Thursday, April 28, 2011

We Urge You To Vote For These Losers

A look at some Globe & Mail endorsements over the years. I must stress that these are actual editorials, about the candidates they are endorsing. This is not satire.

2011 - Stephen Harper: That is the great strike against the Conservatives: a disrespect for Parliament, the abuse of prorogation, the repeated attempts (including during this campaign) to stanch debate and free expression. It is a disappointing failing in a leader who previously emerged from a populist movement that fought so valiantly for democratic reforms.

2004 - Paul Martin: Therefore, we urge a Liberal vote Monday -- not because they've earned the right to re-election but because, at the very least, we can count on them to do little harm and, at best, the near-death experience might help the old Paul Martin find himself and lead Canada more confidently into the future.

2000 - Jean Chretien: Mr. Chr├ętien has to go. He has become a one-man band, loving power for its own sake (witness his premature election call), terrorizing backbench MPs who might seek an independent voice when confidence isn't at stake, shrugging off the sloppy record-keeping and politically charged grants of Human Resources Development, dismissing the ethical problems of his intercession with the Federal Business Development Bank, and in general treating his position as lord of a fief rather than as a public trust.

1993 - Jean Chretien: After nine years in opposition, they offer a program best described as Bourbon economics: they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. As the supreme example of the party's "new thinking," the Liberal jobs plan - public works spending, 1930s-style - is an embarrassing fraud. Worse, it is clear that a majority Liberal government would make no serious attempt to rescue the nation's finances. Indeed, it's a safe bet the Liberals would not get the deficit below $30-billion.

1965 - John Diefenbaker: John Diefenbaker squandered his unprecedented opportunities, increasingly clasping authority to himself and doing nothing with it until the pressure of events left him no room to manoeuvre, no time to explain the decisions he was forced to take, almost no friends to defend him.


  • I'm nauseous, but not surprised. Here's some G&M lying understatement: "...with the support of other parties they adopted stimulus spending after the financial crash of 2008." Um, they were forced to do it, under threat of a coalition takeover. Remember, Harper denied we were ended for a recession, denied the call for stimulus. That completely contradicts The G&M's assessment of Harper as a competent economic manager. Harper also hides way too much to be doing any good.

    I certainly don't trust the control freak to be negotiating with the US.

    By Blogger Mark Richard Francis, at 9:40 a.m.  

  • Mark, as you well know there was a stimulus in the works already. Harper committed to that at the G-8 meeting. Why would Harper ever pass up an opportunity to spend money in a public, geographically targeted manner?

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 10:26 a.m.  

  • One of the biggest challenges is to separate the truth from the spin the various media/parties have placed on it.

    Was the coalition crisis about party subsidies, or stimulus spending?

    Would Ignatieff raise the GST?

    Did the Tim Horton's take overflow emergency patients because of lack of federal funding, or a design-time decision by the (then) NDP provincial government?

    Do the jets cost $30 billion today, or over their entire lifetime?


    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:31 a.m.  

  • So the same reasons to ditch Chretien in 2000 are reasons to keep Harper in 2011? Way to go G&M!

    By Blogger Canajun, at 10:51 a.m.  

  • Canajun, those are endorsements.

    G&M endorsed Jean Chretien in 2000.

    So yes, they're consistent!

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:56 a.m.  

  • The 2000 editorial is a bit perplexing - vote for Chretien to get Martin...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:24 a.m.  

  • I think Harper would have gone the stimulus route, but the coalition threat certainly forced him to do it a month or two sooner than he would have otherwise.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:25 a.m.  

  • And I'm surprised at the Twitter/online backlash to the Globe endorsement. They've always leaned Conservative (I count about 5-6 of their past 20 endorsements for Libs), and newspapers rarely endorse a party seen to be flagging in the polls.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:27 a.m.  

  • I think the Globe Editorial board genuinely wanted to endorse Ignatieff - so much so that they endorsed him as leader of the opposition. He has run the kind of campaign the Globe likes, and stands for the kinds of positions (fiscal conservatism) they like. But now the socialist hordes are at the gates, and the bourgeoisie needs to close ranks.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 11:59 a.m.  

  • Wow . . the vote hasn't even happened yet and you Liberals are turning on each other and anyone close by.

    Bets practice your bend over position and make sure you have lots of lube ready . . . the LPC is going to implode, turn on itself and eat all its kittens.

    Reality TV at its best coming to Canadian TV's across the land.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 p.m.  

  • Years ago I did an analysis based on the results of Globe and Mail opinion polls and found that both those that framed the questions, and the respondents/readers were to the left of the general population.

    The same wasn't true of the National Post opinion poll responses, which was generally bang-on with the general population.

    My point is that it's fair to say that Globe and Mail readers are less inclined to vote Conservative than the general population (who are already only <40% inclined), and would not respond favourably to this endorsement.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:26 p.m.  

  • Oh and I've had personal conversations with Jeffrey Simpson, and though he's quite professional in his writing, he's most definitely an ardent Liberal partisan personally.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:28 p.m.  

  • Mr Vollman, you think Jeffrey Simpson is a Liberal partisan? This is the same Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe who wrote "The Friendly Dictatorship" about the Chretien government right? Wow, with friends like that, the Liberal party doesn't need any enemies.

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 4:01 p.m.  

  • Well, I think there are a range of factors behind a newspaper that go beyond keeping the readers happy, and may incline newspapers toward the Tories (though there is a market for some that lean to the left).

    1. Attracting upscale readers generate more advertising income, and upscale readers tend to the right
    2. Newspapers are businesses themselves, and may have common preferences with a fiscally conservative agenda
    3. The people making advertising decisions are, disproportionately, fiscal conservatives themselves (at least when wearing their businessman hats), and may prefer newspapers that share their views.
    4. Old people are much more likely to buy newspapers, or to subscribe online, relative to young people who mostly get their news from aggregators... if they even follow the news.
    5. Newspapers have a vested interest in maintaining good relations with the next government of Canada, because access is important for good stories.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 4:04 p.m.  

  • "Mr Vollman, you think Jeffrey Simpson is a Liberal partisan?"

    You need to remember "The Friendly Dictatorship" in context. I'd say the book was anti-Chretien, but not anti-Liberal. Like many Globe writers, Simpson was hoping to see Paul Martin become PM.

    Simpson's big policy recommendation is telling - an Australia-style voting system. Instant runoff voting tends to favour centrist candidates, and would ensure Liberal or Liberal-like majorities until the end of time.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 7:29 p.m.  

  • I actually though they would endorse Ignatieff, but my guess is when they saw the polls that it was between Layton or Harper, they went for Harper so no real surprise. I could never see the Globe and Mail endorsing the NDP. At this point the best the Liberals can hope form is to maintain their status as the official opposition party.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 7:46 p.m.  

  • Those who claim prorogation was abused don't understand how Westminster Parliaments work: there is no possible way to avoid a non-confidence vote by prorogation.

    Instead, a Prorogation *forces* a confidence vote to occur, on the throne speech.

    Other votes, many of which have been treated as Confidence by convention, are not constitutionally so. Paul Martin should be the best, most recent example of that: having completely ignored several clear votes of non-confidence in the House, Martin simply waited until Stronach crossed the floor, allowing him to regain the Confidence of the House and continue passing legislation.

    By Blogger Paul, at 1:30 a.m.  

  • At this point the best the Liberals can hope form is to maintain their status as the official opposition party.

    I disagree. I still think Ignatieff will be PM by the time the leaves fall.

    Harper will still be kept to a minority. He will still be defeated in short order. In the unlikely event that Liberal+NDP>155 then it will be almost immediate.

    Either way, the only thing stopping Ignatieff from being PM is Harper majority, which Dan has pegged at ~25% and dropping fast.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 9:36 a.m.  

  • By Blogger raybanoutlet001, at 2:06 a.m.  

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