10.21.2015 10:24 AM

Saying “hire me and I’ll quit” is never a great job-interview strategy



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    Joe says:

    It was about week 2 when I realized the Conservatives were likely to win opposition because they were running for it and not government. I don’t know how much money the ‘He’s just not ready’ ad cost to put out but it did nothing to help the conservatives and instead made Trudeau look like a real contender. Had the Conservatives spent that money on laying out their platform and ideas and past accomplishments the outcome may have been different but as one political wag once said, “If you run for opposition you will win it”.

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    Reality.Bites says:

    Didn’t Pierre Trudeau make this pledge in 1980? Of course it was different. People who loathed Harper (aka Canadians) would have been even more scared of who might replace him.

    It would also have been pointless – everyone knew he wouldn’t run again in 2019 regardless of the outcome.

    You should start a betting pool on how long it is before he resigns his seat. With a bonus prize for the person who comes closest to how many times he actually shows up in the Commons before he quits.

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    P Brenn says:

    Dumb idea …sound like the Hudak idea , also deep sixed to hand out pick slips on the Campaign trail….war room fatigue must set in …

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    Matt says:

    Everyone, at least all the pundits, pretty much assumed this was his last kick at the can anyway, so I’m not sure it would have helped any.

    It remains to be seen WHY people voted Liberal and if they are able told the majority of those 3 million votes they gained. I suspect most were one offs who realized after the NDP collapse in the polls began to spread outside Quebec realized only a vote for the Liberals could get rid of Harper.

    The NDP were down around 1 million votes. We’ll see if my theory is correct in 4 years, but Power and Politics had a poll yesterday asking why people voted for the Liberals (admittedly these weren’t the final numbers, I only saw them near the end of the first hour of the show)

    Their platform 18%

    Trudeau 7%

    Time for change 74%

    Other 1%

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    Shaun says:

    Damn. That promise would have made the Globe and Mail so happy.

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    Scotian says:

    I read this article, and the only thing that went through my head is that famous clip of ST:TNG’s Captain Picard facepalming that has become so ubiquitous online.

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    Ridiculosity says:

    Harper’s attempted spin was that “this election isn’t about me”.

    In reality, it most definitely was.

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    Kelly says:

    From the article…”“It was not Harper’s record or his policies — it’s just that people hated Harper…”

    Ummmm…no I’m pretty sure we hated his record and his policies, too. Hence, the comprehensive curb stomping.

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    Lance says:

    I suspect that there are a lot of flies about to come off that proverbial wall.

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    A, Voter says:

    “As I seek my last mandate, I plan to…” would have been a good theme for Harper, but he didn’t seem to have any plans. Compared to the simple five-point plan that landed him his first minority.

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      Reality.Bites says:

      It would have been an even better theme for him in 2004.

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      SG says:

      Indeed, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a lifelong armchair political analyst, it’s that the electoral likes simple policies that they can wrap their heads around and which tie back directly to their daily lives. The Conservatives offered none of that this time whereas the Liberals offered it in spades (legalize pot, middle class tax cuts, etc). The Liberals had their elevator pitch down pat.

      The Liberal campaign of 2015 really was quite reminiscent of the Conservative campaign of 2006 in terms of messaging and accessibility (by that I mean, simple for the average voter to understand).

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    Phil says:

    IMHO, JT & the Libs were elected due to an profound dislike of Stephen Harper, and his behavior, and the low brow hyper partisan behavior of his party.

    I suspect most of the people who voted Liberal don’t really know or care about the new government’s policies.

    While it would have been much better to have had an election based on policy / plans / vision, SH spiked the prospects of that long ago.

    That being said, one question I’ve enjoyed tossing out the past day or so: can anyone give me an example of a significant policy achievement by the Harper Govt. that can be considered good?

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      Scotian says:

      I’ve been asking that question of people in a serious manner for a couple of years now, honestly curious to see what if any answer would come back. I have yet to hear one that fits the bill of being constructive long term building, which was how I defined good instead of using anything ideological or partisan as the criteria. Can’t think of any prior elected PM that is true of except maybe Clark, and even there I suspect if I went back and did a close examination of his 200 days I’d find something. Harper was truly anomalous in this regard, especially for a PM as long as he had been.

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      SG says:

      You could ask the same of the Chretien years and receive equally blank stares. These are different times from the 70s and 80s and in any case the Conservatives were in a minority situation for 5 of the 9.5 years which makes significant transformational policy exceedingly difficult.

      Some of my favourites though:

      Immigration reform – Canada now only takes in the best of the best, and that’s how it should be.
      TFSA and income splitting.
      Childcare benefits – I actually didn’t particularly like this, however it avoided the catastrophe of a national daycare program.
      No kowtowing to Quebec – while not a policy, it was the first time in 40+ years that the ROC was not required to show deference to that province at every turn. What a wake-up call in 2011 to see that a party can win a majority government with barely any representation in Quebec.

      Federal taxes are at their lowest levels in many decades as is government spending as a percentage of GDP (in fact I believe it may now be at an all-time low).
      Realignment in federal-provincial responsibility. Remember those premiers meetings during the Chretien era during which all the provinces would basically play whack-a-fed? Very little of that these days (Wynne notwithstanding) as Harper has given provinces free reign within their constitutionally-defined realms.

      And so on.

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        Phil says:

        Income Splitting is generally regarded as bad policy.



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          SG says:

          I don’t know what “generally” means in this case or how you came to that conclusion. For every article criticizing it you can find many that defend it. And it was just one tool among several that the Harper government offered to people as a means to more easily save their money. If you live in Ontario however, sadly a lot of those savings granted by Ottawa yanked away by Queen’s Park.

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            Phil says:

            SG. Thanks for the reply.

            “generally” – that is rather vague. In fact everything I read thought income splitting was bad policy.

            The problems are:
            – expensive
            – only 15% of the population benefit
            – most of the beneficiaries are high income earners, so its not helping people who need help.

            That’s clearly described in the links I provided.

            If you can provide some articles explaining why income splitting is bad policy, please post. I’d be interested in reading ’em.


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            Phil says:

            should read “is good policy”

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        Bill Templeman says:

        SG – Heard a Conservative say that he would not vote in this election because he could not support the 140 billion $ of debt Harper added to our books. True statement or urban myth?

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          Maps Onburt says:

          Every government since Pearson has added money to the national debt (although for a couple of years both the Martin and Harper governments actually were able to pay down some principal). The interest payments on it currently run more than $25B year – which in itself would fund some very massive social programs if we didn’t have to pay for it. Every year that we run a deficit, that debt goes up. For the past 6 years as a result of the global recession, Harper has run a deficit (which he was encouraged to do more of by the opposition) so those figures got added to the existing national debt. This past year we broke a very modest surplus so it held steady but we currently owe $660B and now that PM Elect Trudeau Jr has declared he will take us back into deficit mode, we can expect that number will go up next year again. I understand that governments can dip into deficit during severe recessions – sorta like deciding to put your electrical payments on your credit card, but you shouldn’t be planning to spend money you don’t have during good times because when the next downturn hits, you will have just have made the problem worse. The Martin Liberals got that… unfortunately this new crew worshipped at the feet of Dalton McGuinty who practices the old cynical Liberal style of bribing people with their own money to get votes. I’m hoping PM Elect Trudeau Jr will do a PM Chretien move and forget he ever made that promise and somehow come up with more modest spending and still keep the budget in balance.

          All the hypocrites on the Liberal side who’ve been critizing the hell out of Harper for running up the debt (especially after the Liberals and NDP tried to throw them out for not spending enough) are now talking about how spending $10B a year of money we don’t have is a good thing. If they could point at a few hard infrastructure projects this will create as a one time cost, I could buy the argument that it is an “investment” but if you listened to their ads and them talking now they are talking about doing things like increasing the frequency of Go Trains into Barrie. Those costs don’t go away and the trains aren’t full today because they don’t go where you need them to go and it takes 2 hours to get from the train station to down town and if you don’t catch the last train at 6 or so, you are stuck on the milk run bus which will take 3+ hours. I doubt that particular investment will budge the Hwy 400 numbers a fraction of a decimal point. Then he talks about “social investments”… like none of those so called “investments” are going to be one time charges and won’t saddle us with increased size of government for decades either. I’m not even going to comment on his “green investments”… see the Windmill debacle in rural Ontario for details.

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          SG says:

          Harper paid down a good chunk of debt in 2006/07. Then the worst recession in 80 years hit and he was in a minority Parliament. Of course he had to stimulate the economy and due to Liberal/NDP pressure he had to spend even more than he otherwise would have done. True statement or an urban myth?

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            Bluegreenblogger says:

            Urban myth. Harper blew $18billion per annum on a GST cut. That is what created a deficit out of thin air.

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      Elsie Marley says:

      “….can anyone give me an example of a significant policy achievement by the Harper Govt. that can be considered good.”

      Apparently not, considering what actually was offered for Canadians to ponder during the past eleven week electoral debacle.

      The Supreme Court of Canada steadfastly playing “whack-a-mole” with the best efforts of the Conservative brain trust over the past ten years could be construed as further evidence of the paucity of “good” policy.

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    PJ says:

    Just as bad an idea is the Globe and Mails endorsement: Let’s hire him and then fire him.

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    Paul Raposo says:

    Maybe if Stephen Harper had stepped aside two years ago like John Baird suggested the results would have been different. But Harper was too arrogant and relished the idea of running against a Trudeau and genuinely thought he would beat him.

    His Hatred for Pierre was so intense that he wanted run against Justin as some kind of retribution against Pierre. Sadly Harper got his ass handed to him by Canadians and rather than stay around and suffer the indignity of answering to a Trudeau he will run and let the CPC flail about.

    I wonder how Harper will feel if one day his own son runs for office and someone who hated Harper will seethe with rage at the idea of his son running for office.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Harper knows why he lost. Sure, he was disliked (and even hated which should never take place) but he lost because of his “Conservative values.” His majority CV were quite simply a bridge too far for most voters, post 2011. He failed to remain both right-of-centre and moderate. Once he lost his pragmatism, it was all over — and that took place pre-election.

    I tried to dump him in 2005 but never hated him — no matter how many then fellow Conservatives said that to my face.

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    Jeff says:

    Saying “Hire me and I will quit” is only a good job interview strategy if you are applying to the Globe and Mail’s editorial board. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/the-tories-deserve-another-mandate-stephen-harper-doesnt/article26842506/

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