Thursday, April 05, 2007

They'll Go Neg

The Liberals have released three new radio ads in Quebec which attack Harper for going negative. It's not quite as bizarre as the "they'll go neg" ads the Conservatives ran after Christmas last year since those ads accused the Liberals of going negative before the Liberals ran negative ads but, at the same time, those ads did get a few corruption shots in at Martin whereas these new ones come across as sounding fairly lame. Here are the translated transcripts from Antonio:

Ad Un
“If Stephen Harper is convinced his accomplishments up to now are so good, would he spend all his money on negative ads about Stephane Dion? What do you think?”

Ad Deux
“In 2007, do we really prefer a politician like Stephen Harper, who spends his time denigrating his opponent, or a passionate man like Stephane Dion, who is concerning himself with the challenges of the 21st century? Which one is making us take a step backward?”

Ad Trois
“If Stephen Harper and the Conservatives attack Stephane Dion, is it because they are afraid of something? Afraid of his ideas maybe? Afraid of his Green Plan? Afraid…to lose power?”


I guess the plan is to try and get the message across that Dion is a better person than Harper and more honourable which may not be an awful message in itself. But at the time when more and more people are whispering that the Liberals can't take a punch, there's probably a better way to emphasize Dion's character. Maybe a direct message from the guy himself.

Now, I'm not opposed to attack ads on Harper - far from it. It's just that, in Quebec, there are a lot of good issues they could be attacking Harper on rather than "he runs attack ads". The environment, foreign policy, child care, broken promises...pick a social issue and he's probably off side from most Quebecers on it.

Running a negative ad which basically says "my opponent runs negative ads because he has nothing constructive to say" kind of invites most rational radio listeners to say "aren't the Liberals running negative ads saying that the Conservatives run negative ads because they have nothing constructive to say, because the Liberals have nothing constructive to say?" [actually, screw that. I'm confused just reading that last sentence and I wrote it. Maybe radio listeners won't make that connection].

I'm sympathetic to the fact that most of the people who used to handle our Quebec ads are in jail these days but surely there's someone in the province who could have done better than this?

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88 Comments:

  • Ouch Dan,

    I think you were harsher than I was.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3:43 PM  

  • As a Tory, I can't say I'm all that nervous about the effects of the new Liberal ads. Seem pretty weak. But ya never know.

    Partisanship aside (there's a disarming preface, eh?) I think these ads are probably the equivalent of boarding up the windows. QC's up for grabs, and both parties know it. Protecting bedrock Liberal support might not be a bad strategy for Dion right now.

    Cheers,
    M

    By Blogger Matt Bondy, at 3:48 PM  

  • Hmm, these do seem quite weak, and bit whiny. Surely there was something better to attack Harper on than saying mean and nasty things about Dion (which I myself have become guilty of, to...).

    Hey, maybe they should have just called Danny Williams to say a few words. ;)

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 3:58 PM  

  • "Running a negative ad which basically says "my opponent runs negative ads because he has nothing constructive to say" kind of invites most rational radio listeners to say "aren't the Liberals running negative ads saying that the Conservatives run negative ads because they have nothing constructive to say, because the Liberals have nothing constructive to say?"

    I don't think so, because these ads just ask the question. They are a direct response to the Tory ads, undermining their effectiveness, which is the main goal here. The next time someone sees the Tory ads, then maybe they will ask themselves the same question. If these ads were stand alone ads, then I might agree with "constructive" angle, but there retort ads, and as such I think their gold. The non-attack attack ad, all in the name of defense, sounds shrewd to me.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 4:00 PM  

  • Actually Antonio, the issue here is more likely that you weren't harsh enough.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:01 PM  

  • Couldn't agree more. The attacks on the Tories are so lame as to be laughable, if not insulting. It would be far more worthwhile to focus on their own message.

    JJ
    coldhardwonk.com

    By Blogger JJ, at 4:02 PM  

  • They are a direct response to the Tory ads, undermining their effectiveness

    Well, if it isn't Wishful Thinking - I thought you were dead!

    It's too late to "undermine the effectiveness" of the Tory ads - they sank in a long time ago. It's time to either find something substantial to attack Harper on, or for Dion to start seriously selling himself. He needs a new image, pronto.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:03 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 4:14 PM  

  • Of any of those summaries, I like the message in the 2nd one. I think it's not a bad theme for the Liberal Party to build upon. Not that any of them are great but of the three that I think is the best one.

    By Blogger Bailey, at 4:24 PM  

  • Steve,

    While I don't much care for attack ads, I recognize they're (generally) effective, and the last round against Dion were very successful. This isn't going to regain him any ground. Maybe it will stop the bleeding - but I don't think so.

    He needs to aggressively re-define himself as a man of action, not moaning.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:28 PM  

  • I hope you didn't delete that post because you called me Pompous Windbag - I liked that part.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:30 PM  

  • I did, it was uncalled for :)

    By Blogger Steve V, at 4:52 PM  

  • jeez finally people saying I am not hard enough on Stephane Dion...

    Thanks Jason

    By Blogger Antonio, at 5:05 PM  

  • Steve,

    Don't be silly, it was funny.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:25 PM  

  • As a conservative, I am really pleased to see that the Liberals can not get their act together. As much as I could not stand J.C., one had to respect the fact that the man knew how to campaign.

    Now, the Liberals can't even get a campaign plane (see
    "No Plane"
    )

    By Blogger Andy, at 5:32 PM  

  • Steve; I can kind of see the logic behind that, but the first round of ads ran a LONG time ago.

    The only ads it would serve to undermine would be the most recent ones but those were focused on the fiscal imbalance so, although they were attack ads, they were policy focused which is certainly fair game. I really don't think it's going to prevent the message from those ads getting out.

    By Blogger Dan, at 5:38 PM  

  • Marketing is a funny game. Sometimes the simplest message repeated ad naseum is the most effective. Political radio and TV ads are about emotion, not policy. These ads are pure emotion.

    The line about the Liberal Quebec ad people in jail was funny though.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 6:50 PM  

  • Lot’s of opinions in this forum.

    Here’s a bit of reality. The next IPCC report on global warming says that adaptation will not be enough.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6524251.stm

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:13 PM  

  • Maybe I am being wishful here but I'm going to go against the grain and say I don't think these ads are that bad. I'm not convinced a hardcore policy-oriented ad will work at this point. Maybe ads like this questioning Harper's "prime ministerial" aura (if he's such a strong leader, why does he feel like he has to run attack ads before an election is called?) are a good thing considering so many more people think Harper would be a better PM than Dion. I think the second one in particular is fairly strong.

    I mean, it's not perfect, they could have done better than this. I would like to see a positive biographical-type ad of Dion to combat the earlier Tory ads (showing him as a "man of action" as someone said above) but I don't think it's so terrible.

    Loved the last sentence of the post though. Funny stuff :-)

    By Blogger CanadianRyan, at 8:51 PM  

  • Here's another bit of reality - no one knows the IPCC.

    None of my family or neighbours and maybe 3 of my friends have heard of it. If relying in the IPCC to boost his image is Dion's plan, then I can predict an outcome right now -- and I'm the guy who said Cameron Diaz wouldn't work after The Mask.

    Ryan:
    I'm not convinced a hardcore policy-oriented ad will work at this point
    You are absolutely right. But Dion needs a defining image right now, either of himself or Harper. I don't think this does it, at all. He needs to rally people - non-Liberals - to his side, or away from Harper. Personally, I don't think "Harper says insulting things" is effective.

    Still, wishful thinking is important.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:25 PM  

  • Sorry all, the ads if the translation is correct are another variation on the common refrain we've been hearing from prominent Liberals as of late - namely "Harper is a Bully."

    A bad tactic because it makes Liberals sound like a bunch of whining crybabies. A better approach would be,

    "Stephen Harper released a series of attack ads against Stephane Dion. We're not going to respond in kind, instead, this is why you should vote for us"

    Thus far, I still haven't heard a peep from the federal Liberals as to why I should vote for them, how their policies (if any) are better than the Tories, etc.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 10:14 PM  

  • These radio ads sound reasonable enough, if a bit low key. It's not as if radio ads are suited to detailed, nuanced attacks or criticisms, nor are they a medium suited to the presentation of detailed policy ideas.

    It is important to strike back at Harper, though - the CPC is trying to make Harper's "decisive" leadership a selling point, and the Liberals must turn "decisive" into "micro-managing and authoritarian". I don't think a battle of personality cults of Harper vs. Dion will serve the Liberals (or Canadian politics generally) well.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 10:17 PM  

  • A personality cult is exactly what critics are asking for, correct.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:40 PM  

  • "Thus far, I still haven't heard a peep from the federal Liberals as to why I should vote for them, how their policies (if any) are better than the Tories, etc."

    Should I remind you that we are not in an election yet? It has been said before, and I agree, that the liberals can not release major policies until there is an election.

    I really do not know anything about anything, but I think these ads are simply there to be the soundbite - to ask people to look critically at Harper and question why he is so afraid of Dion. If Dion is the weak leader Harper says he is, why make the effort? To that end I think they will be effective. Leave the campaign ads for the campaign.

    I am not concerned about all this defining stuff - Harper was defined too, and eventually he got out from under that.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:50 PM  

  • >>Should I remind you that we are not in an election yet? It has been said before, and I agree, that the liberals can not release major policies until there is an election.<<

    Should I remind you that voters like to know what the other guy stands for between elections? Right now all I'm hearing from the Liberals is what they feel is wrong with Harper. What I would like to hear is what's so damned right about the Liberals?

    Dion says that Harper's budget sucks - what would Dion have done differently? Dion says he's the grenniest politician out there, but all I hear is a criticism of Tory environmental policies as opposed to what the Liberals would do differently.

    During Harper's tenure as opposition leader (as much of an a-----e that he is, voters knew precisely where he stood on issues. We don't know where Dion stands and frankly, I think it's insulting to voters that a political party should say, "we can't tell you what our policies are until an election campaign."

    No wonder voter turnout keeps declining.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 11:53 PM  

  • "But Dion needs a defining image right now, either of himself or Harper." - jason bo green

    Right, I agree. Like I said, I'd rather see an ad talking about Dion himself and why he's a good choice for PM. It's not perfect. But I don't think it's as awful as everyone here is making it out to be. There is a strategy behind it and it *may* turn out to be more effective than everyone thinks. I don't know, I guess we'll find out.

    The other thing is, I'm not convinced lots of people are paying that much attention right now anyway. I'm kinda hoping the Liberals are saving their good stuff for the actual election when people actually care. Probably not, though.

    By Blogger CanadianRyan, at 12:48 AM  

  • Jason Bo Green said

    “Here's another bit of reality - no one knows the IPCC.

    -- and I'm the guy who said Cameron Diaz wouldn't work after The Mask.”

    Odd, Minister baird knows about it very well. So does BC Premier gordo campbell.

    Here’s an extract from a CBC report

    “The survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies released Thursday found that almost four in five Canadians — 77 per cent — are convinced global warming is real.”

    “Almost half — 47 per cent — believe climate change will affect their lives and those of future generations, while 42 per cent think it will not significantly affect their lives, but will have an impact on the lives of future generations, the poll suggested.
    Only 12 per cent of those surveyed viewed global warming as "junk science" and only two per cent believed global warming isn't happening at all.”

    It is possible that you do know a lot about Hollywood. Do you know about politics?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:52 AM  

  • "Right now all I'm hearing from the Liberals is what they feel is wrong with Harper. What I would like to hear is what's so damned right about the Liberals?"

    That is really interesting Sean. Are you asking the same of the NDP?

    As for your comment about the environment - perhaps you missed the bit where the Clean Air Act went to committee and came out looking like Dion's plan.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:03 AM  

  • oh, and I forgot to add that bit about how none of us know where Harper stands on how he is going to shift powers "back" to the provinces - because he has not said what "powers" he is referring to.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:05 AM  

  • sean cumming is right.

    The LPC has to deliver positive reasons for people to vote for them.

    It seems like the braintrust just thinks they need to wake up their sleeping supporters. But that's not the reality. Their supporters aren't sleeping, they have walked away.

    Even this budget business was just stupid. Comuzzi gets thrown out of caucus because he votes for the budget? Wow.

    And then, Dion says that Harper wants an election. Double wow.

    The Liberal's try to defeat the government on a confidence vote and then claim over and over again that its the Tories that want the election. How stupid do they think we are?

    Tomm

    By Blogger Tomm, at 2:00 AM  

  • you voted for him Dan

    By Blogger fartcatcher, at 3:49 AM  

  • If the Tories are trying to define Dion before the Liberals can, it seems to me that an ad which would define Dion wouldn't be a bad idea. I understand that's what they were trying to do with the second one ("Dion is honourable yada yada") but I think that even a 15 second clip from Dion himself along the lines of this would have worked:

    "This is Stephane Dion. Stephen Harper has been attacking me because he has nothing positive to offer Quebecers. I believe in..."

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:50 AM  

  • I don't think there's anything particularly good or bad about these ads. Reform or Grit

    The latest Liberal ads present an expression of their frivolous nature.

    M. Dion is sophisticated in the ways of the world, his knowledge certainly takes all this latest crap out to the lane or the curb (what have you fellow Canadians).

    It really is time to elevate the level of the discourse and I'm sure even S. Harper would agree with that point.

    By Blogger t grit, at 4:41 AM  

  • Gayle wrote:

    >>That is really interesting Sean. Are you asking the same of the NDP?

    As for your comment about the environment - perhaps you missed the bit where the Clean Air Act went to committee and came out looking like Dion's plan.

    oh, and I forgot to add that bit about how none of us know where Harper stands on how he is going to shift powers "back" to the provinces - because he has not said what "powers" he is referring to.
    <<

    I'd be asking the same of the frikin' flying Yogi's if they had MP's in Ottawa. I'm not mentioning them or the NDP because neither have a ghost of a chance of ever forming a government in this country.

    On the environment, perhaps you missed the part where Stephane Dion won the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada wearing a green tie thereby making the enviroment the number one issue for voters. The Clean Air Act in it's current incarnation is the product of three opposition parties forcing amendments. What I would have preferred to see is Stephane Dion's green plan (assuming he had one) before the bill went to committee. All I heard was "Tory Bad - Liberal Good" rather than "here's our plan and here's why it's better than theirs."

    On decentralization, you're right. Nobody knows where Harper stands outside of the occasional vague hint or carefully crafted sound bite. Then again, we can see some inklings of what he intends to do if we examine his relationship with Quebec over the last twelve months.

    On the other side of the coin, we've heard howls of dismay from Liberals about how Harper wants to tear apart the country, but we haven't heard anything substantive from the Liberals about how they would unify a nation where the nation's economic engine has shifted to a geographic location that is woefully under-represented in Ottawa. There's been much talk about a fiscal imbalance and little discussion about the power imbalance that leaves Westerners, for example, feeling like Ontario and Quebec determine the fate of the country by virtue of the number of seats they possess. We are already seeing Alberta being demonized by certain prominent Liberals and definitely by people like David Suzuki. The west was demonized by the Liberals during three successive federal elections, and frankly, I'd always thought that winning an election was about unifying the country, not portaying certain segments of the country as a bunch of racist or homophoebic bumpkins who just fell off the turnip truck.

    Cripes, the Liberals could win every seat in Alberta if they made an iron clad committment to a Triple-E senate - anything thing that will address the power imbalance is going to receive huge popular support out west.

    Am I disappointed that Harper sold out to Quebec in the budget? You bet. Do I believe he would continue to sell out to Quebec? Yes - to a point. The political reality in this country is that in order to win a majority, ya have to bribe Quebec and Ontario, so I'm willing to be forgiving of this if Harper wins a majority and reshapes the political system in the country. He can't do it with a minority.

    You might believe this to be a despicable secret agenda and that's just fine. I'd support any federal party (well maybe not the NDP) if they could promise to bring in substantive changes to our political system that will redistribute political power more fairly among the provinces.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 5:24 AM  

  • Ryan:

    The other thing is, I'm not convinced lots of people are paying that much attention right now anyway.

    Yeah, you're probably right on that one - if Dion is laying a plan to lay low and then hammer hard when an election is called, that could actually be smartest. We'll see.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:45 AM  

  • Baird and Campbell??? Uh, aren't they politicians?

    No one in my family, none of my neighbours, and less than 5 of my friends know the IPCC. Their studies and conclusions will have very little effect on the public's perception of Dion, or Harper.

    Dion has to make his own name, not leave it to the IPCC.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:48 AM  

  • So let's have your script, then. How would you write the ads?

    By Blogger Steve Marsh, at 11:08 AM  

  • Jason Bo GREEN said

    “Dion has to make his own name, not leave it to the IPCC. “

    Dion already has. The opposition has passed Bill C-30 for a 2nd Reading. The Liberal caucus gave Dion a standing ovation after the event.

    Now, the Liberals are election ready. And, they have the potential for a majority if harper keeps denying global warming. That’s why baird turned tail, and became a convert. But, it’s too late.

    Will harper’s caucus vote against the bill they introduced? This would be unprecedented.

    Or, will harper bite the bullet and allow the bill to pass?

    The conservatives say that they are ready for an election. Minister baird introduced the new ‘war room’. Does harper have the fortitude to stand his ground and defend his beliefs. Or, will he depend on the tea leafs?

    Now, we get to see what kind of name that harper makes for himself.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:55 AM  

  • I'm sure that those ads will be the one to reverse the Libs' sagging fortunes in Quebec. Dan, the last line of the post says it all: these are awful ads and likely won't sway a single swing voter towards the Liberals.

    Rather than wasting money on pithy ads, call a policy convention so that they can develop some ideas that can compete with Harper's own ideas.

    By Blogger RGM, at 12:17 PM  

  • Again sean - real interesting, but it is quite obvious you are not listening:

    "What I would have preferred to see is Stephane Dion's green plan (assuming he had one) before the bill went to committee."

    As I said, the green plan released by Dion was basically incorporated into the CAA. So I do not know what you are talking about here.

    And then you go on to say:

    "On decentralization, you're right. Nobody knows where Harper stands outside of the occasional vague hint or carefully crafted sound bite. Then again, we can see some inklings of what he intends to do if we examine his relationship with Quebec over the last twelve months."

    So, it is bad that Dion did not release his green plan before the CAA went to committee, even though his green plan was actually incorporated into that Act by the committee, but it is perfectly OK that Harper is being deliberatly vague about what he wants to do with the constitutional framework of this country? Are you serious? And you want to know how the liberals are going to "fix" things for Alberta, without making the same demand of Harper?

    I live in Alberta and I will tell you what I think - I am sick and tired of all the whining from my fellow citizens. We hae not been demonized by anyone. Get a grip. You say it is not OK for the liberals to funnel money to Quebec, but when Harper does it that is OK because he wants a majority? You have absolutely no idea what he is going to do with a majority - because he is not telling.

    As for Triple E Senate, give it up. It is not going to happen, either with the liberals or with Harper. Have you ever heard Harper give you any details about what kind of reform he wants for the Senate? Like the constitutional question, he is being deliberately vague, because he knows that he cannot sell Triple E to Ontario and Quebec - and all he wants is his majority so you are going to see him do what you accuse the liberals of doing - selling out the interests of Alberta to Ontario and Quebec.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:40 PM  

  • I've read the comments and though several asked the right question, what are the Liberal platform and policies, there was no answer except Harper is a bad guy. The Liberals have always been a party of saying, not doing. They want to be in power not to make Canada better, just to be in power. When Chretien was asked what was his greatest accomplishment he replied, "Winning 3 majorities!". That was it, no accomplishments in 13 years, what a record.

    It is beyond me why you blindly support a party that has committed corruption and theft on a scale of a banana republic. Adscam, Shawinigate, RCMP, Gun Registry, patronage and on and on.

    One example of Liberal ineptitude that comes to mind is when Clinton asked Chretien to send soldiers to Africa and he said sure, right away. When the Canadian military informed him we had no heavy lift capacity, no ships, little equipment, no people on site and no soldiers to send he had to tell Clinton the plan was off. Did he take steps to make sure the military could meet future requests, not a chance.

    I am watching Harper meet his promises and laying far-seeing plans to make Canada a strong and better governed country. He has a vision and he states it. I will vote for the party that does what it says and you Liberals seem to never meet that criteria.

    Harper is not making attack adds he is just holding up a mirror so you can see yourself.

    By Blogger dmh, at 12:42 PM  

  • I've read the comments and though several asked the right question, what are the Liberal platform and policies, there was no answer except Harper is a bad guy. The Liberals have always been a party of saying, not doing. They want to be in power not to make Canada better, just to be in power. When Chretien was asked what was his greatest accomplishment he replied, "Winning 3 majorities!". That was it, no accomplishments in 13 years, what a record.

    It is beyond me why you blindly support a party that has committed corruption and theft on a scale of a banana republic. Adscam, Shawinigate, RCMP, Gun Registry, patronage and on and on.

    One example of Liberal ineptitude that comes to mind is when Clinton asked Chretien to send soldiers to Africa and he said sure, right away. When the Canadian military informed him we had no heavy lift capacity, no ships, little equipment, no people on site and no soldiers to send he had to tell Clinton the plan was off. Did he take steps to make sure the military could meet future requests, not a chance.

    I am watching Harper meet his promises and laying far-seeing plans to make Canada a strong and better governed country. He has a vision and he states it. I will vote for the party that does what it says and you Liberals seem to never meet that criteria.

    Harper is not making attack adds he is just holding up a mirror so you can see yourself.

    By Blogger dmh, at 12:44 PM  

  • "He has a vision and he states it."

    Good - maybe you can tell me which powers he plans to transfer to the provinces.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:15 PM  

  • These ads might not be a too-terrible start of a larger campaign. Let's see what follows before we totally pick it apart...(although I think these are good questions!)

    By Blogger Paul Michna, at 2:19 PM  

  • Hey Calgary Grit:

    "If the Tories are trying to define Dion before the Liberals can"

    have defined, my friend. have defined.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 2:21 PM  

  • Gee Gayle, where do I start?

    Out of respect for the Calgary Grit and his exceptional blog, I'm not going to argue back and forth with you. I will, however, point out the glaringly obvious.


    Dion's Green Plan:

    The plan of which you speak was a watered down list of vagaries that talked about meeting our Kyoto targets but did not address the way in which those targets could possibly be met or the economic fallout that would occur as a result. BOTH the Liberals and the Conservatives are equally guilty of deliberate obfuscation on addressing the detailed specifics of a plan that would reduce GHG's in Canada. If were talking about non-intensity based targets then what we're really saying is federal regulation of a provincial industry. You might very well be tired of whining in Alberta, and that's just fine. As yucky and pollutin' as those big nasty oil sands might be, they're seen as a symbol of provincial identity in this province and it is a resource that is owned by Albertans. What Dion proposed is a glorified carbon tax and as you must know, the only way we can truly reduce Canada's GHG's is by shutting down industries that employ hundreds of thousands of people - a real vote getter, don't you think?

    On decentralization:

    No it is not okay that Harper is deliberately vague, nor is it acceptable. However he is the Prime Minister and Stephane Dion is not. If an election is called, Harper will have to defend his record and can be held to account. Stephane Dion, on the other hand, if he wishes to become Prime Minister, must show voters that he has policies that are better than Harpers, right now, I'm just not seeing it. Dion could be mopping the floor with Harper by shifting the focus from what Harper is doing wrong to what Dion can do right. To make matters worse for all Liberals, he (and others) are embarassing the crap out of themselves by calling Harper a bully every time someone sticks a microphone in their faces.

    As mentioned, I am a voter who has supported both parties. I'm one of those people that both leaders must appeal to and there is nothing appealing at all about an opposition leader who doesn't challenge my thinking or offer some measure of hope that perhaps under his watch, we might see a sea change in Canada's political system. The reason Harper is deliberately vague about decentralization is because he doesn't wish to upset the apple cart. It's the same reason why Dion is deliberately vague when asked if he would nationalize Alberta's oil industry.

    Those vagaries are in place to prevent a backlash and nothing more -- it's why you can never get a straight answer out of a politician. Again, I am willing to cut Harper some measure of slack on this because after all, he eats babies right? I mean he's got 666 tattooed on the back of his head somewhere - that's what Paul Martin's Liberals told us during last year's election campaign. At the end of the day, I don't know if Harper will make the kinds of changes he's hinted at -- he could just be another big fat liar for all I know. But if I compare Dion and Harper, at least with Harper I know that he is a conniving sneaky SOB with a partisan streak a mile long and who'd sell his kids to get a majority. With Dion, I see a guy who carries a back pack and complains that Harper is a bully, but nothing that defines the man.

    In short, Harper is a jerk. But at least he's our jerk. Dion on the other hand, still waiting to see what he's capable of and frankly, what I've seen so far tells me that he's a fart in the breeze as a leader.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 2:25 PM  

  • sean - what you are telling me is that a) you are a conservative and will make less demands on that party in terms of accountability than you will on the liberals, and b) your issue is not that Dion does not have a plan, but rather that you do not agree with it.

    Both of which are fair enough, but your initial post suggested otherwise, hence my response.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 2:53 PM  

  • There is no mystery around what powers Harper would return (not give, but RETURN) to the provinces. To quote Lance:

    " It's taken a Quebec election and and a quote from Dumont for even the liberals to figure out the next CPC campaign strategy. I mean, it's only been part of the right wing wish-list since Trudeau.

    Autonomous.

    Now the Liberals are sweating. Autonomous is something that Quebec obviously believes in. It's something Alberta obviously believes in. It is something that Saskatchewan believes in, probably Manitoba and at the least rural BC too. The Maritimes, not so sure. Ontario, probably not.

    That's the theme though. That's what won in Quebec, it's what kept the right alive in the West all those years. It's the rational behind the CPC's platforms on the gun registry, CWB, fisheries, "day care", and pretty much all the rest of it too. Harper in particular, the CPC in general have and will probably always be BNA federalists, not that new fangled thing, what is it again? Constitution, Charter? That thing that Trudeau guy foisted off on us.

    What's the BNA? The BNA is a nice big red solid line. It's a line that neither thieves who want to take our money, or bleeding hearts who want to save us can cross. Yes, I'm all in favour. I hear Quebec wants in. "

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:00 PM  

  • Gayle wrote:

    >>sean - what you are telling me is that a) you are a conservative and will make less demands on that party in terms of accountability than you will on the liberals, and b) your issue is not that Dion does not have a plan, but rather that you do not agree with it.

    Both of which are fair enough, but your initial post suggested otherwise, hence my response.<<

    No Gail. I am one of those people who is neither Conservative nor Liberal. I would make less demands of the flying yogi's if they were the government and offered a whiff of shifting the balance of power in this country so that all regions have a greater say in how our country evolves. I support strong social programs, but I also dislike paying so much in tax. I like the idea of safe streets but I don't care for a jillion dollar gun registry that penalizes law abiding people for owning a gun. (I don't own a gun by the way. I've always thought that people who don't hunt or use guns to find food are generally compensating for something.) I support public health care and would like to see a balanced approach right across the country. In short, I am a centrist, tried and true.

    If Dion had a plan, I'd love to look at it and decide whether I disagree with it. If it was a kick ass plan, I'd buy the T-shirt, hell I'd buy a box of T-shirts and hand them to my friends.

    Look, as Paul Wells has said on numerous occasions, "he who auditions for the part of opposition leader, generally gets the part." (Something like that anyway.) You have indicated that Dion would be unwise to reveal any policies until an election and that relegates him to simply pointing at Harper's policies and opposing them with nothing that might cause me to want to vote for Dion instead of Harper.

    Pretty basic.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 3:26 PM  

  • The problem with these ads is that they do not respond to the Tory ads, rather they attack the Tories. The difference is that Harper is a comparably known commodity, while Dion is not.

    The Liberals should define Dion at this point, THAT is how they would undermine the ads.

    If you are going to run negative ads ask yourself - is there some weakness in the other candidate the public fails to see? "Harper is scary" is sooo 2004 (and I think Quebecois know what Harper has done in office for them, since Charest just campaigned on the basis of that).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:29 PM  

  • Nice to see you like being a second class citizen Gayle. Letting others have the chance to have more say than you, stronger voting power, control of your destiny.

    As an Albertan, maybe you should pull your head out of your ass and see what the real struggle for us is about.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 4:32 PM  

  • "and I think Quebecois know what Harper has done in office for them, since Charest just campaigned on the basis of that"

    and, Dumont used the last days of the campaign to remind Quebeckers again and again that everything Charest claims credit for is Harper's achievement, not Charest's.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 5:00 PM  

  • All hail the chief!

    Course, if his belly keeps growing, it will be more like "All hail the chef!"

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 5:02 PM  

  • Let us see joe - we have the strongest economy in the country, and therefore the most money. Yup - we are really hurting.

    There is no struggle - it is simply manufactured. Do you think we are worse off than any other province? I get the whole complaint about Ontario and Quebec, but they do have the population so we have to deal with it. Alberta has not hurt under the liberals - indeed our current prosperity came while the liberals were in government.

    So, other than the tired old complaint about a policy that was revoked over 20 years ago, and the demand for the Triple E Senate, do you have any reason to complain?

    By Blogger Gayle, at 6:55 PM  

  • Well, from reading joe's site, he's angry that PEI has a whopping four seats in the House instead of only about two. After all, those two extra seats confer enormous extra power on the province's voters.

    Otherwise, apparently it is necessary for the ratio of seats in Quebec to those in Alberta to go from 75/28 = 2.68 to 101/45 = 2.24, as such inequality is argued to be, well, wrong. Of course, this gap has been narrowing in each subsequent seat redistribution as Alberta, Ontario, and BC have been gaining seats.

    I would think that electoral reform, including some form of PR, would be most useful in Alberta, a province in which fully 35% of the electorate has no representation whatsoever.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 7:15 PM  

  • Gayle:

    I am pasting a comment that I'd posted here in February in a thread about Ralph Klein's Alberta.

    While I certainly respect your skepticism regarding Alberta's displeasure with it's place in confederation and I know that NEP was twenty years ago, but there's a why Albertan's dislike Ottawa and why we elect successive Conservative governments that are inept. (And that's being generous)

    >>Albertans are a curious paradox. We demand fair treatment from Ottawa yet we don't demand the same from Edmonton. We're quick to condemn the sins of Federal Liberals yet we turn a blind eye to the shenanigans of Provincial Tories. It is for this reason, I believe; that federal Liberals, indeed, perhaps most federal politicians who don't represent Alberta, see no political gain in advocating for Alberta's wants/needs. While Alberta might be fuelling the nation's economy, it's hard to take this province seriously when it's own voters pay little attention to provincial matters - as long as the oil flows and the boom continues, Albertans are very forgiving. We wear dissatisfaction with Ottawa like it's a comfortable sweater and I think Ralph's appeal was that his outspoken nature gave Albertans a sense that they had a strong advocate to fight Ottawa, even if he didn't really have a vision for the province.<<

    You can call it whining Gayle, but the reason that Fortress Alberta is a dead zone for federal Liberals has to do with a long held feeling that this province contributes far more to the country than the country contributes to Alberta.

    Albertans do have a right to complain. The last federal election saw a wholesale attack on this province as Liberals pointed the finger at Ralph Klein's supposed plan to privatize health care, even though there were fully functional/operational private health clinics in British Columbia and Ontario. The region was portrayed as a bastion of F-150 drivin' rednecks who just fell off the pumpkin wagon.

    Very simply, the reason successive Conservative governments are elected in Alberta is because it's written into the DNA of voters out here -- vote Tory and stand up to Ottawa.

    Dion could do a helluva lot by building bridges to Alberta and showing voters that he understands the sense of disenfranchisement in this province.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 8:04 PM  

  • Sean,

    What you consistently fail to grasp is this: If you do not unswervingly support the Liberals in any given circumstance then you are a "Conservative". Just ask Gayle, and she'll fill you in. It doesn't matter if you've always voted NDP or Liberal but now choose Harper - you are just a Conservative showing your real stripes. Anyone who selects Harper as PM is a flake and a Conservative, no matter what.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 12:22 AM  

  • Joe Calgary is NOT upset that PEI has 4 seats, he is angry that seats are not given according to population. Representation by population is a perfectly acceptable value to hold - even if Josh doesn't believe in it personally, he should not be so quick to mock or belittle someone else's beliefs.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 12:24 AM  

  • Except seats are given according to population - it was only in the 1980s that the "grandfather" clause was introduced, by Mulroney no less. We already have rep-by-pop, and it provides for more seats for provinces whose shares of the national population are growing. So at the next redistribution, Alberta, BC, and Ontario will all gain seats, and this will continue until their shares of the population stabilize, whenever that may be. Arguably, redistributions should be more frequent, but I see no reason to increase the size of the House by one third unless we are actually considering real electoral reform. Real rep-by-pop ought to eliminate the artificial majorities created when a party secures 40% of the vote.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 1:53 AM  

  • That is kind of funny you would complain about that Jason, given the fact that I am not a liberal, and only ever voted liberal when I lived in Anne McLellan's riding.

    But hey, don't let your hypocrisy get in the way of a good rant.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 2:39 AM  

  • sean - I agree in theory, but I should point out that the liberals are not the only ones who ignore Alberta. Indeed, Harper just ignored us in the last budget. Mulroney ignored us for years - hence the birth of the Reform.

    I do not feel sorry for Albertans, because there is this overwhelming sense of entitlement - the whole "we have the oil so do what we want" mentality. I do not respect that, and do not agree with that.

    Add to that the fact that for decades Albertans have ignored the absolute abuses perpetrated by our provincial governments - most of which are only becoming issues now. If you are going to vote like automatrons, you are going to be treated that way.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 2:50 AM  

  • gayle wrote:
    >> there is this overwhelming sense of entitlement - the whole "we have the oil so do what we want" mentality.

    Add to that the fact that for decades Albertans have ignored the absolute abuses perpetrated by our provincial governments - most of which are only becoming issues now. If you are going to vote like automatrons, you are going to be treated that way.<<

    Albertans are naturally suspicious of Ottawa, regardless of whether that government is Liberal or Conservative. I picked on the Liberals because while Mulroney might have screwed the west as well, he didn't run an election campaign that purposefully smeared this province to win votes in Ontario and Quebec.

    I heartily agree that Albertans have largely ignored successive provincial governments that are bereft of vision and who've been in the back pocket of the oil industry. That being said, there's a reason why Albertans continue to support the PC's and I think it has to do with two things:

    a) Kevin Taft's provincial Liberals share the same name as their federal counterpart -- that's guilt by association in spite of Taft's best efforts. (I suspect the
    provincial Liberals will pick up seats in Calgary when we have another provincial election, though this may very well be a protest voter rather than a ringing endorsement of the Liberals)

    b) The provincial PC's have long been seen as the gatekeeper of Alberta's identity and a harsh critic of Ottawa.

    Of course, voting like automatons isn't the exclusive domain of Alberta voters. One only has to look at the GTA to see similar voting patterns at the federal level.

    It can be argued that a similar sense of entitlement exists between Ontario and Quebec by virtue of the vast number of federal seats those provinces hold. Then again, if Alberta has a sense of entitlement because of it's oil and strong economy, I would argue that it exists largely because voters are keenly aware of the power imbalance at the federal level and they cling to the one thing that defines Alberta: black gold, Texas tea. Just as linguistic differences act as a symbol of Quebec's distinctiveness, oil and voting PC are symbolic of Alberta's distinctive nature as well.

    At the end of the day, there is still a remarkably strong sense of disenfranchisement with the federal system in Alberta. Mulroney had a hand in it, but one cannot argue that it is largely aimed at federal Liberals because the Liberals were in power for the overwhelming majority of the past 100 years.

    I also believe that sense of disenfranchisement is in a holding pattern as Albertans (who still hold a very strong attachment to the old Reform Party's social conservative leanings) watch to see if Harper will finally address Alberta's grievances with it's role in confederation. If Harper obtains a majority and then proceeds to sellout as Mulroney did, I believe that Albertans may very well wish to chart their own course, particularly if oil is selling at record levels and the Alberta economy is booming. Unlike Quebec, a province that has held Canada hostage with veiled threats of separation for the past thirty years, Albertans grievances have nothing to do with how much money we receive from the federal government. Alberta doesn't need federal handouts, what it needs is a better political system that recognizes Alberta's contribution to the country. If the right conditions exist, Alberta can always explore it's options.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 5:52 AM  

  • I personally don't think it can be said that we have real, functioning representation by population in Canada. And it's irrelevant to me which PM/party/governments contributed to the deficiency, or which fixes it - but we should work at it.


    Gayle, I wasn't talking about your past, only your present.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 8:37 AM  

  • The really frustrating thing here to me, CG, is that Dion does have a quite a deck of cards up his sleeve - he had this Genius Nice Guy image; has got many weaknesses in his opponent's image to chip away at; he's got some very strong lieutenants at his side - they could have a drop-dead Team Image.

    It seems hard for them to project any of those out to people. I'm not sure why.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:02 AM  

  • " I'm not sure why."

    because its an illusion.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 11:13 AM  

  • Jason - my point is that you have concluded I am a partisan liberal based on my comments, but complain when I do the same with sean.

    I do not feel the need to declare myself "non-partisan", mostly because I do not believe simply labelling oneself as non-partisan makes you non-partisan. I think you believe that label clothes your criticisms in some sort of legitimacy, but I am not buying it.

    There is, of course, much to criticize about all political parties - but I am not convinced that the so-called "non-partisan" criticism is more legitimate than the partisan criticism.

    I stand behind my own comments, and I stand behind my conclusion regarding sean - which are based on his own comments and not on my beliefs.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 11:28 AM  

  • chuckercanuck said,

    "because its an illusion."

    That is an opinion.

    BTW, I wonder why you are so persistent on a blog hosted by a liberal? I hope that you are not trolling?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:33 AM  

  • Alberta doesn't need federal handouts, what it needs is a better political system that recognizes Alberta's contribution to the country. If the right conditions exist, Alberta can always explore it's options.

    Let's see... we have a PM from Alberta and many cabinet ministers. What, exactly, are you looking for beyond that? The fact is that Alberta is only the fourth-largest province by population - if you want to feel what it's like really to be ignored, please move to the Maritimes. How is Alberta's contribution not recognized?

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 12:46 PM  

  • jimtan,

    1) of course its an opinion, what else can any of us provide - the word of God?

    2) persistent?

    2a) where have you been jimtan? of the two of us, you would be new to this watering hole, wouldn't you?

    2b) I do so much love the big-tent Liberals who want to talk about how divisive PM Harper is, but then want to shoo away anyone who isn't an obvious Liberal from a Liberal blog! Its so, oh, I don't know, revealing.

    2c) have you applied to Calgary Grit to become his assistant to the associate gatekeeper? I'd bet there's an internship available - oh wait, Scott Tribe has secured that honour. Maybe next year.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 1:01 PM  

  • CalgaryGrit: ""This is Stephane Dion. Stephen Harper has been attacking me because he has nothing positive to offer Quebecers. I believe in..."

    Your real and suggested ads reveal a major problem for you Liberals: your spin strays too far from the truth. It's OK to exagerate SOMEWHAT in ads, but if it's too much, like here "NOTHING POSITIVE to offer", you immediately lose credibility, and thinking voters ignore what you say. Come on, 80 % of what the BLOC wanted from Harper, you describe as NOTHING POSITIVE ?! Only the most partisan of Liberal supporters would go along with that.

    You guys made the same mistake in Ad #1, when you say Harper spent "ALL his money". This is obviously absurd, since it logically follows that the CPC would now be flat broke ! Ratchet your rhetoric down a few notches, and you might have some more success. The wording of these ads just insults our intelligence.

    By Blogger Calgary Junkie, at 1:05 PM  

  • You must be mistaken. These cannot possibly be Liberal ads. Not while M. Dion is in charge.

    He gave Canadians every assurance that he would not stoop to running negative ads.

    Dion is worse than that commercial of a politician going "on the record that the answer is 'YES'", and "as I said unequivocally yesterday, 'NO'".

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 1:20 PM  

  • I have been reading Chucker for almost as long as I've read Dan. There are many Liberals he would be happy with as Prime Minister, he is not a troll or a blind-idiot partisan.

    And he's seriously funny to boot. He and CG make a great duo of reads, I find.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 1:38 PM  

  • chuckercanack

    "I do so much love the big-tent Liberals who want to talk about how divisive PM Harper is, but then want to shoo away anyone who isn't an obvious Liberal from a Liberal blog! Its so, oh, I don't know, revealing."

    Actually, I respect people who provide a good argument, supporterd by the facts. I just wonder whether the conservative critics that infest this forum provide any positive value.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:12 PM  

  • Josh Gould wrote:

    >>Let's see... we have a PM from Alberta and many cabinet ministers. What, exactly, are you looking for beyond that? The fact is that Alberta is only the fourth-largest province by population - if you want to feel what it's like really to be ignored, please move to the Maritimes. How is Alberta's contribution not recognized?<<

    Actually Josh, I lived in the Maritimes for the past ten years and I don't recall reading or hearing about any grievances outside of a good deal on offshore oil for Nova Scotia. That and "nobody from Ottawa better tinker with transfer payments because we're in a state of perpetual recession out here dontcha know.."

    The mere fact that the Prime Minister's riding is in Calgary doesn't mean he doesn't have to sell out to Ontario and Quebec in order to obtain a majority. Therefore, my grievance is with the "first past the post" system when proportional representation might offer something better. If that is disagreeable, then I'd like to see a Triple-E Senate that can act as a countermeasure to the current system.

    Gayle: If having voted for the Liberals and the Conservatives over the past twenty years makes me a partisan, then I am guilty as charged. :) I prefer to be considered "an informed political junkie who distrusts all federal polticians but who would vote for the flying yogis if they had a damned good plan that made sense."

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 2:32 PM  

  • Actually Josh, I lived in the Maritimes for the past ten years and I don't recall reading or hearing about any grievances outside of a good deal on offshore oil for Nova Scotia. That and "nobody from Ottawa better tinker with transfer payments because we're in a state of perpetual recession out here dontcha know.."

    Perpetual recession? Hardly, and that would be patently obvious... unless you were in Cape Breton, of course.

    The mere fact that the Prime Minister's riding is in Calgary doesn't mean he doesn't have to sell out to Ontario and Quebec in order to obtain a majority. Therefore, my grievance is with the "first past the post" system when proportional representation might offer something better. If that is disagreeable, then I'd like to see a Triple-E Senate that can act as a countermeasure to the current system.

    PR is anything but disagreeable to me. I am an ardent follower of Idealistic Pragmatist on that issue, most certainly. But that brings up another question - why does Harper need to obtain a majority (and an artificial one at that)? Why not simply work to convince Canadians and other parties that he has the right ideas, and otherwise foster a cooperative atmosphere in the Commons?

    If you take away the carrot of a majority, explicit "selling-out" hardly seems necessary. And it would do wonders for dialing down pointless electioneering and sniping.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 2:42 PM  

  • "I just wonder whether the conservative critics that infest this forum provide any positive value."

    jim,

    I'd suggest that once you use the word "infest" then you can't exaclty be "wondering" can you?

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 3:11 PM  

  • Personally I think it would be interesting to see another Harper minority. The whispered promises to the impatient decentralizers, socons, and 'gut the staters' of "just wait for the majority" would fester during a second minority term in my opinion.

    It would be harder for Harper to rely on the Bloc to pass everything as well since his Western base by this point would be totally sick of the pandering.

    Its too bad the Liberals strategy still seems to be more about scrubbing out the NDP than fighting the Cons mano o mano. Holding the line would be a win in the long term for Dion if the fabled Harper majority fails to materialize.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 3:24 PM  

  • Chucker is, of course, more than welcome here.

    As for politicians ignoring Alberta, why would they pay any attention when Albertans vote in a bloc regardless. What possible incentive does Harper have to help out Alberta if it returns him 28 seats regardless of what he does?

    [that's not to say parties should ignore Alberta since there's always a long term game at stake, but unless there's a chance for seats to change, there's no short term incentive for anyone to really worry about the province too much]

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:41 PM  

  • Wow - big thread of comments.

    Josh Gould wrote:

    >>Perpetual recession? Hardly, and that would be patently obvious... unless you were in Cape Breton, of course. <<

    It's an entirely different mindset in Nova Scotia, that's all I can say. Having lived there and seen numerous highways that were built in politicians constituencies that go precisely nowhere (had to give a kickback to the powers that be in order to get re-elected dontcha know) and of course the continued demands for increased ACOA funding (because there are just so darned many ACOA success stories) the reality in Nova Scotia at least is that if you drive 30 minuntes North, South, East and West of Metro Halifax, you are in fact in an economically challenged region. The number one industry is tourism and that's three months out of the year, I could go on but I risk being accused of saying that there's a culture of defeat in the Maritimes.

    Calgary Grit wrote:

    >>As for politicians ignoring Alberta, why would they pay any attention when Albertans vote in a bloc regardless. What possible incentive does Harper have to help out Alberta if it returns him 28 seats regardless of what he does?<<

    Oil.

    That being said, your point highlights my argument about the sense of disenfranchisement in Alberta. If politicians of any federal party say "screw Alberta, it's only 28 seats -- what do we get in return" then I would argue they haven't been paying much attention to the province's grievances.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 4:23 PM  

  • "As for politicians ignoring Toronto, why would they pay any attention when the 416 votes in a block regardless. What possible incentive does Harper have to help out Toronto if it returns 28 seats to the Liberals regardless of what he does?"

    Doesn't read quite the same, now, does it, when you put the shoe on the other foot?

    Bigotry is bigotry, whether it's anti-Alberta, anti-Quebec, or anti-Maritime. CG, you should know better.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:06 PM  

  • chuckercanack said

    "I'd suggest that once you use the word "infest" then you can't exaclty be "wondering" can you? "

    It's a rhetorical question.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:28 PM  

  • Paul.Obeda@

    “He gave Canadians every assurance that he would not stoop to running negative ads.”

    Ms. Corbella has given her opinion mixed with a fair amount of speculation and rumour mongering. In the first place, her opening argument (dated April 7) is wrong since Dion has found the money to place attack ads.

    Ms. Corbella is the kind of source that does not inspire confidence. Dion may have said something about negative ads. But, we need to check a reliable source to ascertain what he exactly said and in what context.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:34 PM  

  • Paul,

    Politicians also ignore Toronto, generally. When they go to campaign in "Toronto" they are pressing the flesh in Mississauga, Brampton, etc - in the suburbs that are not cohesively Liberal (minus a few seats the NDP wins based mostly on candidate strength).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 5:36 PM  

  • WOW, lotsa comments.

    Paul, I wouldn't peg CG as an anti-Albertan bigot - just a weird hunch I have.

    Actually, I'd say he's pretty completely unbigoted.

    His point was made, and it does hold equally true for Toronto, I find. Alberta and Toronto are both interesting and intriguing in the way they vote.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:49 PM  

  • Just for the record, I don't believe CG is a bigot. And I don't think he's the least bit anti-Alberta. But I also believe that he wouldn't have made a particular comment if it referred to the GTA instead of Alberta. And that was the basis of the point I was making.

    But I do have to laugh that some folks don't consider the MSM a reliable source for Dion's current position on a particular topic. Yeah, that's going to get him far.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 1:07 AM  

  • Dude, that last sentence resulted in water on the keyboard.

    By Blogger matt, at 8:43 PM  

  • Jimtam: You're surprised by the flood of vaguely trollish conservative comments on liberal Canadian blogs? You definitely must be new.

    (Yes, vaguely trollish. Anybody who complains about disproportionately punishing Alberta for emissions when Alberta is equally disproportionately responsible for them is either an idiot, or trolling. As is someone who complains about NEP without remember the NOP that was responsible for the oil patch to begin with.)

    (Well, either trolling or ignorant. I imagine there's not one in a hundred Canadians who even know about the flood of federal cash and breaks that helped build the oil patch. Not as political convenient, y'see. Our host does, but he's a Liberal, now, isn't he?)

    Personally, I chalk it up to the combination of lack of anonymous commenting and the requirement of having a blogger account to comment on so many Canadian blogs. That ain't ubiquitous elsewhere, and it sort of drives out those who have a comment, but aren't going to set up a blogger account about it. I imagine that describes most Liberal supporters in cyberspace.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 1:48 PM  

  • Oh, and by the way... politicians ignoring areas they don't get votes in is common as hell, but if it's happening, you don't get to bitch that you're getting ignored if someone else has been by your guys. Alberta getting ignored by the Liberals is no better or worse than Toronto getting ignored by the Tories.

    And from what I understand about Canadian politics, the latter gets an absolute truckload more prejudice and bigotry dropped on its multinational doorstep than Alberta ever did.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 1:51 PM  

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