11.13.2014 04:24 PM

In Friday’s Sun: the hunted become the hunter

Have the hunted become the hunters?

This week, I spoke at a well-attended fundraiser for the Mississauga-Lakeshore federal Liberal association. Their impressive candidate Sven Spengemann was there, along with about 30 Grits. They were a great bunch – in part, because they didn’t throw any finger foods at me.

But there was another reason, too. They had that lean, hungry look about them – the look of political people who have grown tired of being the hunted, and were turning on the hunter.

Let us explain. For too long, progressives – and Liberals in particular – did not take Stephen Harper seriously. They underestimated him.

I cannot tell you how often I heard from Liberals – in 2005-6, 2008 and 2011 – that Stephen Harper was heading towards humiliating defeat. That he had a secret agenda to destroy Canada, and that he was going to lose because of it.

They’d say that Harper is a socially-conservative extremist who would ban abortion or gay marriage (he didn’t). Or that he would privatize health care and social programs (he didn’t). Or that he was a crypto-fascist with creepy eyes (he isn’t – and don’t be an idiot).

But Harper won the elections in each of those years. Creepy eyes notwithstanding, Harper’s political agenda wasn’t so secret – it was, in fact, right out there in the open, easily seen. It had two parts.

One, bring together the warring factions in the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives, and create a single, winning conservative force. He did that.

Two, drive the Liberal Party out of existence – with election law changes, with wedge politics, with whatever it takes.

But he didn’t do that.

The good Grits in Mississauga-Lakeshore are living proof. For one thing, they are still there, united, and election-ready. I therefore fully expect Spengemann will roll over the do-nothing Conservative MP who currently holds the riding.

For another, I didn’t detect the faintest whiff of arrogance or contempt in the hall at the beautiful Holcim Waterfront Estate. That is, none of them underestimate Stephen Harper’s political cunning. None of them hated him.

Liberals, instead, have acquired a grudging respect for Harper’s political skills. They have learned, the hard way, that you underestimate Stephen Harper at your peril.

And, as such, they are no longer the prey. They instead have Harper in their sights – and they had plenty of questions for me about what makes Harper tick, and what he is likely to do in the coming months.

For Harper, the weeks and months ahead loom large. For him, there is history to be made.

As my colleague David Akin has noted, Harper has – as of today – become the sixth longest-serving Prime Minister. As of today, he has surpassed Brian Mulroney’s tenure. If he makes it to the Spring of 2016, he will have bested the record of my former boss Jean Chretien – and become the fifth longest-serving Prime Minister.

Will he make it? Will he win the election that is supposed to happen in October 2015, but could come much sooner than that?

No one knows. But one thing is certain: the smart Liberals in places like Mississauga-Lakeshore don’t underestimate Stephen Harper. And they don’t hate him, either – they respect his smarts, as you should respect any political adversary who has survived for this long.

This much will become known, too: the Liberals, for so long the hunted, are now turning on the hunter.

And Stephen Harper shouldn’t underestimate them.

87 Comments

  1. davie says:

    Something else that should not be underestimated, is the wants and needs of the people who are behind this regime. 2006, upper echelons of the RCMP deliberately involved themselves in the campaign and replaced (in my view) a Lib minority with a Conserv minority.
    In 2008, a good chunk of our media joined in with the Conservs in misrepresenting contempt of parliament and the way that a Westminster parliament works and getting another Conserv minority out of a deliberately misinformed public.
    2011 and on the failure of Elections Canada guarantees that our future elections will feature a guttering by all parties of our election system.

    The Conserv leader ahs carried out an agenda which has served extremely well the people and organizations that the PMO represents. Those powers behind our little politburo running our Canada should not be underestimated either.
    (No way will those guys tolerate wasting our wealth on child care, or diplomacy internationally.)

  2. Sean says:

    Trudeau’s popularity inside the party was almost totally due to his popularity outside the party. Because there was no real contest, those who had doubts will start to abandon him the moment a victory doesn’t look inevitable. The next few months are going to be tough treading for sure as the inevitable candidate nomination controversies pile up. Its nice to think that local riding associations are “election ready” but with the exception of about 50 ridings accross the country, it just doesn’t matter. Local campaigns are an annachronism. Its all about the leader all the time. If he loses his poll numbers, look out, because that is ALL Liberals have going for them right now.

  3. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Unlike the Bushes and to a lesser extent the, ahem, Clintons, Harper cannot leave us a political dynasty. Furthermore, he would probably candidly admit in private that he bit off more than he could chew when he tried to send the Liberals into oblivion.

    The PM needs to remember why he ditched the Liberals — he could no longer stomach the Pierre Trudeau Liberals. Exactly. And now, to his possible dismay, it’s his turn. Call it the Law of Political Averages and that means nothing but bad news for his government.

  4. rod says:

    Kinsella: – “Two, drive the Liberal Party out of existence – with election law changes, with wedge politics, with whatever it takes.

    But he didn’t do that.”

    No, but Jack Layton planned to drive the Liberal Party out of existence when he voted no confidence in the Martin minority government. Jack knew the Liberal Party must be eradicated if the NDP ever had a chance to govern Canada. As long as the Liberals exist, the NDP will forever be frustrated by Canadians sloshing back and forth between the NDP and Liberals.

    Jack wanted a Harper minority government to dislodge the Liberals from power, and then when Canadians get a dose of Harper Conservatism they will flip over to the NDP.

    Didn’t exactly happen that way because of cruel fate. Now Mulcair is carrying the NDP torch, and he will fight tooth and nail to deny Trudeau of being the Leader of the OOP and living in Stornoway. Mulcair and Trudeau will be in a death struggle in Quebec and that’s where their political graves will be dug.

    If one of them looks like they will vanquish the other, the Conservatives will pull out the anti-French Quebec card in final desperation. Will it work? The 2011 election results suggests the ROC will not want another PM from Quebec. How will Trudeau or Mulcair counter that challenge?

    • Lance says:

      The idea of the ROC actively and collectively working at not wanting or electing a Quebecois PM IS nonsense, of course, as is the case in regards to one from Alberta. But I believe that it does raise an interesting side-point. The Tories have shown that they can field a majority PM WITHOUT Quebec. Can the Liberals say the same while battling over this real estate with the NDP, AND with the new riding distribution?

    • Ted H says:

      Very true and that is why Jack Layton’s legacy is a majority Conservative government, and really not much more than that.

    • doconnor says:

      Very false. He vote no confidence in the minority Martin government a couple months before he promised to call an election. It is unlikely that made a big difference in the ultimate fate of the Liberals. It is the Liberals who unconditionally supported the Conservative government for most of their minority.

      • Scotian says:

        doconnor:

        Weeeeeell, that is not exactly a given. Recall if you will that when Layton denied Martin those few months what Martin was planning to do in those few months, implement the years long negotiated with all ten Provinces Kelowna Accord and start the long promised and overdue Liberal national daycare plan, two accomplishments that Martin could have used in an election campaign to show that his was a different Lib government from Chretiens, just like Wynne did from McGuinty. Not to mention his promise to start implementing the Gomery recommendations in those two months, which if he had done would also likely have had political impact in his favour, certainly the potential of it. So it is not “very false”, it is in point of fact seriously possible those few months would have made major difference. You are also ignoring/forgetting how tenuous Harpers own hold on the leadership of the CPC was at this time, if he had not been able to get Martin brought down then it was entirely possible he was facing an internal revolt. So claiming those couple of months could/would have no real impact/difference in the outcome strikes me as more than a little disingenuous, or to be generous ignorant/forgetful of the other political realities involved at that moment in time.

        Layton did not want to give Martin any possible successes to have to take into an election with, and Kelowna in particular given how long it took to get and how much it would have appealed to those on the left whose both Martin and Layton were vote chasing would have been a major one, and it clearly was going to be passed if Martin had not been brought down then. The childcare/daycare policy, that one might argue given the Lib record on that front may not have had as much impact if it went through but the Kelowna Accord, no, doconnor, that was a big one, and its passage could well have made the difference between a Lib and CPC minority. Implementing the Gomery recommendations would also have given him a platform to say see, I was serious about exposing and cleaning up our corruption, anther clear threat Layton could not ignore politically speaking. Not to mention the RCMP leak via an NDP MP of an “investigation” into Goodale being leaked in the election campaign could not have happened then, which was another major element in the defeat of the Martin Libs then. So overall, I would turn your “very false” back at you on this timing issue and the legacy it creates for Layton.

        Please note btw I am not saying it was a given that it would have changed the outcome, but to claim it was not a serious potential difference, that the timing was in essence not going to have any significant impact, which by your “very false” response you clearly are, well that is clearly not defensible when looked at in the full context of the political realities operating at that time in all parties and the nation.

        Bottom line doconnor, Layton gave more concern, attention, and consideration to his electoral rival/threat (the Libs) than the party and leader (Harper/CPC) which was the much greater threat to the policies and principles his party claimed to stand for, in defence of, and place as the center of their being, you know, the claim that made them a different kind of party that he and NDPers trumpeted and still like to claim all the time. This was a case where timing of even a couple of months could well have made a serious difference, and if Harper had not won government at the time it is all but certain his fall from CPC leadership was next. Which in turn, ironically enough, would have left Layton and his NDP much better position to be the government in waiting for the election after that. Layton made a choice that likely prevented his reaching the PMO himself, and his party from becoming the government by taking this choice, and instead left us with the Harper years.

        Sad, really. If Layton had been like prior NDP leaders and placed principle before expediency it would almost certainly have finally made the big payoff, but instead he chose the path of expediency, of the ends justifying the means (I will credit him with noble ends in mind, unlike far too many that use this method, but that does not change the reality that is was in the end a mistake and a breech of traditional NDP values) when he decided to side with Harper and pull the plug then rather than give Martin those months, and he continued to make the same mistake when he spent more time and effort against the Dion and Ignatief Libs who were NOT the government instead of against the Harper CPC who WAS the government, even after the level of contempt for basic democracy and governance was made clear with Harper, to the point it got him the unique Commonwealth status of being the only Westminsterian Parliamentary government to ever be held in contempt of Parliament itself.

        It is almost a certainty that the historians are going to describe the Layton record not as a great triumph for him and his party but as one of the major elements that enabled the Harper governments to come to power and stay in power for as long as they did. For that will in the end be the greatest impact his choices left, not that the NDP finally made Official Opposition status (which it is almost certainly going to either hold again or lose in the next election going by the trends of the past couple of years) but that it enabled the rise of a far right wing extremist, a KNOWN extremist, to become PM of a centrist moderate Canada and bring his time in office undermine decades of work by progressives, centrists, and even progressive conservatives to build the Canada we had and took such pride in for so long. That is, alas, the real legacy of Jack Layton, a man who deserved better given his values and his history, but in the end it was his own choices that also made this so. A tragic figure indeed in my view. Indeed, I sometimes wonder if down the road he might not be compared to Macbeth in terms of tragic flaws for this, but that is just my own view, not a prediction.

        • Ted H says:

          Thanks Scotian, I believe you very eloquently proved my case. Jack Layton could have supported Martin on policies that help people, isn’t that what the NDP is supposed to be all about? Instead, he put politics before people and despite all of the over the top sentimentality that surrounded his tragic death, his legacy is the Harper majority government. It may have happened without his help but he certainly threw no stumbling blocks in Harper’s goal of bringing down the Liberals.

          • Scotian says:

            Ted H:

            I said the night of the 2011 election that Layton won the battle to lose the war, and that it should be his political epitaph. I have never understood how Layton could have failed to understand that he was risking this nation and all the good progressives and centrists have done for decades with a possible Harper majority, because if I could see Harper for what he was, I could document his political history and beliefs for over two decades before he came to power, I am supposed to believe the leader and leadership of a federal party could/did not? I simply cannot accept that so I have to believe it was deliberate choices they made, and alas for Layton this will be his legacy in the political history books, He may not even get much credit for the demise of the BQ given how much the Separatist movement politically in Quebec has collapsed, he may end up being seen as just in the right place at the right time as the only palatable choice given the distaste for someone like Ignatief, who quite frankly never should have been seen as a choice for a federal leader anyway. He was almost the dictionary definition of a carpetbagger.

            I really think the Dippers let their hatred of the Libs get in the way of their thinking. The Libs after all kept gaining and holding power while the NDP for all their earnestness kept not even making it to Official Opposition. I really think many of them believed that Lib Tory same old story was still true with the Harper CPC despite the hard evidence right in front of their eyes, in many ways Dippers were as prone to the blindness of ideology/zealotry as so many CPCers. The problem was then and clearly more than proven by now that the PCPC and the CPC are radically different breeds of party, and that while there was some truth to the Libs and PCPC being much alike in many respects that is total nonsense when it comes to the Libs and CPC. So when they saw someone who hated the Libs as much as they did in Harper they saw their chance to eliminate their main rival for votes, regardless of the consequences of letting that frenemy gain power. Indeed, I remember many Dippers saying it was a good thing Harper was so extreme, because after a taste of that kind of government they would be clamouring for the left wing policies and governing of a NDP government. I wonder how that is working these days for those that used to advance this idiocy?

            In any event Ted H, the NDP like to pretend they had nothing to do with the rise of Harper to power, let alone the rise to majority government. The problem for them is that the reality that they did. I love whenever they say the Libs voted with the CPC in the minorities most of the time. Of course they did, otherwise an election would be triggered which would almost certainly further reduced the Libs and worse risk Harper getting that ever so dangerous majority. It wasn’t because they agreed with Harper all of those times, it was because they were in a political catch-22, and any HONEST political observer understands that. Now, I am not saying the Libs played no part in the rise of Harper to power, but they were the ones trying to show how dangerous he was, and the NDP treated him as if he was just another traditional conservative, leaving the average voter to think that the Libs had to be wildly exaggerating, because otherwise the NDP, those defenders of the left and progressiveness would have been agreeing with the Libs on the threat posed. Which is one of my main reasons for placing a lot of the blame for the Harper years on the NDP, because they were the only ones with the power and credibility to stop him before he gained the PMO,let alone majority and they didn’t, and that is all on Layton.

            I find it sadly ironic that the Libs did more to protect the progressive values and policies of the Canadian government than the NDP did when it mattered most, given that the Libs aren’t progressives they are pragmatist centrists which means they take from both sides of the spectrum what seems to work best to deal with the realities at hand. One of the other main problems Dippers have is understanding that the plurality of the voters are not right, not left, not even Lib so much as centrist swing voters without any party alignment. This is the main reason the NDP have not been able to gain government, because they cannot understand this truth and instead blame voters for not seeing their wonderfulness. Remember the bitching about the “blue Libs” in 2011 who gave Harper the majority from the NDP? The ones that killed the so called Orange wave? They couldn’t grasp that these voters were swing unaligned, not dedicated Lib voters, especially in 2011 the Lib vote was seriously depressed because of how unpopular the leader of the day was within his own party. It had to be bad Libs, and not just swing centrists in their minds, because otherwise it would have forced them to acknowledge the demographic reality of the Canadian voters.

            Anyway, thanks for your compliment Ted H.

        • doconnor says:

          It is very unlikely that he could have got all those laws through the House and the Senate in the few dozen sitting days before the promised election call. Its much more likely they would have campaigned on those promises once again.

          One case when the NDP failed to support the Liberals pales compaired to the long peroid when the Liberal unconditionally support the Conservative minority.

          Besides the Liberal could have made the Health Care improvements the NDP asked for.

          • doconnor says:

            Blaming the NDP for allowing the Conservatives to “stay in power for as long as they did” when it was the Liberal who kept them in power for most of thier minority. That would be weak sauce.

            I forgot to mention that your perceptions seem to be distorted by you loyality to the Liberals. Maybe mine are too from year of neo-liberalism under the Liberals, followed by thier unconditional support for the Conservative government.

          • Scotian says:

            doconnor:

            I meant to get back to this sooner, sorry. If Layton had not supported Kelowna in the minority, or even Harper (remember his promise at the time that it wouldn’t be axed, one of his earliest broken promises) that would have been a tool for Martin in the election to undercut their credibility, same with not allowing the Gomery recommendations, same with the childcare (well for the Dippers at least on that one). As to the Senate, I seem to recall it was a Lib dominated Senate at the time, so I’m afraid your reasoning about how limited the time and ability for these things to be done does not hold water.

            As I said before, in the end we cannot know for sure this would have changed the outcomes, but to claim that there was little to no real chance it would have is clearly false, these are simply too many major elements to disregard, especially since the Libs were on the way to another minority before that fateful RCMP “leak” on the Goodale Income Trust investigation, which in the end recall showed no wrongdoing on Goodale, but because it was in the middle of an election cycle (something the RCMP had not done before, it used to be policy to not release such info about an active investigation during an election to maintain arms length neutrality in appearance and substance regardless of the political affiliation in question, that is what made this one so egregious and impactful) changed the outcome all on its own. So unless it was the RCMP deliberately trying to game the outcome that would not have come out in the election as well, and when you take all this together, claiming those two months would make no real difference to the outcome is clearly “very false”, to use your words once again.

            As Ted H said, weak sauce indeed.

          • doconnor says:

            “If Layton had not supported Kelowna in the minority, or even Harper (remember his promise at the time that it wouldn’t be axed, one of his earliest broken promises) that would have been a tool for Martin in the election to undercut their credibility, same with not allowing the Gomery recommendations, same with the childcare (well for the Dippers at least on that one).”

            I don’t really understand this sentence.

            “As to the Senate, I seem to recall it was a Lib dominated Senate at the time, so I’m afraid your reasoning about how limited the time and ability for these things to be done does not hold water.”

            Having a majority in the Senate would have allowed the legislation to pass, but it takes unanimous consent to pass it very quickly. It would be difficult to justify ramming through all these large changes in the weeks before an election (assuming they wanted to).

  5. Ron says:

    It’s the Reform Party dressed up in sheep’s clothing. People are finally waking up to this.

    Maybe Harper will drop the writ early before it’s to late but that would make it even more obvious.

    • Wow, you are about a decade out of date there dude. I don`t think anybody has had doubts on that score for awhile now. The point being that enough people wanted to elect reformers to make it happen.

    • Ted H says:

      As Mulroney put it so eloquently “The Conservatives are the Reform Party in panty hose.” Whatever you may think about Lyin Brian, he has way more wit and humour than all of Harper’s caucus put together.

  6. MississaugaPeter says:

    WK,

    Glad to hear that you consider some Mississauga Liberals smart. Couldn’t you recruit a few of them to become residents here?

    BTW, sorry for missing the event so close by. Parent Council meeting was scheduled first.

  7. JH says:

    As is usual with many of your regulars WK and as is indicated by the comments so far – they are not getting your message. Try the hammer next time – not the velvet glove. Maybe then, those whistling past the graveyard will understand what you are trying to teach them.

  8. Just Askin' says:

    What’s your take on “progressives” claiming they think Stephen Harper is a scary lunatic? I find it undermines all Canadians’ ability to have regular conversations with people who disagree with them. I also find it reminiscent of the way American “progressives” spoke about George W. Bush, and I would hate to see Canadian political discourse end up that way.

    • Ron says:

      Talk about the old adage about the horse and the barn door. Why ?

      Because you get what you give.

    • Scotian says:

      Just Askin’:

      I’m not a “progressive”, I’m a centrist and a swing voter, always have been, and I’ve always found Harper to be a scary piece of work. Not for a socon hidden agenda, but because he was a core member of the Calgary School of political thought, which is based in the writings of one Leo Strauss. The same political philosopher that was the heart of the political beliefs of the Cheney crew in the GWB Administration from Cheney through Libby on down. This is a political philosophy that is profoundly anti-democratic with its beliefs in the noble lie and that elites are the only ones with any business having any input, or even any opinion on shaping government policy.

      Don’t believe me? Do your own research using the key terms. this is where Harper comes from politically, and his actions as a PM have only showed it. Worse, in the end he comes of like Dick Cheney but without the principles given just how far into expediency he will go where retaining his power is concerned, Cheney at least stuck to his guns even when it got politically hot for him and his core people, like Scooter Libby for example, Harper, not so much, just ask that heap under his metaphorical bus.

      The use of the “noble lie” in electioneering knowing you have no intention of keeping promises made to the great unwashed, because all that matters is that the elites have their say in the end. Also, Straussians tend to demonstrate a profound contempt for the basic institutions of democratic/open society government, just look at how Cheney turned the VP into its own branch of government during the GWB Administration despite the reality of what the US Constitution defined the actual branches of government as. Then look at how Harper has perverted our own systems of government, not just the increased centralization into the PMO (which is bad enough), but the way he has corrupted the principle of arms length institutions and watchdogs, even ones he originally set up himself, like the PBO. We saw just how bad he was with this begin with the Nuclear regulator and Linda Keene and it has not gotten better since with Revenue Canada et al.

      The thing that always made Harper so scary for me was his open agenda that he ran on up until the loss in 2004 when he discovered that even against a scandal riddled Lib government he couldn’t win on it, at which point he transformed himself into something resembling a centrist conservative in his pitch, and claimed that all his extreme behaviour in the two minorities was because of how the opposition forced it upon him by their own extreme partisanship. Well, we have had this majority to show that such was clearly bogus, that all we saw about how far outside the mainstream of Canadian political thought and history about Harper was real with his own nature and beliefs shining through, and from where I and many centrist Canadians sit he has not only besmirched the honour of Canada and Canadians in general, he has also done so to the name and history of Canadian Conservativism, because what he truly is, what he truly represents, and who he truly cares for have little to nothing to do with that proud heritage either.

      No, Harper and his core beliefs come out of one of the most corrupt and dangerous far right wing American political schools of thought, the Straussians, and he has governed exactly in the manner I expected and warned against knowing this. I always said the problems/scandals/corruption with a Harper government would not be in traditional money scandals, but in abuse of power and destruction of civil liberties/rights, and that I would much prefer a corruption (and before anyone says no corruption would be best, that is an ideal we will never see unless human nature itself changes, for me the standard is what kind of corruption and how well is it kept in check versus the quality of the government provided) that stole money than one that stole basic rights from the citizenry. He is truly alien to our political culture and our history, and he has done far more damage to our basic Canadian governing institutions than most know or understand because most do not care enough about process issues and why they matter to understand that it was on the process side where Harper was the greatest threat.

      So sorry, while I do think progressives missed where the real threat with Harper lay when they got caught up in the hidden agenda argument, especially a socon hidden agenda, they were not wrong in sensing that Harper truly was not really part of the Canadian political heritage, not even the traditional Conservative one. It is too bad so many Canadian Conservatives let themselves be bamboozled by him though, so many of them regretted the Mulroney years for so long after the fact, it is entirely possible, probable even, they will do so even more once the full extent of the damage Harper did becomes known after he is and his party are no longer in power. For I do believe that as bad as what we can see know shows, there is still more he has managed to keep hidden under the massive cone of silence/secrecy that is the core of his government.

      Oh yes, just to speak to Kinsella’s point, I was never one of those that underestimated the Harper ability to gain power, anymore than I underestimated the danger of his gaining power would be. I was always very frustrated and angry with those who dismissed him in both the Lib and Dipper circles as a real threat, part of what made him so dangerous was his willingness to use tactics no one else would because it went against our traditions, well that is why he has done as well as he has, well that and the fact that he had help from two Lib leaders who were not the right men at the time, well Dion in that case (with much help from the head of CTV political news division Mike Duffy, since it was not until that footage was released that the polls finally tilted in Harper’s direction, until then it looked like Dion might beat him to minority) and Ignatief, who was clearly just the wrong man, period.

      Then there was the willingness of Layton to team with him in their mutual quest to destroy the Lib party for their own respective agendas. Even then Harper was only able to make a narrow majority with all of these factors in his favour, so to all those who think he is such a powerhouse, such a master strategist, I say male bovine excrement to you. Is he capable and a threat, yes, his record proves that, is he one of the true political wizards of our history, not even close. His main claim to glory is rooted in his willingness to use slime tactics previously unheard of in this country, both in terms of negative campaigning and in terms of systemic election fraud/gaming, as has been proven in courts. That he got away with it does not change the truth of the matter, nor that he has held power for so long, but it also shows the truth in how frail that hold truly is in the end, despite all the damage done with it.

      Harper can be in my view fairly claimed a master tactician, but not a master strategist, and in the end tacticians are brought down by their inability to see the larger picture, which is why strategists and strategic thinking matters so much. Tacticians deal with the immediate battles, the strategists with the war as a whole, and that describes the way Harper governs to a tee, just with the current battles, never the ramifications beyond the immediate consequences. Even there, part of the success of Harper the tactician was his willingness to not just use but embrace tactics unheard of in our system, the politics of personal destruction for one, the perpetual campaigning even during a majority government for another. Taken together Harper has done much damage to our political culture and traditions and we will never be the same for it, and I always thought the ideal of Conservative was to conserve, not to radically destroy myself.

      • Just Askin' says:

        Your posts seem like they would be at home on Usenet or a message board, on which respondents can quote blocks of text, rather than respond to the entire message. Have you considered curating your thoughts and only sharing the highlight reel?

        • Scotian says:

          Just Askin’:

          No, I have not. No one is putting a gun to anyones head to read what I write, and I do format my thoughts so that there are many paragraph breaks, but yes,
          I do tend to write in a style not typical of the modern Twitter age, what of it? There needs to be people like me as much as there needs to be those with skill at pithiness after all, I am just filling a niche, and I am as entitled to my own opinions online as anyone else. So long as the blog owner has no problem with it I fail to see what concern it is of anyone else. You can read me or not as you choose, but if you are going to come at what I say I would hope you (the generic you here btw) read what it said, understand the context, and actually attribute honestly when doing so. Alas far too many of my critics fail on that score, and one of the nice things about being the long winded blowhard that I am is that it is much easier to show when someone is playing games with context and trying to twist meanings all out of proportion and honesty than it is when you keep things short enough to fit the Twitter style that is so prevalent these days.

          I see my way as being as much about protecting myself from the dishonest out there as I do in getting my thoughts out. Keep in mind everything I write online is unique to where I write it, I am NOT a cut and paste artist in any way, I generate individual comments at individual places to individual posts. I think that more than entitles me to not be overly concerned about those who find it taxing/bothersome taking the time to read me based on density and style issues given how vapid modern political dialogue gets, and how too often it turns into little more than elementary schoolyard nonsense in terms of actual substance whatever the political beliefs/side it is coming from. I refuse to dumb down my approach to political dialogue that way, I still believe politics to be something important enough that it deserves such effort and participation.

          • Just Askin' says:

            When one views this forum as a conversation or dialogue, your contributions appear to be monologues. If you wish to write multi-paragraph responses, consider writing your own blog and see how many people read and contribute there. Because your responses are overly long compared to the length of the items you are responding to, I suspect that most readers tune out and skip the majority of your text.

            BTW…this isn’t about Twitter. Listeners in a verbal conversation generally tune out when one participant spends all their time talking instead of listening. If you want your voice to be heard, show people that you care what they have to say.

    • Tired of it All says:

      That’s the thing. He’s not a lunatic and he’s got no hidden agenda. It’s right out front: burnt books featuring 100 years worth of research; shuttered labs; Dutch Elm; muzzled scientists; eviscerated committee processes; centralized authority; retail issues. It’s a very specific model, and nothing Canada had ever seen before. I guess to some it made him a nut, but anyone who read his thoughts about Canada while he was outside the firmament was not shocked. Saddened, dismayed, sure. Shocked? No.

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      What’s your take on “conservatives” claiming they think Justin Trudeau is a (insert your favourite Trudeau talking point)? I find it undermines all Canadians’ ability to have regular conversations with people who disagree with them.

      • Scotian says:

        Kaspar Juul:

        I find it alas all too typical of the modern CPC mindset. Dare to point out the truth about Harper, who is is, where he comes from, what his core political beliefs are, what their shapes are/rooted in, and compare that with his track record as the greatest destroyer of governing institutions in Canada, and you get called a sufferer of Harper Derangement Syndrome and dismissed as a “crazy” (which is the point of that phrase after all, it relieves the person using it from having to actually deal with the substance of the critics by making it a pseudo-scientific diagnosis sounding phrase, it even relieves them of the need to consider the points raised in order to try and counter them, just the thing for the closed mindset, it is a rip-off of the GOP version of Bush Derangement Syndrome used to protect GWB and deflect critics of his bad decisions while he was in office, before the GOP finally started realizing there just was no longer any way to cover up that degree of utter incompetence). Yet it is fine to routinely call Justin Trudeau all kinds of derogatory things, the Dauphin being the most mild, the real popular ones though keep calling him “Justine” and other feminizing variations, as if feminizing his name and his identity is showing that he is weak and incapable of leading, just like all women must be (because when you use a female name this way to attack/describe a male leader that is a clear undertone/message within it, and that you are saying you are fine with it) otherwise it makes no sense to be using this form of attack.

        The amount of gender bashing we see in the ways Trudeau is attacked speaks volumes about the underlying misogyny of those using these comments AND the underlying misogyny of the audience these are aimed at, and the belief that said misogyny is so widespread this makes for an effective form of attack. No wonder the Harper CPC has such a gender gap, it is not so much because Trudeau is so attractive to the Ladies as the CPCers like to claim but because their own repulsiveness drive them away into the arms of the other leaders, and politically Trudeau has been more attractive on things like respecting the rights of women to control their own bodies.

        Then of course we get to the Quebec bashing elements of the critics, as if being from a Province/region Quebec makes one inherently inferior as a political leader, or that it means that only Quebec interests will be pandered to, this while at the same time claiming Harper is a PM for all Canada, the inherent contradiction in that logic escapes the CPC supporters that use it, for if where one represents makes that much impact in how they operate then it is equally applicable to Harper as it is to Trudeau (and with Harper and his fixation on placing the Alberta energy sector as the only real economic concern there is a true track record to show that this *IS* true of him).

        We also have the non stop intellectual bashing of Justin Trudeau by comparing him to his father and saying he is just not as smart. OK, lets think about that for a moment. How many people in this nation actually ARE as smart as PET was, let alone elected politicians? Pierre Elliot Trudeau was clearly one of the most intellectually capable men, let alone political leaders this nation EVER produced, and this means very few people, let alone politicians will ever come to his intellectual level, and therefore to somehow make the claim that the son not equaling his father this way is inherently disqualifying him as a leader and potential PM while the same standard is not held for any other politician, especially our current PM, who is clearly not the intellectual giant PET was, shows just how craptastic this argument is, and the manure it is rooted in.

        Yet of course these things are all supposed to make political dialogue and disagreement more doable, as opposed to that Harper Derangement Syndrome the CPC fans love to wave at anyone that takes the time to detail just what is wrong with Harper as a PM. How far outside not just the Canadian mainstream his political thought and actions are but even how far outside traditional Canadian Conservative thoughts and action he is, instead of actually defending Harper point by point, because when you cannot argue the facts you pound on the table, to borrow part of an old lawyers trick/tool (which is not verbatim alas; pound of the law when you have it in your favour, the facts when you have that in your favour, and when you have neither pound on the table in hopes of distracting from your lack).

        Yet this is supposedly a way of enticing reasoned political dialogue/disagreement, and not evidence of a derangement syndrome? Really? It just underscores that one of the most common elements between the American far right and our own is the massive amount of projectionism that runs through both. Both of these groups routinely project their own bad conduct on the other side, and then claim to be the ones victimized by it. I mean really, since when did the top money classes, the top corporate power holders stop becoming the “elites” and middle class, educators, labour leaders, journalists and such and progressives and centrists suddenly became the evil elites oppressing the poor pitiable right thinking conservative, despite lacking the actual tools to do so, unlike the well heeled resource right supporters of the far right wing in NA?

        I hope that gives you some answer to what I think of the way the CPC and its supporters attack Trudeau mainly on personal characteristics and with clearly designed unique standards that only are to be applied to Trudeau as opposed to overall. The use of his appearance as an attack point, and try to denigrate his leadership abilities which he clearly has, he won that leadership race first ballot with 80%, no mean feat, and took a third place near dead party after the 2011 election and has brought it back not just into viability, but to being seen as a major contender to becoming the next government by both of the other official Parliamentary parties, and the wider nation as a whole. He has rebuilt the fundraising structure of his party to compete, something the prior two leaders failed to do, He also has been making significant changes at the riding/Constituency levels rebuilding his party from the ground up. These actions ARE evidence of true leadership skills, you may not like the goals he plans to use them for, but to deny the reality of their existence despite such massive proof, well that is so utterly dishonest and disrespectful to both Trudeau and the Canadian voter/citizen that is in my view is a good argument for why those that do such do not deserve nor should be trusted with governing power. BTW, claiming it is the evil puppet masters in the shadows of the Lib party is clearly nonsense, because otherwise these actions would have been taken under either of the two prior leaders, and they weren’t. That argument is yet another of the many examples of how the CPCers like to eat their cake and have it when it comes to advancing their agendas.

        I find it hilarious that when I make this point the counter is that it is not him but those around him. The point/proof of good political leadership in a Parliamentary structure such as ours is the ability to build and oversee a team of competent people that get the jobs they are assigned done, our system of government is NOT designed to be run by one man alone, we call our head of government the Prime Minister for a reason after all, he is the first among Ministers, not something totally beyond them, just the top one. That is inherent to our system of government and prior to Harper how we treated out political process and dialogue. Trudeau has shown himself to be a very capable leader in the skills that count the most in our system of government. Questioning how he uses them and the purposes is fair, questioning his having the skills at all is not given the actual factual record. But then factual realities have clearly not been of great value to the Harper CPC (nor its supporters) in any context it seems, given the way they have systemically tried to eliminate any sources for such in all levels and elements of the federal government.

  9. Ridiculosity says:

    Harper may not be a crypto-fascist, but he does have seriously creepy eyes and he is a full-on control freak who only cares about one thing: getting re-elected.

    Don’t take my word for it.

    Read Party of One by Michael Harris. It will remove any delusions you may have that Harper cares about you or Canada.

  10. patrick says:

    Drive the Liberal party out of existence? For that alone this ideological turd should be driven from politics.
    Also, like a true ideologue, his fantasy of the world differs from the reality that the majority of Canadians are left of centre meaning that Harper’s entire goal was to make the opinions and ideas of a majority of Canadian irrelevant.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      The majority of Canadians are NOT left of center, and that`s your problem.

      If you really believed that, you would not have any trouble uniting them would you.

      • patrick says:

        Well other than the occasional exception most of our elections have had more people voting for liberal, ndp, and the bloc than the Conservatives, yes there certainly is a greater majority of right wingers than left wingers if reality is ignored and someone takes comfort in an ideological fantasy world.

  11. paul says:

    I wish none of the parties underestimated the power of genx classical liberals (small l libertarians). Many of us hitched our wagons to harper, hoping that there would be balance to the hypocritical progressive movement that believes things such as fathers rights is misogynistic. Unfortunately, we can’t expect such things from a party who feels everyone should go to jail to appease quasi-fascist sensibilities. A party that taps into principled fairness to all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions and social demographic, will find a lot of followers who are absent in most elections.

  12. MgS says:

    I beg to differ with you on the matter of Harper being a far right So-Con.

    He is, and the evidence is there. He also knows that if he is overt about it, most Canadians wouldn’t vote for him.

    So, he has implemented the So-Con agenda by stealth:

    – Axing the court challenges program
    – Killing the Status of Women
    – Axing the long form census (these two in conjunction with each other have made it easier to ignore the facts around gender equality when making policy)
    – Setting up a funding crisis in health care (it’s coming, the next government is going to have to face it, and then it will be easy to attack things like abortion as “second tier” services)
    – He hasn’t attack gay marriage per se, but they have implemented numerous policies which are objectively LGBT hostile – most egregious being the ID policy regarding boarding aircraft, which is written such that it basically grounds anyone who is Trans. (this policy has never been actively enforced because of the way it has been written places the burden on airlines and they won’t bear the cost … yet)
    – Income splitting is so obvious a “June Cleaver” policy it’s not funny. It works against women in the workplace to say the least.
    – TFW program has been allowed to become a tool for driving down wages in job sectors that are dominated by women (e.g. retail)
    – Although Harper himself has been conspicuously absent on most votes regarding “far right” so-con agenda items, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t knowing allow those bills and motions to come forward without at least giving tacit support to them.

    No … Harper is still playing out a radical, socially conservative agenda – but it’s mostly being implemented by policy fiat rather than legislation. He’s allowing others to be the axe men doing the dirty work, but it’s still got his stamp all over it. (and, as party leader, he has to be held ultimately responsible)

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      Oh dear…….you have been saying all these things for three elections now, and nobody believes it.

      • MgS says:

        The facts speak for themselves.

        There is nothing there that isn’t readily confirmed in either news or in the Hansards.

        Facts don’t care if _YOU_ believe them.

  13. Bobby says:

    Harper will not wait until October 2015.
    I’ll bet he goes in March.

  14. J. Atkins says:

    Sir, perhaps slipped lsd in the tea, but what is this? :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNWSna-7TSU

    d.

    • rod says:

      Justin is now becoming a cartoon character who will always be loved by the 18-24 y.o. voting cohort … because children love cartoons….. th.. th.. that’s all, folks…!

  15. Windsurfer says:

    THE KEY: the Oshawa-Whitby by-election this Monday. Home of the Flaherty, great destroyer of income trusts and probably about $6 billion of retirées’ saved-up wealth.

    If the CON’s keep the riding – business as usual, nothing to see here.

    If the CON’s lose to the LPC – Toronto Star called it a dead heat in today’s edition………..

    …….. the equation changes [dramatically] – and we’re getting a very early election.

    So, place your bets, all chips on red, all chips on blue………. and we’ll see you Tuesday.

    • Just Askin' says:

      I thought socialists were all for governmental redistribution of wealth. I also thought that liberals were moderates. I look forward to reading the federal Liberal platform.

  16. Al in Cranbrook says:

    To many of the posters on this forum, you know who you are…

    Do any of you, very seriously, ever stand back and listen to yourselves???

    I think it was Peter Foster who coined the term, “Harper Derangement Syndrome”. Some of you people drip with it! If Harper were only the Anti-Christ made manifest on earth, he still couldn’t live up to your paranoid delusions! Good Gawd!!!

    The guy grew up in Toronto, went to university in Calgary, worked in the offices of the oilfield industry, was at first a fan of P.E.T., worked for a PC MP, created policy for Preston Manning, attained his Masters in Economics, elected for the Reform in Calgary, headed up the NCC, and then moved back into federal politics after Stockwell Day (whom he supported for the leadership) fell flat on his face as leader of the CA. Along the way he turned down requests to run for leadership of the PCPC. Oh, and he goes to an evangelical church, as if it’s anyone’s business in the first place! And then he won two leadership races, and went on to win three elections, ultimately decimating the LPC to its worst showing in living memory. You get that yet?

    HE WON THREE ELECTIONS! THE VOTERS OF CANADA MADE HIM PM THREE TIMES, EACH TIME WITH MORE VOTES THAN THE PREVIOUS! GET OVER IT!!!

    Which I believe is at least in part what Warren is trying to convey in his column.

    Many of you wrap yourselves in “progressivism” like it’s bloody well holy! And you scorn all the rest of the world who don’t share your quasi-religious like views with the zealotry of Inquisitors.

    You want to know why there’s such a huge division in politics in both Canada and the US of late? It’s because just about everyone else in the world is getting GD well fed up with being treated like low life shite by chest thumping, finger wagging, so-called “progressives”!!!!!!!

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Ha! In international diplomacy, this is pretty much a direct kick to the gonads…

      http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/harper-tells-putin-to-get-out-of-ukraine-at-g20-summit-1.2103573

      • davie says:

        Conservatives…so wrapped up in sexual imagery…people get after Trudeau for the F 18 comment, but it was the best one liner on Conservative attitudes so far

      • patrick says:

        Harper: Get out of the Ukraine Putin.

        Putin: And you are……

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        Harper lets Putin know exactly where the SOB ranks, and the Harper Derangement Syndrome crowd storms CBC’s website report to crap all over Canada’s PM in defense of a two bit KGB thug…

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/stephen-harper-at-g20-tells-vladimir-putin-to-get-out-of-ukraine-1.2836382

        I’m sure the left is winning hearts and minds everywhere with vile filth like this, eh?

        Unfuckingbelievable!

        • Scotian says:

          Al in Cranbrook:

          A two bit KGB thug, who just happens to be the head of government for Russia, a nuclear power, one of the great powers on the planet, by a PM of a country with little military power, no nuclear weapons or capacity for such, which is classified as a first world nation as much for courtesy as for actually meeting the definition. Yes, I am sure that left Putin quaking in his boots when Harper got snarky with him. Oh the horrors Harper can bring to Putin and Russia via his own actions and power, so serious threatened Putin must have felt.

          ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!

          That isn’t strong leadership, this being an utter idiot on the world stage! This is being an absolute dickhead for all to see, this does nothing substantive whatsoever, it inflames the leader of a real power, and it makes Canada and Canadians look like cretins because we have this type of idiotic representing us on the global stage!!!

          Look Al, I know you are in the bag for Harper, but can’t you grasp that this was a total dick move for ANY Canadian PM to do whatever their political affiliation? If anything I would suggest that this looks like Harper is overcompensating for his hiding in the closet a few weeks ago, because before this I, someone who is a clear Harper opponent, would not have believed he could do something this stupid. This was something no responsible head of government should do in this manner, he could have made his and his governments position clear to Putin in a much more sensible manner, this was just being a dick, there really is no other way to describe it. Yet you see it as something to be proud of? Wow, you seriously demonstrated here why you cannot be taken seriously as anything other than a blind partisan with this one.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            Are you serious???

            Is there anywhere on this planet the Canadian left does not pack its eternal inferiority complex taped to its collective forehead!

            You’re pathetic!!!

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            Scotian, I think what Harper did was something JT would do, maybe even less so.

            The moment Harper did that to Putin, it was referred to on CNN and they made no disparaging comments towards Harper.

            Harper galvanized the large Ukrainian communities in the Prairie provinces. Just as the he has Jewish communities.

            Harper is preparing what I have repeatedly stated would be one of the pillars of their campaign next year: Who do you want protecting Canada’s sovereignty in the North against Putin, Harper or Justin Trudeau?

            The answer to that question is obviously Harper, since he has been on the international stage for some time and most people in the election booth can’t remember stuff less than a week old and thus will not remember that Harper in his first few years as prime minister was a dolt on the international stage.

        • patrick says:

          Putin: No. No. Really. I didn’t catch the name.
          Harper: Harper.
          Putin: AAaannnndddd………..
          Harper: Well, Al in Cranbrook wet his pants.

    • Jon Adams says:

      “You want to know why there’s such a huge division in politics in both Canada and the US of late?”

      BECAUSE IT’S [group I don’t belong to]’S FAULT!!!11!!!

    • Kev says:

      The same virus causes Trudeau Derangement Syndrome.

      The HDS epidemic is waning fast.

      TDS is rising and taking many casualties.

  17. rod says:

    CPC attack ad preview:

    Mulcair speaking in French to Quebec audience: “Je suis québecois toujours et pour toujours!!”

    Trudeau speaking in French on Quebec TV with subtitles: “Quebecers are best… Canada belongs to Quebec!!”

    Harper speaking in English to the ROC: “God bless Canada!!”

    How’s that for driving a wedge between two leaders from Quebec (and one a citoyen de France)… and a leader from the ROC..??!!!

    It’s going to be a dirty dirty election … croyez-le…..!

    • rod says:

      Another CPC attack ad preview:

      Justin Trudeau in his own words: “I’m not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis, I’m in favour of legalizing it!”

      Voice:
      “Do you want a PM who encourages the use of a debilitating drug to get a high or stoned feelings amongst youth?
      Do you want a PM who ignores the fact we are trying to stop people from smoking cigarettes, and he’s saying it’s okay to smoke marijuana?
      Do you want your children to get drugged out on marijuana and then experiment with stronger drugs like cocaine and heroin?
      Do you want social agencies and hospitals dealing with drugged out youth and increasing the cost of national medicare?

      Justin Trudeau says he wants to legalize marijuana to win over the votes of young voting adults who may not be mature enough to make an intelligent voting decision… like parents can!

      Vote for a drug-free Canada with healthy youth… vote Conservative!”

      The election campaign will also drive a wedge between the youth vote and the adult vote… because Trudeau is catering to the easily misled youth.

      • Just Askin' says:

        I would respect a moderate stance, such as moving cannabis from Schedule II to Schedule IV. Do that, see how it goes, then reassess. I suspect that most Canadians would agree with that proposition. I don’t see a need for a radical shift, and I don’t see the value in promoting that stance, other than as a wedge issue.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Rod, Harper and Muclair will make it dirty, but St. Justin will not

      http://blogs.canoe.ca/lilleyspad/contributor-columns/column-kinsella-trudeaus-promise-not-to-go-negative/

      And you know what happens to most saints on earth.

    • Kev says:

      Harper speaking in English in the House of Commons: The Quebecois are a nation.

  18. Scotian says:

    “Al in Cranbrook says:
    November 16, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Are you serious???

    Is there anywhere on this planet the Canadian left does not pack its eternal inferiority complex taped to its collective forehead!

    You’re pathetic!!!”

    No, Al, what I am is someone that sees REALITY! Do not dare to presume as you did that I have some sort of inferiority complex about my nation, a nation my family has helped shape since before Confederation. A nation which many in my family bled and some died in uniform to defend. Someone that has always taken quiet pride in our historic tradition of punching above our weight in real terms internationally, at least until the past decade. That is not being “pathetic”, as you so quaintly decided to attack me personally with, it is simply accepting reality as it is. We are the top of the middle powers, arguably as much a second world nation as a first, this is not news Al, this has been true for decades. We have or at least used to have not so much hard power but influence (soft power) as opposed to all the other nations within the G7. We have a military force far weaker than any other G-7 nation, and our economy is equally lesser, given we are especially under Harper a resource export nation first. These are FACTS Al, not the imaginings of delusion which seems to be so popular in CPC circles starting from the PM on down!

    Contrarily the Russians are a major power, they have a major military, they have an extensive nuclear arsenal, and they have the long term economic capacity to go with it. Again, this is REALITY based on FACTS Al. This is not being someone with an inferiority complex, this is someone dealing with reality as it is, not as one might wish it to be, and name calling as you did is not going to change that reality!

    I came of age while the Cold War was still ongoing, and I grew up in a known first strike target, and I was headed into the military until I blew out my knee at 19, so forgive me for thinking I might know a few things about our historic position of power vis-a-vis the Russians, the reality of the military forces each nation has, and the absolute utter idiocy of our PM acting like a petulant child on the global stage. The fact that say CNN does not make an issue of it doesn’t mean it isn’t childish and stupid, especially given the way Putin has been increasingly aggressive with his actions, and we are not a nation with anywhere near enough power or global influence these days to be making such bellicose public comments. This does not help matters, it only inflames.

    That is not to say we should say nothing, or act supportive of Putin of course, but there is this concept called diplomacy and acting like a responsible and mature head of government, and not clearly pandering to a domestic politic audience at the risk of inflaming global tensions with Russia.

    This was a very stupid and childish action Al, just as your response to me was. I take pride in what Canada is and has accomplished in part because I recognize the reality of what we are, because understanding that also means understanding how impressive our historic accomplishments have been. It is not an inferiority complex to accept reality, but it is some sort of complex to feel this need to aggrandize oneself and one’s nation as appears to be all too common within both the CPC leadership and too many of its supporters like yourself. What I personally find truly offensive though is the way you and yours glorify all things military in words yet in substance have not just hollowed out our active forces to unheard of levels, but have also been systemically cutting veterans support back as well, as they themselves have been increasingly vocal about over the past few years. So you can take your indignation at my recognition of reality somewhere else, because one of my personal problems with the modern NA conservative is this insistence of theirs that not only are they entitled to their own opinions (which I am fine with) to their own facts (which I am NOT fine with).

    BTW Al, being as insulting as you were and attacking me personally, not exactly the sign of someone trying to be reasoned and educated, it is the actions of a elementary schoolyard bully when he has nowhere else to run. How about growing up a bit and at least attacking substance instead of the fictions you were, both about Canada and about myself. Have a nice day

    • Scotian says:

      BTW Al, how many times do I have to say I am a centrist, not on the left politically speaking before you stop claiming I am on the left? I may be to the left of you, but that leaves like 80-90 percent of the political spectrum to inhabit with a good at least 70 percent of the rest of the voting public. If you want to claim the mantle of someone with any intellectual honesty you could start by not pulling juvenile crap like this please. I am not a left/progressive, indeed, I get into more than a few arguments with them for their own extremism and disregard of reality/fact when it shows up, just as I do with extremists on the right side of the spectrum. I do not like fanatics/zealots WHATEVER their flavour, politically, socially, economically, whatever. This is yet another example of where you deny reality and decide that only your own imaginings are facts, despite any evidence to the contrary. This is what makes you and those like you whatever the focus of said rigid/delusional thinking so dangerous to a free democratic open society.

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        First off, I don’t need any history lessons from you or anyone else here. I’ve read stacks of books on the matter, particularly regarding wars and espionage in the 20th century.

        Enough to know that thugs the likes of Putin despise weakness, and those who exemplify it even more so. And that they view weakness as opportunity, no more, no less.

        Enough to know that they exploit a reliable preponderance of useful idiots in the west, particularly among political activism groups, to their own ends.

        I don’t give a good GD if Putin is the leader of a large and powerful nation. Indeed, I don’t give a rat’s ass if his mother was a virgin and spawned him in a manger. He’s nevertheless a thug.

        A thug born of Soviet Stalinism who holds nothing but contempt for western democracy and institutions, and its leadership. And who just may be proving himself to be the singularly most dangerous person on the entire planet…move over ISIS.

        Secondly, I’m sick to fucking death of an attitude in this country that is somehow is our role, if not duty, to play the eternal Chamberlin to the world’s tyrants and thugs. Even more so when I hear/see arguments that such a role falls to us because we don’t have the military muscle of an America or Britain, and thus we are no better than diplomatic ass kissers.

        Harper had this thug’s number right from the get-go, and he made it known. And at the end of the day it was Harper who got it right, and mostly everyone else who got it wrong. And now Ukranians are paying the price for it. Who will pay the price tomorrow? Estonia? Latvia, Poland? Who will esteemed western leaders sacrifice a la Czechoslovakia via Chamberlin next to this corrupt thug?

        You know what Harper brings to the international world stage?

        Moral backbone!

        And it’s been a goddamned long and sorry time since a Canadian Prime Minister did any of that!

        Don’t think for a moment people…lots of people…aren’t noticing, either!

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          I remember a scene from the House when the Liberals were in power, and the debate was over our military preparedness, particularly in the Arctic.

          To paraphrase Dion: “What are we going to do if the Russians want it? Go to war with them?” And then there was a big laugh on the government side of the legislature.

          Nobody was laughing on the official opposition benches.

          I was never so disgusted in my entire life! Message to Russia: You want a chunk of our Canadian Arctic? It’s yours without even firing a fucking shot! We already surrender!

          And, no, I’m not making that up!

        • Patrick says:

          Well then I guess we should be thankful that Harper had the “moral backbone” as you put it. Here I was thinking he was just making his comments to win over Canadians of Ukrainian descent in the next election. Thanks for setting us straight!

          Now that Harper made the headlines with his comments I’m sure the Russians will fall in line despite the fact the Germans continue to buy natural gas from the and the Americans and British continue to talk a good game but do nothing to actually to hurt them.

        • Just Askin' says:

          It was great to see Harper acting like a man. I don’t foresee someone like Trudeau doing the same.

          • Patrick says:

            Unless Harper also used whatever influence he has with other leaders like Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and David Cameron to convince them to take stronger action against the Russians the only thing he accomplished was getting his name in headlines that will soon be forgotten.

          • Just Askin' says:

            So you’re saying that one person can’t make a difference?

            Or that one person can, if it’s Obama, Merkel or Cameron?

            I’m confused.

        • Scotian says:

          Al in Cranbrook:

          You know what I am “sick to fucking death of”? People like you that put words into others mouths and practice dishonesty as easily as breathing. I have NEVER argued the role of Canada is to play Chamberlain, I never even said that it was wrong to confront Putin on this issue, what I said was the WAY in which it was done was foolish, grandstanding, and given the respective power positions of both our nations utterly idiotic, irresponsible, and inflammatory! Hardly the conduct of a serious person on such a serious issue especially on such a serious stage, and clearly unworthy of a real leader whatever their political leanings, but no, you are so blinded by your own partisanship and hatreds that you fail to see even this basic and obvious an example of improper conduct for what it is.

          As I said, if anything this came off as over compensation for his hiding in the closet during the gunman attack on Parliament Hill, something I am certain Putin knows about, and given Putin’s own actual history of facing death and danger in his KGB past you really think he is going to take any such aggressive behaviour from Harper as anything other than a bad joke? As to not needing to take history lessons, well that would carry more meaningful weight if you actually demonstrated that knowledge came from credible sources instead of politically biased propaganda, which all too often your arguments read like. My point, btw, on the history element was to respond to your smear at me and my beliefs, you know where you screamed I was pathetic, a leftist who suffered from an inferiority complex about Canada by daring to describe it in honest terms?

          So excuse me and I’m sure many others here if we collectively find your claim to intellectual honesty and educational integrity more than a little suspect.

          I’m done with you on this topic Al in Cranbrook, yet again you have shown that far from being someone of substance and intellectual honesty you are in the end a partisan hack trying to wear the clothes of something you are not, an honest person. By that I mean not someone that agrees with me, but someone that simply practices actual honesty in attributions, in the arguments put forward to represent their view, and the factual accuracy of the basic information making your claims upon. You have repeatedly in this thread and others with me (and again, others I’m sure) made claims saying I said things other than I said, you have accused me of being part of a political reality I am not. You know, your repeated ignoring my self definition as a centrist and instead accusing me of being a lefty? I think I know a little better where I sit on the political spectrum than you, and just because I am to your left as I already noted does not make a person a lefty, seeing as judging from your beliefs you are fairly far out on the right wing yourself leaving at least 70+ of the entire political spectrum to your left. You have also demonstrated that when you cannot refute facts presented you resort to insults and bully behaviour, which is also not the behaviour of a serious person.

          So in the end Al in Cranbrook you have demonstrated that you deserve little to no respect because you clearly are incapable of showing it. I have tried several times to deal with you in a civil and polite manner while disagreeing with you, well clearly that was a waste of my time based on your behaviour in response. I think what in many ways offends me the most about you is the way you besmirch the honour and reputation of real/serious conservatives with real morals, principles, and ethics, who are capable of recognizing and dealing with reality as it is, instead of this fantasy world you clearly prefer to inhabit. As I said before, you are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts. That you cannot act in this manner demonstrates you are clearly not an honest person, that you lack integrity, and that it is not worth the time to try to deal with you as if you are actually such. You are barely even worth refuting to spare those who do not know you for what you are, it is a dirty job, but thankfully there are others to share that distasteful task here.

          On that note, enjoy your time in your land of illusion and delusion, those of us that prefer to live in the real world have better things to do with our time.

      • rod says:

        Scotian, speaking of “a free, democratic society”, what is your take on this recent article, namely:

        Liberals block rival, clear nomination path for Trudeau star Andrew Leslie

        http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2014/11/16/liberals-block-rival-clear-nomination-path-for-trudeau-star-andrew-leslie/#.VGlsBofNDQi

        In your esteemed view how does this reflect on Trudeau’s heavy handed approach to his leadership opponents and Liberals riding associations?

        Leadership or dictatorship…?!

        (Seems like the only media that picked up the story was the National Newswatch aggregator, while the Media Party wants it to go away!)

        • Scotian says:

          rod:

          According to what I read, there was actually understandable reasons for blocking this nomination, and that the one blocked appears to be trying to get those reasons ignored by claiming it is a attack on him to let a pro-Trudeau candidate run in that riding. The main disqualification of the two reasons I saw that seem reasonable to me is the problem Bertschi is having retiring his leadership run debt (failure to disclose legal actions you are in is also not unimportant, but given the status on that one at this time I find the debt issue much more significant). It is important to have candidates who are fiscally solvent and in good fiscal health, whatever your party, and that is seriously in question here given it is well on a year and a half since that leadership race yet this man still carries that much leadership race debt.

          Open nomination process does not mean you let just anyone run without going through any vetting processes or qualification requirements whatsoever, the Libs tried that in the 80s and had a single issue cluster of candidates come out of it when the right to life campaign took advantage of that, with profound impacts for the Lib party over the long term still felt to this day.

          BTW, I read about this before I came here at the CBC website, which would seem to put to lie to your claim that only your preferred news source was covering this story.

          Trudeau has not been heavy handed in the way his nominations have been going, although he clearly has not been entirely hands off either, but compared to prior leaders like Chretien he clearly has been less involved. I expect all party leaders to have to deal with this sort of thing to an extent, and Trudeau did make clear that these nominations were not without the need to meet some basic qualifications set out by him and the Lib party, just as each party sets out definitions/requirements. So I do not have a problem with it so long as it is not something abused, and so far I am not seeing evidence of Trudeau abusing is powers and prerogatives here. I can understand how it can be seen to use as an attack on Trudeau and his promise of open nominations, but realistically, I do not see it being as much of such as those attackers would have one believe (and I include those claiming being the victims of such as much as outside the party for that, it is not like they do not have their own inherent interests in spinning things this way now is it, hmmmm).

          I understand I live in a representative democracy rod, not an absolute one, which means there are limitations and restrictions in our system. Our Constitution defines that basic structure, our laws further define it, and we expect out officers of government (in other words all MPs but especially those entrusted with the offices of government) to follow them. We have to consider the careful balancing of rights, we do not live in an absolutist rights system, but one with multiple competing and important rights for our system of government and our various representatives to cope with, and absolutist thinking finds such thinking literally anathema to it, whatever it is absolutist about. That is what I meant in my final sentence which you have cherry-picked so neatly.

          To answer your question, as loaded as it obviously is, still more on the side of leadership and dictatorship on the facts so far.

  19. Do not underestimate the ‘do-nothing Conservative MP who currently holds the riding’.

    The federal campaign bootcamp that was the Oct27’14 Mississauga municipal election saw neophyte candidates vetted by partisan interests — the winning CPC-endorsed candidate took 1.5x votes of LPC team, a 10point spread of voter turnout.

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