Friday, October 03, 2008

A Question of Timing

Just so I'm clear on the Tory talking points, Dion "panicked" by releasing his economic plan a mere 13 days before the election, right?

However Harper releasing his platform a mere 7 days before the vote (and announcing he would release a platform only after being roundly criticized for not having one during the debates) is showing...I dunno...I imagine "strong leadership" is the term I'm looking for, right?

PS - oh, and be sure to check out for the hilarious "no plan/real plan" graphic. Stephane Dion, whose plan will destroy the economy, has NO PLAN. And Harper, who will not be releasing his plan for another week, has a REAL PLAN. My head is spinning!


  • Yes, don't you know it's a sign of weakness to react to a crisis in a decisive way. Much better to keep the same heading with an iceberg on the horizon. I suspect Canadians, especially in Ontario, will agree with Dion's sense of urgency.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 4:04 p.m.  

  • LOLOLO no plan/ real plan?

    Can we sue Harper for that ad??
    I Think we should...


    By Blogger Dame, at 4:08 p.m.  

  • Read Flanagan's book to find the method to the madness.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 p.m.  

  • Apparently, Harper thinks EVERYONE is panicking!

    Presumably not just every other leader in Canada, and the combined government institutions of the United States, but most of Europe as well.

    Either Canada's EXCEPTIONALLY well off (as in, we're the ONLY Western nation that doesn't need to worry) or we're all going to wake up one day and regret being the only nation on the planet to not react to the current financial crisis.

    The Dow is down 9% in the last month, which is bad, but has Harper noticed that the TSX is down 21% in the same period?!?!

    I actually agree with the PM about not panicking. But "not panicking" is not the same as putting your hands over your ears and chanting "la la la la, la la la la, I can't hear you economy...."

    By Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own, at 4:26 p.m.  

  • The fundamentals are strong!
    The fundamentals are strong!
    The fundamentalists are strong!
    The fundamentals are strong!

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

  • Meanwhile Nanos has the Liberals surging. SURGING!

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

  • Since the election started and Harper uncharacteristically has been quiet on promises and platform, I've been concerned he's reversing his strategy from 2004 and 2006. With the release of his platform next week I'm certain of it now.

    As Paul Wells outlined in his book, in 2004 Harper ran out of things to say mid-campaign and he and his party self-destructed. In 2006 after a very strong start they were sputtering midway, only to be saved by the RCMP investigation.

    So this time around he's reversing things. Harper will release his platform next week and spend the week heading into the election announcing populist, unproductive promises to buy votes.

    We Liberals should worry about how that will impact the campaign. Any lift the debate gave us, or anyone (I don't think there is one for any parties) will be long forgotten next week after 5-6 days of the Cons dominating the news cycles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 p.m.  

  • Is that the same Flanagan book, wherein he praised Harper for that "eloquent" Iraq speech in parliament?

    By Blogger Steve V, at 5:10 p.m.  

  • Because Harper is the government and frontrunner now, he can't just make promises willy-nilly. If he had released a platform at the start of the election, it would have had a lot of problems:

    1. He couldn't buy your own vote with your own money better than the opposition parties who figure they are probably going to lose. This is especially true for conservatives that don't like to spend money.

    2. Canada's economic situation is uncertain (not because of our financial system, but because the destination of 80% of our exports is facing trouble), so to maintain a surplus one needs to be careful.

    3. Harper wanted the main choice of the election to be "would Harper or Dion make a better Prime Minister" - a platform would take away from that. However it seems clear now that his strategy is running out of steam.

    4. Imagine that 4 on 1 pile-on in the debates had Harper possessed a platform. The "you've got no plan" charge was much smaller than if he had a plan.

    5. There was an election just 2.5 years ago, with this one called with the intent of getting a stronger mandate for the 2006 platform. Moreover, the strong critique to any new proposal (which everybody loved to use on Martin and Chretien) is:
    "This policy is nice, but you've been in power X years, why didn't you enact it when you had the chance?"

    6. Campaigns matter, but only in the short-term. If a platform creates a bump in the polls for a party - which it may if it is a good one - that bump eventually wears off. Releasing a platform 7 days for the election however, doesn't have that problem. In fact it could refocus the current debate (which is a referendum on Harper, rather than the referendum on Dion that Harper wanted*) on some set of policy proposals.

    *Dion already lost that referendum a few months after becoming leader.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 5:52 p.m.  

  • Personally, I'm holding out for the Bloc platform.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • yeah, the deal here is to make sure people can still remember the Conservative platform on election day. he's making an (accurate) assessment of the attention span of the typical voter.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 6:49 p.m.  

  • The Nanos poll is interesting. Looks like the Liberal campaign machine is finally rolling.

    The 30-day promise worked well for dion. Now, harper has to show his platform.

    Was he really that stupid to think that he could ask for our votes without a platform? The Liberals still have the edge in election experience.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:23 p.m.  

  • The "you've got no plan" charge was much smaller than if he had a plan.

    Hmm. Interesting. You may be right.

    Still, it'd be nice if everyone had to release a platform

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 8:20 p.m.  

  • In Flanagan's book he talks about the mistakes about the last two campaigns -- particularly in the final week of the campaign. The most important week where the Tories lost ground previously because they ran out of announcements.

    If you read his book, you see the method to the madness in releasing the platform in the final week. It's the last word and a recap of the previous promises from the entire campaign. You can also tweak it if need be. If it works it could be a standard play for future elections. I think it will.

    Remember, this is about peaking at the right time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 p.m.  

  • "Remember, this is about peaking at the right time."

    Didn't harper already peak in Quebec?

    Seriously, I thought that harper's platform was himself?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:02 a.m.  

  • Talk about panic what about Edmonton MP Mike Lake petitioning to save Bigfoot from extinction. This petition was submitted to the House of Commons in April 2007. And they say the Conservatives don't have an environmental policy! extinction.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 a.m.  

  • "The Nanos poll is interesting. Looks like the Liberal campaign machine is finally rolling. "

    While Angus Reid, Harris-Decima and another Harris Decima poll have Harper with margins of 15, 13 and 15 over the Liberals (and in a First-past-the-post system it is the margin that matters).

    Moreover, the decision on the left is tougher.

    NDP: 20
    Liberals: 22

    NDP: 19
    Liberal: 25

    Other Harris-Decima
    NDP: 19
    Liberal: 22

    Moreover, IN ENGLISH CANADA, that decision is even tougher. The Liberals lead the NDP in Quebec by about 8 points. In English Canada, if there is only a 2 point NDP-Liberal gap, the two parties are running even (with the Greens not that far behind). That means that a strategic voting rally to one party or another WILL HURT THE LEFT IN AS MANY RIDINGS AS IT WILL HELP.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:38 a.m.  

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