Monday, June 14, 2010

Stephen Harper's ego is writing checks our bodies can't cash

I missed what I hear was a very successful Liberal policy forum in Toronto with Michael Ignatieff on Sunday, as I was on my way to Washington, DC to cover a conference for work. Well, in National Harbor actually, but it doesn't start until Tuesday morning so I have two days to explore the city. First time here, and it's awesome for a politics and history junkie. It's crazy hot here (over 40 with the humidity), but on day one I already saw the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the White House, and I toured the Air and Space Museum. Top of the list for Monday is the Newseum, and some more of the monuments around the mall. I'd also like to get out to Arlington Cemetery, weather and time-permitting.

Back in Canada though, there are also political events transpiring. Coinciding with the Toronto policy event (apparently to be followed by a significant policy speech by Ignatieff in Toronto on Tuesday) the Liberals also released a G8/G20 fake-lake related radio ad blasting the Conservative mismanagement of this billion-dollar boondoggle. Take a look:

I was reminded of my all-time favourite show as I walked around DC yesterday, The West Wing. Particularly some of Josh Lyman's best lines. Sadly, I couldn't find any Republican Senators to tell to stick their legislative agendas up their asses.

You know who isn't Josh Lyman? Stephen Harper spokesthingy Dimitri Soudas (who is still on the lam, hiding from a baliff trying to serve him a warrant). The Conservatives let Soudas pop put of hiding to deliver the Sunday response to the Liberal radio spot. And it was laughable spin worse than when Sam Seaborn got schooled by Ainsley Hayes on Capitol Beat.

The Liberal ads say:
“Harper’s fake lake is part of his $1-billion boondoggle, Canada’s most expensive photo-op at a time of massive debt and out-of-control deficits,” the radio and television ads say. “So when you head to the lake this summer, remember you’re paying for Harper’s trip, too. An ego trip Canada can’t afford.”
"The ad's premise is that the average Canadian can afford to spend weekends at the lake. An understandable assumption, no doubt, by someone who vacations outside Canada and owns a summer villa in the south of France," said Mr. Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas.

"What Mr. Ignatieff fails to appreciate is that the vast majority of Canadians do not own recreational property. This is just another gaffe that shows he is grossly out of touch with the lives of ordinary Canadians."
Which just reminds us, Dimitri, that it is your government, although the vast majority of Canadians do not own recreational property, that spent $57,000 of our tax dollars to build a FAKE LAKE to show off to international journalists for three days, as part of a $2 million pavillion showcasing other fake parts of Canadian life.

So Dimitri, riddle me this: by your own logic, why is your government spending $57,000 showcasing an out of touch, elitist vision of Canadian life to the international media? Isn't that just another gaffe that shows the Conservatives are grossly out of touch? Instead of an elitist fake lake with elitist Muskoka chairs, shouldn't you have built a fake Tim Horton's, with fake Iced Cappuccino Supremes or something?

Because fake Tim Horton's is where the real fake Canadians go.

P.S. Something about the ego trip/can't afford line in the Liberal ad reminds me of that scene early in Top Gun when the air boss lays into Maverick, telling him his ego's writing cheques his body can't cash, and that he risks ending-up flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog crap out of Hong Kong. I can't find that video though, so instead here's a trailer that re-cuts Top Gun as a gay love story:

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MississaugaPeter said...


You said you saw the Washington Monument. It's hard to miss. But did you go up it? I didn't realize that you could go up it after all the passes in the morning were given out, So we missed out on that, as well as the White House tour since my embassy could not make it happen (you need a U.S. Rep. or Senator to sponsor you to make that happen).

wilson said...

So does this mean a coalition government takes the position that any future meetings of world leaders will never again be held in Canada?
The cost is not worth being a player in the world stage?

Unknown said...

To add some Canadian content, your title and the quote reminded me of the Northern Pikes song "She Ain't Pretty", which contains a similar line:

Her ego wrote cheques incredibly fast
But her personality didn't have the cash
I laughed out loud to my total dismay
She ain't pretty she just looks that way

(I admit I always thought that line began with "Her ego wrote cheques, her credit was vast..." but all the lyrics sites have the above.)

CanadianSense said...

I don't understand how 30 Liberal MPs fail to show up again for work to stop the budget and than complain about the priorities of this government.

It does not add up.

Is it possible the Tourism people are wrong? 3,300 reporters (largest ever) might have something nice to say about Canada?

Only 200 are going up North.

Is this really a problem to spend two million on the Canada Pavillion?

Jeff said...

Peter, I did know you can go up the monument, but I didn't go up. Need to get there pretty early this time of year to nab tickets, and I had other stuff I wanted to do instead.

wilson, we'll do it by a) having substantive things to do at them b) not stuffing them with pork to boost the re-election chances of a hapless cabinet minister, and c)not spending 10 times what every other country spends on it. To sum up: be competent.

cs, to continually defend spending $57k on a kid's wading pool makes a mockery of your name. Canadians have the sense to see this for the boondoggle it is.

CanadianSense said...


I disagree with your assertion the spending is unusual. We don't have the facts.

The opposition parties are premature in jumping to the wrong conclusions again.

You missed the point, much like the Liberal Party on priorities.

I asked why the LPOC asked 30 MPs to not show up again if they had a problem with the priorities of the government.(Bill C 9)

I pointed out earlier about how many groups get it. This is the cost of doing business on the international stage and the costs are not unusual.

The Canada Pavillion is 2 million, Kevin Page, Sheila Fraser will be auditing the expenses.

Early Reports suggest over 3,000 reporters will be in the bubble.

I invoked Peter crying wolf fable as a reminder and why the public has stopped listening to Liberals.

We might find a common concern for spending in EAP speed and size. We might havea concern about the minimal debate around the auto bailout in 2009.

The bigger issues.

I have pointed to allowing the fringe parties Democrats, Separatists to chase the silly stuff.

Credibility is a problem for the official opposition in presenting a viable government in waiting.