02.13.2013 09:27 AM

Politicians, social media and Stanley the Cat

Political strategist and Liberal pundit Warren Kinsella told The Hill Times last week however that if competing against Mr. Trudeau’s social media presence was the objective, it could potentially backfire.

“Social media isn’t where you should go looking for affection—it’s where you lose it! If Hébert is right, Harper is going at this backwards. Trudeau has a lot of supporters on social media because he’s a likeable guy. He didn’t need social media to get more likeable,” Mr. Kinsella said, adding that what Mr. Harper did was not necessarily new. “Politicians tweeting inoffensive stuff is pretty standard fare, these days. Harper isn’t doing anything that every other politician on Earth isn’t also doing. Will it hurt him? Probably not. Will it possibly help him? Again, probably not. But, in the politics business, anything helps. So get ready for more adventures of Stanley the Cat!”


  1. !o! says:

    I think it’s aesthetic dissonance. It comes across as silly, inane, and a tad desperate. Harper’s team has tried to build up an image of a distant, competent backroom manager of the party and the economy. Who now happens to be posting about the continuing adventures of Stanley the Cat.

    yet, I wonder… perhaps the pressures of leadership… it has been known to press rather heavily on the minds of rulers in the past, and I wonder with his lordship having to deal with blow after blow to his party’s image, and the fact that revitalizing the economy, which he so strives for, has continued to elude him… I wonder if some might think his mind might start to retreat to more… comfortable preoccupations than ruling.

  2. Candi Malone says:

    Have to admit though, it makes you want to pet that soft, cute, little Chinchilla.

    (don’t underestimate the Laura Bush/ Anais Nin vibe)

    (there’s a reason Fido and Telus have run with nothing but pets/animals for like forever!)

  3. M.G. Supporter says:

    Statement by Liberal Leadership Candidate Marc Garneau


    Good Morning. Thank you all for coming.

    This is a critical time in the history of the Liberal Party of Canada. As I have repeatedly said throughout this leadership race, I believe this is the most critical time we have ever faced. In choosing our next leader, we have to get it right.

    And I believe we, as candidates have a responsibility during this campaign to define where we stand; we must be clear in our convictions; and speak honestly to Liberals and to Canadians. They expect it from us. If ever there was a time for Liberals to be clear with Canadians, it is now.

    And that’s why I am here today.

    As Liberals, we cannot wait until after the leadership race is over to find out what we signed up for.

    And therein lies the difference between my friend, colleague and fellow candidate Justin Trudeau and myself.

    I am raising this matter because the interest of the party are uppermost in my mind.

    I am concerned by what I have heard from Justin since this leadership contest began.

    Justin says now is not the time to tell Liberals, to tell Canadians, where he stands and what his plan is for the country.

    He says he will do that after the Liberal leadership race — sometime before the next election in 2015.

    In my opinion, this is like asking Canadians to buy a new car without test-driving it first.

    I cannot, nor should the Party accept this approach in choosing its new leader, and that is why I am here today. There is simply too much at stake.

    In the recent past, we put our faith as a party in one individual without asking the tough questions.

    The result was that we chose our leader through a coronation rather than a contest.

    It was a mistake.

    Without a message, without a clear vision of what we stand for, the Conservatives defined us and will define us once again.

    I believe this to my very core. We have to know what we’re voting for, not just who we’re voting for!

    I have made it clear where I stand on the knowledge economy; trade; telecommunications; Western Canada and electoral reform.

    Monday, I announced my position on youth employment and student loans.

    And, I will continue to present my vision and positions, to be straight with Canadians on where I stand and where I want to lead, for the duration of this campaign.

    This is not the case with Justin.

    He has told Canadians that we need a “bold” plan and a “clear vision” without defining either.

    On Justin’s two clear priorities, the middle class and youth engagement, he has said nothing.

    To be credible as a Party, we must go beyond generalities. We have to actually say what we intend to do. I have been doing that and Canadians can go after me if they want on any position I have taken, but at least they know where I stand. It’s important that all candidates be clear on where they stand before we choose our next leader.

    There is little value in saying we care about the crunch facing middle class families if we don’t say what we will do to help them.

    I’m positive all nine leadership candidates are for the middle-class and for youth, but leadership is only demonstrated when we make choices, when we decide what it is we will do to bring about change.

    Now is the time for the party to hear different approaches before it decides who is best able to lead the party.

    New thinking is critically important.

    I have been clear from the start and I am bringing new thinking to the table. My vision is to build a strong, diversified knowledge-based economy, an economy that will enable us to create jobs for middle-income families, to find more jobs for our youth, and an economy that will provide all Canadians with the opportunity to succeed. And I have a plan to achieve it.

    I am the first to recognize that Justin has given a tremendous amount of energy to the Liberal Party and to Canadians. He is drawing Canadians to the Party. The Liberal Party is richer for having him.

    Before we can present ourselves to Canadians once again, we must debate the issues vigorously amongst ourselves and that means that each candidate must present their vision and the plan to get us there.

    In that process, we will also discover who is best to lead us.

    Thank you. I will now take your questions.

    • Kevin T. says:

      Said from his nice and comfy safe Westmount riding.

    • Plato says:

      Justin’s poutine policy approach– looks good, smells good, tastes good. Eat and shaddup!

      • GregB says:

        Surely you are not suggesting that the Liberal party will have a political heart attack if Justin wins the leadership? Justin is promising a ‘generational change’ within the structure of the rebuilt Liberal party, and a robust plate of poutine might be just the thing to lift the spirits and boost the morale of the soldiers in the trenches!

    • Sean says:

      This is going to sound really mean, but this stuff is exactly why Garneau should not be the leader. Leadership contests are not about policy ideas. They are entirely, totally, completely about personality. Any policy stuff that Garneau announces during this period might be nice, sincere ideas, but it is all just fluff and he knows it. There are two possibilities. Either he is just taking cheap shots at a guy who has already won, or he doesn’t understand what he has signed up for. There is nothing more irritating than a candidate who discovers mid race that he can’t win and starts complaining that the race isn’t what he thought it was. It is unbecoming and embarrassing. Policy happens after the leadership, after building a team.

      • GregB says:

        Highly educated and honoured Garneau is not going to concede to a political dilettante like Justin Trudeau. If it’s just a popularity contest on personality, everybody might as well concede to Justin and retire from Liberal politics. If Justin wins, look for a massive turnover within the Liberal party, starting with all those in the Liberal caucus with the title “Honourable” before their name.

    • GregB says:

      Garneau is openly challenging Justin to engage in a policy debate because Mark is not going to concede to Justin solely based on ‘popularity’. He calls that a ‘coronation’ which also challenges the entire Liberal party base. Garneau is pulling the trigger on Justin because Mark has nothing to lose now that the polls are declaring Justin the presumptive winner and even the next PM of Canada.

  4. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Harper is no Chrétien or Mulroney. I doubt a consecutive majority is in the cards for him. So the plan becomes hold at all costs. And with the increased seats in the West and Ontario, many of their losses will be cancelled out by those new seats. Tired governments have to resort to window dressing. It helps slightly at the margins. And it puts the incumbent personally in a softer, more easy-going light. A small net plus.

    Harper will go for it if a majority looks possible. Otherwise, it’s 2015 and a reasonably good shot at minority unless one of the opposition parties can leave the other in the dust — or work it into an agreement right after the votes are counted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.