Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Look over here! Shiny!

Besides it being incredibly dumb, I’m not surprised this whole ordinary family nonsense was started by the Deceivin’ Steven’s First Blogger the evening of the budget vote. It practically screams out ‘hey, forget what incompetent boobs we’re being right now and look over here!

I think Ted and the others he has linked to have done a good job of exposing the stupidity of Taylor’s ‘thesis.’ Rather than pile on, I’d like to keep the focus on the incompetent bunging (ed: should that be competent bungling? because they seem so good at it.) of Deceivin’ Steven’ and company.

Last night the budget vote passed with the help of the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Voting no was the exiled Bill Casey, kicked out of the Conservative caucus for standing on principle. Harper was able to bully the less principled Gerald ‘unsteady’ Keddy into line however (impressive given he'll be sleeping on the couch now) and as for his other Nova Scotia MP, well Peter McKay and principles haven’t been mentioned in the same sentence for years.

So while the earthquake may have passed (the Senate may bluster but they won’t mess with a money bill) the aftershocks will continue, and the damage won’t be clear until the next election

Interesting observations though today in the Post from John Ivison who, while he thinks Harper is right on the facts, thinks the man once hailed (ed: by his supporters) as a master political strategist couldn’t have handled this worse:

The question is -- armed with such a compelling case -- how has the Prime Minister contrived to come across like a schoolyard bully, threatening lawsuits against all dissenters?

Conservative MPs, staffers and supporters are united in their condemnation of the way the issue has been handled by the Prime Minister's Office. "The people in PMO communications meant to help MPs understand the audience don't get them. They don't get the pride, the passion and the tribalism of the East," said one source.


"Dropping a sledgehammer on two of the provinces that endorsed you at the last election is not exactly the way to say 'thank you' on a file that clearly touches a chord in Atlantic Canada," said another senior Conservative.


This government's obsession with secrecy and control will be its downfall. The Conservative party has a front-bench overflowing with natural communicators and a strong story to tell, yet it seems either reluctant or unable to do so. It takes a real organizational talent to fritter away that advantage.
Rather than consider the advice, I suspect the Harper PMO is instead about to launch a mole hunt for the anonymous staffers. And let me say, as a partisan Liberal, it sure is nice to see anonymous senior Conservatives talking smack about their party in the media for a change. Not a leader, yada yada.

Meanwhile, I’m going to Las Vegas next week but I suspect it’s too late to clean-up with a long odds bet on Elizabeth May to take Central Nova. Should have put some cash down a few months ago, as I bet the oddsmakers have already adjusted the line, as the mood in Nova seems ugly:
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, Nova Scotia’s embattled representative in the cabinet, has kept a low profile since the province’s Conservative premier and one of its Tory MPs started denouncing the federal budget as an abject betrayal.

But in his riding of Central Nova, local residents had plenty to say Tuesday about their MP and his chances for re-election.


“I voted for Peter MacKay, but I would have a hard time voting for him anymore,” said Linda MacDonald of Westville as she sat in a local coffee shop.


“I have watched him on many issues turn about face.... That’s a real issue with me right now.”


Her friend, George MacDonald, said he was impressed by the stand taken by maverick MP Bill Casey, who was thrown out of the Conservative caucus last week for voting against a budget implementation bill.
I’ll give the last word to 2004 Deceivin’ Steven (not to be confused with 2007 Deceivin’ Steven):
"What is at issue is very simple. It is the honour of the Prime Minister, and all he has to do is keep his word."

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

4 comments:

Olaf said...

Jeff,

With due respect, this type of post drives me absolutely nuts.

First, you assert:

Voting no was the exiled Bill Casey, kicked out of the Conservative caucus for standing on principle. Harper was able to bully the less principled Gerald ‘unsteady’ Keddy into line however (impressive given he'll be sleeping on the couch now) and as for his other Nova Scotia MP, well Peter McKay and principles haven’t been mentioned in the same sentence for years.

So, anyone who agrees with Harper is unprincipled by definition.

Then, you quote approvingly of John Ivison, who makes the point that:

Lost in the fog of federal-provincial war on the equalization issue are the facts, which have been sublimated to threats and bluster by both sides. From Ottawa's point of view that is particularly unfortunate, since the facts suggest that Nova Scotia's case is built on sand.

How can you assert that one is necessarily unprincipled because they didn't stand up for A, without saying why a stand for A would be principled, while approvingly quoting someone who suggests that standing for A isn't principled?

Andrew Coyne explains further in his column today, what I brought up yesterday: specifically, that the Atlantic premiers are full of it. And yet, as you smugly conclude that Casey is principled for siding against Harper and everyone else unprincipled for doing otherwise, you fail to suggest why such a stand is in fact principled in the first place, which is a crucial premise.

Do you see the disconnect here? Do you care?

A BCer in Toronto said...

I don't agree with Ivison on the who is right/who is wrong of the debate. What I quoted approvingly was his analysis of Harper's communications strategy.

Olaf said...

Jeff,

Nice dodge. Care to tell me then, irrespective of Ivison, why Casey's stand is so principled and Keddy's unprincipled? Further, how Keddy really wanted to be principled, but was bullied out of it?

A BCer in Toronto said...

Casey decided to stand by the promise that Harper and his party made while in opposition and during the election campaign, despite pressure from his party and leader, knowing he would be kicked out of caucus and have a limited political future as a result. I'd call that standing on principle.

Keddy faced the same choice, and the same pressure. He considered his options, and decided to backtrack from that promise and tow the line. I'd consider that slightly less principled vis a vis Casey.