Shorter Lawrence Martin -

Shorter Lawrence Martin


What’s it been, three years already? I’m bored; bring me a new prime minister.


Shorter Lawrence Martin

  1. Lawrence martin : the guy who bought you the latest political prediction in the TGM that says Harper will resign this year! ROFL LMAO – apparently he overlooked the little appreciated fact that Stevie boy has only 12 more seats to go (maybe less if you factor in the bi’-elections) for a majority and any leader who would willingly give up a possible third term with this staring him in the face would be stupid … which though Steve may be many things stupid is definitely not one of them. I for one predict a spring 2010 election as there is no way the Lib’s (nor the CPC) want to let Harper sit for longer than a year and give the Canadian voter a real chance to get to know Iggy and at the same time lay credit to improving economic conditions by that time as the worst should be over with with canada slowly coming out well ahead of where we would have been had we a Lib gov’t and lots opportunities for Stevie to have warm and fuzzy Obama moments. Speaking of which pretty soon we will be having the perennial debate of who Obie wil be visiting first – I predict US with Obie addressing the House of C.

  2. How did you make Lawrence Martin (whoever he is) shorter?

    There are a few people I’d like to cut down to size so I could use the recipe.

    Oh, perhaps you meant his words and not his body.

  3. Yeah, that’s about it, really.

    But if we’re going to discuss Harper’s exit from the federal scene, I think it’s more likely to happen in 2014 than in 2009. For the following reasons:

    Assuming the Tories manage to stay in power under his leadership, 2014 would mark 8 years as prime minister, or the equivalent of an American president’s constitutionally-allowed tenure in office. That’s usually long enough for the electorate to start grumbling about the need for change in the incumbent government.
    Harper will be 55 in 2009, an age when early retirement starts looking like a good option.
    By 2014, more Tories with a potential for good leadership will have been identified. So far, the only contenders as Harper’s eventual replacement (in the event of an emergency, for example) are Peter McKay, Jim Prentice, and Stockwell Day (and in Day’s case, only on an interim basis at best). More time is needed to see if other Tories can develop leadership potential..

  4. The smart money says read Lawrence Martin’s political analyses to have a good chuckle and seek your political prognostications elsewhere.

    If anyone banked on Lawrence’s Martin’s past political predictions they’d be in the poor house.

  5. Oh , Lawrence Martin , Jeffrey Simpson, James Travers,—-You`re like 3 old men sitting around talking about the good old days—-I am so sick of these Toronto centrist writers trying to tell the rest of us how things should be done.
    Hey I have an idea—let`s start a rumour that Lawrence Martin is going to retire before everybory realixes he`s always been a Liberal cheerleader.
    Harper is not going anywhere, but I know of lots of journalism grads who would be more inciteful and investigative then these old cheerleaders could ever be so move on boys.

  6. St. Stephen of Calgary sent the cavalry out early this morning – didn’t he?
    Lucky you Colleague Wells – that the other Mr. Martin has been rambling somewhat in his last few prognostications. Having listened to him being interviewed several times in the immediate post pro-roguing period – he zigged and zagged and clearly hadn’t a clue (sounded remarkably like his namesake in fact – whither goest!
    Now at last he has flipped his coyne (sorry – couldn’t resist – first pun of 2009) – and I tend to agree with him…not in a partisan manner (unlike the Bots who rolled out earlier)…but simply because Ignatieff – by virute of the “Gods looking favourably” image that St. Lawrence scribbled – holds all the cards.
    Harper has no inner compass left – he has absolutely no policy wiggle room…he will survive from month to month (as any minority leader should) by doing what is acceptable to the majority opposition parties…until one or the other of them (probably in partnership of at least one other – even though it is not called a coalition per se.) will pull the rug out from Harper’s feet.
    And if the CPC loses this year – expect the long Tory knives to come out.

    • —Could you check your Meds.—I do not understand anything you wrote—there must be a blockage somewhere—-that pun wasn`t even little bit funny.

      • As suscint a diagnosis of con-botisim as yr likely to ever come across.

    • Harper’s inner compass still points true to where it always has — himself.

  7. I share your view on the absurdity of this item. I am also thrilled to see Inkless embracing Pundit Accountability! Will you be accepting submissions?

    • It’s not clear how I can stop them.

      • Ridicule.

  8. I wish I could believe it was just boredom, rather than animus. Maybe the one drives the other.

  9. The Ottawa punditry didn’t see the Economic Statement coming and fell for sweaterman, and missed the significance of Giorno (except for Kady).

    You’ll never get the guy out of Stornaway, House of Commons, or the Ottawa fish bowl he controls. This cowboy don’t belong in Calgary that’s for sure.

    Related or not, I wanted to mention that, leaving aside the racial aspect, isn’t there a lot of Manning, Harris, Harper in today’s Krugman column on the Republican Party’s ideas about competence and success in government? Although I would disagree with Martin, Krugman is saying it’s totally over for these guys, Atwater, Gingrich, Bush, Cheney, etc. Does this apply to our extreme rightists too? If he’s as smart as everybody says, does Harper understand this?

    • Before someone mentions it,I know Atwater’s dead.

  10. See, this is weird. Normally, I tend to agree with PW and (strongly) disagree with Lawrence Martin, but if the latter had forumlated his column as “why Harper should resign” instead of “why Harper will resign”, I would have to agree with him despite all my better judgment and accumulated spite.

    I think Harper’s facing a number of obstacles that not even his awesome chess-playing acumen can overcome, including: a) the economy; b) a non-useless Liberal leader; c) his indomitable personality disorder; d) a rather impressive record of obfuscation and dishonesty; and e) VAMPIRE ATTACKS!

    In case you were wondering, I added e) in a futile attempt to make my comment less boring.

    • Harper is clearly a were-wolf not a vampire. Ignatieff on the other hand is a vampire. Place yr bets.

      • Stupid me. You clearly do understand the finer distinctions of the underworld.
        Have to agree with you that it should be should, rather than will. I enjoy Martin[L[ myself, probably because he mostly tells me what i want to hear. A list of plausible reasons why Harper will stay is about as credible as Martin’s. Indeed the most likely reason is having drunk from the well of Power, he like all politicians wants more. I see no evidence that quibbles like will or should will have any effect on a driven character like Harper. Still it is hard to see how luck can possibly favour SH any more then i already has.

      • Harper’s not a werewolf. His horror-movie analogy is The Blob That Ate Bay Street (or its bankrolling of the Libs at least)

        • I find him a bit of a ghoul. Although the hair is totally frankenstein.

  11. Shorter Paul Wells: I’m bored and having nothing of note to say today, but I’m grumpy because I didn’t get to play foreign correspondent this week, so let’s have a go at Lawrence Martin, who just, like, really bugs me.

    • That’s actually longer.

    • Who did you say is grumpy?

    • Paul has a right to be as grumpy as…say L. Martin. Still i wonder if a shorter P Wells might have been appropriate near the end of the other Martins reign. Although it wasn’t perhaps boredom then but … [ don’t want to put words in PW’s mouth ]

  12. Harper’s passed his best before date. How long he stays on the shelf is anybody’s guess.

  13. Why isn’t the punditry talking about the anointed one: Michael Ignatieff, descendant of a Russian Prince and heir-apparent to the country’s top job?

    It’ bad enough that the Liberals back-room elite had a leader installed but you’d think the punditry, which although drawing its same set of cultural assumptions from that same elite, would want to kick the tires somewhat before joining in the anointing process.

    I’m sensing nervousness that the Crown Prince may not yet be ready for Prime Time.

    Don’t worry folks, Harper will have his feet to the fire before long, one wedge issue at a time.

    • Ok so Ignatieff was annointed [ if he had been voted in i’m sure Jarrid would now be moaning about the antiquated system used and unctuously explaining why even a coronation would have been an improvement ] And SH bought his way into party leadership. Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

    • He wasn’t anointed. He was acclaimed from among three candidates. No wait, let me try that again…

  14. Members of the liberal media building a case for our conservative PM’s ouster?

    How ironic that the case he’s trying to build is one of boredom of the “same old, same old”.

    Tomorrow and every day hence, the sun will rise, the sun will set.

    And L. Martin and his liberal cohorts will spin against Harper.

    • You forgot to add your signature tagline- “Today’s progressive tolerant left.”

      But yes, the sun will still rise and set, and the National Post and its Conservative cohorts will spin against Ignatieff.

  15. Here, I’ll translate the article from a realist perspective:

    “With each successive election, Harper has (contrary to my and other pundits predictions [hopes]) made significant gains: from obscurity, to minority, to near majority. Now he is poised to take a majority against the party that I long to see back in power, but one that is disorganized, has no unifying principles or even platform, is broke and recently destroyed its only remaining brand as defenders of federalism with its deal with the seperatist devil. I therefor prey that, on the cusp of Harper’s apex of power, the party somehow pulls the rug out from under him, so that the party representing my leftist myopic ideals that permeate my (and my fellow media travellers) worldview, will miraculously regain their rightful rule over us.

    Please, oh please let this happen.”

  16. Once again, Wells writes what everybody is thinking. Non-partisan, non-bias.

    I know this is probably a dumb question, but is it possible Wells could take over Mike Duffy’s show? Paul Wells Live! Honestly, nobody is better to fill in for that show than Wells.

    I’m guessing that Wells wouldn’t want the job, and is happy writing and travelling, but Canadians need a good political-analysis show and we don’t really have it currently. I guarantee a show that was hosted by Paul would generate a lot of viewers.

    • They’d have to run it on the Paint-Drying Network.

      • You mean CBC?

      • Take one step to the side PW…you wouldn’t want to get crushed by the Coyne / Gregg (Heck – maybe even Coren) stampede – would you?

    • I have to think that filling the position of host of Mike Duffy Live would be a high priority appointment for the Conservatives in 2009 and am surprised that they haven’t yet moved on it. Somehow I doubt PW would be on the short list.

      • The point is Canada should have a well-thought-out political show that asks interesting questions of pundits, politicians and newsmakers. We don’t have one. Instead we have supper-hour shows that give 3 minutes to each party to blather on about whatever talking point they were given on their blackberry, and then a five minute wrap-up of journalists who barely have enough time to get in a lame joke.

        Paul Wells is the only journalist who could actually moderate a thought-provoking hour of discussion. My guess is he wouldn’t just sit there and let people blather on til they are blue in the face, he might actually ask them real questions.

        One thing though, if you do host the show Paul; I expect a fancy magic board of riding information tout de suite

        • OK, I would totally do it if I could have the Jon King magic politics board. That’s not negotiable.

          • I’m not sure CTV could afford one of those. Could you make do with a whiteboard and dry erase markers?

        • While in addition to federal politics this show often covers world politics, Queen’s Park politcs, and some business and cultural news, the best political show on TV is TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paiken.” It’s thought provoking, shows no bias, and is very in depth. And most episodes are fully available on The Agenda’s website the day after airing. Check it out!

      • Best Jarrid post ever! I salute you, sir!

    • if Wellzie takes the Puffster’s gig at the ole Foyer, does this mean he needs to grow seven chins and sport a pail that precludes his ability to tie his own shoes, as well as, form a circle-jerk to campaign for an Odor of Canada? Because if it does, there is the distinct possibility of him opening himself up for ridicule.
      However, that never seemed to bother the Puffster …. AND he did win the “CASH FOR LIFE” !!!

  17. Does that mean you wouldn’t do it?

  18. I second the idea of Wells taking over Duffy’s show.

    And as per my shorter Wells: dammit.

  19. Hey I got a new avatar. I think everyone should change their avatar every few weeks.

    • Don’t change the subject! Let’s start a write-in-campaign to get Wells to host a new CTV show! Paul Wells Live!

      write the folks at CTV News at and tell them they need a real host and not some cheap-fill-in. They need Wells!

      • Since its a proven Senate springboard, not until he proves he can at least sit still during afternoon nap.

      • How do we know what Wells sounds like? Does he have the voice for a talk show? He might be a James Earl Jones or Clint Eastwood… but on the other hand, he might be a Bobcat Goldthwait, Joe Pesci, or Gilbert Gottfried.

        • Personally, I would love to hear a political talk show host with a voice like Joe Pesci. It would be great for interviews. “You breakin’ my f—ing balls here?”

    • So, next week it’s a volleyball? Paint a smiley on that one, Mr. Wells.

  20. Well, SH is very boring from a policy point of view, though his reign has been quite lively from the animalistic bloodletting point of view.

    Funny how Paul Martin was ridiculed (including, to both the Californians who would listen, by me) for wanting to be PM but not really wanting to govern, just to sit on the throne dealing righteous judgment. Now we’ve got another Paul Martin, in the form of SH, who differs only in manner. Yet SH is perceived as a sinister Machiavellian genius. SH’s best trick was showing up when all his Reform rivals, all the PC wet noodles, and all the grown-up Liberals were dead. He’s run from the bear faster than everybody else, but now they’re all devoured and the bear is catching up.

    • Timing is everything. How’s Ignatieffs?

    • It’s only boring because it’s been going on so long. When Chretien did it back in 93 it was kind of novel.

      • Agreed. To my shame i loved Chretien. I’ll never forget the slap-down of Gomery and those wonderful golf balls. If we must have perfidy lets at least make it entertaining. Somehow Harper even managed to make his’ just whatch me moment’ – denouncing the deal with the devil lifeless.

  21. Here in Japan we’ve had a new prime minister every year for the past three years. The new guy (Taro Aso) is so unpopular he’s only been in office only three months and there is already talk of replacing him. This rotation of prime ministers has done nothing to make Japanese economic policies (or any other policies for that matter) more coherent.

    Let’s let Harper stick around for at least five years so we can have some policy stability. Canadians don’t realize how lucky they are to have some who is competent, albeit a bit prickly, as prime minister.

    Ah….maybe I should re-phrase that — judging from the polls Canadians understand how lucky we are. It may be just the punditocracy that misses the point that Harper has been dellivering half-decent goverance. Before anyone gets too excited, that I am ready to accept the level of quality being offered by the Harper government as the best there is to offer, let me be clear. I’m not saying he’s been brilliant. I’m just comparing him to the alternatives. Dion anyone? Jumpin’ Jack?

    • Yeah, yeah, I realize Dion has gone. But Iggy is still in learning curve mode and only the leftie ideologues actually believe he doesn’t need more time to get his act together before we make a call on whether he’s make a decent alternative to Harper.

    • Harper’s competence is very much in question these days. Still Flaherty will probably take a bullet for him. There may very well be no-one else around, but he has so poisoned the waters, who knows? Perhaps the libs will feel less vulnerable now and Harper consequently less compative. I don’t know any one here who believes that.

  22. Paul: Hope you’re correct in your prediction that the Press Gallery will be a little less breathless when covering confidence votes and give us a little more detail on the reason for the votes. Here in Manyberries we found last year that the drama of vote by vote coverage by the jocks doing the play by play tended to flatten the beer and sour the wine.

  23. Lawrence Martin is wrong! Harper isn’t going anywhere but up. A recent Compas Research poll has the Conservatives at 43%, Liberals at 30% and NDP at 13 %. Not a time to change your leader.

  24. There’s that journalistic mediocrity gene the Martin family (Lawrence, Don, and Patrick) carries rearing its ugly head again. Harper won’t be going over to the other side any time soon. The tax cutting to come in the budget is as conservative as it gets, as is reducing the size of government that is inevitable when temporary deficits have to be paid off. Goodbye CBC, cultural freeloaders, and others who consume wealth rather than create it.

    Harper’s boys are years ahead of the indolent hacks at the Globe and The Star.

    • Dream on. harper isn’t listening to you either.

  25. Lawrence Martin has been trying for some time now to have people jump onto his bandwagon; he will keep pushing this self fulfilling prophecy. It’s all getting a bit old and tiresome, but he hasn’t understood that just yet. Martin doesn’t understand Harper, nor does he want to understand Harper. It’s as simple as that.

    • ‘ Martin doesn’t undrstand Harper… ‘ that is true of many of us. Three times [ i think? ] Canadians have sent him to Ottawa with a MINORITY and a mandate to work with the other parties. Times up. He better start listening.

  26. “Three times [ i think? ] Canadians have sent him to Ottawa with a MINORITY and a mandate to work with the other parties. Times up. He better start listening.”

    Alternatively, 3 times Canadians have sent him to Ottawa with a MINORITY and a MANDATE. The other parties better start listening.

    Keep in mind that the “coalition” carried on well after ALL so-called poison pills were removed from the update.

    Keep in mind that ALL 3 “coalition” party leaders pledged cooperation w/the new-new gov’t on Oct. 14.

    ALSO keep in mind that the US, our largest trading partner, is changing administrations in 3 weeks, so bringing forth major economic initiatives two months before that occurs would be pretty stupid, since we don’t know, for sure, what the new US admin intends.

    This isn’t rocket science, so why does it need explaining?

    • Actually he had little or no mandate. He didn’t even reveal his platform until he was shamed into it. SH stood on that stage and pledged a new era of cooperation. Some cooperation. Get real lady.

  27. A leopard does not change his spots and Ignatieff has not only told Harper but Canadians there is a new sheriff in town …… having said that …. I would suspect Harper’s day’s are numbered for a number of reasons ….. world events are happening at lightening speed …. the middle east is a now on fire and the once mighty US of A is almost broke and it’s fall from power is in clear and present danger approaching near 75% of it’s National Debt vs its total GDP…… add to this the deadly and devastating effects of Global Warming that has destroyed most of the Gulf Coast with over 2000 tornadoes last year alone in the Midwest ….. all now under the radar ….. and they are still spending billions per week on two Wars ….. and Canada well, hello we are tied to there coat strings and Harper lives in lu lu land ….. Think? Israel and Gaza and where are Bush and Harper? (on extended taxpayer vacations) …. and you say Harper is good until 2014? hey read this from one great journalist who received bunches of added backbone in his stocking on Christmas day

  28. Paul, this is OT (but the thread is old now so….)

    It would fascinating to examine the media’s coverage of the Gaza dispute, and more particularly the media’s reference to Israel hitting “civilian” infrastructure.

    It now seems beyond dispute that Hamas intentionally intermingles with civilians as a form of defence. We’ve seen rockets stored in Mosques (they give quite a seconary explosion), rockets fired from schools (those guys really know how to scurry into the shool yard to shoot em off), intentionally surrounded themselves by family at a time when the IDF gave explicit warnings for the family to clear out,

    and countless other examples.

    What I find fascinating is how I learn this from seeing the actual footage of these things. As well as corroborating eye witness accounts. Hamas itself doesn’t even deny these things, in fact as a terrorist organization they’re quite open about it, sometimes bragging about it.

    Where I DON’T learn about it is from mainstream media coverage. What I learn from them is only “Israel bombed a mosque, among other targets” without the crucial context.

    My question then is this:

    If Hamas actively uses civilian infrastructure as a defence (which btw is a war crime), as well as a propoganda tool “you’ve killed our civilians!!!” by actually intentionally putting its civilians in harms way, and the media only reports the civilian damage, without the context of Hamas actively committing this war crime,

    is the media, not only failing to report, but also actively complicit in, factilitating, and gauranteeing the continuation of, the use of civilians as a wartime tool?

    In my opinion the answer is not only YES, but it is also an example of where agenda journalism is “making a difference” alright, but the difference being actual deaths to innocent civilians.

    I’d be interested in someone here at Macleans broaching this subject.

    It seems that no one else is willing to do so.

  29. Paul and Editorial Staff of MacLeans ….. it appears Santa just might have put more backbone into jornalist stocking than I thought possible ….. some veteran journalist in the US are now opening speaking out on the fact that Bush (Harper’s Mentor) as was Howard and Blair may have done even more damage than even they could have imagined ….. Obama has little or no room to operate on the world front …. pull out of Iraq and have it go south would be his disaster ….. move to Afghanistan and loose big as have the both and British and Russians have and it will be a double lose ….. Iran for all intent and purpose has an Atomic bomb …. they need not prove they just have to let the world know they can make even ONE! ….. no need to mention National Debt ….. no need to mention the world economic crisis …. and we the taxpayers do not believe the banks when they said we did not bail them out …. and each industry is now lining up on the gravy train ….. while the middle class gets taken to cleaners …. promises and lies one after another by BUSH-HARPER will just not cut it any more …… and if the MSM will not print the truth the bloggers will World Wide Will !!! ….. infrastructure money is a scam …. hello I can not even get a young kid to shovel snow let alone cut my grass …. why …. because they can not sit by computer talk on the phone and do the job . So look out …… it’s long way to 2015 ….. and just think how many will die waiting for health care? ……. now they are talking about the devaluation of the American dollar whoa! ….. how does that line go Paul “Too Close for Comfort” sorry to sound pessimistic ….. but we just had 8 years of BS from Washington coupled with 3-4 from Ottawa …… for all those who have a positive outlook please share in plain simple English with the facts and time line ……… start with Gaza ……

  30. Regarding the discussion on Paul Wells becoming a host for a T.V. political punditry programme. The several, not many, occassions I observed Paul Wells as a guest or a filler for political programmes I arrived at aconclusion he was out of his element. Having an ability to express one self in writing does not necessarily mean a person is suitable for a discussion on a similar subject.
    Mr. Wells is also a self proclaimed Liberal. I do not know if he is a card carrying Liberal Party member, but my understanding is his support is more than being a small l liberal, (classical?) individual. I consider my self a classical liberal who is coincidentally a card carrying Conservative. Cheers.

  31. At last somebody is talking sense. Note, however, that I am not a card-carrying Liberal. I have servants who carry my cards for me, at a discreet distance, whenever I meet Michael and Szuszana at the Yorkville Starbuck’s for mocha. I have done this several, not many, times. Sadly I have to write down my end of the conversation.