12.13.2011 09:06 AM

The Reformatory agenda

Words to remember.  I’ve felt this way for a long time.

“Unless we are bold. Unless we seize the moment. Everything we built will start being chipped away,” the former prime minister writes in a toughly-worded fundraising letter. “The Conservatives have already ended gun control and Kyoto. Next may be a woman’s right to choose, or gay marriage. Then might come capital punishment. And one by one, the values we cherish as Canadians will be gone.”


  1. Glen says:

    Back to the old Liberal ways of touting a hidden agenda. Didn`t do much for you then, won`t do much for you now.

  2. William says:

    If the citizenry won’t get engaged, it deserves what happens.

    Politicians succeed because they grasp the mood of the people and use it to their advantage.

    Unfortunately, sometimes the mood is apathy and so a party can do what it wants and only when the envelope is pushed, does anyone take notice.

    Last election, we saw all those kids on campus doing those videos and were inspired. Well I was anyhow and I’m 47….what was the youth turnout rate? 38.8% compared to a national rate of 61.4%

    I live in Quebec so I’m not worried about people not caring about what Harper is planning because Quebec has a history of standing up to the Feds irrespective of who is in power.

    But if young people who will bear the brunt of most legislation aren’t bothered to engage politically then that political apathy is going to continue to produce the governments we are getting.

    If they can occupy parks for weeks on end, why can’t they get out to vote?

    • Pat says:

      Over 60% of Canadians did not vote for the Conservatives. The majority is also not in favour of leaving Kyoto OR enacting stupid crime legislation OR ending gun control. They showed that at the polls in May, and they still say that whenever they get polled now. Unfortunately, the Conservatives don’t care.

      Yes, Chretien’s government did things that the majority of Canadians didn’t like, but rarely if ever did they go against the majority on significant issues.

      • William says:

        Over 60% of 61% who voted voted against them.

        It may have been enough to turn it around had the other 39% of eligible voters turned up.

        I am in favour of mandatory voting and I don’t know why the LPC or NDP don’t get behind it.

      • lance says:

        As I have said before, can we stop with the 20% this the 60% that, if people want to complain about numbers and election results then get out and vote. In the system we have today the voices that vote are the voices that are heard, it has always been this way, ask Warren, Cretien won this way. The non-voters are irrelevant, they chose not to participate! Therefore we are left with those people who have voted, they decide the results. If you want to speak to proportional representation that is another argument, along with its own issues, i.e. where do you stop using this type of system, do you take right down to the riding level? If so people like E. May could not have won her seat without help from another political party throwing their support behind her, but only after the initial run off vote. Man want to talk about a way to get less people to vote, lets make them do it over and over in run off elections. The system is what it is and all parties use it to their advantage, just ask Elizabeth M.
        Now mandatory voting I could back that.

        • Pat says:

          I wasn’t using the argument that non-voters mean anything at all. I actually said that, based on the votes that were actually cast, the Tories still don’t have the support of more than 40% of voters. And yet, they still believe that they should change significant and fundamental policies despite the opposition of about 60% of Canada.

          • The Doctor says:

            But Pat, those are about the same popular vote numbers that Chretien had (38% in 1997, 40% in 2000). Are you saying that Chretien had no mandate to make any fundamental policy decisions or changes?

      • Paul says:

        Over 60% also voted against Chretien – so complaining about 60% against Harper is useless and stupid. Better energy is spent on trying to combine efforts. Simple Fact, Cons did it and they are in power.

        Everyone can bitch for years that the cons win under the Canadian Parliamentary system that is the same for everyone unless they get off their asses and do something more than whine.

        • Pat says:

          Wow. Good job reading. I actually stated that the problem is that they are pushing through policies that 60% or more of Canadians actually oppose. I realize that Chretien got elected on about 40% support. The difference is that he didn’t govern on 40% support – he produced policies that had wider acceptance. Chretien rarely did pushed a policy that the majority of Canadians opposed, and when he did, it wasn’t a matter like omnibus crime bill, gun control or climate change.

          • lance m says:

            Well I guess the proof will be in the pudding at the next election, if the current government is not doing what people want then they will be tossed out.

          • Pat says:

            @lance m – that all depends on whether the opposition parties, either on of them, can present a viable alternative. Why do you think the Tories won a majority this time? You had a Liberal Party with a leader that EVERYBODY disliked (even Liberals) trying to sell what was basically a socialist platform, and a New Democrat party that no one in Canada trusts enough to let govern (except maybe Quebec). If the Liberals actually presented some sort of coherent plan (that actually followed basic Liberal principles) then we wouldn’t have a majority Tory government.

  3. Steve Harper, President, the Corporate Party of Canada

    Harper’s Neoconservatism: This entire “hard right” movement is a crock.

    It is not a religious evangelist movement, **OR a moral movement.
    It is a corporate movement.


    From Emily Dee:

    FB pic Frankenstein neocon kool-aid


  4. Who Killed Canada
    Media Ownership and the Radical Right in Canada

    Part 1, 2 & 3. Note: each video about 10 minutes long

    No time for video? Read review instead:

    Mr. Hurtig begins by discussing the Canadian media and how we now have the greatest concentration of media in the western world. In fact, he states that this would simply not be allowed in any other western democracy.

    And since these same media outlets control newspaper, television and radio news; we are essentially only being given one voice. There are few or no alternative views. As stated in the video, a healthy democracy should foster a healthy and independent news media.


  5. Pat says:

    They are changing Canada’s direction significantly against the wishes of the majority of Canadians. When we signed Kyoto the actual majority of Canadians were in favour of signing, with the minority (made up of conservatives) being against it. The same for the gun registry. Even now the majority think it is a good idea, but the Tories have instead listened to the vocal minority.

    They are actively trying to change Canadian values – they are trying to make significant changes to Canadian policy with only about 35% support for their actions. Sure, the majority didn’t always agree with what Chretien was doing, but on the big questions, the majority of Canadians did agree with him. The majority of Canadians certainly don’t agree with the idiotic crime legislation that will put us on par with the idiotic and useless policies in the USA. The majority of Canadians support tight gun control. The majority of Canadians support action on climate change (not the “action” the Conservatives always propose).

    The vocal conservative majority, which at the best of times amounts to about 35% of the total populations, have always acted so hard-done-by because the other 65% has gotten their way for most of the last century, but there is a reason for that – they represent the other 65%. So stop with the “fearmongering” accusations. The Tories have already knowingly done things that are against the will of the majority of Canadians, so there is a reason to fear. They have already shown that they do not care a bit about what Canadians actually want.

    • Pat says:

      Wow. Just wow. So when a Liberal does it, they are trying to change values. When a Conservative does it, they are just realigning to fit Canadian values. That is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said on here. You literally just said that, despite the fact that only 40% or so of Canadians will vote for them, the Conservatives represent REAL Canadian values.

      You haven’t really won this debate as much as you’ve made me so disgusted with your idiotic logic that I can no longer interact with you today.

  6. Tiger says:

    The boy who cried wolf.

    Abortion and gay marriage won’t ever be touched. Over 70% of Canadians don’t want to touch them, including a majority of CPC voters.

    The death penalty, on the other hand… consistently 65% of Canadians support it, but only 45% want the issue brought up again, because it’s a great big headache to debate, and we’ve got more important things to deal with. So until and unless those numbers change, expect no action there either.

    • Ted B says:

      You are mistaking a fundraising letter with a campaign tactic.

    • Warren says:

      Sorry, but in a choice over who has the best political judgment, I’d say you’re likely to lose out to Chretien – the boy who cried wolf, as you call him.

      • HeadShake says:

        Hey Warren, we agree on something! Jean Chretien had amazing political judgement! Maybe the best we have ever seen in Canada. Still doesn’t change the fact that he was the worst Prime Minister in history.

        • Lawrence Stuart says:

          I am no uncritical cheerleader for Chretien. But his ‘political judgement,’ as you call it, kept us out of Iraq. For that alone I am eternally grateful. To call him ‘the worst Prime Minister in history’ simply shows me what an idiot, no scratch that, puckered excretory sphincter, you are.

        • Ted says:

          The worst? I mean, even most dyed in the wool Conservatives don’t go that far.

          But maybe saving the Canadian economy, CPP, the first PM to pay down the debt, keeping us out of Iraq, saving us from the worst of the current global recession doesn’t count for anything.

      • The Doctor says:

        But Warren, I guess the question here is whether that fundraising letter is actually an example of JC “exercising political judgment” in a sober and candid setting, or whether it’s a tub-thumping exercise in partisan propaganda, explicitly designed to whip up the troops. I think it’s the latter, not the former. And I think the former and the latter are two very different things.

        I think if you want to get an accurate account of JC’s best political judgment, you go and have a beer with him alone, off the record, with no reporters etc. present. I doubt that his tone and content would be identical to this screed.

    • Pat says:

      What percentage of Canadians already feel safe without the stupid crime legislation that the Tories are pushing through? Something like 90% according to a recent poll. What percentage of the public support the crime legislation? 35% or so?

      With about 65% of Canadians opposing the crime legislation, and a full 90% feeling safe in Canada as it is today (not to mention the shrinking crime rate), the Tories are STILL pushing through ideology-based crime legislation. They really, really don’t care what Canadians want. They care about what their members want, which is just wrong in SOOOOO many ways.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Beg to differ….abortion and gay marriage will be touched….it will simply be done in the traditional Refoorm way…..through the backdoor……as has been described many times by Mr Kinsella and others on this fine forum. Do you really think the real power(ie Christian Fundamentalists) behind the throne in the CPOC will be denied?…..
      As Mr. Harper and his cabal slowly and successfully chip away at any and all progressive legislation that has been brought forward by the Liberals, they will be emboldened to go after “the biggies”…..
      Hopefully, Canadians will wake up and smell the java by 2015….

      • The Doctor says:

        So when is this going to happen?

        • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

          Looking forward to it, are we?…….

          I would presume second mandate, if Mr. Harper and his cabal can pull the wool over the electorates eyes a second time, at which time they will lay waste to everything they havent touched yet……

          • The Doctor says:

            Why would they wait for a second majority?

            And by the way, I’m vehemently pro-choice and pro-gay marriage — as I’ve stated and demonstrated several times in prior postings — so your first sentence is basically idiotic.

          • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

            @doctor……my apologies, I wasnt aware of your stand on these issues……

  7. Nastyboy says:

    Still playing up the tired old “hidden agenda” boogyman? No wonder the LPC is a third party rump. I’d put more stock in Cretien’s oppinion of Kyoto if GHG emmissions didn’t increase every year after he signed onto it. The Emporer has no clothes.


  8. Ken says:

    You say “THE” case as if there’s only one.

    I’ll cite A case: the Nisgaa filibuster.

  9. VC says:

    I would call temerity on Harper for his opening at the Calgary Stampede this last summer when he stated: “Conservative values are Canadian values. Canadian values are conservative values…They always were. And Canadians are going back to the party that most closely reflects who they really are: the Conservative Party, which is Canada’s party.”

    I would actually call that hubris.

  10. The Conservatives have ended gun control?…really?…..how?

  11. Jon Powers says:

    Dear Liberal Party:
    Please stop beating that horse. It’s already dead.

    Suggested reading for M. Chretian:

    • Warren says:

      You’d be a bit more credible if you could actually spell his name.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Flog away I sez……with donations still coming in, we appear to be at $925,000 and change raised in twelve days…….not too shabby for a party that some said was in its death throes…….

      This money will allow the Liberal Party to go forward and fight the Harper cabal on a more equal footing, and I was more than happy to contribute……

    • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

      Flog away I sez…..with donations still coming in, the Liberal party has raised $925,000 and change in twelve days……not too shabby for a party some said was in its death throes……..

      This money will allow the party to go forward and fight the Harper cabal on a more equal footing, and I was pleased to contribute….

      • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

        So happy with the result, it beared repeating…..lol

        • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

          Ahem, drum roll please……….$1,004,750………raised from 6,669 donors, including over 2,500 first-time donors……

          There is life in the old horse yet, much to the Harper cabals chagrin, Im sure………

  12. Matt says:

    Worked for me. I just gave 20 bucks. But only b/c the best pm in the last 30 years was asking.

  13. Sprinkle Maker says:

    This is a good example of why the Liberal Party is shot to hell. They need a strategy for running against Harper, and what does their winningest PM in modern times come up with? The same lines that they trotted out in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011, with diminishing returns every single time. Reading that piece I was pleased to see that Bob Rae is on the same page.

    • Ted B says:

      Really? I don’t seem to remember anything about this in the 2008 and 2011 elections from the Liberals. Make stuff up much?

      Besides, I guarantee you this will raise money. Which is the only purporse of it.

      • Sprinkle Maker says:

        Yes, I’m making up Stephane Dion talking about Harper having a “hidden agenda” and mentioning virtually all of the exact same issues as Chrétien. Clearly, things like this never actually existed:


        Do the work for 2011 by yourself, although no doubt you’ll “forget” whatever you find as quickly as you forget any of the links above.

        At least you recognize that Chrétien’s words are meaningless!

        • Ted says:

          Chretien’s words are meaningless? Where do you get that? They have meaning and he’s right: if the Conservatives had their way, we would see a lot of those things. We’ve heard countless Conservatives themselves say that very thing. And it is a great tool to fundraise. But it would not be wise to campaign on it again. The media are not supportive of the Liberals and it would get tuned out.

          As for your examples, Dion pointing out that Conservatives want the death penalty imposed on Canadians is a fact and that they are willing reverse long held Canadian policy to extrodite Canadians to face the death penalty is not only a fact but they have been doing that in government. That’s not a very “hidden” agenda. Harper himself has said he favours the death penalty so that’s hardly “hidden” either.

          Responding to an audience question on abortion in an open public forum (remember when Stevie cared enough about Canadians to attend these?) is not “campaigning” on hidden agenda.

          And when Harper says “we want to pull Canadians toward conservatism” and won’t provide details, it’s hardly campaigning on “hidden agenda” for Dion to demand that he tell Canadians what he means.

          This is a good example of how Conservatives work. They make statements that the media and others take for truth when a little digging and effort shows it is full of crap.

          • Sprinkle Maker says:

            Your just not very bright. The word “and” can signify “in addition to”. Comprehend that simple fact and the rest of your comment stands as vacuous babble.

  14. Ted B says:

    Gordie: their whole existence is based upon fearmongering, bud.

    But to be precise with just a few obvious examples:
    – their whole dumb on crime agenda has been rooted in fearmongering
    – their defence of anti-gun control has been about fearmongering, i.e. their going to throw law abiding conservative citizens in jail
    – remember Harper and Flaherty claiming the looming and inevitable economic calamity of voting Liberal or NDP
    – not to mention their anti-freedom security and spying laws, how often have they defended that based on fear of terrorism
    – their entire campaign against the green shift was substance-less fearmongering “tax on everything”
    – or how about their defence of the single dumbest move of eliminating the long form census by claiming Liberals wanted to know how many bathrooms you had in your house (which is not only fearmongering but classic CPC falsehood as the question is not even on the census)

    The CPC make things up to raise money. They lie, they take taxpayer money based on lies, they fundraise based on lies.

    If the Liberals were trying to campaign and get votes based on hidden agenda, then I’d say they were dumb and hadn’t learned anything yet.

    But this is trying to raise money, using Conservative-style tactics. And it’s about time.

    I don’t have a problem with this letter.

    • Pat says:

      The Conservatives have said there is a whole bunch of unreported crime going on, so we need tougher laws, longer sentences and bigger prisons. And yet, the crime rate is dropping. How is that not fearmongering? They are literally playing on the public’s fear – despite all the evidence suggesting that they are wrong – in order to build these prisons.

      I don’t know of one instance when someone was called a criminal for owning a gun, or thrown in jail for not having it registered. That sounds like extrapolation to me.

      On the census bathrooms thing – the Tories suggested the Liberals actually care how many bathrooms people have. That seems like extrapolating.

      They called the Greenshift a tax on everything, which is also incorrect, unless extrapolated for effect.

      And what was all that Canada being an island in a sea of turmoil stuff about?

  15. TheSilentObserver says:

    “Cite the case of CPC fearmongering.” It is official, we may both live in nations named Canada, occupying the same geographical area, but wholly different realities

  16. Jason Hickman says:

    FWIW, and not as if they’re looking for my approval but: I think if the Libs are using this to motivate their base (maybe get some memberships renewed?) and make some money, it’s smart, at least to a point, and I don’t see it as a case of “crying wolf”. If they’re foolish enough to go with the Hidden Agenda theme when looking for votes-at-large, then that’s another story. Then it becomes something like Iggy’s “Rise Up” bit during the last campaign: Liberals in the room with him seemed to love it, but it didn’t do much for them beyond that.

  17. TheSilentObserver says:

    Stephen Harper has launched the greatest war on Canada’s national identity in history. Another example of this not touched upon was last summer’s monarchist binge: effectively cancelling Canada Day to parade Will and Kate around the country, reinstating “royal” before military branches, and hanging massive portraits of the Queen in embassies. I remember speaking to friends and family at the time, what’s next: are we going to go back to the red ensign? will the maple leaf forever replace O Canada? I don’t know a hell of a lot about them, but I think a couple of Orangeman may be subtly pulling strings at the PMO

  18. Bil Huk says:

    it’s a fundraising campaign, and probably pretty effective one, from the outside looking in.

    as an election campaign? if you’re hoping for another conservative majority, then yeah, this should be your angle.

  19. pcase says:

    Reposted form Warren’s FB wall:
    Seriously folks, there is one, ONE, candidate form the Libs or NDP who has the guts to look beyond party lines and focus on what’s best for country. The 60% progressive majority that didn’t vote Reformatory. He just happens to be pragmatic, charismatic and smart as a whip.
    Hi name is Nathan Cullen, an if you don’t know who he is, check him out: http://www.natahncullen.ca and his platform to change the way we do politics here: http://www.nathancullen.ca/en/media/nathan-cullen-asks-for-mandate-to-co-operate-for-new-politics
    if your not a New Democrat, sign up and let’s actually shake up Ottawa and change our approach.

    • TheSilentObserver says:

      Cullen failed to impress me in the debate, though his promise to hold a national plescibite on the monarchy was highly endearing

      • pcase says:

        That’s strange, most media highlighted him for being a strong, if not the strongest in the debate. Amazing feedback form the roundtable held in BC this past weekend.

  20. Sean says:

    thank you Green Party and NDP

  21. Lawrence Stuart says:

    Just to belabour the obvious — have all you libs who have the means paid up? Put money where mouth is, I say. Me, I was waiting for ‘Paul Martin’s’ missive. ;P

  22. Woody says:

    Coalition, crime rates, just visiting, privacy (gun registry), flash mobs, robodialing, not a real Catholic, and a million other things. Gord, don’t even go there, it’s pathetic if you are going to eve try to argue this one. In the politics of fear, the CPC rules. Fear drives your base which drives your donations which get’s you to your 39.6% majority. Permanent campaign? If you’re gonna dish it, you better be ready to take it.

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