The permanent campaign


Metro readers in London were greeted this morning with the image of Stephen Harper waving happily from an Electro-Motive locomotive.

I’ve asked the NDP how they support the claim of “$5 million in tax giveaways to EMD” and will report back if or when I have a response. Mike Moffatt has already quibbled with this idea.

Update 5:25pm. The NDP responds that it’s on the “public record” and has been “covered in many stories.”

[The] company benefitted from 5 million credit on locomotives. Also from capital cost allowance. And also as a profitable company from Harper’s blind corp tax cuts. Harper went to EMD to tout how measures like these would keep jobs in london. He was wrong. That’s the clear message of the ads.


The permanent campaign

  1. This is pretty much what we can expect to be the norm in our politics if the LPC dies or no truly centrist party replaces it; evidenced based politics will die on the altar or two separate partisan bonfires, both throwing more heat than light on any kind of debateable subject. Who will you appeal to then Mr Moffatt?

    • Yeah, because the Liberals ‘soldiers in our streets’ rhetoric was so calm, rational and evidence-based. It’s funny how you call for evidence-based politics when the evidence basically shows that Liberal partisans are no different from Conservative and NDP partisans when it comes to playing fast and loose with the truth.

      • Missed the G8 didja?

        • Obviously I was too busy locking up grade 7 students for life in supermax prisons for smoking joints behind the cubicles.

          • That wouldn’t surprise me.

      • If your point is that liberals lie too…sure, we’re human. But liberalism from a philosophical pov, and broadly speaking is inclined to look for empirical solutions rather than look for evidence to support idealogical convictions as is the case for dippers and conservatives. That’s the reason we are attacked for being wishy washy and mushy, because life’s complicated and compromise is often all you’re left with once the evidence is in. Fact is liberal govts do fail to follow though for poltical reasons same as govts of other parties but it doesn’t change what liberals see as being the ideal in making choices – evidence backed research.Again if you merely want to point out that liberals don’t live up to their ideals…guilty as charged.
        The fact that you choose to latch onto an almost iconic example of liberal duplicity that didn’t actually make it to air but was pulled tells me a bit about your own level of partisanship and commitment to citing the facts as the were not as you think they were.

        • Oh please. The mere fact they call themselves liberals means they have a  worldview. It happens to be a slightly different worldview than a conservative or a social democrat but it’s still a frame of reference. It’s not like liberals sit there and say the evidence says the conservatives are right on this issue, the socialists are right on this one, and the neo-rhinos are right on this one. So stop trying to pretend liberalism is some sort of true religion and its failures are due to human fallibility.

          “The fact that you choose to latch onto an almost iconic example of liberal duplicity that didn’t actually make it to air”

          The ads got leaked and people saw them so they were very much in the public domain. I also don’t really see how it’s relevant since there are many other examples of Liberals climbing into the mud pit. I just picked an obvious one. Also, whether I’m a partisan or not doesn’t change the fact that the Liberals are guilty of the same level of truthiness that you just castigated the NDP and the Conservatives (for some reason) for. Of course, in your world liberals can do no wrong, it’s always a big-L Liberal’s fault. How convenvient!

          • not like.

          • I think i did not deny that libs are as prone to partisanship as anyone else and prone to not following though for politcal reasons when the evidence actually indicated they should,so i don’t get where this liberalism as religion is coming from – that’s absurd.
            Certainly they don’t sit down like minor deities and pick and choose from left and right, they sift through for political advantage like anyone else – a debate about what to do then ensues[ ideally].

            Of course libs are as prone to overlooking evidence that contradicts a policy they’re commited to as much as anyone else. But my point remains, there is no core idealogical belief beyond faith/belief in the tenants of liberalism; consequently it leaves a fair degree of latitude for considering evidence based solutions- stuff that works, rather than fits an idealogical framework.
            Odd how soldiers in the street was the core of your central argument, now it isn’t really relevant when i point out it got pulled.It may have been an obvious one, but why is it the one you guys always go to when there so many others?

        • Your giving the CPC an enormous amount of credit in your post.  It’s pretty telling the guy above you has to go back pretty much a decade to find what he feels is the worst example of a “Lie” (a prediction which seems a little far fetched, which was never broadcast on TV and was shortly pulled, and which gained an ugly kind of resnonance during the G20).

          Seriously, if the worst Harper pulled had been something like soldiers in their streets, they could hold their heads an awful lot higher.

          • Point taken, but let’s be honest, those ads were not a little far fetched they were disgusting. Citing G20 as a sort of validation of them is making liberal use of hindsight.

          • Just watched the ad again and did the background.  Harper was pretty clear he wanted increased military presence in cities.  You could definitely say it’s shaded, you could even say “what’s the matter with more soldiers in our cities” but there’s nothing inaccurate agout the ad itself.

            If that breeds disgust, comemnts like there will only be a recession if a party other than the CPC is elected, or it was imperative Peter MacKay spent taxpayer money for a private trip in a military aircraft, should be comparatively off the charts, shouldn’t they?

          • or one of my recent favourites from the rich history of flat out lies, that pleading guilty to a .8 million election fraud was “complete victory”.

          • Yeah, that took real chutzpa did that one.

        • Re kmc2:  kool aid, kool aid, tastes great!

          • Care to expand your thoughts with an actual argument rather than something  that came right out of a fortune cookie?

      • Today, good sir, you earn the internet handle you have given yourself.

  2. Side tracked or in training?

  3. So wait now there was $5 IN ADDITION to the CCA adjustment?   I hope this issue can be sorted out. 

    Facts have become very very slippery in the Harper world. But I guess “Conservatives lie, it’s what they do…”

    • Apparently this is how to attract investment to Canada.  Now if we can figure out how to keep it here…

    • It’s their ‘low tax plan for job creation’.

  4. Capital cost allowance?

    You mean they benefitted from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles? 

    It’s good to know just how far down the Socialist utopic rabbit hole our left leaning parties have gone, that they would attack basic accounting deductions as an example of nefarious “capitalism gone wild”.

      • While depreciation under GAAP does not necessarily equal depreciation for tax purposes, I trust as an “accountant” (albeit a nerdy one) that you are not suggesting that CCA is some novel or unique expense. 
        Surely an ethical accountant wouldn’t, for partisan political purposes, suggest that CCA is anything other than the expensing of depreciation.  As for who CCA benefits, it benefits those who have a particular class of asset depreciating for tax purposes at a particular rate.

        Of course, since it is not “progressive” to actually look at the direct negotiations themselves, to look to the Union which specifically rejected the offer to keep the members employed, choosing instead to reject the offer and have the members unemployed “on principle”, then yes, I suppose sifting through CCA schedules in the Income Tax Act to find the boogy man makes sense.


        • He’s not talking about the principle of CCA but the rate at which it can be employed, something very much controlled by the government.  You either don’t get this or are lying.

          • Right.  Which is why I stated at a particular “rate” by class of asset.  How quickly “progressives” are to cast aspersions rather than debate points.  Or perhaps I’m judging too harshly and that you presumed that I believed rates were set by robots.

            The important thing I suppose, from a “progressive” viewpoint, is that we are discussing rates on classes of depreciable assets being the central issue on the workers being out of a job rather than on the Union actually deciding the workers should be out of a job “on principle.”

            Much better to dig through asset classes in the Income Tax Act than hold Union’s to account for their fateful bargaining decisions.

          • So you were lying. got it.

    • Be afraid, be very afraid . . .

  5. The “progressive” method of reason

    Company: we cannot afford the wages paid.  We offer you X.  If you accept X you can keep your jobs.  If you reject X we will close shop and you will be unemployed.

    Union:  given the choice between accepting X or our workers being unemployed, we choose that they be unemployed.

    Company:  We accept your decision and are closing shop.  The workers are now unemployed.

    Progressive left: it is Harper’s fault. 

    • Let’s not make it sound like Caterpillar is verging on bankruptcy eh?

      They had a record profit of $4.9-billion (U.S.) for the year and sales that topped $60-billion

      • It’s too bad companies don’t abide by the goal of a progressive utopia, and a division that is bleeding due to high unionized labour costs, rather than cutting costs (or shutting down) would just be subsidized by other profitable ones.   

        • It’s too bad you can’t read plain English.

        • It wasn’t bleeding.  Cat lobbied for,  and got,  a better deal in Indiana – tax credits, state subsidized job training and right-to-work legislation. 

          • I apologize.  I was viewing it from the perspective of a company’s executive that has a legal and fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of its shareholders (likely us or our loved ones via mutual funds or even direct ownership), in saying that unneccessary exhorbitant costs that can be prevented was “bleeding”.

            It’s too bad company executives don’t abide by the goal of a progressive utopia, and give their shareholders the shaft, by giving into union demands. 

            It’s also too bad that shareholders seek to act in their self interest by demanding a return on their investment (or closer to home – a nest egg for their retirement).

            The “progressive” way is to recognize the unionized workers’ right act in their self interest, while expressing shock and dismay that the other actors in the equation do so. 

          • You don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about, you’re just off in some airy-fairy fantasy of your own.

            You must be an Albertan.

          • For you newcomers, in Progressive Emilyspeak, “Albertan” means “stupid or bad person”.

          • @OrsonBean
            No, it means someone living in a pre-industrial society.

            It is an entirely different mindset to those who have lived through the industrial age…involving everything from economics to family.

            You can look it up

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