He may not be a leader, but he’s a scrummer


Mr. Dion is inviting reporters to join him in one hour at a prominent Toronto railway hotel.


He may not be a leader, but he’s a scrummer

  1. You know what’s surprising. It’s that Harper hasn’t started his pre-election attack ads yet. Maybe all this is a bluff after all.

  2. Radio in Ottawa and toronto have been full of the ‘radio talk show host’ ads for a last couple of weeks.

  3. Hey! Somebody tell Harper.. if he’s quick, he could get there and ask a few questions himself. Now that’d be some fun media.

  4. Anyone live-blogging this?

  5. I don’t think that venue is suitable for a teleprompter. That nixes Harper’s appearance.

  6. I don’t know where you live, Anon, but the Conservatives have been running attack ads on Vancouver radio stations since the beginning of the summer. In fact, I just heard their new one yesterday, which was written specifically for BCers. It attacked the federal Liberal carbon tax as being a tax on top of the existing BC carbon tax, and it attacked the carbon tax as a job killer in forestry, fishing, and farming industries. It was a much better ad than its preceding three ads I heard back in July.

  7. I meant the massive TV ad blitz, you know the ones in the middle of baseball games etc screaming “Dion is not a leader” etc. Radio ads and internet ads – those are kind of dime a dozen, even Liberals and Dippers can afford them.

  8. I’ve been listening to Q107 “Classic Rock” all summer and first off, if I never hear The Doors again I’ll die happy and secondly they’ve been running an anti-carbon tax ad wherein voice actors drop pieces of words in order to sound like regular workin’ folk while expressing outrage and bewilderment over the proposed carbon tax.

  9. The French CBC service, Radio-Canada is broadcasting it live on its website.

    I will not link to it, for fear of being moderated, but the link goes something like this: www dot rdi dot ca

  10. He promised a “Richard Perregrino” Canada… take a shot!

    … He said it again… take two!

  11. Do you think it’s easy to make priorities when you are trying to scrum?

  12. Richard Peregrino is your friend.

  13. With gin and a squeeze of lime, Richard Peregrino is actually quite refreshing.

  14. Hey guys, leave me out of this.

  15. Stop misspelling my name.

  16. He sure does like the short notice, huh.

    Maybe he’s announcing that he called up the GG and dissolved parliament.

  17. Here’s a quote from Harper’s press conference this morning that particularly impressed me; responding to Keith Boag’s question about whether dissolving parliament goes against the fixed election date law:

    “The country must have a government that can function during a time of economic uncertainty, and if it’s not this government, the public — er, if it’s not this parliament, the public will have an opportunity to decide whom.”

    Now that’s campaigning!

  18. Dion announces the Harper goverment is panicking, has no agenda and is essentially incompetent.

    Yet no need for an election.

    And nary a reporter to ask.

    Someone explain our Westminister Parliamentary system to Opposition Leader Dion. What does he think this is? Assemblée nationale française?

    The new Liberal Party motto:

    Surrender first, ask questions later.

  19. Bud, they’d rather feed Dion softballs so he can further attack Harper. Making Dion answer tough questions? Ha!

    Hey Wells (or Kady), let’s see if you have the guts to answer this question.

    Can you name any in the press gallery who have personal relationships and conflicts of interest with those in the Liberal Party?

    Because I can certainly think of a few….

    Oh wait, the press would rather complain and complain about the government and never look at the reporter standing next to them in the scrum.

    You’d never break the cardinal rule of critiquing their fellow members in the gallery. Certainly never naming names.

  20. A mondegreen by any other name would sound as sweet!

    How can this Richer, Fairer, Greener -> Richard Peregrino meme not work in favour of Mr. Dion and his Green Shift?

    In the same way the Harper -> Hidden Agenda meme is so useful to Harper on any number of items on the right-wing agenda that can’t really be spoken about openly until, ahem, after the majority?

  21. Scruffy, you must be talking about the Defence Minister’s girlfriend.

  22. Sorry, is that a name? Or just more emptiness?

    Name some. I don’t care what side of the aisle they’re on. Don’t you think the public has as right to know in these circumstances?

  23. I’m sorry. Were you referring to the Defence Minister’s communications director, who quit the press gallery within weeks after the 2006 election to take the job? Or Jim Prentice’s comms director, ditto?

  24. It’s a simple question. Why is this stuff NEVER reported on? You don’t see how any of this is relevant? Quit being so dodgy.

  25. Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve failed to answer your question. You were looking for press gallery links to the Liberals. I’ve shown you press gallery links to the Conservatives. Clumsy of me.

  26. Name some names from either side.

  27. I would have thought “nuanced” Liberals and their inky friends would appreciate the difference between an entrenched hegemonic principleless political partys’ timing elections based on fulsome criteria like opposition leader tenure, manufactured crisis’ and the ever popular, all time tasteless Sabbath day of the opposition leader, henceforth known as wily Liberal electineering, versus a numerically inferior minority government with 3 hostile opposition parties, no natural or unnatural allies, being used as political fodder for pure opposition advantage, at great detriment to the country, in very uncertain times.

    Add the fact of modern history’s longest running minority government coupled with the ubiquitous howls of outrage from the “intelligensia”the last 2 years every time it appeared Harper was about to actually deviate from accepted Liberal Party governing principles I’d say Election now!

  28. “Who is Jana Juginovic for 500$, Alex.”

  29. What’s your problem Scruffy? Why is it Well’s job to out every potential conflict of interest in the PPG? Who made him chief defendent of the PPG, you?

    Reporters should be responsible for disclosing their own conflicts of interests, otherwise, their job is criticize and ask questions of governments.

  30. Bud? Please. I come from a place where everyone is called Bud. None of them blow that hard. Pick a new name. How about Rex?

  31. What I am beginning to find interesting is that there appears to be a fair amount of Liberals posting to forums who want an election so they can lose and get a stronger leader – Ouch!!!!

  32. I aree. Except they don’t. Like, ever.

  33. Scruffy, you agree with me? With everything I wrote?

    So you withdraw your demand of Wells?

  34. Fine. I withdraw my demand. Happy?

    Just why don’t journalists ever disclose that they are married, related, etc. with a senior government official?

    Read the Globe and Mail ethical standards. It’s in there.

    You don’t see why this might not be at all fishy to Canadians?

  35. Which party is Anne Lagacé Dowson running for again?

    Which party is Bernard Drainville with?

  36. OMG


    the final defense of the damned

  37. Wow, wow David. If you’re going to mention Bernard Drainville, the least you could do is mention Christine St-Pierre.

  38. I don’t get this at all. Stephane Dion does not support this government, he thinks its neo-conservative and horrible for the country. YET he seems really against an election? If I was the Liberal leader I’d be telling everyone and their dog that I was going to bring this government to an end as soon as possible, any which way I could.

  39. Well, Riley, you’re not the Liberal leader, and as a Liberal supporter, I can say that as hard as it was to watch the Libs abstain in the HOC last spring, their discipline has indeed paid off.

    Timing is everything. Remember that. Harper is in a panic, as Dion noted in the scrum, and all it does is make Canadians wonder why — what does he have to hide?

    He has no platform to speak of. His cabinet is announcing plans to create legislation about things that are not even issues (violence against pregnant women — did you see how beat up Nicholson got in that scrum? The media asked questions he had no answers for — there IS no problem of violence targeted against pregnant women, nor have they done or seen any research that would suggest there is.

    Oh and the Edmonton Sun reports that Ken Epp, the Con MP who brought forward the private member’s bill about fetus rights — well he has no intention of pulling back on it, even if his party has said they will.

    It’s not Dion who will be gone after this election, it’s harper. I actually wonder if this isn’t his way of quitting.

    Well if it’s his way or the highway, point him west back to Calgary on the TransCanada. Give Prentice his chance — Cons will do better with a cooler head at the wheel.

  40. I don’t know but after watching the Dion Scrum, wow. That was pretty bad, the only one I see paniacing was Dion.

    Anyway let’s just have an election. Who ever wins will have a clear mandate and there will be 3 new poltical leaders.

  41. Riley,

    I think Mr. Dion’s position is quite nuanced. You see, the only hope of saving the planet from a cataclysmic explosion was making Stephane Dion PM last year. Since that did not happen, the planet and us are doomed anyway. So what’s a little bad, neo-theo-geo-brio con government going to do?

  42. It appears Scruffy wants Wells to out someone… What is your agenda, Scruffy?
    I do agree with you, the questions asked of Dion today were horrible, but that has more to do with Toronto reporters who have no clue about politics being sent down to participate in the scrum, than it is about biases…

  43. In the interests of not being a confrontational control freak, I shall accede to your wishes Phil.

    It’s the Land of the Unbiased Reporters way.

    More tax please.

  44. The G&M reporter Scruffy is talking about is currently in Afghanistan.

    But before that she seemed to be the beat reporter covering the Conservatives. I really have to question how that is not in violation of the G&M conflict of interest guidelines. Seeing as how her spouse is Stephane Dion’s director of communications and all…

  45. Being late to the Party, please allow me to repeat myself:

    Look, it’s going to be painful watching our media do their unbiased best to elect their man, but I refuse to believe that a sizeable number of Canadians will vote for a Parisian sociology professor, somewhat effete, selling a tax increase and social engineering, who is at times incomprehensible, eats hotdogs with a fork and has as much in common with average Canadians as Madonna and chastity belts.

  46. Yeah, Dion’s scrum wasn’t inspiring at all. He was much better at those town-hall meetings.

    However, from what I can tell, Dion isn’t against an election, but Harper’s hypocrisy and bullying attitude. Harper proposed and passed the legislation calling for fixed elections, the reasoning being “to improve our democracy by addressing the downside of our parliamentary system that allows the prime minister the exclusive authority to call an election, sometimes a snap election.” That’s the hypocrisy.

    The bullying attitude is in Harper thinking that just because he says so, the other party leader will drop everything to meet with him and apparantly discuss whether they’ll agree, in advance, to support his unspecified agenda, and what’s more, to take the time to do so while there are a number of by-elections going on, and if they don’t, then he’s free to break whatever law he wants.

  47. No s*xual congress required for Canadian journalists to swing Liberal, it appears to be a survival instinct.

    In what what other country could Democracy’s defender, the lowly scribe, have such an exciting career path.

    Scribe, Liberal Comms. Director, Governor -General.

    Play your cards right, cub reporter, you too may get to hug a Trudeau someday.

  48. Where art thou Paul Wells?

  49. A tax increase? Seriously? I don’t know about you, but by my figuring, I’m probably going to be saving a couple hundred bucks each year.

    Of course, I’ve already gone significantly green, meaning right now I’m paying higher than most people for the effort of leading a somewhat sustainable lifestyle. My hope is that if the Green Shift takes hold, we’ll start to see some significant competition in companies that provide sustainable options, and I’ll see some savings happen there as well.

  50. At what point does Dion clue in and stop campaigning in the doomed by-elections, and start campaigning for the 99.9 % certain general election ?

    If I was a bookie, I would set the over-under point at August 31st.

    Place your bets … over or under.

  51. The funniest thing is when they (I won’t name names) call Harper a bully. It’s more like a compliment that an insult.

    “Oh Harper, you’re always getting what you want, you bully! Stop being so clever and effective! Let somebody else have their way! Politics is for sharing and caring and holding hands!”

  52. or you can just be a conservative leaning scribe, in which case our so-called leader will hand you your reward and lumps and turn that cynical frown into a bitter grin in no time!

  53. Finally someone raises an interesting point I too have been wondering way to go SF! I seem to recall that Trudeau and Chreten got a lot of the very same complaints and bought out the very same strong emotions from both sides of the house and yes indeed I think it would be better to be called a bully re: Strong Leader vs that of an weak re: ineffective and incompetent though courageous, intelligent and once in awhile charming leader who is what was the term vaguely eloquent – ouch!

  54. Bastards and Boneheads. Google the phrase, read the book. It’s lots of fun and quite insightful.

  55. These responses remind me of a bunch of kids in a school yard picking on one kid.

    “What we have achieved over the fall and particularly over the spring, I think it’s a remarkable record of achievement.”
    -Stephen Harper, June 2008

    “Quite frankly, I’m going to have to make a judgment in the next little while as to whether or not this Parliament can function productively.”
    -Stephen Harper, August 2008

    OR –

    Jay Hill, Parliament Debate

    If a prime minister went against the spirit of this legislation and purely called an election because he or she felt the opportunity was ripe, that the situation for his or her particular political party was very advantageous to go to the polls, I suspect that person would quite likely be punished by the Canadian people in the subsequent election campaign.

    ….so we have reporters? Where are they? Do they actually work?

  56. sf, Wayne, Harpoer sycophants: So which is it? Either Harper is being ‘strong’ and forcing the election upon the Liberals and opposition when they don’t want one, or he is being disingenuous with respect to the fact that they are leaving *him* with no other choice but to ask for a dissolution. If Dion is a ‘weak’ leader, then how is managing to ‘force’ Harper into calling an election? He goads the Liberals with lousy legislation that they are forced to let through to avoid an election that they are not prepared for, yet then complains that they are disrupting his agenda. So who’s forcing who’s hand? Either Harper is an opportunistic bully running roughshod over the Liberals, or he is a statesman being forced into calling an election in defiance of his own legislation by a ‘weak leader’. by your own posts, it’s one of the other – but not both.

  57. What they’re really afraid of is allowing the opposition to pick the hill instead of fading off into the sunset.

  58. Mr. Wells – I meant to ask you. I saw Craig Oliver on CTVNewsnet today commenting re: Harper and he said Harper will likely go to the GG and she has to say yes.

    I don’t think she “has” to say yes. I know GG’s always do, but a requirement to say yes?

    So, does she have to?

  59. MJ Patchouli

    “their discipline has paid off”? Are you joking? I don’t particularly like Stephen Harper, but unfortunately it looks like Stephane Dion is the worst tactician ever to grace Canada.

    Despite Dion’s assertion that Harper is in a panic, let’s face facts here and say that Harper is still in the drivers seat. He is the one who controls the table. Some pundits will say that he does so simply because he is the PM. However, remember back in 2005 when Harper kept pushing and pushing, and finally took control of the table away from Martin. He launched an agenda, campaign platform, and then orchestrated a non-confidence motion. Team Martin played “catch up” from then on.

    Dion had his chance to do that all last spring. He blew it. I don’t think that this means “all that discipline has finally paid off”.

  60. Paul You should start a book club:) I am reading Lenin’s Tomb at the moment, great book by the way, on your recommendation and now I just reserved Ferguson’s book. Looks interesting, never heard of it before but I do love to read books on whether a politician is a bastard or bonehead.

  61. Sandi;
    No, she could tell Harper that if he doesn’t think can’t maintain the confidence of the House – but yet refuses to wait to lose a confidence vote – then she can ask the leader of the Opposition to try and form and government through to the legislated October 2009 election.
    After all, maintaining the integrity of parliamentary democracy in this country is more important that serving the blatant opportunism of this ersatz government.

  62. Hey Baloneyman you are right! Both and you need to read Sun Tzu The Art of War – very interesting book and one I know for a Harper enjoys as well maybe Dion would do well to bonehead up a bit I mean bone up a bit oops!

  63. Dion:

    Harper is destroying our country and willingly participating in the cooking of our planet via AGW Global Warming!!!


    Want an opportunity to stop me and take power?


    What’s the rush?

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