Flash bulletin: Car-parts plants to be reserved for making car parts on Tuesday


“We have grown-ups running the budget process,” a Senior Anonymous Source tells the Globe. “There will be no juvenile political games.” You mean like anonymously leaking your strategy instead of executing it? Well, there’ll be no other juvenile political games.

In other news: Hey everyone, this week’s meeting of the Guy Giorno fan club had to be cancelled. Somebody’s using our phone booth to make a call.


Flash bulletin: Car-parts plants to be reserved for making car parts on Tuesday

  1. What really gobsmacks me about this story, other than the potentially career-lethal candor coming from that Senior Anonymous Source (who one devoutly hopes is eligible for fast tracking into a good witness protection program, since it can’t be *that* hard to narrow down the suspect list) is that if true, it means that the PM’s subsequent demonstration of not-quite-non-but-slightly-less-extreme-partisanship — mostly defined in this article as the absence of overt sabre-rattling and eyepoking — is nothing more than the result of putting him in Langevin’s version of the Hannibal Lecter mask. If that’s true, how much longer can it last?

    • Kady

      I thought the most interesting part of the article was- “Observers also say Mr. Harper’s authority has been curbed, his agenda circumscribed and his instincts to attack Mr. Ignatieff curtailed”.

      Which ties in to your question because I am wondering who can curb/curtail the PM and how long will it last?

      And I was looking at the By The Numbers at the bottom because I have not really been paying attention to all the goodies that have been announced the past few days, ignorance is bliss and I am trying to pretend this isn’t happening, and I see that Cons have pledged $160 million to arts and culture. WTF? The Cons probably lost their majority in last election because of arts cuts announcements in Quebec and now they do this. The Cons are adrift ideologically, at the very least, or they wouldn’t be kicking the arts community one moment and then pledging $160 million the next.

      • I’ll leave the multiple-personality-version-of-good-cop-bad-cop Quebec strategy to someone else to explain, but I share your wonderment over who can “curtail” the PM. As far as I know, it’s pretty much unprecedented, which is why I can’t help thinking that eventually, he’s going to chew through the restraints and go on a rampage.

        John W: I dunno – SweaterMan was fraying badly along the edges by the end of the campaign. I’m not sure how long a similarly kinder, gentler persona will survive — if, that is, this article is accurate, and it is the result of coercion, and not a genuine Road-to-Damascian conversion.

        • I think the new and improved Harper is partly due to self-interest, he wants to continue being PM, and people around Harper telling him to calm down a bit.

          However, can a leopard change his spots? I think this touchy feely version of Harper won’t last for too long. Or at least I hope it doesn’t because politics is much more interesting when Harper goes on rampages.

        • “eventually, he’s going to chew through the restraints and go on a rampage”


          Harper SMASH!

      • I was very upset at the arts cuts this summer. Not because of the cuts themselves–I understand programs cannot continue indefinitely, at least not if you also want new programs as well. What I objected to was the way they villainized artists as no better than public company CEOs. Please!

        But WTF is exactly my reaction to this line item. You know, they ‘leaked’ this information to give the public an opportunity to think good things. I can only imagine it is all going to the Olympics, and then I at least understand it. But if you’re leaking the information anyway, why not say so? I suspect a large number of people, artists like me included, will forgive spending on Olympics more readily.

    • Well the sweaterman strategy worked pretty good and won over the media. The press corp all surprised, surprised! at the economic statement.
      Now they are gushing, slavering and getting headline excited about all the leaks they’re getting. He plays you like an orchestra and he’s doing it again. Present company excepted of course.
      Time to line up for another kick at the football.

      • I think you are right John, even with all the leaks (in fact because of the leaks) I expect to be surprised by this budget. (To the extent one can be surprised when expected a surprise)

    • “is nothing more than the result of putting him in Langevin’s version of the Hannibal Lecter mask.”

      Image of the day, Kady. You are certainly Maclean’s poet laureate, if not the PPG’s.

      • Time to haul out and dust off tired tales of ice breakers and warships ??

  2. Honestly, I don’t understand the problem. Spending initiatives are announced throughout the year; most of them have to find their way into a budget to get implemented. How is this any different, except for the fact that the lead time between being announced and put into a budget has been shrunk from weeks or months to days?

    • I think that it’d be naive to believe that these spending announcements are coincidental. I imagine that some careful analysis would reveal a greatly accelerated rate of spending announcements. Further, a government that does not clearly enjoy the confidence of the House does not make credible funding announcements outside of the budget.

    • The traditional budget lockdown serves two purposes. The most important is providing fodder for Kady’s O’rantological posts. However, it also serves to ensure that no-one gets unfair advantage in the markets due to inside information. Of course, since the prospects of the budget being passed are likely around 50-50 there is unlikely to be a lot of investments made based on these announcements.

  3. I was wondering if Senator Mike Duffy was, as they say on CNN, “working the phones” with his media chums in Ottawa to spin the government’s budget strategy? Pretty naive question, I guess, from well outside the Queensway.

      • So it sounds like Neil Young can be our next Senate appointment from Manitoba, then?

        • Neil Young would actually be a pretty cool choice!

      • Wow, how did I miss that story.

        I love the title: “Duffy to address controversy after new senators sworn in”. So, after he’s been sworn in he’ll address whether it’s appropriate (or even constitutional) for him to be sworn in?


  4. Remember Harper Version 1.0? That idealist, spouting off rants about the deficit, unelected senators and Triple E, breaking Canadian conservatives and the Progressive Conservatives in two, a proto-Albertan separatist attacking Canada and arguing for firewalls around his adopted province? Or the Beta version? The young conservative who was loyal to Manning until that no longer served his ambitions and purpose, Manning being too much of a populist and increasingly focusing on gimmicks and image instead of policies.

    When that couldn’t get him elected, he marketed himself as Harper v.2.0, muzzled his own base (and his base instincts), abandoned policies to focus on politics and gimmicks and image, and it was all about crushing the Liberals to the extent that he worked with a coalition of NDP and Bloc, and then in government promoted the NDP and adopted a government of wedge issues and petty partisanship.

    Then we had this bizarre Harper v2.1: a kind of slap dash re-issue with a few gimmicks and a sweater, but no change.

    Is this Harper v3.0 or Harper 2.1.1? To get and keep power, Harper has been very adept at jettisoning anything he believed in and re-inventing himself.

    It may take some time, but can Harper’s plan for a national drug plan and NEP be too far behind?

    • Wait a minute, are you saying the PM is essentially Madonna?

      • Perhaps…. but without the flexibility.

        • Let us all hope he does not start wearing his man-bras outside of his shirt.

    • The only way he’s gotten away with it is because of our appalling lazy/credulous media. *Some* present company excepted.

      • Not to mention our appallingly lazy and credulous citizenry.

    • It’s like Harper 2009 is the Windows Vista of Prime Ministers.

      • Alright, LKO, there’s low, and then there’s below-the-belt low. I admit he’s not doing so well right now living up to himself. But Vista? Cheap shot, friend.

  5. Kudos to the Liberal Research team…even as Johnny – are my eye brows OK – Baird – had finally exhausted every juicy morsel of his leaky Kory Tenycke script…
    Gerard Kennedy was up – quietly and methodically demolishing all his announcements of “new” Infrastructure money – by pointing out that $3.5 billion of the $4 billion that Baird was announcing was cancelled – I THINK his word was annulled – in effect – because that $3.5 billion in fiscal 2008-2009 money NEVER got out of the door – leaving infrastructure partners – like municipalities and provinces – having to borrow at market rates – as bridging finance…
    If that point alone sinks in with the public…this budget and this government – is dead on arrival!

  6. Ted – he was interviewed on CBC Newsworld – following Baird’s presser…

  7. Leakage? The “Depends” – I would think it’s more of an early campaigning strategy on the taxpayers’ dime.

    The media keep calling it leakage……why aren’t they saying what it really is? Afraid of Heavyhanded Harper are they?

    • Terrified. Quaking in my boots.

  8. Isn’t there a down side to this cementing in the publics mind, that all these goodies flowed from the bosom of Mr Harper willingly and not simply at the behest of the dastardly coalition? After all he did see all his coming and his signature is on the cheque[s] – sorta baby bonus a la Smallwood. So no credit to the opposition and no Steve was ever wrong, at least in the publics mind. They [coalition] were just traitors all along. The downside? What if it all goes wrong? No cries of ” they made me, will work now”.

    More plausibly i suppose there will be a bone or two in there for the opposition to choke on. While all the good news is deemed to be so much more inportant in the pubics mind then any petty opposition indigestion. Sort of like the FU before, except this time they bought [ er informed] the public first. And the coalition – well the public like the budget now, don’t they? I agree with Kady, the real SH may be tied up in the basement but he may chew thtough his restraints at any moment.

  9. I wasn’t sure about DSG and tried out an 07 GTI. I couldn’t get it home fast enough

  10. Shame really ………. lot of empty space in parts plants these days …..

  11. Paul,

    Small correction. That guy in the phone booth isn’t making a call. That’s the Scott Reid fan club.

    • Ordering in pizza?

  12. Correction, that’s scott reid. Not that it contradicts the comment above.