Saturday, May 22, 2004

Those Who Do Not Learn from History:

I'm in the process of reading John Duffy's "Fights of our Lives" which focuses on five major elections in Canada's history. While I don't think the repercussions of this election will be historic, it may be one for the ages, solely because of the unprecedented collapse of the Liberal Party under they long time dauphin Paul Martin.

What it interesting is that Duffy is part of the Martin iner circle who gave him advice before, during and after his leadership campaign. Given this, I found a few interesting quotes from the book which gave me a chuckle or two:

1. p.77 "In English Canada [the Conservatives] would portray [Laurier] as a dangerous French Catholic, alien to the majority interests of the Maritimes, Ontario, and the West."
I guess John wasn't the one who commissioned the "religious fanatic" polls in Ontario then, eh? Funny how that Laurier guy went on to have a descent career.

2. p.77 "The Conservatives did what losing campaigns do to this day: they went negative, aiming their Double Tribal Whipsaw entirely at trashing Laurier."
Losing campaigns? Boy, now I'm really curious to see the internal polls.

3. p.207 "In this speech St.Laurent did what most stumbling front-runners do: he went negative, ridiculing the "Tory election promise to spend more and tax less."
Stumbling front-runner? Ridiculing the Tory promise to "spend more and tax less". Does Duffy even remember what he wrote in this book?

4. p.207 "Moreover, by discussing the pipeline, he was reminding voters of what they liked least about his government."
Substitute "pipeline" for "sponsorship" and you will see that Paul wasn't the first politician to go on a "Mad as Hell" tour.

5. p.196 "[Diefenbaker] wouldn't simply be asking Canadians to vote for him because he was a new man, but because he had a vision of the future."
This was in response to St.Laurent's lack of vision. Funny how Paul is running on being a "new man" yet he conveniently has no vision outside of "The Politics of Achievement."


Obviously Herle would be advised to give his buddy a call and ask for some historical advice on how to run campaigns. Because right now, it's looking like 1957 or 1984.

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