Stephen Harper won’t stop believing

Even though 2013 was dominated by scandal and retirement rumours, the PM isn’t going anywhere

Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

As a spokesman for Stephen Harper for nearly a decade, Dimitri Soudas could be charming and boyish at times, confrontational at others. He was fond of phoning reporters’ superiors, clambering ever higher up a news organization’s pecking order until he found somebody who could either make unflattering coverage of Harper stop or make the reporter hurt for committing it. Halfway through the 2011 election campaign, Soudas had managed to tick so many reporters off that a second, more congenial spokesman was pressed into emergency tour-bus service to act as a buffer between Soudas and scribes.

But while Soudas was on his staff, Harper went from being the leader of a dispirited Canadian Alliance in 2002 to leader of a Conservative majority government in 2011. The Prime Minister clearly associates the scrappy ex-Montrealer with success. And so it came to pass that only two years after Soudas left Harper’s service, Harper called Soudas in early December and asked him to hurry back to Ottawa to serve as executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada. His mandate: get the Conservatives into shape for an election that will, in theory, be held in 2015.

Such personnel changes are rarely the object of public announcements by a party that fetishizes secrecy about its inner workings. But the Conservatives announced this one, because part of its purpose seemed to be to send a signal: Harper isn’t going anywhere.

After a rocky 2013 that was dominated by an RCMP investigation into a decision by Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to cover Sen. Mike Duffy’s expense debts with a personal cheque, some columnists had begun speculating that Harper might quit politics early in 2014. Soudas’s return seems to have been accelerated to quell those rumours.

Prime ministers do retire peacefully sometimes. In fact, resignation is a more common exit for long-serving PMs than election defeat. John Diefenbaker lost the top job in an election 50 years ago. His successors have mostly avoided his fate. Lester Pearson retired in 1968, to be succeeded by Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau did manage to lose the 1979 election, but he was back nine months later and served until he retired in 1984. Brian Mulroney retired in 1993 rather than face the voters again after the Meech and Charlottetown constitutional-reform debacles. Jean Chrétien retired after it became clear he would not survive an internal Liberal party confrontation with his rival, Paul Martin. Normally, one way or another, a leader does the math and decides to choose the moment of his own exit.

Harper must be weighing his chances of winning another election. Throughout 2013, according to the polling website Three Hundred Eight, the Conservatives held an average standing in the polls just under 30 per cent. That’s markedly lower than the governing party’s average through 2012. It’s seven points lower than their share of the vote in 2006, when Harper barely scraped into power. It’s roughly the share of the popular-vote the Conservatives won in 2004, when they lost to Martin’s Liberals.

If the trend he set in 2013 continued, Harper would be on track for a 2015 election defeat. These days in question period he looks gloomy and dejected. In more congenial settings—the Conservative convention in Calgary in November, the Negev dinner in Toronto where his supporters raised $5.7 million for an Israeli charity—he normally caps the evening with his band, playing songs by the Beatles or Randy Bachman. These are festive moments. But a guy who imitates Paul Shaffer to fill out his evenings doesn’t give the impression of single-minded focus on his job.

Still, Harper remains in better shape politically than many of his predecessors at midterm. At 29-ish in the polls, he has hung onto most of a loyal and forgiving Conservative base that puts a decent floor under his support. In previous election years he was always able to build support during the last several weeks before a vote, finishing higher than he began. And he has solid accomplishments he can sell on the campaign trail in 2015. The Ottawa crowd has grown tired of his GST cuts and $100 monthly cheques for parents of children under six, but they remain popular with voters.

What’s more, Harper should be able to offer new electoral baubles by 2015. Jean-Denis Fréchette, the parliamentary budget officer, reported in early December that the government is headed toward a 2015 surplus of $4.6 billion. That would permit billions of dollars in assorted tax cuts. Voters would face a stark choice: cheaper government under Harper’s experienced leadership, or more activist government under a rookie, whether the Liberal Justin Trudeau or the New Democrat Thomas Mulcair.

To be competitive in a 2015 election, however, Harper needs to improve his standing over the course of 2014. It’s not clear how he’ll do that. The most common techniques for getting voters to take a second look at a government are well known, and Harper tried every one of them in 2013. He shuffled his cabinet. He prorogued Parliament and came back with an unusually long and detailed Speech from the Throne. He delivered a rousing speech at a party convention. He concluded a historic trade deal with the European Union. He attended big funerals in both partisan mode (scrumming after Margaret Thatcher’s funeral to denounce Justin Trudeau’s remarks on the Boston terror bombings) and non-partisan (inviting Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell and Jean Chrétien onto his plane to attend Nelson Mandela’s memorial service). He held two Manitoba Conservative seats against strong Liberal by-election challenges. He ran radio ads against Justin Trudeau for almost a year.

And still he can’t knock the Liberals off the top of the polls, and still he can’t elude Thomas Mulcair’s daily interrogations on the Senate mess in the Commons. It would be good to shut the Senate controversy down, but that is likelier headed to a court trial than to oblivion, and court trials tend to last. It would be good to be able to reform the Senate, but it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide how that can be done; the justices take their time delivering their opinions; and most of the arguments they heard in November urged them to require the approval of most provincial legislatures for any reform. So those two paths to relief seem blocked for now.

A year ago, guessing how 2013 would play out for Harper, I noted that it was his second full year as a majority Prime Minister. “Whatever kind of Prime Minister he ever wanted to be,” I wrote, “this will be the kind of year he gets to be that Prime Minister.” But of course, governments alone don’t decide the course of history. History gets a say in the course of governments. In 2014, Harper has one more full year to turn his luck around. He cannot have expected he’d need it.




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Stephen Harper won’t stop believing

  1. As much as any PM before him, Harper is the architect of his own fortunes. His apparent lack of judgement in choosing appointees and his rather obviously liberal interpretation of campaign financing and process laws have put him where he now is. He made his bed and now has to lie in it and lie he also quite obviously does almost daily in the house. Calling Harper the worst PM in Canadian post-war history is pretty much just stating the naked truth however much one might wish it was not.

    • It seems no matter who you are , after eight years in office it’s time for a change . That’s part of a healthy democracy .

      • I agree that change can be good….but you need to consider the alternatives.
        Angry Tom Mulcair
        Vacuous Justine trudeau…
        Kooky Lizzie May
        Do you really want someone like Mulcair or Trudeau involved in Economic policy?

        • Preview of attacks ads? Justine? Really. Isn’t that a little low? You should head to a Sun newspaper comment board.

          • SUN readers don’t need the lessons…..they already know of the realities of Canadian politics; and the media bias.
            Folks on here need the enlightenment….not the SUN readers.

          • Slurs are not enlightenment.

        • Angry Tom? Have you been watching Tom skewer Harper in QP? Tom and the New Democrats are often in gales of laughter!

          • I agree. What struck me about Mulcair during those cross-examinations was how much fun he was having. And James R. Halifax?–adjectives and rhetorical questions are no substitute for an argument.

          • Harper is from the ” ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies” school of politics.

          • I guess that means Trudeau and Malcair came for the school of tell no truths?

          • That does not follow. Harper just needs to ask and he get answers.

          • Sure it does. You just don’t like to face the facts.

            Or, as Jean used to say, “A proof is a proof…”

          • He must have learned it from the masters. Chretien and PET.

          • True. Harper and Trudeau are after all an alumni of the Young Liberal of Canada. If you don’t believe me, look it up.

            Ottawa politics is a ruse. PR and deception to lift our money, get the people to think bloated government is more important than it real is. So their politicial buddies get bailouts, inflated contracts and pension top ups on the backs of productive Canadians.

          • As always, the New Democratic Party thanks you for your posts and your unwavering support.

          • And Justin thanks you for your wavering support.

          • Brilliant comeback! Not.

          • And Trudeau knows, charity pays well.

          • Yep, he knows charity pays well.

          • Yep, like Obama, promise a lot of good things then does not deliver — doing it with a smile because he suckered everyone.

          • name one promise Harper reneged on…just one…

          • A balanced budget every year , not just one in eight .

          • unfortunately…Harper made no such promise…he did however promise to bring in legislation mandating annual balanced budgets starting in 2014 and Flaherty has committed to deficit elimination by year end 2014……nice try.

          • He sure did, several times too. Fact is Harper lies. I even am a small c ethical conservative but Harper is a liar in trusts, in balanced budgets, declaring Quebec a nation, lies about inflation, lies about F35s, lies about coverups on Duffy, just another crooked politician like the others.

            Harper i s a disappointment as we even have more government and more debt today which is not conservative at all.

          • His bold face lie and double taxing trusts. Not the only one but a big lie that cost Canadians investing in Canada.

          • On the night he won his majority, Harper promised to govern on behalf of all Canadians, not just those who elected him. Ask the scientists, First Nations, anyone living along the Northern Gateway route, women, Kairos, the poor, and millions of other how that worked out for them so far.

          • Yep, now that NDP have been gone from Saskatchewan for some year snow, SK is now growing and has a economic surplus….less taxing than before.

            When NDP left SK, they were a shrinking economy with fewer and fewer people due to NDP debt-tax.

          • He must mean angry Stephen Harper. From what I see, he is the only one who appears angry. He is angry at everyone but the real culprit……Stephen Harper

          • Your pal “Angry” Tom Mulcair is the cranky one.

          • Mulclair gambled that he could discredit Harper over a piddling expense fudge that was paid back…the mounties have been investigating this horrendous faux since last June and guess what….crickets. Tommyboy’s outrage turned out to be a wet fa#t.

          • I agree with you actually, Tom has been doing a good job as Opposition leader….unfortunately, if the polls are to be believed, the more Tom works…the more popular Trudeau becomes.
            In fact…the more Trudeau keeps his mouth shut, the more popular he becomes. That would appear to be why Trudeau is not in QP too often….it’s strategy.
            To be frank, if it wasn’t for Mulcair leading a party of committed socialists and other economic illiterates, I’m sure Mulcair would be higher in the polls. As it stands now however, the polls indicate that Canadians’ would rather be lead by someone with no skills or competencies higher than that of a subsititue teacher….with nice hair and a pretty smile.
            Interesting eh?

        • Yes more so than I want Stephen Harper who has single handedly sunk our country to the highest debt in its history.

          • Wrong yet again.

            PET did the most damage. Look it up. Learn something.

          • You’re funny.

          • And I’m correct in my posting.

          • Yep, plug in Trudeau seniors debt into the BoC inflation calculator and the number isn’t much lower than todays debt when inflation adjusted. 40 years of interest and a generation of tax slaves to government living beyond its means.

            Trudeau Sr. was an economic idiot. Anyone can rule with enough debt, kids debt, and grand kids debt. But not one Liberal then or since has acknowledged this resulted in a lot of non-value added taxes or that it is immoral and unethical to place so much debts on the next generation.

            Hell, I paid a career worth of extra taxes and could never vote for or against Trudeau Sr. I was a debt-tax slave of state.

          • Let’s not forget his (dis-)integration of the CF and gutting it to the point it was a shadow of it’s former self and a laughing stock of NATO.

          • wrong again, it was Mulroney

          • You’re still wrong.

            PET left us with the biggest debt in history, and gutted the CF.

            Better luck next time, after you take a history course.

          • Since the 2008 recession, all western democracies have seen a rise in their national debts. Canada’s per capita debt is $18,000.00, quite modest when compared to the USA at $58,000 per person. If you think Mulclair will curtail govt. spending you are dumber than you sound.

          • Bull, its much higher. First is truth in accounting. Ottawa debt is not collectively stated and omits many debts from crown corporation like the Post Office, CBC, CHMC and others. Most countries only have 2 large layers of government, not 4. Canada has city, provincial, federal and first nations. A country like Sweden has just two, city and federal. Swiss Sami, their FN equivalent are not treated any different in governance or taxation.

            Add up GC debt, GC pension shortfalls in CPP and governemtn plans, add in the same for provinces and cities, add in CHMC, CBC, Post Office and other crown corp liabilities and Canadians have well over two trillion in debt to support and personal debt and company pension shortfalls extra.

            For example, USA debt includes Social Security shortfalls where Ottawa does not quote debt including CPP shortfalls.

            Given that only 50% of us work and pay any meaningful taxes, that leaves 2 trillion / 17 million people, about $117,647 of none value added debt load.

            If you just use federal money, $620 billion and exclude 100s of billions in shortfalls and CHMC delinquent debt, you still come up with 640,000,000,000 / 17,000,000 for 37,647 per worker. Even if babies, retired, disabled, low income, pensioners without much income paying taxes it is still over $18,836 with provincial, city, shortfalls from all as not accounted for.

            Reality is the number you quote is grossly incomplete and delivery deceptive. Its government turd polishing. Our real total effective debt load is a heck of a lot higher.

            Remember, USA counts a lot more in its debt than Ottawa does. And when you do the math correctly, Canada is as bad as USA.

          • Dave 777…no matter how hard you try to rationalize and support your Harper Derangement Syndrome, the facts still remain the same…apples to apples national debt comparison Canada ..$.660 trillion USA …$17.0 trillion I know it is a bugger when the facts do not fall into line but being a liberal is not easy these days.

        • Better choices than a guy who doesn’t even know what goes on in his own office, if we are to believe what he’s said himself.

        • Perfect summary. Canadians despise socialists with promises of free stuff for everyone, especially if they are angry and smug like Mulcair.

          Canadians also dislike polished turds like Justine “Shiny Pony” Trudeau and his vacuous, Obama like promises of Hopey-Changey and no policies other than “I have great hair, so vote for me”.

          As for Lizzie, well she is well intentioned and means well but to be charitable, she is a kooky Eco Greenie, Gaia worshipping Religious nutter that we tolerate in parliament for the entertainment value.

          And all three will be fighting for votes from the same fish pond, leaving the big fish of the Canadian fiscally conservative pond to be netted by PM Harper.

          Harper’s best asset is our face plant hilarious parliamentary press gallery and their continued cheap and transparent vendetta against the PM. Canadians hate bullies especially ones that never get out of the Ottawa-Montreal-Toronto bubble but claim to speak for all Canadians.

          • Dear Simon, your name calling illustrates the maturity of your thought process or lack there of.

          • Dear frog, your pompous DB attitude doesn’t hide the facts. Harper is the best of the bunch.

          • Harper lies – End of story!

          • Who said “I’ll scrap the GST.”?

            Liberals lie – the end.

          • well froggie….sadly for you commies, Simon is smack dab on target.

          • Complete rubbish fully tainted with the Obama crap – Must be American or another Redneck who belongs there.

          • Well, that was an intelligent post. Not really.

          • and you reply with what – Nothing!

          • You are consistent…

          • According to most polls, only about 30% of Canadians agree with your statements about what they believe in. Perhaps you should stop claiming to speak on our behalf.

          • Polls are SO accurate, right?

          • Not always, only more credible than Simon, regarding the viewpoint of Canadians. Pollsters, at least, attempt to canvass Canadians about their opinions, as opposed to Simon, who apparently invents his “knowledge” about how Canadians feel entirely out of his febrile imagination.

          • sadly for you…history indicates fewer Canadians support your point of view ….so take some of your own advice.

          • Actually, even when Harper won his majority, about 60% of voting Canadians agreed with me, in the sense that they supported other choices.

            And I’ve never claimed to speak for Canadians.

          • That was last time – History may not be repeated.

          • …or it may.

          • Sure – You believe that

          • well neurotic…unfortunately for your other choices..actually,in a democratic system …the guy with the most votes is the winner …the guy with the least votes is the whiner.

          • Who’s whining? I was merely stating facts.

          • The facts are we, we have a basic four party system and the guy with the most votes wins… I do not recall Conservatives constantly dredging up the vote percentage when the Liberals won their majority with a 40% electorate…get over it.

          • Why do you continue to belabour the point when, if you actually read my original comment on this thread, you’ll notice I never disputed it? I merely stated a single, indisputable fact. Move on.

            And I don’t need your little tutorials on how multiparty democracy works, thanks.

          • then why did you raise this asinine issue in the first place

          • My original comment was in response to someone’s claim that “Canadians” chose Harper (or something to that effect). I merely pointed out that 60% of us voters didn’t choose him, which is indisputably, factually correct. Period.

            Why are you struggling with that? I didn’t ask for this idiotic log rolling contest with you.

          • In spite of your characterization, any of the above would be better that ” I know nothing ” Harper.

          • Based on what?

          • “Canadians despise socialists with promises of free stuff for everyone, especially if they are angry and smug like Mulcair.”

            You mean unlike all the promises of free stuff for consumers like lower cable bills, gst cuts and income splitting from the angry and smug Harper Conservatives?

            “Canadians hate bullies…” You mean like our current prime Minister? You sir, are a moron

          • you, SIR, are the moron…prove one just one of your assertions…you can’t because Harper has kept every campaign promise…just more fabrications from desperate socialists to try and justify their point of view. As far as bullies go, try remembering adscam and the Chretien “handshake” before you pop off too much.

          • He sure kept his promise to reduce taxes to the wealthiest corporations by 32% . That was easy for him … but who is making up that money ??? cut OAS , cut EI , … class warfare you say ?

          • The facts are, the majority of the corporate tax cuts you mention are a legacy of the former liberals who reduced corporate tax rates from 36% to 22.5%. Harper continued the gradual tax reduction program by reducing the rate to it’s present level of 16.5%.. not class warfare just good fiscal management…you boneheads keep piddling your britches trying to hang this government out to dry..and you cannot find anything substantive …,so you keep making things up or blowing things out of proportion

          • Harper reduced the tax from 22% to 15 % , that’s the 32% I’m talking about . Martin reduced corporate taxes with a budget surplus . Harper is reducing them by increasing debt . That is a BIG difference. And reducing them unnecessarily , since our neighbour charges 35% .

          • Martin created a budget surplus by drastic cuts to social services, notably raiding the uic fund…

            The debt increase equates to the $110million in stimulus spending demanded by the libs and dippers who threatened a coalition to bring down the house

            the 35%corporate tax rate in the U.S.is the main reason they have a much higher unemployment rate and three times Canada’s per capita national debt @ $58,000 per person

          • Right and you know more than the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – They disagree!

          • Had no choice, Ottawa tax greed was killing investments as savvy investors calculate returns after taxes. Canada has some of the highest taxes in the world. Weak dollar, high taxes, poor union productivity all contribute to job losses.

          • “kept every campaign promise”

            - Promised not to appoint senators . ..
            - Promised not to tax income trusts

          • he did not promise to not appoint senators…he did try to introduce legislation to elect senators but the opposition soundly rejected the proposal…I stand corrected on the income trust issue.

          • Harper has kept no promises that I know of – Maybe you can tell me all the promises kept.

          • Mulcair is not a leader, he is a beligerant argumentative big mouth bully and a economic idiot… Worse than the SK NPD failures.

          • you are the moron …reducing the cost of living across the board for all Canadians is a far cry from passing out goodies to special interest groups ..can you say adscam….

          • What’s with the Justine, Simone?

          • The metrosexual hair, keira…

          • I was demonstrating by example just how childish it is to feminize a male name as an insult. You just demonstrated (a) my point sailed right over your head and (b) you also need to grow up (despite the chronological age your moniker suggests you’ve reached).

        • As Abraham Lincoln said, ” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

          • Lead by example. Oops….

        • Yes, they could do no worse that autocratic, bought and paid for Harper. He has never worked in a real job his whole adult life.

          • Spoken like a typical lib shill.

            What did you say earlier?

            “The mark of people who cannot defend their position is to attack people personally. Name calling does not make your argument valid. It makes your position suspect. Maybe your intellect is too ” challenged” to carry on a civil discussion. I will ignore you now as you are unworthy for debate.”

            Troll.

          • prove it…

        • Might not have a choice.

          I might even vote Mulcair as he is the best bet to bankrupt Ottawa the fastest so people can get their economic liberty back.

          As none of these corrupt parties represent the mainstream middle class tax slaves of state. Only options on the ballot are who gets more of our money to waste on their set of buddies that doesn’t benefit me or people I know.

          Democracy in Canada is ruse when more government statism is the only result from all the options.

          • I agree. Canada has become a, cesspool of corruption. I have never seen Canada brought so low, as we are to-day. Canada has become, the laugh of the world.

          • what hogwash….Canada is one of the best governed countries in the world…try North Korea where disgraced leaders really go to the dogs if you are so depressed here.

        • tom mulcair has proven to be absolutely brilliant in the House. his focus is the wellbeing of the Canadian people..and he has every right to be ‘angry’..i certainly am!

          • What you see is frustration from Mulcair due to the refusal to answer simple questions from Harper and the trained seals.

          • It is being said? Mulcair is the best opposition leader, Canada has ever had. Mulcair did impress many during his questioning, of Harper in the House. He tripped Harper up, more than a few times.

          • That means he is the best cross examiner. You need a few more skills than that to be a good opposition leader.

          • What was that you said?

            Oh, yeah,

            “The mark of people who cannot defend their position is to attack people personally. Name calling does not make your argument valid. It makes your position suspect. Maybe your intellect is too ” challenged” to carry on a civil discussion. I will ignore you now as you are unworthy for debate.”

            Goof.

        • Well, certainly not if he’s VACUOUS! Oh my! I think I might have to vote for the racist Christian fundamentalist who has done nothing but rely on the tar sands. Anyone could do that, it’s not like he did anything that was genius.

        • I’d vote for any corpse you can dig up out of any graveyard than vote for Harper and his loathsome Conservatives.

        • NO!

        • Yep, in the land of Ozawa…

          Harper has no courage to fire the corrupt.
          Trudeau has no heart as charity pays.
          Mulcair has no brain as he mortgaged up 11 times on a 6 digit salary.

          Voting in Canada is like choosing how to be screwed. We need a better choice on the ballot than who gets more of our money to waste.

      • Which is why politicians get fully vested pension in just 6 years. Get elected twice, and for certain your pension is setup for life. Our wallets, via government even guarantees the pension will grow at 10.4%.

        Best benefit/pension deals in the entire world. No one, not even the president comes close to the Ottawa politician deal.

        • And Mulcair is earning every cent of it trying to catch slippery Harper and his train seals to get them to answer honestly.

          • Quit being a hypocrite.

            As you said,

            “The mark of people who cannot defend their position is to attack people personally. Name calling does not make your argument valid. It makes your position suspect. Maybe your intellect is too ” challenged” to carry on a civil discussion. I will ignore you now as you are unworthy for debate.”

        • We pay Politicians outrageous salaries, gold plated pensions, medical, dental, travel, meals, limo service, government vehicles, luxury hotel suites, travelling hair dressers, fly Harper’s armored vehicles, housing and all of their perks. And, they should steal from us too?

          There is a Liberal Senator doing time for, a much lesser amount. All of those Senators and the PMO including Harper, should all be thrown in the brig. So should Harb.

          It doesn’t matter the Politician nor the party. It is still our money, no matter who steals it

      • Where is that written…another bogus comment…change for change sake …not a good enough reason to change the government. The fact of the matter is the weak opposition candidates almost guarantee another Harper majority.

        • It wasn’t long ago Harper was considered a weak candidate , duking it out with Stockwell Day for the leadership. Bill Clinton was once a longshot in the Democratic party , and George Bush. ??..nobody ever dreamed that eediot would ever become president … People are wising up to Harper and his agenda to destroy our social values in Canada , in favor of a cheap labor supply to the oil billionaires.

      • Politicians are like diapers. Change often to avoid the stink.

        Then new fresh faces will tell the same old false promises and lies….

    • You can’t be much out of diapers if you think he’s worse than Creepy Chretien. Chretien brought bullying and interance to heights Harper could only dream of. As to “Scandals”, they were his middle name. Most of them profited himself or his the Liberal Party.

      • …and who could respect a PM who “[brings] interance to new heights”. There’s absolutely no place in public life for interance of any kind…ever.

      • Just best to look back 30+ years, pretty hard to find any politician that waste not corrupt to the core. All parties don’t represent us.

        Take Melloney-Schriber, Cons started it, Liberals bought the planes for bankrupt Air Canada with NDP union support, liberals even gave Mulroney another $2.1M. They all sold us out at once!!!

        Doing it again too but with Boeing planes, you don’t think negative cash flow Air Canada with junk credit status and massive debts has the cash to buy them? But they have enough cash to buy politicians and we tax slave class get screwe4d again.

        NONE of these parties represents mainstream productive Canada. We need better options on the ballot that are not just tax us more like slave votes.

        • YIKES! You should read what you type before you post. You make no sense.

          • You should take your own advice,

            “The mark of people who cannot defend their position is to attack people personally. Name calling does not make your argument valid. It makes your position suspect. Maybe your intellect is too ” challenged” to carry on a civil discussion. I will ignore you now as you are unworthy for debate.”

      • You must have entered senility if you think Cretien was worse than Harper

        • You obviously forgot what you’ve said,

          “The mark of people who cannot defend their position is to attack people personally. Name calling does not make your argument valid. It makes your position suspect. Maybe your intellect is too ” challenged” to carry on a civil discussion. I will ignore you now as you are unworthy for debate.”

      • You can say a lot of things about Chretien that are negative, but creepy isn’t one of them. He was not creepy. Sometimes alliteration just isn’t enough.

    • what a load of horse puckey.cite one….just one example of a Harper lie,

      • - Promised not to appoint senators
        - Promised not to tax income trusts

        - Statements regarding Nigel Wright’s employment at variance with one another
        - Denial of offer to Chuck Cadman
        - Misrepresentations of parliamentary conventions regarding coalitions
        - Denied he attempted to form a coalition with the Bloc and NDP in 2004

        • No fair! He said “one” ;-)

          • It’s an embarrassment of riches

        • He did not promise not to appoint senators…he has no choice but to fill vacancies in order to pass legislation. He did introduce legislation to alter how senate appointments are made preferring provincial elections …however the opposition parties have refused to act on this legislation.

          he had no choice but to implement a gradual tax on income trusts because large corporations were preparing massive use of this tax loophole which would have cost billions of lost taxation revenue.

          as for the rest of your allegations …pretty thin gruel…he said ..she said…

          • Ha, No choice on the income trusts … After castigating the Liberals for looking into it and raising a hue and cry, this “trained economist” didn’t have the brains to see that coming? That’s called incompetence. Nonetheless he made the promise and broke it, so that’sa broken promise which was the question.

            Senators, it’s well known he made that promise, your lengthy attempt at explaining only reinforces that.

            And of course just ignoring the others, well you know he lied but you just won’t face up to it.

          • horsecrap ..the liberals ignored it for obvious reasons..at least harper ate the onion and dealt with it.

            as for the rest…you libturds have been crusading on these issues for years and guess what…nada..all hat no cattle

          • Aaaaaaand right on schedule, when proven wrong, Harper’s crew had to resort to name calling and/or “they did it too, waaah”

          • too many pulls on the bong pipe …you make absolutely no sense

          • Is that all you got?

            Proven wrong … and they whine and insult.

  2. The one thing Wells did not say is that Harper will be facing two opposition leaders who have never run a national election campaign. Coupled with the fact one is a socialist who wants to create a utopian society with other peoples money and the other a pretty boy who has no policies and who continually makes gaffes. Trudope may be riding high in the polls but Harper knows Canadians will not be looking for a chief prosecutor which is Mulcair’s claim to fame thus far and a person with no experience at doing anything. As usual the media crowd continue to underestimate Harper.

    • I suspect Wells didn’t say that is because most of it is just silly and childish not to mention fabrication. I really don’t think anyone underestimates Harper in terms of corruption, cheating and crime and so far those attributes have proven to serve him personally very well – Canada not so much. And you didn’t mention the tiny, loyal base he has that is willing to ignore democracy for an agenda of make believe and lies. What exactly is the point of a Harper government? I mean really?

      • Perhaps you can give real evidence to your silly accusations. Prove that Harper personally has lied, is corrupt and cheats. I know the opposition and the lefties on these sites keep repeating it but it does not make it true. You can’t really believe our democracy is at risk. Of course you completely ignore the achievements of the government.

        • he’s certainly told at least two versions of his dealings with Duffy’s hush money, both of which cannot be true.

          • I don’t know what two versions he has told. He told Duffy to make back the money he was not entitled to. If he was not aware of the deal he changes his version as more facts come to light. The fact that the RCMP says something does not make it true.

          • But if Harper says it?

        • “Prove that Harper personally has lied”

          Uhhh . . .

          First, Nigel was going nowhere
          Then his resignation was regretfully accepted
          Later the PM said he was dimissed.

          Which one is the truth?

      • It’s pretty clear that a Harper government is all about managing the nation’s finances and economy responsibly.

        Trudeau thinks he’ll “save” the middle class somehow by legalizing marijuana. Where’s the “evidence” and “science” that backs up such a proposition? If it were that easy, why hasn’t every other country on the planet tried it?

        Personally, I disagree with Mulcair’s vision of how to change Canada, but I at least respect him and take his ideas seriously. Trudeau, not so much. Maybe if I took a bong hit I’d “get it”.

        • Please find me the quote where Trudeau said legalizing marihuana will save the middle class.

          • He says his main concern is the middle class. The only policy he’s put forward is legalizing marijuana. One can only assume that he thinks legal marijuana will help the middle class. Which is the type of logic I would expect from a pot head.

          • So you admit he never said that, and you are making stuff up.

            Again.

          • It’s clearly implied by his rhetoric.

          • Saying stuff doesn’t make it magically come true.

          • If he says that he wants to help the middle class, and he wants to legalize marijuana, is it that much of a leap to conclude that he thinks legalizing marijuana will help the middle class?

            Or are we supposed to evaluate everything he says and does in a vaccuum as if he’s never said or done anything else?

          • is it that much of a leap to conclude that he thinks legalizing marijuana will help the middle class

            Yes. It is a huge, and rather stupid, leap. Why, saying one thing leads to the other is pretty much making stuff up.

            But then I think you already know that.

          • Sort of like trying to analyze the Harper regimes attitude on the need for more jails to incarcerate those pot smoking , low-level dealers, isn’t it?

          • stop with the bullsh#t…Harper is constructing new correctional facilities to replace the aging and outdated existing jails like the Don Jail ,Kingston Pen and Dorchester in Montreal…quit talking through your hat.. you boneheads contort yourselves into impossible positions and make outlandish generalities trying to discredit our existing government.

          • If you’re genuinely making that leap, I’d say you’ve had more than a few hits on that bong.

          • Have you always been utterly unable to comprehend what you read/hear?
            It must be crippling.
            Are you institutionalized?

          • So what do you believe is his reasoning for wanting to legalize marijuana then?

          • I will play your silly, little game. For what reason does Trudeau want to legalize pot?

          • in order to get potheaded ass#oles like you to support and vote for him bonehead.

          • What? A politician hopes that their policy positions win them votes?

            I had no idea…

          • my point exactly…..and it would appear that you favor juniors position on pot

          • It was not your point. That is why I was mocking you.

          • it was my point and I mocked your mock, unless you are not a pothead and intend to vote for junior because he has nice hair…

          • Yes, I understand your point. You think anyone who supports the parties you don’t are [insert derogatory term here].

            It is not an intelligent discussion. So I mock you, and you fell for that.

            But hey, you just keep on “mocking my mock”.

            Ha ha ha ha ha

          • I learned long ago that arguing with a women is a losing proposition…

          • Not women – just smart people.

          • JT has explained this many times; many on this board have explained it to you over and over again. Either you deliberately ignore the explanations, or you are mentally incapable of understanding them.

            Either way, explaining it to you yet again would be a complete waste of time. Go water that pea you have for a brain; maybe it’ll sprout a clue.

          • As it is, equally, implied by your statements that you either deliberately falsify events or have a tenuous grip on reality.

          • “One can only assume that he thinks legal marijuana will help the middle
            class. Which is the type of logic I would expect from a pot head.”

            Now that’s a refreshing bit a self-awareness from Stupie. Though to be accurate, most of your assumptions are more the type of logic to be expected from dementia-sufferers than pot-heads.

          • FYI – marijuana has been shown to cause dementia.

            By the way, calling those you can’t debate “stupie” constantly really makes me think that you’re a juvenile ass-hat with the intellectual fortitude of a brain damaged 4 year old. ie. A typical Justin Trudeau fanboi. Maybe instead of trolling this website you should go see a doctor and get some medication to help you with your compulsive name calling and obvious lack of self esteem.

            Tip: if you can’t make your point through logic and reasoning, maybe you should just STFU and crawl back into your moms basement and watch a couple Harry Potter films. Now kindly GFY.

          • “those”? Do you hear voices?

            But I take your point. Rather than behaving like a not very bright, juvenile, dumb, ass-hat, hipster, name-calling pot-head, I should follow you lead.
            Heh.

            Got hand it to you though, Stupie. When it comes to hilarious unintended irony, nobody can touch you.

          • Too bad you can’t see the brain scan, of an alcoholic. Too bad you can’t see an, x-ray of a patient dying of lung cancer from smoking.

            Pot is used for medicinal purposes, such as cancer.

            Quite frankly, you should have a complete mental evaluation yourself.

          • Pssst… that last paragraph? That nicely sums up what so many of us have been saying to you for years. Now please kindly take your own advice.

          • We all know? Harper prefers booze and crack Cocaine. But, don’t you dare smoke pot.

          • Love it. You erroneously attribute statements to JT, then criticize those statements for lacking “logic”. You wouldn’t recognize irony if it bit you on the @ss.

          • The policies the LPC will set in motion for the next election will be decided this coming February at the policy convention in Montreal – watch and listen closely as, unlike the ‘one-pony-show’, offered by our current PM, Liberals will agree collectively on the direction that will make us prosperous, transparent and accountable to the citizens of Canada. This secretive and non-inclusive Harper government will be trounced by the very ones who felt it was necessary to give the CPC a chance to fulfill their promises – the writing is on the walls – red tories and blue libs are returning to the LPC in droves – justifiably of course…

          • The Liberal Party of Canada thanks you for your post.

          • Agreed, as Trudeau wimped out. He said position legalization, not complete legalizing.

            Justice bloat will continue, criminals want high prices and politicians, cops and judges help do it.

        • It is not clear that the illegitimate Harper government is all about managing anything but their own political power. Responsibility is not in their vocabulary.

        • Harper doesn’t seem to mind, Fords booze and crack Cocaine. Pot is not a narcotic, Cocaine is. Harper campaigned very hard for Ford. Pot is also used for medicinal purposes.

          Other decent democratic countries know, how important a middle class is for their countries. However. Harper only wants two incomes in Canada? The very wealthy and the very poor. Harper is bringing thousands of foreigners and training them for BC mines and the oil patch. Harper’s Northern BC mine plans are, for Communist China to take those jobs too.

          Harper has lied to and misled Canadians very, very badly. Harper’s economy and job action plans are to, sell Canada out to Communist China. Harper’s job action plans are likewise for, China and other foreigners.

        • Where’s your evidence that Trudeau thinks he’ll save the middle class by legalizing marijuana? Do you really need to distort reality in order to invalidate him?

        • Hardly. How many Canadians know the value of CAD money/wages/pensions depreciated 6 cents in 3 months that also adds 6.38% inflation pressures? All so BoC can create no value money to buy government debt no legitimate lender buys in the ruse of solvency?

          No one savvy about economics is buying government debt for after tax returns well below real inflation to lose value. Its an illusion as in 2006-2008 Ottawa became technically bankrupt, borrowing against us, our kids and grand kids to keep government bloat alive.

          Its why the job market is crappy, people with less of their money money, less value money, less value pensions, spend more to get less goods and services.

          http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=CAD&to=CNY&view=2Y

          http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CNY&view=10Y

          But hey, you get raises below real inflation and like most Canadians getting squeeze like debt-tax slaves of state.

      • you wrote:
        “Harper in terms of corruption, cheating and crime”
        I’d love to hear your description of the Liberals, given that they are the party that has ACTUALLY been involved of all that you have said above about Harper.
        If you honestly believe Harper is corrupt….then frankly there is no way you could ever support someone in the Liberal party. La Familia Liberal…..remember?
        If not…check out the Charbonneau Commssion. The Liberals are the same, whether provincial, or Federal. There is NO AMOUNT of other people’s money they won’t steal of misspend to maintain power, or enrich themselves.
        Given the scope of your “Harper Derangement Syndrome” I can only surmise that you are a member of a public sector union afraid of losing your “freebies”…or you’re a NDP type afraid of losing your welfare.
        Clearly, whatever the answer to that question is……you are an economic illiterate without any sense of real corruption or scandal.

        • You’re a total failure at surmising. In order for me to vote at all I vote Green. The major three parties have become far too similar in nature and are not looking after the planet.

          • Many people are very uninformed, when it comes to Harper. They even think Harper is a Conservative. Harper was policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. Harper had even hired Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front as, security for Preston Manning. Harper is no Conservative, what-so-ever. Control freak and a dictator is what Harper is named? For very good reasons.

        • You can not in any way shape or form compare the Charbonneau Commission to Federal politics – or even to the Liberal provincial party, it is a pure multi-party Quebec corruption issue, that’s it, that’s all. This makes your entire argument uneducated, misinformed tripe. The exact type of voter most moderates are afraid of, and will vote Liberal because of!

        • They’ll keep spending until, we learn to love them
          Dec 22/2013
          ipolitics.ca

          The lying right wing and the lies they tell.
          Nov 13/2013
          kirbycairo.blogspot.ca

        • at least the Liberals had the balls to launch an inquiry,unlike old Stevie

          • When you are caught red-handed with your balls in the cookie jar, you really have no choice but to face the music….and Chretien’s bosom buddy Jacques Corriveau will be chirping loudly next week when he answers to criminal charges for fraud against the government, forgery and criminal money laundering. If he decides to spill the beans in order to save his bacon… this faux scandal in a teapot you Harper haters have been on about for six months may just disappear and the media will have a whole new scandal to feast upon. It just amazes me that you boneheads are piddling your panties to kick out a responsible government and replace them with more Quebec politicians with either a sordid past or no credible track record.

          • Yup, nothing says “faux” like RCMP allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, and the resignation of the PM’s Chief of Staff.
            Pull the other one, Bubba.

          • Allegations are not truths, I can allege that you are hung like a gerbil but that may not necessarily be the case. So, unless and until an allegation becomes a truth and that truth is proven in a court of law….you are blowing smoke bonehead.

          • “Allegations are not truths…”
            Thanks for clearning that up,bubba.

    • Was the sentence that begins “Voters would face a stark choice” missing from your copy of the story? “

      • No but it deserves more comment as this is really going to be the issue in the next election. By the way Happy New Year Paul.

      • There’s nothing “stark” about the choices. They are all pretty clear.
        You have the NDP, who continue to promote policies that have NEVER worked anywhere, nor ever will.
        You have the Liberals who have proven repeatedely that they are the most corrupt political party this country has ever seen; only now with a figurehead leader who can’t speak freely without showing how useless a twat he really is
        Vote Green….nah, won’t hapen.
        Vote Conservative, and keep the economy on track, make sensible decisions (for the most part) about trade and finance, face up to the anti-semitism at the UN (and in Canada’s left wing) and support the only civilized country in the mIddle east…etc..etc…
        You don’t have to like Harper……you just have to know what the alterantives really are.
        Choice is clear for people who pay taxes and want to live their lives as they see fit.
        If on the other hand….you’d rather sit in the park and smoke a joint, or share a spliff with your friends between classes….with not thoughts that extend beyond that immediate gratification….then Trudeau’s your man.

        • Am hoping you don’t get to vote in the Toronto mayoral race. We’ve enough blinkered partisans.

        • “You have the NDP, who continue to promote policies that have NEVER worked anywhere, nor ever will.”

          And Harper is continuing to push Reaganomics “trickle down” theory lite, something that also has been shown to have never worked; well except for the rich few.

          Mandatory minimum sentences – even the USA admits these were terrible, and
          A war against drugs that has done nothing but enrich gangsters.

          Okay then.

          • So what economic model would the NDP or Liberals propose?

          • Libs will just offer the usual pro-corporatist sucking up with a smile and the NDP will do likewise with heartfelt promises to help the needy, which will always be slated for tomorrow.
            There is very little to choose between the parties they are all bought and paid for and it matters not who gets in the status quo is assured, it has been paid for. The only difference is the speed at which we will be sold to China and global corporations and whether our water and environment will be rendered polluted before someone notices.
            The Harper Cons are just a more reckless version of the Libs, who in themselves are more reckless than the NDP. But unlike he CPoC and LPoC, the NDP have no track record of being venal, corrupt charlatans so should at least be given the benefit of that doubt.

          • So what you’re saying is that you don’t have any answers?

            Or am I to take away from your rant that since we’ll be sold to China, we should emulate their communist economy?

          • How are things on Pluto?? We already are being sold out to Communist China..

          • You’ll take what you want from my comment as usual.

            We already are emulating China and that’s the big joke about the far right and their flagellation of Trudeau. We have rule by decree, no discussion of bills in parliament and centralised control of the party in both houses by unelected PMO Kommissars.
            All this fuss about Trudeau via the PMO spin machine is pure hyperbole on behalf of the most totalitarian government Canada has seen in recent years.

          • Again …..let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear Mr. Speaker, the model would be the one that the Liberals set up that got us into the melt down with a surplus, and with strong banking regulations helped us weather it.

          • What has the current government changed about the way the economy works from what the Liberals were doing, or the Conservatives before them, or the Liberals before them?

            Canada has a free market economy (for the most part). What would the Liberals or NDP change about that?

          • Again, let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear Mr. Speaker.

            So, what your saying is, it doesn’t really matter who’s in office as long as it is the party you support,Rick? That pretty much tells us that all your rantings are just that rants. You might as well be Rick Mercer LOL, you just shot yourself in the big fat foot. LOL, Rick you’ve put your so far into your mouth you’re kicking yourself in the ass LOL

          • So you can’t answer the question, fine.

            And yes, I prefer the party I support to be in power. Is that a strange idea to you?

          • I answered your question, I can’t help your comprehension level, sorry. Yet you said it doesn’t matter who’s in power, so why vote?

          • Trade with Communist China is fine. However, what Harper is doing with Red China, is not trade. If you know anything about, Harper’s FIPA deal with China? Or perhaps, Harper’s Omni-Bull-S-Bill that permits China to sue Canada if, anyone tries to block China’s takeover of Canada.

            You had better be damned careful, of what you wish for.

          • We already know? It was another Canadian PM, that saved our Canadian bacon.

          • To keep Canadian jobs for Canadians. Harper is bringing thousands from China for, the Northern BC mining plan Harper has sold our Canadian farms to China. China paid for 800 hectares at Prince Rupert. That is where China is building their LNG plants.

            All we ask for is honesty. For what is good for the country, provinces and Canadians. We are sick to death of Harper’s lies, deceit, thefts, corruption, dirty politics, dirty tactic and cheating to win.

            Harper is in the lowest form of, the human species.

        • The best description I’ve ever heard for Harpernomics was on the Jon Stewart show. It goes something like this: You’re sitting next to rich guy at a bar that keeps drinking your drinks until he pukes into your glass.

          • The fact that you get your economic analysis from a comedian says more than the fact that you’re comparing the nations economy to two alcoholics at a bar.

          • The fact that a comedian has more of a grasp on describing the economic acumen of a graduate economist than the University of Calgary, speaks volumes about the quality of business schools to produce real world economists. Most business schools should just rename themselves to religious cults and accept what they are.

          • Ya, business people and economists are all a bunch of idiots. They should realize it’s so much easier to just collect welfare checks from the government, smoke weed and play video games all day.

            What a bunch of rubes.

          • They kind of do receive welfare already.
            Incentives, tax relief, commissions, no bid contracts, charity exemptions etc.

          • I’m comparing Harper economics to one person not being allowed to drink until the heavy drinker pukes up what he’s going to get for working his ass off. Not at all what I would like to have for our economy but that is what we have.

          • You got all that from that post, someone drinks and pukes, and you assume he’s an alcoholic, watch your ankles when jumping to conclusions. Typical con assessment of a situation, don’t look any further as to whether the guy had something to eat that didn’t agree with him, he drank, he puked, he’s and alcoholic, now I know why Harper says the base wouldn’t understand. Perfectly clear, crystal clear even.

          • We all know? Harper’s economic and job action plans never made it off, the billboard of Hockey Night in Canada.

            Harper’s economic plan is selling Canada out to Communist China. Harper’s job action plan is also for, giving our resource jobs to Red China.

        • Actually, people are pretty free to smoke a joint in this country, even under Harper. The police have better things to do than prosecute people for having a few grams of weed on them. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

          The whole concept of kids with criminal records because they tried smoking a joint one time is a total straw man that was setup by Trudeau to rationalize becoming the countries dope-dealer.

        • I would vote for Attila the Hun if, he was running against Harper. Canada is being sold out to Communist China. Oil sands, mines, Canadian farms, NG and our timber. Harper is mulling a massive Chinese resource project in our High Arctic. Harper also signed a deal with, the Communist China Army. Harper is going to force the Enbridge into BC. However, Harper’s Red China Army, is what it will take to do so.

    • Really hollinm, you are dumbing down your comments below the bar. 1) Wells repeatedly gives Harper a ton of credit. First as an outstanding politician (which I agree with), Second as a half decent leader (I give no credit for the GST cut; I would give a ton of credit for CETA except I don’t really believe Harper had a lot to do with it). To make your life simpler, let me explain., Wells above has written an article that explains that while Harper has had a tough year especially with the media, it would be foolish to underestimate him and he still stands a decent chance of pulling out the next election. … YOU AGREE WITH HIM!

      On another note, there was a time when you didn’t stoop to idiotic name manipulation and tried to make points that were a little deeper than superficial. Pre-CETA, most Conservatives would point to Harper’s reunification of the right as his greatest political achievement. It was impressive because it removed the greatest structural problem of the Conservative/Reform parties. Trudeau has actually done something remarkably similar. A year ago, many (including Wells I believe) were openly speculating about the future viability of the Liberal party. The Liberal’s biggest structural problem was financial; they were so far in debt they ran away from votes that could cause an election looking like hypocrites in the process. They then got hammered by the eternal-campaign-between-elections of the Conservatives. Trudeau has the Liberals flush with cash & turned the first round of Conservative attack ads back on the Conservatives causing a change in their strategy.

      • Let me get this straight. Canada inks the largest free trade agreement in 25 years, and you “don’t really believe Harper had a lot to do with it”? You think this is the type of thing that bored bureaucrats just come up with on their own? For God’s sake, Harper’s made free trade one of his major policy planks since the beginning of time!

        • As recently as a year ago, many associated with the process were imploring that Harper get personally involved. (It was reasonably widely reported) I am not saying Harper was against the process, just that he didn’t put a lot of his personal brand at stake during the iffy parts of the negotiation.

          There is no doubt we will hear much more about Harper’s role in closing the negotiation from the Conservatives. You will believe all of it; I will require convincing. If the Conservatives have a strong narrative it would go a long way towards Harper holding onto power in the next election.

          • And who do you think made it happened? I know Ed Fast worked hard, but you can bet Harper worked very hard in the background. He’s just not the kind to take all the credit, as opposed to some other leaders.

          • The Prime Minister of Canada’s job is not to personally negotiate each line item of a trade agreement. That’s what cabinet ministers and our sprawling bureaucracy are for.

            The Prime Ministers job is to set the direction of the government, in Harper’s case he’s been adamantly pro-trade. Mulcair is anti-trade. Trudeau is for some trade, against other trade, depending on if the Canadiens need a top-2 defenceman (Justin: it’s not that kind of trade).

            CETA was entirely initiated by Harper. It’s amazing how you partisan Liberals can place the blame for one of his staffers writing a $90k cheque to reimburse taxpayers at Harpers feet, yet you won’t give him credit for Canada’s biggest trade agreement in over 20 years. Truly. Amazing.

          • Harper has been shut out of his own office by underlings no one voted for so he would have no idea what he went to Europe and signed.

          • Other countries don’t like Harper, and he knows that. That is why Harper had to stay in the background. Harper’s ministers were afraid Harper would screw it up and he did. There are European countries, that will not accept Harper. That trade deal, is still not for certain.

          • I will require convincing critical analysis from the experts having formulated and reported on all the variables (permutations and combinations) of the, as yet to be ratified with the EU, deal – most Canadians are an educated lot and are capable of visualizing the pros and cons of any such agreement and making an informed choice that must be considered when the future of this country and our progeny are at stake.

        • Rick, it doesn’t matter what HARPER does. The guy could find a cure for Cancer, AIDS, and the flu……..and the Canadian media would pile on and accuse him of taking Jobs away from Canadian Health care workers.
          If however, he appoints a senator who expenses too much for his housing allowance…..then “off with his head”
          Much better to have a pot-smoking pretty boy with an IQ in the double digits lead the economy.
          Don’t bother trying to point out the obvious to Harper haters….you’ll never get them off the bandwagon.

          • There were a few other things. Like cheating in elections.

          • We need a PM that actually knows what is going on in his own office. Even his underlings don’t trust him with information any more or maybe never did and it’s just getting exposed now.

          • Trouble is James those of us that oppose the Harper government and Harper himself all know far too well that the last thing Harper would ever be spending his time doing is trying to find cures for sick people. That’s likely why a whole lot of us just don’t like him.

          • Good gawd!! If Harper was doing such a good job for Canada, no-one would hate him. Selling Canada out to China, is not doing a good job.

            And, as much as you don’t want to admit, Harper is selling Canada, our resources, resource jobs and all to China.

        • If Harper has no idea of what is going on in his own office I expect Nigel Wright and Jenny Bryne made the deal.

          • Are you referring to the deal to repay taxpayers?

          • No “deal” is necessary if you’d like to “repay taxpayers”. I’m pretty sure you can cut a cheque straight to the CRA.

          • Like Nigel Wright did, you mean? If it’s really that simple, then why haven’t the Liberals repaid the money they stole during the Sponsorship Scandal?

          • “Like Nigel Wright did, you mean?”

            So there was no deal made?
            You may have missed a few things on the news in the past 6 months.

          • Another version of the story is it? Didn’t Wright cut a personal cheque?

    • There you go again, Mervin, telling us what Canadians will and won’t be looking for.

      Who ordained you to speak on our behalf?

      • Oh knock it off. Is this all you got to say?

        • I’m a sixth generation Canadian. I’ll knock it off when you stop presuming to speak on my behalf.

          You are, without doubt, less informed concerning what “Canadians will…” or “will not be looking for” than professional pollsters who base their insights on actual research, and the most respected among them don’t claim to have such knowledge.

          So speak for yourself and leave the rest of us out of your judgements, please and thanks.

          • You say what you want to say and I will say what I want to say. Its still a free country. I could care less what you think let alone what you have to say. Like I say knock it off. Arrogance is not a very attractive trait for one to have.

          • If you’re referring to the arrogance of habitually presuming to speak for others, I agree. You really should try to stop doing that. It’s unbecoming.

    • Well? The other leaders did not cheat to win the election. Nor, is Harper any Conservative, what-so-ever. Harper even lied about that.

      I guess you didn’t know, Harper laid out his policies nine days before the election. No Political leader lays out their policies, this far from election day.

    • Harper is an idiot like the rest. None of them represent the people that make this country work.

      We are just economic slaves of state, no other options exist on the ballot other than who gets more of our money for doing little for it.

  3. Didn’t really expect much else from Wells or a magazine that admits it publishes pictures of Trudeau to sell itself, not for any real newsworthy reason. Plus as usual the Parliament Hill Press Gallery types continue to try and punish the the PM for ignoring them. You get these kind of articles from all the usual suspects and of course the Fife and Milewski types cry almost daily that Harper won’t talk to them.

    I look forward to the 2015 election and photos of Trudeau and Mulcair with Chief Spence, videos of Trudeau in his I’ll support Quebec Separatlion mode, as well as the many Angry Tom espisodes available. As well, I’ll delight in reminding the Liberals of their Senator Mac Harb’s resignation, Laviigne in jail, Colin Kenney under investigation for alleged sexual offences and of course the ongoing trial of Cheretien buddy Corriveau will no doubt bring the whole Sponsership Scandal back into the headlines. This should be a fun time and no doubt Mr. Harper and his tacticians will enjoy it to the fullest.

    • You are the photo-child for the Harper gang mentality. You are wringing your hands in anticipation of the smear campaign. By now I think the shit has piled very high in the Harper corner and could out smell any previous scandal. And if you think mistaking Mulcair’s passion for this country as anger then you underestimate how Canadian’s feel about someone willing to actually put the country first. The reason Trudeau senior was loved by so many Canadians, me included, even though he was never perfect, was his obvious love of Canada and people knew he did things from that place. Harper and his following are here to destroy that. I think many more Canadians are finally starting to get that. You didn’t have a hidden agenda, you don’t even know how to create an agenda, your party has a hidden rage toward this country that is now exposed.

      • Personally, I am absolutely looking forward to the smear campaign that’ll hit Trudeau. It’ll make the Star’s reporting on Rob Ford look like Harper’s wafer-gate. You don’t spend 2 decades as an over-privileged trust fund baby without throwing a few skeletons in your closet.

        Of course, you think it’s great for the media to run a year-long smear campaign against Harper, but Harper running a smear campaign against Trudeau is VERY VERY BAD. Maybe you’ll see the hypocrisy in that, I doubt it, but maybe.

        Trudeau Sr. absolutely screwed this country financially. For decades. We’re still running deficits entirely because of what he did as PM. He didn’t do it because he loved Canada, he did it because he loved power. He robbed the West to pay off voters in the East. Plain and simple. How is that a “love for Canada”? Trudeau, while loved by many in the East, was the worst PM this country’s ever had. You think Harper’s divisive? HA!

        I will agree with you that the “Angry Tom” is stupid. But that’s a moniker that’s coming only from Liberals. As a conservative, I think a leader should get angry when it’s warranted. Unlike Trudeau, who just smokes another joint and ignores the problem.

        As for accusing the Conservative Party of Canada of hating Canada, well that’s just plain stupid. You might view “Canada” as an ever increasing welfare state where the productive just fork over increasing amounts of their hard work to the lazy, but fortunately most of Canada doesn’t see it that way.

        • Kind of rich for you to accuse Tom of being angry . . .

          • I’m not “accusing” him of being angry. I simply stated that sometimes it’s appropriate for a leader to be angry. Anger is a natural human emotion, it’s neither a good nor a bad thing, it’s just something we have to deal with as humans. Frankly, I’d actually be impressed if Trudeau were able to demonstrate that he was capable of being legitimately angry, instead of the feigned outrage that he shows off. But I guess that’s all one can ask for from a failed drama teacher.

            I also don’t think Mulcair’s anger clouds his judgement. He seems to be a pretty focused guy, even if his focus is on the wrong things.

          • Well the rant about Trudeau Sr was pretty spittle flecked, at that point I would say anger is probably not a good thing.

          • Trudeau nearly bankrupted the country. If that’s not enough to get angry about, consider this: Stephen Harper only left the Liberal Party of Canada because he was so outraged at Trudeau’s National Energy Program. If it weren’t for Trudeau’s economic incompetence, Harper might be playing for your team today. Is that cause for outrage?

          • bankrupted the country . . . as did virtually all OECD governments of the day, and it would have been interesting to see whether the alternative parties would have performed any better. Whoever was there, we would be cursing to this day.

            As for Stephen Harper . . . wouldn’t want him on my team, he can’t even skate. Kidding aside, his conversion to being anti Liberal is probably more indicative of being in an environment that was incessantly so, and that (at the time at least) he did not have the intellectual fortitude to stand up for pan-Canadian principles and instead joined the chorus singing from the Alberta-centric songbook. But somehow I suspect Stephen Harper would have cast his lot with whatever would propel him to power, so when in Alberta there’s really only one choice.

          • That Alberta-centric songbook you talk about was, in fact, a songbook that was simply trying to stop raiding Alberta’s wealth to fund cheaper gas prices in Ontario. That’s pan-Canadian to you?

          • Yet Alberta still ended up with enormous wealth, can you not see that a benefit of some redistribution is to help sustain other parts of the country in difficult times (apart from social assistance).

            There have been times when Alberta was on the receiving end, did anyone complain then? And don’t forget the tax breaks, and investments into Syncrude by the feds and the Ontario government in 1975. . .

            And anyways what did Alberta do with all that wealth? Its not like they have been responsible stewards of it.

          • You must be kidding – 618 billion in debt is good? – Since when?

          • Did I say it was good?

            No.

            I said it was a common predicament of all Western economies of that era.

          • See how little control Harper has for diplomacy. He’s holding a grudge from years ago against not getting his own way. Same reason he left the PCs and the CA.

          • Control for diplomacy? Holding a grudge against a series of events? I know it’s Friday, but are you drinking already? Or just smoking some of Trudeau’s government weed?

          • Goodbye – I will debate only facts – Not political propaganda

          • Goodbye, I guess?

          • “Trudeau nearly bankrupted the country.”

            And yet record debt under Harper is somehow a good thing? I didn’t know there was “left” and “right” debt…

          • Everything he said about Trudeau Sr. is true. As Johnny Rotten once said, “good riddance to bad rubbish”!

        • I take it you’ve spoken to MOST Canadians personally in order to post this comment full of what you will call facts and some won’t.

          • Got it. You think Canadians want to give their money to lazy people. Then why doesn’t Justin Trudeau just come out and campaign on the idea that he’ll increase taxes on workers so fewer people have to work to get by?

          • So you have spoken to MOST Canadians eh, I think I’ll call the B.S. card at this time. You’ve just proven to be unable to deal with facts, and live in “your” reality. Oh, and if adscam was 40 million, then that would be about 10 million less than Tony Gazebo diverted from boarder services to sprinkle pixy dust all over his riding.

          • I don’t need to speak to MOST Canadians to know what they believe. I believe MOST Canadians don’t want to die tomorrow, and I don’t need to talk to them, or conduct a poll to figure it out. It’s human nature. People don’t go to work every day so that they can make some stranger’s life better. They do it to provide for themselves and their family. Charitable people give to charities or volunteer their time, they don’t ask the government to take more from them to do as the government sees fit.

          • Again…. let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear, Mr. Speaker, So YOU believe, LOL, what most Canadians believe, well I believe that all the latest polling, which is far more scientific than your assumptions, paints a far different picture than you are suggesting, but hey, it is your reality and you live in it.

          • Can you please point me to a poll that indicates that Canadians want to work harder so others don’t have to?

          • Most Canadians under the Harper regime are working harder so that the 1% can live off of their sweat.

          • If that were true, everybody would quit working.

          • A simplistic answer, but not at all surprising.

          • …and starve? We’re wage slaves Rick: we resent the 1% but we need food and shelter. And want the odd toy (the carrot in the equation).

          • You could have just said SQUIRREL Rick, but nice try any ways. You just won a free game, try again.

          • Okay, that doesn’t even make a bit of sense.

            SQUIRREL!

          • That’s better Rick, Squirrel just means look over there as to distract from what one was doing , now run along.

          • Let’s not forget the billion dollar boondoggle of the G8 summit held in downtown Toronto or the thousands of citizens attempting to exercise their franchise of protesting in the streets and being arrested for this activity – love the reference to Tony ‘Gazebo’ Clement – the th-scoundrel-ief now in charge of the Treasury Board!

        • Go to the Canadian taxpayers federation and get facts before you post this trollop

        • “Personally, I am absolutely looking forward to the smear campaign
          that’ll hit Trudeau. It’ll make the Star’s reporting on Rob Ford look
          like Harper’s wafer-gate.”

          That’s interesting that you prefer smear to facts; interesting but not surprising.

          • In his defence, he has no idea what the word “smear” means, along with the greater part of the English lexicon.

          • Indeed
            He also has a hard time with facts and what factual evidence actually means

          • You can smear a person with facts. Every time the Conservatives point out an inconvenient fact about Trudeau, like his support for the Chinese form of dictatorship, or his trust fund baby lifestyle, or the fact that he’s a hipster pot-head, it’s characterized as a “smear”.

          • “You can smear a person with facts”.

            “…the fact that he’s a hipster pot-head…”

            Oh, the hilariously unintended irony!
            Hahahahaha!

          • Are you suggesting he’s not a hipster pot head?

          • You called it a “fact”. I’m sure you have proof.
            *snort*

          • He’s a pot head. He smokes pot. He’s admitted it. You want me to go find the roach and do a DNA test? Are you suggesting he was lying when he said he smokes pot?

          • Ah, I see. You thought “pot head” was a term for anyone who’s ever used marijuana, when in fact it refers to a habitual user.

            You don’t have to thank me, but that’s three terms I’ve taught you the correct use of just today!

            And you thought I had nothing to contribute to you.

          • Like calling a person who has a beer or glass of wine an alcoholic.
            Typical attack ad style. Maybe Canadians are starting to catch on finally.

          • By that standard, Harper is a raging alcoholic.

          • If it’s a deliberately dishonest interpretation then it is a smear.
            But dishonesty and you and for that matter the PMO are not distant bedfellows after all are they?

        • By the number of down votes you just got on such a small sampling you may want to rethink that last line – Most people are fed up with Harper, maybe if he left then the conservatives could get another majority.

    • I think you and the cons need to come to terms with the sponsorship program, and get over it, it was 8 years ago. I now understand why this author likes to write love letters about harper, he has to pander to harpers base(30%) if he wants to sell his book because the other 70% of the electorate don’t need to read his book to know about harper. everyone new nigel wright was the strategist inside the PMO, not harper. Wells shoud’ve wrote a book about nigel wright, more people would’ve bought it.

      • Sponsorhsip was TWENTY years ago, it didn’t come to light for several years.

        • I’m waiting for something similar to erupt eventually over all the EAP ads . . . big money being spent to make them and buy the ad time . . .

          • I’m sure your waiting for a lot of things, like unicorns to show up in your front yard.

          • Well that will surely happen much sooner than a cogent argument from you.

          • Touché . . .

          • As Calandra says all the time, Again Rick unicorns only exist in “YOUR” reality.

        • The money was never paid back to taxpayers, and many of the guilty parties involved in the scam are still on the loose. If you want people to get over the Sponsorship Scandal, tell your party to pay the f*(#$ing money back!

          • At least they didn’t reward their lawbreakers with Senate appointments.

        • whatever !

      • No we will not get over adscam until the missing $40 million is recovered. Charging Corriveau is just part of that ongoing puzzle. The Senate scandal is piker stuff compared to adscam and the amount of money that was misappropriated if not outright stolen was a lot more than anything in the Senate scandal. I would remind you that Mac Harb a liberal paid back $231K for expenses he charged up while a senator. On the other hand the Senate scandal that the media is dining on was as a result of the taxpayers being repaid money that was taken by Duffy inappropriately if not illegally. Hardly comparable.

        • I guess when you support crime it then becomes moral to justify it by how big the crime is does it? Crime is crime and immoral is a character flaw that attracts the Harper crowd to the same dark room like a magnet.

          • Where is the crime committed? The taxpayers were paid back the money that was taken. The rest is speculation.

          • This illegitimate government was created on a crime. They illegally overspent by over a million dollars in the 2006 election campaign and still “scraped” into power. How many crimes does one have to list for you to admit they are crimes? Or are crimes only things committed by people you don’t like? You need to find a moral compass buddy because you are completely lost whenit comes to knowing right and wrong.

          • Not to mention threatening a GG with mobs in the streets.

          • Harper was “charged with contempt of Parliament”? When was the conviction? What was the penalty?

            I know you don’t really understand democracy, but voters choose our government, not un-elected judges. Maybe Justin Trudeau can run on a platform of having a hand-selected group of experts choose our governments in perpetuity, much like his Communist friends in China who have a system of government that he adores so much.

          • What crime is that, and where are the charges and convictions?

          • The court case was kept in the courts by the Harper party long enough for them to throw two more dubious elections. One brought on by Harper proroguing to avoid a confidence vote. Harper was charged with contempt of Parliament. Talk about avoiding democracy. The party plea bargained for a measly fine of 52 grand. Power comes cheap for the Harper criminals. Then two of the people charged in the case Findlay and Gerstein were appointed straight in to the now infamous senate. If you knew this and have no problem with it then you have no moral compass either and if you didn’t know it then you need to do some homework.

          • Adscam: Where are the charges and convictions? You like to continually throw that up as evidence the current Libs (none of whom were involved in that) are corrupt, despite the lack of charges and convictions. CPC members, and the party itself, have been convicted. And then there are all the morally dubious doings that probably should be illegal… like misappropriating border security funds to build gazebos…

          • The acts that were taken around this whole expense scandal are being looked at as a crime. As for Harper telling Canadians he had no knowledge of it is another crime in my opinion. He’s the PM (illegitimate though he is), and his staff has taken over his responsibilities. Why? And they don’t tell him. Why? Is Harper really that incompetent that people we didn’t elect are doing his job behind his back? Do you not see how bad that looks to anyone that doesn’t support this crowd?

          • The only people supporting crime are the people who vote for Liberals. They never paid back the money stolen from taxpayers in the Sponsorship Scandal. The Ontario Liberals to this day continue to rob taxpayers to fund their own electoral “success”. Stealing from taxpayers to fund the party is how the Liberals have always operated. It’s not an error that happens from time to time within the party, it’s a key function of the way the party operates.

          • Rick, call the cops I’ll even give you the number, 911, let them know to drive to Queen’s Park and arrest all the Liberals, feel better now?

          • The RCMP are already investigating the Liberals in Ontario. I don’t need to call the cops. By the way, 911 is for emergencies only. I hope you’re not harassing them when you get grumpy about something the government does. You could be costing lives.

          • Let be clear, crystal clear, I may be wrong Rick, something you and the cons are unable to do admit, but I believe it is the OPP doing the investigating, do try and stay up to date, it only happened a few months ago.

          • My bad. OPP, not RCMP. I should have simply stated that the “police” are investigating the Liberals.

          • What a weak argument.

          • A weak argument from me is acceptable and I can take responsibility for it. A weak, irresponsible, incompetent illegitimate PM Harper is something to be very very concerned about.

        • The difference is one of degree. Unless you are saying that people should vote for the thief who only stole $100.00?

          See, the point is that the PMO has been lying to Canadians, and Harper is smack dab in the middle of all that. The fact that you and yours keep pointing to Adscam to say that is worse only demonstrates your desperation.

          • I did not point to adscam but merely addressed the comments of another poster who told us cons to forget about adscam. However, there is a lot of speculation about why Wright would have paid back Duffy’s expenses. The PM said he did not know and until it is proven otherwise I will accept his version. Interesting it is now considered a crime to make the taxpayer whole.

          • The PMO has given several different versions of what happened, as has the PM. I wonder if you can tell us which version you believe?

            And you do point to Adscam, because for some reason you think we should compare the Senate scandal to it and that in doing so the Senate scandal is not as bad. That really says a lot about your values.

          • You didn’t read my reply well. I know its a new year and its cold.
            Yep its a real scandal when taxpayers are paid money that was illegally claimed. What does it matter? Unless it is proven that Duffy got some benefit there is no scandal. Do I think the government could have been more forthcoming you bet.

          • You are the one having trouble reading.

            The scandal is the lies. Get it? The LIES.

            It is only desperation that forces you to point to the difference in degree, in the hopes of distracting us from the LIES.

          • The RCMP would not be involved if it were as simple as you make it out to be. Duffy was given the money with strings attached (basically, that he would stop making a scene). That possibly constitutes bribery of a public official, and THAT is the problem here. There’s also the matter of potential interference with an audit. And Duffy did benefit: at the end of the day he was able to gain 90K in benefits that most everyone agrees he had no entitlement to. I can’t believe you’re naturally that dense, so I’ll assume you’re trying to spin this with the insultingly simplistic suggestion that it’s only about repaying taxpayer dollars.

          • If Duffy was given the money to stop making a scene, then why did he only start making a scene after he was given the money? Duffy’s a serial liar and it couldn’t be more obvious. Yet you Liberals look to him as if he’s revealing something that’s not completely fabricated. If Duffy runs as a Liberal in the next election, would you vote for him?

          • and who appointed the serial liar? who appointed Wallin? Brazeau?
            Where does that buck stop Rick?

          • Obviously Harper. Which is why he had them suspended without pay. How can he take more responsibility than that?

          • According to Harper himself, the senate is an independent body, yet HE had them suspended, pushing his weight around a little wouldn’t you say.

            Harper could have not appointed them in the first place, Harper’s judgement of character leaves a lot to be desired. He’s becoming famous for picking criminals for important positions.

            Harper, he’s in over his head.

          • Yes. The Prime Minister of Canada does have some political clout. I also suspect that every Conservative member of the Senate wanted them gone because they were crooks and an embarrassment to the institution and the party.

            It says more about the Liberals that they wanted to keep the crooked Senators sitting in the red chamber so that they could hopefully make some political hey out of it, despite the fact that they would cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Just goes to show how much respect the Liberals have for taxpayers.

          • Let be be clear, crystal clear Rick, the liberals wanted them to have due process followed, something Harper is not really big on.

          • When you find out an employee is stealing from the business, you don’t wait for the court’s to convict that employee before you fire him. Due process wasn’t hindered at all, the Senate was just being proactive.

          • Let me be clear, crystal clear Rick, if due process had been followed and the senators found guilty, they could be fired and not just suspended,with benefits. Harper wanted to be seen as doing something and he was doing something, but it was wrong then and still is.

          • Or they might have been acquitted and gotten away with bilking taxpayers for a few hundred grand, and set a very bad precedent. As far as the taxpayer is concerned, there is zero difference between having them fired or having them suspended without pay. Except that our wonderful legal system probably would have had them entitled to severance pay if they’d been fired.

            But I know, you don’t care about the taxpayer, you only care about playing politics, taxpayers be damned.

          • Again….let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear Mr. Speaker.
            I am a tax payer, so you assume all tax payers are as dim as the con base that even Harper said wouldn’t understand. If they are entitled to severance pay than so be it. Harper also said that Wright would get was coming to him….severance pay perhaps.

          • You have something against acquittals, decided by a jury?

          • Yes, a very bad precedent indeed! I mean, the Senate is where Harper normally sends his criminal associates; how can he possibly reward those who commit their crimes while already in the Senate? Quite the conundrum, I must say…

          • And the fact that they saw no problem wheeling Joyce Fairburn into the senate chamber for votes AFTER she was diagnosed with dementia.

          • Rick Omen??
            Are you one of Harpers 1500 payed scribes that are here solely to mess up the news stories??
            If so,you must be making a mint tonight. And?? I have not heard one true statement from you in this entire column. You are proving yourself to have come from the same “liar school ” that Harper was tutored by.
            You simply cannot be this dense or stupid. Comprehension seems to be a huge problem for you. Desperation is showing my friend.

          • Ah… so you admit that Harper is controlling the Senate? That the PMO is illegally directing its actions? Thanks for the confirmation, Dick!

          • “If Duffy runs as a Liberal in the next election, would you vote for him?”

            No.

          • I think the briber and the bribee both get benefit from the transaction.

          • How did Nigel and Duffy benefit? They’re both out of a job and the Prime Minister of Canada has publicly shamed them.

          • After they were discovered, sure.

            But before?

            Duffy was ‘made whole’ by somehow extorting money from the CPC and Wright.

            Wright, to the extent he identified the success of the CPC with his own personal benefit, would have benefited by keeping a star fundraiser in place . . . how selfless is that?,

          • You think Duffy was a star fundraiser after being exposed for cheating on his expenses? Perhaps you Liberals hold people who steal from taxpayers in high regard (how much does Chretien get for a speech?) but Conservatives typically have more respect for taxpayers and wouldn’t likely show up to an event hosted by a serial liar.

            It’s pretty clear that the Conservatives, and Harper, just wanted Duffy to go away. Nigel effed up big time trying to make that happen, but suggesting he was receiving some personal benefit from it is absolutely preposterous.

          • Yes, he was a star fundraiser, and had this all broken in the direction the CPC would have initially preferred he would have continued to do so.

            I don’t think conservatives are somehow genetically superior in that they respect taxpayers more than others . . . how do they explain Peter Mackay’s use of forces resources, Harper’s jetting down to the US to watch hockey, Clement’s gazebos, . . .yet they continue to be staunchly supported and defended by party members (as were Duffy and Wallin in the early stages of their travails)

            i have no regard at all for those who steal from taxpayers, I don’t know why you continue to baselessly insult other commenters when you can make good points (as I have found out, i admit).

            As for showing up at events hosted by a serial liar . .. why do they still attend events where the PM speaks?

          • Mackay’s helicopter ride didn’t cost taxpayers a dime, they were doing a training exercise anyway.

            Harper’s paid for all personal travel out of his own pocket. This has been widely reported, even though some in the media like to spin it otherwise.

            Clement’s gazebo’s were infrastructure spending. Granted, not what most of us think of when we hear infrastructure. But if that’s what was needed in that community, then that’s where the funds should go. It’s not like Tony Clement’s riding should somehow be exempted from government spending, should it?

          • Clement has never come up with the paperwork for that 50 million he “spent”.

          • So now you’re criticizing him for spending $50M that you’re not sure was actually spent? Is it Clement’s fault that the sky is pink too?

          • “Clement’s gazebo’s were infrastructure spending.”
            Hahahaha! Hohohoho! Stop it Rick – you’re killing me!

            Seriously, the money was earmarked for border security. Show me the border in the Muskokas. Explain to me how gazebos increased security.

          • “Conservatives typically have more respect for taxpayers and wouldn’t likely show up to an event hosted by a serial liar.”

            Thinking of a career in standup, Rick? I nearly busted a gut over that one!

          • More shame to come Rick, but it will be your beloved leader who will be shamed.

          • When did Duffy lose his salary?

          • When he was suspended without pay. You might want to try to keep up, it only happened months ago.

          • Okay, can you tell me what day that pay stopped?

            This is the last I know about what happened to the three senators.

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-votes-to-suspend-brazeau-duffy-wallin-1.2415815

            “The motion for suspending Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau allows the three to keep their health and dental benefits as well as life insurance.

            It’s not clear how soon the three senators’ paycheques would cease to arrive, and how quickly they would have to turn over their parliamentary passes and cellphones.”

            That was in November but it sounds like you have some information many of us don’t.

          • It’s pretty hard for a shameful illegitimate PM to shame someone else. The credibility level is at zero so where did he get to with that?

          • Duffy still has the 90k

          • Duffy has $90k from Nigel, but the taxpayer has been made whole. Obviously it would be best if the $90k had never been claimed in the fist place. Would also be better if the money had been repaid by Duffy himself. But as a matter of government, the taxpayer is not out a dime, and that’s all that counts.

          • Let me be clear Rick, crystal clear, Wright’s cheque was made to the Government of Canada, not Duffy. Please feel free to dispute that, so that means Duffy still has Canadian Tax Payer money.

          • You’re not an accountant, are you? Again, the taxpayer is not out a dime. I don’t care who’s money Duffy has. I only care that the government of Canada isn’t out any money because of him, and it’s not.

          • Apparently Harper the economist isn’t very good with numbers, he went over Wallin’s expenses and said they were ok. So you, like Harper, are ok with Duffy having 90k that does not belong to him, as long as he was useful to the party, but now that he’s not, boot him to the curb. Those straws you and Harper are grasping at won’t hold you up very long, but go ahead, make a fool of yourself.

          • I don’t care if Duffy scammed Wright out of $90k. It’s none of my business when it doesn’t involve taxpayers money. Are you similarly outraged that I bought my buddy dinner last week for no real reason other than I felt like doing something nice for him?

          • No I’m not upset, because I doubt you have any buddies.

          • Yes it is. Harper appointed an illegitimate person, well at least three of them into the senate. The Harper party should be reimbursing tax payers for not just the 90 grand but for wages, benefits and expenses incurred by these three people.

          • So the investigation, the audit, the huge amounts of time and effort expended in both Houses on the issue. the salaries of the 13 who conspired to “fix” the problem and keep it from Harper (can’t believe I wrote that lat bit with a straight face) … none of this is on the taxpayers’ dime?

          • Duffy doesn’t have a pot to pee in, which is the most surprising thing.

          • Yes, currently, Nigel Wright is being investigated by the RCMP for the crime of making the taxpayer whole….seriously? Seriously? Is that what you need to tell yourself to disconnect with reality? Give it up; I am embarrassed for you.

          • I’d vote for the party who stole $1000, copped to it and became the first party to investigate its own behavior before I’d vote for the people who stole $100 and laughed in my face about it.

          • What if the amount was $40,000,000?
            Or in the case of the Provincial Liberals….$5,000,000,000,000
            (Gas plants, and other assorted fiasco’s)
            And it will be much higher as the full impact of the Green Energy Act kicks in.

          • Ooops….please get rid of three 0′s here.

          • I’ve always under stood the unpaid $40,000,000 to be a CPC lie and have never been shown anything to the contrary. it was somelthing like $3 million and the known guilty parties were punished (new charges are apparently forthcoming recently against some new poeple_.

          • HAHAHA. “the guilty parties were punished” followed by new charges. So maybe they weren’t punished after all.

            Personally, I’ll be satisfied when the Liberal Party of Canada actually pays the money back to taxpayers. But considering it hasn’t happen after 10 years, I’m not holding my breath.

          • Ah, go ahead, hold your breath.

          • Like I just said, not until the Liberals pay back taxpayers.

          • Like I said, let me be clear, crystal clear, hold your breath.

          • I guess if every conservative on the planet was dead you might be able to win an argument. Is that what you’re going for?

          • Again….. let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear Mr. Speaker. In the words of your dear leader, I DON”T CARE

          • I wonder if the liberals have repaid the 40 different banks they borrowed from to finance the last election.

          • You deliberately left out a key word there, Dick – GFMD said “known guilty parties”.

            Typical CPC slimeball misquote.

          • Stay with the program J.,

          • You seem to be conflating Federal and Ontario Liberals. Two entirely different entities. It’s like blaming you for the holdup your cousin committed.

          • Actually Gayle, the PMO….was lying to the PM. That’s the story, and that’s why people lost their jobs.
            You don’t keep things from the “Big Guy” and expect to stay employed. Of course, the CBC equates the story about DUffy with the sponsorship scandal…and the low-information voters will believe it.

          • Oh, but apparently you can trick our poor, trusting pm and still keep your job! Just as Jenni Byrne and Ray Novak! The “Big Guy” is out of the loop, James, he hasn’t a clue what happens around him. We need a pm who wields some power and knowledge, not some empty suit who is so easily tricked by his junior staffers.

          • Of course. The PM should be a micro-manager.

          • Every indication says he is, when convenient

          • Yes, the media calls him a micro-manager when it’s convenient for their narrative. I’ve never seen any actual indication that this is true, however.

          • The CNIB called, there looking for you, your white cane is in .

          • Provide a single example. Or are you blind too?

          • Let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear Mr. Speaker. You provide all the examples with your rants of what is wrong with your party, and bye the way, I don’t belong to any party.

          • When every statement made by a party member has to be vetted by the PMO, I think there may be a weeeeee bit of micro managing going on, but hey who am I to decide.

          • Every statement made by a party member isnt’ vetted by the PMO. Do you actually believe that every card carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada is having the PMO vet every statement they make?

          • That is one version of the story. But at least you had the honesty to call it a “story”.

        • I would remind you sir that it cost the Canadian taxpayers over 50 billion to keep this crowd(harper cons)in office and now they have to sell off taxpayers assets to try and stay in office after 2015. remember the surplus the libs left(13 billion I think), the one your guys pilfered from the treasury.

          • How many elections have been held. Quit living in the past. The electorate has decided. Get over it.

          • Quit living in the past.

            ***

            The painful irony here wil be obvious to all but the most adamant CPC voter.

          • I am sorry, but your “quit living in the past” comment made me spew my coffee. I forgot the Sponsorship Scandal only occurred last week.

          • 2 weeks ago a prominent Liberal was (finally) charged for his roll in stealing millions from taxpayers. Personally, I won’t forget about the Sponsorship Scandal until all those involved have been convicted, and the money repaid to taxpayers.

          • Thank you, hollinm. I trust, then, that you shall never raise Adscam again.

          • You consider tax reductions to be money that’s “pilfered from the treasury”? Please do inform us what tax rate the Liberals would consider to be rightfully and fully the property of the Liberal Party of Canada?

            Jean Chretien was elected on the lie that he was going to scrap the GST. Would it be fair to then say that the Liberals stole 7% of Canadians income for over a decade?

          • the biggest blunder harper ever made was when he dropped the GST, it set the wheels in motion for a major structural deficit(that’s why their unloading Canadas assets to get back to balance, the libs had to sell off assets because of the mulroony debacle) , and you must remember, the libs had to also bail out the treasury from the last con government from driving the country in the red by you know who. he(harper) pilfered the 13 billion the day he got himself elected. so as long as its steve stealing the treasury and no one else, its good to go. this government uses 2 sets of books, the ones they want you to see and the ones they don’t want you to see.

          • Again, giving relief to taxpayers in the form of a GST reduction isn’t “stealing the treasury”. Unless of course you believe that taxes should only ever go up, and never down.

            The Liberals didn’t balance the books by selling any assets either, they simply offloaded their deficit onto the provinces, who are still paying the price for it to this very day. They also did so by utilizing the GST, which was brought in by Mulrooney, despite the fact that they campaigned on scrapping it. They lied and only balanced the books thanks to the hard decisions made by the Conservatives that governed before them.

          • its stealing when your trying to get elected.

          • No, it’s not. No matter how you look at a tax cut, all it’s doing is leaving money in people’s pockets. On what planet can leaving people with their own money be characterized as theft?

          • Pay me now or pay me (plus compound interest) later.

            I’ll take door #1, thanks!

          • Tax reductions that create a structural deficit is robbing me, my children and potential grandchildren via compound interest to make the CPC look good at the time.

        • Let us not forget that there is a conservative who is still 90k ahead of the game, and that would be Duffy. It’s not the amount that is important to people, it is the cover up. An inquiry would absolve everyone, or not.

          • The guilty parties are already known. An “inquiry” would serve no purpose whatsoever. Inquiries are for when some information needs to be found, there is no missing information in this case. What you’re proposing is a show-trial to re-convict those who’ve already been punished for their misdeeds. This is Canada, not Russia. We don’t do show-trials.

          • Let me be clear, crystal clear, perfectly clear, Rick, unless you know something we don’t, the investigation is ongoing, but don’t let that get in the way of your rants.

          • I understand that Duffy is still ahead of the game. However, there is such a thing as karma. He will probably be charged by the RCMP and who knows he may serve jail time. What is the cover up. We all now know that it was Wright who made the payment on behalf of Duffy and I suspect it was to make the problem go away. None of the key players is talking other than Duffy. It sounds like he was blackmailing the party. The party was simply trying to make the problem go away. Harper says he didn’t know and the people in the PMO did what they did and are not talking.

        • What I really find amusing is how you insist the current Liberals are on the hook for illegal activities committed years ago by people long since gone from the party yet simultaneously say Harper is not responsible for the actions of those reporting directly to him. That’s some serious cognitive dissonance.

      • Oh ya, get over the sponsorship scandal. Where the Liberals stole taxpayer funds to fund their election campaigns. Do you think it’s a coincidence that once taxpayer funds stopped funding Liberal election campaigns that they started losing elections?

        Do you think that voters think stealing their money to fund election campaigns is worse than Nigel Wright paying back taxpayers for illegal expense claims? Because the Liberals never paid back the money they stole. I think it’s much easier for voters to get over money that’s been paid back than money that was stolen by Liberals and never repaid. Do you think otherwise?

        • Excuse me Rick!!!
          Gomery cleared the Liberal Party of any invol;vement in that scandal.
          It was keen business execs that manipulated government out of those millions of dollars,NOT the Liberal Party.
          Is that clear??

      • The truth of the Sponsorship scandal will finally come to light in 2014 with Corriveau’s trial. It should be fascinating. Chrétien won’t be a happy puppy, neither will the Liberals.

        • Haven’t you heard? We’re supposed to “get over it”. It’s only millions of taxpayer dollars, not something super important like legalized weed.

          • Or beautiful 50 million dollar gazebos in the Muskokas.

            Let me guess Rick, the down votes are from you LOL

    • The magazine’s main function is to sell itself. They will use a pretty face to do so. The Liberal Party is also benefiting from that pretty face.
      If it takes a pretty face to unseat Harper I will accept that. At least JT will be surrounded by intelligent, seasoned advisors. Harper surrounds himself with children so he’s got his constant little fan club around him.
      It’s definitely gone to his head.

      • Who are these alleged “intelligent, seasoned advisors”? If a vote for Justin Trudeau is a vote for some secret cabal of back-room Liberals, I think Canadians deserve to know who they are, and what self-interests they may be serving.

  4. Justin is a rookie in every sense of the term – lack of experience, accomplishment and gravitas is his hallmark.
    Tom Mulcair has the social movement and government experience (first as a leader in the pro-Canada forces in two referenda, then as senior civil servant and as a cabinet minister) , and accomplishment (leading edge environmental legislation), and gravitas (skewering Harper on a daily basis – something Justin is incapable of doing).
    One can only look forward to both the English and French leader debates in 2015 – especially if Justin is able to paste together a somewhat coherent policy by 2015 – a task in doubt at this time (unless he continues to echo Harper as in the XL export of unprocessed bitumen and therefore value-added Cdn jobs to the U.S.).

    • When Harper was first elected as PM, he was just as much a rookie as Trudeau. I would even say that Trudeau has more years’ insight into politics that Harper has today!Let us not forget that Harper couldn’t care less!

      • You got to be joking. Why does Trudeau have more insight into politics? Because he was raised in 24 Sussex and has the name Trudeau. Give me a break. What has he done in his life that would prepare him to lead the country. Tell me just one serious thing he has done.

        • What did Harper do? Besides being paid to whine about taxes…

          • Hey, he was able to use a dictionary to look up the meaning of “firewall”

        • Not being an ideologue extremist probably helps a bit too. Somebody who doesn’t have much experience in adding two plus two will probably do a better job than the guy who spends years convinced that the answer is five.

          • You need to make more sense.

          • Not at all. Harper’s success has had a great deal to do with being able to jettison a lot of the REform style crap he believed studying in Alberta. Trudeau, being more centrist, doesn’t have that problem.

          • Yes, that’s all one learns studying in Alberta. Reform-style crap. That’s what progressive people post on the internet, so it must be true.

          • I hope not. But there’s an enormous amount of it from there. I keep hoping they’ll show us better, but…

          • Gee what a surprise, another NDP/Liberal hack who hates Albertans.

          • Funny. You do not understand what it means to not be an idealogue extremist. That explains a lot actually.

      • When Harper was first elected PM he’d been elected as an MP 3 times serving as an MP for 12 years before he became PM. Justin Trudeau’s been an MP for 5 years. Sure, that’s “more years’ insight” into politics if you completely ignore the math.

        • So why is it that Harper’s PMO staff are doing his job and not telling him what they are doing?

          • Why is it that Trudeau’s office was covering up allegations about Senator Kenny’s sexual harassment?

            I don’t see what either has to do with how many years of political “insight” either has. Could you at least pretend to try to stay on topic?

    • Your chest thumping instead of analysis reminds me of a lot of conservatives who post here.

      I wonder how much credibility Mulcair will have on the Quebec separatism front given the make up of his Quebec caucus and his less than “pro-Canada” position of 50% plus 1.

      And again, while I understand why you are desperately clinging to Mulcair’s ability to cross examine Harper, it is clearly not enticing voters to the fold. Maybe they want more than that?

      • 50% plus one is the democratic threshold for the Scottish separation referendum supported by the UK Liberal-Conservative gov’t!
        Unfortunately the Canadian Liberal party has not policy – or clarity – on this issue.
        Justin – as usual – refuses to say what the threshold should be!LOL

        • So that is what Mulcair is going to rely on in the election to defend his widely panned position on this issue? “Hey, it works for Scotland, why not for Quebec!?”. Good luck with that.

          PS – the SCC, you know, those really smart men and women who have the constitutional responsibility to interpret the constitution for us? They also did not give a number. But I think it is pretty clear 50% plus 1 is not going to cut it.

          Tell me, what is Mulcair’s plan if 65% of Montreal does not want to separate, but the total in the whole province is 51%. Is he going to tell Montreal “too bad for you?”.

          • If it’s 50 +1 when you take out spoiled ballots, it’ll be just fine.

          • Uhhhh .. . . careful about that, Pequiste scrutineers rejected a lot of ballots as being spoiled in 1995 that clearly were not. Coincidentally they were “No” votes.

            Maybe you mean 50%+1 of registered voters, those not casting a vote would be assumed to favour the status quo.

          • That is certainly a concern. Any allegations of improper ballot rejection would definitely have to be investigated if it would affect the result of a sovereignty election. But that doesn’t make the 50% +1 illegitimate, if unpopular to some.

          • I never said it wasn’t. However if that is to be the case, then the question has to be umambiguously clear (for instance the question for Scotland is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”) so that people voting know exactly what they will be in for . . I suspect a combination of the low bar (50%+1) and a clear question will actually depress support for a Yes.

            But the 50%+1 is still problematic if it actually comes to a very close result . . . would they have to ‘Go to Toronto’ to see if that “1″ was legitimate before pointing to the face off circle?

          • I’m not sure they could go toronto or that a court would even rule on whether a result was good enough. And absolutely the question must be clear.

          • Well before they have a referendum here I would want to see all the necessary rules in place and agreed between the Federal and Provincial governments.

            In the Scottish case it appears that is taking place, at least to a much greater degree than is the case with Quebec.

          • I think everyone except the NDP is going to refuse to set a number and hope the result is really obvious one way or the other.

          • Well I think fair would be to count against the entire population of voters, and that the margin be set using facts and data so that debatable rejections can be factored in so that the result is clearly decisive.

            Also I would want to see third-party oversight.

          • I hope you do not think I said it was illegitimate/illegal. My concern is that it is not appropriate. In the end, this entire thing has to be more nuanced that 50% plus 1. As I point out, what if some regions are overwhelmingly against separation but are forced to separate because of the rest of the province?

            In any event, I do not think this matters at this point in time. Mulcair was not taking that position because we are on the cusp of a vote on separation – he took that position to solidify his votes that the NDP took from the Bloc last time around.

          • IIRC the Supreme Court has stated that protection of minorities has been a principle of Canada since its founding and that their interests will have to be taken into account no matter what the result of the referendum.

            The single advantage for Canada of using the 50%+1 threshold is that you can try to claim a better deal based on the low result. (For my own part, I don’t think any referndum terms matter at all, because I believe that when the parties try to negotiate separation, the talks will fall apart and Quebec will have to stay part of Canada).

          • Exactly. Quebec separation is not a real threat. The province relies financially on the rest of Canada to sustain itself. Separation is an idle threat used to extort more money from the ROC.

          • it’s not a very realistic threat, but not for that reason.

          • If any regions in Quebec were to be resoundingly against separation, they’d be free to separate themselves with a 50% + 1 vote. Do you think the sovereign nation of Quebec would be so hypocritical to separate from Canada with a 50% + 1 vote, but not allow it’s own regions to do the same?

          • I doubt they could get that, but there’d have to be some consideration. Quebec would suggest guaranteed Canadian citizenship, others would ask for certain new boundaries. Likely there would no agreement on this and other issues, and everyone would walk away dissatisfied but all members of the same country.

          • One word: YES!!!

          • Mulcair’s position is “widely panned” because he’s actually stated a position. Trudeau hasn’t, other than to say that he’d support Quebec separation under some vague circumstances.

          • So much for a Clarity Act when nobody – except Tom Mulcair – is clear on the threshold. LOL

            Tom’s view may be widely panned by the corporate media and the right winger such as yourself but those who know Quebec know that setting an arbitrary , undemocratic threshold merely plays into the hands of the two parties that thrive on alleged grievance – the Bloc and the PQ.

            What will the separatists do if the northern Cree – who have signed treaties with the Queen and the Mother of Parliaments you disparage decide to remain with Canada? Or the Gatineau decides to separate from Quebec? The Separatists have many, many problems facing them if a Canadian gov’t was stupid enough to create the conditions for separation!

            50% plus one is a threshold set by parliamentary democracies of the UK model – it is a clear democratic threshold that prevents any ability of the separatists to claim a grievance and thus no “protest vote”.to form – just the separatist hard core base.

          • Sigh

            Mulcair is pandering to the separatists. But that was a nice try at a save.

          • Neirher you nor your supreme Leader will say what the clarity threshold should be but apparentely it should not be what the UK Liberal -Conserative UK gov’t thinks it should be i.e. 50% plus’ one.
            Justin’s inability to clarify where he stands on the clarity act serves the separatists as it serves to illustrate his general inability to take a clear position and defend it in a rational, coherent manner.

          • Trudeau NOT talking about the threshold at a time when it is not relevant, is not relevant. Mulcair talking about it at a time it is not relevant is a sign of his desperate need to hold on to the separatists who voted for Layton, on top of it not being prudent.

            IF Quebec reaches the point of another vote on separatism while Trudeau is PM, I have no doubt he will embark on negotiations that are nuanced and appropriate, and I am quite certain they will amount to more than a bald statement that 50% plus 1 will suffice. Because that is what a wise and prudent leader does. Mulcair could learn a thing or two from him.

          • Justin not being clear? – again — and i thought he supported the Clarity Act! LOL

            Classic Liberalism – a modern version of “conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription:”! LOL

            Justin is so nuanced an appropriate regarding his alleged concern for the middle class that it is impossible to know what he is going to do – brilliant Liberalism a la ” if you don;t like this principle, try this one”!

          • You know, if you cannot address the point, it may be prudent to just let it go, because this little rant of yours is kind of, well, odd….

          • The point is the Justin is unclear about his stand on the Clarity Act.

            I made reference to the old Liberal stand on conscription which is analogous – but I will spell it out for you:
            “Clarity if necessary, but not necessarily clarity”

            If Justin’s last name were Smith he would not be Liberal leader –let alone an MP! But follow your leader – regardless of how inconsistent or incoherent he may be.

          • Well that is YOUR point. Mine is that it is irrelevant to take any kind of “stand” now, when it is not an issue. Why, it is as relevant as taking a “stand” on conscription. Maybe Mulcair should come out against conscription too! That should help him secure his separatist voters.

            Ha ha ha ha ha

          • If a stand on the Clarity Act is irrelevant why did you originate the discussion about it? LOL
            Your generation of “Liberals” is as mealy-mouthed as the war-time generation that in the midst of a shortage of armed forces refused to take a stand on the vital conscription issue until it was – sadly – almost too late!
            There appears to be little or no relationship between the Liberal party of Canada and liberalism – which historically provided the philosophical base of John Stuart Mills – whose intellectual journey concluded when he evolved into a social democrat, thanks to his wife’s intellectual influence.
            Thankfully there are growing numbers of ex-separatists in Quebec – due to Tom Mulcair and others who have fought for Canada for over 20 years: many will hopefully see that their environmental and social justice concerns, as well as economic hopes, can be achieved with a social democratic Canada.
            Justin and his Mount Royal elite e.g. Stephen Bronfman – Justin’s bag man – will have little appeal to ex-separatists looking for a positive federalist option.

          • “If a stand on the Clarity Act is irrelevant why did you originate the discussion about it?”

            Did I? Because I am pretty sure I was responding to your comment about how Mulcair will be the right leader to keep Quebec in Canada, though it seems you have since edited your post. Interesting that you did so…

            In any event, whether or not you raised that issue, the point is that Mulcair is being irresponsible raising that issue at a time it is not relevant. But I have said that several times now and you do not seem to be getting it, so, once again, I shall dismiss you.

            Cheers!

          • NO…no…no dismissed again!

            Edited my post, how so????

            You have been inconsistent and I have been consistent.

            You raised the issue of the 50% plus one as if Mulcair , Prime Minister Cameron and the UK Parliament are wrong in supporting this democratic threshold, but you and Justin are correct in opposing this clear, democratic threshold for a referendum – whether about Scottish or Quebec separation. But unwilling – or unable – to offer an alternative threshold! LOL

            Tom Mulcair, like myself, trusts the majority of Quebecers to oppose separation, especially as an economically prosperous, environmentally sustainable, and socially just social democratic Canada is built.

        • What is the % required to change the NDP constitution? Two thirds of voters. So you cannot change the party’s constitution unless you get 67% approval but you can allow a province to split a country in two with 50% + 1 of the votes! I will never vote for a party which has that kind of logic.

          • So you propose a 67% threshold – neither Harper not Justin will say what it should be despite their UK counterparts saying the Scottish threshold should be 50% plus one.

            Mind you the Mother of Parliaments may have it wrong — and you have it right? LOL

      • I don’t support any political party and wish we could have more democracy than they allow for in this country but back in the day I was a Trudeau Sr. supporter and worked for the party and his wins. I trusted Trudeau because I never doubted his love for this country and his desire to always act from that love and I have to say that Mulcair actually reminds me a lot of Pierre. I personally would not be concerned if he was to become the PM. The Liberals have become a huge disappointment to me over the years. They ushered in GMOs, they went behind our backs to work with the US of A’s military needs and embedded us to the point where our sovereignty has been further eroded. They have become as willing as the Harper party is to make Canada a Plutocracy and that is something I would not trust the NDP to fix either. History has proven that the best place for a political party to be self-righteous is in opposition because once in power they all sound and act the same.

        • Funny. I used to be a big NDP supporter. I hear what you are saying but I cannot see Mulcair behaving any differently than the other big parties. In fact, I believe he is a political animal and will do whatever it takes to win.

      • How does Justin Trudeau have any credibility on the Canadian unity file when he’s on record saying that only Quebecers are capable of leading the country? Or that Albertans don’t represent Canadian values?

        Mulcair at least is clear on where he stands on referendum issues. Trudeau’s too busy insulting the West to actually say where he stands, other than that he’d support Quebec separation if Canada didn’t give Quebec more representation than it deserves.

        • As an Albertan, born and bred, I agree with Trudeau. :)

          • So you agree with Justin that Albertans are not fit to hold federal office or participate in the running of our country? Fascinating.

          • Yes, if only Trudeau said that. But he didn’t.

            Saying something does not magically make it come true.

  5. From the article: “It’s seven points lower than their share of the vote in 2006, when Harper barely scraped into power.” Yes, and it took overspending by over a million dollars illegally in the campaign to scrape into power and then it took equally sleazy elections to scrape into majority. If we had a just electoral system this corrupt party would never have been allowed to run in another election after being charged with cheating in 2006. We would not have the senate scandal we do now and if there is a surplus by 2015 it will have come to them not through fiscal know-how but through selling off our assets that they treat like garage sale items. I hope Harper thinks he can win and sticks around because I want to see this jackass get what he deserves and that tiny little base he has that has hijacked any democracy we ever did have in this country and turned our institutions and government into something more recognizable as the mafia or some back alley gang.

    • If we had a just electoral system this corrupt party would never have been allowed to run in another election

      Yes, because nothing says “fair democracy” like disallowing certain parties from running for office.

      • I think you’ve grasped the essence of modern Canadian progressive thought.

      • And nothing says disrespect for democracy like cheating in elections and thinking that’s acceptable. Why do you think a party that cheats should be allowed to run again especially in a democracy? Jeezus!

        • Like the Liberals did by funding their election campaigns with stolen Sponsorship Scandal money?

          • There was an inquiry into that scandal so I have a little more respect for the Liberals than the Harper party even though neither of them have my support. Harper has done little more than what he has been forced to do in this corrupt senate scandal, election fraud, and people that kept information form him are still working in his office.

  6. So I see some of the frequent posters New Year Resolutions were . . . keep on posting the same stuff.

    • Here’s something new. I’m expecting to hear that the RCMP officer investigating the Duffy/Wright affair has been transferred.

  7. Maybe the “I couldn’t care less” Prime Minister does have a chance! But we have to remind the electorate that Harper couldn’t care less!

    • Good heavens! Is that all you have got?

      • Yes, that’s all they’ve got. First Liberals tried to discredit him by calling him evil. Then it was the hidden agenda. Now they claim he doesn’t care. Which makes total sense, because somebody who “doesn’t care” is the first person you’d expect to be Prime Minister for 9 years.

        • Oh Harper cares all right. He cares about power and revenge on his opponents.

          • What is Harper trying to avenge?

          • It’s revenge against the LIberals for not giving him power, respect and position while he was in their party. Otherwise he’d still be there. He had to change from party to party until he was in charge and he only got there with the help of a bunch of misfits that he would throw under the bus just as easily as he has so many already if he thought it necessary to maintain power. You are used.

          • Stephen Harper was 21 when Trudeau brought in the NEP. Do you honestly think he’s taking out his revenge because they didn’t make him PM at 21 years old? If he wanted power, he got it. That’s not “revenge”, it’s getting what you want.

            Glad to see you’ve taken a few minutes off of the bong though.

    • Because having a guy who’s been PM for 9 years, and runs again is a CLEAR indication that he doesn’t care. Obviously Harper is only PM because he’s bored.

  8. Canada needs Stephen Harper especially now that his conservatism does not seem to have any legs. That is the intelligence trap. It always ends in paranoia.

    • Canada needs Stephen Harper like she needs a knife in the back.

      • Not true for the intelligent, convincing, convinced and wrong Stephen Harper.

  9. The PM has not been friendly to the media and now is the time for payback. The CBC is beginning to ramp up it’s Harper bashing and the MSM will join in the frenzy.

    • The illegitimate Harper government would not exist if it hadn’t been given a pass by the media right from the get go. They should never have been allowed to run in another election without first having cleared up the court case for cheating in 2006. After appealing and appealing the judgements, trying to change laws to suit their crimes two subsequently suspicious elections were held and still Harper and his corrupt PMO, was getting a pass. It’s getting to the point where the dirt is so thick the media can no longer look beyond it.

      • So do you also believe the Liberal Party of Canada should be banned because they haven’t cleared up court cases relating to the Sponsorship Scandal? Personally, I won’t consider voting for them until they’ve at least paid the money back that they stole.

        • $40 million for the sponsorship scandal is PEANUTS compared to the $50 million per day the harper government and its big oil friends are gouging from from tax payers.! All that tar sands oil being sold at a discount, refined then sold back to Canadians at World prices makes for some very large brown paper bags being delivered to harper!

          • If you don’t want oil sands oil being sold at a discount, your only choice is to support the pipelines that are trying to be built.

            Canadians buy refined oil and World prices like the rest of the World. Canada doesn’t have any more refinery capacity to refine it ourselves, and building a refinery simply for that purpose would be economic suicide. There’s a reason why nobody on the planet is building new refineries. They’re no longer economically viable. Spending $30B on a refinery to save a few bucks on shipping would be massively stupid. And I suspect the very people, like you, who’d want us to build a new refinery would be the very same people who’d protest against it.

          • what utter rubbish, how about you educate yourself and get a real job instead of being a paid harper shill, here I’ll start you on your road to gettin sum skoolin

            https://www.dropbox.com/s/tz160zqu3cj3qv5/Bitumens-Deep-Discount-Deception-April-2-2013.pdf?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer1db59&utm_medium=twitter

            https://www.google.com/search?q=new+refineries+being+built&oq=new+refineries+being+built&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64l2.12010j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

          • Nobody? A simple google search will prove otherwise, and since bitumen is the lowest grade crude, it will always get discounted prices. In fact I support building a new refinery as it will provide more jobs than any pipeline

        • There was an entire inquiry around the Sponsorship scandal for crying out loud! I don’t vote Liberal and for good reasons, reasons not unlike the reasons I’d never vote for muzzled Harper dingleberries.

          • Are you aware that a inquiry is not a criminal case? It doesn’t matter what an inquiry finds if the criminal acts discovered aren’t prosecuted and the perpetrators punished, does it? Would help if the Liberals were to pay the money they stole back too.

          • So why is it OK to continue to tar and feather the current Libs for what their predecessors did, but ignore the CPC’s wrongdoings? The list is a long one, and there have been actual convictions – and Senate appointments for the convicted. Yet somehow Adscam still trumps this in your eyes… what a partisan hack you are, Dickie!

          • Yes and I used to vote Conservative but not for that twit

    • Yes of course. That must be it.

      It cannot be that Harper has done anything to merit criticism. Because, after all, he is perfection personified.

      Conservatives are so funny. All that stuff about accountability and personal responsibility, and yet they never ever ever feel that they should take personal responsibility for anything. Harper does no wrong, and anyone who says he does, or even questions him, is clearly biased.

      Harper is laughing at you.

    • I thought he was a great tactician. Any fool knows in politics its “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” with the media.
      Keeping them at a very long arm’s reach and being so retentive with information will obviously make you some enemies. It’s not rocket science.

  10. PMSH may be re electable if he showed a bit of humility. However he is not even able to acknowledge his own poor judgement, indiscretion and lack of oversight of his office, never mind apologize for it. Thats the least we deserve even if he had no knowledge of the wrongdoing that took place under his nose.
    Canadians aren’t impressed by this kind of hubris. It is unbecoming of a Canadian PM.

    • There’s a (new?) type of politician that, ironically, Rob Ford has recently modelled himself on. This politician has a core message that resonates with a small but defiant and utterly loyal faction (the politician doesn’t necessarily self-identify with this core, it is simply a required foundation for appeal). This requires some suspension of beliefs, but that is hardly rare in partisan politics. The politician takes this core and slowly but inexorably laminates it with targeted policies and give-aways designed to accrue slivers of voters in a controlled and predictable manner. Calculated wedge issues are added as mortar when opportune. Over time, the layer cake grows and comprises a heterogeneous collection of voters who arrived at their allegiance in different ways. The mass is quasi-stable while all the plates are spinning at the same time, but requires continuous effort to placate often diametrically opposed supporters who don’t all see themselves in a bloc. Over time, to cement the “alliance” the politician tries to mould the core towards something closer to her/his own will – a risky step that can also trigger cracks. At end-stage, the politician is left wondering whether the effort to hold together their crumbling ball of disparate voters is worth it. Why can’t these people just see the good that he/she has done and trust them? But it’s never about trust. When a politician (as most politicians do) stratifies the electorate with specific appeals, it is not very different from Doug Ford handing out $20 bills or Tim’s cards. There’s always someone willing to offer something more.

  11. If he retires, he loses any form of control over the unfolding Senate scandal. There’s a good chance a replacement leader would launch a Gomery style inquiry in an attempt to change the channel. My guess is that spectre alone will be enough reason for him to stay put.

    • I think the cons take-away from Gomery is “never admit anything, never allow anything to be examined.”

      • True. But at the same time, Harper’s power has never been based on a culture of reciprocal loyalties (unlike Chretien or Mulroney). The day he steps down is when he too will be subject to the same cold judgement (asset or liability?) that every MP, minister, senator and staffer has worked under. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him joining the sizeable population of under-the-bus Conservatives, if it proved useful to the next leader.

    • Brilliant analysis. Of course any future Conservative leader would follow the Paul Martin playbook, because that just worked out in the most awesome ways for the Liberals, didn’t it?

      Oh wait, no. The Liberals never paid back the stolen money and have dropped popular support in every election since.

      • So it’s about the play book and getting re-elected and not about good accountable government and integrity and honesty, oh now I get the con values.

  12. Back to the future. Or ya dunce with the ones who brung ya.

    The concentric circles are getting smaller.

    1) Harper as PM – as good as it gets
    2) INTJ

    • Our other self-described “mainstream” options are not what we need, either, but you are kidding yourself if you think the Conservative Party is the lesser of evils here. Perhaps the reason our country never really seems to make progress anymore is because we have been convinced to disregard any options that aren’t Liberal, NDP or Conservative.

      Maybe we should be questioning how these three were able to make themselves the mainstream in the first place? (Can you say “cartel”?)

      • I think you may be misinterpreting my short point 1).

        I was speaking in terms of Harper and his career options. As PM, for him, “as good as it gets”. Longevity is now</i the personal goal, IMO. Ragging the puck has its benefits too, over time vis a vis not letting the other teams have possession, and score.

        • Oops, bad edit. Should be:

          Longevity is now his personal goal, IMO. Ragging the puck also has its advantages vis a vis not letting the other teams have possession, and score.

  13. What’s more, Harper should be able to offer new electoral baubles by 2015. Jean-Denis Fréchette, the parliamentary budget officer, reported in early December that the government is headed toward a 2015 surplus of $4.6 billion. That would permit billions of dollars in assorted tax cuts.

    Commodity prices are very fickle. The year end prognostications I’ve seen from more than one source for commodities suggest the PBO’s forecasts may already be dated and overly rosy.

    Good thing we haven’t bet the farm on commodities….

    • Very good point.

      I continue to be amazed that all our internal debate over petrochemical resources, and the triumphant proclamation of Canada’s energy superpower status, seemed to ignore developments taking place in the USA . .. all that posturing was basically assuming the USA was starved for supplies and that they would need to scale up their imports.

      It seems the rocket scientists in the PMO and CPC didn’t do much reading up on the technological developments in oil and gas extraction.

      Now they are scrambling madly to get a pipeline, any pipeline, approved. But the KXL seems a dubious proposition at this time and if the USA is a net exporter of crude, why would Japan and China pay a premium for for oil sands oil? At best it seems to be consigned to be an incremental source, more expensive when you need supply above your planned needs. Maybe best to wait until the USA depletes once again . . .

      • On what planet is the USA a net exporter crude oil?

          • From the article, a quote:

            in 2014, for the first time in two decades, America will import less oil than it produces.

            Now, I know you’re a Liberal, so math isn’t your strong suit. But I’ll give you a lesson.

            The amount of oil that America produces and imports are two numbers that do not include any of the oil it consumes. And America consumes a lot of oil.

            If America were a “net exporter” of oil, they wouldn’t be importing any oil. The article you point to says that for the first time in 2 decades, America will be producing HALF (50%) of it’s oil needs.

            Importing 50% of what one needs does not make one a “net exporter”.

            Do you get it now?

          • Hahaha OK, busted . . . of course I stand corrected.

            Thanks for pointing out my error.

          • “If America were a “net exporter” of oil, they wouldn’t be importing any oil.”

            Ah, no.
            Try again, Stupie.
            (hint: a country that begins with “C” and ends with “A”)

          • Do you believe that the USA is a net exporter of oil? I know it’s very difficult to get a point across to you, but that was the point of the entire exchange. Even @mtl_bcer:disqus had the courage to acknowledge that he was wrong on that point, for which I respect him/her.

            You, on the other hand calling people “stupie” (wtf is that actually supposed to mean? That’d you’re too dumb to be able to spell “stupid” correctly?) I have no respect for and clearly are too dense to see what the point of the conversation was.

          • The US in not a net exporter of oil. The evidence for this not the fact that the US imports oil.
            Now, what point are you having trouble communicating to me, stupie?

          • The point that I’m trying to communicate to you is that I don’t think you’re very bright, I have no respect for you, and I wish you would go away until you have something of value to add to the conversation.

            Is that clear enough for you?

          • So, you still don’t understand that the fact that the US imports oil does not establish that the US in not a net exporter?
            Try looking up the word “net” in the dictionary and we can go from there(while you have the dictionary out, have a look at the entry for smear</a)

          • It was a rhetorical point, do you not understand that? The USA is not a net exporter of oil.

            Are you trying to argue the point I was making, or the way I was making it? Maybe you need to find a hobby or something.

          • This isn’t hard. I’m trying to help you understand where you went wrong in concluding that the US importing oil demonstrated that the US is not a net exporter.
            Unless you’re able to understand your mistake, employing the same “logic” will lead you to believe that Canada isn’t a net exporter either.
            Have you looked up “net” yet?

          • You were criticizing mtl_bcer for getting her facts straight, but then made a bone-headed statement of your own. Lenny called you on it.

            Mtl_bcer had the decency to admit her error; can you not show the same decency and admit your statement “If America were a “net exporter” of oil, they wouldn’t be importing any oil” is factually incorrect?

          • Ahem . . . “his” . . . can’t you tell the little guy is a guy?

          • Oops! Sorry!

          • maybe I should have gone for the full body shot . . . being a wood sculpture you can well imagine . . .