Iggy should toughen up: McKenna - Macleans.ca

Iggy should toughen up: McKenna

The Liberals are ‘dealing with thugs,’ says Frank McKenna


Iggy should toughen up: McKennaFrank McKenna is the sort of retired politician whose elder-statesman status usually keeps him well clear of the partisan fray. But the former New Brunswick premier and Canadian ambassador to the U.S., now deputy chair of TD Bank Financial Group, had some surprisingly hard-nosed advice for Michael Ignatieff in an interview with Maclean’s: hit back at Conservative “thugs” with some Harper-style attack ads of your own.

McKenna didn’t pull any punches when asked what the federal Liberal leader should do about Tory ads that label him “just visiting” and “only in it for himself.” “I think you have to fire back,” he said. “My inclination is to use attack ads when you’re attacked.” As for the sort of adversaries the Liberals are up against in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tacticians, McKenna added, “They are dealing with thugs; they’ve got to fight back and fight hard.”

Speaking about the Liberal TV ads that featured Ignatieff talking quietly in an open-collared blue shirt, against a backdrop of sun-dappled forest, McKenna said, “I thought [they] were kind of light. They had no impact.” While the Tories put Harper in a sweater in a series of TV commercials to soften his image, McKenna doesn’t think Ignatieff’s persona needs any toning down.

In fact, he suggests Ignatieff consider sending a high-risk message. “Both Flaherty and Ignatieff coming out and saying we can get rid of this deficit without too much pain—you know, no tax increase, not going to have to cut the provinces and everything else—that’s not going to happen. Canadians know it’s not going to happen. If a political leader were to say, ‘There’s going to be real pain here and it’s going to be shared at every level,’ I think that would be a lot more honest statement.”

Ultimately, though, McKenna says the next election is Harper’s to lose, not Ignatieff’s to win. “Harper will end up either losing it or not,” he said. “The leader of the Liberal party just has to be a respectable alternative and wait for Harper to make a mistake.”


Iggy should toughen up: McKenna

  1. There was no bigger "thug" than McKenna's pal, Chretien. He even screwed over his successor Paul Martin, and the whole Liberal Party with the sponsorship scandal.

    The Conservative "attack ads" are not thugerry, they are simply the truth, whihc is why they can't be refuted.

    • Oh yhihc they can.

      • KC, I'm looking forward to your refutation to the claim that Ignatieff spent the last 30 years outside of Canada.

        • Harper didn't even have a passport until he became Prime Minister… in my mind that is a whole lot scarier than someone who left Canada to go to Oxford and teach at Harvard.

          • I can't believe you wrote that, so does it mean that most canadians that don't own a passport are incompetents? you comment has no merits

          • Mic, a Canadian who doesn't own a passport, and runs for leadership of a political party is starting from behind the start line, anyway. You would entrust such a person with foreign policy?

          • No, it doesn't. It is evidence, however, of a narrow-minded insularity that, in a Prime Minister, is frightening. It is also another parallel with George Bush Jnr.

    • good point – why do they call Just Visiting an attack ad as it is a simple statement of fact with no attack or insult or slander!

      • Any ad that is focused on the opponent is called an attack ad, regardless of the veracity. Frankly, I don't see the big deal about attack ads. An election is a choice, it's a comparison. So electors will evaluate the pros and cons of the candidates. Candidates should be free to identify the pros of themselves and the cons of their opponents.

        • s_c_f There is a difference in how the media in Canada perceives it. When the Conservatives launch ads they are described as attack ads. When the Libs do it they are not described in that way. There is a double standard.
          Why is an ad quoting a person's own words considered an attack ad in the media?

    • No Sir. Check your records and wear glasses. The Gommery Commision exhonerated the Chretin government, and went hard on "THE THUGS" ANONG THE CIVIL SERVANTS and the advertising companies. The Chretien and his party were found NOT GUILTY.

      • Ask Paul Martin if Chretien is a "thug"

      • Historical revisionism – Chretien did get off, but the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec received kickbacks in exchange for the sponsorship contracts to the ad companies. Millions and millions of dollars are still unaccounted for. The worst political scandal in Canadian history, committed by Liberals, and you suggest the party is exonerated?

        • You haven't read much Canadian history, Ceeger. You might start with Jeffrey Simpson's book on the history of patronage in Canada.

    • Hey, Fred.. it wasn't Chretien who brought in Gomery, it was Paul Martin. Chretien would have simply turned it over to the RCMP and refused comment. Martin hoped to trap some Chretien Liberals with the Gomery Commission, and failed miserably. You have to remember that scam was mainly a corrupt government employee and greedy ad agencies – there was no criminal connection identified with any sitting member of the Liberal Party.

      • I'm not talking about Gomery. I'm talking about Chretien's admission that he stayed on for one more election simply to delay Paul Martin's assumption of the leadership. That he forced Martin out of cabinet when he noticed that party loyalties were shifting. That he grabbed a protester by the throat. And numerous other acts of thuggery.

    • "The Conservative "attack ads" are not thugerry, they are simply the truth, whihc is why they can't be refuted."

      Refuting them is easy, but considering it isn't likely to improve your opinion, it's largely pointless, wouldn't you say?

      Attack ads are thuggery, pure and simple.

      • The Conservative "attack ads" contain all truthful and verifiable facts. Unlike the Liberal attack ads which accused the Conservatives of planning to "put troops on the street" and having a "hidden agenda".

  2. persona needs any toning down.

    "In fact, he suggests Ignatieff consider sending a high-risk message. “Both Flaherty and Ignatieff coming out and saying we can get rid of this deficit without too much pain—you know, no tax increase, not going to have to cut the provinces and everything else—that's not going to happen. Canadians know it's not going to happen. If a political leader were to say, ‘There's going to be real pain here and it's going to be shared at every level,' I think that would be a lot more honest statement"

    And just what are the chances of that happening? That would be like risky. If i didn't know better [ which i don't] i'd almost think Ignatieff was a Tory plant.
    So, that would make Dion an… NDP one?

    • McKenna's advice to Iggy is to tell Canadians ‘There's going to be real pain here and it's going to be shared at every level.' And McKenna was a so-called "top tier" candidate for Liberal leader?

      That advice will clinch the masochist vote for sure, especially if Iggy's wearing rubber and leather during the announcement.

      While he's at it, Iggy should also re-announce his plans for more spending on universal daycare and high speed trains, and how he's going to make Canadians smarter.

    • kcm…….McKenna is being politically naive.

      Look at the results of the B.C. by election. The pundits are saying the Conservatives lost because the constituency did not like the HST. If the province cannot even merge its sales tax with the GST how in the world will any politician get away with telling voters…. vote for me I will raise your taxes.

      Canadians instinctively know that taxes will probably go up to help cover the deficit. However, they will need to be convinced that everything else is being done before that happens. There is lots of waste, mismanagement and wasteful programs within the federal government that could be eliminated before taxes need to go up.

      They can goad Harper all they want but he will never admit that taxes are going to go up. If Iffy does he will lose big time.

  3. So I guess Frank McKenna knows about being a thug, coming from the party that originated attack ads in federal Canadian politics.

    That is probably why a Canadian bank hired McKenna. Those bankers are all thugs too, what with their re-possessions, service charges, and foreclosing on sick widowed grandmothers.

    I remember the Liberals ads on PM Harper and their allegations he had secret plans to put men on the streets of Canada with "guns, yes guns". (Something Liberal PM Trudeau actually did do.)

  4. McKenna's comments show just how desperate the Libs are. As for the term "thugs", there are millions of $ missing from the Adscam and Sponsorship scandals, courtesy of Liberal "thugs".

    • @ Eric Brown.
      Who is here desperate? McKenna, who sugested Ignatieff should borrow the Conservative nasty attacs, or the Conservatives which are spending millions to desperatelly hang-on to power?

    • Actually, there is very little money missing from the Sponsorship scandal, and most of it is being recovered in the courts. Those involved face, or are actually serving, jail terms. The media just doesn't hype it.

    • Any Liberals go to jail on that one. Now the Harpers goverment are calling Liberals anti jewish I would take Who is sling poop now

  5. The only "thug" i see here is Frank McKenna and his Liberal cronies. He knows all about thuggery for sure.

    • RMV……McKenna has stepped over the line and is now back in partisan politics. That is not good for TD Bank. Conservative supporters by extension will not appreciate being called thugs.

      Is this the political philosophy of the Bank. Everytime Don Drummond issues an economic report is it biased and unbalanced? Everytime Drummond appears on TV offering his perspective on the economy is it full of bias?

      The recent environmental report financed and supported by the TD Bank authored by Suzuki and the Pembina institute which castigated the government over its environmental policies was it a biased document full of half truths?

      Mr. McKenna is entitled to his personal politics but his primary job is to represent the TD Bank not to be a spokesman for the Liberal party.

      If he wants to give Iffy advice do it privately.

      McKenna has let the cat out of the bag with his bloviating and many Conservatives are not amused this morning.

      • I agree. McKenna's bosses at the TD Bank will not be amused that McKenna has turned his bank into a partisan mouthpiece. Watch for the apology coming to a website or TV station near you. No bank chairman can let this type of comment go unanswered. McKenna will be forced to apologize.

  6. I wish I had an account at the TD Bank—so I could cancel it. I think McKenna is losing it–insulting conservative voters is no way to win customers.

    • Hey — that's a good point. I should cancel my account with them. This kind of thing does offend many, many customers.

    • I do have an account and I wrote to the Chairman this morning to protest the partisanship by his Vice-Chairman.

      • I have four accounts at the TD and I'm getting two more to in support of McKenna and this clear-eyed observation.

        And I'm writing the Chairman to tell him that Two Yen is a big faker!

    • I am curious to know, just HOW does one go about insulting a Conservative voter? These are not the Tories of yore, but the rabid Reform element. The Reform Party held a crucial status in Canadian politics – it gave the brain dead something to vote for.

      • These Conservatives live in glass houses, so merely threatening to throw a rock their way is enough to get them upset.

    • Paul, easy solution for your childish post. Open an account with them and then cancel it if it makes you feel any better. Now see how easy that is.
      You sound like a child having a temper tantrum. Bang your head against the wall while your cancelling your account.
      We can all use a good laugh. As for you conservative voters that are being insulted, remember"Tit fof Tat", And Paul, no body or any business needs customers like yourself.

  7. Thugs ? This is more proof that the Liberal Party of Canada has completely lost their way. The Conservatives may not be everyone's cup of tea but they're not 'thugs.'

  8. McKenna has a point. And he's dealing with the here-and-now — not the past. Read the story again and see that he didn't initiate the comments. Instead, he was asked by the reporter what his advice would be in how Ignatieff should respond to the "just visiting" and "only in it for himself" attacks.
    He answered the question.

    • HowardC………..He did say when you are dealing with thugs. Don't try to minimize what he said. He could have answered the question differently. He knew those would be fighting words. He is an experienced politician.

  9. Ah, that's kinda sweet.
    An 'A' Team Liberal advising the #2 pick from the 'B' Team.
    Those A Teamers delight in giving unsolicted advice, eh.

    • Disgraceful conduct by a bank representative. He has just placed his bank in a precarious position with the federal government which regulates banks! As a TD multiple-account family and stock holder, I cannot believe how stupid this comment was. I have always held McKenna in the highest regard, but he clearly has gone too far. Resign from the bank Frank and run for office when Iggy steps down.

  10. I would not want to be the V.P.Marketing -Government Business, for the TD Bank.

  11. McKenna is a washed up has been and once again wants to be heard. He says Iggy should toughen up. Well Frank you should shut up

  12. Frankie McKenna … TD vice-chairman appointed on the recommendation of TD-Canada Trust CEO "Red" Ed Clark …. the bank of last resort for the Liberal party …LOL

    When the Conservatives win their majority gov't after any next election, the TD bank will suffer mightily … along with the CBC … and it will be justifiable too …!!!!!

    • "When the Conservatives win their majority gov't after any next election, the TD bank will suffer mightily … along with the CBC … and it will be justifiable too …!!!!!"


    • If the CONservatives win a majority we will all suffer! Mightily!

  13. Disgraceful conduct by a bank representative. He has just placed his bank in a precarious position with the federal government which regulates banks! As a TD multiple-account family and stock holder, I cannot believe how stupid this comment was. I have always held McKenna in the highest regard, but he clearly has gone too far. Resign from the bank Frank and run for office when Iggy steps down.

  14. Thugs? This from a party whose leader and PM choked a protester? This from a party that was ready to run ads about soldiers in the street? This from a party that stole taxpayer money for the party's benefit.

    Revisionist history Mr McKenna.

  15. One would think that a bank executive might be a little more circumspect with his political comments. If McKenna feels obligated to wade into the political fray maybe he should should resign his sinecure and position himself for a run at the Liberal leadership following the next election.

    • He would never do that, deep down we all know him to be, a candy ass.

  16. Thug, wow. I have never seen PMSH grab anyone by the throat and actually atttempt to choke him. Any one who does this would, to me be a thug…..Hmmm, does Jean Cretin come to mind….oops I mean Chretian, just a slip of the key board, how about "pepper, I put it on my plate". McKenna said this in public, and if you look up the definition of "thug" I would think this comment could be questioned in court….sue them I say, to end up, I reside in N.B. and Franky boy was never a favourite of mine and I never thought he was a good premier….

  17. Coming from a former premier of New Brunswick, I would say he knows first-hand about thuggery – in his home province. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  18. Ha ha LOL – if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, heh? McKenna must never have heard of Cretin, who, when he wasn't strangling hecklers with his bare hands on national tv, ran the Liberal party like a mafia don. Then on his way out when his own party finally kicked him out, he made sure the Liberal party would never be able to compete again for a long, long, long time. What a joke the Liberal party has become.

  19. The TD has to be the most politicized of Canada's banks, tightly bound to the moribund federal Liberals.

    • And is the most financially stable…Weird?

  20. If I am not mistaken, the TD Bank has a major role to play in the CO2 'Cap and Trade' business, and that little scheme is not advancing at the expected pace. That may be why Mr. Mckenna is a little edgy with the Conservatives.

    Always follow the money trail.

  21. Wecan see it all now.Any one who has not got the decorum in a position like this twit has only one thing in mind to replace Iffy.This guy was not as popular in N.B as one may want him to have us think.So this is Donolo secret weapon I will now move my account from the TD to a credit union.all those who disagree with this twit should express their opinion to the TD bank and do the same.If enough of us move our money he will be able to take advantage of the new EI. forward this idea to your friends.

  22. Should be a line up of Armoured Trucks at the TD Bank in the morning –moving Government cash to another
    Canadian Bank, Mckenna didn't do his imported American, unelected leader any favors with his THUG comment

  23. I can't believe the number of posters here who suggest that the government will retaliate against the TD bank for McKenna's off the cuff comments to a reporter. If these people understood irony, they would laugh at themselves for proving McKenna's point. Only a thuggish government that insists upon Mafia-style loyalty would wreak vengeance against a major financial institution because of a critical comment from a senior executive.

    • You might expect the TD bank to apologize this statement coming out of the month of a corporate excutive who once held a very important job in the Liberal government shows complete stupidity.I have already made my views known to the bank.No the last thing the government wants to do retaliate .enough customer complaints and share holder complaints will do the trick.

    • It will not happen only those who deal with the bank such as my sons' small business will ahve their say and those are the guys who provide the bank with more capital than the major players in this country

  24. just closed my account at td a minute ago

    • dumb

      • rbc has a better per month plan. btw – can't i vote with my dollar?

        • Will you also be giving up on Canadian news completely (for FOX), buying into Western alienation, and spending your free time writing a book on hockey?

          • maybe. sounds like a pretty good idea, actually.

    • 'Dave,' your message has been heard loud and clear.

      We at TD are begging for you and your $51.38 to come back. Also, we'd like to announce that we've fired Frank and deeply apologize for not being ideologically acceptable to you and your consanguinous family out there in Alberta.

      Sincerely, TD Bank customer relations

  25. I will be closing my TD Waterhouse account tomorrow. McKenna is fool and if he wants to offend Canadians, his employer should be concerned. Liberal Thug = McKenna.

    • You'll be sadly missed

    • Myself as well, shall be closing out my account at TD at the earliest opportunity.
      A pretty arrogant statement by the former Premier of NB.
      This is another notch in the belt of the Conservatives and as for the "thug" comment there is no greater "thugs" then the LPC who will pay dearly for this one. JC was the biggest thug the Libs had if one cares to look at his past actions.
      Add "Bully" to that as well. How soon we forget!

      • And China will now be closing their 'lending money to Canada whenever we need' account at their earliest opportunity

        "PM to feel pain of torture claims on China trip"


  26. McKenna just lowered himself a few pegs with that comment. Thuggery in politics is a pretty serious allegation.

    • You are so right.One loses all respect for politicians regardless of their party affiliation to make such disparaging remarks.I do not know how this may affect the loyalty of good TD customers who find this political interference by the bank. It seems the Liberals cannot stand their lowering to opposition status by the voter and this will certainly not enhance their chances of a return to power.

  27. Dion was a lost cause, everyone was sure Iggy was the one the Liberals needed, and now … now it looks like McKenna wants to join the fray. Well I figure it's him or Rae, I just can't tell which would fizzle the fastest. Folks aren't ready for a change of party; venture forth if you think you're ready Frankie.

  28. The Liberal’s classic tactic of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ just doesn’t seem to be working anymore. The population has witnessed it far to often and they’ve begun to tune out the LPC/CBC rhetoric……finally.
    Referring to the Tories as thugs/ bullies/ meanies is chintzy and hypocritical.

    Furthermore, as a Canadian, born and raised, exactly when am I supposed to start feeling the overwhelming sense of shame as a result of the military/Afgan prisoner/ unproven torture issue. Will there be an anouncement on the CBC or have I aleady missed it?

    • To bad there are so many of those Canadians who call themselves such without needing to immediately state that they were "born here" as though that somehow makes them even more "Canadian" (either because they weren't born here of simply don't believe it's a point of merit.)

      Those seem like the Canadians who keep objecting to the torture of people who, if the testimonies are to be believed, are innocent and just happen to have the wrong flesh-tone

  29. Liberals are ‘dealing with thugs..ha, what a joke.

    Remember reading a time ago Dingwall was the bagman financing Salter Film (sp) for a phoney referendum performed by Rick Mercer on CBC. The intent was to denigrate Stockwelll Day by changing his name to Doris. The show was paid by taxpayers even though a supposed Gag Law was in effect. The CBC show was one of the lowest points in Canadian politics as it is recognized as pure political manipulation using a Crown Corporation.. The diatribe is particularly telling and says more about the originators than the recipient of the invective. A thought, probably poorly paraphrased, it goes something like this: "Name calling is the last refuge for a small mind."

    • Yes, I agree that name calling is pretty low — like calling Dingwall a bagman.

  30. How sweet. A whole board full of conbots. What happened? Did they close down SDA early. or is Macleans buying the beer? :)

  31. Hmmm… "thugs". Is that the same McKenna that threatened to take away single mother's welfare checks if they didn't reveal the names of their childrens fathers when he was premier of NB. Just wondering.

  32. Looks like McKenna is priming the pump to take over leadership of the liberals from Ignatieff who should never have left Harvard. This could yet become a real life version of "Dumb and Dumber."

    • McKenna may need the job. It looks like he may not last as a non-partisan banker.

    • hmmm, Dumb and Dumber. Sheband, I'm willing to bet that you have not, nor will you, achieve the prominence of these two individuals.

  33. I do believe that during McKenna's time in Parliament our system was referred to as a a thugocracy and we were still in the era of pepper spraying our citizens and making claims of Tory hidden agendas, the dis-prove a negative theory of politics so very akin to how the Communists operate.
    Liberals are not so much a political party, as they have no policies, as they are a club of self interested socialists who feel entitled to rob the peons to pay themselves. Once you have had access to other peoples money you never go back to your own ,eh McKenna?, a bank job suits ya, more usury.

    • "making claims of Tory hidden agendas, the dis-prove a negative theory of politics so very akin to how the Communists operate."

      Actually, if you follow the news you'd know that the Communists are loving this

      "PM to feel pain of torture claims on China trip" http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/afghanmission/

  34. McKenna has obviously hit a sensitive spot with the NeoConservative Party thugs! Listen to them howl with indignition and make more thuggish threats against Liberals. Next, they'll accuse him of being an anti-Semite.

    • mckenna is an anti-semite

  35. And the other thing about the Harper 'thugs?'

    They whine and cry when the other guy treats them in the same manner they treat others.

    Most bullies do.

    • get picked on a lot as a child, there, tiger?

  36. I see a few liberals woke up and have proceded to do what liberals do–denigrate others with different views with their personal attacks. Too bad they did not have any pertinent views themselves.

    • Have actually been through all the comments? Or are you sleepwalking through it…like me!

  37. Iggy should toughen up? Maybe.

    But Frank McKenna took a pass on the 2006 Liberal leadership convention when the party needed him most. He either saw the writing on the wall for the Liberals, which I suspect, or didn't want to do the tough work to bring the party together.

    In either case, he's hardly in a position to criticize the Iggy now. Mckenna had an opportunity. He obviously figured there were better ones around than being Leader of the Opposition for years on end.

  38. Mr. McKenna has some nerve calling other thugs. The Liberal party is the most destructive and corrupt organization in the political arena. Whether we are talking about the billions in waste, mismanagement and outright theft that occurred under the Chretien dictatorship or the current criminal activities being run under the McGuinty reign of error the end is always the same. Corruption reigns. Notice how the Auditor General's reports lately come and go, that is because she no longer is finding scams, theft, misuse of tax dollars under every rock as she did when the Liberals were in power. The Conservatives are providing honest, decent governance, and that is simply intolerable to Liberals.

    • If you just keep clicking your heels together, Ron, maybe the things you say will come true!

      • what's not true about the Liberals being corrupt and without any policies to speak of?

        well, there is the gun registry. oh wait…

        • In all seriousness, Ron, when the Conservatives are able to create a surplus which they didn't inherit, then I'll have some respect for their governing abilities. As things stand now, we're going to be left with one doozy of a debt hangover when Harper leaves office. The only federal party in my lifetime that has EVER pulled this country back from the debt abyss is the Liberal Party of Canada. Spin all you want, but for that one achievement alone they have my gratitude.

          • The government's goal should not be to create a surplus, they are not a buisness. That surplus you are so fond of is tax payers money that should remain in the tax payers pockets. The less money the government has the less they can waste.

          • It takes money to run a country, Dakota — this is something that tax-cutting conservatives never want to face, which is why their time in power always results in massive public debt. All that I ask of a government is that it plans ahead so that the surpluses in fat years balance out the deficits in lean times. But the only federal party that learned that lesson in my lifetime is the Liberal Party of Canada.

          • The pulling back from the debt abyss was done thanks to the heavy lifting by Mulroney when he introduced the GST.

          • Exactly, TwoYen — I agree with you 100%! If the GST is so essential to our fiscal health, why did Harper and Flaherty reduce it, so that the moment we encounter economic difficulty we'd have massive deficits? They are not responsible managers of the nation's finances. They ramped up spending even before the recession hit us.

          • The Liberals like to rake credit for the surplus, but that is so misplaced. the surplus was created by two of Mulroney's bedrock policies; Free Trade and the GST. Free Trade produced the trade surplus and higher employment and standard of living. The GST provided the revenue stream.

            All the Liberals did was take the credit. All the while promising over and over again to scrap the GST and kill Free Trade.

          • Tens of thousands of civil servants were let go, and government spending was tightly contained for half a dozen years while the Chretien government got the situation under control after the chaos of the early 1990s. The GST/NAFTA helped, but they weren't enough. You might have forgotten the shared sacrifice of that period, at all levels of government, but I have not. Regarding broken promises, I've seen plenty from all politicians, including some shocking ones from Harper during the past few years, so I prefer to judge politicians and parties according to proven results.

    • "Conservatives are providing honest, decent governance, and that is simply intolerable to Liberals. "

      PM to feel pain of torture claims on China trip http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/afghanmission/

  39. "Hell hath no wrath like a Conservative government scorned — just ask the string of bureaucrats, advocates and citizens whose reputations have felt the fury."

    Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press (yesterday)

    • Yes, great point, because hacks with an ideological, elitist bent towards the the Liberal party drip golden words of gospel from their pens in every story, right?

      • I'm sure that you're more qualified to be a reporter, and would be more objective, than Ms. Ditchburn. I wonder how you would report the Colvin affair? You'd probably say, along with other national conservative columnists (who somehow, according to your logic, are not ideological, elistist, or part of the mainstream media), that there's nothing to see here, that we should move along, and that the Harper government should never be scrutinized. You'd conveniently ignore the pattern of aggressive treatment of dissent shown by this government that Ditchburn identifies. You might even tell us that ignorance is bliss. Well, no thanks, Ceeger!!

  40. Mr. McKenna has his opinion and stated so when asked. One can disagree or agree with his remarks and there are many voters who have not expressed their opinion and agree with him. Some of the respondents appear perturbed but Mr. McKenna is not speaking of Bank Policy. All enjoy the weekend.

    • Malcolm Barry…..He is the Vice Chairman of the bank and when he speaks he represents the bank. There is no picking and choosing what is personal and what is the bank's perspective.

  41. The Liberals are setting the stage for “Son of Margaret” to ascend to the throne.
    Ross Rebagliati will be the Minister for Connecting to All Things Cool.

  42. McKenna should tread carefully. He is in a high profile position and as such could end up seeing many Conservatives who do not agree with him closing their accounts and moving else. His days as a partisan are over and he should communicate any advice he has for Iffy privately. The Board of TD may have something to say should he continue with these interview where he defends the Liberal party.

    • That's right, hollinm, McKenna should be very afraid. We don't want anyone speaking their mind in this country. It might offend those in power.

      • Holinm has pretty well articulated just why no one who loves freedom should help this bunch of cons get a majority govt. The hidden fist in the velvet glove.

        • kc….come off it. McKenna is a senior executive with a major corporation. That is his employer not being a partisan hack. Lets see what TD says when they see the accounts being closed and the letters being received by the executives. As part of a major corporation who is controlled by the government it sure ain't smart to bite the hand that feeds you.

          There is no hidden fist. It is there for all to see. We don't like it and we will say so.

          The Libs didn't like being called anti semitic but we also love freedom even though we are Conservatives whether the Libs like it or not.

          • "The Libs didn't like being called anti semitic …"

            Where did that come from? Time for some professional help, hollinm.

      • wellwell…..sure he can speak his mind. However, we don't have to like it and have the right to say so. The government has said nothing and will not say anything. However, it is the Conservative supporters who are upset. They don't like being compared to thugs particularly when the Liberal party's former PM strangled a person in full sight of the cameras. That is truly being a thug.

    • Dick Richards…..and why would that be. There is no regime that embraces torture like China. It is like the pot calling the kettle black. Like probably everywhere else it is simply a news item of the day. Of course the Star and the Liberals would love to set up some controversey before the PM goes to China. However, economics trumps everything else these days.

      • " It is like the pot calling the kettle black."

        That is the point hollinm…remember when Harper had that big megaphone and how he loved to yell at China? I think China probably does.

        " Like probably everywhere else it is simply a news item of the day"

        and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that…

  43. Well, he's hit a nerve all the Tory supporters bringing out and used up attacks….hmmmm, he's hit a nerve.

    Don't knock TD folks, it's the top bank in Canada – doing very well indeed here and in the US.

  44. I just bought out of my mortgage with TD today. I will not support any company run by Liberal thugs.

  45. That is probably why a Canadian bank hired McKenna. Those bankers are all thugs too, what with their re-possessions, service charges, and foreclosing on sick widowed grandmothers.

  46. As a NB'er and a former teacher the province of NB and especially teachers and students are still suffering from the McKenna education years. That was "thuggary" at its best. He couldn't win the leadership because the membership from Quebec still remember he was one of the hold-outs on the Meech Lake Accord. His french is not that great either!!

  47. Well, when you quote someone, you may take them out of context, you may be juxtaposing two things said at different points in time, whatever. Regardless, you are trying to make the opponent look bad, hence the term "attack". Almost all attack ads are based on truth. Sometimes they bend the truth, sometimes not. There is always at least a grain of truth.

  48. The conservative defense against Mr. McKenna's comments seems to be 'we may be thugs, but so were the liberals'. Unfortunately, this is similar to the defense used by the government when the stimulus spending scandal emerged (as pointed out be Andrew Coyne). Constantly using the previous parties worst excesses to justify your own is a sad state of affairs.

    • Wrong! the Conservatives are not "thugs" and not admitting to be "thugs". Mr McKenna should be able to tell what a "thug" looks like, but apparently not. A Thug is a short little Shawiniginian who accuses the Conservatives of putting troops on the street and undoing all of Canada's social programs to try and win an election. And goes out his way to prevent his successor from taking office for an additional term while screwing him over in the backrooms.

      Holding the Liberals accountable for what they say is not thuggery.

      • You just proved the point I was making.

        There's a difference between holding a party accountable and trying to destroy them at the cost of good governance. There isn't any one party in Canada that's exclusively guilty of this 'thuggery', you can go back in our history and find many examples of both the Liberals and the Conservatives acting like thugs towards each other. The problem is when current politicians start using those past grievances as excuses to behave badly.

        I have yet to see the Harper government apologize when called out on something that they have done wrong, and whenever somebody tries to call them out on something it's met with some variation of 'the real bad guy is [insert name of former PM no longer running for office] who [insert scandal, policy or past grievance] which gives Harper carte blanche to continue doing whatever misdeed he is currently being accused of'.

  49. You know…I respect Mr. McKenna a lot but I beg to differ with him on his assessment of Ignatieff needing to "toughen up."

    Anyone remember…."If you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done." And how about…"Mr. Harper, your time is up!" Pretty tough statements I'd say. My guess was that he was trying to project the opposite persona of the uberwimp-Dion…and it backfired on him. It was immediately following his no-compromise, tough talking…"I'm gonna bring Harper down" period that his (and Liberal) fortunes plunged in the polls .

    I think "tough guy" Ignatieff already failed because he is no more a tough guy than he is the Prince of Narnia. Canadians don't buy either marketing persona. Both are just too phony for the Canadian public to accept. He's an intellectual, a professor, a "great thinker" with "big ideas." At least he's supposed to be. We sure haven't seen much of great thinking and big ideas out of him though. Which leaves him as quite the hollow man in the eyes of voters. What we have seen is a guy who has flip flopped on virtually everything he's said and a guy who doesn't seem to have the people, or organizational skills to run a second-rate political party, let alone a country.

    The old paradigm of sitting, waiting and simply opposing the government, hoping they'll mess up is…or bloody well should be…obsolete. If Ignatieff is really going to usher in a new direction and era for the Liberals, tough talk and waiting are simply not going to do it.

  50. I think if this comment came from an elected MP that would be one thing, but for a man who is fairly high-up in the corporate ladder of a Canadian bank, it seems somewhat out of place.

    McKenna should decide if he's in public life or private.

    • Private citizens can't have and express opinions about politicians and their actions? Come on, basic freedom of speech – the comments aren't on any inner workings between TD and the federal government, they're about basic political maneouvering and financial policy, so there's no conflict of interest.

      Disagreeing with McKenna's comments is one thing, but implying that he has no right to say it is out of line.

  51. Lol, good for you…Mackenna is a bully!

  52. Somewhere there is the world's tiniest violin. And it is playing solely for the Liberals, whose problems are entirely derived from the unprincipled thuggishness of their opponents.

    Yes, unprincipled thuggishness. Can you imagine such behaviour in a Canadian political party?

  53. McKenna says the Lib message should be: “Both Flaherty and Ignatieff coming out and saying we can get rid of this deficit without too much pain—you know, no tax increase, not going to have to cut the provinces and everything else—that's not going to happen. Canadians know it's not going to happen."
    The problem with this message is that Canadians know the Liberals and NDP continuously pushed for increased spending in order to keep the minority Parliament alive. The issue of the deficit is easily turned around on them, using publically available recorders and news coverage, since the Opposition parties are at least as culpable for it.

  54. Mike, get some help.

  55. The point of the article is that one must respond to attack ads with counter-attacks. The only word seen in the comments is "thug". That clearly show the political color of the people commenting.

  56. Thugs–is that what McKenna & his cronies are!!!! HOw else would he know all about -such. "Iggy" simply doesn't have –"it"–2 get across 2 the people–if he has anything 2 get across? So far haven't heard a thing about policies- platforms-agendas–let alone -principals! Eveytime he opens his mouth– it's all about himself–thought he was there 2 form a new liberal party– well– keep it up– as I —4 one– would never vote liberal anyhow– thugs–is their best description!!!

  57. This is exactly the kind of block-headed advice that makes many Canadians despair of the current state of politics. The PM is a thug, so behave like a thug right back.

    Ignatieff has already tried his utmost to sound tough; it's not working. He's not demonstrating any tangible way in which he'd take Canada in a different direction. We need leadership on the economy, the environment, and a host of other issues. We need to find a way to exit from Afghanistan. We need to stop the provinces from continuing their lurch into a bunch of squabbling and selfish fiefdoms. We need to give young people a reason to care about politics. How about cleaning out the old guard from the Liberal Party? How about presenting a policy platform? How about talking to us like adults instead of children?

  58. I am a life-long conservative and make no apology for it. I have voted only once for a liberal, David Peterson, and sincerely regret the lapse – could not vote conservative on that occasion, conservative philosophy notwithstanding. Our current conservative leader is no conservative and I am desperately hoping for an honest man/woman to step forward and takes the reins of real leadership in this country. That man is among us and I tell everyone who will listen that he should be encouraged in the best interest of this country to answer the call to work to secure Canada's future – that man is Frank McKenna. That he is a liberal and former Premier of New Brunswick should qualify him straight away. That he is an honest man and tireless worker who plays no games and whose integrity can be relied upon to address the issues in a thoughtful and focussed way makes him our best opportunity for the kind of leadership this country desperately needs NOW. So, if anyone is listening to this and agrees, especially highly placed citizens of the liberal persuasion, please get off your comfortable butts and get this man in the top chair before its too late. Make him an offer he simply cannot refuse. Draft Frank McKenna NOW.

  59. The Liberal election strategy has consistently been to "wait for the other side to screw up". It used to work really well. The last few elections, it hasn't been as successful.

  60. Can't believe all the thin-skinned Tory supporters who can't stand to hear the truth about Harper's Conservatives. I have followed Harper and his political career since back in the days when he was a Reform Party member…and he has become more and more intolerant of the views of others and more and more mean-spirited over the years. To the point where I would indeed describe him and people he surrounds himself with as" thugs". There is no way I ever want this guy to lead a majority government as he has zero respect for the millions of people who do not support his views. He has NO IDEA how to forge a consensus on any issue…it is always "my way or the highway" type of attitude.

    And for all you who claim to have cancelled your TD accounts/mortgages…you are either incredibly silly or engaging in the same type of misinformation that your hero, Harper, does on a regular basis. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when you decide to check your brain at the door when trying to engage in serious debate.