12.19.2014 08:11 AM

Prime Time: Harper’s year in reviews, reviewed

12 Comments


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    Peter says:

    I must say, Warren, I am very impressed by your unblinkered and honest assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the parties and leaders. In that non-partisan spirit, I have a question for you and others here.

    It seems to me that, in some ways, this may be Trudeau’s election to win or lose and that one of his tests leading up to and in the campaign will be to convince enough swing voters that he has gravitas and is his own man. They’re going to have to be able to imagine him keeping the ship steady in an economic or other crisis and preforming credibly at a G7 meeting. Harper has that and I think Mulcair does too, but, to put it simply, I think Justin still has to establish in the minds of many undecided voters that he is a man and not a man-boy.

    One think I’ve noticed at late that to my mind isn’t helping him there is that he seems far too fascinated by the Trudeau family and its legacy. His book is almost like a family biography. In an interview I saw on Remembrance Day, he was asked what the significance of the day was and answered that it was for remembering generically and that on that day he was remembering his father’s parliamentary battles and his mother’s mental health struggles, which seemed to take the interviewer aback, as it certainly did me. This week, while Paul Dewar gave a classy, mature “Good news, good job” response to the news about Cuba, Trudeau went on and on at his press conference about Castro attending his father’s funeral, his father’s trips there, etc. and seemed to be trying to link the two and give credit to the Liberal party and his father, which I found off-putting and absurd.

    It seems very Kennedyesque to me and several younger Kennedys haven’t done too well trying to run on JFK’s legacy. The question: Do you agree I have a point? Would you advise him to cool it?


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      Warren says:

      Not sure. His constituency is really different. He has older voters who remember his Dad fondly; he has young people who don’t really vote, who like his youthfulness and charisma; he is starting to bring back the traditional Liberal electoral coalition – women, new Canadians, etc. It’s an odd coalition.

      What’s apparent, however, is that his gaffes have chipped away at his popularity somewhat. They’ve had an effect: they’ve introduced a lot of doubt about his ability to be PM. Voters clearly like him a great deal, but that may not be enough – you need to be respected and trusted, as well as liked.


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        Matt says:

        Sort of Horwath in Ontario?

        They like the idea of dating her, they just don’t want to marry her, so to speak.


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          Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Matt,

          Ontario was not ready for another social-democrat in office. Plain and simple as that. Liberals are not social-democrats so Justin cannot be compared to Horwath.


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        Yukon Cornelius says:

        Good question and a good answer. That’s what keeps me coming back here – not the endless partisan sniping between some commentators!


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          JH says:

          Me too YC. I always find it interesting that we can usually get more unbiased opinion from Liberal pundit WK (not the rabid droolers) on here, than we can from most major media commentators.


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        Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Warren,

        Respect comes with performance based on competence. In short, he deserves to be judged on his track record once in office.

        For its part, trust comes from a collective instinct that he will be “all right Jack”. I think by and large, he has already successfully jumped that hurdle.


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      Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Peter,

      American newscasts are not crediting the Harper government. They say it’s the result of the Vatican pushing relentlessly.


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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Might I say, you are always at your very best when you are non-partisan in your observations and commentary.

    …no doubt in this instance, much to the consternation of some of the forum regulars here.


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    davie says:

    “Dippers pack their bags and go home.”
    No, no, I was over 4 decades in the oil patch…I know what ‘daunting’ means.
    This spring newness, fall /winter hibernating in the old cave imagery is way off.
    Look at it as a new century, a new opportunity to get it right, out with the black and white cats, fair distribution of the cream. Around a hundred years ago, October was a pretty good month for us reds…here we come, Les, here we come…hang on to your baby prams.

    (Election season on us, time to eschew facts and revel in metaphor and archetypes.)


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Les,

    I think Harper needs to worry Big Time. Look at Obama, who can’t move his numbers as the incumbent if his political life depended on it. They are sick of him. Plus, the economy continues to improve and Barack gets absolutely no credit for it — not even belatedly. Zilch, nada. If my name was Stephen, that’s what would keep me up at night.


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    Africon says:

    I too am very impressed by your unblinkered and honest assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the parties and leaders and that is what keeps me coming back here though mostly just to read. It is the unthinking nitwits of every stripe that are a turn off.

    Throughout history, good political leaders where ever they appear all have the one thing that Justin does not have just yet – experience – political experience and life experience.
    He may well become a much better leader in Canada with a few years of experience as Leader of the opposition.

    Just my amateur opinion here, but I think that the rather poor management of both Ontario or Quebec by Liberals in recent times will hurt Justin’s chances next year.
    Plus, living in precarious times ( both economic and political ) as we do, usually helps the incumbent.

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