Better than Ezra
I’m only saying this to explain that I’m not including Ezra’s column because it’s dramatically worse than your typical Sun column, rather because it’s quite representative of the Sun and, by consequence, the thinking of many Calgarians. So, here are excerpts from Ezra, with my comments added:
Ontario must do its duty
Its voters can save the Liberals -- and they must not
On the other hand, the Liberal party is in a shambles. Chretien's former staff and ministers fire public broadsides at Paul Martin. Liberal MPs are defecting, like Edmonton's David Kilgour did. The next Liberal leadership campaign is under way, with dauphins like Brian Tobin and John Manley organizing to dump Martin. The party has a multimillion-dollar debt.
First of all, David Kilgour’s defection is not exactly something many Liberals are crying over. Losing sleep over that would be equivalent to the Tories lamenting than Randy White won’t run in the next election. And, believe me, John Manley and Brian Tobin are making a lot less noise on the leadership front than Belinda Stronach or Bernard Lord. Certainly far, far less noise than Paul Martin made at any point from 1990 to 2003. Which leader got a higher percentage at leadership review this year?
There is only one reason Ontarians should not -- must not -- vote for the Liberals. And that is because to vote Liberal is to join in the brazen, public, shameless corruption of Canada's public institutions.
If Harper goes around telling people that the only reason not to vote Liberal is corruption, he's going to be in trouble. The problem facing the Conservatives is that they have not really given Ontarians a reason to vote for them rather than, say, the NDP. The Liberals and NDP are far more in touch with Canadians (well, Canadians in Ontario) on the policy and values issues than the Conservative Party. The Conservatives will be in for a rude awakening if they don't give Canadians a single reason to vote for them other than “Liberals are corrupt”. After all, Canadians remember this country’s last Conservative government.
Martin's conduct over the last 10 days is that of a red-faced schoolboy caught doing something naughty -- begging for time, shifting blame, desperately looking for allies. He's found one in Jack Layton who, for the fee of $4.6-billion in spending, will prop up the Liberals. That Martin would sell off his 10-year reputation as a prudent finance minister for just a few more months in 24 Sussex Drive shows how desperate and amoral he is. Nothing counts to him except maintaining his grip on power. If Adscam crimes weren't enough to make him blush why would perfectly legal overspending do so?
I’m with Ezra on the desperation front but, even with this NDP deal, the government will still be in surplus. And let’s not forget that last election the Conservative platform was far, far, more costly than that of the Liberals. Far more than $4.6 billion more.
A more politically attractive Conservative party couldn't be conceived.
Well, obviously not, or else they’d be over 30% in the polls.
Here's hoping that Ontario will throw Martin out -- and hard. If it doesn't, don't be surprised if Alberta and Quebec throw Ontario out -- or more accurately, try to leave themselves.
This is the ultimate juvenile argument (which will likely resonate with many given the Sun is written at a Grade 4 level): If we lose, we’re leaving. Ezra and the Sun have been complaining about Quebec doing this sort of stuff for years. Now he’s saying “if Alberta doesn’t get what it wants, we’re going to throw a hissy fit and stomp out of the country.”
Look, I’ve been as critical of Paul Martin as many of the Conservative blogs but if the polls show Canadians don’t want Stephen Harper, then there’s obviously a reason for it. Instead of whining over it, the right wing would be far better served trying to figure out why, and doing something to address the problem.