One question about Elizabeth May’s platform release


Why is she so far away from everyone that she has to shout?

Here’s a link to the Green platform. Open thread!


One question about Elizabeth May’s platform release

  1. I think the audience was placed sufficiently far away to justify her shouting. I think she prefers that.

    Wow, she is a good orator.

  2. I’m kind of tickled that she’s using the Progressive Conservatives to rebuke the Harper Conservatives on fiscal responsibility. I stand to be corrected on this, but I believe no Progressive Conservative government ever delivered a balanced budget. (Before Harper, Robert Borden delivered the last balanced budget under a government with the Conservative label — in 1912, before the Progressive Conservative party was created.)

  3. Paul: In fairness, no Progressive Conservative government ever started off with a 12 billion dollar surplus to piss away either.

  4. But Harper was only forced to have a balanced budget by the dastardly fiscal habits established by the previous crew. Thankfully, he’s right on course to return Canada’s finances to the red. It allows for greater theatrics, afterall.

  5. Maybe she’s shouting in the vain hope that someone will hear what she’s saying. Poor lady.
    It will gradually dawn on her that reporters are more interested in “how” she says it than “what” she said. Her friend Stephane should have told her that.

  6. Sisyphus, the link to her platform’s in the post. Here’s your chance to provide the insightful and substantive commentary you find so sadly lacking! There is literally nothing stopping you!

  7. This is an interesting look at budget history, including breakdowns of operating budget deficits


    Sadly it doesnt go all the way back to the mid 50’s…my suspicion is Dief ran a small surplus at one point, but I cant prove it yet, maybe he didnt.

    Anyway, the reputation of Liberals being spendthrifts is shown quite nicely in the operational deficit graph where the Truedeau years just blow the whole thing apart. What the graph doesnt show was that in the Mulroney years, when that government got the country back to an operational surplus, the Liberals moaned and complained about every single cut in expenditures….but so what, governments are supposed to govern.

    The Libs have a well earned reputation as spenders and taxers.

    And blowing a 12 billion surplus….as a percentage of GDP, being in the 3% range is a problem, just as a deficit in that range is a problem. Both are unacceptable distortions to the economy. Especially when the surpluses were all SURPRISE surpluses that got used for late year program spending.

  8. Stephen hasn’t read Joe Clark’s 1980 election platform. A reading of Jeff Simpson’s book Discipline of Power never goes out of style.

  9. She uses the comparison of the Harper Conservatives to the Progressive Conservatives all the time, with a particular emphasis due to her efforts to get elected in Peter McKay’s riding in particular. Hence the one sided hug of Bill Casey in the adjacent riding as an “honourary Green”.

    The local pandering at a national level is often evident in her press releases. Yesterday, on the eve of the re-release of the party’s platform was no exception.

    Although the GPC’s Looking Forward document lists as #9 – Work for Peace – To make the world a better, safer place her press release yesterday Canadian military loses high quality Grohmann Knives to a competitor selling “Made in China” knock offs makes claims (unfounded as far as I can see) that the military is buying inferior products, and thereby putting our military at risk, one presumes:

    “My next thought was what kind of other shoddy non-Canadian goods are being purchased for our soldiers in cost-cutting measures?…We must not cut corners on the quality of equipment required by our troops.” yada yada yada

    I don’t know. Wouldn’t a consistent GPC policy be to eliminate the need for knives for the military altogether, rather than promoting their manufacture at a higher cost local (as in Pictou County) ?

    Surely, there must be other growing markets for Grohmann knives outside of the military to pick up the slack. Steak anyone?

  10. Blogging isn’t always suited to insightful commentary, and I guess this post is no exception.

  11. Nor are sound bites.

  12. Grohmann makes very good knives. Have some myself.

    And, Paul, I have the platform document. Probably had it before you did. And I read it, too. In a very quiet place.

  13. Any talk of creating a permanent UN military force makes me twitchy. I don’t know what Green party sees in UN that makes them think giving that corrupt forum of gangsters and murderers its own armed forces is a good idea.

  14. Discipline of Power was a great book…read a long time ago though, when Jeff Simpson had some insight. My hazy memory just recalls the lack of counting the MP’s before a vote and that the cons were a fractious group who couldnt agree on goals, objectives and message.

    The 80 platform??? I rememeber mortgage interest deductability, and they didnt implement that because it would cost the treasury too much, or was that ’79? Or are you talking about the gas excise tax? The one the Liberals criticized then implemented in a larger amount?

    It is a little rich for the Liberals to claim a heritage of fiscal discipline when the history shows otherwise. They get credit for 1995 budgets for sure, the program expenditure review was well done and proof again that “only Nixon can go to China”, i.e. only a moderate government could carry that out since the conservatives could only say go faster.

    But that mess was all really created in the 70’s, then the Liberals cratered the budget and the PC’s got it back to an operational supplus by 1987 and kept the operational surplus through the early 90’s recession.

    The public wasnt really ready for the needed cuts, and or controls, till we were on the verge of Argentina like status in 94/95. Ask Bob Rae what it was like being Premier. He went through an enormous conversion then. I believe his quote at the time was “The problem wasnt that we couldnt borrow the money, the problem was that people were willing to lend us more” meaning the rates they would have to pay and the conditions attached. I believe Saskatchewan was close to defaulting at that time.

    Point being, major crisis finally brought the consensus to do something, even though this had been a plank of the conservative wing of the conservative party for some time, and to be fair some of the Blue Liberals.

    My point is that the history of the Liberal party over the last 30 to 40 years is not one of fiscal discipline. It was religon found only when faced with a major meltdown. Are the cons any better, they spend on different things but it is more embedded in their political DNA, but electoral necessities drive them to other options. This may well instruct how Harper would deal with a majority. If he is trying to capture the middle then he will continue to spend, the Liberals and NDP can only criticize by saying “spend more and faster”

    I still point to the first Mulroney term as an example. All attempts to control spending were shouted down by the Liberals limiting how far the “minority party” could go.

    Sorry for the length of response and I may have totally missed your point, that wry obscure wellsian detatchment, and for that I duly apologize.

  15. Well, I thought she handled the heckler well, for what it’s worth.

    She just loves to talk doesn’t she?

  16. Sandi, what politician doesn’t love to?

  17. She just loves to talk doesn’t she?

    The trouble being, however, that she developed and honed her media smarts and skill at delivering convincing sound bites in the pre-internet era.

    When there are readily available records to check, clips to parse, and speeches and press releases to be vetted, the over exposure will come back to haunt her. TVO Agenda/libel lawsuit threat against a blogger controversy a case in point.

  18. I was walking by the Grand Parade in Halifax and there she was.

    Why was she shouting? Because she was right next to Barrington street, and there were a lot of traffic going by. Especially buses. Really loud buses.

    I had thought about heckling her but I didn’t want to be on tv. There were about 20 people clapping, 20 reporters, and 30 curious onlookers eating their lunches.

  19. I read about May’s speeches but I can’t seem to find video of them anywhere. Can someone please post a link or directions to video of the platform release speech or to her speech after the writ dropped?


  20. The Liberals get far too much credit for bringing in the first balanced budget.

    Much of the heavy lifting in inching public opinion towards accepting the idea of a surplus was done by the Mulroney government. Moreover, the budget could never have been balanced without the extra revenue flowing in from the GST.

    There is a lot of truth to the Nixon goes to China analogy. Mulroney (not to his credit)ran away from fiscal prudence as soon as a little old lady challenged him in a shopping center. Mulroney had to face an opposition that called repeatedly for more spending. On the other hand, the Liberals never had to be afraid of political pressure not to do the right thing fiscally since by that time we were in a crisis and the opposition Reform Party never complained about balancing the budget.

    So, for the Liberals to strut around the stage claiming to be the only party that understands fiscal responsibility is just baloney. Especially, when they are the ones that insist that the Conservative Party is the same as the Reform Party and then ignore the fact that the Reform Party was teh one party that was more committed to fiscal discipline than the Liberals.

Sign in to comment.