Monday, February 25, 2008

How to Lose an Issue in 10 Days

Afghanistan is off the table as an election issue, as the Liberals and Tories agree on a compromise.

This is probably a good example of how a minority government can work but it's probably a better example of how to skillfully make a hot button issue disappear. As for who the skillful one was in all of this, I tend to lean Harper's way, but I guess it all depends on who you thought would benefit from an election focused on Afghanistan.



  • I don't think it really suited either party to go to the polls on it (hence, why they both agreed not to).

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 9:33 p.m.  

  • dion doesn't have the stomach for strong issues. Look how the Kyoto issue has disappeared.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:53 a.m.  

  • This may sound frighteningly naive, but I think Dion also came under tremendous pressure from the Manley/Ignatieff wing of the party to give up his combat caveats, out of concerns for how it would handcuff our soldiers on the ground.

    The end-date of 2011, guidelines on handling prisoners, and intructions on making more information public are all in the new motion, so it was mostly just the non-combat demand that Dion dropped.

    By Blogger brian platt, at 5:44 a.m.  

  • Dion is the Alan Colmes of Canada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:14 a.m.  

  • An Afghanistan election would benefit Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton. It would cost Harper and Dion as follows.

    1. Dion would face a divided party and have to choose between utter annihilation of any hope in Quebec, and losing in English Canada.

    2. Harper could win an Afghanistan election - at least 36% of Canadians are ready aye ready to support the war. However, those Canadians can only give Harper a minority government. Moreover, it would erase his gains in Quebec.

    An Afghanistan election would be a minority government producing election - something neither leader wants.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 6:43 a.m.  

  • hosertohoosier,

    That 36% would have quickly diminished when many of the truths about Afghanistan were revealed.

    The Heroin Trade, Revelations that Double the Number of Troops (not 1,000) are Needed, Canada has had More Casualties (per capita) Than Any Other Country (including the U.S.) are Three.

    Now, nasty truths about the continued degradation of women are coming out...

    "Despite a new law banning the practice, 57 per cent of brides are under the age of 16. The illiteracy rate among women is 88 per cent with just 5 per cent of girls attending secondary school."

    "Afghanistan is the only country in the world with a higher suicide rate among women than men."


    "Today, primary level enrolment of boys is nearly twice that of girls. At the lower secondary level, boys’ enrolment is three times higher and at the higher secondary level boys are almost four times more likely than girls to be enrolled. The ratio becomes even more dramatic in rural areas." - UNICEF September 2007 Report

    Maybe the Liberal brain trust (I mean idiots) knows something that we don't. Maybe they know that they do not have the ability to run on issues, but rather, want to run one on platitudes and fear-mongering.

    The Conservatives won big. And the Liberals failure will depend on how effective the NDP and Greens are in educating the electorate of Afghanistan truths.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 a.m.  

  • joan, I fail to see how the presence of large gender gaps, etc. in Afghanistan strengthens the case to withdraw.

    At any rate, most Canadians will make a decision based on their perception of Canadian interests. Is it more important that we get a bargaining chip with the US, and relevance on the world stage (while helping address a failed state)? Or is the cost in blood and treasure too high? I could see people going either way on that one.

    PS: you need to think in terms of who that 36% is - these aren't your pals from the whole foods store we are talking about.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 11:33 a.m.  

  • hosertohoosier,

    many of those 36% of Canadians supporting the Canadian combat mission are every day Joes and Joans who would be outraged if they knew that their money and troops were defending a Narco-nation that continues to degrade women.

    Canadian taxpayers have spent over $7B+ on Afghan missions so far. Another $4B+ to 2011.

    Over $1T has been spent on Afghan missions since 2001. And the lives of Afghan women have not improved much. The only thing that has significantly improved in Afghanistan is the production of heroin. Maybe that $1T was and continues to be misspent.

    By Blogger MississaugaJoan, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • It's not off the table for the NDP. NOW magazine in Toronto was scathing in writing about Dion and Afghanistan. Hopes of winning back votes from the NDP are fading as Layton will be attacking the Conservative/Liberal coalition government in the next election.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 2:08 p.m.  

  • I like voting for the Liberals because it lets me get a Conservative government but without the Responsibility!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 p.m.  

  • MississaugaJoan: Today, primary level enrolment of boys is nearly twice that of girls.

    And under the Taliban, it was infinitely higher (X divided by zero).

    We've cut the gender gap in half in just seven years. You call that failure?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 p.m.  

  • the invisible hand,

    I am definitely not a Taliban apoligist, but can you tell me what source is telling you that under the Taliban girls were not educated?

    The problem is that the present Afghanistan government is still discriminating against women. That's why in 2 provinces 99% of girls under 18 are not in school.

    That's why the women illiteracy rate is now 88% and was 85% in 1999. That's virtually identical, in spite of all the good intentions from the West.

    By Blogger MississaugaJoan, at 12:30 a.m.  

  • This won't actually have success, I think so.

    By Anonymous shop tienda erotica, at 6:21 a.m.  

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