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Battle hymn of the republic

Did Michael Ignatieff really profess his love for “the republic I live in”? Does it matter?


 

One of the more recent Conservative attack ads includes a short clip of Michael Ignatieff uttering the words, “I love the republic I live in.”

The fine print indicates that Mr. Ignatieff uttered those words on Sept. 16, 2001. A little research shows that specifically those words were uttered as part of a roundtable discussion on CBC radio’s Sunday Edition with Michael Enright.

Now, given the date on which that discussion took place, one can perhaps imagine what the subject of that discussion was. But for the sake of argument (and context), I’ve tracked down an edited transcript of the conversation that was published shortly thereafter and I reprint here the question and answer that resulted in those seven words being committed to the public record.

MICHAEL ENRIGHT: What is the source of the loathing, Michael, of the United States? We see it and hear it and read about it in other parts of the world, this hatred for the US.

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF: Some of the hatred is perfectly understandable. As some British commentator said crisply yesterday, the British Empire was hated and loathed, and now it’s the Americans’ turn. A certain loathing and hatred and envy goes toward any country that is deeply successful, that dominates the world in cultural, economic, and political terms. I want to make it clear, there isn’t an anti-American bone in my body. I love the republic I live in. But we just have to accept that success breeds contempt and envy. More to the point, if you look within the Middle East, America is suffering the consequences of a lot of things that aren’t even necessarily America’s fault. One of the things that is horrible about the Middle East is that it’s failed to benefit from democracy, from modernization, from capitalism, from progress. Many Middle Eastern states are ruled by corrupt and unfair elites. Much of the resource wealth of that great part of the world has never been shared with the population. And that entire cauldron of discontent has been channelled towards the Americans, largely because of their support for the state of Israel. But the thing that needs to be very clearly said is that understanding this hatred is one thing, but the proposition that the way to respond is to change American policy to concede to this kind of hatred is simply impossible politically for the United States, and also undesirable morally. The fact that you’re hated doesn’t mean that you should concede to this kind of hatred. And this hatred justifies nothing. That’s the point about nihilism. The people who attacked the Trade Center and the Pentagon did not have defensible rational or discernible political aims that they could possibly hope to achieve with this action. And therefore to respond by saying that America must change its tune seems to me to be fatuous. This is a criminal attack on a great state, and a great state will have to respond.


 

Battle hymn of the republic

  1. “I love the republic I live in.” is a perfectly acceptable statement. He was living in the US at the time!

    However he was dead wrong about why people loathe the US.

    And about 911, and all that followed, for that matter.

  2. Wow – even in context it rings slightly wrong to me – and spoken from the viewpoint of one elitist commenting negatively about elites ruling elsewhere…and then…lo and behold – Iggy gets recruited by an elite to be the leader of an elite dominated party!

  3. I don't there there would have been too many Conservatives (I guess that would been Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives at the time) who would have had too many problems with what Iggy had to say back then.

    Regardless, the pulled quote "I love the Republic I live in" never came across, to me, as being particularly offensive. I mean, it seemed clear to me he wasn't speaking as if he was an American… he just happened to be living in America, which just happens to be a republic. The quote always seemed out-of-place from the outset. That said, good find, Wherry. Nice to have some context to go with these quotes.

  4. I agree, but seeing as it was a mere five days after the attack on the world trade centre I can cut some slack.

  5. Conservative Culture of Deceit strikes again.

  6. There is nothing wrong about being 'elite'.

    If you were having heart surgery you'd want an elite surgeon.

  7. Context – like facts, statistics, science and reality – is for elitist, latte-sipping metrosexual liberanos.

  8. You know, I never would have given Ignatieff a second look if it wasn't for the embarrassing level of attacks he's received from the CPC and online commenters. There is something so juvenile about them that they automatically raise my hackles and want to defend the man against such absurdities.

    Lo and behold, what I found was a pretty intelligent guy…one that's a little farther to the right of centre than I'd like, but one that I find, well, interesting. As I said waaay back when, when I started this intensedebate account – the childish attacks on Ignatieff have actually made this lifelong NDP voter give him a second look….and I don't hate what I see.

    Congratulations PMO!

  9. Wow. That was a stretch.

  10. Emily opined:
    "However he was dead wrong about why people loathe the US."

    Ok, Emily….tell us why YOU hate the USA so much?

    As for 911….tell us why YOU think a bunch of fanatical Muslim's flew planeloads of innocent passengers into buildings full of innocent people? ( I won't mention the Canadians who were also murdered that day, as you have already expressed your opinion that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time…and therefore considered collateral damage)

  11. You know……if Iggy would have stuck with being Micheal Ignatieff, more people would listen to what he had to say.

    As it stands now, he's dumped his principles in order to fit in with the Liberal Party of Canada…….and it shows.

  12. Oh, well, as every serious conservative has observed, Harper has dumped his principles in order to get votes.

  13. Interesting how Iggy supports Israel just as strongly as Harper but all the Harper-hater nutbars twist it into his evangelical beliefs.

  14. Because they hate the way the US supports Israel in killing Palestinians, and the way the Americans support dictators like Mubarak who oppress their own people.

  15. As I said once before….

    'Americans as individuals are nice people. Americans collectively are a pain in the ass.

    'American Exceptionalism'….the belief that Americans are especially blessed by God, and called to rule the world is something they learn from the crib.

    It's just now dawning on some of them they may have gotten that bit wrong, and that the other 7 billion people on the planet think differently. '

  16. I'm not sure I've totally gotten my head around CPC rhetoric vis a vis our relationship with the U.S. It seems to me that they want me to not vote for Layton because he's too anti-American, but also not vote for Ignatieff because he's not anti-American enough.

    It's the Goldilocks strategy of anti-American rhetoric, I guess.

  17. Intersting also, how you're trying to distract from the original issue..

    ..which is using an opponent's words out of contect for political gain. Or, in non-elite terms, lying to get votes.

  18. And bin Laden TOLD you why:

    "I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.

    The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorized and displaced.

    I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

  19. The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.

    In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.

    I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.

    The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorized and displaced.

  20. I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

    The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.

    In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.

    And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

    And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.

  21. Stephen Harper's tawdry turn at the top is awash in contradictions.
    But his PR machine has an excellent spin cycle and almost no one notices!

  22. If they could provide us with a chart for exactly how much we're allowed to like the US, it would be quite helpful.

  23. Well breaking this quote into 3 parts….as the site insisted….means some overlap apparently!

    But you get the idea.

    Americans have freely killed people everywhere else in the world for ages….and they shouldn't have been surprised when the victims fought back

  24. Precisely my feeling. Ignatieff is not my kind of politician. He was a much more interesting academic, willing to be out on the edge and willing to accept that he could be wrong and that's fine. Everyone who believes in giving someone a fair shake should defend him from these kinds of revolting attacks regardless of political beliefs. After they're through with Ignatieff who're these pin heads, these self- appointed arbiters of acceptable political moralism going to turn their attention to next?

  25. Mr Ignatieff sounded quite sensible, interesting and knowledgable in the last paragraph of the lead item. It is a pity he is wasting his talents in his quixotic run at the prime ministership of Canada, IMHO.

  26. I could really use that!

    I know that the "correct" place for a Canadian to be is apparently somewhere between Ignatieff and Layton, but a chart sure would help! What really gets me confused are the times when Harper seems more pro-American than Ignatieff. If Ignatieff is some sort of American Manchurian candidate who didn't come back for me, and isn't in it for me, but then I hear Stephen Harper praising America more robustly than Igntieff on occasion, or implementing policies that seem more pro-American than the Liberals would prefer, what am I supposed to do with that?!?!?!

  27. John D – If you like America, you vote Conservative.

    No chart needed.

  28. spoken from the viewpoint of one elitist commenting negatively about elites ruling elsewhere

    Really? 'Cause to me THAT rings slightly wrong. How can one possibly put a Harvard Professor and, say, the Ayatollah of Iran in the same category of "elites" in this context? You're not really saying that a political science professor's comments on a dictatorship need to be taken with a grain of salt because a professor at Harvard is just another "elite" like the dictators, are you?

  29. Ignatieff has also admitted he made the wrong call on Iraq at the time.

    Stephen Harper not so – we can only still guess he thinks it was the right call.

  30. The reasonal criticism of Harper's policy re: Israel [ i suspect that would include just about every journo @ Macleans] basically all stem from the premise that Israel is a democracy itself and is very self critical – lots of Israelis don't support the Likud party, how come we can't critcise them too? I simply wont except the mindless proposition that criticism of one particular parties policies are somehow a blanket condemnation of Israel – Israelis themselves do not accept such a ridiclous supposition and neither should we
    . In case you missed my point Harper seems to be puting forth such a proposition – no criticism of Israel shall be allowed in the public sphere. No doubt he offers the same kind of advise or counsel[ privately] as did most previous Liberal govts while publically chastising the liberal party – which would make him a hypocrite – which is hardly new. This guy is all about domestic politics no matter what stage he's on.

  31. Taking a sentence that comes before a "but" and using it alone as telling quote is an intellectually dishonest move that should be discouraged on all sides.

  32. This ad is disgusting. Yes it isn't disgusting in the in your face way the liberal hidden agenda ads were [ even at the time i thought it was a dumb idea that would come back to bite them in the ass; it has, but it's also doing damage to our politcs, which is much more worrying. Think i'm wringing my hands? Isn't it the new normal?]
    Someone once said you can only understand life looking back and only live it going forward. So, let's get this crap out of our political system – it's slowly but steadily warping it.
    I'm beginning to think that if these guys can't self limit then perhaps getting public money out of politics is the way to go. I don't like that idea, i see nothing wrong with some basic susidy to the parties, but this stuff is starting to make me worried and very angry.

  33. That's beside the point. It's one thing to love America. It's another thing to love America while being the leader of Canada. It's a bit of a conflict of interest. Maybe after he becomes PM, he can move to Britain and become PM there, and then eventually make his way to become president of America.

    Next time we have a softwood lumber dispute, he can represent both sides.

  34. It was the endless stream of (pre election) 10%'s attacking Stephane Dion that got me participating in politics beyond simply voting. I had abandoned the Liberals after they reneged on the GST and had even voted Reform.
    For me, the attacks on Dion took on a more sinister tone when their dismissive nature supplanted actual electoral debate of the issues . Since then, I have become active, vocal and have (gasp!) actually donated money to the Liberals. I will be making another donation for the next election – something that was basically unthinkable 5+ years ago.

  35. What exactly is deceitful? This is not even close to the kind of misrepresentation we see from Wherry in half of his blog posts.

  36. The controversial thing that he said was that the principle blame for democracy not succeeding in the Middle East is not the USA's fault although they are frequently blamed for it. It this, I largely agree with him. The criticism of the US from the left is frequently lazy and follows the line of a) the USA is all powerful, b) the world is screwed up, ergo the USA has screwed up the world.

  37. He said it 10 years ago! AND, he said it after 9/11! You think, in any meaningful or substantive way, him saying that, A DECADE AGO, should disqualify him from being Prime Minister now? Seriously?

    Man, the lengths that you guys will go to defend a bunch of crappy ads. Seriously, you Conservatives have no reason to come off as desperate, but you sure have been doing a good job of it this past week.

  38. In fact the U.S. has started lumber proceedings in the past six weeks, after harper showed himself an easy mark by giving up billions just to say he had reached an agreement.

    Sadly for the CPC, Iggy's warm feelings for our neighbour to the south are something they can't comparatively capitalize on.

  39. The ad is disgusting (highlighting a not-very-relevant point) and redundant (because if there's one thing Canadians know well about this man, it is that he spent a significant time out of country, only to be roped back in by desperate Liberal Party muckity-mucks).

    But it is not dishonest, even without the added context. It's where the man was living, after all.

  40. Blog posts vs Political ads from a governing party during a non-election period.

    sigh

  41. Im glad that you admit to sympathizing with Bin Laden Emily. Somehow Im not very surprised.

  42. If Wherry's blog is not popular, then for the same reasons the ad won't be popular either. I thought the fourth estate was supposed to show a little dignity.

    And I'm particularly not fond of hypocrites.

  43. On the use of quotes:

    If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.
    Winston Churchill

  44. no criticism of Israel shall be allowed in the public sphere

    Inventing stuff out of whole cloth, or more precisely, lying, in order to criticize Harper… typical BS from braindead Harper-haters. You know, there is REAL stuff (REAL being stuff that you didnt just make up in your head) on which you could criticize Harper – why invent stuff like that which is so obviously and patently false? Are you a PMO plant trying to make Liberal commenters look completely unhinged from reality?

  45. if there's one thing Canadians know well about this man

    Actually, only 15% of Canadians follow politics. I'd be willing to guess that most people know very little about Ignatieff.

    I agree, it's not dishonest. And it doesn't bother me much, because it isn't dishonest. I do seem to recall a multi-year Liberal attack called the "hidden agenda" that in fact was dishonest, because it was not based on any reality, evidence or facts whatsoever, it was just fear-mongering. That was dishonest.

    In fact, Ignatieff's popularity is so unbelievably low, that stuff like this is likely quite effective, because (1) it is based on reality and (2) Ignatieff himself is apparently a liability given his leadership poll numbers, which are well below the party poll numbers (although I've never really understood why), so people are likely to confirm their pre-existing doubt of the man with an ad like this.

  46. I think even if you look at the ad in the best possible light in terms of context and honesty, it's just not a good ad… even when it's measured against other attack ads. I don't like attack ads to begin with, but if they're done poorly, the potential for self-inflicted damage is huge. A bad 'normal' ad is ignored. A bad attack ad causes damage to the attacker.

  47. Slightly Off-Topic,

    Anyone have any idea when we're going to be hearing from our Prime Minister about the situation in Egypt? I know Lawrence Cannon has had a few hasty press conferences, but I'd sure like to hear from my PM on this issue.

  48. I never said he should be disqualified. Why do you guys get so uppity? I'm not the slightest bit desperate, nor are the Conservatives. If the guy has negative qualities (negative in terms of his qualifications and aptitude to represent the entire country as PM), then that's fair game. It doesn't mean he's disqualified. Are you so sensitive that we must erase his past from collective memory? Grow a backbone.

    By your logic, any joe blow could be nominated and we have no right to discover anything about said person's qualifications, interests, motivations, and bacground, prior to becoming the leader of all Canadians.

  49. Lordy, you guys will twist yourselves into pretzels sometimes with your (fuzzy) logic.

  50. "In fact, Ignatieff's popularity is so unbelievably low, that stuff like this is likely quite effective."

    I would argue the exact opposite is true. People already have a low opinion of the guy. Why are you giving him more publicity? That 'yes yes yes' ad from last week only gave Iggy good press. Further, if the public gets the sense (rightly or wrongly) that the Conservatives are going after Iggy in an unfair manner, Iggy's popularity goes up, Tories' goes down.

    To borrow an attack ad phrase… it's not worth the risk.

  51. Why? Very few countries have made public commentary. It's not wise, unless you have some sort of treaty or alliance or partnership with one of the Egyptian groups, which we do not have, whatsoever.

    Would you like to see Harper voice support for a 30-year dictatorship, or would you like him to take a guess and voice support for one of the opposition groups, which could very well be worse?

    The Harper government has done what it should, which is voice support for democracy and human rights and provide support for Canadians needing assistance to leave the country.
    http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/canada/article/758

  52. How about when the US gives arms and money to Middle East dictators who oppress their own people? Is it ok to blame the US for that? For actually causing harm to people?

  53. I have to seek out Mr Wherry to read his views. His views are also balanced by the rightings of other columnists.
    I was watching TV last week (Big Bang Theory, I think) and a Michael Ignatieff negative attack ad came on.
    Yes, I was free to change the channel (I did not), but I sure as hell did not seek out the ad; it came unbidden to me.

  54. I think that most people believe that in a competition you exploit your opponent's weaknesses, you don't ignore them. I think that as long as they stick to the truth then it will be effective. The other ad in which Iggy yells "yes", which they pulled, was not a good one because it was not honest, he was yelling "yes" to something else, so in that case they did take his words out of context.

  55. You do realize buddy that somewhere between 50-75% of your donation is coming out of my pocket? It's ok…i'll drink about just any brand micro brew…couple a cases oughta do it. :)

  56. What a curiously neutered Canada you want to see on the international stage. I thought conservatives wanted a more robust foreign policy…was I mistaken?

  57. "It's one thing to love America. It's another thing to love America while being the leader of Canada. It's a bit of a conflict of interest"

    Sucking and blowing, scf. It isn't a conflict of interest if he isn't the leader of Canada, according to you, yourself. So how is it a negative? Do Prime Minister's of Canada need to HATE the United States now? Can we not love them second or third best? Does loving one country mean you can't love another country more?

  58. It's one thing to love America. It's another thing to love America while being the leader of Canada. It's a bit of a conflict of interest.

    Now I really want someone to ask Harper if he loves America. He'd better not use the word "yes" in his answer!

  59. Why don't you just collect from him the same way?

  60. If the recent conversion to the Liberal camp by the 3 folks above is any indication of a national trend, then Iggy may very well look forward to an avalanche of pity-support from all those who feel sorry for him.

  61. We have a more robust foreign policy. You seem to be wishing for a stupid foreign policy. What part of the following statement do you not like? "the Harper government expressed hope that the troubled Mideast country will "transition" toward greater democratic freedom" If you're not pleased with the government's position, perhaps you could enlighten us all and tell us what is missing? What do you want them to say? What's wrong with this:

    "We want to see a transition towards basic values of freedom, democracy, human rights and justice," Harper told the House of Commons. "We want to make sure the transition does not tend towards violence, instability and extremism."

    You said "Anyone have any idea when we're going to be hearing from our Prime Minister about the situation in Egypt?" and I replied by showing you we already have heard from our Prime Minister about the situation in Egypt. What do you want now? Make up your mind.

  62. Did you even think about what you had written before hitting submit? You're very lucky you got it from Loraine.

  63. Israel is worried about the transistion. [ understandably] Just a guess but maybe this is holding Harper back. It would be instructive to know just what our dialogue with Israel is on this about now – any bets we may be throwing Egyptian democracy under the bus?

  64. Only to a point though OC, only to a point.

    If you love America up to a certain point you're supposed to vote Tory, but if you love America as much as Ignatieff supposedly does, shouldn't you vote Liberal?

    This is why a chart would be useful!

  65. Interesting how the Liberals have always been balanced in their approach to that issue, and interesting that they still maintain a balanced policy between Israel and the Palestinians. So, interesting how you just make stuff up.

  66. You really think that's enough of a statement? Really?? What a mealy-mouthed non-statement. What should Mubarak do? Should he step down, as Obama has said. Or should he stay in power, as many Republican politicians have said? I want to know where Canada stands on something. Make a stand for pete's sake. We're standing on the edge of what could be as monumental a shift in the Middle East as 1989 was in Europe and all we get from our Prime Minister is "the Harper government expressed hope that the troubled Mideast country will "transition" toward greater democratic freedom". That, frankly, will not do.

    (And you'd completely agree with me if it was coming from a Liberal gov't.)

  67. clever.

  68. you forgot "troop-hating"

  69. I much preferred Iggy before he entered politics. He could freely speak his mind, and did. Clearly he's a thoughtful, well-read guy with well-thought out positions on a lot of issues. I find it painful to watch him spewing sound bites and talking points now, just like any other politician. It's no wonder so many good people don't go near politics. It's just vile, the way the political process forces people to communicate in sound bites and talking points.

  70. Lets separate the arms & money issues. If the US (or any advanced) country wants to provide financial support to developing countries it is going to be providing money through corrupt governments. I am no expert but I would guess many of the Middle East regimes are better than the average African/Asian/South American equivalent. I suspect you agree that regime change on a massive scale is a horrible idea. It seems the alternative is isolation, which has a very limited success rate.

    The real issue is that in most of these countries there is no democratic government in waiting to support. My understanding is that this is true currently in Egypt. There is discussion of ElBaradei, but it seems doubtful to me that he has the support of the military. (which I personally believe is essential for an orderly transition.

  71. Oh, how funny. I completely agree with you here, and I was arguing with your viewpoint just a few comments up the thread.

    Leave the leadership of Egypt up to Eyptians, why don't we? Nobody in Egypt (or pretty much anywhere else on this issue, for that matter) is really going to care what Canada's opinion is on the subject, and we make ourselves look ridiculous voicing it without being asked.

  72. O course the ad is also dishonest. It purports to know that MI will leave for Havaard immediately he doesn't get his wish – pure conjecture. It also purports to know the motivation for Ignatieff's return, supporting the argument with out of context and dishonest quotes – more conjecture. The only true thing in the ad is that Ignatieff has been away at all. This point could be made without all the dishonest fearmongering. The ad is ludicrously dishonest.

    "Bbbb..but…we spelt his name right…and he has been away don't ya know folks…and you gotta admit all those air kisses do make him look sorta like a pansy".

  73. I get dibs on the empties

  74. I'm giving Harper some points here, for at least not coming out with the Israeli prepared text he was given. They must be really pissed with Obama! I truly hope we continue down the same balanced path we've started on, it is up to Egyptians and for once can we please give them the support and the space to make the decision themselves?

  75. ~ turning Liberal after that comment ~

  76. How exactly could they have a democratic government in waiting when they have never had a democratic government? It's not something you can buy on ebay, it's something that has to be built. But keeping a dictator in power does not help in building a democracy.

  77. Not true. Harper also admitted the mistake in the last leadership debate.

  78. What if I love freedom more than America? Is that allowed?

  79. Feeling ashamed of this Conservative style of transparency, accountability and democracy and feeling "pity-support" for Michael Ignatieff are two very different things

  80. Ok, so is your choice regime change or isolation? (Iraq or Cuba?)

  81. It would be so nice if we could have an election that featured both Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff from 10 years ago.

  82. "If the recent conversion to the Liberal camp by the 3 folks above…"

    I see your math is right up there with your reading comprehension skills…i only count two.

  83. Actually I'd want a guy with a smoke hanging out of his mouth, bacon grease stains on his shirt, and whisky on his breath. You have to figure a guy like that would be motivated to understand the procedure.

    I take your meaning though and, as much as I don't like Ignatieff, I see his time out of the country and his accomplishments during that time as being a benefit to his abilities, not a detriment.

  84. Oh, man (slaps forehead).

  85. There's plenty of evdence out there that adhering to the Likud line is the Harper policy, witness PW's marathon on R&D, defunding of Kairos and no doubt i forgotten others. Oh i remember the Kenney kerfuffle in Israel where he asserted that Kairos [ i believe – i don't follow this stuff that closely, not wishing to be smeared as anti-semitic by folks like you] was anit-semitic, then denied it.
    I'm aware there is a lot of really anti- Israeli bigotry out there, none of which i give a moments credence to. Did i stretch the truth a little – yes. I am aware Harper is not anti-Palestian. I just wished to make the point everything is about domestic politic with this guy – all the time. Oh, and he's a hypocrite.
    I'd say you know a thing or two about looking unhinged my friend.

  86. "By your logic, any joe blow could be nominated and we have no right to discover anything about said person's qualifications, interests, motivations, and bacground, prior to becoming the leader of all Canadians."

    The point is that Conservatives have no right to take things out of context and twist them. What the Conservatives have done time and again with their attack ads is inherently dishonest. I have no doubt that if the Liberals or NDP were to take anything Harper has said and drag it as far out of context as the Conservatives do, Harper would be screaming about defamation lawsuits.

  87. Fair enough. But if Harper's in a tough spot vs vis Israel, then he put himself there.

  88. I reject the idea that Harper ever had principles.

  89. Do you mean when both were less circumscribed in what they would say – one as a really conservative politician, the other as an out spoken academic? Or were you thinking they had better hair/eyebrows then? :)

  90. What I have read on the Liberal party site is 'same old, same old' why can't we all just get along.

    The Palistine Papers that Al Jazeera has been publishing shows what a mess it is and may be one of the best things to have happened.

  91. Some of that makes sense to me, but "we make ourselves look ridiculous voicing it without being asked"?!?!?

    Just whom are we waiting to ask?

    I'm sorry, but I don't think our government should need to have to wait for someone's permission to publicly discuss the major international events of the day, nor do I think our PM would look "ridiculous" by doing so (and I acknowledge that to an extent the PM has ALREADY DONE SO). Personally, I don't think Obama looked ridiculous in saying that Mubarak should step down right now, nor would I want international leaders to keep those opinions to themselves until somebody asks.

  92. I like Marlboros and John Deeres and Steve Earle, but I despise Republicans, jingoism and watery beer. I'm ambivalent about guns, but feel they need to be tightly controlled because I'm acquainted with so many gun owners. Who should I vote for?

  93. In this hypothetical, which parties are they running for? 'Cause 2001 Harper likely wouldn't be able to stomach the 2011 CPC, and 2001 Ignatieff would likely be too right-wing for the 2011 Liberals.

    Maybe they'd form their own splinter party?

  94. Green? Or stay home and drink?

    Those are the options I'm researching at present.

  95. ‘Soldiers with guns. In Canada. In our cities. On our streets. We did not make this up!'

    Yup, the Liberals are the role modle for honesty in advertising.

    "Yes, Yes, Yes, Oui!"

  96. Ah, one of those refreshing bi-monthly occurrences of me agreeing with you.

  97. I think we need to keep the public money in, increase it if anything. We do need to include advertising in pre-writ period as part of election spending though. Then if a party wants to spend all of their money advertising before an election is called, it's their problem.

    We also need a truth in political advertising clause. I wouldn't extend that to promises, there are too many variables, but lying about your opponent would be off-limits.

  98. It can always be taken too far though.

    It's certainly "true" that Jean Chretien's face was partially paralyzed by a childhood case of Bell's Palsy, but that particular ad didn't have the desired effect! I can easily see the Tories overplaying their "He's not really one of us, he's just playing you all for suckers" meme.

  99. "What exactly is deceitful?"

    Purposely taking words out of context, as Harper's Conservatives have time after time, is lying. Lying is deceitful. So Harper's ads are deceitful and, by extension, Harper is deceitful.

    Mr. Wherry, no matter what you think of his writing, is not a politician, and is not running for office.

  100. Ah. Hadn't thought of them. Still, I would prefer he didn't tell Egypt what to do. So, encouraging democracy without making a clear "Mubarek must go" or "Mubarek must stay" statement would be my choice. And he has already issued such a statement, hasn't he?

  101. I usually vote orange…unless I'm voting for a tractor, then I vote green.

  102. Obama doesn't look ridiculous because they are THE world power (still for the next few minutes, I think). Which is why I think we would look ridiculous doing the same thing. Having said that, I don't think Obama was right to tell them what to do (I do think telling Mubarek, personally, that he has lost U.S. support is good) and I don't think we look ridiculous by making a statement which doesn't include support for any of the choices Egypt needs to make. We might encourage them to make the choices quickly, or with minimal violence, or with a view to the long-term or something of that nature, but to say, "you need to go" and/or "you need to step up" is incredibly overstepping the boundaries of a sovereign nation, IMO.

  103. Totally agree.

  104. And the Liberal revision of history begins. Pathetic attempt to justify the life of someone who has always held his 'home' country in contempt. Be wary of Wherry!

  105. To be fair, it's not like Mubarak is a democratically elected leader who is being forced out by opposition forces. We tend to forget that he really is a dictator, one who receives $2b/yr in aid from the US, but a dictator nonetheless. The Egyptian police/military have had a notorious reputation for torture.

    And if the reports of repression that are coming out of Egypt today – thugs armed with chains and machetes attacking protesters…well then I'd say we've left the realm of academic debate.

    I fear Harper is remaining quiet because of Israel, who would rather have the certainty that Mubarak brings instead of fostering a democracy next door with all the uncertainty that entails. I think that's an awfully cynical position to take.

  106. You mean the stuff that shows Palestinian leadership offering major concessions that the Israeli's dismissed out of hand? I'm not sure how that makes the Israeli's always 99% on the right side, and the Palestinians always 99% on the wrong side as Harper appears to want us to believe. Seems to me, both sides have compelling points and both sides are deserving of criticism–which has been the Liberal policy since the beginning, I believe. You don't really think it is up to Canada to declare a forever winner in this almost forever issue, do you? I'm all for us coming up with a plan both sides can agree to, but that isn't the same thing, and it will never happen if we lose the respect of either side.

  107. I guess I just figure it's never "overstepping our bounds" to say "you need to go" to a dictator. In fact, further than that, I'd say that NOT saying "you need to go" to a bunch of dictators is what's gotten us in to the most trouble in the past.

  108. Do you have some examples of Ignatieff holding Canada in contempt at hand?

    Why aren't THOSE clips being used for ads???

  109. Besides, i've always taken it as a given that if the crap really hit the fan in the ME Canada would default to Israel – it being a domocracy and less importantly the religious/cultural links. Yes, even under those pesky even handed liberals. If there was no electoral leverage to be gained would Harper be pushing so hard on this file? I wonder?

  110. I don't think you're wrong, but the problem, it seems to me, is that there always seems to be a dictator waiting in the wings of the current dictator. Just waiting for his opportunity to stage a coup. By putting yourself out there saying "Mubarek" must go, it is akin to saying "come on in new guy" who may well be worse, but that's not the point. As sad and painful as it is, it seems that if you really want democracy, you have to fight for it. Sometimes, I think it takes more than one time to succeed. But once you've done it, you've EARNED it, and at least for a century or two you tend to hold on to it. Yes, these are real people in real agony, losing their own lives or loved ones, or collecting scars for a lifetime. It just seems to me when others interfere, it never works out. We need to give strong support for the PROCESS, not the outcome.

  111. Yeah, I'd say a clear "Mubarak must go" isn't telling EGYPT what to do, it's telling MUBARAK what to do. I don't have a problem with our leaders telling dictators they need to step down. In fact, Western leaders not telling dictators that it's time for them to go is arguably the prime cause of most of our big international problems today.

  112. Richard, these things take time. Harper can't know off the top of his head which ridings have high concentrations of Egyptian immigrants, and whether those seats are in play. And how would his statement sound to Jewish voters? Convene the focus groups!

  113. I'm sympathetic to your arguements – i just don't know if they're practical in application – i don't want to lve in a nanny state either. The other point to be made is even if we do eliminate public $, how long will it be before one or other of the parties[ i shouldn't be so coy, we all know which one] has recouped that funding and more? Then there is the matter of the donation limits – there's bound to be pressure for them to rise. Lastly, didn't Mendes make the point that eliminating public funding would trigger a constitutional challenge, because that was the trade off that our PM somehow fails to mention in his announcements on the topic. But what the hell, has any previous PM cost the country as much money as this guy in court challenges or litigation of some sort or other – and with so little to show for it.

  114. Be wery wary of Wherry, he's a wiberal wascal.

  115. Informing a dictator, privately, that he will not be supported–encouraging him to institute geniuine democratic systems quickly before stepping down, is a good thing. Telling a dictator to do anything, either privately or publicly, is counter-productive since dictators tend to get their back up when being dictated to, strangely enough.. Telling a dictator, publicly, for the dictator's entire country to hear, is something else again. Not the height of stupidity, but not what I'd call "helpful", either. I like the first one.

  116. I fail to see how either requiring truth in political advertising or increasing public funding would make us a nanny state.

    The idea of public funding is to ensure that more voices are heard and more people have more choices. Nothing nannyish about that.

    Nothing nannyish about protecting consumers from false advertising or individuals from being lied about either.

  117. JMHO but Isreal is represented by three different parties who all have their own view of how to deal with the situation. When they removed the settlers from Gaza there was nearly a civil war.

    Again JMHO but Harper's support of Isreal is because it is a democracy – Palestinians are controlled.

  118. Where is Carolyn Parrish when the Liberal Party needs her most?

  119. I could care less about the ads but I want to be ruled by another elitist like I want an extra hole in my head. The lying and hypocrisy from the Liberals over the years makes this little exxageration look like absolutely nothing.

  120. Re-enforces the point that attack ads can backfire.
    Get the debate back to methods of governing and please end the hyper-boiled one liners.
    Ignatieff hasn't won much on the policy debate "but" the Conservative Party is quickly becoming the party that relies on the divisions of others to remain ahead.

  121. I believe if you did a little research, you would find far more examples of Mr. Harper holding his home country in contempt. Which, of course, is why he is trying to fix it so that it conforms to his vision of what the country should be.

  122. So what hole did you get in your head when Harper became PM? Or is Harper the very last elitist you can handle, the "elitist straw that broke the camel's back" as it were?

  123. I don't disagree in principle. But you can't have the state watching over or trying to mitigate every human failing. Who's to decide for instance that a something is a lie or a half truth or just hyperpole? Do you really want some body like the crtc overseeing day to day politics – don't misunderstand me, i'd like to see liers run out of town too – but i'm not sure if it would leave us all that much to vote for. Serously, wouldn't a ban on political ads outside of writs do the job? Once the writ is dropped we should intefere as little as possible – politics will always be a blood sport – you can no more ban lying out of it than you can take a risk to injury out of bull fighting.
    Just for reference i didn't say public funding is nannyish.

  124. I don't think you can win on this one Jenn. If Obama telling him to go may encourage him to stay, then what is not speaking out [ if you're the US Prez] likely to do? I know you didn't say that, but that's what the man in the street is likely to think absent any better info. A message that business as usual with the world's dictators is a useful message in so many ways – even though we know when it is in the US interest to support yet another one because we must have stability if we cannot have freedom for everyone, is still i fear the golden rule if you're the worlds sole superpower. Let's be thankful Obama is stepping outside of that paradigm this time.

  125. Once again, Godwin's Law holds true. Also, if I may say, this thread is drifting farther and farther from the point and I do think he has it spot on as to why people hate the Americans. Jealousy! No one hates Albania or Vietnam or Yemen even though these states have done some truly nasty things because these states don't exert the same influence on the world.

  126. I get what you're saying, but I think it's important for the people to know where the West stands. Speaking quietly to dictators behind closed doors rarely works out well. If the dictator stays, you'll eventually be accused of having conspired with him to keep him in place (even if you didn't, since secret conversations are secret). If the dictator goes, it will be seen as happening in spite of the West backing of the dictator.

    I can't help but thinking that if whatever discussions were had back in the 70s to try to reign in the Shah hadn't been so quiet, the history of Iran's relationship with the West might be significantly different.

  127. This is not even close to the kind of misrepresentation we see from Wherry in half of his blog posts.

    That's a new twist. So now it's not just "It's OK because the Liberals used to do it", but "It's OK because Wherry sometimes does it"???

    I can't wait 'til we get to "It's OK, because some sentient being somewhere in the universe would probably do the same thing"! Or better yet, "It's OK that they did that because doing that was metaphysically possible".

  128. Not jealousy. Anger at injustice and for some, revenge.

    People, stop pretending that the USA is pure and innocent and good. The American empire has murdered many innocent people, including Arabs, in order to protect its moneyed interests. How many of the weapons used on peaceful protestors have "Made in the USA" on them? (Jon Stewart had photos of tear gas canisters last night.)

  129. You may be right about the Shah, but then again we may not have ended our support. We don't know, of course, because the conversations weren't public :)

    I do see what you guys are saying and I must admit I hadn't thought of it that way, but WHY does Egypt need to know what the West thinks? Why not give them the chance to decide what THEY think, and then tell them what we think about it. Obviously, encouraging democracy efforts, but allowing them to create it themselves.

  130. The old two wrongs make a right argument. Awesome.

  131. Cuba seems to be in better shape than Iraq. And I doubt many Cubans would be willing to go back to Batista, the American-backed dictator Castro helped to drive out. It's an old story, and the Americans never learn that supoprting murderous corrupt strongmen is a bad idea.

    Cube had regime change; the isolation is just from American stupidity. And yes, Castro is a dictator, but perhaps not as bad for Cubans as Batista was.

  132. And god knows that if, at that time, Ignatieff had said "I have the utmost admiration for the United States as a beacon to the world, however…" that the Conservative ads would instead be screeching "He had the NERVE to say that right after 9/11 !"

  133. That's Bush crapola

    Again:

    "Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike for example – Sweden? "

    bin Laden Jan 2007

  134. I'm not saying you can't talk about stuff Iggy said back in the day… but, if you want your attack ad to be a good one, you should probably talk about old stuff that is relevant and isn't taken out of context. If it doesn't meet those thresholds, if it is perceived not to meet those thresholds, the attack ads fail, and in fact begin damaging the Conservative party. But, listen, I'm not a Harper fan, and if the Conservatives want to keep this approach up, knock yourselves out. I think you've hit the point where the political payoff is diminishing, and these ads are going to start chipping away at the Conservatives, not the Liberals. Just my opinion. I think the Tories would be wise to rethink their approach, or get new people doing their attack ads if they feel the need they have to use them. This latest batch is counterproductive.

  135. I hadn't noticed that one.
    (I was too busy laughing at how Lizzie May got Harper to say TAR sands instead of using the marketing moniker they prefer for the Canada's Mordor.)

    And I am a little skeptical (please forgive)…. would you have a link to a clip?

  136. I think the point is that it's fair game to dredge up all the stupid stuff Harper said post-9-11 and hammer away… altho apparently the statute of limitations on plagarizing is very short one for those conservative-minded authentic types…

  137. Isn't he the guy who couldn't say he loved Canada? I dare say cyborgs only love 10w40, or perhaps that's the old models…

  138. CONs, counting unreported crimes (including supposed support for the opposition) on the public dime…

  139. And they pulled that ad before it even ran. Harper meanwhile, continues to be mired in the septic tank of political ethics. But I suppose if all you have to offer the country is $#!+ i suppose you might as well smell like it too.

  140. thank you
    I guess that is as close as Harper will ever come to saying "I made a mistake."

    its too bad we don't have leaders debates more often, say 4 times per year? ;-)
    – unlike the Commons and scripted town halls – it seems to provoke occasional honesty

  141. Well, while you do have a point, I wasn't wrong.

    From today's Globe and Mail: "Mubarak digging in his heels and defying the wishes of U.S. President Barack Obama and European leaders."

  142. Holly Schtick wrote:
    "Because they hate the way the US supports Israel in killing Palestinians"

    ahh…yes. Moral equivalency once again. Tell me Holly…..before you head out to your "Israel -Anti-Apartheid anti-semite-fest" do you for a moment stop to consider that when the Israeli's are killing Palestinians it most often relates to Palestinian terrorists? Or do you consider lobbing missiles on innocent people ok….as long as those people are of the Hebrew persuasion?

  143. Emily sympathized:

    With Bin Laden

    yep…..pretty much confirms what most people here already suspected about you Emily.

    Strange….how does a middle aged, overweight Liberal white woman come to sympathize with the worlds most infamous terrorist?
    You must be a real treat in real life Emily. Walking around on those soap-boxes affixed to your feet. And even then, you can't justify your thoughts in your own words…..you need to borrow them from an islamic nut-job.

    Now you're not just tedious…..you're deluded and tedious.

  144. Emily quoted Bin Laden (she's very fond of the man)
    " If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike for example – Sweden? "

    Easy Emily……based in Muslim immigration in much of Europe, they won't have to strike Sweden….they'll over-run it.

  145. Jenn wrote:
    "Interesting how the Liberals have always been balanced in their approach to that issue,"

    And it's interesting how Liberals define balanced approach. A Palestinian suicide bomber attacks Israel and kills 21 innocent people, and an Israel artillery barrage kills 21 Palestinian terrorists…and the Liberals can't disceren the difference between them.

    Oh well…..if there were more Jewish voters in Toronto than Anti-Jewish voters in Toronto….I'm sure the scales would be re-adjusted immediately.

  146. Cons live in fear….nobody else does.

  147. Stop being an ass.

  148. We too are a Republic, just one headed by a monarch.

  149. There's difference between a few off hand joking comments like we all would make about our country, its weather, beer, dysfunctional this and that. But finding and producing for scrutiny a list of references that would show he has "always held his home country in contempt" has not been done and won't be done because it doesn't exist. I have seen nothing from him which shows the level of contempt Harper has shown on a number of occasions which are well documented.

  150. So you are saying that Israel doesn't kill civilians as collateral damage? Both sides are guilty of being uncomfortably indiscriminate with their responses to each other. It just happens that the Palestinians are somewhat more so.

    But not that much, considering that the Israelis make up for the percentages by killing more of both civilians and terrorists.

  151. And you'd completely agree with me if it was coming from a Liberal gov't

    No I wouldn't. In fact, I'm having a hard time figuring what you actually want, because you won't say so. All you're saying is you that you have no opinion/position, but you want someone else to have an opinion/position, but you won't say what opinion/position you want them to have, and whatever opinion/position they have you declare inadequate without saying what is missing. What you really want is a shrink.

  152. One of the things we (as in the West) are told from the ME and other countries is to quit meddling in their affairs. It seems to me that the proper thing to do is to let the Egyptians decided what they want, and deal with the consequences later.

    Supporting one side or the other just seems to breed resentment.

  153. Fortunately for us, the CPC ran on a platform of honesty. So this shouldn't be a problem in the future. Right? Right???

  154. Seems to me that the Egyptians have decided what they want…or rather don't want (Mubarak). There's a world of difference between supporting an (apparently) organic uprising against a dictator and forcing a dictator out at the barrel of a gun.

    If the reports coming out of Egypt today are accurate – that the pro-Mubarak forces are firing on protesters from rooftops and detaining international reporters with no cause…then it's high time Canada come out and say something, lest this become another Tiananmen Square.

    As it stands right now, I'd argue that not saying anything is tacit support for Mubarak.

  155. I think you're right, to a degree. It seems that democracy takes a foothold when the alternatives have been discredited.

    Often it does come from within, as in some cases of outed military dictatorships in South America like in Brazil or Chile, where the people fought and suffered for it, or in the Eastern bloc, when communism fell and democracies took root in several countries.

    Where I disagree is that this can indeed come from outside influence, as in the case of Japan, Germany, Philippines, India, etc. There was not democracy before, then the Brits or the US came in, they stayed long enough to make changes and the people could see the results of these changes before they left, and then they left. Iraq may be another case of this, we'll see in the future.

    Either way, it doesn't seem to come easily, there has to be a very strong desire for it, and people need to see real improvements in their own lives to support it, it seems.

  156. What you really need is some lessons in remedial reading.

  157. I think you're making a distinction without a difference. If you're telling the leader of a foreign country what to do, you're telling the foreign country what to do, and you are somewhat reponsible for what follows, which could very well be worse than the dictator (for a perfect example, refer to Jimmy Carter, the Shah, and Iran).

  158. I don't think that's a good analogy. Chretien's appearance was not a weakness, and I think 99% of Canadians would agree (I'll leave out 1% for the really shallow people) that it was not a weakness. The fact that Ignatieff has lived most of his adult life outside Canada, lived most of it outside of politics, in fact lving most of his life in a setting (an academic/author in an elite ivy league institution) that is foreign to almost everyone, that would be perceived as a weakness (although some may claim that they perceive some elements of that background as a strength).

  159. Ah, but Liberals can discern the difference between a country and a religion, which is apparently too much for you. I'm not surprised, however, that you equate not "100% supportive regardless of what the sovereign country does" with anti-Semitism.

  160. It isn't a conflict of interest if he isn't the leader of Canada

    Yes, I agree, but I don't see your point. What may be perfectly fine in one setting, may be wrong in others.

    You don't need to HATE the US, but you do need to want to elevate Canada at the expense of the US. Whether you hate or love them is irrelevant. When we negaotiate free trade or softwood lumber deals, we do everything we can to get everything we can out of the deal, and they do the same. Love/hate is irrelevant.

    Let me give you an analogy. Suppose you're in a store that has no real fixed prices (eg autos or leather jackets or some other store where prices are variable) haggling for a price on something.
    Now suppose you're in your brother's store haggling for a price on something. Do you think the end outcome might be different? If you walk out of the store with a "steal" (ie you payed a really low price) in the first example, do you feel good about it? How about in the second? What are the odds that you end up with the same price in both instances? In the latter case, you may have a vested interest in the fact that you brother ends up with a nice return on your purchase. In the former case, love/hate is irrelevant, when you walk out of the store, both you and the merchant remain on favourable terms, regardless of whether you managed to get an amazing price.

    Consider Churchill Falls hydro as another example. As a Canadian with a vested interest in both provinces, you might think that a renegotiation of the deal Quebec/Nfld deal, or you might not. As a Quebecer alone, you might think differently, or as a Newfoundlander, you might think differently as well.. In fact, just look at the different perspectives, one from the Quebec gov't and one from the Nfld government:
    http://www.hydroquebec.com/learning/histoire/pop_
    http://www.680news.com/news/national/article/1944

    In both cases, the governments are behaving exactly as they should, representing their people.

  161. Rob Shift wrote:

    “So you are saying that Israel doesn’t kill civilians as collateral damage? Both sides are guilty of being uncomfortably indiscriminate with their responses to each other. It just happens that the Palestinians are somewhat more so.”

    Did you read what you just wrote Robbie? “kill civilians as COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

    That’s a key point. The fact you cannot discern the difference between killling innocent people when you are defending yourself, and purposefully TARGETING the innocent…..is all anyone really needs to read before passing judgement on your comments.

    As for the Palestinians……….if they really wanted to reduce the number of innocent Palestinians killed when Israel retalliates for yet another terrorist attack, they should stop launching rockets from the roofs of schools, hospitals, or mosques. If you insist on using your own people as human shields, you shouldn’t be surprised when some of them get taken out.

    Lastly, the Palestinian terrorists actually WANT to see innocent Palestinians die. To them, it’s almost as good as killing Jews. The Western Media eats it up, and useful idiots like you show their methods are sound.

  162. bin Laden said that in 2004…pay attention… and strut your macho attitude elsewhere.

  163. as much as I abhor religionist governments, (as likely do many or even most Iranians) I'll bet you a lucky loonie that Iran would never choose the Shah again – even given the current clusterf**k regime

    and supporting the shah led directly to the current situation

    (Canada is not without shame when it comes to religionist gov't. The Queen is our head of state and the leader of the Anglican church. A more egregious example of "Western" religionist gov't is of course the bully in the Levant region.)

  164. "You don't need to HATE the US, but you do need to want to elevate Canada at the expense of the US. Whether you hate or love them is irrelevant. When we negaotiate free trade or softwood lumber deals, we do everything we can to get everything we can out of the deal, and they do the same. Love/hate is irrelevant."

    Actually, I'd like to think both sides negotiate for the best deal they can get which also doesn't irreparably harm the other side. But I might be naive there. So are you suggesting that Ignatieff's loving the U.S. second or third best means he'll want to give away our farm? Because, that's ridiculous.

  165. That's not the only potential negative though, the primary negative is that living most of your adult life outside of one country really does mean you have less understanding about said country. In fact, there has been a few instances when Ignatieff did something that was perceived as a gaffe, and the underlying premise was that he simply did not know it was a gaffe at the time because he hadn't lived here for so long (a few of his pronouncements about the Quebec issue come to mind).

  166. LOL. The Cons are nothing extraordinary in this regard, and you know it. The Libs ran a decade long campaign about the "scary hidden agenda" which at its apex consisted of accusations there would be soldiers in our streets, gay rights would be extinguished, and so on. Please avoid the partisanship. It's one thing to argue that you don't like these ads, but it's another to argue they're somewhat unique to the Cons, which is patently ridiculous.

  167. what a load of crap:
    what ever humble beginnings a politician may have had,
    if they make it to power (and stay there like the annoying infection known as Harper) they are by definition elite.
    get used to it

  168. I think the Cons are not perfect, no doubt a couple of those ads were crappy (and were pulled), but I see nothing wrong with this one, this ad I expect to be effective.

  169. Yes, it's fair game to do so, in fact what do you think the Libs/NDP have been doing for the past 10 years? Have you ever watched the NDP ad where the child's head explodes?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkb_GgsOD4Q&fe

    What a wonderful ad.

  170. Stretching the issue, but okay. Sure, there might be some things. For example, I'm up in my old home town right now (Hi Patchouli) and not only is the library closed, but they moved the Wal-Mart! And I couldn't find the road to the new walmart and everybody I asked thought I was crazy.

    But I made up for that lack of knowledge with a whole lot of knowledge about other places. Just the idiocyncracies of driving for example. In this town, all two lane roads are considered one lane until just before turning. The lane it is is completely dependent on the guy in front of you (if he's driving on the left lane, everybody drives on the left lane). A remarkable thing to see, but you know, I do kind of remember that and I believe it was a bit of a learning curve to know that two lanes of traffic means you can drive on either lane–and that people will drive beside you. A knowledge of other places can come in very handy, I'm saying.

  171. Put it this way: sometimes Israel murders civilians on purpose.

  172. I'll bet you a lucky loonie most Iranians would prefer the Shah over what they have now.

  173. When you negotiate for the best deal you can get, by definition that means you are attempting to give the other party the worst deal they can get.
    For instance, in my haggling example, any dollar you save is a dollar the other party loses.

    I never said anything about giving away the farm. But you simply cannot have divided loyalties to be a truly effective leader.

  174. The point being, they're not divided at all! My second favourite meal is steak, for example. But I won't spend a split-second even considering steak (no matter what kind, size, toppings on top) if crab legs are on the menu. And while steak and crab legs together is a yummy meal, it doesn't compare to a heaping plate of crab legs.

  175. Well, you can't select the choices you make when you're the leader. You've got to be involved in every decision, whether it's steak vs crab or softwood lumber rights.

  176. EMily noted:
    "'Americans as individuals are nice people. Americans collectively are a pain in the ass. "

    Ahhh…yes, a play on the old favourite, "some of my best friends are black" reasoning for hysterical hatred.

  177. Jenn noted:
    "but Liberals can discern the difference between a country and a religion"

    True, Jenn…..but you can be sure if Israeli citizens could vote in Canadian elections, the Libs would be all over themselves trying to show how much they love Israel, regardless of their personal feelings.

  178. scf wrote:
    "What exactly is deceitful? This is not even close to the kind of misrepresentation we see from Wherry in half of his blog posts. "

    The difference scf, is that no one expects Wherry to act like an actual journalist, though granted, he does write more like
    a gossip columnist in some trashy mag. At least with Aaron's writing you don't expect anything but predictability. He's sort of like James Travers or J. Simpson in that respect. YOu already KNOW what will follow the first sentence.

  179. Holly schtick wrote:
    "Put it this way: sometimes Israel murders civilians on purpose."

    Yes holly, when those Palestinian civilians are lobbing rockets at innocent israeli's, or shooting at Israeli citizens. I'm sure that's what you meant. Otherwise, you're just misinformed, though I'm sure the Libby Davies side of the NDP wont' hold it against you as long as you continue attending "Israeli Apartheid week" rallies.

  180. Jay Jay, while I agree that Israel has a right to defend itself, I would suggest that the Palestinians would say that they are defending themselves as well. Neither side is free from blame, and neither side has much of a moral high-ground to stand on.

  181. Rob Shift wrote:
    "I would suggest that the Palestinians would say that they are defending themselves as well. Neither side is free from blame, and neither side has much of a moral high-ground to stand on. "

    Thereby showing clearly that Mr. Shift cannot discern basic realities such as right, and wrong.

    Defending yourself – Non Palestinian version.
    Using force to repel a threat to your person, or your loved ones.

    Defending yourself – Palestinian version
    Using force and violence to kill innocent men, women, and children who happend to be Jewish.

    Rob, the fact you cannot see the difference between using force to defend yourself, and using force to murder the innocent……….speaks volumes about your mindset.

    Wait a few months….you can go mark your ballot for the NDP or Libs with a clear conscience.

  182. Canada is no more than an ecological drag strip, intellectual sinkhole, and stomping ground for folks from the turd world, whereas
    America still has some suggestion of an identity worth talking about. It seems that most people who the choice of living in Canada or the U.S. prefer America. Surprise, surprise . . .

    Surprise, surprise . . .

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