Stephen Harper and Canada, a love story

by Aaron Wherry

Judging from the Conservative party’s campaign slogan (“Here for Canada”) and the placard that adorned the Prime Minister’s lectern yesterday (“Canada”) and the giant flag behind him (Canadian), not to mention the actual content of Sunday’s speech—some of which was presaged by a speech to supporters last fall—Mr. Harper’s preferred ballot question would seem to be this: Who loves Canada most? Or, put as less of a question: I love Canada more than Michael Ignatieff.

In a way, this inverts questions Mr. Harper has himself faced. (At the outset of the 2006 campaign he was asked rather bluntly by a reporter whether he loved the country and Paul Martin’s campaign attempted to make something of the fact that his answer didn’t include the word “yes.) In another way, it reintroduces—if one wishes to engage in this debate—everything Mr. Harper has himself said about the country he now loves deeply.

Of the comments of Mr. Ignatieff’s that Mr. Harper’s side objects to, one involves the Canadian flag. That particular quote is taken from a column Mr. Ignatieff wrote for the Observer in 1990. Mr. Ignatieff wrote about the experience of watching the World Cup as a Canadian in England and, coincidentally, the irony of modern nationalism. The piece can be read, in its entirety, here.




Browse

Stephen Harper and Canada, a love story

  1. But then what slogan will the CPC use in Quebec?

    And does the article where Iggy refers to himself as Canadian predate or ante-date the speech where Harper calls us a socialist backwater?

  2. "In the case of the Canadian flag, I cannot entirely forget that it is both my flag and a passing imitation of a beer label.'

    OK… and the Conservatives are saying this is a bad thing? What country have they been living in? Whatever it is, it's not the Canada I know and love.

  3. Beer labels are a bad thing? Who knew?

  4. Eugene Forsey, our late great constitutional expert dismissed the flag as 'a dish towel from Woolworth's'.

  5. It certainly has a bit of a McCain/Palin "Country First" feel to it doesn't it?

    Still, I gotta feel that the subtext here, "Canada for Real Canadians", won't exactly help in the 905 (where any hope of a majority lies)

  6. Oh I dunno – it wouldn't surprise me if the Conservatives were able to convince the 905'ers to turn against the hated Torontonians, and become "real" Canadians in the process.

  7. There's nothing more disgusting than a politician claiming to love his country more than his political opponent.

    Yet another Republican tactic imported to Canada by our Conservative party.

  8. we already know: "notre région au pouvoir"

  9. Harper is definitely leading us…..backwards. Through all our history.

    Gays, Quebec nationalism, abortion, military prowess, capital punishment, shipbuilding, prayer…and now we've reached the flag debate.

    My suspicion is that he…and by extension, we….will finally get back to the moment Alberta joined Canada. September 1, 1905

  10. I'm sure Ignatieff would love Canada just as much, if only Canadian's would do what he was promised we'd do and make him the President…oops, I mean the Prime Minister.

    Of all the leaders, the one I believe loves Canada the most is Elisabeth May, where else could someone like her ever actually lead a national party? Luckily she was born a proud Canadian…

  11. The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.

    George McGovern

  12. "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." ~ Samuel Johnson 1775

    Funny how some things never change eh?

    I find nothing more disgusting than oppugning the loyalty of one's fellow Canadians, ESPECIALLY when implied in an underhanded way.

    You are no more Canadian than I, and I no more than you, and it really speaks to the lack of meaningful discussion when this is the slogan chosen by any political party.

    They clearly have nothing better to say in support of their five years in government.

    And yet even my disgust with the CPC would never move me to suggest they aren't doing what they THINK is best for the country.

    They just happen to be wrong! ;) LOL

  13. I'm more upset he's so nerdy he can't sit down and enjoy a sporting event without launching into a diatribe about nationalism.

  14. You guys are hilarious. Clearly you have conveniently forgotten how the Liberal Party used to portray Harper, as a Canada-hating America-lover from Alberta.

    You can now return to your cognitive dissonance.

  15. Agree with the first sentence.

    As to the second, I think we have to admit that Republicans do not have a monopoly on this tactic. Liberals have used it and Sir John A got elected more than once on notions of "The Old Flag".

    But like with pretty much everything, Harper takes what was done before in a somewhat ugly and unfortunate way and blows it up to make it his central focus, turning a little ditch into a deep gutter.

  16. "Here for Canada" in no way implies that the opponents are disloyal or less Canadian then anyone. Dont look for "meaningful discussion" in the slogan of a political party.

  17. Thanks for linking to the original article.

    It makes an interesting contrast of quotations doesn't it:

    - the Conservatives try to scare us with decades old quotations from Ignatieff, but the context of the original renders them very uncontroversial, and reveals him to be (or to have been) a quite thoughtful observer if verbose

    - the Liberals used to try to scare us with more recent quotations from Stephen Harper, but the context of the original renders them even more controversial and scary and reveals Harper to be either a raging ideologue who thinks very little of Canada or one of the biggest flip floppers who will abandon any fundamental principle for power.

  18. More cognitive dissonance:

    tedbetts replying to TJCook:
    Agree with the first sentence.

    The first sentence of TJCook is:
    There's nothing more disgusting than a politician claiming to love his country more than his political opponent.

    And now:
    Harper to be either a raging ideologue who thinks very little of Canada

    Its interesting that you find yourself disgusting. I happen to agree with that assessment, but Im surprised that you share my opinion. Well, the first step is realizing you have a problem.

  19. Yeah, that's actaully a very Canadian thing to write. Bob and Doug would drink to that.

  20. That's how he portrayed himself.

  21. Actually, she way born in Connecticut, so she can't possibly be Canadian.

  22. was born

  23. More and more I find myself wondering where my Canada went. The G20 YouTube video of a policeman telling a young person "This is not Canada", He is shown full face on camera and the sound is clear. As near as I can tell they are OUTSIDE the fence (so he must have been referring to Toronto and not an embassy or something). I don't blame him because he had obviously believed what he was saying.s,

  24. There's an "OR" after the second sentence you quote.

    Ted's not saying that Harper thinks very little of Canada, Ted's saying that that is the only other explanation he can come up with besides Harper being "one of the biggest flip floppers who will abandon any fundamental principle for power". Given the evidence in support of the second option, I'd say Ted's not saying that Harper dislikes Canada, he's saying that Harper is one of the biggest flip floppers (who will abandon any fundamental principle for power) but no doubt loves Canada very much.

  25. I take it your comment was an attempt at giving us a prime example of cognitive dissonance. Well done. Good example.

    I think Harper's words clearly demonstrate that he thought very little of the state Canada was in. Calling a country "a northern European welfare state of the worst kind" was not meant as a compliment and claiming it had to change or provinces should start setting up proto-separatist go-it-alone "firewalls" is not a statement made by someone who has a high regard for the state of affairs in Canada.

    However, that is not to say – and I most certainly did not say – that I think Harper does not love his country.

  26. Are you calling tedbetts a politician? Watch your language!

  27. Why should Ignatieff be trusted if he writes books about human rights but , as a politician himself, decides not to be elected as party leader???

  28. Mr. Harper's preferred ballot question would seem to be this: Who loves Canada most? Or, put as less of a question: I love Canada more than Michael Ignatieff.

    I don't follow the logic that led Wherry to this conclusion. There's absolutely new about a political leader giving a speech in front of a giant flag, with a placard with his country's name on it, with a campaign slogan that includes his country's name, and with a speech that mentions that he loves his country.

    It doesn't follow that the political leader's preferred ballot question is: "Who loves Canada most, me or my opponent?"

  29. Im sure tedbetts is very thankful for your erstwhile defense of his cognitive dissonance, but he has in fact just replied as well and he confirms that he thinks Harper dislikes Canada.

  30. I apologize. How could I be so foolish as to take your words seriously. Clearly when you said that Harper thinks very little of Canada, you meant that he loves his country. It's so obvious now.

  31. Why should Ignatieff be trusted if

    on the one hand he seems to be proud of the fact that he was the last one of the Liberals to sign onto the 2008 coalition agreement, seemingly reluctant to do so

    while on the other hand he seems to be proud to be able to say that he did sign onto the 2008 coalition agreement: see, he did sign on, see, see,

    why put trust in this double talk????

  32. I'm more upset you know nothing about World Cup soccer, or the newspaper The Observer.

  33. I don't speak French, can someone translate that for me?

  34. Pointless Non-Sequitur Of The Day!

  35. Unelected party leader who intends to become Prime Minister without being elected for that too…

  36. CR: Think about it. Hitler used to make speeches around a giant flag too. And Hitler claimed to love his country too. Coincidence?

  37. Get a grip, Emily.

  38. Ignatieff became party leader by acclamation….no one else was running for the position.

    If he's wanted to be PM without an election he could have gone with the coalition.

    This stuff only happened a short while ago, surely you haven't forgotten already?

  39. Of course, any talk about reality is a Pointless Non-Sequitur Of The Day here at MacLeans. What else is new?? Anything??

  40. Our region in pepper.

  41. Did Harper outlaw gay marriage and abortion when I wasn't looking?

    Good thing Emily is here to keep me up to date.

  42. Ok then, have it your way – perhaps you'd like to explain to the class how the process by which a political party selects its leader has any relationship whatsoever to human rights?

    Look, I realize you just wanted to shoehorn in that silly criticism of Ignatieff…but next time, at least try to make sure you're in the same ballpark before swinging wildly.

  43. Any fact which casts doubt on the absolute awesomeness of Ignatieff is a pointless non-sequitur. Calling Harper vicious names is a brilliant feat of intellectual prowess. Calling for civility in political discourse in the same breath as you call all conservatives evil is the epitome of class and integrity.

    Welcome to the Macleans comment boards.

  44. I love how you people manage to put on the biggest show in town: how to be as illogical as possible!

    For starters, look at how you turn things around: no one else was running for the position??? As far as I know, three were running for the position, but the three wise men decided to have a little in camera meeting (remember Emily) and came out with the plan of how to get the Liberal position out of an embarrasement. The embarrasment was the coalition, of course. Rae had a bit of a problem with the acclamation of leadership; he still dabbled, for a while, into believing that at direct vote could be held somehow, but then caved in.

    So, the next go around, if the LIberals do not win the election but decide to take the Prime Ministership by means of coalition, would you then still say Ignatieff is set to become PM without being duely elected as such?

    Give us the full show, Emily: tell us what happens next!! The show must go on!!!

  45. Does Harper have a majority yet?

  46. like when beseiged Rome made peace Alaric's Visigoths in 408, rural Quebec's place in Canada will be won with a conservative dose of pepper.

  47. The next PM to "duely elected as such" will be the first in Canadian history.

  48. I believe your comment indicated that it's you who needs a grip.

  49. Apology accepted. After all, only a complete and utter moron would think that those two are mutually exclusive.

    And you aren't a complete and utter moron are you?

  50. Ok, let's swing wildly. I feel wild this morning.

    What is democracy all about? A democracy is a means by which the human individual can be acknowledged. Ignatieff speaks about the need for political institutions to lead the way for opening up such human individual rights. But then, well, when Ignatieff himself is in postition to practically show off his theoretical understandings, he fails miserably. Why is that???

  51. And just out of curiosity then, what do you think Harper meant when he said:

    "I think there is a dangerous rise in defeatist sentiment in this country."

    "Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status."

    Or this gem of patriotic pride in a unified country: "Whether Canada ends up as o­ne national government or two national governments or several national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion… And whether Canada ends up with o­ne national government or two governments or ten governments, the Canadian people will require less government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangement of any future country may be."

  52. I wasn't aware that he could become PM without winning his riding.

    Learn sumpin' new every day I guess.

  53. First of all there is no 'you people'. I'm not a Liberal.

    Secondly, no one else was left in the running when support was checked. There was no 'in camera' meeting….people can add without having to meet about it. The coalition was not an issue at the time.

    Ignatieff could have become PM by going with it, but he chose to leave the coalition.

    We don't elect PMs btw…we elect local MPs. They decide who the PM is.

  54. That's nothing to sneeze at.

  55. Your lack of civility will probably result in a shooting rampage somewhere in the states.

    Try it with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband:

    "Honey, I think very little of you, but remember, I do love you".

  56. And there's even more statements of pride and patriotism from Harper:

    "It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction."

    "Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada."

    "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. "

    So what say you AlfaNerd? Is it possible to "love your country" and make derogatory statements about your own country like these? To think so little of it as to insult your country, over and over and over, like Harper has, but still love it? I think it is possible. Do you?

  57. Yeah, yesterday I wanted to comment on Geddes' piece on Harper,but after reading that in regards to the Senate, according to Geddes we went from the 2006 Harper wanting to do something about the Senate, to the 2008 Harper blatantly appointing Senators. Geddes covered nothing of the times in between, not a word spoken about what happened regarding the Senate debate between 2006 and 2008. Nothing.

    These writers at Macleans are turning into mouthpieces for the Liberals. Who needs attack ads if it can all be done in the most subtle of ways. Disgusting.

  58. Yes, winning a riding he did, or might do again. Great way to deflect the issues under discussion, Richard. Keep it up.

    Why bother? Why bother with you people.

  59. Actually, I think it is possible to have little regard for your country, as Harper clearer did, and still love it. Or to be more clear, to dislike the state it is in but have a love for it that goes deeper than its current state.

    For example, as much as Harper continues to muck up Canada and its future, ignore its future problems for current political gain, I'll never stop loving my country.

    The two views are not mutually exclusive.

    Nor, bye the bye, is it mutually exclusive that Harper is both a raging ideologue and the biggest flip flopper who will abandon any fundamental principle for power. It's more difficult to be both, but Harper is a man of many dark talents.

  60. Could that be because nothing happened "regarding the Senate debate between 2006 and 2008"?

  61. That's just Harper's way of expressing his undying love for Canada. You should be familiar with this being an expert in this form of expression yourself.

    So when you say that Harper thinks little of Canada, what you mean is that Harper loves Canada.

    And when Harper calls Canada second-rate, he really means that Canada is super-awesome.

  62. Add all of the "just visiting" and "he just come back for himself" and you can see that Wherry is absolutely correct.

    Harper ran his last campaign entirely on fearmongering and personal attacks on Dion.

    He clearly proposes to do that and add the "who's most loyal" card to his hand this time.

  63. You know, I really don't think you are, in fact, a complete and utter moron, but you could help me out by not trying to convince us that you are.

    And you are not helping your cause when you try to prove to us that Harper does in fact not love Canada. I'm willing to accept that he does. It is surprising that one of his own sycophants doesn't think he does. Sad, really.

    Sad. But good effort and not addressing my questions to you.

  64. Everyone would be better served if you would stop talking.

  65. Emily, pardon me: let me have a punch at the bag once in a while.

    After all, the writers of MacLeans and the ones who follow them here on the board, punch away at the bag constantly. Keep punching.

    (ps: if you can find the time between the punching, look up the three amigo's meeting: LeBlanc, Rae and Ignatieff…………history in the making…enough said)

  66. Here's Holly coming out of the woodworks, at the ready to punch at the bag:

    Why, Holly, why?

    Why did nothing happen "regarding the Senate debate between 2006 and 2008"??

    Well, because Harper was quiet about it, that's why nothing happened, of course. Harper the looser, Harper bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

    Have a good day!

  67. Punch any bag you like….you are a Harper supporter and will remain one…which is fine. But you won't gain any more support for him by spouting paranoid nonsense and waving red herrings on here.

  68. The Ignatieff article is dated July 8th, 1990 while the Harper speech is from 1997.

  69. There is no way he repeals either of those things if he had a majority. Not that he will get a majority, but even if he did, it just won't happen. He may personally be against both of those things, but even Harper knows that it wouldn't fly with most Canadians.

  70. So what say you AlfaNerd? Is it possible to "love your country" and make derogatory statements about your own country like these? To think so little of it as to insult your country, over and over and over, like Harper has, but still love it? I think it is possible. Do you?

    Of course it is genius. The point though, is not about Harper. It is your hypocrisy which I highlighted, and which I maintain is very real and I will re-highlight it again just for fun.

    You agree with the view that:
    There's nothing more disgusting than a politician claiming to love his country more than his political opponent.

    Yet you allow yourself to suggest Harper thinks little of his country. I know you're (probably) not a politician, but you're a political partisan, so that's a distinction without a difference.

    More importantly however, you claim the high ground by suggesting (laughably) that you did not suggest Harper didnt love Canada. You only said he thinks very little of it. Oh my. And then you go on at lengths about how its possible to think very little of something and also love it. Fair enough. But your original implication did not include all these caveats. You were clearly implying that Harper did not love Canada.

    Think for just one second how you would blow a gasket should tories run ads that ended with an ominous voice saying "Ignatieff, he thinks little of Canada" – you would be accusing Harper of the same thing.

    In fact, nothing Harper said wrt Ignatieff is as blatant as saying outright "ignatieff thinks little of Canada", yet you pride yourself on reading through the lines (you must really be a genius) that really the Conservatives are suggesting Iggy is not a proud Canadian.

    So you claim the high ground while at the same time doing EXACTLY what you accuse Harper of doing. Ergo, hypocrisy, and/or cognitive dissonance.

    QED.

  71. Is there some reason you don't want anyone talking about Harper?

  72. You know, I really don't think you are, in fact, a complete and utter moron, but you could help me out by not trying to convince us that you are.
    Gee thanks, that means so much to me.

    And you are not helping your cause when you try to prove to us that Harper does in fact not love Canada.
    I've done no such thing. That was you with all your quotes. Cognitive dissonance again.

    It is surprising that one of his own sycophants doesn't think he does.
    I dont have the slightest doubt that Harper loves his country. I didnt think I needed to point that out. Apparently I do.

  73. Who's everyone?

    The gang of the illogicals?????

    The gang of not daring to have reasonable political discussions?

    The gangmembers like Graves, opining just yesterday that if an election were held today, the Liberals under Ignatieff would gain seats because he is lower in the polls? Lower in the polls now gets you an increase of seats???? And the lady sitting beside him on the CBC's Power & Politics segment, reiterating that the "hidden agenda" is a good slogan for the Libs to go forward on.

    That kind of gang would want me to stop talking? Not in my lifetime.

  74. I'm not a Harper supporter at any cost.

    Emily, spouting paranoid nonsense and waving red herrings (when did I do that???) has carried the Liberals and NDP for ever. And the Greens, and the Bloc.

    Want to have a real political conversation sometime, just like the ones Harper would like to have, give me a shout, I'll be ready.

  75. Sure he will…and he'll do it with a private member's bill.

    It won't be one fell swoop….it'll be incremental change….chipping away bit by bit.

  76. LOL you are a dyed-in-the-blue-wool Harper supporter, and aren't capable of a real political conversation. And I'm not interested in pom-poms.

  77. Uh, no. You are the one who claims that having a dislike for the state of your country must mean that you do not love your country. I've said clearly that I think they are not mutually exclusive, like disliking the Maple Leafs but loving them like only a Leafs fan can.

    Only someone with a really weak mind would think they are mutually exclusive. I see you are trying hard to convince us you are. (I suggest you stop it while you are only a lot behind.)

    Harper from his own statements clearly dislikes the state of his country. He's never retracted any of those statements. But to most normal people that doesn't mean he can't love his country at the same time.

  78. Harper ran his last campaign on fear mongering?

    Here's what happened during the last election. The Liberals, under Dion, wrapped themselves in the Green Shift flag and Canadians, by a far majority, didn't like it. They did not like the Green Shift.

    Here's what else happened during the last election: The art's community was being played like a violin, not by Harper, but by Duceppe. The suckers, thinking Duceppe cared about the arts passionately. He knew what gift had been handed to him and he took it, in fact, Duceppe had wrapped up the gift himself. He knew when he opened it what was to be inside. Dare to have a real look at what played itself out during the last elections.

    I am a visual artist, and I will say unequivocally here and now, and always, that the average Canadian does not care about the arts. The vast majority of Canadians, if not most of them, do not have one single original piece of art hanging or hidden in their households. They may have six cell phones, but not a piece of original art. It's the truth. Care to comment on the truth???

  79. I really do recommend that you stop embarrassing yourself like this AlfaNerd. When you get to the bottom, it is always advisable to stop digging.

    I think it is possible to dislike the state of your country and still love it. Like not being proud of the Leafs and still loving them. Clearly you don't think that is possible. Which leaves one only to conclude that you must think Harper doesn't love his country. Sad.

    I think that despite Harper's oft repeated attacks and insults on Canada, that he does still love his country, appearances notwithstanding. I am not attacking his patriotism, as Harper attacks the patriotism of others.

    But we all thank you once again for giving us example after example of what cognitive dissonance is by your comments.

  80. Emily, you are not interesting: that is the point!

  81. Why would I listen to a devout Harper supporter about his paranoid fantasies? I was a member of Reform and the CA….I know what you guys believe. And I know the methods you use to avoid any genuine conversation.

    For example, this thread is about Harper hypocrisy and his latest appeals to tribalism…not any of the other red herring topics you've introduced.

    Until you can stick to topics, there is no point engaging with you.

  82. Add all of the "just visiting" and "he just come back for himself" and you can see that Wherry is absolutely correct.

    That's not what Wherry wrote. He didn't even mention negative ads. I asked about the chain of reasoning that led Wherry to his conclusion that "Mr. Harper's preferred ballot question would seem to be this: Who loves Canada most?"

    With regards to the point you raise, it's sloppy reasoning to draw sweeping conclusions on the basis of a few negative ads.

    Harper ran his last campaign entirely on fearmongering and personal attacks on Dion.

    Really, Ted? That's what it was all about? There was a lot more to the 2008 campaign than "not a leader" rhetoric. I wish the Liberal Party would stop making excuses about its shoddy performance in 2008, blaming attack ads instead of its own ineptitude.

    Andrew Coyne said it best: "It wasn't Tory attack ads that persuaded people Stéphane Dion was “not a leader”—he did that all on his own."

  83. Le Petit Gars:
    For me, da pepper, I like da pepper on da plate.

  84. I never said I don't want people not talking about Harper. Please, don't put words in someone's mouth. Speak for yourself at any given time.

    If Harper could be dicussed in an honest fashion and not by attaching Macleans slanted thoughts onto him, I would love nothing more than talk about Harper. The problem is, not too many others are so willing. Why would that be, I wonder?

    You know, the most intelligent of people are most often shunned or made over to be something they are not. Think about it why that is.

  85. That's what the others did. Yes. Ideas and platforms and visions which were half baked at best and they ran poor campaigns. There was no way Dion was going to win or should have.

    What did Harper do though? That's the question. He ran a scaremongering campaign with personal attacks. Dion: not a leader. Green Shift: Tax on EVERYTHING that will DESTROY CANADA and cost HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS. Did he come out with a platform? Two days before the actual election.

    Did he present any of his own plans, really? Without hunting down or google searching, can you name his signficant promises?

    That is the truth. Care to comment on the truth? Or continue avoiding the issue?

  86. Oh, Emily, if only things were different. If only one would want to stay in this country for its political intelligence so provided.

  87. Let me have a try at that.

    That's not what Wherry I wrote. He I didn't even mention negative ads "not a leader".

    With regards to the point you raise, it's sloppy reasoning to draw sweeping conclusions on the basis of a few negative ads few words.

    Where do I make any excuse for their shoddy performance? In fact, I think they ran a horrible campaign with weak ideas; which does not rule out that Harper ran a scaremongering campaign.

    Harper essentially ran his campaign on two fronts, both negative – one personal attacks, the other fearmongering a la "Green Shift = Tax on EVERYTHING that will DESTROY CANADA and cost HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS." Harper didn't even show voters the respect of coming out with a platform until 2 days before the actual election.

  88. Did he come out with a platform? Two days before the actual election.

    I'd just like to add that they came out with a platform two days before the election only AFTER Harper was mocked in the Leaders' debate for running almost the entire campaign without presenting the public with a platform.

  89. How can telling the truth be considered as scare mongering? These are the facts: Dion was not a leader. The Green Shift proposal was by tax on everything. It would have destroyed Canada's economic strenght. It would have cost hundred of thousand of jobs.

    Did the Conservatives come out with a platform? Yes. Was it done over time? Yes. Is that illegal? Is that not according to whose standards???

    Harper did say, however, that most people are not impressed by the gala shows put on by the artists elite, and he is right, he spoke the truth right there and then. Duceppe loved it, because now he could use such truth-speaking to his advantage by letting the artists become the real suckers.

    Oh, my, how you managed to avoid the subject once again,tedbetts. I asked you to comment on the truth regarding the arts, but alas, you are not much different from any others in regards to the arts. Sad, really.

  90. And now no more replies to this will be forthcoming. That would be my quess. When real questions are being asked, everyone ducks.

  91. I thought not.

  92. So you still think that people who imply that their opponents hate their country are disgusting but you reserve the right to do it yourself? Awesome, I wouldnt expect anything less from Liberals.

  93. Oh, one can read the G&M. I often do. And I am so often confronted by their complete lack of logical understanding, that at times I have to force myself to read through the complete lenghts of articles. But I do read them to the end.

    However, I have given up reading the likes of Simpson and Martin. That duo had made up its mind 25 years ago regarding Canadian politics, and is still stuck there somewhere. I mean, I love history, but we don't live there any longer. Time to move on at some point, or try and be logical, at least.

  94. Nice try changing the subject. You blow a gasket when Conservative attack ads imply Ignatieff dislikes his country and you consider that "disgusting". Yet in almost the same breath you suggest Harper thinks little of his country, clearly implying that Harper dislikes his country, equivocations about mutual exclusiveness notwithstanding.

    This is a teaching moment for you. You can look honestly at the situation and come to the only reasonable conclusion: that you are a giant hypocritical idiot who thinks they're being smart by insulting Harper while doing exactly what you're accusing Harper of doing. You can take this opportunity to change your ways and become a better person.

    Or you can pretend that the argument is about the mutual exclusiveness of 'think little of' and 'dislike' and go on being a giant hypocritical idiot.

    Im not holding my breath.

  95. Where do I make any excuse for their shoddy performance?

    I never said you did, Ted. I said: "I wish the Liberal Party…". I was referring to the Liberal Party, not you.

    I completely agree with you that the Liberals ran a horrible campaign with weak ideas. The weakest of these ideas was undoubtedly the Green Shift, yet you characterize the Conservative attacks on this terrible idea as "fear-mongering".

    Using hyperbole to attack the other side's terrible ideas isn't the same thing as "fear-mongering". In fact, by referring to it as "fear-mongering", you're essentially using hyperbole to describe the other side's hyperbole. Whee!

  96. So you think Harper should run on his consistency?

  97. Of course I'm avoiding your question. It's an obvious attempt at changing the subject.

    Be that as it may, while I agree with what you said about the arts and culture, Harper was being deliberately duplicious. He attached mocked arts and culture, but he equated arts and culture with galas and galleries and operas when he did that and not the broader real meaning of the word which includes Stampedes, artisans, craftspeople, filmmakers, community plays, etc. That's why I find Harper's negative approach to politics, his "anti-" style, so disgusting. That's the truth.

  98. FVerhoeven needs to learn that she's entitled to her own opinions but not her own 'facts'!

  99. But tedbetts: The Green Shift was a tax on everything. Not because the Conservatives said so, but because the outline wihin the Green Shift said so. I went to listen to Dion speak live on the topic of Green Shift when he came through town. It was about tax alright.

    See, this is where Harper isn't dealt with fairly by Macleans (and others): The "failure" of Canadians not accepting Dion's vision, wasn't Harper's doing; it was the vision's doing.

    BTW, Ignatieff, at the time, was supporting Dion and the Green Shift as the being the focus of attention, only to drop it as quickly as possible when his changes for survival seemed to point in different directions.

    In the meantime, have you thought about the art's community's involvement during the last election. Would love to hear your thoughts on that, still.

  100. I guess there is a fine line between hyperbole and scaremongering. Saying Canada will be "destroyed" if the Green Shift is implemented and that it will be a "tax on everything": is that hyperbole or scaremongering? Clearly it is an outright blatant lie because it is not true and they knew it was not true when they said it (truth has never stopped Harper from a good attack line or self-promotion).

    "hyperbole": A figure of speech in which obvious exaggeration is used for effect.

    "Scaremongering": the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. The feared object or subject is sometimes exaggerated, and the pattern of fear mongering is usually one of repetition, in order to continuously reinforce the intended effects of this tactic, sometimes in the form of a vicious circle.

    They aren't mutually exclusive, but I think Harper is far more on the latter than the former.

  101. Wow! Ignatieff's a politician who coccasionally engages in double talk – you'll be discovering steam next!

  102. afanerd—–I know you are throwing out the name of the former Third Reich Fuhrer in the hope that it will demonstrate the ludicrosity of Wherry`s logic, however, that can be dangerous around here.
    You see, there are several Harper-Haters here who would believe that you are being serious.

  103. Putting 'Canada first' because we all love our country,
    is the message.

    (tho Ignatieff being back in Canada for the same length of time Harper has been PM, does come to mind, but likely only if you are Conservative, right?)

    It contrasts very nicely with the Liberal position that Canada should have
    -rolled over to the UAE demands to take over our airfield
    -rolled over to UN members on Israel to win a seat at the Sec C

    and it ties in very very nicely with the recently released poll that Canadians want their govt to 'fight' for Arctic Sovereignty.

    Well played PMSH

  104. Now the discussion is becoming interesting.

    Of course I am entitled to my opinion.

    But as to the facts: what part of the Green Shift was not about taxes? In what sense was Dion a leader? Who was he leading or trying to lead?

    Since when does the average Canadian care about elitist's gala shows? And in what sense do such elitist gala shows represent the average Canadian artist?

    I am not making up the facts. The facts are as they are. I am a visual artist and know, by the facts, that the average Canadian is not interested in standing by the average artist.

    And here is another fact: as an artist, one needs to be able to sell oneself before the art produced has a chance of being sold. You didn't know about them facts, or did you?

  105. I remember, when in 2008, a television station was interviewing one unknown Canadian artist, and the tv interviewer asked this artist what he thought about the cuts to the arts etc, and his answer was that he didn't really know the ins and outs about that kind of stuff……….

    Here's the facts: most Canadian artists and the rest of the general public, didn't have a clue about what was reorganized within the scope of art's funding, yet, Duceppe could run with it all, all the way to getting the seats he so desparately wants. The last election wasn;'t really about the arts; the arts were used for political gains, and not on Harper's side. Open your eyes.

  106. he's a Liberal,
    sit on the fence until you see which way the wind is blowing.

    He supported George Bush's war in Iraq until the LPC told him to ditch out on his strongly held views.
    He fathered the Green Shift, supported it, ran with it as a leader and in 2008, now he says it's a loser policy.
    He ran on the 2008 LPC policy of corp tax cuts to 14%, to create jobs, jobs, jobs…. now he supports the NDP position.
    He was ready to lead a coalition with the legitimately elected separatists, until 62% of Canadians opposed it.

  107. "So, the next go around, if the LIberals do not win the election but decide to take the Prime Ministership by means of coalition, would you then still say Ignatieff is set to become PM without being duely elected as such?"

    Before you go off all self-righteous on alleged Liberals ("you people"), you might want to study up on how leaders and prime ministers are chosen in parliamentary democracies. You're flaunting your abysmal ignorance in such matters here.

  108. He did not equate arts and culture with galas. BTW he did NOT talk about galleries and operas. He talked in reference to subsidies and the need for galas.

    But what about the fact that Duceppe used the art's community to his advantage by playing them for suckers? Why are you so reluctant to talk about any of that?? What really happened there??? Be brave, and talk about the real stufl, not the stuff they want us to believe. We aren't that gullible, are we?

  109. Hey, don't get me wrong; Harper has many flaws within. All politicians do because humans aren't perfect and neither can any system be perfect, politics included.

    But if, a big if, if Harper were allowed to speak his mind and people would off set such thoughts with what other 'leadership' contenders have to say, I am convinced that Harper will come out pretty good. The trouble is, the Canadian collective political mindset isn't strong enough for letting the real debates take place. If real debates were allowed to take place, Harper would shine.

  110. The article is by Shawn McCarthy, reporting on a report by NRTEE, whose members were appointed by the current minority government.

  111. The point being, of course, that on the one hand he is praised for his insights so written down in volumes of books, yet, when on the practical side of things he cannot deliver on such theoretical insights, then he should be forgiven so readily. Why have the adacity to write about theoritical utopias, if in practice one isn't willing to believe in them???

  112. Who's being played for suckers here FV? Harper learned to play the piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music – which receives public funding.

  113. .

    " The NDP could be described as basically a party of liberal Democrats, but it's actually worse than that, I have to say. And forgive me jesting again, but the NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men… it's explicitly socialist…

    Some people point out that there is a small element of clergy in the NDP. Yes, this is true. But these are clergy who, while very committed to the church, believe that it made a historic error in adopting Christian theology"

    Wow! I'm not a dipper and even i know some of this is slanderous.

    Let them both run their ads. I'll bet Canadian's will take an equally dim view of both their past 'misspeaks'. Alternately Harper could grow up and end this crap now – i'm pretty sure Ignatieff will sign on to that?

    Edit: Not that i regard the beer label remark as reprehensible i any way.

  114. You seem to be blaming the opposition for Harper's own strategic blunder (i.e., his comment about artists and galas). How convenient.

  115. No, I'm most certainly not. Within Canadian traditions, the PM is the leader of any given party who has won the most seats in the last election. Name me one instance wherey another person has become PM???

    Party leaders are choosen by the members. The PM is choosing (indirectly) by the number of seats won.

  116. Thank you, Jan, for proving my point, and Harper's point.

    Never have the Conservatives cut funding to the arts completely. They are for arts funding on the average level of funding, not supporting some out of whack directions. Just before the 2008 elections, the issue about arts funding was not about cutting as much as it was about redirecting the funding available. Look into it without reading all of the drivel being spouted around, then and now.

  117. Harper was right, were were a socialist backwater, glad to have him steering us away from that.

  118. It wasn't a strategic blunder. It was an honest opinion, supported by the facts.

    But I guess if artists themselves cannot muster the strenght to tell the real average Canadian art story, then why bother? Why be played for patsies??

  119. Not interesting, but rather engaging?

  120. "…the PM is the leader of any given party who has won the most seats in the last election. Name me one instance wherey another person has become PM???"

    Mackenzie King, 1925 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Meighen

    You're welcome.

  121. Everything serves a purpose, wouldn't you agree?

  122. You are talking about the exception to a traditional rule, my friend. Every rule has its exceptions, for it could not be otherwise.

  123. I don't think wasps serve much of a purpose.

  124. With Dion as Liberal leader, there's no need to put much of a platform forward. "We're not this guy, and we wont implement his dumb-as-bricks Green Sh1t policy" is enough to win.

  125. as to the "King-Byng Affair" …………..

    "Historians have been divided in their interpretation of this event."

    But your point is well taken.

  126. They aren't mutually exclusive,

    Where have I read that before?

  127. It may well have been an honest opinion but it's questionable how "factual" it was (you seem to present many of your opinions as "facts"). In any event, many non-partisan observers concluded, based on the almost immediate decline in the CPC's performance in polls among Quebecois following Harper's comment, that it was very much a strategic blunder.

    You can try to frame the episode as an "arts" story on which you are some self-appointed authority, but I contend it's primarily a political story in which Harper's quest for a majority self-destructed.

    But, unlike you, I won't presume to call that comment a "fact"…it's merely my opinion.

  128. The aphorism, as proposed by Roger Bacon, iin Elizabethan times contains the word "prove", which also means, and meant more prominently then, to 'test', not to 'challenge in disproof'.

  129. " But modern patriotism is always tinctured with irony…who entirely and unreservedly thrills to the raising of the union jack?…its claim on the heart is muddled. In the case of the Canadian flag, i cannot entirely forget that it is both my flag and a passing imitation of a beer label."

    So, either Harper doesn't do context or he's a lyin' conivin' opportunistic politician

    It's a very well written article by Ignatieff; if only he could communicate politically as freely and fearlessly as he writes he would be Pm tomorrow. Alas the two world rarely line up – at least not yet in his case.

  130. Who are these non-partisan observers??? Andwhat are their conclusions based upon??

    The fact was that Harper's comment, an honest comment, was pulled out of context for political gain by others, mostly Duceppe. This is a fact, and is not my opinion: the artists's funding was not cut; in fact, finacial support for the arts increased besides existing arts fundings being redirected. The increase of funding was not talked about by these so called non-partisan observers, although the Conservatives themselves did mention it more than once.

    I do have opinions on the matter, but I also stick to the facts. The Canadian political landscape cannot tolerate honest commenting, not comments coming from Harper in any case. Take a look at what he had said, take a look at the further funding of the arts and the redirections of existing funding, and then listen to the mob of artists jumping on a superficial bandwagon. I may be an artist out of many, not some self appointed authority on the subject, but I ain't stupid either. I don't like being played for a patsie.

  131. I agree, the Libs said some mean things about Harper. But did they challenge his patriotism? And even if they did so once or twice, did they base an entire campaign of attack ads on attacking Harper's patriotism?

    Perhaps you could prove me wrong.

  132. You mean: non-partisan observers like Coyne, who named MP Derek Lee to be a defender of our Canadian parliamentary democracy when MP Derek Lee refused to enter the House of Commons when a vote for aid to women in underdeveloped countries was being called for?

    You mean that sort of non-partisan, objective commenting.

    I don't buy it, None of it.

  133. "Hidden Agenda" comes to mind.

    Hidden Agenda here, Hidden Agenda there, everywhere a Hidden Agenda.

    Oh, and did I tell you that the Conservatives have a Hidden Agenda. Peter Mansbridge referred to it, indirectly, of course, he would not want to be pointed to as being accountable in any way, but in any case, no matter how Mansbridge framed it, the slogan got out just the same: Hidden Agenda anyone???

  134. Another Hidden Agenda

  135. The Conservatives are full of Hidden agendas. See, another one. ……

  136. The method a political party selects its leader has nothing to do with democracy. People who are not members of a party have no right to tell said party how to conduct its affairs. If you want to meddle in the affairs of a particular political party, join that party. Otherwise, it is none of your business.

  137. My admittedly glib answer was not meant to "deflect" but rather it was the only scenario under which what you had written would apply.

    But you're right, I do tend to take the p!ss on these here message boards. You want a fully formed response? Here you go:

    Speaking in broad terms:

    Canada has never, for whatever reason, had quite the same experience as the United States where Presidential Candidates are nominated by an exceptionally broad swathe of the electorate*. In Canada, party membership remains something that very few people undertake. Therefore no matter how a party picks its leader will invariably fall short of any democratic ideal. No matter how democratized a party makes their nomination process, it will still be a very small number of people deciding who gets to wear the mantle of "leader". There is nothing wrong with this, a political party is not a democratic institution – frankly I find I astounding that a supporter of Harper (perhaps the only party leader in Canadian history to be more autocratic than Trudeau) would argue otherwise. A party could decide to chose their leader via arm wrestling and it wouldn't matter – because that leader is still only running for a seat in Parliament, his or her success is still entirely dependent on the electorate.

    Speaking in specific terms:

    Ignatieff didn't steal the party leadership, the other two candidates (Rae and Leblanc) dropped out when they realized that they didn't have the support of other party members. Again, this is not even remotely unique. Nearly every leadership race has candidates who drop out when they realize the votes aren't there. Gerard Kennedy did so in 2006, Svend Robinson did so in 1995, David Orchard did in 2003, and the list goes on. If you want to argue that these candidates did so on the convention floor instead of before, then I'd argue that's a pretty fine distinction to make. Was there an agreement put in place to prod Rae into dropping out? Probably. This is not unique by any stretch – see the very public agreement that Peter MacKay and David Orchard signed in 2003.

    In conclusion allow me to return to my original point – to somehow tie human rights to how a person becomes the leader of a political party, ESPECIALLY one that is not in power is absurd.

    *I'll note that this nomination process only applies to candidates for the Presidency. The Senate/House Majority/Minority Leaders are selected in a manner much like Ignatieff was and I've yet to hear anyone argue that Boehner's leadership is illegitimate and an affront to human rights.

  138. not much of a purpose, perhaps, but some.

    wasp: possible origin of the word: "weave" (cf. Gk. hyphos "web," O.E. webb "web," O.N. vefa "to weave").

    Or am I looking in wrong directions? Are your stings directed at me? Ouch….

  139. Look, almost all media reporting on the drop in CPC support in Quebec following his comment attributed that development to the comment itself….which, honest opinion or not, was construed as a strategic blunder (I suspect Harper himself would privately concede that point).

    And you're entitled to your opinions…I just don't have to accept them as facts.

  140. . "The trouble is, the Canadian collective political mindset isn't strong enough for letting the real debates take place. If real debates were allowed to take place, Harper would shine."

    What utter garbage. Nothing prevented Trudeau, Mulroney, Clark and Broadbent from enging the public in debate. SH chooses not to. For you to suggest that somehow the system prvents him or we are too weak or imature to handle his views is absurd.

  141. Go back and read media reports of the day…were all of them partisan for correlating the CPC's poll results with Harper's comment? At the time, there was no other apparent explanation for the collapse of the Cons' support in Quebec at that moment of the campaign.

    Unless you have a more compelling explanation?

  142. mmm and you have pretty much the same objections to Harper's many flip flops, yes, er…no!!

  143. fall short of any democratic ideal – but Harper's ideally contested leadership bit was more ideal than Ignatieff's appointment because the process was an open one; open to membership indeed, but open in any case. Snall numbers electing Harper as party leader they were not in comparison to the very few Liberals who had a say about Ignatieff's crowning. Ask Sharon Carstairs about her opinion at the time. She emailed me hers so I do know her opinion first hand. To decide leadership by means of armwrestling would bother me, and it would bother many more. That's why the question of how to best select party leaders keeps getting asked, because people are, by nature, by inclination to rights, interested in how to do things better!

  144. "and it ties in very very nicely with the recently released poll that Canadians want their govt to 'fight' for Arctic Sovereignty"

    I was unaware previous Canadian govts had opted not to fight for arctic sovereignty.

    So you are clearly of the view that Harper loves Canada more than MI? CR, i think we have a dissenter to your view:"

    It doesn't follow that the political leader's preferred ballot question is: "Who loves Canada most, me or my opponent?"

  145. " his or her success is still entirely dependent on the electorate" Absolutely, and I think a lot of Ignatieff's success depends on how his theoritical past is to be seen put into practice. So far he hasn't been able to show off much.

    Words are one thing, but action is quite another thing. As if the average voter doesn't understand this. Of course they do,

  146. You say:"In conclusion allow me to return to my original point – to somehow tie human rights to how a person becomes the leader of a political party, ESPECIALLY one that is not in power is absurd."

    It is absurd? Ask the people living in Tunesia, living in China, living in other countries without much of human rights to speak of. Ignatieff, within his writings, refers often to the means of achieving humana rights, and such means are by openess and involvement. He practices neither when deciding that to be crowned leader would be better than to be party elected; appointing Ignatieff as party leader was not by means of openess and was not by means of involvement either.

  147. It boggles my mind that you guys continue to bring up this piece of trivium like it's a smoking gun.

    It. Doesn't. Matter.

    Seems to me a far better tack would be to dismiss Ignatieff as the only guy who wanted the job….Captain of the Titanic and all that.

  148. I'm not telling anyone or any party how to conduct its affairs.

    But it is my business if commentators in this country manage, unchallenged, to heap praise and fame onto the volumes of books having been written, yet when coming back to put ideas into practice, the writer Mr.Ignatieff, is not being criticized for doing the exact opposite of what he was held in praise and fame for. What gives???

  149. Yes it is absurd. Because you seem incapable of understanding the distinction between a party leadership nomination and a general election.

    You keep trying to portray his nomination as underhanded. Good luck with that.

  150. I know, I was purposely being a jackass.

  151. yessir, that's a mighty fine lookin' strawman you built yerself there!

  152. This from the guy who said last week: "Oh shove it down your pie hole Aaron. Rest assured that conservatives say what they mean and mean what they say."

    Since you're not experiencing cognitive dissonance, once can only assume that you talk like that to your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend regularly.

    You're a freakin' peach, you are.

  153. You miss the point: the fact that Duceppe could fool the voter in believing that what Harper had said was about the galas itself; it was about subsidies in regards to galas. Don't you understand the difference? I guess not, and neither did the intelligence of the voters at the time because they all listened to how many had interpreted Harper's comment, not listening to the fact about what he had really said. Don't blame Harper for such misunderstandings; blame the unwillingness of the general public to really listen to what had been said.

    Duceppe understood the voter very well; he knew they wouldn't listen to what Harper had actually said, not too many are willing to do that – Harper bad, always. That's why I'm saying; give the man Harper a chance by actually listening what he himself has to say, not by listening through some sort of filtration system such as Macleans bloggers.

  154. Yes, I have a very realistic explanation: Duceppe will milk the Canadian political system for all it's worth without himself having to say or do any thing Canadian in return. Pretty good deal, eh! Pretty good chances of winning by running in one province, speaking about one province, during federal elections, and getting the help of artists who were falsely lead to believe that funding had been cut. What a superficial show that one was. But I quess you missed all of that. Some of us prefer to sleep walk through life. Others not so much.

  155. What makes her position doubly absurd is she isn't even [presumably] a liberal party member. There's nothing but a partisan axe to grind here.

  156. Fine…even if I concede all of your points here, Harper's comment still amounted to a strategic blunder, on which the opposition pounced to the detriment of CPC fortunes in Quebec. I'm not "blam[ing] Harper for such misunderstandings".

    So, perhaps we're missing each other's point.

  157. Not to mention syntax.

  158. Sorry, that appears to be a prediction followed by a rant, not a coherent plausible explanation for the correlation to which I was referring (Harper's arts comment and the subsequent collapse of CPC support in Quebec).

  159. You mean: non-partisan observers like Coyne, who named MP Derek Lee to be a defender of our Canadian parliamentary democracy when MP Derek Lee refused to enter the House of Commons when a vote for aid to women in underdeveloped countries was being called for?

    You mean that sort of non-partisan, objective commenting.

    I don't buy it, None of it. "

    Is there a logical connect here? They were two entirely separate incidents. The second has nothing to do with the first.

  160. I love you guys. It's so nice to realize that there is another method for living a life; just don't connect any of it. Everything thought of in isolation. Everything bliss.

    I hear yu! I'm coming, I'm getting there. As soon as I can manage to shut off that main bundle of nerves running between the two brainy compartments.

    But the connections between the two say, that both had to do with parliamentary democracy. Am I to understand that sometimes it is ok to not respect parliament, but other times it is not ok? Because if that's the case, then could you provide me with a list of when it is ok and when it is not? Just for reference so I won't bother Coyne and his type of logic ever again.

  161. You gotta be kidding me, right?
    Prediction? What prediction? The BQ and Duceppe only do the winning and electing in one province. It has happened. And I will predict here and now, for everyone to read, that it will happen again and again, as long as Canadians allow for it to happen, just like Canadians allowed for it to happen when Duceppe intercepted Harper's gala comments, were then carried over to the commentators in the media, and were passed on amplified througout the country. But we LIKE it that way. We would have it no other way. We like taking Duceppe's word over Harper's one.

    Harper saying the other day that, in regards to abortion, only hearts can solve that problem, but not a word, not a word, not a comment, on that from main stream commentators. Why not? You never ask yourself those kind of questions?

  162. Thanks for the rant (part 2). Guess I'm not going to get the explanation I keep asking for.

    Never mind.

  163. But what would you like me to expand on? The fact that you got it backwards?

    You say: Go back and read media reports of the day…were all of them partisan for correlating the CPC's poll results with Harper's comment?"

    Of course, at the time, there was no other apparent explanation for the collapse of the Cons' support in Quebec at that moment of the campaign, THAT is why Duceppe was so eager to grab onto something. He had nothing against Harper, and so the people of Quebec might have looked at Harper favourably. It was therefore Duceppe who needed something to hang Harper on, and the media was more than willing to help him along. That has been my point all along. Had Harper shown a low level of support in Quebec anyways, Duceppe (and most in the Canadian media) might have left the whole gale sentence alone for what it was; a mere personal opinion, with some truth to it, expressed.

  164. I have no idea why Lee wouldn't vote; presumably it had something to do with an objection he had to the policy. In any case it has nothing whatsoever to do with his defence of PP. You really need a primer on basic logic.

  165. I am referring strictly to those that ruin outdoor parties on what would otherwise be pleasant summer days.

  166. A convenient ex post facto explanation that doesn't fit the chronology of events and seems to suggest that even the media in the RoC (e.g., http://www.thestar.com/federalelection/article/50… implausibly collaborated with the the Bloc to misconstrue Harper's comment.

    Harper made a comment which was a strategic blunder, no matter whom you choose to blame it on.

    If you'd rather dismiss that interpretation of events as merely my stubborn opinion, feel free…whatever cleans your brushes.

  167. Tried several times to read the link to the star but it won't show the article.

    In any case, look at it this way: at the time, had the media gone to Duceppe and said:"Harper made comment in regards to subsidies and galas, and that subsidies have in fact not been cut, but that subsidies for the arts have been merely redirected and some funding has in fact increased, what would you have to say for yourself, Mr.Duceppe?"

    than the media would have taken an objective view and could have done with it whatever they wanted to do with it. Hey, some in the media might even agree what handing out subsidies for the arts in regards to galas is a good thing. But at least they would not have taken Duceppe at this distorted words, but would have discussed the issue at face value.

    Like I said, nothing of the sort happened. Harper's words were misconstrued from the get-go, because there is a hardy anti-Harper at all cost, out there who would love to see Harper loose EVEN if it means giving Duceppe a leg up.

  168. It has everything to do with parliamentary procedure. Or are we to believe that hiding out behind the curtain (Lee was in the building, but not in his seat to vote) falls outside of parliamentary procedure? Who but the members of parliament are there to vote?

    But if you say that some to-be-voted-on issues are of more importance than others, then please let someone draw up a list of sorts, what is of importance and what is not?

    Is the safety of our soldiers not of importance, and in that case, are the executive decisions made not also as part of our democratic oversight? It's easy for MP Lee to say: I don't want to vote on this, but Harper must and shall produce papers being asked for, but why was Lee so eager to vote for the papers to be tabled but not for being counted when it came to the issue of help for developing countries??

  169. Ah yes. Theoritical utopias.

    Like . . . firewalls. No senatorial appointments. Joining our US allies in Iraq. Not taxing Income trusts. Openness and accountability.

  170. Granting Quebec Nation status, the worst of them all.

    But that's not the point under discussion here. The point is this: Harper wrote about firewalls, was discredited for it. He never has delivered on that thought laid out in writing and everyone is keeping quiet about that fact.

    Ignatieff wrote about human rights and the means to achieve such rights, was credited for it, but did not deliver on it when he decided himself to be crowned leader of the party. And everyone kept quiet about that.

    Strange, don't you think?

  171. How can telling the truth be considered as scare mongering? These are the facts: Dion was not a leader. The Green Shift proposal was by tax on everything. It would have destroyed Canada's economic strenght. It would have cost hundred of thousand of jobs.
    - FVerhoeven

    A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.
    - Jean Chretien

  172. Again. The two issues are completely separate it is not a matter of more importance, but of choice… One was about possible contempt of Parliament, the other was not. I'm not aware of any convention that says an MP must vote or even attend Parliament.

  173. And when all's said, done, written, analyzed, and debated, it was still a strategic blunder that Harper can't blame on anyone but himself.

    Were he the brilliant chess master he was reputed to be, he wouldn't have given the opposition or the media the opening in the first place.

    'Nuff said.

  174. You might be happy with a government that knows how to win.

    Personally, I'd prefer one that knows how to govern.

  175. alfranerd, you're just digging yourself in deeper, that you have no understanding of complex emotions like love… and cognitive dissonance.

    Ask your mother — or better, get someone to ask for you :
    Is it possible to unconditionally love something or someone, and yet… dislike them, perhaps even intensely? (I suspect she'd have a lot to say on the subject.)

    As a Beatles fan, Harper himself would have to acknowledge it; the first line to "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" (from the lp 'With The Beatles,' whose cover is featured on the PM's famous mug) is: "I don't like you / but I love you"

  176. Yeah, I know, but something else is going on. There is a reason why so many Ignatieff supporters don't see through this double sidedness. These are not flip-flopping characteristics; this is a silent admission that absolutes do not and cannot exist. That all is and should be a matter of debate and coming out of such debates, the best possible solutions are reached for.

    But here's the thing: if the 2008 coalition is (was) discussed as the possibility between NDP and LPC forming government, then it was a positive. But as soon as the full explanation of the 2008 coalition is revealed, namely that the BQ must be part of it in order to make the numbers work, then it became a negative. Of course, Ignatieff knows the difference and so do most reasonable minds understand the difference.

    Yet, still until this day, when one reads opinion pieces about coalition forming in this country, the BQ participation is somehow excluded, but then things simply don't add up. I'm stumped by the fact that we try and reason in this country by willingly excluding certain facts. We seem to willingly want to ignore some of the facts. Mind boggling.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *