BTC: Everyman (II)


Stephen Harper, earlier today. Apparently.

“You know, I’m from a household where before I got back into politics, both my wife and I were running small businesses. I was running, I suppose better to say a medium-sized business, and she was running a small business, and we’re aware of these difficulties.”

As reviewed previously, Stephen Harper’s adult life is short on non-political experiences. In touting his having run a medium-sized business, it would seem he was referring today to his time as president of the National Citizens Coalition. Does the NCC count as a medium-sized business? Good question.

For whatever it’s worth, the NCC describes itself as a “non-profit corporation.” But it does sell golf balls.

Update. Sought clarification from a couple people via email.

First, Peter Coleman, current president of the NCC. “When Stephen Harper was President of the NCC from 1997-2001 we had 17 employees, which included a couple of part time employees. The NCC is a real live business thanks to the support of thousands of Canadians from all corners of the country who believe in more freedom through less government.”

Next, Gerry Nicholls, former president of the NCC. “No I don’t consider the NCC a ‘business’ at all. It’s an organization with a  mission to promote ‘more freedom through less government.'”


BTC: Everyman (II)

  1. Maybe Chretien has one in his bag…
    What business did Laureen Teskey run?

  2. Well Aaron
    I trust the NCC will abide by Elections Canada rules with third party advertising. That’s 150k NCC and not a penny more.

  3. Funny I’m looking for a post on this blog that seriously scrutinizes Dion…..

    can’t seem to find one. Hmmmm.

    In other news, Dion (rightfully – at least according to the compliant media) attacked Harper for his part in the AMERICAN banking crises.

    Why didn’t Harper send in those paratrooping commando economists to infiltrate the banking industry in enemy territory when he had the chance?

    He was obviously too busy being a bully, making those cartoon parrots which “overshadow” everything.

    Harper, the parrot making bully. Obviously not a leader.

  4. Wow Kody, you finally got it right in the last line of that last post! see how jeuvanille and empty the whole “he’s not a leader” smear sounds when it’s pointed at your guy? Thanks for your report on Dion’s attacks against Harper (I read it a bit differently than you but still an issue worth tracking) but I believe the issue at hand is whether Harper is playing fast and loose with the truth (again) by calling the NCC a medium business. Complaining about Dion and whether or not he is sufficiently covered here doesn’t actually address that question. I’d be curious to hear your opinion on the specific issue at hand. For my part I think he is changing the story to whatever is most convenient. When the NCC wants to pretend it isn’ just another wing of the Conservative party (and shouldn’t follow the same financial rules) it’s a non-profit organization. When Harper wants some street cred with the middle class and business owners he claims it was a small business. Whicever truth suites his current narrative is the one he’ll use. Oh how I long for the days when “reality” was real and not something made up to suit political convenience (and before anyone calls me on it, that is directed at politicians in general although I personally think Harper is the biggest offender). Anyhow, that is my two cents.

  5. The NCC is just one guy, a computer, a printer, and an assistant who answers phones, right? Teskey ran a home-based graphics design business.

  6. We can’t help but wonder at the flair for self-destruction in the Harper war room.

    Does anybody wonder whether Harper’s juvenile rendition of a puffin pooping on Dion’s shoulder and Ryan [Birdy Birdy Numb Numb]Sparrow’s critique of a grieving military father will achieve posterity?

    If you will permit my unbiased opinion, I think Harper and his coterie of bobble-headed sock puppets will continue to diminish themselves as the campaign continues.

  7. According to the NCC they have 14 employees. Is it a “business”, kind of I guess. They do sell things such as the aforementioned golfballs, but they also sell other things such as books and lapel pins.

    And yes, Laureen had/has a graphic design business.

  8. I like graphic designers. Can Laureen be PM?

  9. Kody

    Arron is a Harper hater. And pretty much as useless as Daily Kos bloggers.

  10. What does the NCC sell to paying customers?

  11. About Harper at the NCC – I think the relevant question would be “was he covered by EI (or UI in the old old days), did he get benefits, etc.?” Do you know, Aaron?

  12. The difference between running an outfit like the NCC and being a business owner is that a business owner is personally liable if the company loses money. Not so with an NGO. Big difference there.

    – JV

  13. I’d guess Dion’s point was that GWB’s MLB school of economics isn’t that different to Cgy school of economics in that both falsely assume tax cuts efficiently stimulate productivity gains in good times and employment in bad times. But I’d guess there is either rich funders or pro-business voters who would lean Conservative if Dion blatently attacks them.
    For the record, corporate tax cuts are for the rich and work if Canada’s corporations output value efficiently (nothing more than windfall profits to oil and banks now). The green shift is very pro-employment, not sure how “trickle-up” economics works if USA doesn’t tank though. Harper says we won’t go into recession when Americans balance budget or go bankrupt so maybe we don’t need carpentry, hydro and wind turbine jobs.

  14. David: Ammunition. For right-wing policy arguments.

  15. “The difference between running an outfit like the NCC and being a business owner is that a business owner is personally liable if the company loses money. Not so with an NGO. Big difference there.”

    And the difference between running a business and owning a business is very clear as well, so I’m not sure why you brought that up. Microsoft, for example, is owned by its shareholders and run by Steve Ballmer.

    Actually, this whole thing seems to be semantic finger-twisting rather than substantive analysis. Running the NGC, he would have had many of the same challenges and requirements as somebody running a convenience store, regardless of whether the organisation has to make money or simply break even.

  16. Lord Bob- you are probably right that he would have had many of the same challenges running an NGO as running any other organization. I guess the point is that he could have said that “I never ran a business but my experience in running the NCC lead me to face many of the same challenges.” Instead he glossed over the factual truth because it was simpler and fit better with his narrative. It is semantics but that doesn’t make it trivial. It would have been easy to tell the truth but he lied. A small lie? Yes, but definitely a lie. He can’t claim that he forgot the NCC wasn’t a business. A candidate chose to lie in a public forum because he believed it would help his chances to win. That is dishonest and problematic.

  17. Nonprofit organizations with employees must conduct themselves in many ways like a business: employer registration, tax slips, benefits for employees, budgets, income statements, maybe GST registration, etc. A nonprofit organization worth anything is a “corporate” environment.

    Surely there is more to mock Harper on than whether he should get away with calling the NCC a business. Please guys, try harder.

  18. Okay. Home retrofits return 20% year in electricity savings and green mortgages would only cost 7% year plus administration, installation and verification. Harper calls saving federal coffers 13%/yr bad economics. Harper calls stimulating carpentry/contractor employment bad economics. And sweaters are itchy.

  19. Kudos to Phillip for trying. But please expand, because on a quick read of your comment, I think you are ignoring a few important points.

    Did you just subtract 7% cost on mortgage from a 20% savings on a heating bill, and call that 13% saving to federal coffers? Because if you did, try and remove the post before too many people read it.

Sign in to comment.