BTC: Everyman (III)


“On the one side you have a minivan-driving hockey dad from the suburbs—the most middle-class prime minister Canada’s ever had,” said one Conservative official.
Sun, Sept. 7

“My wife says ‘I don’t want to do all that driving around.'” Harper threw up his hands: “I said ‘the police drive you around.’ We don’t even have a car.” The family sold its van because they never used it.
Toronto Star, Sept. 20


BTC: Everyman (III)

  1. Um…
    this is hypocritical perfectly normal of the conservative campaign.

  2. crud, hypocritical was supposed to be struck through. Oops.

  3. My estimate of the high ROI spending in the Green budget is about $174B. In the Conservative budget, not even $11B. Why can’t the Bloc platform be en anglais?
    The down to Earth (like a fallen angel) Harper isn’t using his position of power to make the world a better place. E.May would.
    Not that budget ethics is the only leadership criteria. It has become painfully obvious Canadians want a Mussolini, Hitler, or Castro level of public speaker. I wonder what the psychological basis of this is? If it could be deprogrammed (up until its utility), the deprogramming methodology might be useful for fighting tyrants.
    An improvement on our system of government that recognizes this overemphasis on sermon (in this context), might enact a new post combining elements of monarchy, the Seante, M.Ignatieff’s post (deputy opposition speaker, I forget), some Interior Minister pop-culture duties (control of marginal levy or tarriff ratios on gas, electricity, bread), maybe set TV regulations to some degree….mostly cosmetic, but empowering nonetheless.
    Be better than using pontification as a proxy for defecating on our children.

  4. Oh please, can we please all settle down? Yes, there is no shortage of dumb-ass gaffes in the Conservative campaign. But this really shows you’re trying too hard and should try instead to grow up. The suburban middle-class hockey dad in the minivan became prime minister. Deal with it.

  5. He’s not your usual middle class suburban hockey dad…he’s been in politics most of his adult life. He’s obsessed with strategy and tactics and has goals of a prime minister.

    How many “average” middle class guys have these goals?

    Enough of these Americanize “labels”. I don’t care if a guy is middle class, upper poo poo – can he do the job.

    Why not a middle class suburban guy who doesn’t have a kid playing hockey?

    This is just so stupid.

  6. Middle class is a state of mind, not based on salary.

    And what do those two quotes prove, exactly? That he’s a minivan driving man from the suburbs who sold the family vehicle after he became PM because he and his family are chauffeured around now.

    If anything, this proves he’s green. Getting rid of excess vehicles is a good start to saving the world from global warming. It would be great if all people who believe in global warming acted the same way, but they don’t.

    It’s too bad you didn’t find out how many cars Dion family owns, Aaron, to see if they are as green as the Harper family.

  7. Good post. It’s these little things which drive the point home that Harper is a liar and can’t be trusted.

    As for the Conservative supporters’ comments…everytime one of you tells Canadians to “deal with it” or “suck it up” you’re telling us you don’t care about us. That just proves what we see in Harper. He has an agenda which is not good for Canada and it’s based on his hatred of Canadians. If all of you hate it here so much, please leave and move to a different country instead of hijacking Canada. True Canadians don’t want you here.

  8. I know some people around here get a little tired of the MSM left-wing bias comments but the evidence keeps piling up as the campaign unfolds.

    As Norman Spector said on his blog, the big loser in this election to date is the CBC and their biased coverage of the campaign focussed on “gaffes” as opposed to issues. Christie Blatchford exposes the CBC’s coverage for what it is. Her September 20th article in the G&M is a must-read piece – it’s about the media’s handling of Gerry Ritz jokes.

    jwl said in comment in a post below “If you believe the Tor Star is out to get Dion, think again. Linda Diebel was on Duffy this week talking about how her, her newspaper, and other reporters are deliberately withholding info from the public about Dion and Lib campaign to help them out.” What a shocking and depressing admission by the MSM. They’re totally unabashed about it.

    I saw the political panel on CBC Newsworld with Don Newman and what I saw were a bunch of jaded media types living in a cocoon. Fortunately Canadians arent’ being swayed by the perverted media coverage thus far.

  9. So he sold his minivan after he became PM and required RCMP protection.

    Tell me, if the man who farmed all his life became PM, would you mock him for claiming to be in touch with farmers, because he now lived in Ottawa.

    The leftist media standards are really quite ridiculous. The PM becomes instantaneously out of touch with his minivan driving, skate tying ways, the moment he became PM,

    his common person life banished from the media record, and to raise it again is to face ridicule and claims of dishonesty.

  10. Jarrid, that sounds like an interesting Duffy episode.

    But, a reporter going on national TV to say that she is purposely withholding information from the public about the Liberals in order to help the Liberals out, sounds like a most peculiar approach to take in helping someone out.

    Is this really what she said?

  11. Which leaves the question:

    who’s being more dishonest,

    the one proclaiming Harper’s close to the common person,

    or the one writing a post denying he’s close to the common person because of circumstances every PM encounters once in office?

  12. Catherine, I’m quoting jwl’s post. I didn’t see the show myself that day. From what I’ve seen of his comments on these blogs, jwl strikes me as a straight forward fair-minded person so I’m taking his word for it.

  13. All this common person talk! are the Conservatives adopting the class system now? Perhaps they will abandon capitalism next!

    Is anyone else noticing how the Conservative and NDP talking points are fusing together in this election? Layton throws out the pot smokers. Harper throws out the elite. They all meet in the middle with the common man.

  14. Catherine – do yourself a favour and read Norman Spector’s take on the election to date.

    The Conservatives and the NDP, while they have very different solutions to the problems of the day, are both adressing the problems of the day. They are speaking about issues that are of concern to the average voter and those issues are economic. As Spector notes:

    “Canadians are preoccupied by what’s happening in the U.S. economy – and they’re terrified that the mayhem could spread to Canada. They’re worried about their retirement savings, the value of their homes and their life insurance.”

    Not this pie-in-the-sky, save the planet stuff, that Ph.D professor Dion is serving up. Not this gotcha negative ad stuff that Dion’s alter ego is serving up either.

    Catherine – the Conservatives and the NDP are talking to issues that resonate with people who are going to decide the election, middle-class voters, get it now?

  15. Catherine,

    that’s bang on. Layton and Harper, are, I believe, both going after the same segment from opposite sides of the political spectrum.

    Which leaves the out-of-touch academic elite latte liberals, of the variety that like to jet off to the Bahamas for vacations (or conferences in Bali) while chiding us to take the bus and have colder houses in the winter to “save the planet”,

    to Dion.

    It’s a good fit I’d say.

  16. Catherine and Jarrid

    I can’t find the clip on CTV site but Diebel was on this week, Duffy at 8 pm edition they are doing for duration of election, and she was talking about her article that appeared in the Tor Star that day about what a shambles the Lib campaign was in.

    Diebel said that she and reporters from other news sources knew the Lib election campaign was a mess since day one, and have known that people within Lib party had serious misgivings about Dion’s leadership style well before that, but waited more than a week to write about it because she, and her paper, had to be ‘careful’ about what they printed.

    She was saying that Tor Star has Dion’s back but they couldn’t wait any longer to print what they know to be true.

  17. Kody, why the hate-on for academics? Has this always been part of the Conservative position or just since Harper. Mike Harris had a hate-on for any kind of teachers and Ontario’s educational system, from elementary schools to universities, took a big hit. Do you support that kind of divisive politics?

  18. It’s extremely clear that kody does support divisive politics. Conservatives have that as their cornerstone – divide and ruin.

    The Liberals are not pie in the sky nor are they the ones jetting to foreign lands to bask in sunshine. Err…Mulroney has a house in Palm Beach where he spends most of his time.

    The Liberal plan encompasses everything the NDP and Cons are talking about, with the added benefit of a view to the future. They are the only party, besides the Greens, who are thinking ahead for this country and Canadians. We are past the point of band-aids being enough (ie. NDP and Con promises). And I don’t for a minute believe that the NDP would know how to handle being in power, much less have the talent for it; nor do I believe that Harper will keep any of his promises made during this campaign.

  19. “Stop these divisive politics” = “Stop disagreeing with us and winning”. “Stop using wedge issue politics” means “stop using issues on which the public agrees more with you than with me”.


    Mind you, the “middle-class Harper” vs. “Professor Dion” dichotomy is a little silly, given that Harper was headed straight into academia when he ended up as policy chief of the Reform Party. (And his top campaign guy back in the day, Tom Flanagan, is an academic.)

    We’ve basically got the Conservative academic and the Liberal academic going at it hammer and tongs.

  20. jwl, that sounds like the usual anonymous Liberal insiders. I hadn’t realized that we were given a one week pass on those stories, but if so, I hardly see how that qualifies as particularly newsworthy.

    There is no question that Dion is not your typical political leader. He doesn’t seem comfortable with the either the glib soundbites or the aggressive posturing of typical leaders. On the other hand, he has plenty of intelligence, commitment, integrity and determination. In listening to him, I am struck with the amount of content – always dangerous for a politician. Some are drawn to him just for this reason (along with his commitment to the environment and other issues) and others will be put off by it. That some of the latter are inside the Liberal party is no surprise.

  21. Catherine,

    have you ever heard the expression “those who can, do, and those who can’t “teach”.

    Teachers/professors make great educators (except when they indoctrinate our kids into a leftist progressive world view). Many are very, very nice people with good hearts.

    But they don’t make great “do-ers”.

    They focus on the abstract, the theoretical, and the radical, as opposed to the concrete and practical. They are also overwhelmingly left leaning (those from the humanities that is – the sciences and engineering actually tend to be more conservative – though in the university setting, still less so than the general public).

    In short, they are the last ones we want actually running a country and setting policy.

    Dion’s wacky policies (the latest a massive “carbon pipe” that neither of the two provinces involved in have heard of or want) should surprise no one who has experience dealing with academics.

  22. Ben, it is all marketing strategy. Ontarions didn’t really want to erode their education system but the marketing worked. For a while. Then you spend a couple decades putting the pieces back together.

  23. Beary,

    I won’t be shunned by catchwords designed to disqualify me from being in a political debate.

    If you identify and disagree with progressives, your “divisive”,

    if a progressive identifies and disagrees with conservatives, their merely stating the obvious.

  24. Harris introduced a new curriculum and got rid of grade thirteen. Seems sensible enough to me. (Though I did really enjoy my OAC year in the late ’90s.)

    Seeing as McGuinty didn’t reverse the reforms, I’m thinking that they took.

  25. Yet another example of BS from the Harper camp, and the weenies come out in full force.

    But this one is key, isn’t it? The “hockey-mom-dad” tripe.

    Tell me…Harper has been in Ottawa for how many years? And how old are his kids? And what the hell did he do before that?

    Yeah…”middle class is a state a mind”…


    I wonder…is this level of stupidity is something that comes naturally, or do you actually strive for it?


  26. I call it hypocritical only because the Conservatives made this ‘contrast’ between Harper and Dion.
    But you know what?
    I’ve decided I. Just. Don’t. Care.
    It really doesn’t matter to me how much my leader has made or what his job before politics was- none of them can have lived specifically my life, so I feel that a more important quality in a leader is empathy, or the ability to look at things form a multitude of perspectives.
    If a party can show me a leader who can do that, or a local candidate that can do that, thats how I’m voting.
    I’m still waiting.

  27. kody how does Jack Layton as a city councillor in a past life, match up with your Left=Intellectual thesis? Would you rather have a PM that lies to Canadians middle/upper class tax cuts help the majority (they don’t), towing the GWB line: tax-cuts + killing surpluses = good economics? Or have one who understands neoconservative blunders (Harper said the worst of of the USA economic crisis is over just before they nationalized $700B in crappy debt and are still running a deficit almost as big) and is honest?
    A University Professor is just behind a doctor and a primary school teacher in service public good. An economist who preaches building firewalls around a province with a nonrenewable resource sloughing off negative externalities (that big oil could and would pay) for future generations to pay for, is useless.

    Conservatives would take the useless economist following neocon prescriptions over the abstract thinker who saved Canada in 1995. Got it. I’d expect Harper to at least serve his poorer (middle class) base honestly by announcing a small business loans or venture cap crown agency. Tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts have already been tried in the USA and they worked only for the parasitic 10%. You people are sheep.

  28. Wait.. we don’t want academics running the country, so we should vote for… Stephen Harper? Seriously?

    Has there been a PM with less outside the classroom (and outside politics) experience ever than Stephen Harper?

  29. Kody, truly progressive people are not divisive. You are divisive in that you pit against each other. This election is not supposed to be about making Canadians hate each other. It’s supposed to be about electing a leader who cares about ALL of Canada and ALL Canadians.

    With the amount of hate coming from Conservative politicians and their supporters, it’s difficult how Conservatives in power would be any help to Canada. Which is of course the whole point of this election.

    Conservatives DO NOT want to help Canada. They want to divide us and annex us with the USA. As each day passes, the divisive tactics become more tiresome for the voting public. It’s actually having the effect of making Canadians tune you out.

  30. Kody- The next thing you know about teaching will be the first! Your pathetic generalizations about teachers are truely laughable to anyone who has ever taught. Teachers are in fact overwhelmingly moderate if not slightly conservative (not “left leaning as you assert”) Think about it- a group of people whose job largely revolves around maintaining order (a chaotic classroom is a useless one) and passing along the values and information that government provides for them through curriculum. Sure there are some very left wing teachers but they are the minority rather than the other way around.
    The suggestion that teachers aren’t “doers” is also absurd. First off teaching IS doing! I’d love to see you try to get 30 children or teenagers to sit still and listen and further to have them understand any number of complex skills or ideas you are trying to impart (all while you are given less and less of the tools necessary to do this). In addition to the actual teaching there are many other things teachers “DO” officially and unofficially. This may include helping troubled students deal with serious personal and family problems coaching any number of sports or playing peace keeper and breaking up fights. People don’t teach because they can’t “DO” they teach because they DO care and are willing to go through a great deal of stress and bull crap to help their students to become well adjusted productive adults. In short- you know nothing about teaching so keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

    Ben- “Harris introduced a new curriculum and got rid of grade thirteen. Seems sensible enough to me. (Though I did really enjoy my OAC year in the late ’90s.)

    Seeing as McGuinty didn’t reverse the reforms, I’m thinking that they took.”
    I can see why you might think that but it depends on your definition of “took.” The changes have been institutionalized but I literally do not know one single secondary school teacher who doesn’t think OAC was better than what we have now. Our kids are generally not mature enough or well prepared enough for University. Many Profs. and TAs have commented on this as well when seeing the students coming into 1st year.

  31. Ryan et al,

    your invective (“pathetic” “ignorant” ect),

    when confronted with a view you do not share suggests you may not be used to sharing your thoughts with others who have a different world view. Some call it the “cocooning” effect.

    You should get out more. Broaden your horizons.

    It may make you less angry.

  32. Kody- Ignorant slags make me angry, not opposing viewpoints. My use of the words “pathetic” and “ignorant” are indicative of only one thing- in my opinion your comments were ignorant (a position confirmed by the fact that you have offered no defence in response to my specific points to counter you). The fact that you continunally speak out of such amazing ignorance is, in fact pathetic. I have many very conservative friends. They remain friends because we tolerate eachother’s differences quite well.
    As for boradening my horizons…having you say that to anyone may be the most hypocritical thing I can possibly imagine.

  33. Ryan,

    you used that word “tolerate”.

    I don’t think that word means, what you think it means.

    Now, back to your name calling “tolerant” invective.

  34. Kody- I know what “tolerate” means quite well thank you. I do not accept their opinions and they do not tolerate mine. We do accept eachother as people with differences. It is not your right wing opinions I have a problem with (I don’t like them but I can accept them as potentially valid), it is the fact that they are based on blind ideology and ignorance. Calling someone ignorant when they have demonstrated ignorance is not invective it is a statement of fact. If I were to comment on your profession (whatever that may be) as though I was an expert (which I am probably not) and if I were to be way off base you would be accurate to describe me as ignorant.
    In your initial post you suggested that teachers are people who can’t “do” anything, so they teach instead. That is a nasty and rude thing to say about anyone. You also suggested that teachers try to indoctrinate their students to “left wing” ideas. Aside from that being utter nonsense it is very insulting to people who are in the profession of trying to open people’s minds and who are tupically motivated by a genuine desire to help their students (not brainwash them). If you are trying to imply you are the victim of my nasty name calling attacks, get over it. You made an attack on a very noble proffession that thousands of decent hard working people are engaged in in Canada. I called it like it is- your slag of teachers was borne out of a profound lack of knowledge (ignorance) and when people make derisive comments, especially based out of ignorance, that is pathetic.

  35. The Harper government, the Harper political apparatus, the Harper political ambition, the Harper performance and Harper’s followers are of such mediocre inadequacy, and determined to impose the same on the rest of Canada, that the result of any success that comes their way will, inevitably be simply more mediocrity.

    If Canadians are convinced to invest in second rate intellects to lead the nation why should anyone be surprised if Canada itself becomes second rate.

    I can detect no evidence of any superior intellect in the Harper regime beyond, ahem, David Emerson? Perhaps a Harper acolyte would like to type a list of a few names from the Harper sphere that wouldn’t immediately be designated as – f’rinstance – The Dumbest Guys in the Room?

    Harper’s a bright guy? Where’d that urban legend come from? He’s the guy wanted Canada in the quagmire that’s Iraq? He’s the guy who was, basically, a climate change denier? He’s the guy that’s taken a $12 billion surplus and put the nation on the edge of a deficit with a depression the like of the ’30s hovering in the air?

    Really, personal dislike of the man for any reason should pale into insignificance in view of the fact his performance at running the country is so atrocious. When Dubya was installed by the Supreme Court I figured he wasn’t bright enough for the job either but I consoled myself, “How much damage could he do?” Eight years later, quod erat demonstrandum.

    I wouldn’t give the key to a kid’s tricycle to Harper. The fact there’s even debate he should be Prime Minister would have some humour to it if not the stakes are so high and he’s the riskiest choice of them all.

    Danny Williams is right – ABC -> or mediocrity.

  36. Stede- Can I buy you a beer? Bullseye my friend!

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