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Monday, December 1, 2008

My God, have they broken it?

Apparently there are those in high office in Ottawa who have been so intent on poking a thumb in their opponent’s eye, they left themselves open to a sucker punch. In the very best Joe Clark tradition, we have once again underestimated our adversary, and Canada stands to be the big loser.

Now comes the frantic back-tracking, with rumours that prime Minister Stephen Harper might even prorogue parliament as a last-resort to delay a vote of non confidence—how desperate would that be?

According to CBC, “…on Saturday night, Irving Gerstein, chairman of the Conservative Fund Canada, sent out an urgent appeal for donations of $100 and $200.” Good luck with that fellows.

Even if this were to blow over and the PM retains power, I fear that many in the Tory party will never again see him as the brilliant political tactician we believed him to be.

In all our political scheming and plotting, have we forgotten that providing good, stable government for our country must be paramount? Can we not put aside the schoolboy tactics—like eavesdropping on telephone conversations—and concentrate on running the government? Grown men and women acting like smart Alec sophomores. Good grief!

And as to this business of not ever being able to resist—rise above—sticking it to the other guy, Tory “head office” is beginning to sound eerily like Richard Nikson’s White House.

Who the Hell stands for Canada, eh? It may be that too many of us are Tories first and Canadians second, at least, we sometimes act as if that were so.smleaf

15 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. If this coalition is really about a stimulus package for Canada, the Governor General should ask the Coalition Party of Canada and Quebec to submit their proposed stimulus package. She should tell Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty to take some key points and integrate it into the plan...and get on with it. We don't need a government change right now. It's a good thing the GG is a Mother. Surely she can get the kids in line, tell them to say they're sorry, add perspective and tell them to do their chores!?

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  2. So you would rather not have had the scheme shown to have been in the works since the election.

    You know damned well that if any one of the other parties had been inadvertently invited to a Tory Caucus phone call; they would not have done EXACTLY the same thing - especially given the current planned take over? Come on.

    And as for Stephen Harper poking a stick - I believe he poked the stick to bring the plans out in the open - he knew about them and this is how he got them before they had time to fully execute their plans and take over the government without Canadians knowing this is not about Canada but about power at all costs.

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  3. Ah – Finally a voice of reason. This blog-sphere is filled with whining finger pointers decrying the underhanded tactics of the treacherous opposition parties – without a word about the use of covert tactics by the CPC to tape and publish private meetings by the other parties.

    The buck stops here. Mr. Harper has demonstrated a several serious flaws in judgement this weekend. Every step making things worse…. All he had to do to prevent the current downspin was to concede that he had overstepped, approach the opposition (probably the liberals), and negotiate an economic strategy moving forward. Look at Obama as an example – he is deliberately putting partisanship aside and engaging the best minds – without concern of their political affiliation – to address the issues that his nation faces.

    It has been a long while since Canadians have been in a “leadership deficit” with the Americans. It is my opinion that it is time for a chance. Harper has had his run.

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  4. Ah – Finally a voice of reason. This blog-sphere is filled with whining finger pointers decrying the underhanded tactics of the treacherous opposition parties – without a word about the use of covert tactics by the CPC to tape and publish private meetings by the other parties.

    The buck stops here. Mr. Harper has demonstrated a several serious flaws in judgement this weekend. Every step making things worse…. All he had to do to prevent the current downspin was to concede that he had overstepped, approach the opposition (probably the liberals), and negotiate an economic strategy moving forward. Look at Obama as an example – he is deliberately putting partisanship aside and engaging the best minds – without concern of their political affiliation – to address the issues that his nation faces.

    It has been a long while since Canadians have been in a “leadership deficit” with the Americans. It is my opinion that it is time for a chance. Harper has had his run.

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  5. Well said, I agree. I'm a non-liberal/non-conservative/non-partisan. I've liked Harper's performance as PM so far, but he's put the CPC's interests ahead of Canada's, and I can't support him on that. If he backs down and starts co-operating, maybe it'll be a good lesson in hubris and wisdom and make him better. But I won't feel sorry for him if he goes, he's brought this on himself.

    Your perspective is totally non-partisan and I really respect that.

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  6. I believe he poked the stick to bring the plans out in the open - he knew about them and this is how he got them before they had time to fully execute their plans and take over the government without Canadians knowing

    Ummmm.... yeah, you're probably right!

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  7. Look at Obama as an example – he is deliberately putting partisanship aside and engaging the best minds – without concern of their political affiliation – to address the issues that his nation faces.


    Agreed -- and McCain has the same history of bipartisanship. Harper's no Obama and no McCain.

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  8. Alberta Girl,

    Is that the "do it to them, before they'd do it to us" sort of ethics we Tories aspire to? I hope not.

    As to your last paragraph, I'm at a loss for words… It's just too much of a stretch to think the PM would dump his own government to show Canadians how devious and power-hungry Grits are. I think it was simply a gross miscalculation that we all will eventually pay for.

    In the next federal election you can try to sell the PM's move as noble and brilliant during door-to-door canvassing—I know that I am not looking forward to having to do that:-)

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  9. It's only Monday folks...please no depair yet!I was as stunned about this unfolding of events as anyone else...but I think it does show the electorate far more about the opposition parties and their lust for power than it does about Harper's "so called" blunder. This is far from a slam dunk and we should just take a deep breath. A lot can happen in a week and personally I only see massive amounts of tiny cracks in the coalition's foundation. Might look viable on the surface but it's a foundation of sand and very vulnerable on face of an angry electorate. I'm willing to wait and see.

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  10. It's not a "so called" blunder on Harper's part -- whether the government stands or falls, it was a blunder either way. He ignored advice and tried to use his office to crush Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition instead of governing. Should've tried for Senate reform or something instead.

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  11. My personal opinion is that the Liberals and NDP have completely abandoned the good of Canada , and no matter which way this goes , it will exacerbate the current financial situation.

    Dion , Layton or whoever conceived this madness is truly out of their mind , because even if they usurp power , the financial markets will view the coalition with concern. The markets will react accordingly and eventually Joe Canadian will feel it. When that happens the Coalition will get the blame.

    If the Coalition backs down , PM Harper will blame any market downturn on the Coalition "spooking" the markets.

    For the Liberals and the NDP it is a lose lose situation , but they don't seem to have the common sense to understand the implications ... they are interested only in a power grab.

    BTW. I listened to Rex Murphy last night ( ... but finally had to turn it off ) , Caller after caller seemed to be a Liberal voter who was just angry that the Liberals lost. Only one caller mentioned the abomination of the BQ holding power or the financial impact to Canadians ... it was like they assumed Canada was an island of stability immune to market forces !

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  12. Harper didn't have a chance... this was well in the works before the Government even gave their throne speech. Harper made the best of the situation, and tried to stick it to the Opposition by sparking the public debate on Party financing.

    If you're going down, you might as well try to take them down while you're at it. In my mind, it was a good move by Harper, becuase now people are talking about the subsidy.

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  13. Brian,

    Of course the Liberals, "are interested only in a power grab." That's what Liberals do—scorpions sting, sharks bite, rattlers strike, Grits grasp for power today, tomorrow and always. It's a nature thing.

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  14. Christian Conservative,

    You may be right, but it seems more likely to me that the PM has surrounded himself with a team resembling a combination of Joe Clark's political judgment and Richard Nixon's dirty-tricks mentality.

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  15. Russ – One can only agree – of course that the Liberals are eager for power – they believe that their ideas are what is best for the country at this time. So we will see. But to be fair – the Conservatives, NDP and others have this same, perhaps misguided, notion.

    However – for those that are quick to accuse the Liberals of a power grab – (and honestly – they can’t possibly have hoped for this chain of events – it does not help them achieve their “political” goals) – let’s look at the recent moves of the Conservative leadership. Invalidate the importance of their own economic agenda during an economic crisis by reversing their position immediately AND without debate. Proposing a prorogue of parliament in a move to delay a confidence vote, certainly a more undemocratic move that what is being proposed by his opponents.

    So let’s be fair here – Mr. Harper has made several serious miscalculations and the opposition is taking advantage. Come on – what else would anyone expect.

    This is the glaring worry here – all of what has happened is so predictable. What does this say about the judgement of our current leadership? Does it not follow that the Canadian public will see the Prime Minister as weak? I think the BQ is the only winner in this sad and silly game.

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