01.30.2015 05:38 PM

The 2015 ballot question explained, gratis

A light just went on in my tiny cranium.

Whichever way things go, the Conservative narrative comes out a winner. Things going great? You can only credit Harper. Things really suck? Only Harper has the experience to get us back on track.

It’s evil genius, but genius, no less. Comments welcome, per usual.


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    My question is if you take sponsorship out of the equation in 2006, how were the so-called Martin Liberals seen as economic managers? Good or bad, the view was overriden by sponsorship.

    If the Conservatives screw up royally and it gains negative traction, then they will likely look a lot like Martin going into the election campaign.

    • Warren says:

      If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bus.

      • Mervyn Norton says:

        Insightful summary of a key narrative challenge facing opposition parties, Warren, but a premature conclusion about it being a “winner.” Another scandal episode would help, as Ronald suggests, but sometimes voters just get tired of tired governments trying to spin about their record.

        In Saskatchewan, a tired NDP lost power after trying to spin their record of performance in both bad times (1990s) and good (2000s). When municipalities pressed for revenue sharing with the provincial government, for example, the NDP first said (1990s) they couldn’t afford it and later said (2000s) they couldn’t risk tying their hands in case the better times didn’t last. They got the boot in 2007, after barely holding on during their last years in power.

        And grandmothers, or seniors (like Solange Denis), can raise issues (like indexed pensions) that have legs, if not wheels, as former PM Mulroney learned in 1985. A government now fighting veterans–whether they still have their legs or need wheels–will have a difficult time spinning their way to re-election, regardless of whether the economy and security tumblers are seen as half full or half empty.

  2. bigcitylib says:

    Polls don’t show it. And the Mean Harper showed up in QP this week. That means he’s rattled.

    • Matt says:

      Ummmmm, WHAT???

      • Terence Quinn says:


        He is now sucking up to Ontario and Quebec and wearing contacts which he normally leaves until he starts wearing his election sweater.

        This latest security law which won’t pass muster in the SCC is another example of the rattled approach. As we all know Harper will try anything legal or not to win.

        Some of this in opposition ads will also help us get rid of him

        • Matt says:

          Might sound stupid, but the SCC striking the new law down might actually help Harper. Ever since some judges have taken it upon themselves to refuse to hand out mandatory minimus passed by lawmakers, I get the feeling the CPC are planning to set up an elected parliament vs unelected judges as a background narrative for the upcoming election.

      • Kev says:

        Yip. There is the smell of fear around Tories these days. Also: “government” ads are going through the roof.

        When Harper fills the Senate vacancies — that’s coming — you know that they know they are done.

    • JH says:

      New poll today shows Libs and Cons tied statistically as the decline continues for the grits. This is the same position all the partys were in at about this time in 2011. Methinks an Iggy style shake-up among JT’s so-called ‘brain trust’ is over due.

      • Kev says:


        That poll has LPC at 34% – which is pretty well the average of where it’s been for two years.

        The real number to watch is the NDP. The Tories need their little orange buddies to be consistently above 20%, and ideally above 23%. Without that, no more Harper majority, and no more Harper.

  3. Cameron Prymak says:

    I don’t see it that way but it hinges on Team Trudeau getting their narrative together, something even President Obama’s team, by comparison, has similar challenges.

    It’s not enough to hope that ‘Time for Change’ carries the day – there has to be a more thorough political ground game from the Liberals. Like Obama, it’s simply not enough to have interesting ideas circulate within the echo chamber, Trudeau has to communicate them to the outside world daily or someone else will.

  4. Kaiser Helmets 'n Motorbikes says:

    I say it still comes down whether or not Jesus Trudeau can go potty like a big boy. If so, he wins hands down. Personally I’m long Pampers stock.

  5. Robin says:

    The economy may be good relative to other OECD countries or the G7 or the G20; however, Canada could be doing much better if there was visionary leadership at the federal level with a Prime Minister who works well and collaborates with other levels of government (meeting with the Council of the Federation once a year) and a Prime Minister who brings diverse stakeholders together to achieve important national goals, such as, an affordable and accessible national child care program jointly funded by the federal government, the provinces, and territories (Thank you Hon. Ken Dryden) or a national initiative to raise the standard of living of the average First Nation community closer to the national average (Thank you Rt. Hon. Paul Martin and the 5 National Aboriginal Organizations – The Kelowna Accord).

    The opportunity cost losses to Alberta and the oil sands industry due to lack of pipeline capacity to tidewater and world prices is staggering; a non-renewable resource is being sold a discount prices to a buyer’s market, the US, and four pipeline projects have languished for years because Harper soured relations with President Obama (“It’s a no-brainer” and “I won’t take no for an answer!” re: Keystone XL) and alienated all the key domestic and internationally connected stakeholders, environmentalists, and Aboriginal people.

    It may be difficult to blame completely an incumbent Prime Minister for things that didn’t happen. However, it is clear that a more inclusive, consultative, pragmatic, proactive, respectful, researched based, and scientific based, approach might have seen at least on oil sands pipeline reach tidewater.

    After all in 1974, Peter Lougheed brought First Nations, Metis, the Progressive Conservative Ontario government, the Liberal federal government and Imperial Oil together to build Syncrude WITH an upgrader; Pierre Trudeau brought 9 provinces and the federal government together to repatriate the BNA Act from the British Parliament and bring it to Canada as the Constitution Act (1982) with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms (thank heaven, imagine Canada being government by Harper without the Charter); Brian Mulroney brought the provinces and the federal government together to approve the North American Free Trade Agreement; regardless whether you agree or disagree with these national projects, they succeeded by working together and respecting adversaries with differences of opinion.

    Harper only knows how to demolish or dismantle; he doesn’t know how to build.

    Harper will rely on fear mongering with the hope enough Canadians with share his dark, gloomy, and pessimistic world view. Things are good so FEAR thing getting worse without Harper; Thing are bad so FEAR things not getting better without Harper.

    Things should be much better than they are and we can make Canada even better with new leadership by someone who not only espouses Canadian values, but personifies them – Justin Trudeau. He doesn’t have to be more intelligent that Stephen Harper; he just has to be a better leader. After all, an experienced politician taking the country in the wrong direction is much worse than an inexperienced politician taking the country in the right direction. Canada deserves better; Canadians deserve better.

    The Harper boys in short pants aren’t geniuses; they are delusional. Two questions: are Canadians better off now than they were 10 years ago? NO. Is Canada better off now than it was 10 years ago? NO. Time for a change. They can spin it however they want.

    • Rotten Ronnie says:

      The fact that you spent all that time writing your comment shows you really don’t get Warren’s point – your indepth analysis? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That! Give it to me, the populous, in a sound bite so i don’t gotta think.


    • Ray says:

      As evidenced by this thread and many others, JT certainly doesn’t speak for all Canadians – not by a long shot. Being born into wealth and privilege isn’t a personification of Canadian values, Robin.

      • davie says:

        “Being born into wealth and privilege…” Hey, great job of trotting out the latest Conservative innuendo thread.

        • Ray says:

          No innuendo required to illustrate what is so painfully obvious. JT was a poor choice.

          • smelter rat says:

            The CPC was born via a lie, so i don’t think Liberals need any lessons from their apologists.

          • Gayle says:

            Heh. The party was done before he became leader. They are now considered a contender for government. They have rebuilt their infrastructure and are increasing donations every quarter.

            Whether or not the LPC win the election (and I for one do not believe they want to win, though holding Harper to a minority would be a coup), Trudeau has demonstrated he was the right choice for the job.

          • Warren says:

            Agree. Opposition leader would be a big achievement.

        • Kev says:

          It was nauseating to hear Tim Powers parroting that line the other day.

      • Gayle says:

        Hmmm. I would say that Harper was born into a pretty wealthy family too. At least he was wealthier than your average working/middle class Canadian. Just because he was not as wealthy as Trudeau does not mean he has a better understanding of the middle class.

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      Well said, Robin. Yes, I have personally benefited (in the narrowest definition) from some minor tax cuts, as my MP’s mailer reminded me today. But the cost of Harper’s ongoing demolition of Canadian institutions (and our reputation around the world) is immensely greater. Since Harper couldn’t even bring himself to acknowledge (let alone celebrate) the 25th or 30th anniversary of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the ballot question for 2015 should be: “Can you stomach having Harper preside over our 150th anniversary as a nation in two years’ time?”

      • Nicole says:

        I still don’t understand his anti-Charter stance. The Charter is not a Liberal thing but a Canadian thing that the entire country supported. (Ok Quebec not so much but they still use it to their benefit). It is part of what makes us Canadian and has been in place since 1982 and so Canadians 40 and under always remember it being there. Instead of celebrating what makes us a better country, they focused on the anniversary of the War of 1812, a war no one actually won and we were still mostly British at the time. I have been to Fort York and Fort Malden, so I am not against recognizing the events of that war, but I am so tired of the general macho posturing that this government does on so many issues.

        • edward nuff says:

          Harper is to Government as the Hanson Bros are to hockey.

        • Kev says:

          Have you seen the latest Canadian Forces “recruiting” ads that don’t even provide any contact information?

          • Jim Keegan says:

            There’s this thing called the Internet these days and if you are interested in enlisting, all you have to do is Google “Canadian Forces recruiting” and go from there.

  6. debs says:

    he only gets to have it both ways if the opposition lets him and doesnt drag his sorry record thru the media mud.

  7. Brachina says:

    When Harper is rattled he aviods QP as to not get embarrassed by Mulcair crushing him again. He goes on international trips and stuff.

  8. smelter rat says:

    I don’t think we can rule out his being completely barking mad.

    • Ridiculosity says:

      …not to mention an ego-maniac who could likely give Putin a run for his money.

      • JH says:

        Keep telling yourselves that boys in your echo chamber and don’t listen to what WK and others are saying. Typical Liberal arrogance, it’s why you keep losing elections and the non-partisan 25% decision-makers don’t vote for you anymore.

        • smelter rat says:

          Ah yes, “typical Liberal arrogance”, the perfect Harpercon talking point. Stephen Harper is the walking talking personification of arrogance, but his acolytes can’t see it.

  9. Ty says:

    Replace “Security” with “Quebec” and you have the 1997 and 2000 Liberal campaigns.

  10. patrick says:

    So if things are bad, Harper, who was in power when things went bad, is in a winning position because of his experience of making things bad, because, accordingly, none of the other leaders have enough experience of making things bad to make things good, though why you’d make things bad when most prefer things good is a wonder, unless it’s a stunning tactical plan of a vision only seen by Harper and hardened backroom visionaries.
    Got it!
    No, wait, I don’t.

  11. Ted H says:

    “Jihadi terrorism” what the hell is that, a couple of mentally ill guys killed some Canadian soldiers in our own country. Not evidence of a plot that threatens Canadians generally. Harper has gone over the top, sounds more like GW Bush than he did himself, with that kind of hyperbole. Meanwhile he wants to turn Canada into a Police State. The threat to our democracy is Harper, not the imaginary threat of “Jihadi Terrorism”. If he runs on that and somehow wins, then he really has changed Canada, into shrivelled, mean, ugly, narrow minded version of our former self. These Conservatives are the worst F***ing people imaginable, what did we do to deserve this bunch of lying a**holes for a government.

    • JH says:

      Reality check! Over 60% of Canadians agree with him at the moment All your railing against the system and Harper doesn’t change that. Some sensble actions by the other parties might.

  12. steve macdonald says:

    steven harper has never worked as an economist. He has a degree in economics, that doesnt make him an economic guru like say Kevin Olearly. He has been in power for a decade, he will not win a majority. At best a minority. Canada doesnt need another “experienced” politician like Mulcair. The only hope is Trudeau. A lot of people say that he’ll mess up in debate. But, Debates dont matter. Hudak won debate, and swept Ontario as a result. Brian Gallant lost debate and became premier. Adrian Dix won debate to. Mulcair has revealed similar policies to Horwath, but people dont care about policies. Other than journalists, noone has the time to go through policy. Trudeau has his own base of about 25%, all he needs is to bring another 5% and he regains official opposition status. He can then form coalition with Mulcair, but I think will end in a disaster for both parties. I wish that Harper wins a majority so that Liberals and NDP can merge under the leadership of a dynamic, vibrant, and nice person like Justin Trudeau.

  13. graham watt says:

    Here’s an economics hint Steve. Give up the tactics. Find someone or something who can count to twenty in that styling club you call a caucus and get her, him, it to chat with you about what to do when the last toilet paper roll is empty.

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