Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fight! Fight! Fight!

It's gotten to the point where it's almost weird when John Tory is the one criticizing McGuinty and explaining how the Tories would run Ontario. I thought John had permanently deferred to Van Loan/Flaherty/Poilievre on that.

Yesterday it was Pierre Poilievre displaying his usual class in response to the following rather benign criticisms the small man of confederation leveled at Harper's immigration plan:

Then he was asked about the sweeping new federal immigration reforms and he replied that his own ancestors were unskilled workers - just like the parents of some Canadian Rhodes scholars.

"I wouldn't want to shut out folks who don't have a skill. I wouldn't be here," McGuinty told a news conference.

"We were part of the exodus from Ireland at the time of famine. We had no skills, we couldn't speak English, and we were dirt-poor.

"But we were looking for opportunity and we brought with us a solid work ethic."


So Poilievre responded showing the usual maturity he has become known for, first saying that immigration was a federal jurisdiction and then attacking provincial immigration policy (anyone else catch the fun contradiction there?):

"All Dalton McGuinty has ever done on immigration is run a sponsorship-style slush fund that cost him his citizenship minister," Mr. Poilievre said in an interview.


Now, assuming the Conservative position is that it's OK for Ottawa to offer economic advice to Ontario, one wonders why it's not alright for Ontario to offer immigration advice to Ottawa. After all, it's not like McGuinty turned the Ontario Liberal website into a giant attack ad on Harper.

The most popular game in Ottawa has become trying to guess Harper's motives which seem to make about as much sense as a typical Lost episode. Here's a few of the theories I've seen floating around - there are probably more:

1. They want to blame McGuinty for the impending economic slump
2. This will help CPC fundraising
3. Trying to hurt the "Liberal" brand in Ontario
4. Trying to damage a future McGuinty run for LPC leader
5. There are enough people who dislike McGuinty that this will get them votes
6. Flaherty wants to replace John Tory
7. This is to remind Ontarians that they like federal/provincial fighting
8. Deflect attention from Cadman/Mulroney
9. A chance to re-emphasize that they're the party of tax cuts without having to actually cut taxes
10. Portray Tories as being best for the economy
11. Beating up Stephane Dion isn't challenging enough anymore
12. Harper just likes picking fights with people

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12 Comments:

  • You can add:

    - Wants to ensure that any future criticism of the federal government by McGuinty will be treated as "part of the feud" and partisan - and not a legitimate concern raised by a Premier.

    By Blogger Rudy, at 7:13 PM  

  • I think if you did a poll and asked which liberals were at which level of government, and which conservatives were at which alot of people would give the wrong answers.

    So if the people are confused over which is which, why not take advantage of both?

    Especially in a province where average voters couldn't tell you which government was legally responsible for what areas in the constitution...

    Maybe they did a poll and found that the McGuinty advantage over Tory was a stumbling block for more voters coming to them in Ontario (especially after all the nice things Harper and Tory have said about eachother).

    It is always nice to have your natural successor in cabinet looking at higher ambitions in another level of government aswell.

    By Blogger Kyle G. Olsen, at 8:02 PM  

  • I vote for #12.

    By Anonymous Ace, at 11:04 PM  

  • Trying to get the attention of all those who were NOT picked as one of the 'McGuinty Favorites' for a cash handout.

    Saying Bob Rae and Onario will become a 'have not' province in the same paragraph (just incase Ontarians forgot what happens when you try to spend your way out of a recession).

    Waking up the Conservatives who sat on their hands while McGuinty sailed into a majority.

    Send in the pit bulls, then the PM comes in like a lamb to calm the dispute.

    By Blogger wilson, at 11:11 PM  

  • Stephane Dion is busy in Quebec. He's getting a lot of bad press.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:24 AM  

  • Don't forget number 13, they want to turn Ontario into the Emmanuel Goldstein of confederation.

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:57 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Stephen, at 7:56 AM  

  • eresting about the Poilievre comment is that it tends to show that he is deliberately dishonest. After all, a doubt a man of his intelligence would have failed to read the constitution act, 1867 and noticed that immigration is not an exclusive federal responsibility, but that it is specifically a joint responsibility. Perhaps this is part of the new era of federal provincial cooperation ushered in by the Conservatives.

    "What is interesting about the Poilievre comment is that it tends to show that he is deliberately dishonest. After all, a doubt a man of his intelligence would have failed to read the constitution act, 1867 and noticed that immigration is not an exclusive federal responsibility, but that it is specifically a joint responsibility. Perhaps this is part of the new era of federal provincial cooperation ushered in by the Conservatives.

    "Concurrent Powers of Legislation respecting Agriculture, etc.

    95. In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to Agriculture in the Province, and to Immigration into the Province; and it is hereby declared that the Parliament of Canada may from Time to Time make Laws in relation to Agriculture in all or any of the Provinces, and to Immigration into all or any of the Provinces; and any Law of the Legislature of a Province relative to Agriculture or to Immigration shall have effect in and for the Province as long and as far only as it is not repugnant to any Act of the Parliament of Canada."

    By Blogger Stephen, at 8:00 AM  

  • ""I wouldn't want to shut out folks who don't have a skill. I wouldn't be here," McGuinty told a news conference."

    What a great quote! Can't see how this could be used out of context for a good laugh at McGuinty's expense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 PM  

  • 13. Make Dion seem even more irrelevant to the "national dialog" than he currently is.

    14. Make John Tory and red Tories seem even more irrelevant to the provincial dialog than they currently are.

    15. Because they have not plan or vision they need a distraction (look over here! Don't look at the man behind the curtain!!)

    16. Because at least compared against McGuinty, the base can convince themselves that there is at least still a remnant of real conservativism in the Conservative Party, if only in rhetoric.

    17. Oh, heck, let's face reality: it's just because he's there. They are Harper Conservatives: do they really need a reason for lashing out at other Canadians who don't automatically support right-wing conservativism? It's in their nature not to be consensus builders: look at Harper's lashing out at Ontario after Jokewell Day lost, or giving BC and Alberta rep-by-pop but calling McGuinty the "small man of confederation" for having the audacity to suggest that maybe Ontario deserves rep-by-pop too! The list of anti-Ontario bashing by Harper and the Conservatives goes on and on.

    By Blogger Ted, at 12:30 PM  

  • "They are Harper Conservatives: do they really need a reason for lashing out at other Canadians who don't automatically support right-wing conservativism? It's in their nature not to be consensus builders"

    Ok! I agree with you on this.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:21 PM  

  • 13. Make Dion seem even more irrelevant to the "national dialog" than he currently is.

    Now that's an interesting theory which I could see having some merit...

    By Anonymous Steve, at 5:00 PM  

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