Dimitri Soudas and the PM’s future

Paul Wells on the work awaiting the new executive director of the Conservative Party

by Paul Wells

Plus ça change

OTTAWA – Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister, sent yet another signal yesterday that he intends to lead the Liberals into the next election by announcing the formation of the party’s campaign committee.

Mr. Chretien had been expected to announce the committee on Friday, at the party’s biennial convention, but did so yesterday instead, a day after three Liberal backbenchers said their constituents want him to retire before the next election….

The electoral team will be co-chaired by David Smith, a prominent Ontario Liberal organizer, and Claudette Bradshaw, the Labour Minister who represents the New Brunswick riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe.

John Rae, a senior executive of Montreal-based Power Corp. and one of the prime minister’s closest friends, will act as the national co-ordinator, while Gordon Ashworth, a former chief of staff to David Peterson, the former Ontario premier, will direct the campaign.

— National Post, Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Welcome back, then, to Dimitri Soudas, who guided the communications for Canada’s Olympic effort almost all the way to the Olympics, then announced he was launching his own PR firm — a day before the PMO announced his appointment as Conservative Party executive director.

Just as in 2000, one gets the impression that things have been hurried a bit, and for the same reason: unhelpful speculation about the leader’s longevity.

The simple fact that Soudas’s appointment was publicly announced (by the PM’s spox Jason MacDonald on Twitter) is a novelty: if you don’t know whom Soudas is replacing, you’re hardly alone. The answer is Dan Hilton, sort of: Hilton, who had been executive director of the party since 2009, was sent home with love in October, after a new election-readiness database called C-Vote imploded under the weight of its own, uh, cumbersome-osity. It fell to Dave Forestell, former chief of staff to Joe Oliver, lately a floater at party HQ (“Senior Advisor to the Leader” at Conservative Party of Canada), and finally, “acting executive director” of the party, to announce takebacks on C-Vote.

None of that was announced to reporters, although reporters have been able to piece much of it together. It has obviously been a chaotic year in the Conservative Party as well as at PMO. Hilton, incidentally, knew about Nigel Wright’s payment to Mike Duffy before the rest of the country did: after Wright told Irving Gerstein, Gerstein told Hilton. None of them, we are told, told Stephen Harper. This may help explain why Bob Fife and John Ivison were told that Harper had “personally intervened” to get Soudas back in Ottawa: it helps spread the joyful news that sometimes, when things happen in Ottawa, Stephen Harper actually knows about them.

Soudas will be busy: after years of effort and millions of dollars spent, the Conservatives don’t have the updated and functional database they wanted; they have 338 candidates to nominate; and they are not sure what their message for an election is supposed to be. There was speculation that Soudas’s arrival signals the possibility of a snap spring election (the Harper-departure narrative has already vanished down the memory hole), but the party has a stunning amount of heavy lifting to do before it will be able to snap much of anything. I have never been willing to bet that Harper would wait until October 2015 for an election, no matter what the never-obeyed “fixed election date law” might say; my belief that he could well jump the gun played a big role in deciding when to publish my book about him. But neither does he seem to be in any shape to call an election in the next few months.

Having said that, before the Conservatives’ opponents start to moonwalk and high-five in celebration of the party’s disarray, they should remind themselves that in the summer of 2005, the party HQ was in a similar mess. That’s when Ian Brodie and Doug Finley swapped places at the leader’s office and the party HQ, and six months later, Stephen Harper had defeated Paul Martin.




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Dimitri Soudas and the PM’s future

  1. That trite old analogy to the rearranging of deck chairs comes to mind.

  2. In 2008, and 2011, the liberals brought back the old blood from the past to resuscitate its brand , and look what happened to them. Now the liberals can say, we are the new and improved liberal party, from the top down, from the executive to the leader to even new MPs, with a small mix from the past, the other guys just seem to love the hits from the past, always stepping back to try and move ahead.

    • just how was ‘just visiting’ ignatieff old blood? and for that matter how is the descendant of one of the most revered/hated liberals not?

  3. With all the corrupting going on in Ottawa I guess the Conservatives feel there’s little need for pretense. Soudas was their chief operative for electioneering, vote fixing and anything else sort of illegal.

    • All the corruption? Some senators claimed too much in expenses totaling about $250,000. Hardly worthy of the moniker “scandal”. Liberal mayor Fontana in London stole $8 million from charity. Now THAT is corruption!!!

      • Is that true? 8 million? Stole? Fontana?

        • I don’t think the trial has happened yet, so there’s the inconvenient
          fact of the burden of proof being on the state, innocent until proven
          guilty, all that sort of stuff…the kind of thing that doesn’t matter to a true partisan…not much of a ferret

        • Yes, it’s true. Fontana is also a former federal Liberal MP.

          • You say it is a fact, then please present your evidence. Thought so. You have none.

          • to be fair, Fontana has only been directly implicated in 41K of that amount so far, but $1 is too much, and being part of a fraudulent group doesn’t lessen culpability

          • “Fontana has only been directly implicated in 41K of that”
            Then why bring up the $8 million implications?

          • I think the technical term for what john g is doing is spinning.

          • No. Educating. A poster here hadn’t heard of this story. That’s a shame, and embarrassing to the media whose job is ostensibly to report this stuff. Just helping out.

          • Part of your Democracy Outreach – got it, john.:-)

          • Didn’t think it could be 8 million he “stole”. Hope his lawyer is following this.

          • Yes, I’m sure that 8 million is perfectly reasonable wages for charity work. Millionaire charity workers.

          • I didn’t. To be honest, I think this sub-thread is a silly distraction from the main post. But I’m kind of OCD when someone asks for evidence and I know it exists.

            But since the entire basket of misappropriated funds is 8 million, then it’s not unfair to tie Fontana to that number as he’s a board member and was clearly quite intwined in the questionable allocation of assets with the others.

          • Sun news network is your proof? LOLOLOLOL. Next you will quote Fox. Then what? National Enquirer? I read the article you sent but again it offered no evidence so I await YOUR evidence to back up YOUR claim.

          • It was the first link I found.

            “With respect to the Canadians Care promoted donation arrangement, the Organization issued tax receipts exceeding $7.8 million for leveraged cash contributions. The Organization invested over $7 million into investments held by corporations related to its directors.”

            http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=738169

            If you think I rely on fluff sources, then you don’t know me very well.

            EDIT: $10 sez appaulled doesn’t have the guts to come back and admit he looks pretty dumb right now

          • And, I was right! You’re lucky nobody bet against me, appaulled! :)

          • I think you’re right that he doesn’t have the guts to admit he looks like a fool right now.

          • Other than innuendo, what else do you have? Sun News, like a verbal contract, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on (with apologies to Sam Goldwyn).

          • If you’d bothered to read everything I’d posted, I subsequently noted that the Sun link was the frist one I found. Here’s the source, from a Goverment of Canada website:

            http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=738169

            From that report: “With respect to the Canadians Care promoted donation arrangement, the Organization issued tax receipts exceeding $7.8 million for leveraged cash contributions. The Organization invested over $7 million into investments held by corporations related to its directors.”

            You should give Google a try sometime. I can’t always be here to hold your hand.

          • You do realize that once you have quoted Sun News as though it was a legitimate news reporting service, I am no longer interested in anything you have to say.

          • So you’re not at all interested in a charity being defrauded of $8M because you don’t like the source of the news? That’s some sense of morals and ethics you have there.

          • That’s quite a conclusion you’re drawing there with no evidence to support it. Furthermore, your argument is specious. Fraud is a matter for police to investigate and the court to dispense justice on. You are not one of the officials involved in this process so should leave the matter to those who are charged with pursuing such cases.

            My interest is in bringing to justice those who injure the notion of democracy by engaging in persiflage, innuendo, misdirection and outright lying. Yes, I am talking about Pudgy and the gang at the Langevin block. If your interest is NOT in bringing the Pudgy gang to account, then let me repeat something that has been said recently: “that’s some sense of morals and ethics you have there.”

          • “an audit found $8 million raised for hungry school kids and to fight
            HIV/AIDS went into the pockets of Joe Fontana and fellow directors of the charity.”

            It was an audit. You can’t get any better evidence than that. Fontana was already on trial for several other fraud-related charges from years ago. But this audit really has him in hot water.

            Now go blow your hot air at someone else.

          • So the statement: “Fontana stole 8 million dollars” is not true. At least we’ve settled that.

          • Apparently he only stole $41000, and counting, from a charity.
            There, do you feel better now ?

          • You’re right, Fontana stole 8 million with a few other people.

          • My god…. these Liberals are actually trying to make the case that stealing $8 million from a charity is a lesser crime than repaying the government for a few hundred thousand dollars in illegitimate expense claims.

            My god.

          • Okay, I can’t stand it. Sean, I’m not arguing with your conclusions at all. But come on, what about Tyco? or all those other companies? What about the evidence we have that a) Gerstein talked to Deloitte and b) PMO then knew Deloitte would be unable to determine residency and c) the audit came in with Deloitte being unable to determine residency. Or this http://www.economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/25/bad-audits-and-government-grants/?_r=0
            or this http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3208.html
            or this http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2011/11/11/a-history-of-audit-failures/

            Sorry, please carry on with the actual issue at hand.

          • I’m sorry I ever got involved in this sub-discussiion. I was simply offering evidence requested. For the record, I think it’s silly and diversionary with regard to Wells’ post, and I think the whole Ford v. Fontana thing is a bit dense. London ain’t Toronto, and Fontana didn’t go on record for months claiming that the accusations against him were made by vindictive liars, opponents and a corrupt media. Ford did. And that’s the big difference.

        • That is the finding of the auditors.

          Imagine that. This story describes a sitting mayor and former Liberal MP of a large Canadian city is suspected of essentially embezzling $8M from a charity. It’s from May 2013 and unless you read Sun Media you’ve never heard of it. Really gives you a warm fuzzy feeling about when the federal Liberals are returned to power doesn’t it?

          Enjoy your Rob Ford stories.

          • Enjoy your drunken crack-head street thug.

          • Key word John, ” suspected”. As in I suspect you are a Conservative troll. I do not know that but you might be…..maybe not, but it looks like it to me.

          • John isn’t a conservative, per se. He’s got a serious bug up his arse about the media, which has begun to colour his assessment of issues a bit, IMO, but he’s generally one to abhor BS and dishonour from any party.

          • Right. Because the media never reports on anything until suspicions have been proven as fact.

          • At least they state the basis for thier story.they do not state as fact unles there is evidence they an point to.

          • An audit is the strongest evidence that exists.

          • Let me spell it out for you because you don’t seem to understand how media works. No one gives a flying sack of potatoes (outside of partisan Conservatives) about Joe Fontana or London for 2 primary reasons:

            1) London is an overgrown farm town of only 400,000 people. They have next to no media (relatively speaking) and no national media. There is no general audience for a Fontana story. I bet you 1/2 of the people in this country couldn’t even tell you where London is except to say that it’s in Ontario and near Toronto.

            The only people who care, outside of people from southwestern Ontario, are Conservatives and some media (cough, cough Sun) who are desperately trying to change the channel or prove some kind of dastardly liberal-media conspiracy. Which is why you see the story on Sun News and virtually nowhere else (except in passing).

            2) No one gives a rat’s arse about Fontana’s alleged financial corruption in the face of the compelling human disaster story that is Rob Ford.

            Ford doesn’t help himself by continually serving up colossally idiotic, tailor made sound bites/video clips (walking into cameras, saying he eats out his wife, posing with Hell’s Angels, etc, etc.).

            The Ford story has a HUMAN ANGLE that the Fontana story never will. The federal story is NATIONAL in scope. If you don’t understand those facts you’re either a) dumb or b) disingenuous.

          • This is just *wow*. So a Liberal literally steals $8M from starving children, and it’s a non-issue because it lacks a “human angle”, and isn’t “national in scope”?

            What would it take, in your view, for the media to actually criticize a Liberal politician?

          • If there was just more Fontana coverage nobody would vote Liberal.

          • What does the fact that he was a former Liberal MP before he stole as a non-partisan mayor have to do with anything?

            Seems like a bit of a desperate reach.

            To be honest, the other 35 million of us who don’t live in London, and weren’t allegedly ripped off really have no time for your petty municipal politics – we are considerably more concerned about what is happening with the ethics and misspending (no matter the amount) of our current federal government.

        • I thought Fontana was the mayor of a medium sized city in Central Ontario, not the leader of a national party in Federal politics.

          Why muddy the water with what somebody who used to be a member of the third party years ago may have done in that city.

          Bringing him up everytime reeks of desperation as if the internal polling is telling the party operatives something they don’t want to admit to.

          • Ford is the mayor of a city in Ontario, albeit larger than London.
            Ford has 10 million stories so far for being a crackhead. Fontana has a couple of stories for embezzling 8 million dollars.

          • 75% of Canadians do not live in Ontario, nor do we care about your allegedly crooked municipal and provincial politicians.

          • Uh, no, about 62% of Canadians do not live in Ontario. So that makes about 38% of Canadians who should care a great deal, I would think.

          • Well, I will speak for the majority of Canadians and remind you that Canada is not Ontario…

          • Next time, say something useful or interesting. You have 38% of people in Ontario and at least another 12% of the rest of the country who don’t live in a bubble and have an interesting in things going on elsewhere, which makes a majority of Canadians.

            You don’t need to live somewhere to have an interest.

            If there is a mayor anywhere that manages to embezzle $8 million, to me that is news.

          • But Ontario is Canada.

          • Enough for a majority!

          • I don’t live in Ontario.

          • You have plenty of corrupt politicians elsewhere (Glen Clark, Svend Robinson, Gordon Campbell, the entire Montreal city government, etc) and it makes the news, and rightly so.
            So get out of your bubble and learn something.
            You’re probably one of those people who complain that the East ignores the West or that Americans ignore Canada, hypocrite.

          • Really? If I lived in Alberta and was sending transfer payments to the government of Ontario, because they’re now a “have-not” province, I’d be pretty outraged that my money was going to a corrupt provincial government that’s using my money to defraud taxpayers in order to get re-elected.

          • He was a former Federal Cabinet Minister (Minister of Labour, Paul Martin’s gov’t). Did any alleged wrongdoing occur while he was still at the Cabinet table? Would be nice to find out.

          • Ford is a genius at PR.

          • If there is media bias in this discrepancy, I don’t think it breaks left/right. I think it has more to do with the navel-gazing behaviour of the media generally – by and large, if somehing happens outside Ottawa and Toronto, they just don’t care because they think their markets don’t care. Just ask anyone in the 905 how difficult it is to find out what is going on in their own cities. We know waaaaay more about what happens in Toronto than in our own back yards – because the media can’t be bothered.

          • He is a former Federal Cabinet Minister. Did he start allegedly defrauding the charity while he was in Cabinet? Did any other Liberal MPs or former Cabinet Ministers have a hand in his alleged criminal acts? Who knows? Too bad CBC or the Globe can’t spare a journalist for a month or so.

          • lmao – and the nasty lefty media conspiracy raises it’s ugly head.

            The same left wing media conspiracy that framed Rob Ford for smoking crack – remember the posts in the Sun about that one and Ezra’s ranting? Oh right, I forgot – Rob Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack. Guess that angle had to bite the dust.

            But back to reality – give it up Sig – when you use that line about the media conspiracy you start looking like a delusional vagabond detached from reality.

          • But while I have your attention Sig – care to comment on the actual story this is after all an article about national politics and the Prime Minister, not somebody who used to be a member of the third party years ago.

            Or you just working your best to change the channel now.

          • Nowhere in my comments did I mention a media conspiracy. Our country’s various journalists can cover whatever they want, and whatever gets them the most readers/viewers, which is what the CBC, Globe, etc are doing. Idiot Ford certainly provides the most entertainment, while anything involving the sitting Prime Minister deserves to be front page. You have to admit, though, Fontana’s troubles have the potential to become a really juicy story, one that I’d be interested in reading about.

          • My appologies, when you made the innuendo, ” Too bad CBC or the Globe can’t spare a journalist for a month or so.” I assumed you were jumping on the media conspiracy bandwagon the far right operatives have adoped and you were using carefully chosen words to state your implied position.

            The Fontana story could become very interesting but lets remember, he is part of the regime we kicked to the curb (justifiably) for bad behavior. When governments start taking the voters for granted and abusing the trust the people have in them – and when they violate the principles they have been voted in on – they need to be taught a lesson.

            Fontana is the subject of another article not this one.

            But once again, I draw your attention to the subject of this article – care to comment on it?

            People from BC are reading this article for it’s national subject matter.

          • Thanks. Yes, Harper needs to be taught a lesson for his bullying and his bumbling. All political malfeasance needs to be exposed, whether its $15 orange juice or $1.5-billion dollar gas plants. Any time a sitting Prime Minister is implicated, the large majority (but not all) of press coverage deserves to be focused on him. Harper deserves to be brought down several pegs, whether by RCMP investigation, criminal charges, judicial inquiry, or ballot box. By circling the wagons with Soudas and other hyper-partisans, Harper shows he’s not going quietly or easily.

      • You do not think the senate matter is a scandal? Really? Is the Rob Ford story also just a side show. Millions of voters disagree with you!

        • It’s certainly a scandal to people who think repaying the government for illegal expenses is scandalous. I suspect that people who don’t want to see tax dollars wasted don’t see it as nearly as scandalous as Liberals.

          • “selectively” repaying you mean. were Wallin’s expenses not equally suspect? Brazeau’s? Can’t pick and choose son. If the justification for paying Duffy off was to “repay taxpayers” then all the TPC need do is pay back all other expenses as well.
            In fact, I’d be happy to hear them just come out and state unequivocally that they intend to do so.
            …..
            thinking that it might be a while…..

          • Don’t forget Mac Harb (Liberal, ON, retired).

          • Indeed. If Wright’s only purpose was to ensure that taxpayers weren’t out of pocket, he should have repaid everyone’s expenses, regardless of political affiliation

          • Stealing it in the first place then repaying when you get caught is still stealing. Bribery is still a crime. Influencing and investigation is obstruction also a crime. Trying to cover all of that up is scandalous.
            Try stealing from your employer and only give it back when you are caught and see if it flys. I would have thought a good Conservative ” let criminals rot in jail” kind of guy like you could connect the dots.

      • Are you waiting for the Liberals to kick Fontana out of caucus?

      • Yawn. What next? Quebec mayors, Bill Vander Zalm, Brian Mulroney and John A. MacDonald?

        In case you weren’t paying any attention we’re talking about federal politics in 2013.

        One would wonder why you’re so concerned about a mid-sized Ontario city?

        • To detract from the issue at hand. Hell, these know it alls still trot out the sponsorship scandal as though the entire amount of over 300$million had been stolen by the Liberals instead of the actual 1.6$ million. They also fail to note that it was the Liberals who understook a study by Gomery which the Conservatives used to create the Accountability Act, an act which once passed they immediately ignored.

          • Ya, it was only $1.6M. Why would anybody care about such a small amount of money? It’s not like it reflects an overall lack of respect for taxpayers or anything like that.

          • Be that as it may, it certainly isn’t the amount quoted by Conservative detractors…and furthermore, the guilty parties have been charged and punished, unlike many of the leaders involved in Conservative boondoggles and illegal use of public funds for party benefits (advertising non-existent programs [Canada Jobs] and using EI funds as a source for high-performing manager bonuses comes to mind).

            http://www.desmog.ca/2013/05/24/harper-government-advertises-non-existent-jobs-program

      • $250,000…. which was also re-paid to taxpayers. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the Liberals trying to make the fact that the Conservative’s didn’t screw over taxpayers into an election issue.

  4. A snap election- when?
    The Ontario and Quebec provincial elections will likely be held in the spring of 2014.: so a federal in the summer or fall of 2014 at the earliest?
    A snap election will mean that Junior will be without any of the promised policies for 2015! LOL. And his BC and Nova Scotia Liberal gov’ts will continue to be increasingly unpopular brands.
    A snap election will leave it to the two heavy weights Harper and Tom Mulcair ready for the exhausting multi-month event — and Junior rapidly writing his scripts: unless it is going to be another of those disastrous Justin “unplugged” events!
    Bringing back Soudas provides flashbacks of Robocalls and Montreal port authority corruption: but Harper – and his massive PMO – may think he will have no choice but to run his dirtiest campaign yet.

    • Whatever. Harper announced his policy how close to the last election? On a two page pamphlet I believe. Your disdain for Trudeau is not going to prevent his election.

      • I was going to say along the same line..

        As for Soudas, well that will be another nail in Harper and the Conservative coffin.

      • An unscripted Justin will walk into every cow pie in the field.

        His flip-flop on the long gun registry, his support for the export of oilresources and potential value-added jobs via the XL pipeline, and his admiration for a Chinese administration that puts workers in forced labour camps or prison for trying to organize free trade unions is appalling.

        Junior, himself, will prevent his election while an experienced, accomplished and able parliamentarian like Tom Mulcair will impress even more Canadians in the coming months with his emphasis on sound administration and policies – neither of which Justin has any experience in.

        • You forgot to mention his hair and that his mother had done some drugs at one time. Get with the talking points ffs.

          • bad taste

          • Yes, I’m aware. That’s why I was wondering why it hadn’t been dragged out and yelled from the rooftops yet. The ReformaCon trolls usually like to throw that crap out whenever they have a chance.

          • His mother has courageously spoken and written about how her three profound psychotic episodes were triggered by her heavy pot addiction and warned people of the harmful affects of today’s much stronger pot on individuals’ health.

            Justin promised – in Vancouver – to release scientific studies supporting his view:; we’re still waiting!

        • Sure Tom is an experienced and able politician, but it’s the party and some its policies he’s dragging along behind him like Marley’s chains, that is the problem. That’s one of JT’s advantages and it shows in the polls. There’s still time for Trudeau to develop into a decent politician. He’s already shown he has a feel for the game.

          • I honestly don’t think Mulcair’s got the magical mojo for this; he’s a great question-asker but if he’s going to stick to the 50 + 1 for Quebec to rip apart the country, then I cannot imagine he’s going to do very well; it may be a sad dismantling of the Orange Crush. As for Justin Trudeau — he’s doing just fine and although Mulcair is the better questioner — don’t you think it’s Trudeau who’s at the wheel with the Gerstein questions?

            Chretien pulled a snapper on Day in 2000 — a good year before election was due — because Day’s popularity started growing? Worked for the pirate but he wasn’t in the middle of a scandal at that time. A snap election anytime soon for Harper could be a really bad move, imo. I think the party would be better off persuading him to take a hike to a board room somewhere, getting a new leader, and gearing up for 2015.

          • I’m not sure which is the real problem, Mulcair or the unfortunate perception[for them] of the dippers nationally. Mulcairs has made his fair share of boo boos. His policy in QC is a real winner in the RoC, and a gimme for JT.
            Sorry, not following the Gerstein thread too closely…bit burned out and disgusted with the whole thing. OTOH we lose Mandela, meanwhile our PM is playing in the sand pit. It’s depressing.

          • Please inform the leader of the UK Liberal party and Coalition partner to the UK Conservatives who say 50% plus one is the democratic threshold for the Scottish independence referendum.

            Justin does not beleive in the democratic threshold but refuses to say what his arbitrary threshold would be!LOL

          • Scotland is actually a separate nation from England, right? Not a province in a nation. And I don’t believe most Canadians know very much about Scotland but we do know Quebec is part of Canada, and we don’t want our nation split up so readily. I don’t like his policy, okay? And you putting Trudeau down doesn’t make Mulcair’s policy any more palatable.

          • Scotland is not a separate nation.It is a legal part of the United Kingdom. Its head of state is – like Canada – the Queen.
            No British folk I know want to Scotland to split but the UK government – the Liberal-conservative government and the Labour Opposition all agree on a democratic 50% plus one threshold.
            Trudeau has no policy – he refuses to say what the threshold will be just as he refuses to announce his economic policies – while Mulcair has accepted the 50% plus one threshold of the mother of parliaments, OK?
            If Trudeau ever comes up with his arbitrary threshold he will have to explain why it is not in tune with parliamentary democratic tradition . He will also give the separatist core a stick to beat Mulcair and other long-time pro-Canada leaders with : the separatist love taking every slight and ans gaining a protest vote.

            50% plus one will win the separatist no protest vote but rather will force all Quebecers to think long and hard as to whether they want separation and its consequences i.e. loss of northern Quebec lands with aboriginal treaty rights signed by the Crow, and separation movements in the Gatineau and and Montreal regions!

            What arbitrary threshold would you and the Liberals impose – and what is its justification in the light of Liberal recognition of a democratic threshold of 50% plus one in the UK?

          • Well one difference is that Scotland was historically independent and its Union with England was forced. The people of Quebec through their representatives chose to become part of Canada and reaffirmed that on two subsequent occasions.

          • There are historic difference,of course.

            But your response begs two questions:.
            First,
            why does the leader of the Canadian Liberal party refuse to make clear what the referendum threshold will be when the UK Liberal party leader (and member of the Coalition UK gov’t) says it will be 50% plus one – is the Canadian definition of democracy different from that of the mother of Parliaments? and.
            Second,
            do you not agree that the separatist movement thrives on perceived grievances and alleged unfairness – and that creating an arbitrary threshold above that of the UK referendum would be playing into their hands?

            Tom Mulcair has been a leader in the pro-Canada forces in Quebec for over 20 years and will not give the Bloc heads any opportunity to manufacture a grievance and gain populist support because of an undemocratic/arbitrary threshold – is this not wise – as opposed to refusing to say what a threshold will be (Justin’s position) and hence playing silly buggers with a deeply serious issue?

          • I think its a bit of a reach to say that my response on the historical independence of Scotland begs any question about referendum threshold criteria.

            But given that Canada is a Confederation of former colonies, not independent states, it is up to the components of that confederation to jointly decide what is an appropriate threshold to break the confederation; the Mother of Parliaments is no guide in that respect.

            Ironically it has been pointed out on many occasions that, in Quebec, the threshold required to break up an incorporated organization is much higher than 50%+1, yet for breaking up an country it suffices?

            It IS a deeply serious issue and just mindlessly accepting the 50%+1 threshold is troubling; surely some provision needs to be made for errors, cheating and the fickleness of public opinion?

            The only reasons I can see for Mulcair to take the position he has are pandering to a nationalist base (i.e. the labour-separatist alignment surely yielded a lot of votes for the NDP) or playing a federalist Fear Factor (i.e. be careful if you Vote Yes – your vote could be the one that breaks up the country). Given his background in the PLQ, I suspect its the latter.

    • You mean the same way an incompetently run ndp campaign in BC will hang around the federal parties neck? Actually that is more plausible since there are strong links between the parties – not so much with the BC libs and the LPC. Besides, calling the BC libs an increasingly unpopular brand is quite a reach.
      To the degree it matters at all, the party that’s been getting the most of a butt kicking in recent days, both federally and provincially, is yours.

      • If you live in BC you would know that Premier Photo-Op and her crew are directly and historically associated with the federal Liberals – and that with every recent move to increase ferry fares and decrease service, impose massive hydro tax hikes, and now to rank first in child poverty in Canada is losing her support – big time.

        • The BC Liberals are a semi-brokerage party in that they include all the right wing partisans they can find into their supposedly centrist big tent. Any attempts to split off the true right into their own party or parties from the Liberal centre have been crushed. So, unlike the Saskatchewan and Wildrose Parties, BC will continue on with the Liberal-vs-NDP schema and no true right. Anyway, back on topic, the PMO is against its own party members.

          • “centrist big tent”??
            Crustys BC “Liberals” are probably farther right than Dear Leaders ReformaCons!

          • You *did* notice the word “supposedly”, right? What you said agrees with my point.

        • Wrong!It’s pretty widely known fact that the bc libs are a coalition of libs and cons.[ which explains a lot] The ties to the LPC has never been formal. There are almost as many ties to the CPC. Chretien and Campbell did not see eye to eye, and i doubt JT and Clark do either.[ i certainly hope not. I'm not a fan of Clark]
          You have a point, those events are not likely to make her any more popular, but if you’re trying to hang that around JT’s neck you’re out to lunch on that one.

          • Yup. And Clark won the party leadership because she was helped by the likes of Gwyn Morgan and Preston Manning.

          • Didn’t know that. It was difficult to see who the LPC wanted to win, although i imagine they were very happy to see the ndp fall on its face.

          • All Canadian politicians should be so lucky to have statesmen like Morgan and Manning helping them.
            Your bitterness in showing.

          • Horrors!

        • “If you live in BC you would know that Premier Photo-Op and her crew are directly and historically associated with the federal Liberals”
          I have lived here all my life and can tell you that Crusty is no Liberal and either was her predecessor DUI Campbell who Dear Leader gave the gravy job in England to. They are as close to Harper and his ReformaCons as can be in their falling over each other in their gifts to Corporate Canada, whom they are both wholly owned subsidiaries of.

    • “And his BC and Nova Scotia Liberal gov’ts will continue to be increasingly unpopular brands”
      If you think for a moment that the B.C. Liberals are Liberals and not ReformaCons you either are not from B.C., have your head up your azz or both.

      • That’s going too far.[ and i never liked the bc libs when i lived there in the 90s]
        Joyce Murray[ LPC] who’s hardly a reformCon, served as environment minister at the time. But that party has far too many cons. I wish they had split off last time out so that BC politics might be a little less polarized.

        • But Murray was hardly a champion of the environment. She, like the others in Campbell’s government did exactly what they were told to do in the same way Harper’s ministers do.

          • I don’t know enough to argue the point. She may have been trying to do what she could, i can’t say. But you must admit it was probably difficult for a Liberal EM to get elbow room at that cabinet table? She has positioned herself to the left within the LPC as far as the environment and sustainable economy goes now anyway.

    • Do not worry, the Liberals will be ready. It will be a three way slugfest and my guess is a minority outcome.

    • What do you mean by ” his ( Justin’s) BC ” Liberal gov’t? Got any proof the parties are linked ?

      • There is a significant cross-membership such as Premier Christy as one obvious and well known example to all us British Columbians.

        If you are not a BCer, just read her biography about her Ottawa links.

    • @rfaris Let’s be clear, although BC’s current party in charge is labelled Liberal, it is a misnomer – they are conservative. They know it, everyone knows it. Unfortunately, BC doesn’t have a centrist party. Christy Clarke has gone to hockey games with Harper.

      • Anyone who knows Christy knows she is both a federal and provincial Liberal – why be in denial?

        The BC Liberals have a long history here. During WWII they interned Japanese-Canadians – in concert with the federal Liberals:- and placed ads in the Vancouver newspaper during a wartime provincial election with the following message: “A vote for the CCF is a vote for the Japs”.

        Pretty subtle attack on the only party that stood up for the civil liberties of the Japanese Canadians, eh what?

        • I’m not sure which Ms. Clarke and the higher ups in her party have LESS connection with – the Federal Liberals or interning Japanese Canadians. Franky, they are both very very distant from the current BC Liberal party.

          • All part of a tradition of the so-called Liberal party to be sunshine patriots about civil rights but when the crunch comes – forget their rhetoric.
            We BCers know Clark has been closely associated with the federal Liberals for several decades
            Liberalism has a long and worthy philosophical tradition which is besmirched by a so-called Liberal party that forgot its meaning during the war,imprisoned over 500 Quebecers without charge after imposing the War Measures Act, and formed a coalition with the Sask doctors to oppose the NDP’s introduction of medicare.
            The BC Liberal government has the highest child poverty rate in Canada – something Justin somehow fails to mention during his celebrity tours.

  5. A note on election timing. The ‘fixed’ election date is October 19, 2015. Budgets are typically released in late February. The timing is interesting. Here’s why.

    Stephen Gordon, among others, has been quite skeptical about the feasibility of a balanced budget, given current trends. My own view is that the political advantages of announcing a balanced budget are so immense that I strongly expect the FinMin to announce a forward-looking balanced budget for 2015-16 on that cold February day in 2015. The only question in my mind is how much stretching of reality will be required to do so. If Stephen is right (and I have no reason to doubt his maths), it might require a lot of stretching.

    (By stretching, I mean things like asset sales, juiced revenue estimates, a dogged determination to squeeze out ‘efficiencies’ that were hiding in the corner, unnoticed over the previous 8 budgets, etc. Every government does this. Every economist winces. The question is the degree of wincing that will be induced, and whether that leads to widespread credibility-of-plan challenges.)

    Which brings us to the interesting part. We will have 6.5 months of the fiscal year behind us as we hit October 19th, 2015. If the February 2015 budget was put together with duct tape and crossed-fingers, it will be apparent in the data we will have in October 2015 from things like the Fiscal Monitor http://www.fin.gc.ca/pub/fm-rf-index-eng.asp. Fiscal fudgeries, if a feature of the budget in February, will be hard to hide come October.

    What does this mean? I suggest that, to the extent budget reality stretching is necessary in February, an election on a post-budget ‘high’ (however full of helium that balloon may be) is likely preferable for the government compared to waiting around until October when the pin of reality may have pricked some of the budget predictions.

    • You make a lot of sense.
      But I don`t think it really matters if the government is showing a balanced budget for Spring 2015 or 2016. As long as the deficit curve is heading in the right direction, Harper will win easily.

      Now if voters thought that the NDP would not be devastating for the economy or if the Liberals had an adult in charge who was capable of critiquing the Conservative numbers and showing that he was the man who would do a better job of managing the country, then Harper would have something to worry about.

      But with the Liberals gambling on winning an election with the fluff factor, Harper will be PM as long as he wants to be.

      • Do you really imagine the Liberals will go into the election merely on a “fluff factor”? Whatever you may think of JT, his team isn’t a bunch of airheads and the party is able to call on considerable expertise from the academic polical and economic sector. Doesn’t mean they might get it wrong, but you’re basically whistling as you scurry by the graveyard. That bell you hears is likely tolling for you and your party.

        • Sacha is a deep thinker and has his brother’s back

          • Isn’t he a bit left of JT though? Wonder who has the better left hook? :)

          • Yeah, that Sacha is the secret weapon.

      • I have to chuckle when people say that all that is needed to win an election is a good economy and balanced budget.

        The year Paul Martin lost, Canada had both. So winning on good economics is not always enough. It’s a good card to play, it just doesn’t always guarantee you a winning hand.

        • Sometimes you need the RCMP to get involved…or not.

        • The presence of scandal should not be ignored…

        • Paul Martin lost the 2006 Election because his Party stole taxpayer money to give to Liberal friends.
          Why do you chuckle about that ?

          • I have to chuckle at your inability to get the facts straight and to get my point.

            Paul Martin had NOTHING to do with the sponsorship scandal, nothing. Saying his Party stole taxpayer money is like saying the Conservatives gave Mike Duffy the $90,000 cheque.

            Neither party maybe all guilty but they both had to bear the burden of scandal, the Liberals lost because of it despite having a great economy and balanced budget.

          • Paul Martin had NOTHING to do with the sponsorship scandal

            LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      • Keep underestimating the enemy.

        • There’s a big difference between message board partisans and actual party operatives. Ad spend and talking points suggest that CPC isn’t underestimating Trudeau at all.

          • Since the media has chosen not to, the Conservatives will continue to remind us about the fluff factor.

    • Why not just lie and say the budget is balanced when it clearly is not? Just keep repeating we have a surplus of 50 trillion, and that anyone who says there is not is just a media elite who has it in for the government.

      Say it at the beginning of the campaign you only have to keep it up for 30 days.

  6. Maybe they can re-purpose all that C vote junk toward developing a winning personality for Harper? Along with soft ware that catches the involuntary lying and the:” it’s not my job to know that stuff”, reflex.
    Rumour is the early attempts have been a disappointment due To Harper’s refusal to acknowledge to anyone that there is a problem. Soudas wont fix that.

    • Isn’t that great. Stephen is his own worst enemy.

      • I think he always has been. I’m only part way into Well’s book, but i wouldn’t be at all surprised if that isn’t his conclusion too.

    • So far the smear attacks against Trudeau have been weak, amateurish and ineffective. Big changes coming there. What will be the theme, language, and overall look? Truth and facts don’t matter.
      And will the election cheating blossom under Dimitri, or might he decide it’s not worth the rewards and pull back?

      • Your opinion is as good as mine, but if i had to guess they’ll just go for it. It doesn’t look like JT will self implode in a major way and there isn’t a lot of upside for Harper to reach for – nothing in the cupboard. He’s never bothered to build trust across the board with the public, he didn’t care about non Cons sorta thing, so why should we reciprocate now?
        His only option surely is to bring down others to a point they are trusted even less then he is; which is pretty much been his mo from the start. As Coyne likes to say, these are his principles, don’t expect change, just more of the same. Soudas is likely simply more competent in that regard.

        • The Ottawa press would know the answer to this, but I guess there’s not much dirt in the Trudeau closet. But Soudas will need more than a revision of the Dion/Ignatieff campaigns. Looks like cruel and vicious times ahead. Would they use Margaret?

          • God knows how far they would go. I wouldn’t put it past them to run against the ghost of his father since JT doesn’t have that much of a record. That wont work either. Canadians in general have a different take on PET then most Conservatives. But that i suppose will be the game plan – scare cons back inside the fold[ mind the senate trash lying around] and do your best to bring everyone’s else share of the vote down. It goes without saying both the ndp and the LPC will both be trying to get a bigger vote turn out, not so much Harper and the gang. This model has worked to varying degrees 3 or more times for him now – why would they change? They have nothing else anyhow.

          • If things look bad 24 hours before the polls open, everyone with a Conservative party membership will be asked to call 12 Liberals and tell them their polling station has been moved. They will also up their game and pose as the drivers for the Liberals who drive supporters to the polling stations, then actually deposit them in a holding area nowhere near a voting booth until 10pm. A single CPC staffer has been chosen to take the fall for both plans, and he will be rewarded with a senatorship after serving 4 years (estimated) in prison. :)

          • Very strategic GFMD. Somehow reminds me of a Monty Python skit.

          • I guess Rick and FV would be pretty busy in that case.

          • Not outright, but there’ll be subtle leaks, enough to try and dislocate Trudeaus focus. Considering that a lot of Canadians regard PET as one of the greater PMs, attacking JT could go no where and at worse backfire yet again.

          • And I think a public attack on the Trudeau mama would be badly received by Canadians. I certainly hope it will!

          • How do you think an attack by Trudeau’s own mother on his main policy would go over? She’s on the record having stated MANY times that her previous marijuana usage contributed to her mental illness issues. Trudeau likes to yammer on about “evidence based policy”, yet he’d ignore evidence from his own family that his main policy is not only flawed, but dangerous? That’s not an attack on his mother, it’s simply pointing out the severe lack of logic in his world view.

          • However, as you know he says his policy would get rid of high school, criminal gang supported drug dealers. And would actually make it harder for teens to get drugs.
            This would help keep young people out of prison on mandatory minimums, and having a criminal record for life.
            A lot of parents and grandparents don’t want to see their kids in this situation.
            There is no control on drug trafficking and use by young people under today’s system.
            Trudeau wants to change that.
            So as you might expect Trudeau and Mom are probably on the same page.

          • There is no control on drug trafficking and use by young people under today’s system.

            Um, they’re illegal. Is that not a “control”? What Trudeau’s proposing is to eliminate that control, and replace it with a lesser control.

            Can you show me evidence of a single kid under the age of 18 going to jail on a mandatory minimum for smoking a joint? No, you can’t, because it doesn’t happen. The only people who are locked up for a mandatory-minimum are people who are trafficking large quantities of drugs. Do we have the legal system we have in place today in order to prevent children from going to jail for committing major criminal offenses?

          • And obviously parents/grandparents don’t want their kids to go to jail…. but I don’t think you’ll find many of them who’d support the idea of legalizing everything in order to prevent it from happening. The problem is the act, not the law that makes the act illegal.

          • What about parents and grandparents who don’t want to go to jail for enjoying a joint? I don’t think you’ll find them supporting the idea of legalizing everything either. The problem is indeed the law, just as the Prohibition Laws banning alcohol were.

          • Also, please explain to me how someone who sells illegal drugs to a kid now, stops for some reason because it’s against a different law?

          • Simplistic statement as you likely already know. Dealers would still exist of course, but there’d be significantly (note, not “none”) less ambiguity in policing efforts since they would be able to more effectively target those operating outside the system.
            Just like bootleggers eh?

          • I can only hope they would make such a grievous error in judgement as to attack Margaret

          • I suspect he means to use Margaret’s outspokeness against marijuana, not to attack her, but your point is taken.

        • It doesn’t look like JT will self implode in a major way

          LMFAO

          • Why not look at a couple of polls while you’re down there?
            For a guy you think is imploding he aint doing too bad.

          • Wont run for me. Do you really want to start a who’s got the biggest poll contest?
            I wasn’t overly impressed with some of your predictions in the US election, so i’ll keep my own counsel on his chances thx.

          • You’ve been waiting to use that one for a while, haven’t you? LOL

          • You don’t get that many good openings really do you? Thx JG.

      • Funny, I recall the Liberals saying the same thing about the Dionne and Ignatieff campaigns. Oh and BTW, that’s ALLEGED election cheating,none of which, aside from a liberal candidate have been successfully prosecuted so far.

        • If you’re going to slag him you might want to learn how to spell the guys name.

          • that’s all you got? Really?

          • It’s really not that hard, you managed the more tricky one.

        • A Liberal was prosecuted for election cheating?

          • Yes. The only person actually convicted of making illegal robo-calls was Liberal MP Frank Valeriote.

          • lenny spends so much time in his progressive bubble-cum-echo chamber, he doesn’t pick up on inconvenient facts like that.

          • Yes.

  7. The PMO is like a septic tank that’s never been emptied. And now it’s just become even more redolent of sewage effluent. Happy as rats in the shitter.

  8. Proof that the PMO cannot abide any dissention within party ranks, Dimitri Soudas has dropped back into the PMO effective immediately. After all, if you need to circle the wagons and fight*, you want someone who shoots first and asks questions later, so Soudas now leads the peparations for war against Chong’s bill. Unelected and unencumbered by any concerns of constituents, local riding associations, or the nice folks in the coffee shops, Legion halls, or main streets across the country, Soudas has a job to do and it is not going to involve accomodation or mutual agreement. So, there you have the state of PMO thinking: confront and fight their own party’s grass roots rank & file membership with the biggest whip they can find.

    * This is not about an impending Federal election. This is war in the trenches of the Conservative Party.

    • So who’s leading [or going to] the fight the other way? Kenney? Brad form SK or even Prentice? Does the bill really have a champion in the party?
      Not to wish the CPC well, but a switch to either Brad[ brain cramp, what's his name?That doesn't bode well] or Prentice might even get them back in with a certain amount of remorse + incompetence from JT and Tom. But that would put the socons and true Conservatives back on the shelf – never going to happen, sadly

      • You can’t get over the Wall?

      • The point of battle is over Michael Chong’s bill, not over replacing the PM or calling a snap election. Dimitri Soudas is the big hammer sent to crush anyone wanting to upset the PMO status quo.

        • Gotcha.

  9. How could Harper call a snap election – against his own law, and with no obvious reason to require a new mandate – and defend that decision? I’m not being cute or rhetorical here – it seems like poliitical suicide to me.

    • Look at the alternative – a kid with curls, who’ll take us back to the bad olde days of his pappa; or angry bearded Tom, who’s a secret commie with a French passport and can you really trust a guy who doesn’t shave. And the world keeps on lap,lap, lapping at our shores. We need a skipper who’s been there before. One who combs his hair with a concrete trowel and shaves with the sharp left overs of his press spokesman.
      Seriously, i don’t know how he’d do it…beyond warning of the dire consequences of anyone but him tilling the ship. Oh, and by the way, i balanced the books and i got lots left over for bribes, er tax breaks for you all.

      • He still needs a crisis. Maybe he could claim that the Senate issue has crippled parliament and his ability to get anything done, or maybe use Senate reform as something that needs to be fast tracked via voter mandate? Or, like you suggest, he just counts on the Rovian strategy working one more time.

        • Maybe? But the SCoC is likely to close off options there. And it would be a brave man who turns from senate reformer no more[ basically cuz he f'ked it up] lets now move on to abolition.

          Can you really see the provinces wanting to sit down with this guy, or show any interest in helping a guy with his track record,by opening the constitution? But we know he’s an adaptable ruthless guy, so who knows.

        • He doesn’t need a viable reason. He just needs a reason he can say out loud once or twice and then never address again — it’s not as if he answers questions about anything else.

          The barest pretense will suffice, partly because he’s learned how little justification he can get away with offering if he doesn’t want to, but mostly because once the call sounds, everyone’s focus will be on the exciting fact that the election is happening, and the question of why will be drowned out.

    • Geez. A fixed election date law does not trump the constitution. Lose a confidence vote (on purpose). He can even make it look accidental by putting good use to Chong’s bill. And giving some the the Conservatives in more challenging races to vote against him.

      With two new leaders of the main Opposition Parties, the Governor General is not going to call on one of them to form a government, and neither of them would win a confidence vote either, and it will have been more than three years since the last election.

      • Funny – I was just musing about Chong’s bill as a chance to force a non-confidence vote. I can’t see the opposition opposing it, so he’d have to put the party on the line as being against, and hope enough of his own ranks vote for it?

        I know it doesn’t trump the Constitution, but it’s his law! He could sort of sell its breach when he was in the minority, but it would take nothing less than a confidence matter to look above board this time around.

        • YOu may be overestimating the average CPC voter, here. Hell just say “parliament isn’t working” like he did in 2008 (will his voters even spot the difference between a majority and minority?)

  10. Internal PC infighting could bring on an early election. The leader says, “We all hang together or we all hang separately”. If the dissenters keep on annoying him…he calls an election and dissenters find that the party resources are directed elsewhere!
    If the Libs think this helps them…think again. A new leader who needs more experience…and a leash…can talk himself out of the running very quickly. And if he thinks he can win on the Pot issue…the PC’s will just play back what both he and his mother said about Pot, mental health and brain cells! JuniorT is easy for the PC’s to frame as immature and inexperienced…because he is.

    • Geez, that’s a convincing trap you put JT into: ‘oh dear, i find i can’t support this policy anymore, cuz mum says so.’ How old do you think he is, two?

      • HE didn’t support that policy until last year. There are plenty of HIS OWN statements in opposition to pot ,reflecting on experience at Whistler, damage to brain cells etc. How old?… Two, three…what do you suggest? He still needs handlers and training wheels.

        • He’s already done a convincing job explaining his moving on from decriminalization to legalization. Even Emery has forgiven him. You think you can nail him as a flip flopper give it a try. It wont stick in a age where pols change their convictions and principles like their underwear.

    • “Interesting” “plan”. But if he deliberately deep sixes more than 11 candidates then suddenly its PM Trudeau. Why not just spite the disseenters by GIVING him the keys to 24 sussex?

  11. Crazy thought, but perhaps Harper is changing his style? Being a bit more conciliatory? I base this on only one fact : That he’s invited all living former PMs to Mandela’s funeral. I would imagine he’d want to be anywhere else than in the same plane for several hours as Chrétien or Clark (and I guess Turner to a lesser extent).
    Could his thawing be a prelude to the Harper we’ll be seeing leading up to the next election?
    I know, it’s crazy, but anything’s possible…

    • Voted that up for being ballsy. A brilliant bit of satire – was it intentional? :)

      • I don’t see Harper winning another election without throwing around dozens of olive branches – even if it’s just for appearances. He’s burned too many bridges, doesn’t have much fresh policy to offer (the EU trade deal is done, and law & order tends to get stale after awhile), and he can’t fully rely on his base anymore because they’re sickened by the Senate scandal. What other choice does he have, other than softening his image and appearing more conciliatory?

        • Oh i agree, but this guy just doesn’t do olive branches. Remember the scorpion and the frog…guess whuch one he is? Harper suffers from a surfeit of smarts and cunning, and a lack of imagination.

          • and a lack of empathy, bordering on psychopathy.

    • Mike, when I heard harper invited the other PMs to be part of the delegation, I actually thought — he IS going to step down and wants to look like he at least knows how to be statesmanlike now and then. Because most of the time, he really turns his back on taking the high road. Dear heavens: I cannot remember him EVER taking the high road!

      • never… and if he appeared to take the high ground he was just pulling a svengali..

      • I think he invited the previous PMs along because Prez Obama invited along the previous presidents.

      • apologies to various groups for historical mistreatment, state funeral for jack layton. After that I’m out for decent gestures as well.

      • How about the apology to aboriginal people – followed, however by more inaction!

    • He also allowed jack layton a state funeral. A no-downside gesture once every few years doesn’t lessen someone’s overall dickheadedness.

    • I don’t believe Paul Martin is on the invite list. Seems odd to invite Kim Campbell and not him.

      • Chretien and Martin in the same airplane? Now that would unravel the Liberal party! :) )

      • From what I read, Martin was on the list. From the Globe: “Mr. Harper’s office was finalizing details of the trip Friday, but had extended invitations to all living former Canadian prime ministers.”

  12. I am trying not to get sucked into any of this phoney war before the real war stuff. I firmly believe that it is highly probable that the global economic crisis will reassert itself before the next election, and probably next year as the key central banks (Fed, ECB, BoJ, BoE, Bank of China) face the continue to print (money by the trillions of dollars) or not to print (money) decision. QE “helps” the economy by making the 1% and the banksters wealthier, and having the spoils trickle down. It is a very ineffective policy. Easy money over the last generation (contrary to what Freeland says) is the prime driver of increasing inequality, because the 1% and the banksters are best positioned to take advantage of it.

    The President and the Congress also have to come to an agreement or non-agreement on the debt ceiling. Obama had the best Silicon Valley minds run his two Big Data elections campaigns, but a bunch of dufus’s set up the Obamacare implementatioin disaster. That s$% is also going to continue to hit the fan, and has wider economic repercussions if the implementation continues to misfire.

    The 2008 crisis was just the warmup act. The real crisis is still a-coming. How the “mob” (i.e. the general public) turns in a crisis is really impossible to predict.

  13. There will be no snap election, because the next round of disclosures (Gerstein and Runia, for example) will paint him into such a tight corner that he will have no other option than to resign, unless like Rob Ford he refuses to leave, running around like a headless chicken, attending hockey games, tree plantings and whatever else he can think of to keep his ‘base’ railing against the lefties.

    • maybe Jason Kenney will put him out of his misery?

  14. The moving van is already booked.

    • not soon enough…we’ll still have to endure another christmas message from stevie and the queen..

  15. stench of desperation.

  16. Soudas’ appointment has the whiff of desperation around it, Harper trying to reassemble a winning team.

    Problem is, Soudas was actually quite clumsy and inept, only the opposition was more so. Lacking originality and believings things are the same as 2005 or 2008, they may be unpleasantly surprised to find it doesn’t work this time.

    In any case, corruption inquiries are still going on in Quebec, don’t be surprised if Soudas name pops up again . . .

  17. I don’t buy the argument that the redistribution will hurt Harper. They’re counting on it to help them. Sure, they’ll lose a couple in Saskatchewan (though even there vote-splitting might save them) but they’re pretty much guaranteed 6 in Alberta, 4 in BC, and 4 or 5 in Ontario.
    If they are going to call a snap election, it’s because they’re afraid that one of the opposition leaders will pull decisively ahead since a severe vote split is the only thing that will save them. They need a majority since anything less will almost certainly mean a formal or informal NDP/Lib coalition tossing them out. My suspicion is that they feel that coverage of Mulcair’s QP performance is helping him and they’re counting on him to win the debate. Trudeau’s clearly still a little raw but getting better and they probably figure that in two years he may well be able to hold his own in the debate.

    • I doubt they think the NDP-Liberal numbers are going to get much farther apart.

    • Justin “a little raw”?
      How about on training wheels?

  18. Has everybody forgotten already that in the old days no one ever knew what any of the “honor system” Senators` expenses were.

    None of the Senate scandal would have been known if Stephen Harper had not made changes so that the “Honorable” Senators accounts would be more transparent?

    • You are letting facts and context get in the way of a good ginned up scandal. Now let us get back to the scandal of the century ™ where the central focus was the REPAYING of improper expenses.
      Ahhh, to be back to the good ol days when men were men, and scandals involved actual stealing (usually of taxpayer dollars).
      The days when Liberals were in power.
      Oh well, if we have to go with potentially knowing about someone who repaid improperly claimed expenses…..we must appreciate this isn’t the good ol days.

      • True partisan Liberals don’t believe in paying back stolen money. That’s why they find this latest Senate scandal so scandalous. Entitlements are meant to be treated as entitlements.

  19. That’s when Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein devised the in and out scam that had the Harper party illegally overspend by over 1 million campaign dollars in the 2006 election. If we had a proper democracy in this country after being charged with that crime and then plea bargaining their way out of jail the Harper party should never have been allowed to run in another election in this country. Every subsequent election has had the scent of cheating and corruption attached to it. And Finley and Gerstein instead of going to jail like the criminals they were/are, Harper put them directly into the senate. This illegitimate government is a disgrace from start to finish.

    • Funny how your view of “democracy” involves banning certain parties from running for election. While at the same time conveniently ignoring the fact that the Liberals actually stole from taxpayers to fund their own election campaigns. Or that the NDP illegally accepted money from unions.

  20. Have the Montreal trials come to an end? Soudas is coming out of hiding where he disappeared to when the heat was getting to close to the PMO and all those gangsters in the mayors office? His involvement in the port authority was looking pretty corrupt and still does

    • I totally agree: his connections are very suspect. I actually thought Soudas would end up charged somewhere a long the line. And Houssakos. They are buddies.

      • Yeah they both have Greek names.
        I`m suspicious.
        And do watch out for that Plato guy, and Aristotle too.

        • A bit rich for CPC supporters to make that argument, after hearing them talk about ‘Libranos’ and famiglia and such just because Rizzuto happened to be Italian.

          Spare us the crocodile tears.

          • Right, the comparison to the popular Sopranos series at the time had nothing to do with the fact that Adscam involved paper bags full of cash being literally passed under the table like the classic organized type of money laundering.
            No, it was that there was an Italian in the Liberal caucus that the comparison was made. Of course, of course – an allegation of racism/bigotry to deflect concern for obvious corruption. Right out of Al Sharpton’s playbook.
            We conservatives have so much to learn from our bettors in the “progressive left.”

          • I’ve also learned that accusing Obama of lying to Americans by telling them “If you like your doctor you can keep it. Period!” is racist.
            So says our tolerant, debate-engaging, “progressive left”. Funny how all roads lead to smearing dissent (of leftist ideals that is).
            I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. I’m sure the left has no big government, totalitarian leanings, where deligitimizing bona fide debate through smearing is a common tactic. It’s just that to be a non-progressive IS to be a racist.
            So, so much to learn from our bettors in the “progressive’ movement.

          • Still a bit rich . . . Cawm is the only one who brought up the fact that Soudas and Housakos both have Greek names, not patchouli.

            Patchouli was just stating a fact, Soudas and Housakos are well known to be close with one another.

            The past likening of Liberals to the Sopranos had everything to do with Rizzuto’s being Italian, in comment boards all over the place there were wild accusations of mafia ties from commenters who identified themselves as CPC supporters. That was just how they rolled, as there was (and is) a nativist streak in a segment of the CPC.

            At best your comparison is invidious.

  21. okay. so here’s my prediction -

    The Tea Party Conservatives know that the only way to deflect all of the scandal swirling around them is to make a grand gesture. If they don’t, voters will simply vote for “anyone but them” come 2015. They also need to head off the growing mutiny by the Progressive Conservative and Reform elements, which make up the majority of the party. Otherwise, unlike their Republican friends, they’ll be squashed like the fringe element they are. In those circumstances, they have no more loyalty to Steve than they did to Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, the Poutine guy or anyone else.

    So ….

    Steve is getting a warm fuzzy visit to Israel – think of it as a condemned man’s last supper – after which he’ll continue to fulfill his role to deflect and avoid until, I’m guessing, next summer. Then there’ll be a wonderful, tearful send off, but, since the TPC element is increasingly ensuring that the baggage is linked to Steve personally, there will also be enormous (if crocodile-tears count, and they do in politics of course) relief that the Con party can move forward (imagine Steve’s “walk in the snow as Jacob Marley-like, with clanking chains, etc).

    Jason Kenney will ascend to the pinnacle of power since he has, in spite of things like explicitly stating that he only visits ethnic communities in order to get their vote, gotten mostly positive reviews from the mainstream media on all sides.

    Kenney will do some pre-arranged “house-cleaning” to prove that he’s serious about being “transparent” and wants to restore the credibility of Parliament. He’ll have a full year to establish his street creds in this regard.

    This strategy just might work too. Both Trudeau and Mulcair have significant vulnerabilities and the TPC has had lots of time to soften them up, while a year is a period too short for the opposition to tarnish the shine on his little red wagon.
    The Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is in full play.

    Feel free to bookmark my prediction so you can come back to it next summer and either remind me I was full of it, or to ask where you can buy a similar crystal ball 8-)

    • If by “tea party conservatives” you mean those who believe government has generally gotten too big, too inefficient, and too liberty crushing, and has entered into parts of our lives it has no business being in (department of cultural sensitivity, fine arts etc.) then your description is apt.
      Except that is likely not what you meant. The accurate description above is kept safely out of common leftist discourse. Instead “racist”, radical and other terms of smearing are utilized in conjunction with the “tea party” to avoid real debate. Real debate would entail scrutinizing the welfare state and we can’t have that can we? So “tea partiers” are not described as being out to limit an increasingly bloated and inefficient government, by our leftist intellectual betters, they are out to starve poor people.
      Well my leftist friends, the debacle that is Obamacare will give rise to that dreaded debate, first abroad in the US, and then here. One would have thought the near bankruptcy of the entitled countries of Europe would have done it, but the spectacular failing of the largest government program in the world will suffice.

      • “If by “tea party conservatives” you mean those who believe government has … ”

        Lol, no Charles, that’s not what I meant, but neither did I mean anything like the foolish attempt you made to deflect the statement. Actually, I have a lot of empathy for the statement above. It’s reminiscent of a true conservative position (has a little too much hysteria in it for me, but meh)

        No, I meant Tea Party, as in those who are so ideologically-driven that they reach the point where the end justifies the means at all levels.

        Tea Party – as in a group where a member stands up and proclaims himself proud to be a bagman

        Tea Party – as in a group whose disdain for Canadian values leads them to act so dismissively of Parliament that even some of the people sitting around them look embarrassed.

        Tea Party – where appointments are made based on how much money one can bring in to the party pot and where, when that value is compromised, one will be unceremoniously thrown under the bus.

        That Tea Party.

        I do, by the way, agree that the welfare state needs to be scrutinized. Not as an excuse to throw people to the wolves, which is what the Republican brand wants to see happen, but as a way to ensure that we continue to build a just and equitable society where people have security of person, including sufficient food, housing, and medical care to survive – and to do it without bankrupting the economy. Are you suggesting that’s a bad goal?

        • For Charles aka Kody, Biff, and other aliases, deflection is more of a vocation then a hobby.

          • lol – well having aliases is always handy. One can always have someone to talk to eh?

            But yeah, deflection’s a pretty basic tactic of ideologues. Relieves them of the need to reflect on how they reached their own conclusions

      • Golly gee Biffer, your case might be a little bit stronger if those principled TPs would just concentrate on getting to effective smaller govt, or discourage folks from going to rallies declaiming we left our guns at home this time ; wearing monkey masks to rallies and NOT calling out wingnuts like the Don and Beck.

    • Tea Party Conservatives? pffft!

      Beware the Reefer Madness Liberals and their dope-smoking leader Trudeau.2.

      Today’s marijuana, grown with the best techniques of Monsanto-style artificial agricultural engineering in artificially humidified greenhouses in cloistered basements under 24-hour a day artificial lighting and heating is at least ten times as potent as the reefer your parents had experimented with a generation ago.

      • your statement simply makes the case for legalization stronger. There’s a reason that bathtub gin is illegal and the Beefeater brand isn’t. The former had a tendency, due to uncontrolled production, to cause people to go blind on occasion. Or to kill them. The latter, regulated for safety and labelled to clearly identify potency, does neither.

        So you’re saying that you prefer your adult children smoking the “moonshine” you describe above to having access to a product that they can qualify and quantify.

        Huhn.

        • He’s soft on crime too…that’ll get him sent to the back of the bus, or under it if he’s not careful.

          • I’ve always thought that it’s harder to take the position of rehabilitation over revenge don’t you think?

            The world is not, after all, a John Wayne movie.

    • what other elements does the CPC have other than PC and reform? The people who voted Liberal up to 2011 but then for Harper?

      • lol. Every party has lots of elements of course. Nice try though. Only the most naïve of people would try to pretend that the Tea Party element doesn’t exist in the CPC

        • sure, but they’re covered by the Reform element.

          • hardly. Have you ever watched Preston Manning’s face when he’s questioned about some of the actions of the TPC fringe? Not the vision of accountability he envisioned when he started.

    • I think biggest liability for NDP and Libs is each other – They must fight each other tooth and nail…and this story has yet to unfold at all. I think it will get quite vicious as one or the other starts to fall behind.

      • You’re very likely right about the viciousness. Which is unfortunate, since there are alternatives that don’t require either a merger or the resort to TPC tactics.
        I’ve always thought that one of the strengths of Canadian politics is that we incorporate more than two visions of the country in our Parliament. The weakness of that model is, of course, the situation we see now – a majority government that has less than 40% support even among those who actually voted. Support of eligible voters is even lower…. and yet here we are, a roomful of kids controlling the fate of one of the best countries on the planet. Sad.

        • Understand you, but have to say I believe that one coherent approach from one house majority is far more effective than a peanut-butter-smeared lowest-common-denominator from any ‘consensus’ approach. That’s why I don’t like the often-advocated proportional representation idea – I fear it just results in long indecisive delays to implement ineffective ‘consensus’ laws.

          • also true. But it depends on those who control that majority actually being interested in representing all Canadians and not just their own narrow interests.

            Every time I see what’s happening in Ottawa now, I can’t help but think of John Adams’ comment: “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is totally inadequate for the governance on any other.”

            It’s a bit antiquated, but the sentiment is still valid I think. Our Parliamentary system works as long as the people involved in it are “moral”, with genuine interest in the well-being of all parts of the country.

          • I don’t subscribe to the ‘that party hates Canada’ mantra…even those with questionable activity can’t, I suggest, be accused of operating outside of Canadian’s interests as they understand them.

            Quite frankly, I’d love to see a new CPC leader take the helm before the next election, simply because I can’t support the current leader of that party. Our bigger problem here, I suspect, is that the job isn’t actually attractive to anyone with true conservative principles. I’d even extend that to say that political leadership of any party isn’t attractive to the truly capable leaders – we choose from the second or third tier of people when we vote.

            I’m not going to vote for any of these folks…maybe Harper leaves and a new shiny leader emerges who does captivate me, but I am not holding my breath on that.

            So we will wade through irrelevant grandstanding and innuendo indefinitely, until such time as a major reset of our politics occurs. I don’t expect Canadians to be debating real policy in any depth for the next election….our media doesn’t seem to care that nobody raises policy questions, and the likes of Trudeau even get away with suggesting it isn’t the right approach to raise such policy.

            IMO, it is beyond hope so I’m staying on the sidelines at least for the next election. I’ll show up but destroy my ballot.

          • Hmmm, hope I didn’t create the impression that I thought the
            TPC “hates Canada.” I simply think that they mistakenly think that “their values are Canadian values.” I think they hold that belief sincerely. The problem is that, being ideologically-driven, they believe that any tactic is justified in order to impose their values on everyone.

            I’m not sure that the true conservatives in the CPC are
            strong enough to take over and to put a new leader in place. It would be nice to think so. However, the more likely scenario is that it would be Jason Kenney who took the helm. In which case, it’s simply the same old Tea Partiers running the joint.

            As to debating policy, I think you’re probably right. But
            it’s not entirely the politicians’ fault in my mind. “Average
            Canadians” (whatever that means) seem to want the drama and hyperbole. Remember when the NDP leadership was going on? They had respectful, polite debates …. And the only thing the media could say was “booorrrrrrinnnnnggggg.” The pundits *could* have emphasized the positive in that approach, but they didn’t. They could have highlighted the strength of a group who, even though they were in competition, chose not to devolve into mud-slinging.

            But they didn’t.

            We get what we pay for, whether in our talking heads or in
            our elected officials.

            I won’t spoil my ballot … unless there’s a camera around
            maybe. However, given that there is no stand-out leader in either opposition party, I’ll be looking at my MP and what he/she may be able to do for me closer to home.

          • First I’ll say all parties are ideological to an indistinguishable degree, and second I’ll say there’s nothing wrong with that. The ‘ideology’ bashing is, quite ironically, a tactic of the ideological left. They are every bit as ideological as any, yet seem to diss that attribute as being a bad thing. Curious.

            The ‘tea party’ critique attempts to ad-hominem attack those who hold certain beliefs…yet those beliefs are just as valid as any, despite the fact they are held by relative few.They choose the CPC as the party most likely to support actions in the direction of their beliefs, so they vote CPC, just like the radical left wing ideologues vote NDP….the ONLY difference being that the radical left hasn’t been so conveniently wrapped in an ad-hominem label similar to “Tea Partiers”. But they are equally radical. So what?

            The left wing in Canada makes lots of statements similar in nature to those of the ‘tea party’ moniker. I argue the radicals in both directions are indistinguishably radical, regardless of whether or not they have been ‘labelled’ for political attack purposes.

            To bring the point home…much much critique is labelled towards the CPC, and in particular Mr Harper for the nature of the ‘attacks on character’ they launch. But ask yourself this…is there any PM in the History of Canada who has ever experienced MORE personal character attack than Mr Harper? Isn’t such critique therefore pure hypocrisy?

            And once you answer that, can you really and credibly state that any one party is more ideological than the other? Or that their ideological behavior is anything less than expected?

            I think the answers to the above two questions are very clearly both “No”.

          • A well-crafted note Peter and I appreciate the time you’ve
            taken to offer it. We should find a better venue than the comments section under Paul’s article to carry on our discussion.

            You said: First I’ll say all parties are ideological to an indistinguishable degree, and second I’ll say there’s nothing wrong with that.

            I agree that all *parties* have an ideology. In fact we all
            do as individuals as well of course; at least in the sense of having a guiding sense of principles. But that’s not the same as being “ideologically driven” to the point where you cannot entertain any slightest variation; where any resistance to the “rightness” of your vision is met with hostility. That’s what distinguishes a “Tea Partier.” And I agree – there are equally rabid elements in “leftist” ideologies. But that’s not an ad hominem attack. No individual is being attacked. Would you disagree that there is a Tea Party element in the CPC? Or that, for several years, it has controlled the activities of the CPC?

            You said: just like the radical left wing ideologues vote NDP….

            I’m not sure that’s true, at least not now. A high percentage of the youth vote went to the NDP, including at least one of my
            sons. He’s a long way from being a radical. In fact, quite the opposite. I think the powers that be in the NDP have missed a tremendous opportunity to leverage that.

            You said: But ask yourself this…is there any PM in the History of Canada who has ever experienced MORE personal character attack than Mr Harper? Isn’t such critique therefore pure hypocrisy?

            Hypocrisy? No. The problem with your statement is that it’s
            a simplistic attempt to shut down discussion. And sadly, it works when trotted out for most “lefties” in most situations. It’s like saying, when someone complains about a bully, “Well aren’t you just saying the same thing about them?” The first time a school principal tried that tactic on me when my son was a target at school, I suggested that he was inviting an
            endless round of retribution since I would not allow my son to become a punching bag. The same applies to Steve and the others who attack at the behest of the PMO.

            I think, however, that your basic statement is flawed since
            Steve has not been subjected to the type of attack the TPC leveled against Dion or Ignatieff. If you disagree, perhaps you could point me to the “not a leader” or “just visiting” type attack ads, with corresponding budgets of course. I think this is for a simple reason – up to this point Steve has been able to keep himself apart, in the public eye, from the TPC’s shenanigans. This makes the kind of smelly tactics used against Dion and Ignatieff ineffective. Kind of like the TPC’s attempt to use them against Trudeau. It don’t stick because, whatever the “truth” of it might be, it doesn’t resonate with the audience.

            So no, not hypocrisy, and not a discussion-killer.

            You said: And once you answer that, can you really and credibly state that any one party is more ideological than the other? Or that their ideological behavior is anything less
            than expected?

            I think the answers to the above two questions are very clearly both “No”.

            Discussion is getting long here, and I don’t know how long
            they keep the comment section open. Feel free to drop over to my site to continue if need be. Hopefully I’ve offered enough to explain why, from my perspective, the answer is not “No”.

          • David…Where do I find your site?

            But I do ask ,,,, How is the “Hidden Agenda” mantra attacking Harper since day 1 of his appearance on the scene essentially any different that stating Dion is ‘not a leader’ or Ignatieff is ‘In it for himself”? Or, how about the ‘Guns in the streets’ accusation?

            I don’t see any difference between those tactics, in their essence…therefore I re-petition that the answer is “No” per prev comments.

  22. And the Maclean’s fantasy island ship sails on. Or should I call it the Canadian National Enquirer. Next you will be saying Justin’s been kidnapped by space aliens commanded by a rogue Harper and Mulcair has run off with Olivia Chow.

    • Personally I find it a sort of cosmic joke that the kind of people who make a comment like that, then head over to Ezra’s blog for the antidote. There simply no accounting for taste is there?

      • I am commenting on the number of comments about nothing. It’s like one big gossip column. There is no proof Harper is considering leaving, the CPC is in a panic or anything for that matter. Look at the comment below “The Tea Party Conservatives”. We don’t have a Tea Party up here. An appointment was made. Period.

        • Yeah, I’m reading the comments as well. Seems to me that all the Harper haters are in full Xmas mode – wishing, wising and wishing some more. Too funny!

          But Paul must be happy. He’s got the right feed to throw at his starving fishes.

          • sigh, and yet another attempt at willful blindness. Easier to use foolish terms to dismiss instead of discuss I guess. I’m no “Harper-hater”. But I do hate people who hold Canadian values of fairness and equality in contempt and who make every effort subvert governmental process and accountability.
            Are you saying Steve and the “kids down the hall” fall into that group?

        • Complain to Ivison then, he started this; he’s said to be the one with the contacts.

          • He’s also the one trying to generate news of which the media depend. It’s like the big “missing $3 billion”. Never happened. It was an accounting error as departments did not use the right accounting codes. However, it certainly generated enough hot air in the media to sell papers.

        • No Tea Party? lol. you must be one of those people who like to argue the “letter” of something rather than the “spirit.” The American Tea Party can only look north with envy at the power their counterparts wield here when they can cow the majority of their own party.

          • I suppose that’s accurate, if you consider anybody to the right of Stalin to be a member of the “Tea Party”. The plainly obvious fact of the matter is that even Canada’s Conservative Party governs to the left of the US Democrats.

          • Yeah, I mean just look at that Tea Party CPC: we no longer have a publicly funded health care system, abortion is now completely illegal, school prayer is mandatory in all Canadian public schools, it just goes on and on. Extreme right-wing Americans are fleeing north just so they can escape public health care and live in abortionless paradise. I’m not making this up.

          • lol. Exactly. Good thing they’re just a fringe eh? Even if real conservatives towed the mark for a while just so they could be in power again. But the tide is turning. At least I hope it is. Let’s see what happens when Soudas tries to squash them. I look forward to the return of a true Progressive Conservative Party in Canada

  23. I am not so sure that the party is in “disarray” rather it is now turning to the major job of election preparation 2 years before the campaign starts. And putting in place the personnel who will plan and execute the campaign. This seems prudent to me.
    The fact that Jenni Bryne was in Brandon-Souris suggests that possible campaign themes were being tested. One lesson seems to be that in the West the Liberals under Trudeau are the main adversary, not Mulcair’s NDP. In B-S the Liberal vote grew while the NDP vote share shrank. As in BC, when the campaign is about the economy and jobs, the NDP loses big time.The conclusion from BC and B-S might be that people in the West don’t see the NDP as an economically responsible government. The campaign in the West therefore could focus more on the Harper vs Trudeau theme and ignore the Dutch-diseasers of the NDP.

    • The fact that lyin’ jenny was sniffing around brandon-souris is more indicative of the fact the polls said they were behind 30 points.

      And in BC the NDP are probably going to be saved by anti-pipeline sentiment.

      • Anti pipeline didn’t work so good last time out. If the LPC position themselves smartly, hands off the regulatory process, and not this pipeline (NG) – but maybe that( KM) or even PR, they might do well in BC too. They’re already more then halfway there. To take a zero pipeline position, even in BC is crazy.

        • The BC Liberal recent action of raising fares and cutting ferry services; announcing massive hydro rate increases over the next 5 years, and having the highest child poverty rates in Canada is going to help neither the BC Liberals headed by long-time federal Liberal Christy nor Justin – whose sporadic and weak parliamentary performance is gradually telling on serious, adult voters who are increasingly impressed by an able and mature Tom Mulcair.

          • Well that;s what you have to tell yourself i guess, even if the current numbers don’t support that view. But really the attempt to link Clark’s sins to JT is just a bit silly.

          • The current disfavour of Manitoba’s NDP government definitely hurt the federal NDP campaign in the two by-election – according to the vast majority of informed observers.

            Do you really think the growing disfavour of the BC Liberals will not affect the federal Liberals in BC?

          • As a number of folks have pointed out, there is no direct comparison to be made. The federal libs do have connections to some parts of the bc libs, but not all of it.
            You may be right, perhaps the brand might be hurt in bc just through association. But a key difference is that Mulcair was seen publicly backing Dix, whereas Trudeau was nowhere to be seen when Clark was either up or down[unless i missed something]I don’t see him personally suffering from Clark’s policy choices.

          • The NDP thanks you for your posts, as usual.

    • It will certainly be interesting to see if the CPC actually considers Trudeau to be a legitimate threat. In my opinion, the Trudeau name is mud west of Ontario. The national media never acknowledge that, but PET is the most despised PM out here.

      That said, the provincial NDP government in Manitoba, and the recent NDP provincial government in Saskatchewan are doing more damage to the NDP there a Thomas Mulcair crack video could have possibly done.

      Heck, maybe Thomas Mulcair should call up Greg Selinger and ask him to release a crack video. It might actually help.

      • I think the key here is that, one way or another, and most assuredly in as disguised a manner as possible, there will be attempts by the left to devise a mechanism to tax carbon – to essentially remove $ from Western provincial control and into federal coffers.

        That will not sit well in the west, and will cause voters to pause in their thoughts of voting anything but CPC.

        It should also be noticed that Mr Mulcair is being quite silent these days – deafeningly silent in fact – about the evil Dutch Disease, now that the CAD $ is dropping in value. He is sure to get hit on that point. At least he is stating the beginnings of policy, the real debate will heat up if (big if) and when Justin Trudeau does the same. Then we’ll see the true fight…between NDP and Libs – who beyond all else cannot allow the other to succeed.

        Harper, barring criminal charges or other mechanisms forcing him out, will have the above to watch and encourage all of this.

        I have no idea who emerges the winner from all of the above.

  24. To Inkless Wells, who is smugly speculating about the Conservative Party of Canada’s election readiness and the message it will bear, I say unto him and all two dozen of his readers:

    Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    For unto you I advise this day in the City of Ottawa, a message, which is that the Conservative Party of Canada and its election machine and database is alive and well and ready to battle the marijuana-smoking, soft-on-crime, tax-and-spend Liberals and the socialist NDP in the next election, and forever more.

      • Thats true, but you might have warned us Soudas part2 would change precisely nothing.
        Odd how there was no mention of the lame stream press though. You guys never seem to get any love, even at this time of the year.

    • Hmmm, Dimtri found time to chime in already. And with seasonal traditional Conservative greetings too…how sweet is that.

  25. What this appointment of Soudas demonstrates is Harper thumbing his nose at his own party, most of whom would rather see him gone.
    When Harper said at his party’s convention that he doesn’t care about what his critics say, he truly meant it. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, that includes many of them too. It’s now clear that Harper doesn’t trust anyone in his own party, except for a few die-hard loyalists.
    The Emperor truly has no clothes.

    • Very astute comment, I think.

      If you take a look at Premiers in Sask and Alberta, plus in the House Raitt, Clement, Kenney, MacKay, others? Then there’s Prentice. others from outside?
      Conservative moderates must be looking around. Enough of this!

  26. Back when he was Harper’s official spokesthingy, I thought he was amusing, because the lies he told were such amazing unverifiable whoppers. He had chutzpah! I figured he burned out because of all the constant mistruthing, as spokesthingies often do. I guess he just needed a rest.

    • So many counting chickens, so many chicken littles predicting a Harper loss in the next election.
      Harper is steering our country in the right direction for every man, woman and child may take a back seat to an unsupported allegation that he knew about a staffer paying back improperly claimed expenses of another, but I somehow doubt it.
      Just as I doubted the dastardly assault on democracy (prorogue) which after generations of use, suddenly became scandalous, as I doubted the nefarious “pooping puffin” so too, is it doubtful actual issues that affect all Canadians’ lives will take a back seat to the ginned up, hyperpartisanship that only leftist Ottawa politicos hold dear.
      I look forward to watching the sky fall on Harper…..yet again.

      • Have you already forgotten about Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice? Or that time that Harper shoved a communion wafer up his shirt sleeve? SCANDALS!!!!

        • When they find that missing communion wafer, that’ll be curtains for Harper. You heard it here first.

        • I am not interested in a communion wafer unless one of your heroes is on video smoking it.

          • God that’s lame. I live thousands of miles away from where Rob Ford lives, and couldn’t care less what he does one way or the other. Standard lame-o “progressive” response: accuse the poster of being a Harper or Ford supporter. It’s so much easier than thinking.

          • I didn’t accuse him of anything. I said “one of your heroes”. He (or you) can fill in the blank with Barney the Purple Dinosaur, for all I care.

      • It’s amazing that you read my comments of Soudas’ general dishonesty as a prediction of a Harper loss. That’s quite a leap.

  27. $50 million misspent by Clement on stimulating his riding. No accountability on that. Conservative Senator misspending …there was an attempt to cover that up but it came out. Now, the Conservative Senators are brazenly doing whatever that is necessary to cover up. We need to get rid of the current election system as once a majority government is elected, they are as good as dictatorship. Thanks to Harper for showing us the need to get to proportional representation where the odds of one party forming majority government is slimmer.

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