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UPDATED, Tuesday morning: in the phrase “Home Stretch,” the word “stretch” shouldn’t be taken literally


 

UPDATE: See below

Scheduling note: tomorrow, when the Conservatives release their platform at noon Eastern, Stéphane Dion’s plane will leave Vancouver too early to comment and land in North Bay too late to make the supper-hour news. So if you’re Jack Layton or Elizabeth May and you want to react to the platform of the governing party, have at it! This is what distinguishes the Liberal leader: generosity toward his opponents. “Winning” is so…crass.

UPDATE, 7:45 a.m. Vancouver time: Mr. Dion slept on it, and now he will be pleased to offer his thoughts on the Conservative platform before taking off at Vancouver airport. Filing time has been added before the plane takes off.


 

UPDATED, Tuesday morning: in the phrase “Home Stretch,” the word “stretch” shouldn’t be taken literally

  1. Get The Right Honourable Paul Edgar Philippe Martin to respond… right? The team, the team.

  2. Maybe he’ll try using one of those seat-back airplane phones. They’re a tad expensive though.

  3. I’m sure Dion’s not concerned. As Andrew Coyne headlined, the conservatives are “in trouble.”

    I’m sure Dion winning will be easy pleasy. Inevitable really.

  4. Perhaps because Dion will make a showstopping annoucement before departing?

  5. To be sure.

  6. Unless he’s carrying his war room on the back of that plane, I doubt it’ll be a big problem. Having the leader do rapid response is a waste of resources, and if you need sound bites, I’m sure he can manage something.

  7. Dion flys all the way to B.C. for two sparsely attended rallies, then flys all the way back to Ontario ?! Talk about inefficient use of time and resources. He could have stopped over in
    northern Sask to help out his 150-delegate-delivering buddy Orchard.

    But yes, lets get Paul Martin to respond to Harper’s platform. The media will be tripping over themselves to ask about how bad Chretien really was.

  8. Because when your leader is polling single digits on leadership issues, you definitely want him front and centre to talk more about his opponent’s plan and less about his own. If this isn’t intentional, it’s fortuitous. Why not have Bob Rae respond? Or, if we are truly lucky, a red-faced Ken Dryden tirade is probably in order.

    Moreover, John Baird responded to the Liberal platform unveiling a few weeks ago, while Stephen Harper was in northern Ontario. I don’t seem to recall you snarking about Harper placing himself in the media hotbed that is the space between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg for that occasion. Of course, that would spoil teh narrative, wouldn’t it?

  9. Uh.. DB.. read the Nanos polls lately? Dion is not polling in the single digits on leadership issues.

    And Junkie.. I don’t know where you saw the bit about the Dion BC stops being “sparse” but one of the Liberal bloggers was down at this evening’s rally in Victoria BC and said Dion’s stop was “packed”.. and she’ll be posting video of the event at her blog to prove it. (Woman At Mile 0)

  10. I think most people will be looking for Don Drummond’s opinion of the CON ‘last-gasp’ policy plan. It’ll no doubt be written in sharpie and echo the sound of Herbert Hoover’s address in 1929…

  11. Scott – in another thread Wayne said the Dion event was really sparse and that means everyone hates Dion and maybe Jack will be official opposition and everyone hates Dion.

    Must be true – he seemed really sure.

  12. Well I certainly hope you guys will be glad when your leaders Layton and Dion have talked this country into recession.

    Are our banks (TD, CIBC, RBC, Scotia Bank) crying out for relief? Nope.

    Does this mean don’t worry be happy? Nope.
    But it does mean cinch the belt a bit, halt unnecessary spending and take a long term view on what is needed and what is not. Running about the country screaming that the sky is falling doesn’t help things at all.

    I know I’ll be called a conbot and all sorts of other juvinile things but I think your leaders are being reckless in the extreme because of this all consuming hatred of anyone who does not subscribe to Liberal values. Sorry lads to me the values of the Liberal Party of Canada does automatically mean that they reflect my and many other Canadians values.

  13. Hmmmm, who would I like to see respond to the CPC platform immediately while Dion can dissect it with a calculating logic? There are lots of good team members to choose from but I think Martha Hall-Findley and Ralph Goodale could hold the fort for awhile. It really is amazing how much better the Liberal slate is than any of the other parties.

  14. No rush. It won’t be complete until they pencil in $22B in “spending moderation” like last time anyways.

    The Conservatives don’t need no stinking platform. They need a cashless opposition.

  15. Calculate Ontario’s GDP without Rae’s deficit spending if you want to figure out how well the private sector would have served the public interest.

  16. Re attendance at Dion’s rallyies, I’m going by what I saw and heard on CPAC for the two afternoon sessions, where reporters asked questions afterwards. Monday night football trumps Liberal evening rallies, so I missed that one, if it was on CPAC.

    BTW, if I was a reporter following Dion’s campaign, I’d be irritated that Dion’s handlers can’t find a way to have each of ten or so reporters acknowledged in an orderly manner. And make sure the question can be heard by the tv audience. Kind of like Harper’s Q & A sessions.

    My understanding is that Harper’s orderly method, including which reporters get to ask questions, was hammered out between the reporters and Harper’s staff, in week one, at the back of the plane, with Bob Fife playing a lead role.

    This whole shouting all at once, as if it was a scrum, is annoying to say the least. Surely the reporters around Dion can’t like it much either.

  17. @ Calgary Junkie

    I’m not sure where you get your information, but Harper has been running the show from inside a bubble, scripted, easy, no chance of catching him off guard type questions. This goes for the rest of his candidtaes that won’t talk to reporters, and don’t attend and functions where they actually have respond to the people or a reporter. Oh and don’t forget the Royal Canadian MEDIA Police.

  18. I’m confused. Doesn’t Dion have reporters on that plane with him? Don’t these reporters have phones?

  19. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Baird and someone else who offered to comment on the Liberal platform when it came out?

    Not sure why it has to be Dion doing the talking.

  20. I don’t think it has to be Dion, boudica, it’s just that it might keep up his Leadership Numbers momentum if he were out there on the front lines for this.

  21. And that Jack Layton is so rude to the banks, too. And after they were so kind to the Liberal Party for so many years! Some people. Dion has much better manners.

  22. “I don’t think it has to be Dion, boudica, it’s just that it might keep up his Leadership Numbers momentum if he were out there on the front lines for this.”

    With all due respect anybody familiar with the bafflegab of their last platform would consider a couple hours with an in-flight pdf and a babblefish to be a good idea.

    This isn’t the stock market.

  23. “I don’t think it has to be Dion, boudica, it’s just that it might keep up his Leadership Numbers momentum if he were out there on the front lines for this.”

    Jack, you really believe that having Dion respond directly to the platform as opposed to McCallum or Goodale will do a thing for Dion’s leadership numbers?

  24. The only rally in BC was the concert in the evening, which was heavily attended. During the rest of the day he main-streeted with Briony Penn, held a press availability, and re-opened Keith Martin’s campaign office. None of those were rallies designed to get out big crowds. Not every campaign event is. That was the evening event, which had a huge crowd.

  25. “Jack, you really believe that having Dion respond directly to the platform as opposed to McCallum or Goodale will do a thing for Dion’s leadership numbers?”

    Well, I haven’t consulted Jesus on the matter but it strikes me as a good soap box moment to attack Harper personally (forget about the details of the platform, I doubt there will be any anyway). His attacks on Harper in both debates were his best moments and his Leadership Numbers took off as a result. I think a repeat performance while everybody’s listening would be a sound strategy, esp. since Liberal fortunes are now tied entirely to the public’s perception of Dion personally.

  26. I mean, the attack speech writes itself: “Mr. Harper has promised to do nothing about X; that is not leadership. Mr. Harper promised last year to get serious about Y; now he is failing Canadians once again. This is not a platform for leadership. This is not a platform for keeping the economy safe. Mr. Harper has given up.” Good declarative sentences with no complementary prepositions.

  27. Oh, Paul. Don’t be silly. Hadn’t you heard the news? Your concept of “time” matters not to a man like Stephane Dion.

    For instance, this morning, Dion is in Vancouver to speak at 8am PACIFIC … yet observe, this press release that was sent out at 8am EASTERN when in BC reporters (and Dion) are still asleep … the rules of physics don’t apply to Stephane Dion!

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Media@liberal.ca [mailto:media@liberal.ca]
    Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:06 AM

    For Immediate Release
    October 7, 2008

    Dion spells out benefits of Liberal economic action plan

    VANCOUVER – The Liberal Party’s five-point economic action plan assures a new Liberal government can take rapid action to protect the savings and jobs of Canadians during a time of economic turmoil, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said today.

    [BLAH … BLAH …]

    -30-

    Contact:

    Liberal Party of Canada Press Office
    613-783-8888

  28. Jack, you might be right but I think that Dion should be busy aiming his guns at Layton and let his team respond to the platform.

    The people who need to hear from Dion directly are those who are supporting the NDP but still hold the LPC as their second choice.

    Dion should be able to make minced meat out of Layton’s economic policy.

    The CPC is going downhill (down to 18% in Quebec)but the NDP is the reason why the LPC has not picked up more support.

  29. That’s a good point, boudica. Though perhaps Dion has to do both at the same time, in order to lure the NDP vote? I mean, a good part of that must be mainly anti-Harper, drawn to Layton by his truly ferocious assaults on Harper; so if I were Dion I would also pummel Harper, so as to impress NDPers. Meanwhile, though I’m only vaguely aware of how the print newspapers cover these things, I saw the Star (IIRC) loved Dion’s attack on “old school socialism.”

    It would be cool to be on Dion’s plane right now. We need another video blog post from our fearless surrogate.

    Tories are down to 18% in Quebec?!? Wow. Two years of sucking up gone in ten days.

  30. So much for political war rooms.
    Both the Conservative and Liberal campaigns have been very badly managed.
    The Conservatives focused on tactical ‘dirty tricks,’ character assassination of Dion, and the highly ephemeral qualities of their ‘leader’ at the expense of substantive policies. ‘Trust me’, Harper declared, ‘since I am the only ‘real’ leader.’ He meant of course that he is the only authoritarian leader who will kick butt and blame all his government’s problems on the opposition and/or the bureaucrats.
    The Tories foolishly refused to reveal their platform, until today, out of fear that the opposition parties and the media would rip it apart for its lack of substance. Instead Harper turned to old-fashioned retail politics – small, inexpensive goodies targeted to Tory voters. Those that join the Tory Church get rewarded. Those political heretics who do not, get spurned.
    The Liberals were caught flat footed by Harper’s snap election call – ignoring his own fixed date election law – in order to win a majority before the looming recession, a recession that his policy advisors in PCO, the Bank of Canada and the Finance Department knew was coming.
    The Liberals should have known that a serious recession was in the offing and they should have retooled their approach to the environmental crisis. Without a strong economy, it is difficult to sell voters on the need to restructure the industrial and resources economies in order to make them more productive and environmentally sustainable.
    Perhaps this dual financial and economic crisis will propel financial institutions and the resource and industrial sectors, propelled by angry voters and investors, to think seriously about building a 21st century sustainable economy.
    The lack of a consensus in the Canadian society, made clear by polls showing a growing protest vote for NDP and Green candidates, and made even more evident by the financial and economic crash, will produce another very ineffective and dysfunctional minority government.
    Fasten your seat belts and get ready for one hell of a ride!

  31. I am Canadian:

    I get my information from what CTV Newsnet reported in the first week of the campaign.

    How can Harper “script” the questions from the reporters ? And I haven’t heard complaints from any sources that some reporters have been excluded from the questioners list. There’s always about ten or so questions, alternating English/French, starting with the national reporters, ending with one or two local reporters.

    It’s more fair, organized and understandable than what Dion does in his shout-out scrum-like pressers.

  32. I’m pretty sure that Dion has already recorded his response to the “Platform”…
    Loud guffaws!!
    Works both ways – if Harper has relied on Flaherty to write the Economic bit – Dion’s War Room just turns up the volume…
    If Harper has actually got out of his bubble – the laughter will be toned down just a tad out of respect for the poor citizens who are still hurting from the knee jerk policy response to the Income Trust market…
    Either way, Harper is toast!
    Heck – maybe he’s so desperate now he’ll actually mention the Free Trade negotiations with the EU…

  33. He could pre-record his reaction.

  34. Wonder whose platform Uncle Steve copied to use as his own?

  35. PolPundit
    “The Tories foolishly refused to reveal their platform, until today, out of fear that the opposition parties and the media would rip it apart for its lack of substance.”

    I’m not sure if it was that foolish, I think a trashing of the platform by the opposition would have been devastating to Harper, particularly as attack points during the debate.

    “The Liberals were caught flat footed by Harper’s snap election call – ignoring his own fixed date election law – in order to win a majority before the looming recession, a recession that his policy advisors in PCO, the Bank of Canada and the Finance Department knew was coming.
    The Liberals should have known that a serious recession was in the offing and they should have retooled their approach to the environmental crisis. ”

    True, true. And honestly, I think that’s what makes voters wary of Dion – they’re smarter than we, and the media, give them credit for. They realize he’s so much of an environmental ideologue that he can’t abandon his green taxes even in the face of a recession.

    And though I’ll vote Liberal in this election, I probably wouldn’t if Dion was anything close to getting into power.

    Harper gets his minority, the knives come out for Dion, Ignatieff gets leader 1 year from now and brings down government just as economy is at its worst.

    PolPundit, thank you for your comments. Finally someone intelligent to talk to on these boards.

  36. I am very impressed with how the NDP have been doing out here in the west this time and unlike last election there will be no migration to the Lib’s so as they say ‘ The Game is Afoot! ‘ Dion’s numbers are so low now that Jack is starting to look like a very credible leader of the opposition and wouldn’t that be something!

  37. Wayne: Even assuming the Liberals crash, it’s already been acknowledged that the opposition won’t be the NDP. It’ll be the Bloc because of how their vote concentrates their seat count.

    Although I certainly understand your cheering of the NDP as the anti-Liberal alternative out in BC.

  38. If Dion stops a Harper majority as it now looks like he just might, it will be very difficult for the Ignatieff and Rae camps to gang up on him. They have been part of the problem for the Grits, not the solution. They have carried on the leadership campaign behind his back!
    Think back when Turner was trounced by Mulroney in 1984. He then came back to almost defeat Mulroney in the free trade election of 1988. Had the foolish Turner been on the right side of the constitutional debate be would have trounced Mulroney!!
    Only after two defeats was Chrétien capable of toppling Turner in 1990. In politics timing is everything. Rae’s and Ignatieff’s times have passed them by. They need to be strong and loyal supporters of the Dion Team, a team that is far stronger than anything that the loner Harper will be able to field.
    In fact, Conservative candidates in Quebec are so weak and under so much control by the PMO that they have no presence or traction in their ridings. This explains why the Bloc has made a come back in rural, small town Quebec. Perhaps the same thing will happen in south western Ontario’s communities where the recession has hit hard and the Tory candidates have been mute.

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