporters gathered in Montreal at the Canadian Association of Journalists’ conference to discuss these issues. On behalf of our members, we are calling on journalists to stand together and push back by refusing to accept vague email responses to substantive questions that require an interview with a cabinet minister or a senior civil servant. We are also asking journalists to stop running hand‐out photos and video clips.
    We are also calling on journalists to explain better to readers and viewers just how little information Ottawa has provided for a story. Every time a minister refuses to comment, a critical piece of information is withheld or an access request is delayed, Canadians deserve to know.
    Finally, we are asking editors to devote the time and money it takes to dig beyond the stage‐managed press conferences to get to the real story.
    This is not about ideology or partisanship on the part of journalists. Journalists aren’t looking to judge the policies of the Conservative government. Rather, we want to ensure the public has enough information to judge for themselves.
    Journalists are your proxies. At our best, we ask the questions you might ask if you had a few minutes with your prime minister or with Environment Canada’s top climatologist. When we can’t get basic information, we can’t hold your government to account on your behalf. In order to have a genuine debate about matters of national interest, people need information. In order for citizens to be involved and engaged and make smart choices at voting time, they need information. It’s time we got some.
    Hélène Buzzetti
    President, Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery
    Mary Agnes Welch
    President, Canadian Association of Journalists
    Brian Myles
    President, Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec
    Kim Trynacity
    President, Alberta Legislature Press Gallery
    Christine Morris
    President, New Brunswick Press Gallery
    David Cochrane
    President, Newfoundland Press Gallery
    Réal Séguin
    President, Quebec Press Gallery
    Wayne Thibodeau
    President, Press Gallery of the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly
    Karen Briere
    President, Saskatchewan Legislature Press Gallery Association

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      Deb L says:

      Can you post the link to this please.

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      Michael Behiels says:

      Thanks Warren for allowing me to post this important document.

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        Michael Behiels says:

        Much obliged:


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          JH says:

          Sorry I still say the majority of Canadian’s don’t care about the media, don’t like the media and don’t trust the media.
          Looking at some of the signatories and knowing their stories, you could well understand why.
          It’s the same issue as with Wallin and Duffy becoming Senators and Don Newman becoming a Senior Strategist at the Liberal’s Blue Sky Strategy group and then offering to host the Ignatieff/Harper debate. Who’d trust these people to be fair?
          Folks know where all the so called unbiased journalists want to spend their cushy retirements, either in the arms of a political party’s lobby firm, a minister’s office or the Senate.

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            Namesake says:

            And I still say that a free press is a vital part of an open democracy and is needed to keep a government accountable, and that Harper is as clearly in contempt of it as he is of Parliament and indeed of the people of Canada, and that is why he lost his government and should be denied it again, and that your wanting to discount the importance of all this and run interference for him makes you a collaborator. A pox on you both.

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    smelter rat says:


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    pomo says:

    Was anyone else watching Harper playing street hockey on last night’s news? I saw it on the National. I assume it was on other networks as well….anyway, I was wondering if anyone else found it awkward watching him score. Maybe it’s me, but there is something kind of small and ugly about a grown man playing hockey with CHILDREN (and a few youths, but mostly kids) as if he was playing in the NHL. The guy is always at war. I know it’s an election and politics is blood sport, but there is a time and place to drop the “i must over power you” thing and just hang out and be cool. You know, let the little kids score. Can he do that? It was unsettling. Like…go find some kids your own size to..uh…beat.

    Might be a hockey thing that I just don’t get. *shrug* But for me, a voting person, it left an odd taste in my mouth.

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      nic coivert says:

      The problem is, he’s a dork. Properly socialized grown men realize they look like dorks playing road hockey with kids but Harper is a puppet to the camera, sadly for him though, he’s not photogenic. Just photo-opportunistic.

      Anything to win eh Stevie, say anything, do anything, ruin anything.

      Not even 6 million dollars will make Harper look cool.

      Stephen Harper, not the 6 million dollar man.

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    Kevin says:

    I don’t like Conservatives or Harper, but I really truly fail to see what is wrong with that picture.

    What is wrong with that picture?

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      MattMcD says:

      His helmet is clearly too big and he isn’t wearing proper eye protection.

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      nic coivert says:

      Its a joke. Reminds me of George Bush, pretending to be everyman.

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    Chubsy Ubsy says:

    I think Harper looks sort of Chretien-like in that photo(i.e. on the scooter or white water rafting – having a whole lots of fun!). Day will always look like something out of the movie Police Academy though. Hoo boy…now that photo is a perpetual campaign killer. Ridiculous. lol 🙂

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    DJ says:

    Chretien was always running up and down stairs and having fun with journalists on the Hill, so when he did things like hop on a bike in China, it looked spontaneous–probably was. I miss that guy!

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