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Familiarity breeds contempt, confusion


 

Adam Radwanski appeals to the perspective that comes from living elsewhere.

Yes, it’s not hard to dislike Stephen Harper if you watch him on a day-to-day basis. But in the big-picture sense, it’s not entirely clear to your average person what it is that’s fundamentally wrong with his government.


 
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Familiarity breeds contempt, confusion

  1. Wow .. indeed Adam has certainly hit the nail on the head with this article right to the point as they say.

  2. The better line to quote from Radwanski's post would have been this one:

    "Meanwhile, despite Michael Ignatieff's noble efforts to present himself as a truly national leader, a disproportionate number of senior Liberal staff and caucus members hail from the Toronto area – a place where negative perceptions of the Conservatives are much more commonplace than they are in most other parts of the country."

    The Liberals' Toronto bubble clouds all of their attempts at strategic thinking. Its not that everyone outside Toronto loves the government. But its just that its only in Toronto that the "all-Canadians-need-is-an-excuse-to-replace-the-government" mindset is succored and sustainted (which is the subject of Radwanski's post). As long as Liberal HQ remains dominated by people who live inside that bubble, the Liberals will continue to twist in the wind.

    • Refreshing, someone who has read and comprehended the story.

      • You slay me. What were you, the third or fourth person to weigh in on the piece? And even with the same sentiment being unanimously expressed at the time, you found it refreshing that someone had read and comprehended it? What should I conclude from this – that both you and Wayne (ROFLMAO) could only muster, at best, one of the two?

        • There was unanimity expressed among the three? How so? Wherry, Wayne and the headline writer – if that being someone other than Wherry – were the unfresh variety.

        • There was unanimity expressed among the three? How so? Wherry, Wayne and the headline writer – if that being someone other than Wherry – were the unfresh variety, and that is a pattern with Wherry blogs, or non-blogs more accurately.

    • Great, so the next election can be between the Libs Toronto bubble and The Con's Calgary bubble.

  3. Radwanski is right on the money when he observes that "it's not entirely clear to your average person what it is that's fundamentally wrong with his government".

    This why I fearlessly predict that there won't be a fall election after all. By September, Ignatieff will (finally) have a platform ready and a full slate of candidates, but he won't have a compelling reason to persuade Canadians that we need yet another federal election – the fourth in five years.

    • No. The vast majority of Canadians would prefer that Harper and his crappy little elves not be in government, they just can't agree on who to replace them with.

      • Of course, EKOS tells us that half of the Canadian population thinks the government is on the right track. Numbers like these are probably making Iggy think twice.

        • How many of them could articulate what "right track" means?

          • Most of them, hopefully. Are you suggesting that the EKOS poll results are unreliable because the question was too confusing?

          • naw, i think he is just calling us all dumb. or maybe more generously that we can't identify what we actually like about what the Harpies are doing that is good….

          • naw, i think he is just calling us all dumb.

            or maybe more, generously, that we can't identify what we actually like about what the Harpies are doing that is good…. this point might be fair enough (i haven't read the EKOS poll to see if there is a Q that addresses this.

    • Yet Harper had no qualms about breaking his own law for an unnecessary election, the third in four years. Interesting myopia you've got there.

  4. ""it's not entirely clear to your average person what it is that's fundamentally wrong with his government"

    It's not entirely clear to the average journalist either, but they can't *say* that, of course. They'd lose credibility and…*shudder*…access.

    I know what wrong with this government. They lack vision. They've been waging a culture war against that segment of the society that does not view the World as they do. They were ill-prepared for the economic downturn. They've been wildly inconsistent with their so-called principles. They've waged a war on their competition on the taxpayers' dime for three years. They will not cooperate in Parliament. Their tactics are juvenile and divisive. Their scandals have hit right at the heart of the democratic process. And finally, they''re inept, incompetent, dishonest and in the case of all of these Canadians stranded abroad, quite likely criminal.

    • Bingo~ Give Anon a cookie.

    • Just because their vision is different then yours doesn`t mean they lack vision—we have more confidence in PM Harper`s vision then Anon`s Vision.

      • William,
        Do you really believe that these Conservatives have demonstrated vision?
        The biggest current issue is stimulus spending, and most core Conservatives are arguing that the most ambitious stimulus spending package ever undertaken by a Canadian government was something forced on the Conservatives.
        Partisan stacking of the Senate is full on, no more triple E (maybe later… but once the Senate is Conservative do they really need triple E?)
        Law and order agenda… A few tweaks here and there, a few bills floated but never passed. Sound, fury yes not much else.
        Long gun registry… still in place

        What exactly is the legacy that has come from the vision of this government? Is the reduction of the GST (yikes at the wrong time) all there is?

        Certainly my natural inclination is towards Liberal policies, but I could also respect a government with integrity and vision that followed Conservative principles. This one don't.

        • Actually vision is probably an overused word when describing a gov`t, especially a minority gov`t. One never knows when opp. parties will try to overthrow, or a global financial crisis will hit, or a Liberal Senate will prevent change, or the special interest groups will raise havoc over some common sense regarding law and order.

          But as I`m sure you are aware, it`s very important that the Liberal Party take this time out to craft a new vision.

          • Ah, so the parties NOT in power must have a vision for the country. The party in power needs no vision, shouldn't spend time crafting one, because they are busy running the country.

            You might have something there.

      • The only vision I have is to promote a better-informed citizenry. It's a lost cause, obviously.

        • But please, don't give up.

    • The whole vision thing is highly over-rated. It worked well for Trudeau and his 'Just Society'. But the boomers who fell for it back then are now much older and more cynical. Plus we now have the internet, and more use of attack ads, as great equalizers for any vision shpiel we might get out of Iggy–"The East-West Power Grid Society" maybe ?

      • Vision overrated? True in some sense. What ever Chretien's vision was for his period in office wasn't very well packaged, but there's a lot of what he achieved that made Canada a better place. So if Harper's trying to pay a compliment with imitation (a poor one at that – future generations can thank his holograph), that's a step in the right direction.

      • "The whole vision thing is highly over-rated."

        The grandiosity and the conceit in this statement is astonishing.

  5. What is wrong with this government? They have subordinated the legislative/governing process to the process of getting and maintaining power. Their legislation – when it exists – is crafted to make themselves look good, not to do what is best for the country.

    Plus they seem to be angry all the time.

    • Do you know what`s wrong with the offical Opp. ? They just seem to want to get back into power. They have subordinated their opposition role in an effort to just make themselves look good—-all this talk about isotopes and communion and EI—-they don`t seem to care what is best for the country.

      Plus, have you noticed that Iggy and Rae and Dryden and Jennings seem to be angry all the time.

      • Tu quoque. The difference is, of course, that the opposition is supposed to appear looking good and scrutinize for their benefit. That is the nature of the role, and if the governing party cannot counter this, then they must not be handling their responsibilities too well. After all, the cost of jockeying for power is minimal as opposition compared to the governing party who tables legislation, since they are, well, not holding on the reigns of power. That is why Opposition Leaders can talk away and try to polish their image so readily; just chronicle past Opposition Leaders to see that. As for wanting to gain power, if you believe that the ultimate goal of a party is to be the loyal opposition with no ambition or attempt to become the government. I guess the Conservatives' election to power must have been done so out the upmost reticence and humility.

    • They have subordinated the legislative/governing process to the process of getting and maintaining power. Their legislation – when it exists – is crafted to make themselves look good, not to do what is best for the country.

      This is, of course, wholly alien to both our particular political system and the parliamentary form government more generally, completely unprecedented in Canadian history, and will surely never occur under a future government. Clearly.

    • They have subordinated the legislative/governing process to the process of getting and maintaining power. Their legislation – when it exists – is crafted to make themselves look good, not to do what is best for the country.

      This is, of course, wholly alien to both our particular political system and the Westminster form of governance more generally, completely unprecedented in Canadian history, and will surely never occur under a future government. Clearly.

  6. In actual practice of laws they actually passed, I'll be first to admit they've been far more middle of the road than could have been guessed in 2006. Their scandals – Cadman, breaking the election law, broken promises, bad policies, in-and-out – have been small or mercifully passed over by the press.

    But those who have been paying attention remember the reform party and the national citizens coalition. We've seen hints of him acting shifty and dishonestly, and we're suspicious of the damage he could do if he had free rein.

  7. Mike T has it right.
    The reason the anti Harper sentiment in the country seems confused and inarticulate sometimes, and why the Liberals are not as coherent as they should be is that the opposition centres on what the Reform/Con Party will do if it gets a majority and a 4 or 5 year mandate.
    The country will be unrecognizable if that happens, Many of its long held values and beliefs will thrown away and perhaps lost forever. That is a tough sell to the electorate, obviously..

    • So what you`re saying is that the reason the Liberals are such a lousy Opposition is because they are confused and afraid that a political party that has not existed for 10 years will win a majority in the next election.

    • So what you`re saying is that the reason the Liberals are such a lousy Opposition party is because they are confused and afraid that a political party that has not existed for 10 years will win a majority in the next election.

      • Hey, talking points in duplicate. Nice that you feel the opposition plays a bigger role in governing than the government. I must of missed that 10-percenter.

        • I`m afraid that I am confused by what you say. I`m afraid that I am confused by what you say.

        • It's still to come. Remember how the Conservatives betrayed their own principles and dug the country into that $40 (or 50 or 60 or 70) billion hole, but they only did it because the Opposition made them do it? It's taking a little longer than expected to get the wording right, but it's coming.

  8. I think Adam R. has a point when he talks about clarity. But if you look at the polls, Harper — in the "Best PM" question — lags his own party by four to five points, and he is barely registering 30%.

    When two-thirds of the public refuses to grade the sitting PM as acceptable, Canadians may not be entirely clear on "what it is that's fundamentally wrong with his government" but they do seem to know that there is something about the government they don't much care about.

    • Ironically, Harper's Nanos "Best PM" poll numbers were exactly the same just before the last election, and the Tories still have a polling lead in Ontario (albeit much narrower than the last election).

      My hyper-rationalist perspective: Ignatieff won't pull the trigger, because he's not interested in incremental gains for the LPC. Iggy's in it for the whole enchilada, so he'll wait until he has a decisive lead in the polls before he forces an election.

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