Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Did Anyone Hear the one about the Welfare Recipient?

I'm sure we can expect to hear a lot about this in the coming days. Apparently, an old speech of Harper's has been dug up as "proof" that he's out of touch with Canadian values. While the speech is eight years old, it's fairly damning. The official line is that it was "tongue in cheek" but, to beat Scott Feschuck to the line, even Charlie Sheen couldn't make these jokes funny.

Among the highlights from Harper's stand-up tour:

He goes on to describe Canada as "a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term."

He adds: "Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."


However, he tells his audience not to worry about the country's 1.5 million unemployed.

"They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance."


In the speech, Mr. Harper goes on to dismiss bilingualism, among other things:

"The important point is that Canada is not a bilingual country. It is a country with two languages. And there is a big difference."


"The leadership of the Conservative Party was running the largest deficits in Canadian history. They were in favour of gay rights offofficiallyfficially for abortion on demand."


"Canada is ... a troubled country politically, not socially. This is a country that we like to say works in practice but not in theory."



I know comedy is all in the delivery, but that's pretty weak material Harper was working with for a "tongue-in-cheek" speech.

Harper has looked really good this campaign and has been sounding the right messages. But he may go down as one of those people that simply can't live down his past.

71 Comments:

  • There is a lot of truth in some of those statements. Our standard of living in comparison to the Americans, as in take-home pay, has been slipping for years. And so much for our vaunted health care plan, we are rated number 30 in the world. But to a lot of Canadians that is number 1.

    Tax me , I'm Canadian. We are headed to 3rd world status, but the government will look after me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 PM  

  • I have to agree with you Calgary Grit. When I first saw this story hit the wires my immediate reaction was "Harper is done." There is no way you can spin clean statements about unemployed people being happy collecting pogey.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 PM  

  • An source that refused to be identified "pointed" the media to the speech two days before the debate? Shocked, I am.

    Tied with the "Do you love Canada" question, I suppose that this makes useful, if tedious attack material.

    But, seriously, it was 8 years ago. Its a bit rich for the Liberal party to judge othes on statements that old when they have some pretty key members in their ranks that have made even bigger changes of heart.

    By Blogger an MP, at 10:49 PM  

  • Lest we forget, was it Paul Martin or Anne Maclellan explaining that "This Government will never bring forward legislation to change the traditional definition of marriage in Canada."

    And this was 5 years ago, and when these folks were in government not private citizens.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 PM  

  • Calgary Grit,

    Don't get wanky. Think about it. First, will you then hold everyone to statements they made?

    Like Jean Lapierre? Like Paul Martin? Of course not! You'll forget that in a jack flash.

    And, hardly any of it is that offensive. Good luck with it, I guess.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 10:58 PM  

  • In a normal world this would finish Harper or any leader who said these things about their country and fellow citizens. But in this world, the media is pimping too hard for Harper to let this be more than a brief passing issue. If it gets more than a day I'd be surprised.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 11:03 PM  

  • I just finished reading the whole speech, and in general, it is not all that controversial, unlike the little juicy tidbits that will appear in the headlines tomorrow.

    That said, all of the party leaders are victims of quotes taken out of context, and I feel no sympathy for Harper who if he were in Martin's position would milk this like he does the beer amd popcorn gaffe.

    By Anonymous Deadgoat, at 11:21 PM  

  • "The important point is that Canada is not a bilingual country. It is a country with two languages. And there is a big difference."

    In substance, this is a fair statement.Although Alberta is part of Canada, it is not bi-lingual. I would think bi-lingual in a sense is that everyone would be walking around downtown Calgary speaking french and english to each other.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:26 PM  

  • Ehh...

    This hurt, but is it just for tonight? Recall Mulroney and his "No whore like an old whore" comment re: Bryce Mackasey.

    Hopefully Harper will address it first thing in the morning, admit he's more mature now that he's a national leader, and then whack something back at Martin tomorrow night or Friday.

    By Anonymous Robbie, at 11:38 PM  

  • This is rough for Harper. This provides the Liberals with heaps of talking points, potential attack ads, and campaign zingers. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

    And there is no way that any of you can honestly say that those comments are "tongue-in-cheek".

    By Blogger Jim, at 11:39 PM  

  • I agree with deadgoat. If you read the whole thing in context, it's a much more benign speech than the Canadian Press would have you believe. Most of the so-called "offensive quotes" are snipped from longer sentences. Moreover, it wasn't a political speech; it was mainly a civics lessons to a bunch of conservatives with little knowledge of Canadian politics.

    Of course, nobody will actually read in its entirety, and so the Canadian Press account will be taken at face value. C'est la vie.

    But CG, be fair! There were some good lines in there, provided you like your humour a little on the dry side. My favourite: "Some people point out that there is a small element of clergy in the NDP. Yes, this is true. But these are clergy who, while very committed to the church, believe that it made a historic error in adopting Christian theology."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 PM  

  • Dry, but it's actually quite humourous when read in context.

    Does Paul Martin really want stuff from, say, Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinners to be brought into the campaign though?

    This will go as far as the media takes it, I don't see Martin pushing it. He can't go and around saying you said it, you meant it, where does that put him and Scott Reid's beer and popcorn comment?

    However, I think now we'll see if the Conservatives have a little skeleton in the Liberal closet to expose.

    By Blogger JL, at 11:54 PM  

  • Just finished reading the whole thing as well.

    While it's obvious that humour was intended, this line really got my goat:

    "...if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians."

    Now that's interesting. We're dumb about the world?

    See the secret of satire is to incorporate a bit of truth into it. Question is, does Harper really think that Canadians are dumber, and more inward looking than Americans?

    More importantly, does he really think so lowly of Canadian intelligence in general (my comments about the lameness of votors, notwithstanding)?

    I'd sooner believe that Harper thinks that, than that Martin lied in any way about Sponsorship, but that's my burden.


    More troubling is this:

    "But seriously, your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country"

    There's been a lot of debate about the neocon label. But is it not clear by that that he aspires to it?

    That's what troubles me.

    By Blogger Teddy, at 12:00 AM  

  • Yeah, there were a few good lines in there. I did like this joke:


    It's about a constitutional lawyer who dies and goes to heaven. There, he meets God and gets his questions answered about life. One of his questions is, “God, will this problem between Quebec and the rest of Canada ever be resolved?” And God thinks very deeply about this, as God is wont to do. God replies, “Yes, but not in my lifetime.”

    I'm glad to see you weren't offended by that. I've had the odd religious person who's been offended. I always tell them, “Don't be offended. The joke can't be taken seriously theologically. It is, after all, about a lawyer who goes to heaven.”

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:01 AM  

  • And yes, you won't hear French spoken on the streets of Calgary. But funny how that Alberta has one of the higher rates of francophone or French immersion.

    And you just can't dismiss the significant populations of francos in teh maratimes, Ontario, Manitoba and northern Alberta.

    By Blogger Teddy, at 12:04 AM  

  • CG
    Anf the comment about ND being the devil...lovely. Just lovely.

    The more I digest this, the more of the humour comes out at me. But once again, to make humour good, there hass to be some personal truth mixed in there.

    NDP are the devil! A new rallying cry.

    By Blogger Teddy, at 12:10 AM  

  • This, taken from the speech, is quite funny:

    Let me take a moment for a humorous story. Now, I tell this with some trepidation, knowing that this is a largely Christian organization.

    The National Citizens Coalition, by the way, is not. We're on the sort of libertarian side of the conservative spectrum. So I tell this joke with a little bit of trepidation. But nevertheless, this joke works with Canadian audiences of any kind, anywhere in Canada, both official languages, any kind of audience.

    It's about a constitutional lawyer who dies and goes to Heaven. There, he meets God and gets his questions answered about life. One of his questions is, "God, will this problem between Quebec and the rest of Canada ever be resolved?" And God thinks very deeply about this, as God is wont to do. God replies, "Yes, but not in my lifetime."

    I'm glad to see you weren't offended by that. I've had the odd religious person who's been offended. I always tell them, "Don't be offended. The joke can't be taken seriously theologically. It is, after all, about a lawyer who goes to Heaven."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:11 AM  

  • Good evening Calgary Grit!

    I have sort of started my own "tongue-in-cheek" petition in light of these comments.

    Please direct your readers to this petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/nmsh8888/petition.html..."those who loathe their country, ought not to try to run it."

    Regards,
    John Leung Chung-Yin
    Contributor, Calgary Herald Q

    By Anonymous John Leung Chung-Yin, at 12:15 AM  

  • But can you truely go into any provincial government building in any city in Canada and be guaranteed that you will be able to get service in both languages? I doubt it.
    We have a bi-lingual policy in this country, but we are far from being a bilingual country. There are pockets of mother tounge francophones throughout the prairies but you will find more pockets that speak german, ukranian and chinese. Thats just the way it is. If Stephen Harper spoke the truth as he (and many other Canadian who look at this with cold logic, which is the trait handed down to us decendants from Scotland) saw it 8 years ago then so be it. But remember this will open the door for the conservatives to bring up all of Paul Martin's quotes from years ago and his son's company use of foreign flagged ships and cheap labour et all. So where do we stop?

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 12:21 AM  

  • So, now apparantly Stephen Harper's speaches from a decade ago to a partisan crowd and which appear to be satirical are the best indication of his current intentions?

    I think you have to seriously be reaching to buy that. Undoubtably the next few days will have every speach Paul Martin has made at a Liberal fundraiser dragged up and he'll have made similairly partisan remarks. Its not like Paul Martin has been a pinacle of political consistency. He seems to have adopted the John Kerry approach on the Iraq war, where he was for it before he was against it. While he was for it before he was against it, on scrapping the GST not to mention gay marriage. And if Paul Martin wants to wrap himself in the flag, we can have the whole debate about "if the Canadian flag makes such a nice cape Paul why isn't it good enough for your steamships?"

    But apparantly Stephen Harper is "scary" for holding political positions that Paul Martin held 2 years ago.

    And seriously, there isn't anything in that speach that people didn't hear last ime around. Aside from the people firmly committed to the other parties shaking their fists in self-righteous indignation, I don't think this has any significance. Its very much been there, done that the whole "second tier socialist nation" comment has been out there for over a year.

    By Blogger Chris, at 12:32 AM  

  • Chris; Harper should, at the very least, have some old quotes of Paul's on hand for when Martin brings this up at the debates. I'm sure there are a few of Paul's on gay marriage, the CSL flag stuff, GST, etc, floating around.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:56 AM  

  • Seriously, that is a funny speech. Remember what '97 was like; Clinton had just been reelected and the Dem/Rep clash was in full force, Newt v. Bill. And that's a very partisan crowd. The comment about the happy unemployed is deliberate self-parody.

    Now, the unfunny part of the speech has to do with a non-bilingual country. And he says nothing more than the truth, although some caveats about how Montreal and Ottawa and New Brunswick are functionally bilingual, every Canadian schoolkid can butcher French, and odd places like Calgary, or the Edmonton suburbs (Beaumont) each have 50,000 francophones.

    By Blogger matt, at 1:03 AM  

  • Amazing how PMPM has done a 180 on almost every issue and its because he's evolved.

    One would assume that Harper has evolved too then?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 AM  

  • Come on gang, let's be honest here.

    He probably said it and he probably meant a lot of it at the time too.

    I think some of the statements were clearly provocative for provocation's sake, but there's plenty of stuff in there that tells you where his head was at the time. Eight years ago puts it just after Harper left Ottawa after his falling out with Manning, and he was likely feeling somewhat disinlusioned about Ottawa and Canada's potential.

    Lemme tell you something. I have nothing but good will towards the country, but should the vote go the wrong way next month, I'm going to have a short little period of "falling out" before I pick myself up and regroup. Who knows what I'll be capable of posting that will get me into a spat of trouble when I run.

    (But I digress, because I still don't believe that it's going sour. This past weekend was a tipping point. I feel it.)

    That being said, I'm really wondering about whether Harper is going to be one of the few Canadian politicos not even given a single chance, least of all the multiple chances given to many less worthy contenders.

    And this isn't going to help that much.

    HOWEVER,

    This speech isn't a silver bullet and if the board believes it is, then they are in trouble.

    Plus, were I them, I would have held it off until post-Christmas, much closer to the election.

    That they are tipping their hand by playing it so soon - especially on the eve of the debates - tells me more about their campaign forecasts than it does about Stephen Harper of Christmas 1997.

    Obviously, they want to rattle Harper, and piss him off, and hope he lashes back at Martin tomorrow and Friday night.

    Here's hoping he doesn't take the bait.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 1:04 AM  

  • Forgive me. I forgot to spell check and clean my post up.

    "Disinlusioned" indeed.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 1:06 AM  

  • Personally, I'm kind of glad that the Liberal Party is already feeling desperate enough that a third of the way into the campaign they need to kick into "fear and smear" mode. As that means one thing, the leadership of the Liberal Party thinks its losing.

    By Blogger Chris, at 1:25 AM  

  • Yaaaaaawn...

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 1:29 AM  

  • This is a stretch, but could Harper be cleaning out his own skeletons from the closet? A preemptive strike negating the ability of the Liberals from doing it during the last week of the campaign.

    It should be interesting to see how Harper responds to this turn of events tomorrow. We've heard some of these comments before in the last campaign, but I don't recall seeing the full text of the speech.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 AM  

  • Teddy: While it's obvious that humour was intended, this line really got my goat:

    "...if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians."

    Now that's interesting. We're dumb about the world?


    No, that joke is saying that Canadians are ignorant about Canada. I recall seeing various studies showing that a large majority of Canadians don't know who the first Prime Minister was, what the first line of "O Canada" is, etc.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 1:54 AM  

  • Funny,

    How adscam is so "yesterday" to the press. I even read headlines to the effect that "Gomery Surfaced from the Past" or that the opposition "attempted to remind voters of..." as if Gomery was ten years old and not a scandal report released THIS FALL,
    a report that BROUGHT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, thus precipitating this election.

    Yes, the same media that comfortably supported the Liberal regime to stay in power for twelve long years, has obligingly allowed this old, old, Gomery news to stay in the past.

    But an eight year old speech, that's headline raising stuff. It's only a coincidence that it just happens to be squarely within the Liberals plan to paint Harper a "scaaary radical" I guess.

    Gomery's history. That was soooo November. Let's get back to painting Harper a radical. We've got interests to protect, status quo's to maintain.

    What a pathetic state our incestuous, closely held, liberal friendly media is in.

    By Anonymous Biff, at 2:02 AM  

  • I recall seeing various studies showing that a large majority of Canadians don't know who the first Prime Minister was, what the first line of "O Canada" is, etc.

    Come on guys, it's the truth and you all know it. Anyone ever see that clip where the talking head asks MP's "who Canada's first prime minister was?" as they walked out of the HoC (I believe this was late 90's, before the 2000 election)? I think the 13th or 14th one finally got it. These are our national politicians, they live and breathe this stuff.

    Go ask your friends, how many provinces in Canada, who was the first Prime Minister, does the Federal or Provincial government administer healthcare, etc, stuff you think is easy and everyone knows. I think you will be surprised at the lack of knowledge out there on these topics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:09 AM  

  • I was just having a converstation with a collegue wherein I said that when it looked like things were going bad for Martin, watch the media pull out the Harper is radical stories.

    Martin had a bad news week, started dropping in the Polls and........voila!

    Do you folks honestly believe that the likes of the Globe is not going to use it's massive influence in being a purported purveyer of impartial "news" to keep Harper from power?

    Here I'll do a translation:

    a speech Harper gave "surfaced", to:

    a Liberal gave me an eight year old speech that fits in with their platform so we headlined it.

    There will be more of that from the press, much, much more in the days to come, especially during particularily bad weeks for Martin.

    Cuz, you know, statements made by the Liberals (see Scott Reid)here and now (a.k.a. news) must be "balanced" with eight year old tongue and cheek speeches given by Harper.

    By Anonymous Biff, at 2:21 AM  

  • And just in case you want to belittle the significance of the story yourself, seeing how, you know, it's eight years old and all, the Cdn.Press. writes this:

    "With Canada/U.S. relations often in the forefront of the current election campaign, it's not surprising the Conservatives are playing down the comments."

    See that folks, it has nothing to do with the fact that it was a tongue and cheek speech from EIGHT YEARS AGO,it's all part of their hidden agenda to turn us into Americans. You gotta love the commentary interwoven with the "news" eh?

    Well that's a story for today, over to you Paul Martin.

    By Anonymous Biff, at 2:38 AM  

  • You want devastating:

    Check this out from Paul Wells (read every word of it, then come back and tell me that you'd still vote for Paul Martin):
    http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/politics/article.jsp?content=20051219_118124_118124

    To summarize this very detailed account: Paul Martin will say anything, and I mean anything to get elected, regardless of how untruthful it is.

    Yikes, no wonder team Martin is going on the "scaaary Harper" thing early.

    By Anonymous Chester, at 3:31 AM  

  • To the original 'anonymous':

    Canada's median household income is roughly CAD$56,000 annually, as per StatsCan. The US median household income is roughly USD$44,000 annually, which after conversion is around CAD$51,000. The median Canadian household currently brings in ~10% more than the median american.

    That more than offsets the roughly 8% difference in overall taxation the OECD claims as average paid, plus we don't have to pay for that health care beyond the taxes... get someone with some competence handling the administration of health care and watch that number come back up in a hurry.

    Don't be so quick to judge us against the US. They're sliding downhill in a hurry, and you should be in no great hurry to chain our country to their anchor.

    For the curious, the OECD study URL: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/23/35471773.pdf

    Median incomes can be found by searching at statscan.ca and census.gov.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 AM  

  • Truth: Watching what is happening to our neighbours down south is increasingly making Canadians anxious about any so-called 'conservative'. They see conservatives as fiscally reckless and untrustworthy (a la Mulroney).

    Truth: Harper's achilles heel is his American lapdog attitude. Would Harper have had us in Iraq if he had won before? The suggestion is just insidious enough, and probably true, to boot.

    Truth: Harper aligning himself with the Bloc to bring down an elected government (and just in time for Christmas! You wanted an Xbox? Sorry kids, you get an election instead!)
    This does not endear him to Canadians.

    Truth: We know how the West is gonna vote, we know how the East is gonna vote. Ontario is the swing province. Hence deriding Ontarians as stupid, since they have gone Liberal so many years running.

    Prediction: When the dust clears, the Liberals will still have the reins of power, and Conservatives will be chomping at the bit.

    Suggestion: Move south. We like our country.

    Thanks, Peak Oil

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:19 AM  

  • ...in other news, the first person that comes to your mind as a "funny" person is Charlie Sheen?

    By Blogger RP., at 8:18 AM  

  • I think the only thing I learned from this is that Steven Harper is a lot funnier than I thought he was.

    Drudging stuff up from 7 years ago to throw at him now is a little tiresome. I really wish the Libs would just come out with some policy than use the CP to dig up mud. If they are smart they'll let it go. Seven years is a long time, especially for 26 year old me. I was going through to be a minister back than; Now I'm a rye drinking, womanizing, grocery manager. Minus the womanizing part, of course.

    Roby

    By Anonymous roby, at 8:27 AM  

  • And yet GG Jean can make comments on film about toasting an independent Quebec...something that was certainly not tongue-in-cheek...

    ...and the media endorses her heartily.

    Maybe they are right. Maybe Jean does represent "the new Canada". It's a lot more like Haiti than I thought it would be.

    By Anonymous john g, at 8:39 AM  

  • Anonymous:

    "Truth: Harper's achilles heel is his American lapdog attitude. Would Harper have had us in Iraq if he had won before? The suggestion is just insidious enough, and probably true, to boot."

    Except, Martin was just as much in favor of the war in Iraq as anybody else.

    “When the Liberal government had to make a decision on Iraq, Mr. Martin did not speak. Those of us on the inside knew that he had been working very hard to get Prime Minister Chrétien to join the Americans in the war.” – Former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps (Worth Fighting For, 2004, pp. 211) "

    "“Prime Minister Martin said that he was thinking of putting troops into Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces. The very first person to raise objections was Stephen Harper. The Prime Minister ended up beating a hasty retreat and said that the Canadian military trainers would only do their job outside of Iraq.” - Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci (Unquiet Diplomacy, 2005, pg. 165) "

    "Truth: Harper aligning himself with the Bloc to bring down an elected government (and just in time for Christmas! You wanted an Xbox? Sorry kids, you get an election instead!)
    This does not endear him to Canadians."

    So, what children won't be able to get an xbox this year because there is an election? Maybe some of the hill staffers... but for the most part, even more kids will be able to get an xbox this year, with the jobs created due to the election.

    I was down at my local RO's office yesterday voting, and there were 5 people working there. I chatted with them, and they were all working full time, and getting overtime if they wanted it on the weekends. These are people hired specifically for the election - and making good money. I bet their kids will be getting a bit more for Christmas then they otherwise would.

    By Blogger Greg P, at 8:46 AM  

  • I'm sincere when I say thus, and am very very sorry for my language, but I can't really help myself.....John Leung Chung-Yin,
    Contributor, Calgary Herald Q, I went to look at your petition, and you are a fucking idiot.

    I'm cancelling my Calgary Herald subscription.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:52 AM  

  • Cheung Yin suffers badly from one of the popular Liberal delusions. If you don't wholly embrace the status quo, then obviously you hate the country and have no business being in politics.

    Personally, I find that a rather tiresome chestnut to have trotted out so often. Quite frankly, if you have no interest in enacting change what the heck are you doing in politics to begin with? Lacking an agenda, what's the point? Your just there for the perks? The cheap sense of validation, ego?

    Stephan Harper obviously has some policy disagreements with the current regime, and feels that government should be run with more integrity. Can anyone tell me why Paul Martin wants to be Prime Minister? Anyone? As far as I call tell it has something to do with his father having wanted to be Prime Minister. PM PM spent more than a decade campaigning for the job and once he got it, he's clearly had no idea what to do with it.

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:01 AM  

  • "Now that's interesting. We're dumb about the world?" -- Teddy

    Not as much as Americans, but for the most part Canadians are ignorant.

    Case in point: It is generally believed by Canadians that your health care system is the best in the world. My advice to you. Visit some of the hospitals in the rest of the world and you will notice quickly you are at the bottom of developed countries. But because you don't know better you are happy with the crappy system you got. (18 month wait time for bypass surgery.) Why don't you keep derising the two-tier system that every other civilized nation in the world has.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:37 AM  

  • forget the speech, it will be whatever the media decides. I highly doubt that it will turn into much. but check out this: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051215.wxelxnquebec15/BNStory/specialDecision2006/

    CG, you were complaining about keystone kops before? HAHAHAHAHA

    Now, to be fair, the CPC is running a former yogic flyer in one riding in quebec, but the liberals are writing off a serious number of seats. They're also massively over-optimistic...

    By Anonymous annextraitor, at 10:21 AM  

  • So long as 'dredging up the past' is a viable and valuable tactic, may I kindly direct your attention to the Liberal 1993 Red Book

    http://libscam.godsandartists.com/index.php/Red_Book

    and its various promises, such as creating a fully independent ethics commissioner (which the Liberals voted against just a few years back), and scrapping the GST (and we know how that went).

    By Anonymous Johnny Pockets, at 10:25 AM  

  • This Leopard may be 8 years older but he will never change his spots. I'm surprised some of you are surprised. It's not like it's the first time Anti- Canadian rhetoric has spewed from his mouth. If we all think health care is bad now, just wait until this tax cut and social program cutting western seperatist gets done with it. No thanks. Vote for this guy at your own peril.

    By Blogger Scott in BC, at 10:26 AM  

  • So, seriously ... which of the statements can anyone disagree with?

    By Anonymous Dave, at 10:45 AM  

  • Yes that remark regarding the unemployed was terrible. I mean, surely no one else, let alone the Liberals, would agree with that remark right? I can hardly bring myself to read anymore.....

    "That is beginning to change. There have been some significant changes in our fiscal policies and our social welfare policies in the last three or four years."

    Wait a minute. Was someone cutting the hell out of the EI program or something around the same time Harper made this speech? Who could have done a terrible thing like that? I want names dammit! Who dared to correct the very problems with the EI system Harper was discussing in this speech?

    By Blogger Reg, at 10:50 AM  

  • Truth hurts, I guess. If this is all the Liberals have then they’ve shot their wad already. I can’t get over how many people in this country can’t think for themselves and rely on “Mommy statists” to think for them. Got a “boo-boo”, Mommy will fix it, snif. I watch the likes of Susan Murray in the AM on CBC, just to get my blood pressure normal, now that is one “scarey” woman. If their talking heads and media people are all like Scott Reid, just think, what kind of country do these people really represent. Gives me quite a pause. I’ll take Harper and his “thinking” mind over any of these “angry” white people of Liberal extraction any day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM  

  • I guess it's begun. I was wondering who would blink first. That it's the Libs isn't much of a surprise. A campaign bereft of ideas, a campaign many on the inside say is starting to unravel. Dithers is tired and it shows. The wonder boys in the backroom are getting panicky - the internal polls are tracking poorly and no-one wants to blow the dust off their resume. Time to start cashing in favours with the 'sanctioned' media. The hope was to not go negative until the new year, but that might be too late. Can they do negative from now to the election and not get hurt? Cross-fingers and hope. The goal is government at all costs, that has to be the mantra.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 AM  

  • RG; Scott Feschuck seems to have an obsesion with Charlie Sheen on his blog - that's why I picked him out.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:19 PM  

  • The Globe burried the story at the end of their election coverage today and there wasn't any talk about it on the morning CBC.

    It looks like the media will give Harper a pass on this one.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:20 PM  

  • Wow, there sure are a lot of delusional conservative supporters posting anonymously today. They seem to think the Liberals are pretty desperate right now; get back to me when the Conservative move ahead of the Liberals on a couple of polls. You guys are pretty cocky for a bunch of losers who haven’t won an election in over a decade.

    The Liberals will play dirty pool (when the polls start tightening and during the last week), but they haven’t started yet. And if you think this is their best shot you were asleep during the last two elections.

    By Anonymous blah, at 12:23 PM  

  • I'm sure the Liberals have tonnes left.

    But there are diminishing returns on this sort of thing, e.g. "Dalton McGuinty just isn't up to the job" worked in '99 but not in '03.

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 12:26 PM  

  • It looks like the media will give Harper a pass on this one.

    We shall see, although it certainly looks that way right now. I would have thought it would have gotten a lot more circulation than it did, but even the usual internet sources aren't running with it in any big way. It may be that this theme was aired out in the last election, and it doesn't have any stickiness any more.

    On the other hand, I'm sure Martin will be keen on using it in the debates, at which point it may be more widely discussed. One question: does he use it tonight, or save it for tomorrow, when he'll be able to reference it in the orginal English? Or maybe he'd just rather not go down the old quote route, since his past is littered with things he'd probably rather not be reminded of, either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:28 PM  

  • Lucky for Martin that the debates will not be real debates. He will have the glorious opportunity to speak unchallenged from his scripts. Not much chance for any of his usual fumbling, bumbling or stumbling. No wonder many are not even tuning in. And how unfortunate for the viewing public, the media and political pundits. What we really need to see is at least one 'rock-em sock-em' 2 hour, 2 party scrum style debate with Martin and Harper.

    By Anonymous Dave in Ottawa, at 1:58 PM  

  • On a quote for quote basis, I'm just not sure which ones to use. With some issues, PMPM has pulled a quadruple Kerry thanks to the Liberals practice in government contrasted with their campaign rhetoric. The only problem, is that his quotes suck, as he is a shambolic public speaker.

    One thing to key on going forward are his personal verbal tics. I'd love to play poker against him, as when he's going hog wild pandering with no intention of following up the verbal tics come fast and furious. If we get a freer debate in #2 I foresee people needing several bingo cards and having to conduct any drinking games with near beer to avoid alcohol poisoning.

    By Anonymous annextraitor, at 2:09 PM  

  • How many of you LIBS are better off today than you were 10 years ago. 12 billion dollars of your money in Ottawa is the readon why.
    Harper's comment was 10 years ago . . . for any of you uninformed Canucks, the northern Euro countries he was referring to are Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. What have they been dooing the last 10 years. Why, moving away from Liberal/Socialism. They woke up in the early 90's, and have been moving RIGHT with much success. They are some of the best places in the world to live and do business today, have the best educated societies and personal income taxes in Sweden are lower than Canada. Denmark has elected two successive Conservative Governments.
    Of course some Canadians don't want to hear this, we are soooo eager to carry on in the footsteps of failing economies like France.
    Look at the facts
    George Bush . . . .US economy booming, reducing carbon emmissions, securing the nation.
    Paul (dithers) Martin . . . Kyoto a joke, up 24% (but we can send billions to Russia and India to fix that) Commodities driven economy, nothing to do with Martin.
    Paul is a tired, old man, who makes promises, can't tell the truth, but loves Canada so much he keeps his millions in Bermuda, and runs his family business out of a foreign port!

    By Blogger EX-NDIP, at 2:12 PM  

  • Aww..turns out the story doesn't have legs. I'm pretty sure the My Blag folks are going to go sulk in a corner now that no one really cares what Harper said a decade ago.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:46 PM  

  • 3 Reasons for PMPM NOT to bring up this Harper speech in the debate:

    1. Canada Steamship Lines
    2. His own comments on Canada going to war in Iraq
    3. It sounds a tad paranoid...

    He really does look tired doesn't he - I wonder if he's sick? Anne McClellan has a beaut of a cold - snezzed and got boogers on the CTV camera yestrerday.

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 3:19 PM  

  • "Truth: Harper aligning himself with the Bloc to bring down an elected government (and just in time for Christmas! You wanted an Xbox? Sorry kids, you get an election instead!)
    This does not endear him to Canadians."

    This one kills me. As if an election call has cancelled xmas. The idiot tries to suggest that no presents for kids this year and Santa wont involve himself in the political process so he wont come.

    Man if thats the best that guy can do...

    By Anonymous colin, at 3:40 PM  

  • Ex-NDIP

    If you don't think Canada is better off than it was 10 years ago you need a reality check.

    Also, I personally am way better off, my nations debt to GDP ratio has dropped. My individual share of the national debt has dropped. At the same time my salary has doubled over the last 10 years and my tax rate is lower.

    So BLAH!

    By Anonymous blah, at 4:12 PM  

  • Blah - you have a job? Someone pays you? Geez who would've thunk it...

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 6:16 PM  

  • The Liberal press release makes them sound like that old SCTV character, Count Floyd, who did commentary on "scary, scary" movies.

    "Even more alarming is that Mr. Harper’s comments were never meant to be made public. They were made to a secret..." (SCARY!) "...ultra-right organization..." (SCARY!) "...composed of U.S. conservative leaders..." (SCARY!), "...financiers..." (SCARY!) "...and religious right activists..." (SCARY, SCARY!). "Founded in 1981 by three Texas..." (VERY, VERY SCARY!)
    "...conservative..." (SCARY!) "... millionaires..." (SCARY IF THEY'RE NOT LIBERAL CONTRIBUTORS!), "...the group meets three times annually with council meetings closed to the public and off-limits to the media" (SCARY!)."

    "Other speakers who have addressed the CNP include televangelist Jerry Falwell..." (SCARY!) "...who spoke on Christian..." (SCARY!) "...conservatism..." (SCARY!) "...U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld..." (SCARY, SCARY, SCARY!); "...former U.S. Attorney general John Ashcroft..." (SCARY!); "...Founder of Focus on the Family (SCARY!) "...James Dobson..." (SCARY!) "...who spoke on abortion..."; (DOWNRIGHT CREEPY!) "...and Reagan-era Secretary of Defence Casper Weinberger..." (SCARY!)

    Of course, if these remarks were never intended to be made public, why have they been posted on the group's website for the past eight years? And if the group's so secret, why do they have a website?

    By Blogger Patrick, at 8:35 PM  

  • sailor man

    I have had a job ever since I was 10 and was delivering newspapers at 5 am.

    Unless you are extremely wealthy, odds are I earn more than you and your entire family combined.

    Your welcome for my tax dollars. Hope you are enjoying the beer and popcorn.

    By Anonymous blah, at 11:40 PM  

  • Blah - well done, for a guy with a grade 2 education to be making so much money is an inspiration to all of us. Are you a Liberal bag man?

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 9:53 AM  

  • No, I have a private sector job with no connection to politics.

    I also don't have a problem with my hard earned tax dollars helping out less fortunate fellow Canadian.

    I guess I just don't know any better given my second grade education.

    By Anonymous blah, at 10:58 AM  

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