Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Free Advice

Given how Liberals always take advice from the National Post, Full Comment has been running a series of advice columns from bloggers this weekend - I've given a quick recap below:

Dan Arnold
1. Let Ignatieff be Ignatieff
2. Build up the ground game
3. Rise above the fray
4. Get an economic plan
5. Break out of the Ottawa bubble

Jeff Jedras
1. It's not just the economy, stupid
2. Stand up for Canada
3. Court women
4. Make government matter

Raphael Alexander
1. Don't make threats you can't keep
2. Control the media
3. Let the Conservatives bury themselves
4. Don't make a scandal out of everything

Kelly McParland
1. Let Kennedy hammer Tories on pork-barrelling in QP
2. Figure out what you'll do as PM
3. Don't need to be the opposite of the PM on everything
4. Voters aren't stupid
5. Quit listening to advisers

Gerry Nicholls
1. Drop the 'Harper is scary' routine
2. Get a new ad company
3. Offer a Chretien-esque approach to the economy
4. Coalition was stupid
5. End the group-think


Yeah, some of the advice is more constructive than others, but they all make for interesting reads.

12 Comments:

  • At least a couple of you almost got the general "get a platform" suggestion, but no one came right out and said it. The man stands for little to nothing at present, lets see some concrete leadership or proof he's a prime-minister-in-waiting and not just a CV.

    By Blogger Ian, at 10:25 PM  

  • I can't see any Opposition wanting to get specific before an actual election due to the likelihood of the ideas being stolen and the Government taking credit.

    Me thinks the Libs have more of a platform than the media / people think and will release the details in an election campaign.

    If you look at these ads and Iggy's speech last Monday the outline is there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:53 PM  

  • "the likelihood of the ideas being stolen and the Government taking credit"

    After all - those tight banking regulations at the forefront of CPC policy saved Canada. No wonder Flaherty doesn't feel they need reviewing for possible improvements.

    Does footage exist anywhere of the Harper pushing for less banking regulation during their time as the Opposition?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 PM  

  • Congrats on your article CalgaryGrit. Let's face it, Iggy has been between a rock and a hard place. His first priority should have been/was to get the Liberal's fiscal house in order. Two leadership transitions cost a lot of cash! Now that he has had some time to do that (with success) I am sure focus will start to shift to other pressing matters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 PM  

  • Anon...I like that of Harper, and less banking regulation, and now brags to the world about them..as if he did it... Hah!!!
    There must be some footage..what a great idea!

    By Blogger Lizt., at 11:14 PM  

  • No matter how much you may hate them, the Tories will never be beaten with the 'stick'. Going back to the creation of the Reform Alliance in 1993, they took in 17% of the SEATS. In 1997, 20%, in 2000, 22%. Then, once they became the Conservative party, they took in 32% of the seats in 2004. In 2006, it was 40%, and most recently in 2008 it was 46% of the total seats. This means that they have improved on their seat counts for FIVE STRAIGHT ELECTIONS, in spite of the Liberals tossing every last attack they could muster. Liberals, on the other hand, have seen their seat totals drop in the 3 elections since 2000.

    The 'stick' doesn't work. While it may have mitigated some of the Tories progress, it hasn't stopped their progress. The Tories are gaining consistently since they are listening to their voters.

    For the Liberals to make progress they need to use the carrot, not the stick. There is nothing you can say now to villify the Tories that hasn't been said a hundred times already. If people didn't care then, they won't care now.

    Get a platform, define yourself as a party, and listen to the voters. Let your opponents hang themselves with their own rope, just like the Liberals did with Adscam. Everyone will make a mistake at some point, the key is to capitalize on it.

    If there is an election now, and the Liberals lose, then they are screwed for calling another election after that. Can you imagine the public going to the polls this year, after having voted only a year ago, and THEN voting again next year? There is no way they would tolerate it. So you would have to wait at LEAST two more years before trying again.

    Timing is everything, and now is not the time. Not if you want to win.

    By Anonymous Savant, at 12:21 AM  

  • Lizt said:

    Anon...I like that of Harper, and less banking regulation, and now brags to the world about them..as if he did it... Hah!!!

    Which is different how exactly from, say, the Chretien-era Liberals praising the FTA/NAFTA to the skies?

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 9:55 AM  

  • Don't listen to Jeff Jedras and his "Liberals believe government can be a force for good in society, Conservatives believe it should be as small as possible" notion.

    You don't win elections by refighting the same ideological battles. The size of government is far too deeply held a sentiment to be turned easily. Paul Martin tried to take this tack and thereby blew his big advantage.

    Try that stunt again and people like me who are open to Ignatieff because they are increasingly fed up with the cynicism regarding policy, pettiness regarding focus, and contempt for "movement" conservatism in the Tories will vote blue without regret if the Liberals insist this is, in fact, about movement leftism vs movement conservatism.

    Ignatieff the intellectual is the better man than Stephen Harper. But Ignatieff the politician, not so sure. Indeed, cut him loose.

    re policy, there is really little one can do because Harper has locked down the status quo with his triangulating tactics. Notwithstanding the fact that my MP, Tim Uppal, has all of a high school diploma and had been sued by multiple private parties for failure to honour contracts or pay his bills, he was easily elected over the Liberal candidate in my riding who was a PhD economist. This week I got a flyer from Uppal saying "Separatists Want to Legalize Euthanasia" and asking me to either check "No! Tim should not support the Bloc's bill" or say yes and indicate that "life" is not "important". I'm supposed to mail this in the name of participatory democracy. This is what the policy debate has descended to. Intelligent policy will be demagogued, so there is little point in developing it in the first place. Instead, project an ability to understand and an appreciation for intelligent policy.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 5:30 PM  

  • @Brian Dell "You don't win elections by refighting the same ideological battles. The size of government is far too deeply held a sentiment to be turned easily. Paul Martin tried to take this tack and thereby blew his big advantage."

    What is your impression of Ignatieff's speech in Toronto this morning? My own thoughts were that there isn't a single sector of the economy which he doesn't want to exercise control over (including the domestic policy of foreign governments).

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:41 PM  

  • He pretty much lost my vote actually. When I posted to this thread earlier today, it was before I'd turned my attention to his speech in Toronto.

    regional economic development? protecting Canadian companies from foreign takeovers? This stuff polls well (which is why the Tories pander to it so much) but I had been hoping Iggy would take the John Manley way. Given his time overseas, I think he can understand the broader perspective, but it looks like he has decided to play the nationalism card for political reasons.

    Of course the Toronto crowd was not particularly disturbed because the Paul Desmarais types would rather keep their multiple voting shares and entrench their control then be exposed to a genuinely competitive market for corporate control.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 8:47 PM  

  • "Which is different how exactly from, say, the Chretien-era Liberals praising the FTA/NAFTA to the skies?"

    I haven't figured out if that makes the Libs as bad as the Cons or the Cons as bad as the Libs.

    Who is stooping to who's level and not bothering to consider raising the bar?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 PM  

  • Savant,

    On the obverse side of the coin:

    The incremental Conservative growth you point to obscures the picture. The reality is, the Stephen Harper-led Conservatives have been unable to win a majority government this century. Is it possible for a Conservative to win a majority in Canada? Sure. Just not under Stephen Harper, Reform party ideologues, and Mike Harris alum from Ontario.

    By Anonymous Derek Lipman, at 2:26 AM  

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