04.25.2011 01:30 AM

KCCCC Day 31: Conversations with my Mom



  • So my Mom and I drove up to the cabin, yesterday, to open it up for the first time in 2011. It’s a late start. Last year I opened it at the start of April. So we drove, and talked as we passed the Liberal and Conservative and NDP signs.
  • My Mom, like me, is an Alberta Liberal. That’s hardcore. If you’re a Liberal from Alberta, you believe in your party like no else does in Canada. Because your party never wins.
  • She asked me how bad it’s going to be. I said things were moving around, quite a bit, but that it might get pretty ugly. We might even be reduced to third party status, I told her, for the first time I think ever. She didn’t like that. How did that happen, she asked.
  • Three reasons, I said.
  • One, those ads. Ignatieff has run a pretty good campaign – surprisingly good – but the Cons defined him before he could define himself, I said. “Those ads were disgusting, but they worked,” I said. “And you can’t fix in 36 days what took almost 36 months to break.”
  • Two, Ignatieff himself. It’s not that being cool and aloof and distant is a sin – Harper is all of those things, too. “But we already had Harper, and knew Harper,” I said. “Why trade one cool and aloof and distant guy for another one?” My mother nodded. “He doesn’t have the passion of Mr. Trudeau or Mr. Chretien,” she said. “Your father loved those men.”
  • Three, Harper himself. “He’s tricked everyone,” I said. “He’s used his minorities to convince a lot of people that he can be trusted with a majority. That he won’t be radical.” My mother shook her head. “He will be,” she said. “People will be sorry, but it’ll be too late.”
  • And that’s how it went. We headed North to the lake, and we passed a lot more Conservative signs than Liberal ones. “Get ready,” I told her. “It’s going to be something else.”


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    que sera sera says:

    Playing the funeral dirge before the patient is dead suggests only rehearsals & the band leader are important.

    Maybe some of us are waiting patiently for the electorate to deliver the prognosis on May 2.

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    R.A. says:

    All good points Warren. Even more so as a long time Alberta Liberal (provincial and federal) even though I’m only in my mid-20s I can only hope that Canadians wake-up and smell the coffee before Harper truly changes this country for the worse (or whats left of it…)

    A week to go, and as we all know… that’s a long time in politics. Hope for the best and campaign like no other.

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    MCBellecourt says:

    Your Mom sounds like a really smart lady (and very sweet, too)–and another reason to pray for a turnaround for the better for M.I and the Liberals.

    I watched that half-hour infomercial of M. I.’s it was pretty good, but it’s too bad it didn’t happen a week ago. The main focus will be to prevent a Harper majority at this point. We can still do that much. Keeping Harper on a leash is always a good thing, but we mustn’t concede defeat. If we gotta go down, we go down fightin’.

    Please give my best regards to your Mom.–MCB

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    Ron says:

    quality time with mom, cool
    long drives like that are great for discussions
    if we do get a minority government, we should throw the leaders in a car for a long drive
    they’re not allowed home until they come to an agreement on what they’re debating

    a week to go
    this is going to be interesting

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Warren; I am hearing a lot of righteous bluster lately from all the parties except the Cons about the dangers of strategic voting. Sounds like the bluster we heard from tobacco executives a few years ago about the dangers of smoking. Now smoking rates are headed south, (albeit not fast enough). Canadians have a big contrarian streak. Strategic voting could still kick in. A lot of non-Con voters will realize on May 2 that to do otherwise will be to join the Charge of the Light Brigade — honourable but very bloody.

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      Iris Mclean says:

      You nailed it Bill.

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    artwilliams says:

    CTV: “The Nanos poll released Monday also suggests the Liberals are trending down in vote-rich Ontario, showing their lowest level of support (29.3 per cent) since the start of the current campaign. That leaves them trailing well behind the Conservatives (47.8 per cent), but ahead of the NDP (16.9 per cent) and the Greens (5.4 per cent).”

    It looks like it’s going to be brutal for the Liberal Party next Monday night. I think Harper will get his majority. Ironically, this will be my first Liberal vote cast (albeit in the redest of red ridings).

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    Dr.J says:

    I do agree that the CPC ads did major damage but Iggy loves talking trash in a lecturing way and he did pull the plug on this. Remember the old saying;”Do not wish for something you just might get it”….well this is something Iggy wanted since ’09 with the famous “Your time is up” speech. I can not believe that the Liberal Team read the ‘tea-leaves” so wrong here, maybe it is too much red vision and partisonship to see clearly. I also have to wonder why his handlers would let him go to that hockey game on Saturday night…couldn’t they see the writing on the wall there? This week should be interesting though with the BLOC and the LIBs bringing out ghosts of the past just in an effort to keep what they have already. Warren, how bad can it get……. Toronto MP Joe Volpe and his team were caught on tape removing “Green Party” literature for people’s doors.

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      Jason Hickman says:

      Toronto MP Joe Volpe and his team were caught on tape removing “Green Party” literature for people’s doors.

      Whaaa? Really? Link, please!

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        Dr.J says:

        it is all over the news even the CBC!!!!

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          Jason Hickman says:

          I didn’t see it on an earlier GoogleNews search, but it’s there now: http://bit.ly/g9v9Jd. The pics themselves are here: http://bit.ly/hUvDKi

          Oh, man, here’s hoping Joe’s one of the Liberals who goes down for the count next Monday…

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          Michael Watkins says:

          Sun TV is a paragon of truth. They tell it exactly like it is, leaving no details out. They cater to the ultra-informed, hiding nothing. In short Sun TV is what the world has been missing. One could live their entire lives watching nothing but Sun TV and become a well rounded individual with super human insight, spot on accurate on every issue. Perfection in reporting news and analyzing what is going on has never been achieved, until now.

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          Bill Templeman says:

          Gord, I have heard Anna Marie Tremontie, Michael Enright, Jian Gomeschi and other CBC radio hosts repeatedly invite Conservative representatives to present their viewpoints on air. All such requests are refused. If Conservatives want more coverage on CBC they have to be willing to participate. Participating in a public commons of course would not be in their interests. Your Conservatives want to promote hatred of the public broadcaster so that they can cut funding and turn it over to the private sector. Smash the public sector by under funding. That’s the Con strategy.

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        Namesake says:

        Ok, so people — even half-people conbots like Dr.J — need to be careful when they say that “Joe Volpe was caught…”

        Because the sequence photographed by the suspiciously johnny-on-the-spot Green campaign worker only shows the campaign volunteer at the mailboxes; who has now been kicked off the campaign over this.

        (And one certainly wonders why Volpe would be concerned about the GREEN rival when it’s the CPC he’s truly threatened by; and so naturally also wonders whether this over-eager volunteer of his was possibly a plant.)

        And while Volpe himself was standing nearby — as is usually the case when the campaign workers rap on the doors first, with the candidates only hopping to when someone answers — that does ^NOT indicate that he sanctioned or was aware of the volunteer’s sleight of hand (and brains) trick.*


        * as Kady notes / tweets,

        Like I’ve been telling #CPCWarRoom for the last 20 minutes… RT @Ceekay77: @kady @joevolpe He knows he was like 8 feet away right? #elxn41
        by kady via twitter at 9:55 AM

        .. Anyone who has watched Joe Volpe chair a committee would not find the idea that he could be utterly oblivious to be implausible. #elxn41
        by kady via twitter at 9:56 AM


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      Namesake says:

      Removing a rival candidate’s flyers is regrettable, petty behaviour.

      But know what’s worse?

      Fomenting hatred and distrust against immigrant communities for years as “terrorists” and “queue jumpers,” and running ads against (what are all tarred with the same brush as) unscrupulous unlicensed immigration consultants, to stir up the base between elections, but then:

      – accepting a candidate (Ragavan Paranchothy) who endorses, or at least salutes, one of those terrorist organizations IN one of those “very ethnic” swing ridings DURING the election, in order to attract votes from that very community that the Party and their Sun Media compatriots have been vilifying; : see http://urlm.in/hpdc &

      – accepting the endorsement OF a founder and funder of a terrorist group responsible for a mass murder (the Air India bombing), in another “very ethnic” riding;


      – accepting and indeed actively nurturing and fostering a candidate (Parm Gill) who’s been running an unofficial and unlicensed constituency / immigration consulting office in a third “very ethnic” riding for the past two years



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        James says:

        Namesake, if you’re going to go in that direction, here’s a Letter to the Editor in today’s Globe and Mail:

        The Jewish Vote (Re: Once a Sure Thing, Liberals Now Fighting For Jewish Vote, April 23).

        While Stephen Harper was sticking his neck out for Israel during the summer of 2006 during the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Michael Ignatieff was suggesting that Israel had committed war crimes in Lebanon.

        That same summer, Liberal MP Denis Coderre was seen at a Montreal demonstration where Hezbollah flags were being waved by protesters.

        The Liberal Party has only itself to blame for losing so many Jewish voters to the Tories.

        Jonathan Mackenzie, Toronto

        So, Namesake, don’t go there.

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          Namesake says:

          I already did, when I explained why Ignatieff went there.


          Now, perhaps you’d like to explain why it’s hunky dory or shouldn’t be mentioned that a bunch of innocent kids huddling in a basement got killed because the Israelis had some faulty intel and didn’t have anyone on the ground to confirm that there weren’t any civilians in the building before they bombed it.

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    Sean Cummings says:

    If the Liberal Party gets its ass handed to it next Monday, I hope they take their time in the political wilderness to rebuild the party from the grassroots up as opposed to looking for a messiah who will deliver them to the promised land. If Harper gets his majority, they will have five years to figure out how to do this – organizational renewal – it’s a process, often an ugly one. But it’s necessary when you’re starting from scratch. If the loss is big enough, perhaps it will heal the divisions in the party and everyone will work together on a complete party reboot.

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    reformatory says:

    I hope you’re wrong. If you’re right it’s gonna be a long dark gloomy 4 years. There is still time–

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    Jeff says:

    What are you going to tell everyone is the reason for further decline in 2015 when all the fear mongering over giving CPC a majority doesn’t play out as you fear?

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    Swervin' Merv says:

    The Prairies are no longer the exception. Nanos today has the Reformatories polling in the mid-40s everywhere outside Quebec. You poor bastards in Toronto could well have to stomach, after October, three years of anti-government leaders: Mayor Ford, Premier Hudak and PM Harper. Who wants a doctor who doesn’t believe in being a doctor? Better stock up on painkillers.

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    Anne Peterson says:

    I don’t understand. All the things they have done and all the lies they have told and Canadians will stil vote for them. I hope what they do can be undone someday.

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    artwilliams says:

    New Liberal ad can be found on YouTube … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-QSgRfjBDs

    Personally, I would have released something much stronger like “Vote for Jack and get four more years of Stephen … guaranteed”.

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      Harvey Mushman says:

      Very weak…in fact…bad ad for the Liberals.

      1) Trying to convince Canadians that Jack Layton and Stephen Harper are two peas in a pod simply defies logic.

      2) We’ve gone from “blue door/red door” (the only choice you really have) to “heads or tails” (Harper or Layton)…uh…where’s Iggy?

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    Paul says:


    In addition to your points, I think Canadian voters are grumpy about going to the polls 4 X 7 years. Iggy is suffering more from forcing the election with no real defining issue. The Tory ads are a factor, but the lack of clear vision from Iggy is what makes them work and make people consider Jack rather than Iggy.

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      allegra fortissima says:

      Are you trying to tell us that Jack’s fiscal Science Fiction – as Nichael Ignatieff calls it correctly – is a “clear vision”? How is Jack Layton going to finance all his social spending chapters???

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    W.B. says:

    How painful it will be to see a gloating Jack Layton revelling in seat gains, perhaps in Stornaway!, while the nation is taken down an authoritarian, repressive, reactionary road that will see everything his party ever believed in destroyed.

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      Michael says:

      From Co-op housing in Toronto to Stornaway in Ottawa, quite the journey for Jack.

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      Paul R Martin says:

      Layton has a past history of enjoying subsidized housing.

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        smelter rat says:

        Another Conbot lie. I suggest you read Dr. Dawg today.

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        ben burd says:

        And paying market price for the place too, Howcum you jerks always forget that?

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      artwilliams says:

      Not a Jack fan here but to be fair he paid a market rent for his unit. The idea behind the building was to have low and medium income people live together rather than just in a ghetto.

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    Sean says:

    Whatever happens, the month of May will be one of the most interesting times in Canadian politics. The results are almost exactly the same as 2008, except the NDP looks like they will pick up a fistfull of BQ seats. I think they will still be behind the Liberals.

    Harper Majority: Serious merger talk.

    Harper Minority, Canadian’s are going to get a fascinating civics course in how our democracy actually works as they watch Ignatieff, Layton, Goodale and Mulcair hop out of limos to be sworn in by the GG.

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    James says:

    Iggy appeared at a hockey arena in Mississauga over the weekend and when his live image was displayed on the hockey scoreboard over the rink the entire crowd booed – this was shown on CP24 news channel. Iggy’s response? They booed because he was simply a politican and that Iggy would have done the same if he was also in the crowd. Okay, I get it. So if they cheered, it was because the crowd loved Iggy and was voting Liberal.

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      WesternGrit says:

      Gee… Who has Harper been appealing to for about 7 years now, with targeted ads??? The beer-swilling hockey dads, the lunch bucket Tim’s crowd, and CASCAR stock car race fans (NASCAR North). Ya THINK the Lib campaign team made a bad move walking into the hornet’s nest?

      Have to say, the report DID say Iggy received a lot of cheers too (just not as much as the jeers). In an election with 3 major parties, it is pretty reasonable to assume that the other party’s supporters will outnumber you at a such a public event – especially if they didn’t come to see you.

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    Pat Heron says:

    OK, Warren, get out your list of Harper promises betrayed: elected Senate, fixed election terms, income trusts, ethical behaviour, looking after veterans, etc.. Then get out your list of wacko decisions: firing respected agency heads, prorogueing Parliament, cancelling long form census, interfering with appointments, and others. Then provide your list of likely future Con Goverment initiatives and actions. You have mentioned these items here and there; please put them together. Then paste them in this site daily and you’ll be illustrating what we can expect, only moreso, if there is a Conservative majority. Heaven help Canada!

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    TofKW says:

    Well put WB – Layton and his Dippers only care about their own political ambitions, and not what their actions will bring about.

    I hope they enjoy the Harper Majority
    – and as he guts every social program they hold dear, and eliminates the per-vote subsidy to boot; maybe then the NDP base will finally figure out who their enemy really is. But then it will be too late.

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    Michael Reintjes says:

    Being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan,I can now totally relate to Alberta Liberals…..I,m starting to wonder who will win first…The Leafs or the Liberals?

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    JStanton says:

    … here?s gord again, protecting the rapist, blaming the victim.

    The Liberals not “cause” the election gord, as you well know. Mr. Harper consistently and relentlessly acted to undermine our democratic institutions, for which he was made to bear the shame and pay the penalty of having his government stripped from him .

    It?s interesting that this is an historic occasion ? this has never happened in another commonwealth country. Perhaps because in some of them, had the Prime minister tried a similar coup d’etat, he would have been shot for treason.


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    Craig Chamberlain says:

    Canadians are going to the advance polls. That’s a start. Ignatieff has done well in this election and has showed passion. Harper has not done either. Minimally the election will be a huge flushing of the toilet for the CPC attack ads on Ignatieff. Dion led the party to win seats, and he couldn’t speak English and had a platform his own polling showed could not be sold.

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    artwilliams says:

    This will be my last comment in this thread. I don’t want to monopolize the conversation as some do.

    One thought I had was the resignation (?) that progressive Canadians have with the rise of Layton and real possibility of a Conservative majority. In neither case are people as upset as in previous elections. There is no burner fire. It’s like they just want to get this re-alignment, if that is what it is, over and done.

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    dave says:

    In this present campaign, I would like someone to explain clearly who has sent us into elections the many times we have had them in the past several years. To me, it is a failure to call the Conservatives on this bit of deliberate fibbery.

    As for Liberal renewal:

    In olden days there were several Liberals I liked: Jean Marchand, Joe Greene, Judy LaMarsh. I did not care for Lester – I thought his Peace Prize was for helping the UK save face; I did not like bomarcs. I did not care for Trudeau; I had an immediate distrust for Trudeau mania. I don’t like the ‘big man’ stuff…not then, -not now, with Hero #1 Harper.

    But I always liked Mitchell Sharp’s approach to foreign trade. In the 1960’s he got us rolling on getting out of the Brit Commonwealth box by varying our markets – so that we would not be tied to one market. He tried to make us less a Brit Empire appendage, and more a citizen of the world, doing business with the world.
    Through the 1970’s, his approach continued; we varied our markets even more. (If you were there, you will remember that USA in the 1970’s did not like that at all. That is when Western Canada was flooded with all those anti Trudeau news clippings from USA.)
    Anyway, there could be something in Sharp’s approach for Liberals to consider again; being a citizen and business outlet to the world, rather than just a USA appendage.

    Conservatives, Progressive Conservatives, Reform, and now Conservatives, have, to me, always been the party of empire. Their first 100 years were guided by keeping us a part of the British Empire. Their most recent 40 years has been to integrate us ever more closely to the American empire. Our current foreign emphasis (NATO’s wars, NAFTA, free trade with the most anti human rights nations,…) all fit closely with what Washington likes us to do.

    So, one thing Liberals might do, is look at what Mitchell Sharp et al were doing. I think that Canada’s position on the world stage then (including Trudeau’s image) was much contributed to by Mitchell Sharp’s approach.
    (It could be that Axworthy in foreign affairs carried on that Sharp approach.)

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    George says:

    disgusting – Volpe, again! Hope the scrutineers are paying extra-close attention in THAT riding.

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    George Webb says:

    Hey folks
    Read Don Newmans column @ i-politics if you want to know what the NDP surge will do.

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    Joe says:

    Contrarian view here. You guys are missing the point when you state “careful what you wish for…”. That’s EXACTLY what ridings who vote Conservative want! We want Harper to go right, this country has been run Left for too long. We want less government, we want social programs re-tooled, we want immigration to be more selective, we do NOT want Trudeau\Chretien way of running Canada anymore. People who eject Conservative politicians want CHANGE. We are NOT afraid of it, we welcome it, hopefully and finally. 🙂

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    Joe says:

    Oops, that should be ELECT not eject. LOL

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    Phill St Louis says:

    Last’s week’s Leger poll showed that the fear of a Conservative majority is still strong. Keep fighting in the final week.

    See April 18 at http://www.legermarketing.com/eng/

    The non-Conservative vote is less firm because of strategic voting.

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    WesternGrit says:

    Gord… Volpe was elected back when you guys couldn’t even get two volunteers together in Ontario – let alone a campaign school. We’ve been doing campaign colleges for all candidates, managers, and volunteers for well over 30 years that I’ve been involved. Joe didn’t get elected all those times without campaigning effectively. Having lived in 3 Western Provinces – and both rural and urban, I know that you campaign differently in different areas – including areas with different demographics.

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    WesternGrit says:

    IF (big IF) there is a Harper majority, I welcome the opportunity to rebuild (something that was long needed). A series of REAL policy conventions. A time to really experience intelligence gathering (and fund-raising).

    More importantly, we are facing a major economic catastrophe – and I want Harper to face it, as he and Flaherty created it. The housing collapse should hit home at some point in the afterglow of this election. Interest rates will mount. Exports will continue to fall (as Harper and gang have done nothing to grow foreign markets – they hate Canada’s involvement abroad, unless it involves guns). We also have not led on innovation and research – two areas that would have had Canada on a pedestal. While Harper posed with home builders, and swung a hammer (last election) to goad young buyers to waste their money on over-inflated homes, our national personal debt skyrocketed.

    As Harper cut consumption taxes (idiotic move), our nation slid into debt (HE and Flaherty caused the wastage of the $13 Billion surplus/contingency fund PRIOR to the economic collapse of 2008.

    Not sure why we didn’t run ads comparing Harper and Flaherty to Harris and Flaherty of the “Common Sense Revolution” in Ontario??? There’s still time.

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    scott d says:

    Time to unite the left and drag the Liberal party left where it should be.

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    R says:

    Harper majority


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      allegra fortissima says:

      I’m no Harper fan at all, but to compare a Harper majority to THAT is pure idiocy… apparently you don’t have a clue what you are talking about!

      Who are you – a troll who wants to stir up discussions to the extreme?

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    R says:

    Harper government abuse power:





    Harper dictorship against Muslim girl fan:



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    R says:

    Harper paid a billion dollar to Toronto police to back him in G20





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    prairiegopher says:

    Your comments about the disastrous results of a Harper majority are over the top.
    Please remember that Canada is a democracy. If Harper’s majority government implements extreme policies then it will be defeated by voters in the next election and the unpopular policies reversed. Remember how Britain’s socialist government nationalized the steel industry and then a subsequent conservative government denationalized it. Unless you believe that Harper plans to seize power in a military coup and abolish elections, then please restrain your silly speculations about what Harper MIGHT do with a majority.

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      Namesake says:

      that hardly holds water, there, gopher (unlike the Prairies, these days, which are under it, which is why you’ve popped up for air, I guess):

      Harper’s proven remarkably adept at demonizing his opponents and lying about their intentions and in using millions in government funds for his propaganda and media monitoring and influencing, so at this rate, he’d probably be able to get back in pretty much no matter what he does next.

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        Namesake says:

        no, just bursting the faux outrage, BS bubble that they wouldn’t dare do X or Y because they couldn’t possibly get re-elected after.

        They’ve dared do a whole bunch of crap over the past 5 years they’ve gotten away with, with impunity, and with most of the media either in their corner or effectively muzzled, and the public resigned to a ‘pox on all their houses attitude,’ that’s more likely to continue, than not.

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    Phill St Louis says:

    Forum polls shows that Conservative support dropping as a result of campaign ads.

    From a Forum Research poll on April 21, on the question of the effect of television ads:

    Fully 12 per cent of the respondents said they had a change of heart and switched voting preferences after seeing some of the ads. There, the NDP enjoyed the largest gain in support, from 19 per cent who favoured the party before seeing television ads to 31 per cent after seeing TV ads. The Conservative party showed the largest loss, from 26 per cent to 14 per cent among voters whose minds changed after seeing some of the television ads.

    The article is here:


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