04.02.2011 09:03 AM

KCCCC Day 8: Let’s do laundry!


  • It’s a down day! Or, maybe tomorrow is.  Either way, every campaign is back in Ottawa, or heading there, so that the leaders and the planes and the tour staff can get home, hug the kids, get sleep in a familiar bed and – most crucially – do laundry.  Some, if they’re courageous, will wander in to campaign HQ to see how central campaign staff are doing.  They will look bleary-eyed and exhausted, because they are.  The war room staff will make jokes about Stockholm Syndrome (which seizes reporters travelling with the leaders, by the way, and shows up in their coverage).  And everyone will read the papers.
  • What will they see? In tomorrow’s Sun, I write this: “Stephen Harper looks like he is phoning it in.  He appears washed-out and tired.  At his much-trumpeted Montreal rally, in fact, Harper didn’t look like a political leader fighting for a win – he looked like an exhausted chartered accountant in a crowded airport, trying to get home for the weekend.” That’s some of my take.  What do others see?  Here’s a columnist sampling – add yours in comments!  I guarantee you’ll be read – the stats for www.warrenkinsella.com have exploded by 300 per cent since the campaign started, and so too have comments.  Thanks to all for your contributions – you’re all pretty smart, left, right or coalitionist.
  • Chantal Hebert, Star:“To drive his message home, Harper has been blatantly creative with the facts, starting with his own manoeuvres as an opposition leader in a minority Parliament. He has risked turning the election into a debate on his character, a huge gamble for a figure that has been shown to have a higher-than-average potential to polarize Canadians. Harper is taking that gamble based on his conviction that against a divided opposition, polarization is an ace up the Conservative sleeve.”
  • Stephen Maher, Chronicle-Herald:Harper’s team may be nervous, and if they’re not, they should be. Harper is on track to win this election, but so far the Liberals are having a better campaign, and the Conservatives could lose the government even if they win the election.”
  • Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail:“…the Liberal Leader is surprising even his own handlers with his comfort on the campaign trail. And he shows signs of making the Conservatives pay for underestimating him, and for conditioning the public – through advertisements that portrayed Mr. Ignatieff as a bumbling dilettante – to do likewise.”
  • David Akin, Sun Media:“The Conservative war room has been obsessed, in the meantime, with penny-ante “gotcha” shots every time they think they’ve got more evidence of Ignatieff’s designs on a coalition government. OK. We get the point.  But if Conservatives really want that majority, they’ll have to do more than that to tell Canadians why they want it.”
  • David Olive, Star:“It has seemed almost farcical to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper warn that Canada’s economic recovery would be jeopardized by a Liberal-led coalition of opposition parties taking power after the federal election May 2.”
  • Bruce Campion-Smith, Star: “A week that started strong for Harper — by putting Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff on his heels with accusations of plotting to lead an opposition coalition — ended with the Conservative leader looking unsteady on everything from debates, his dealings with the media and even his attacks around the coalition.”
  • Pic of the day: It’s fuzzy, but so is the campaign so far – nobody has landed on the narrative strikes a chord, most voters aren’t paying attention.  Add a caption!

97 Comments

  1. smelter rat says:

    Canadians are starting to see that underneath all of Stephen Harper’s phoney tinsel, there’s nothing but real tinsel.

    • JStanton says:

      Exactly.

      Chantal Hebert is being charitable when she describes Mr. Harper as being “blatantly creative with the facts”. We all know what she means, and in a sense, she is being a bit “creative” herself, by not using plain language. Mr. Harper lies. He deceives. He misrepresents.

      There are two reasons for this. The first is that, because of his zealotry and fundamentalist nature, his moral compass is not calibrated normally. He has a mission, whatever it is, and his responsibilities to that objective trump his ethical (and parliamentary) responsibilities to Canada and Canadians.

      The second reason is that he is a man alone, a “government” of one, surrounded by sycophants and functionaries carefully chosen to be smart enough to blindly obey, ambitious enough to want to ride his coat tails, and small enough to be absolutely dominated. There are thus by design no real players in his coterie, no thinkers, no do-ers, no innovators, only mouthpieces.

      As a consequence, all he has driving him is his own mission, rather than coherent policies generated through the collaboration of passionate experts to serve Canada and Canadians. In the absence of such policies, he is left with mere “stories” that cannot be defended, and that’s why we see the hostility and denial of access.

      Mr. Harper is not a leader.

      .

  2. Mark in Ontario says:

    Interesting morning today. Nanos Nightly has CPC up 5% in Quebec while Liberals are down 5%, with BQ and NDP steady. This, coupled with Jean Lapierre’s comments on Power Play last night (that the Liberals in Quebec may be collapsing and their vote starting to move towards the Conservatives “to block the Bloc”), may indicate that the Lower Churchill may be a (the) turning point. Certainly it may win back seats in NL, but people in Quebec can see the contrast between how Premier Charest (supported by BQ) has no influence over what Harper does as PM and how Premier Wall of Saskatchewan had tremendous influence over the Potash decision. People in Quebec may be realizing that having Bloc MPs does not serve Quebec’s interests in Ottawa after all, especially if Conservatives can win a majority without big support in Quebec, which is now a possibility. Lapierre said provincial Liberals are helping out federal Conservatives in Montreal which indicates that people there are calculating that Harper will win a majority and it’s in Quebec’s interests to elect more Conservatives in that province and especially in Montreal, as there is no Liberal comeback happening in Quebec.

    I don’t know what outcome will be but Lapierre thinks Conservatives will pick up seats in Quebec, not lose them.

    I have always thought that Harper’s long term plan was to prepare for the day that when the Bloc begins to decline, the default option for Quebeckers will be the Conservatives, not the Liberals. It may happen this election, or it may not. But the Liberal failure to regain Quebec is their downfall.

    Ignatieff can hurl all the insults he wants at Harper, but all along the greatest threat to any Liberal comeback was Gilles Duceppe. The one on one debate Ignatieff really needs to have (and win) is with Duceppe, not Harper. It could be that now Harper will reap the benefits of the Liberals political negligence. We shall see on May 2.

    The price the Liberals may have to pay for the sponsorship scandal is near extinction (Chantal Hebert’s word) in the province of Quebec. An ignominious end to the once-great party of Laurier, St-Laurent and Trudeau.

    • Namesake says:

      bah. You wanna believe in the “collapse” of the QC LPC vote and bet that Quebecers just want pork on the basis of a one-day shift in Nanos’ polling and some anonymous insiders who might be jerking around a talking head — and this is mostly all before Harper thumbed his nose at them by offering a subsidized loan to a rival region’s power project — be my guest.

      Ekos’ new results for decided voters in Quebec are:

      18.9% CPC / 19.1% LPC / 14.7% NDP / 8.0% Gr / 36.0% BQ / 3.3% Oth, with an n of 717 and MOE of 3.7, for field dates Mar 28-31

      Which prompts Graves to note, “There are opportunities [for the LPC] in Quebec right now as the Conservatives have stumbled there and the federalist forces are fragmented ineffectually.”

      Nanos’ latest, with that curious spike, are:

      27.7% CPC / 21.7% LPC / 13.1% NDP / 2.7% Gr / 35.8% BQ / 0 Oth, with an n of 232 and MOE of 6.5 (and 22.4% undecided, not incl. in that) for field dates Mar 30-Apr 1

      but for the day before, it was:
      22.1% CPC / 26.5% LPC / 13.6% NDP / 2.0% Gr / 35.8% BQ / 0 Oth, with an n of 225 and MOE of 6.6 (and 25.0% undecided), for field dates Mar 29-31

      – where all that movement’s occasioned by which stripe of federalist they happened to reach each night when they buttonholed 75 decided voters in total who bother to answer their landlines for some pesky pollster each day — so it literally works out to about 5 people flipping those 2nd place numbers from LPC to CPC b/w the new Friday results and the discarded ones from Tuesday.

    • Scott Tribe says:

      Snort.. you’re putting the cart before the horse making that prediction. Election Day is May 2.. and we’ve not had the debates yet. If Ignatieff keeps up his good performance, and Harper continues to scream nothing but “coalition” boogeyman for the rest of the election.. then I think the Liberals will be fine. Lots of people arent even paying attention to the election yet.

      This is a marathon, not a sprint.

    • Cat says:

      excellent points!

  3. Poll_Watcher says:

    Latest Nanos Poll: Con 41.3 / Lib 30.3

    So the Liberal deficit of 6 almost doubles to 11 in 2 days… Guess the “Grit’s up, Tories not” headline really should have been “Grit’s do well in 1 night of rogue poll sampling”.

  4. James Curran says:

    Harper is farrrr too thin in that picture

  5. W.B. says:

    Robert Fulford respected Harper supporter and artsy legend of sorts, pretty well lays to rest the outsider issue. It’s over.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/Canadian+Gordie+Howe+Neil+Young/4547979/story.html

    • W.B. says:

      You kind of missed the point. Howe, Gretsky, Young, Ignatieff don’t have to prove the “Canadianness” to anybody. Hey It’s Harper parochial and insular and narrow and petty in outlook who’s running against Ignatieff open, educated, tolerant, writer, lecturer, and professor. Big difference all-right.

      • JStanton says:

        …. exactly!

        .

      • smelter rat says:

        Gord, you’re so full of shit your eyes are brown.

      • Robin says:

        I question the person who decided to hide in Alberta and build a ‘Firewall’ around the province because they were really dedicated to ALL of Canada. I also question the person that, with an American audience (the Council for National Policy), slagged off Canada: really showed a lot of pride there! The person responsible for all that is not a patriotic Canadian.

    • MattMcD says:

      Personally, I do have reservations about someone who decided to move to the states and adopt an American way of living. However he has since come back and adopted the Canadian way, if his platform is any indication.*

      I’d happily take Iggy over someone who wants us all to experience the American way while we all live in Canada here though.

      *The Canadian way as Tommy Douglas would have wanted that is.

  6. Michael S says:

    How is Team Harper going to shrug off Rick Mercer’s $50,000 dare to debate?

  7. catherine says:

    Harper phoning it in – exactly! And, what’s up with that? The videos and pictures I’ve seen of him campaigning mostly show him looking scared, bored, and unhappy. Anyone have any idea why Harper is acting almost like he wants to lose?

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      Maybe he is tired from long nights micromanaging his so far successful campaign.

      I agree it all makes no sense, but the EKOS poll confirms the Nanos tracking. And it confirms we just do not have the pulse of what is going on and Harper so far does. I hope this changes before election day.

    • trollseeker says:

      cause he has limited campaigning skills.. never really has demonstrated to be a good campaigner. In 2004 – he had the sponsorship scandal to help him. In 2006 he had the RCMP to help him, and in 2008 he had Dion helping him. Now, finally when he is faced with an organized, united liberal machine with a competent leader do we really see Harper for what he always was… a weak campaigner.

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      I’ll take sexually frustrated for a thousand, Catherine….Its common knowledge his marriage is kaput, and Laureena looka just as bored and unhappy….the body language on stage with him, or serving snacks and brew on the Harper Campaign plane says it all….Shed much rather be back at the Chateau Laurier, Im sure…..

      • Patrick, if this were a hockey game you’d get a game misconduct for sure. I thought there was broad agreement on this blog that the personal lives of candidates were a no-fly zone. Harper’s marriage should be off-limits, so should every other leader’s marriage. Save the trash talk for Oprah…

      • Lance says:

        And they say Conservatives like to hit below the belt. Why don’t you get a frigging life?

  8. I know this is a repeat comment, but I hope reporters are allowed to press the flight attendants’ button above their seats if they want to ask a question on Harper’s “No Question Air.”

  9. Annie says:

    Maher from the Chronicle Herald yesterday,? had a real good one about Harper if he gets a majority and what I gathered from that item, is that Harper is mentally unstable, and we will be in real trouble.

  10. Caption: “My _____ is this big.”

  11. MontrealElite says:

    Ah the campaign that’s being waged on Twitter. Always an interesting place, the Twitterverse.

    And it’s always interesting to see who is following who.

    I found this one pretty interesting.

    http://twitter.com/#!/pmharper/following

    Scroll down a few pages, the third one under Brad Lavigne is pretty interesting.

  12. Dan F says:

    Where can I get me a set of those bobbleheads?

  13. fritz says:

    It may mean nothing at all but I found this interesting.
    Last evening I was at a small gathering of small ‘l’ boomers mostly in their 50’s & 60’s. When I mentioned that I was considering voting liberal for the first time in many elections because the Tories had nominated a strong candidate; a former MPP cabinet member. Over the last few elections the Liberals have gotten around 45%-50% of the vote here so their victory is usually pretty certain.
    I expected people to say I was panicking and that I should give my vote to the Greens or NDP as I have done in the past. But I was surprised to here that two others were planning to do the same thing and a couple of others would consider it if the polls showed the Liberal here was in any danger of losing.
    As I said this may mean nothing and probably happens all the time but I found it enlightening that people were so nervous of Harper winning the majority he craves.
    If the Liberals ever get close to the CPC in the polls there may be a tipping point crossed that would signal a big Liberal win.
    After all 2/3 of the country consistently vote against the Tories.

  14. Ron says:

    Just my opinion but for a guy who looks scared etc…his polling numbers are continuing to go up.

    As much as the media is claiming he came out to soon with the coalition speak it must be resonating or else why stick with it?

    At this point in the campaign and knowing full well it can change on a dime…Warren’s early comments of why go into this camapign 20 points down may well be right

    Warren…thanks for the kudos about all the comments people are leaving…it’s fun

  15. MontrealElite says:

    Wow one week into a campaign and the Canadian economy hasn’t fallen apart.

    Another Harper lie put to bed.

  16. Mark in Ontario says:

    Ignatieff made a big error when he ruled out any coalition with “federalist” parties. This means that if Liberal + NDP seat total is larger than Conservative, he will break his promise if he forms a Liberal/NDP Government. This means that the Senate, where Conservatives have a majority, will have cover and can vote down any legislation passed in the House of Commons in response to Canadians “outrage” to the broken promise. There would be no option then but to call new elections.

    The December 1, 2008 Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition could have succeeded in office because the Liberals had a majority in the Senate, and PM Dion would have moved quickly to fill vacant Senate seats with Liberals (and NDPers and Elizabeth May?). This is what truly scared Conservatives who saved themselves (barely) by prorogation. The lesson they learned was it was a mistake to not make Conservative appointments to the Senate. Harper has corrected his mistake so he has now made it impossible for Ignatieff to form a coalition of any kind. If he said last weekend that coalitions among federalist parties are perfectly all right and of course if two federalist parties had more seats than the Conservatives and could form a majority, that would be OK. In that case, if he and Layton won, he could say to the Senate “The people knew what they were doing when they elected a Liberal/NDP majority Government, so it would be undemocratic for the un-elected Senate to vote down its legislation.”

    He can’t do that now because he made a clear “no-coalitions” promise before the election. The Senate can block the legislation because it can say Ignatieff broke his promise and fooled the Canadian people into voting for him.

    Again, rookie mistake.

    • Craig Chamberlain says:

      The right decision was made. The Liberals need to position themselves as the only feasible alternative to a Conservative (majority) government. I think Liberals will make significant gains at the expense of the NDP — though of course that remains to be seen. I guess the bottom line is if Canadians want a “merger” of the Liberals and the NDP, they will best achieve that by collapsing the NDP vote into the Liberal vote at the ballot box.

  17. wilson says:

    ‘…videos and pictures I’ve seen of him campaigning mostly show him looking scared, bored, and unhappy….’

    That is what our national media is feeding us.
    Those who are at the CPC rallys have an entirely different take.
    And it appears, by the polling numbers, so do Canadians.

    If PMSH was bouncing around all smily and flip,
    the media would accuse him of arrogant over confidence.

    • catherine says:

      No, I think it is the same for those at the “CPC rallys”. Paul Wells posted a great video of one where the site was completely empty, except for the press kept behind a metal fence, and then a bus arrived with the “people” and Harper knew in his speech they were all seated, by name, as the whole event was so carefully staged. All clapped in unison at appropriate times. It really is a hilarious (in a sad sort of way) video and description. You might check it out.

      Maybe you can get in on one of these events – it would be an experience to be a human robot for an hour. I’d try it myself, but things are so tightly controlled, and I’m not a CPC member so I wouldn’t be allowed.

      • Cat says:

        I actually think that the PM’s playing a waiting game. Remember this is a guy who didn’t want an election and he’s acting like it. Pretty normal I’d say.

        • catherine says:

          Oh, I think Harper wanted an election. Otherwise he could have provided Parliament with the cost information on the prison expansion and fighter jets and not be found in contempt. It was his choice to not respect Parliament.

  18. Craig Chamberlain says:

    (I’ll try this again.)

    I think Harper is sulking at having to go out and “campaign” for his right to lead.

  19. Namesake says:

    And here’s a quote from QMI’s Michael Den Tandt, who’s certainly no fan of the Liberals, which (not really so) curiously only ran in the regional papers but not also the big-city Suns his columns usually run in:

    “If Harper continues on his current track, yammering at every campaign stop about the dreaded Grit-NDP-Bloc coalition, refusing to make the campaign about something other than power, he will lose.

    The reason is quite simple. To win a majority, Harper must persuade tens of thousands of liberal-leaning voters that he can represent their interests. His coalition rhetoric offends these people deeply, because it takes them for idiots.”

    “Demonizing opponents hurts Harper”
    By Michael Den Tandt, QMI Agency
    Last Updated: April 1, 2011 8:58am
    http://urlm.in/hlhw

    — and it gets better, for he also explains why coalitions ARE legitimate and how the BQ isn’t really a separatist party anymore, despite the show [any more than, say, the CPC is – hah! — a “fiscally conservative” party, one might say].

  20. MP says:

    Unrelated: Finally popped into Mitzi’s Sister last night on Queen. I live close by and I’m sorry I’ve stayed away as long as I have.

    Great band last night – Matt Groopie and the Bandits.

  21. Dr.J says:

    The first week is done and so far all I got from it is that the PM is bored, Jack is still an eager beaver and Iggy found a money tree somewhere…I do find what Mr.Lapeirre said on PP very interesting.

  22. Ottlib says:

    All of the campaigns can take something positive away from the first week but it is the Liberals who can take the most positives.

    The Liberals just need to build on those positives and they will be fine.

  23. JH says:

    Folks on the West Island (that’s Montreal’s West Island for those of you who have never lived there), tell me things are changing. Long a bastion of Liberal Anglo strength, except for the Mulroney intrregnum, some claim the folks there want a cabinet minister in a Harper Government and seats are in flux. Francophone friends also tell me that Lapierre’s collapse of the Quebec Liberal vote remark should not be taken all that seriously just yet. On the other hand they are getting the impression that strange things are happening to the Bloc’s stranglehold on the Francophone electorate and not to Duceppe’s advantage. Folks up Sudbury way say the long gun biz is still being discussed, but not the negative factor for the NDP it was thought going to be – at least not yet. And Down East Libs are still solid in the seats they hold, with the exception of the Rock of course and ’tis said Tories may pick up another seat (MacAulay’s) on the Eastern end of the Island.
    These notes are all from chats with friends and family (Jan won’t like that) this Sat AM. Nothing scientific, but thought fellow posters might be interested.

  24. Chris says:

    Here is a nicer version of the bobblehead pic:

    http://i.imgur.com/Eb1xL.jpg

    Looks like you can buy them here:

    http://www.politicalbobbles.ca/webstore/product.php?productid=6&cat=1&page=1

  25. scanner says:

    It’s pointless to win Catherine, when the Rapture is only 20 days later.

  26. billg says:

    Harper is farrrr too thin in that picture….another Jcurran zinger. Thats funny.
    Trudeau phoned it in in 80. Obama, McGuinty..all were bubble boys, waddya want?
    Besides, if he gets down a few points he can always play piano at the Lafayette on George St and swill back a quart with the locals….see how “everyday” he is?

  27. intrep says:

    Well I was at an event with Harper on Thursday, and neither he or the crowd in attendance were “phoning it in”. In fact, I was surprised at both his sense of humour and his energy, given that neither characteristic makes it into the mainstream media very often. The crowd loved him. I couldn’t help but smile when I looked around and saw some of the ladies in the crowd. Maybe he’s not for everybody, but he sure had rock star appeal to some in that audience, LOL!!

  28. CQ says:

    With the general population base weighted by baby boomers aged 45+, is the public going to respond this time around to some of the BS talk of fear warnings and/or magic billion dollar “freebie programs” being served by all of the leaders so far? That fuzzy ‘crackerjack prize for everybody’ talk seems very out of date.
    I would love to hear one of the leaders just tell it like it is and not the way they wish it – warts and all. Premier McGuinty has used that honest guy method expertly in the past.

    • intrep says:

      Well I’ll try to clear the coffee out of my nose at your comment about McGuinty being honest, and respond to your “…tell it like it is and not the way they wish it…” observation. I agree with your point of view on this, and it is exactly what Harper is trying to do with the income splitting plank. He’s telling us that we can’t afford to do it right now, but when the budgets are balanced in a couple of years, we will implement it. He has been shredded in the media because of the long time-line to implementation. He could have just promised it now and then not delivered once he got elected, (Liberal Red Book anyone?), but he tried it your way and it didn’t get a warm welcome.

      • Namesake says:

        “when the budgets are balanced [by the CPC] in a couple of years” — ROFLMAO

        Fox News will become balanced sooner than the Harper/Flaherty budgets.

  29. Greg says:

    You forgot to mention Libs down Cons up in the latest Nanos poll. You mentioned it when it went the other way on Day 6.

  30. Craig says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Harper may be ill? Underlying health issues perhaps? Eyesight is clearly tanking. Overweight. Dour and cantankerous. Odd posture suggesting back pain or joint problems? Just a thought.

    • allegra fortissima says:

      Well, the Ignatieffs look happy and healthy. Go Liberals, Go 🙂

    • Craig Chamberlain says:

      I’m sure Jack would tell him to buck up, if that was the case.

    • smelter rat says:

      Well, it would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    • JStanton says:

      Well , I have considered this. It’s more than his obvious physical maladies though, it’s his mental state that has me really concerned.

      We have known about the constant tantrums for years of course, the shouting and screaming, the obscene, vulgar invective – and not just at clerical staff like Pierre Poilievre, but even at distinguished personages such as Stockwell Day and Peter McKay.

      Which perhaps accounts for Mr. Harper’s surprise that Mr. Day had decided, finally, to wash his hands of him. There clearly was no chat over beers, like, “hey Steve, time for me to hit the corporate circuit and rake in the bucks while I still have the juice”, and “ah jeez Stock, we came up together, it’ll never be the same without you, buddy”. No. It was more a formal letter dictated to his principal assistant, “Prime Minister, I have decided to spend more time with my family”.

      More and more lately, Mr. Harper appears to be in a delusionary state, which accounts for him apparently just making shit up. Completely nonplussed, he says things that simply are not true. He acts outside of our reality, making up rules as he goes along, disregarding rules that he evidently doesn’t understand the purpose of.

      Mentally unbalanced? Emotionally scared? Socially deviant? It’s all starting to make sense now.

      .

    • Robin says:

      Poor eyesight? Back pain? Come back when Harper has only recently finished cancer treatment and just had hip surgery.

    • wilson says:

      Perhaps it’s those extra long days Harper puts in,
      he is still the caretaker PM, the world has not stopped revolving because the coalition wanted an election.
      In France, Britain, Afghanistan and Libya their day is our night.

    • smelter rat says:

      Coalition debacle? You “know” he had the flu or pneumonia? The only thing you said that I believe is that you have no idea. And just fyi Gord, I’m nowhere near the LPC. The party doesn’t exist where I live.

    • Namesake says:

      Gosh, what a deluded fanboy you are.

      “Flu.” Right. Which magically dissipated when he saw Duceppe signing a document w. Layton & Dion on the news, and suddenly the spring was back in his step. (And you work in insurance?! Talk to someone in HR in even a moderately big co. — off the record — about “The Monday Flu”.)

      Lawrence Martin describes those days in Harperland: he was depressed, defeated, the jig was up; reading b/w the lines, he was probably crying in his beer…. or whine.

      Until they handed him the ‘Sufferin’ Succotash’ Coalition’ line (punctuated by, “You’re desthpicable”) which he and his crew have been repeating like Kevin Nealon’s slimy Subliminal Man SNL character for over two years continuously (notice I didn’t say “straight”), now.

  31. Good week for the LPC, but frustrating week for clarity on issues, esp. from the Conservatives. Spin is still drowning out issues, surprise, surprise. To pick one issue….is anyone tracking the retreat in international support for the F-35’s? The Aussies are hesitating now, and Turkey and the Dutch have delayed their purchasing decisions. The talking points from the Cons are that the F-35 will be the new standard of interceptor and it is vital that Canada be able to integrate seamlessly with all our allies. Beyond the USA, exactly who are all these allies? What are the Brits, Germany, Italy and the Scandinavians doing re the F-35? And when are we going to get serious debate about the Cons’ getting tough on crime?

    • Swervin' Merv says:

      Perhaps the most constant critic of F-35 cost overruns and waning international support has been Pierre Bourque (www.bourque.com). But the best thought of the past week (on CBC) came from former NDP advisor Geral Caplan, who noted that the F-35s are likely to be obsolete before delivery, replaced with ever more sophisticated unmanned drones.

      • Namesake says:

        More to the point, our fighters weren’t available for the early action in Libya because it took 3 days to, um, SHIP them there (blush), and 2 days more to prep them, because we’re so FAR AWAY, and they don’t have the range to get there.

        And the gas-guzzling, overly-heavy because of the stealth tech. F-35s won’t, either — even if they ever make it into mass production.

        Unless they get so laden down with extra gas tanks that they completely lose their stealth profile, that is, rendering all that extra cost more than just moot: making it an outright boondoggle.

        So they really wouldn’t be an option for us to participate in the first days, either, if this were happening, say, five years from now.

        And so if we decided, gee, we really should have some stealth bombers always at the ready near the hotspots of the world to work out of Italy (as these ones are for the Libya mission) to do our bit for NATO or the UN,

        well, then: why don’t we just get a half-dozen of those, cheap: i.e., a model that’s dedicated to just that function, and is already in production and has the bugs worked out and is at the very low end of its cost cycle rather than at the very highest end (which, as the director of acquisition management at the U.S. General Accountability Office pointed out, the F-35s are going to be when we intend to buy them: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/03/29/cv-f35-costs.html

        Then, instead of having to cut our current fleet of F-38s in half because these new jack-of-all-does-nothing-well multirole jets are so expensive even under the rosiest scenarios that we can only “afford” 65 of them, for the same money we could:

        – buy those half dozen stealth bombers we’d only use once every 15 years or so;
        – buy dozens of (non-stealthy) fighter jets to continuously patrol our own borders and intercept threats; maybe some of them with jump-jet, short take-off & landing capability;
        – buy a fleet of search & rescue planes for the Arctic;
        – buy some unmanned drones for the actual wars we’re in like Afghanistan where the F-35s wouldn’t be used, either;
        – buy more transport planes; and
        – buy Canadian!

  32. Cat says:

    Made a trip today from Point Clark Ont.(look it up) and Stratford. Crossed Bruce, Huron and Perth ridings. In that hour and an half ride I saw a total of 20 signs….6 Liberal, 0 NDP and 14 CPC.

    I think the last line pretty much the sentiments of many.

  33. A. Cynic says:

    WK et al: Please see this video from “Angry Tory” – Not me, I think it says it all. Please share & distribute as much as possible. Thank You.
    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWoLny5tgfRw&h=dcdf3

  34. dave says:

    I am seeing often the opinion that in a 1 on 1 debate, or in the all-4-in debate that Harper will not do well. I have, over time, read the odd thing that he has written, or co written. A person might not agree with his ideas and goals, but they seem to me to be a coherent structure. He articulates his ideas farily well. He also seems to spend a lot of time (bitterly) examining the flaws of others. In the debates last time, it was 4 piling on 1. He did not lose (did not win, or amaze anybody – but he was in it). I think that he will do ok in the debates.
    I doubt there will be 1 on 1, the Conservs will just swallow the bad pr and get at least a minority anyway, but if that debate happened, I figure Harper would do ok. Keep in mind that lots of commnetators here are saying that the Conserv personal attack campaign lowered expectations for Ignatieff, so that he is looking even better than good. The same can be said about all the buzz about how great Ignatieff is going to be in the debates because he is a professor (a Harvard professor). I don’t think that being a prof translates to being a good debater on the hustings. And pro Libs have raised a lot of expectations about how well Igantieff will do, and how blandly Harper will do, in the debates. We are where all Harper has to do is show up and be in the game, and he will be ok.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree with you to this extent: all these people who seem to automatically assume that, in a one-on-one debate, Iggy would leave a smoking crater where Harper once stood, are being ridiculously overreaching in their expectations. I personally have quite a high opinion of Iggy and his abilities, but I also realize that Harper’s not some hapless dimwit who just fell off the back of the turnip truck. Harper is an experienced politician and he’s not stupid or lacking in brainpower. I think Liberal supporters do themselves a disservice when they consistently underestimate and denigrate Harper’s intellectual abilities. Consistently underestimating your opponent is not a wise thing to do, in politics or life generally. Maybe Iggy would significantly best Harper in a debate; but I don’t think Liberal supporters should pin their hopes on that happening.

      • Namesake says:

        I don’t know who you two think you’re debating against on this, tho’ — maybe you’ve seen some tweets talking smack about it or something, to KEEP them chicken, but don’t take that too seriously — but I don’t think anyone really thinks MI would mop the floor with him, or anything.

        Rather, the two probable outcomes of a 1-on-1 debate which the Libs likely want & Harper doesn’t are:

        1) Giving MI equal time & equal stature — and far from any ‘oh, he’s just fronting for the coalition nonsense, since this would be in _addition_ to the 4-way debate where they’d all have at each other — which would give MI a lot more exposure and credibility as genuine PM material just for being there & being heard, regardless of whether it’s deemed a win, lose or draw.

        2) Forcing Harper to have to defend his positions outside the rehearsed answers in the absurd timeframes of QP, and where he can’t vet the q’s beforehand or just refuse to answer or cut off the q’s and run away, as he’s been doing in his limited public appearances to date. And chances are, he’s going to slip and say some ugly things about what he really thinks about Canada and Canadians of various sorts, as he’s done before when he was out of office. And that will take the sheen will be off the rose and even the wilsons and CanadianSenses will have trouble being apologists for him any longer.

        1) will produce LPC votes among undecided and swing voters, and 2) will cost a lot of CPC votes — not to switch, but to stay home… which is how the LPC lost the last two elections.

        • Which is why it`s not going to happen

          • intrep says:

            Iggy had many opportunities to debate the PM one-on-one. It’s called Question Period and Iggy missed more of them than any sitting MP. From a strategy perspective, if you are ahead in the polls, you have zero to gain from debates….whether they are 1-on-1 or any other format. The CPC is bumping its head on 40%…there isn’t much room to grow from there given the political make-up of the country: NDP, Bloc, etc. The PR nightmare is in the minds of those who wish it were so….the general public isn’t reflecting that in their polling answers.

          • Namesake says:

            The TP at the start of that is total crap:

            QP isn’t debate, it’s bad political theatre; like many of the attack ads themselves.

            The lines are literally scripted by professional writers, and rehearsed — by the PM, but not by MI, who just reads them at QP — and they’re kept to ludicrously short times, and they’re usually completely beside the point, and on the Talking Points.

    • Windsurfer says:

      Thank you. I wish to purchase some Kool-Aid. Woops, I almost typed in Kook-Aid.

      Nothing to see here, move along.

      Warren, if this continues, you’re going to have to close this blog and start a moderated one.

      • Wayne says:

        Yes, by all means, because the stifling of debate and God forbid, someone else’s point of view, is purely the MO of the Conservatives. Hypocrite.

  35. To me, Iggy appears genuinely glad to meet fellow Canadians on the trail. Its nice to see. I think he should keep up the pressure for a one on one with Harper but not to the point of overdoing it. After all there are still a few of us voters out there who would like to be inspired by our politicians’ ideas and enthusiasm. From what I can see, Iggy’s sweet-spot is when he talks about post secondary education. He presents as being thoughtful, assertive ,and …dare I say… inspirational. So I say stay “on message” and don’t be cocky. I trust him to do great things with the education file. Also, I respect all the Conservatives reading this blog but you gotta admit- you know that your leader is plain scared of Iggy, on many levels. As soon as you start telling yourself that Harper is just trying to play it smart by avoiding a debate, you know that really he is just scared. “Scared” is not a good look in a PM.

    • intrep says:

      WOW….Bruce, you should try attending a rally if the PM is in your area. Then come back here and let us know if he looked scared, unenergetic, angry, etc. I sure didn’t see it when he was visiting NL and the pictures from PEI sure didn’t reflect that. I’m not sure on what specific level you see this man being “scared”. I would love for you to provide some specifics.

  36. Dude Love says:

    The whole election is starting to bore me.

    The Toronto Election, the Federal election, the upcoming Provincial election have burned me out.

    I really don’t care anymore who says what, who is up in the polls, who is down in the polls.

  37. dave says:

    Howz about a Harper – Guergis debate!

  38. Herta says:

    Maybe we’re all faking it for the pollsters. What a laugh if they and the MSM were WRONG about their so-called polls and predictions. Canadians aren’t as stupid as some people seem to think

  39. Michael S says:

    We’re not, but you have to ask yourself who the fuck is home on a beautiful spring evening to take calls from pollsters.

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