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The bully analogy extended to its logical conclusion


 

Three situations, selected not entirely at random.

1. The government releases an economic statement that includes plans to revoke the per vote subsidy for political parties and eliminate the public service’s right to strike. The opposition parties object. The government is steadfast. The opposition parties begin to negotiate a coalition. The government withdraws the aforementioned proposals.

2. Within the economic statement, the government forecasts economic growth in 2009 and a budgetary surplus in 2009-2010. The Prime Minister gets the Governor General to prorogue Parliament, but the Liberals continue to threaten a coalition. John McCallum and Scott Brison meet with the Finance Minister and publicly demand he release an accurate accounting of the nation’s finances. Two days later, Jim Flaherty releases new projections. The economy will shrink in 2009, the surplus is now a deficit.

3. The government announces plans to redistribute federal seats in Parliament. Dalton McGuinty objects to the formula used. Government house leader Peter Van Loan calls him as the “small man of Confederation.” Flaherty says Ontario is the “last place” to invest. A year later, at a press conference, McGuinty announces the Prime Minister has capitulated to his demands.

So.

Perhaps one of the identifiable lessons of this month in politics is that, for all the yelling and screaming and frothing-at-the-mouth and arm-waving and and chair-kicking and name-calling and obviously very manly posturing, those willing to stick a metaphorical finger in Stephen Harper’s chest might find his reputed toughness to be somewhat overstated.


 

The bully analogy extended to its logical conclusion

  1. Or rather, that he isn’t, in fact, the monster you’ve built him up to be for years.

    Wouldn’t that be a terrible disappointment, if it were true?

  2. I’ve been saying this for ages (not on the internet, but anyway…). Harper’s characteristics don’t really matter. The facts are that a minority government leader who tries to act like he has a majority only needs to be stood up to, preferably consistently, in order for good government to result.

  3. No, he wouldn’t be the monster he is made out to be if he wouldn’t due the bullying in the first place. Minority government = negotiate, listen, compromise

  4. due = do… is it friday yet?

  5. Or rather, that he isn’t, in fact, the monster you’ve built him up to be for years.

    No, it makes him an even worse one.

  6. 1. Awesome ideas that most people will support are only delayed
    2. This how Liberals will play it, so they can say the coalition had a purpose. And can try to weasle out of taking responsibilty for engaging in a separatist coalition.
    3. This was fair. Likely had to do with Mcguinty being less adversarial especially during the last election. Unlike Charest. The question will be is how giving Ontario this many seats are going to help the likes of PEI,NFL, etc.

  7. taking responsibilty for engaging in a separatist coalition.

    This doesn’t get any more clever with repetition.

    Honestly, the ConBots who dare to suggest that Harper’s bully persona is a fabrication either think the rest of us are stupid or they just haven’t been paying attention.

    Bullies don’t scare me (they irritate/bore me), but what has been remarkable is the degree of support Harper’s belligerence has garnered among his supporters. They celebrated each time it was manifested…as if *sticking it to someone else* is the whole point of democratic politics.

    Seriously, give it up.

  8. Right on. Thank you.

  9. “This doesn’t get any more clever with repetition.”
    Perhaps, but I know it thoroughly annoys you and the rest of the puffins. It is going to be difficult for you guys to bury the fact that the Liberal joined a signed deal with separatists.I seen it all on my tv many times. Handshaking the whole bit.
    Politics is about winning ask Chretian.Stick, fork in the eye, sweaters, I don’t care, just win baby.

  10. Huh. And here I thought our politics were about good governance for Canadians.

    I guess this explains why there’s such a fundamental disconnect between myself and most Conservatives.

  11. I’m being belligerent but you guys cry like little babies. Harper=bully. Wah, Wah.
    If Harper can advance Conservative ideas, even modestly, and Liberals are kept away from governing.I’m happy.
    Some of Harpers ways are better than others I admit, but don’t cry like little babies about it.

  12. Ti-Guy> Probably because we remember how the Reform Party was treated by the Liberals when we came to the hill in 1993, and the subsequent media campaign trying to paint western voters as violent, racist, homophobic hicks.

    So the fact that Harper bullies around the Liberal Party doesn’t get much sympathy.

  13. “Analogy”?

    Calling Harper a bully isn’t an analogy – speaking for myself, I’ve always meant it literally.

    Just like a bully, he’s excessively bellicose, way beyond what’s necessary to accomplish any specific goal. Just like a bully, he doesn’t pull back even in the absence of a victim standing up for himself. And just like a bully, he falls apart when his victim stands up for himself.

    Harper isn’t just like a bully, he is a bully.

  14. Hi Daryl.

    I’m curious – this whole “I’m being belligerent”, ie, “I’m tough and forceful, just like my iron-gutted Prime Minister” counterposed with “You guys cry like BABIES!!”, ie, “You weak-kneed jellybeans flop around like speared angelfish, you Marx-loving, Dion-defending salmon-sisters, you! Man up!” – is this purely for the show, or do you really see the conservative/liberal split as being definitively between he-men stalwarts on the one side, and caterwauling, dandified sissyboys on the other?

    This policultural dichotomy is so prevalent throughout the blogosphere that I’ve always been curious as to how seriously its proponents take it.

    Cheers

  15. Probably because we remember how the Reform Party was treated by the Liberals when we came to the hill in 1993, and the subsequent media campaign trying to paint western voters as violent, racist, homophobic hicks.

    What media campaign?

  16. TJ is exactly right. Harper’s behaviour is entirely consistent with his characterization with a bully. Bullies aren’t necessarily tough, they’re just used to getting their way through belligerence. When that doesn’t work, they are caught off-guard, as Harper obviously was. He nearly lost his political life.

  17. Daryl
    Dec 18, 2008 12:55
    Report Abuse

    “This doesn’t get any more clever with repetition.”
    Perhaps, but I know it thoroughly annoys you and the rest of the puffins. It is going to be difficult for you guys to bury the fact that the Liberal joined a signed deal with separatists.I seen it all on my tv many times. Handshaking the whole bit.
    Politics is about winning ask Chretian.Stick, fork in the eye, sweaters, I don’t care, just win baby.

    So much for the aspirations for better government and a better Canada…

    Just win baby!
    Caveman! Club! Knuckles dragging!

  18. Daryl – You’re really Darrel ( Stinson ) , right ?

  19. Hi Chris
    I’m not actually belligerent when speaking with “normal people”. “Normal people” don’t frequent this site much, me thinks.Certainly don’t comment much.People somehow think that what is said here actually infuences people.
    After reading to often about “shop of tories”, and “conbots” “Harper mean” “despicable human being”etc. I just wanted to return fire with fire.
    But yes Harper is an alpha male, I like that.

  20. “Caveman! Club! Knuckles dragging”
    Yes I am. I’m Canadian too.

  21. WW,

    You got the wrong Daryl. That was his other brother Daryl. And his other brother Daryl was the first commenter.

  22. The best example of whining and crying was when Dean Del Mastro whinged during the interminable ethics committee hearings over the summer that his virgin ears would not tolerate the profanity coming from Pat Martin.

    Good Lord, what a performance. Give that man pearls to clutch.. Carole Lavallée accused them of acting like a bunch of offended virgins (vierges offensées). Heh.

    That’s way the Liberals need to handle it, and that’s where I *do* fault them. Take these belligerent outbursts for what they are….teenage temper tantrums.

  23. Harper will do anything to stay in power. He and his supporters have distorted the truth, accused other parties of doing what they themselves have done, discredited honourable members of Parliament, tried to kneecap the opposition, illegally recorded and released a private conversation, thwarted the due process of government and failed to recognize the financial difficulties we now find ourselves in. In order to get them do something about the economic problems, they have been dragged kicking and screaming to the table by a very legal coalition. They are now consulting with everyone, a process they condemned when Mr. Dion proposed to do it. Now they will take credit for presenting a budget to fix everything. If their proposals fail to correct the problems, they will place the blame on everyone who was consulted. Mr. Harper and the Conservatives have not shown leadership. Instead they have used every method at their disposal to divide this country. Using the Canadian Government website (http://www.canada.gc.ca/home.html), they continue to disseminate their propaganda via Mr. Harper’s statement. Shame on them!!!!

  24. Harper is an alpha male?!

    Puhahahaha~! That’s got to be one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. And I think that more a statement of you, Daryl, than Harper.

    I actually disagree with you guys: he’s not a bully. That would be offensive to bullies everywhere.

    He’s just got a tiny penis is all…and he’s trying to make up for it.

    Austin

  25. Hey Daryl, thanks for the reply.

    That’s what I suspected. This “comment-section” tactic does seem to have its effectiveness, especially directed leftwards in our own beloved and cold realm. I have read enough web output from our southern cousins to believe that a larger proportion of them hold this duality to be a truism – up here, we’re more apt to just like yanking our opponents chain.

    I can appreciate the “alpha-dog” thing – I also tend to sympathize with the [Canadian] conservatives complaint that oftimes the left never extends them same basic courtesies they demand from their [mostly western] brethren. Ah, sweet ideology – how boring web commentaries would be without its tautologies and wicked barbs!

    Cheers, and merry Christmas.

  26. Ted
    That’s quite a long list for you excrement hiding puffins to cry about. My heart bleeds for the pain and anguish you all must feel that the levers of power are so far out of your reach. Perhaps crying will do liberals some good.

    Wow, …”conservatives complaint that oftimes the left never extends them same basic courtesies they demand from their [mostly western] brethren….
    Thanks Chris and merry Chirstmas to you.

    You can see what happens when you poke a Liberal enough.
    “Caveman! Club! Knuckles dragging”

  27. I don’t think that number 3 had anything to do with standing up to Harper. The simple calculation is that Harper is simply finished in Quebec. All of the goodies poured into that province to try to woo its voters are lost. Write them off. Now the last chance to get a majority is Ontario. So, it’s time to start bribing us with our own money.

    It’s transparent and pathetic. And it just might work. Apparently we’re not very smart.

  28. Kudos Wherry. A subtle observation and a well-reasoned piece.
    When you’re good, you’re very good.

  29. Shorter Daryl: “Ha ha, I threw poo and those wimpy liberals got mad!”

  30. Yes, we are all learning that it pays to stand up to the bully that is this wretched gov’t.

    It just wearies us cause we all have much better things to do.

    I started liking Iggy when he all but dared Harper to run attack ads on him in the middle of the Harper-spawned crisis.

    How to improve our political health:
    1) Ban political ads (both attacks ads and those atrocious sweater-commercials) outside the writ period.
    2) Gives us 1st choice, 2nd choice voting (STV)

  31. It just wearies us cause we all have much better things to do.

    Exactly. I’d like to be able to think I can look critically at Conservative policies without worrying that some juvenile delinquent is going to start wasting my time calling me a Taliban-hugger or a wimp or a latte-sipping welfare parasite, or at best, treat my skepticism and disagreement as some hideous moral failing.

  32. If Harper isn’t actually a sociopath or bully, he certainly does a good job of behaving like one.

  33. Interview his mother.

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