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Stephen Harper’s lessons in strategery


 

To run a disastrous election campaign, it’s important to get things off on the wrong foot as quickly as possible. Maybe stand outside Rideau Hall and ensure that potential voters see you as inexplicably angry and, frankly, kind of paranoid. That should do the trick. Elect me or the sinister coalition will put fluoride in our precious bodily fluids! Try to sound vaguely unhinged.

You’re off and flailing. But you’re going to want to build on that by making sure your flagship policy announcement – the first thing you put in the window for Canadians – won’t take effect for several years, and only if a bunch of other stuff happens. This is crucial. You want to lure people in with a tempting-sounding tax change, and then you hit them with the “… see you in 2016ish. Psyche!” This will keep the opposition off guard – they’ll never know what you’re going to promise to which generation of future Canadians.

With the policy miscue out of the way, it’s important to instill in your campaign a pervasive sense of listlessness – you know, really send the message that you’ve got nothing. Make sure the theme of each day is clear – Day 3: Coalition. Day 4: COALITION. Day 5: Coal. Ition. Day 6: CoalITION!! That kind of thing.

At this point, you should get down to the hard work of alienating the media. I mean, really rub it in their faces. Limit them to just a few questions a day – they’ll hate that. Then (and this is key) refuse to answer questions about why they’re allowed so few questions. Oh, man, they’re going to freak! Hammer home the message by penning them in behind a metal fence at least 40 feet from where you’re standing. It’s called symbolism. Don’t worry – they’ll get it.

Before I go any further, here’s some hard truth for you: no matter how hard you try, no one individual can fully bone up a federal election campaign all on his or her own. I know you won’t want to admit it, but you need help. Maybe get a dimwitted Senator to refer to reporters as “attack dogs” and “pathetic” for having the gall to ask questions of a politician. Or encourage a notoriously intolerant MP to publicly refer to your main rival as “Igaffi.” I’m telling you: Everyone enjoys a hilarious gag in which one’s political opponent is likened to a savage tyrant  because both names are “foreign sounding.” It’s a terrific way to instantly undo years of hard work toward winning over the immigrant vote.

So you’re well on your way to a dismal, uninspired start that leaves people questioning your capability, your mindset and your sense of judgment. Congratulations. But now’s no time to rest on your brickbats. Double down with a major gaffe of your own! This is just personal preference, but I always like to challenge my opponent to a one-on-one debate – and then almost instantly chicken out. It’s a classic, I know: but the classics work! With a single stroke, you portray yourself as weak, uncertain and vewy, vewy afwaid. Plus, it ensures some four-eyed asshat will go on Twitter to suggest your campaign plane should be named Chicken Wings.

So there you go. Follow this advice and you should be limping to the end of the first week of a potentially disastrous election campaign. Nice work so far! I’d tell you what to do during the second week, but frankly I’m kind of making this up as I go along.


 
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Stephen Harper’s lessons in strategery

  1. Regarding the above article, choose the statement that most accurately reflects your feelings:
    1) It's funny 'cause it's true.
    2) It's sad 'cause it's true.
    3) It's funny 'cause it's sad.
    4) It's sad that it's funny.
    5) All of the above.

  2. Regarding the above article, choose the statement that most accurately reflects your feelings:
    1) It's funny 'cause it's true.
    2) It's sad 'cause it's true.
    3) It's funny 'cause it's sad.
    4) It's sad that it's funny.
    5) All of the above.

    • Can it be funny because it is both sad and true?

    • I think it sounds angry more than funny—-I had to check twice to see if Scott Reid wasn`t the writer.

      • I would imagine you're somewhat accustomed to being an outlier.

    • 5 – I really hope he's not still ranting about coalitions by the end of the campaign (though I have my doubts).

    • Oh, definitely #5. By the way, does anyone else hear a chicken clucking?

    • That all depends on your taste in humour and how you define truth.

      • I like my humor like I like my martinis — dry, cold, and as a desperate coping mechanism against depression.

    • Oh #5 of course! And I enjoy your humour too!

  3. Can it be funny because it is both sad and true?

  4. One has to wonder what Harper's supporters are thinking. Charles Adler is giving Harper the advice to smile and laugh and look like he's having fun, but Adler seems to miss the point that Harper's whole campaign strategy is based on fear – fear that the economy is fragile and a reckless coalition will doom Canada. Can't exactly go around looking like you are having fun if you want people to be afraid.
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/comment/columnists/cha

  5. One has to wonder what Harper's supporters are thinking. Charles Adler is giving Harper the advice to smile and laugh and look like he's having fun, but Adler seems to miss the point that Harper's whole campaign strategy is based on fear – fear that the economy is fragile and a reckless coalition will doom Canada. Can't exactly go around looking like you are having fun if you want people to be afraid.
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/comment/columnists/cha

    • I have no doubt Harper supporters think he's doing fine.
      After all if they can ignore the contempt of parliament they can convince themselves of just about anything where Harper is concerned.

  6. It's starting to look like Paul Martin's last campaign, especially how Harper pathetically backed down from a one-on-one debate. Why bother even proposing it? Shades of Martin… not good…

    (Speaking of Martin, didn't Feschuk work on Paul Martin's fatal campaign? Is this an ironic blog post?)

  7. It's starting to look like Paul Martin's last campaign, especially how Harper pathetically backed down from a one-on-one debate. Why bother even proposing it? Shades of Martin… not good…

    (Speaking of Martin, didn't Feschuk work on Paul Martin's fatal campaign? Is this an ironic blog post?)

    • Fatal? Twas merely a flesh wound!

      • And here, all along, I thought you experienced a memory hole.

        "A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks [almost] killed his [career]."

      • Lol! Fair enough. I downgrade my evaluation of Martin's campaign from "fatal campaign" to "flesh-wounding campaign."

    • Unlike Martin though, I think the Conservative base is more determined to elect their leader. Harper's campaign isn't cooked yet, but he's hopped into the pan.

  8. I have no doubt Harper supporters think he's doing fine.
    After all if they can ignore the contempt of parliament they can convince themselves of just about anything where Harper is concerned.

  9. Chicken Wings… excellent……

    Joking aside…. there are some excellent Conservative candidates being poorly thought of based on the conduct of the leader.

  10. Chicken Wings… excellent……

    Joking aside…. there are some excellent Conservative candidates being poorly thought of based on the conduct of the leader.

    • They made one major mistake though: They sold their soul to be a Harperite, for power. Their positive side is easily outweighed because they'll have no influence in a Harper government — only Harper does.

    • Quietly suggest your “excellent Conservative candidates” Jump ship
      and do the Honourable thing, Start a new Political party.

      • I know! They could call it the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada! I wonder if Joe could be lured back?

        Also be nice to see some sweet vote splitting over there, well until someone withdrew and threw their support behind another conservative. Then it would be one of them there coalition conspiracies. I hear they're pretty dreadful.

  11. Fatal? Twas merely a flesh wound!

  12. Will campaigns elect this government, or will apathy?

  13. Will campaigns elect this government, or will apathy?

    • Seems more like naivety. A lot of folks will believe the most preposterous claims.

    • Seeing how it appears that even MacLean's and National Post now are sharpening the knives (finally) and get upset I would say there is a good chance that apathy is being overcome.

      Just ask the former Premier of BW in Germany, he thought he could play the same games and suddenly found himself betrayed by his "personal press".

  14. And here, all along, I thought you experienced a memory hole.

    "A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks [almost] killed his [career]."

  15. Lol! Fair enough. I downgrade my evaluation of Martin's campaign from "fatal campaign" to "flesh-wounding campaign."

  16. I think it sounds angry more than funny—-I had to check twice to see if Scott Reid wasn`t the writer.

  17. Seems more like naivety. A lot of folks will believe the most preposterous claims.

  18. 5 – I really hope he's not still ranting about coalitions by the end of the campaign (though I have my doubts).

  19. I have to admit, this campaign started with me leaning conservative, but still open to persuasion. After hearing Harper incessant and paranoid mutterings about coalition and the "coalition partners," I am looking elsewhere. Way to court the swing vote Steven. Now I really think he is on the way to losing.

  20. I have to admit, this campaign started with me leaning conservative, but still open to persuasion. After hearing Harper incessant and paranoid mutterings about coalition and the "coalition partners," I am looking elsewhere. Way to court the swing vote Steven. Now I really think he is on the way to losing.

  21. I'm sharing this article with all of my 1,250 FaceBook friends. CLASSIC. FUNNY. It's got EVERYTHING to make me LAUGH a body part right OFF.

  22. I'm sharing this article with all of my 1,250 FaceBook friends. CLASSIC. FUNNY. It's got EVERYTHING to make me LAUGH a body part right OFF.

  23. Unlike Martin though, I think the Conservative base is more determined to elect their leader. Harper's campaign isn't cooked yet, but he's hopped into the pan.

  24. This is the important point.
    It's like a hockey game for Conservative supporters. Even though their own team plays horribly and resorts to every cheap and vicious trick in the book, their total hatred of their opponents means that it doesn't matter.
    Their guys wear white hats so must be the good guys regardless of actions to the contrary.
    Honesty and actually weighing the pros and cons are an anathema to the new right.

  25. Here's an idea for the media.

    If Harper won't answer more than 5 questions and pens you in 10 metres away to give himself that "Presidential" air (not) then stop asking questions.

    Collectively, simply say "We've asked all the questions you're allowing us to so we've decided to take the next few of weeks off." That might upset Dear Leader's™ apple cart of manipulation and control just a wee bit.

    Give it a try. It'll be fun to see how a self serving, egomaniac, control freak reacts to NO media coverage whatsoever.

  26. Ain't that the damn truth.

    The key motto for the entire Neo-Con movement is "He's a bastard, but at least he's our bastard."

  27. 1) It's funny 'cause it's true.

  28. 1) It's funny 'cause it's true.

  29. Scott,
    Brilliant. Bull's eye.
    Philip

  30. Feschuk should go back to writing about hookers which he seems to know more about

  31. Feschuk should go back to writing about hookers which he seems to know more about

    • What are you implying?

      • Not implying…I'm saying that his pulled piece on hooker-"humour" was sadly more accurate than this.

    • But is he wrong?

      • Yes, just look at the polls…

        • I generally don't. They're pretty much useless these days, as even the pollsters have suggested.

          That said, I believe the most recent set of polls had the Liberals rapidly closing the gap.

          Given that Mr. Harper has an unshakable base of sheep available, I think Liberal rise can certainly be seen as some evidence of a bad CPC campaign in addition to a decent Liberal campaign.

          • I see… you believe the parts of the polls you agree with and disregard what you don't like. Your sheep comment exposes you to that same bias and FYI, those polls show the Liberal gains are coming from the NDP and not the Conservatives.

            Think before posting as it'll be far less embarrassing for you.

          • Arrogance™

            The new fragrance from The Harper Government.

            When you look like money, but smell like $hit.

    • Knowledge of hookers? Isn't that what senior Advisors to the Prime Minister are for?

      • You people. Not "hooker" but rather "escort." Or, alternatively, "fiancee."

    • Now that is funny. Porn or movie stars behaving badly.
      I am amused by it but I look forward to his article on ziggy to make sure McLean's has balance. As a small business owner, if the Libs get voted in, I am closing shop to get a govt job. What is the point of even trying? With Dalton's family day these guys show what they think. Omly conservatives have held meetings to ask how to simplify our business.

      • As a small business owner myself. I am wondering who is going to pay off the debt that this economist has left us with now he has excused large corporations from having to pay their share. I do not get the welfare via government contracts that they get, I do not get access to off shore tax rules like they do, I do not get bought and paid for political parties like they do and I do not get paid when I mess up like they do, I go out of business.
        But you are right they asked us how we could simplify our business so that makes it fine.

  32. Brilliant idea!

  33. Brilliant idea!

    • Thank you.

      Curtis

  34. I would imagine you're somewhat accustomed to being an outlier.

  35. Scott is brilliant. Absolutely right about the stupidity of Harper's campaign.

    I love the "vewy vewy afwaid". Harper always looked like Elmer Fudd to me – seriously.

  36. Scott is brilliant. Absolutely right about the stupidity of Harper's campaign.

    I love the "vewy vewy afwaid". Harper always looked like Elmer Fudd to me – seriously.

  37. What are you implying?

  38. Their respective agencies have already paid lots of money for them to go along. They can't just decide to stop doing their job.

    That said, if the group got together and every single question is, "Why are we restricted to four questions?" and then reported on that, it might help to get the message through.

  39. Wouldn't that be exactly what he wants? Obviously he doesn't want to campaign, he's afraid of the numbers changing.

  40. But is he wrong?

  41. Their respective agencies have already paid lots of money for them to go along. They can't just decide to stop doing their job.

    That said, if the group got together and every single question is, "Why are we restricted to four questions?" and then reported on that, it might help to get the message through.

    • I like that Thwim. Perhaps you should email some news agencies and make that suggestion to some of the reporters.

    • Imagine a long shot with Harper in the distance, the press corralled like goats or sheep (no insult intended to the media) behind a fence 10 metres from Dear Leader™, arms at their sides with their microphones pointed to the ground. The silence is only occasionally broken by the sounds of random birds chirping. Play it for 5 minutes on newscasts coast to coast.

      Some would say the media need a story. Silence and the scene set out above is also a story.

    • Summon the Genie meme!

  42. Wouldn't that be exactly what he wants? Obviously he doesn't want to campaign, he's afraid of the numbers changing.

  43. Yes, just look at the polls…

  44. Not implying…I'm saying that his pulled piece on hooker-"humour" was sadly more accurate than this.

  45. They could write what their questions would have been and fill in his answers for him.
    Each answer requires at least 1 use of the word coalition.

  46. I generally don't. They're pretty much useless these days, as even the pollsters have suggested.

    That said, I believe the most recent set of polls had the Liberals rapidly closing the gap.

    Given that Mr. Harper has an unshakable base of sheep available, I think Liberal rise can certainly be seen as some evidence of a bad CPC campaign in addition to a decent Liberal campaign.

  47. They could write what their questions would have been and fill in his answers for him.
    Each answer requires at least 1 use of the word coalition.

    • Or list each of their questions, followed by "A: the PM refused to respond" and let people draw their own conclusions.

      • That's exactly what we need, to have video of the PM running away as reporters clearly ask questions about scandals he's hiding from:
        -Bruce Carson lobbying
        -In-and-Out charges
        -Contempt over figher jets figures
        -Oda doctoring document contempt
        -Debate dodging
        -I'll stop here for your sanity's sake.

  48. I see… you believe the parts of the polls you agree with and disregard what you don't like. Your sheep comment exposes you to that same bias and FYI, those polls show the Liberal gains are coming from the NDP and not the Conservatives.

    Think before posting as it'll be far less embarrassing for you.

  49. "I believe the most recent set of polls had" not "I believe the most recent set of polls which had". Word choice makes a difference. The absence of the word "which" indicates I'm talking about a belief that the polls exist, not whether their measurements are at all reflective of anything.

    That said, I have no arguments that I have a bias against the CPC. Their continual lies and disrespect of my Parliament, their skating on the letter of the rules while violating the spirit all make me lean against them. My having a bias doesn't change the facts.

    Where the Liberal vote comes from hardly matters, as it's happening in the face of a campaign by the CPC which seems to be primarily designed to discourage people from voting for the opposition, rather than providing solid reasons to vote for them. In fact, this tends to suggest that their campaign is so disastrous so far that it's having the opposite effect, and encouraging voters who would normally prefer to vote NDP or Green into supporting the Liberals instead.

  50. Gee Scott, you sound a tad tetchy. Maybe the press needs to be nicer too. You are talking about a party that gets called Harperites and Jihadists on a regular basis by the liberals.

    See – play nice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFm3mSn3Ehw&fe

  51. Gee Scott, you sound a tad tetchy. Maybe the press needs to be nicer too. You are talking about a party that gets called Harperites and Jihadists on a regular basis by the liberals.

    See – play nice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFm3mSn3Ehw&fe

    • We're talking about a sitting mp here. Even if the Tories get their majority i hope Gallant gets turfed. What the hell are we doing electing people like that to Parliament?
      In fact i hope her opponents plaster that tweet all over their riding.

      • But TA, Bob Rae is a sitting MP – Harperites and Jihadists are his favourites slurs. Watch some of the scrums after QP. Besides, Gallant apologized right away, Rae never has. Lets hope they all behave from now on.

        • Rae does not need to apologize. What he said was not untrue.
          Jihad has two meanings:1) a Holy war undertaken as sacred duty by muslims
          2) any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle
          I think that we can all become passionate about things that mean something to each of us, right?

    • What's you point?

  52. That's insightful analysis. People have stopped (if they ever did) weighing ideas against each other, and are treating parties like sports teams who they'll back regardless of recent "play".

  53. That's insightful analysis. People have stopped (if they ever did) weighing ideas against each other, and are treating parties like sports teams who they'll back regardless of recent "play".

    • …regardless of recent "play"

      Would that make the NDP Leafs fans?

      • or oilers fans… err what am I saying?

  54. I was thinking the same thing.
    Asking questions about questions just leads right into Conservative hands because they believe first and foremost that the media is liberally-biased and are there trying to create a gotcha-moment. I think they should really just stop asking questions and let Harper stew… that might make him rethink.

  55. I was thinking the same thing.
    Asking questions about questions just leads right into Conservative hands because they believe first and foremost that the media is liberally-biased and are there trying to create a gotcha-moment. I think they should really just stop asking questions and let Harper stew… that might make him rethink.

    • He's love them to stop; that way, his message gets out unchallenged.

      • What if they refuse to even agree to let his message get out? Or they simply list their questions (the ones they would have asked – and why) in front of the press release.

        It is interesting hearing Harper's (and Ignatieff's, for that matter) views on coalitions. In fact, they have it wrong. It is generally the parties which are willing to work together in a coalition who offer their support. The Liberal Democrats chose between Conservatives and Labour as to who they wished to support in Great Britatin. The Greens and majority of the Independents chose to support Labour in Australia.

        It seems a third, or even a fourth party, can increase the opportunity for stable government – and because they are all in it for their survival, there has to be openness.

  56. Also, don't forget that every single non-Conservative supporter hates our Dedicated Men And Women In Uniform and That One Person Who Didn't Want To Fill In The Mandatory Form Census.

  57. Also, don't forget that every single non-Conservative supporter hates our Dedicated Men And Women In Uniform and That One Person Who Didn't Want To Fill In The Mandatory Form Census.

    • Interesting you should mention that.
      Figures were released today showing how much the TPS profited from the G20. PC "Bubbles" made more than our top NCO with maximum service last year.
      Which folk in uniform do you think the CPoC really cares about?

  58. After being Prime Minister for 5 years, why is Harper so lacking in confidence that he will only meet with people who have been approved by his campaign and only answer 5 questions at a presser? I know he is controlling, but what is he afraid of?

  59. After being Prime Minister for 5 years, why is Harper so lacking in confidence that he will only meet with people who have been approved by his campaign and only answer 5 questions at a presser? I know he is controlling, but what is he afraid of?

    • Canadians.

    • the truth

  60. Interesting you should mention that.
    Figures were released today showing how much the TPS profited from the G20. PC "Bubbles" made more than our top NCO with maximum service last year.
    Which folk in uniform do you think the CPoC really cares about?

  61. But they might have to go to defcon 5…rollout the Duffster…i say call their bluff.

  62. You need to update your picture Blue…you're not sucking your thumb in this one.

  63. We're talking about a sitting mp here. Even if the Tories get their majority i hope Gallant gets turfed. What the hell are we doing electing people like that to Parliament?
    In fact i hope her opponents plaster that tweet all over their riding.

  64. Funny stuff Scott. But you need to update:

    NOT a good idea to yell Coalition has a best buy by date:

    – 2004 – yummy

    -2008 – the country's gonna need an enema.

  65. Funny stuff Scott. But you need to update:

    NOT a good idea to yell Coalition has a best buy by date:

    – 2004 – yummy

    -2008 – the country's gonna need an enema.

  66. Plus, it ensures some four-eyed asshat will go on Twitter to suggest your campaign plane should be named Chicken Wings.

    You deserve compensation. Submit an invoice for "Egg Management Fee".

  67. Plus, it ensures some four-eyed asshat will go on Twitter to suggest your campaign plane should be named Chicken Wings.

    You deserve compensation. Submit an invoice for "Egg Management Fee".

  68. …regardless of recent "play"

    Would that make the NDP Leafs fans?

  69. Or list each of their questions, followed by "A: the PM refused to respond" and let people draw their own conclusions.

  70. But TA, Bob Rae is a sitting MP – Harperites and Jihadists are his favourites slurs. Watch some of the scrums after QP. Besides, Gallant apologized right away, Rae never has. Lets hope they all behave from now on.

  71. Arrogance™

    The new fragrance from The Harper Government.

    When you look like money, but smell like $hit.

  72. Knowledge of hookers? Isn't that what senior Advisors to the Prime Minister are for?

  73. Canadians.

  74. Oh, definitely #5. By the way, does anyone else hear a chicken clucking?

  75. I like that Thwim. Perhaps you should email some news agencies and make that suggestion to some of the reporters.

  76. Heard the latest joke told to Michael Ignatieff ?
    Why does the chicken cross the road? So he wont have to debate!

  77. Heard the latest joke told to Michael Ignatieff ?
    Why does the chicken cross the road? So he wont have to debate!

  78. The boys in blue? Pardon the pun.

  79. They made one major mistake though: They sold their soul to be a Harperite, for power. Their positive side is easily outweighed because they'll have no influence in a Harper government — only Harper does.

  80. Their job is to cover the campaign, not to cover a candidate who won't answer questions. Spend their time with parties that will answer questions, I bet a dozen others would be happy for the exposure.

  81. Thank you.

    Curtis

  82. That's essentially my point.

  83. That's essentially my point.

    • The fact that the media are reporting on anything Harper is saying – at this point – is allowing him to escape responsibility for his actions, and those of his party, prior to the vote on contempt,

      I wonder if they should refuse to report anything until he is prepared to deal with that charge. I know he will justify his inactions with his ministers, but it gives the media a chance to look at how most previous Canadian leaders have chosen to deal with serious issues – and may well give insights as to how the Ministers are not really allowed to make ANY decisions of substance – and if they inadvertently do -how willing the PMO is to step in and refuse to accept the decision. (That is my view of what happened with Bev Oda.)

  84. indeed

  85. indeed

  86. Great idea! I wish I thought of it too. Wait, I did :-)
    http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/more-deba

    I've also been bugging the media for days on Twitter, to implement this plan. Conservatives will start whining about the media being unfair to them, but unlike Elizabeth May, they won't have a leg to stand on.
    Harper will remove his ridiculous restriction, or not, and people will vote more accordingly to how much they are being mislead by Harper.

  87. Great idea! I wish I thought of it too. Wait, I did :-)
    http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/more-deba

    I've also been bugging the media for days on Twitter, to implement this plan. Conservatives will start whining about the media being unfair to them, but unlike Elizabeth May, they won't have a leg to stand on.
    Harper will remove his ridiculous restriction, or not, and people will vote more accordingly to how much they are being mislead by Harper.

  88. That's exactly what we need, to have video of the PM running away as reporters clearly ask questions about scandals he's hiding from:
    -Bruce Carson lobbying
    -In-and-Out charges
    -Contempt over figher jets figures
    -Oda doctoring document contempt
    -Debate dodging
    -I'll stop here for your sanity's sake.

  89. After the parliamentary vote on contempt, some poor terrified PMO flunky, spinning bad news as he had been taught, told Harper that being found in contempt of Parliament was actually "good news". Now Harper is running with it.

  90. After the parliamentary vote on contempt, some poor terrified PMO flunky, spinning bad news as he had been taught, told Harper that being found in contempt of Parliament was actually "good news". Now Harper is running with it.

    • Survey says! Somewhere, Richard Dawson is smiling.

  91. Man, I wish there was a ‘Like’ button. These comments are almost as hilarious as the main post. Seriously!

    As for contempt of Parliament, it’s just a semantical confusion: they’re thinking ‘of’ Parliament is the same as ‘for’ Parliament, ie the way public service has always been for the Harper Tories.

  92. Man, I wish there was a ‘Like’ button. These comments are almost as hilarious as the main post. Seriously!

    As for contempt of Parliament, it’s just a semantical confusion: they’re thinking ‘of’ Parliament is the same as ‘for’ Parliament, ie the way public service has always been for the Harper Tories.

    • There is a "like" button right across from your name.

  93. Imagine a long shot with Harper in the distance, the press corralled like goats or sheep (no insult intended to the media) behind a fence 10 metres from Dear Leader™, arms at their sides with their microphones pointed to the ground. The silence is only occasionally broken by the sounds of random birds chirping. Play it for 5 minutes on newscasts coast to coast.

    Some would say the media need a story. Silence and the scene set out above is also a story.

  94. Seeing how it appears that even MacLean's and National Post now are sharpening the knives (finally) and get upset I would say there is a good chance that apathy is being overcome.

    Just ask the former Premier of BW in Germany, he thought he could play the same games and suddenly found himself betrayed by his "personal press".

  95. Yes, that would work. "Dr. Googleberg" in Germany had to realize this including the entire Government during the weekly press conference. When they decided to not answer any questions the press decided there was nothing of importance there and walked out completely, leaving behind some perplexed press secretaries with a lot of stuff to say and nobody there to record it.

    It did also wet the appetite of the press to dig deeper, a bored journalist is a dangerous journalist after all.

  96. Yes, that would work. "Dr. Googleberg" in Germany had to realize this including the entire Government during the weekly press conference. When they decided to not answer any questions the press decided there was nothing of importance there and walked out completely, leaving behind some perplexed press secretaries with a lot of stuff to say and nobody there to record it.

    It did also wet the appetite of the press to dig deeper, a bored journalist is a dangerous journalist after all.

  97. You people. Not "hooker" but rather "escort." Or, alternatively, "fiancee."

  98. Scott, I get the sense that you're going to be epically pissed when Harper gets a majority to keep out the liebral/dipper/pequist Coalition (ABC – Anything But the Coalition; sounds better this way).

    Should we take away your stapler so that you can't self-mutilate when the Inevitable Train rolls into the station?

  99. Scott, I get the sense that you're going to be epically pissed when Harper gets a majority to keep out the liebral/dipper/pequist Coalition (ABC – Anything But the Coalition; sounds better this way).

    Should we take away your stapler so that you can't self-mutilate when the Inevitable Train rolls into the station?

    • I would not at all be pissed. I would respect the outcome and hope my fears prove unfounded.

      • Exactly my hopes. Exactly.

      • Ahhhh, "The Secret, Scaaary Harper Secret Agenda To Enslave & Subjegate (Secretly) Every Non-white Non-Albertan Non-Male (In Secret)" ™. I was wondering when the MSM would first pull the pin on that grenade once the budget fell through, and who would be the first to dip their toe.

        "Stephen Harper actually announced he wants to increase Conservative presence in our cities. Canadian cities. Conseratives with ballots. In our cities. In Canada. WE DID NOT MAKE THIS UP!!!!!"

        BTW, did Feschuk/Reid have any hand in designing those particular set of ads?

  100. That all depends on your taste in humour and how you define truth.

  101. Quietly suggest your “excellent Conservative candidates” Jump ship

    and do the Honourable thing, Start a new Political party.

  102. I would not at all be pissed. I would respect the outcome and hope my fears prove unfounded.

  103. They're waxing him up as we speak…

  104. They're waxing him up as we speak…

  105. the truth

  106. Very well written article by Jennifer Ditchburn – can't see why she would be referred to as an "attack dog". Hope you all get along better as there are four more weeks to go.

    A guarded, careful, disciplined message

    "It was one of a handful of moments over the years when reporters and the public got a glimpse of Harper without his typical reserve and wariness of the news media.

    That's a window onto Harper the parent, worried about the welfare of a person at risk. He embraced reporters travelling with him in 2008, for example, when it was revealed CBC journalist Mellissa Fung had been kidnapped in Afghanistan."
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/TheNovaScotian/12350

  107. Very well written article by Jennifer Ditchburn – can't see why she would be referred to as an "attack dog". Hope you all get along better as there are four more weeks to go.

    A guarded, careful, disciplined message

    "It was one of a handful of moments over the years when reporters and the public got a glimpse of Harper without his typical reserve and wariness of the news media.

    That's a window onto Harper the parent, worried about the welfare of a person at risk. He embraced reporters travelling with him in 2008, for example, when it was revealed CBC journalist Mellissa Fung had been kidnapped in Afghanistan."
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/TheNovaScotian/12350

  108. Excellent writing and oh so true.

  109. Excellent writing and oh so true.

  110. I know! They could call it the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada! I wonder if Joe could be lured back?

    Also be nice to see some sweet vote splitting over there, well until someone withdrew and threw their support behind another conservative. Then it would be one of them there coalition conspiracies. I hear they're pretty dreadful.

  111. Survey says! Somewhere, Richard Dawson is smiling.

  112. Summon the Genie meme!

  113. Excellent points of view the Hood-winking days are over for the Harper government's way of fooling some of the people some time, but not fooling all the people.
    So i say power to the people do not be blinded by promess that are full of Hot air from any party seeking your vote!! remember the Green Party Leader got all most one Million votes four years ago?! she may indeed up set the old boys club in this up coming election.

  114. Excellent points of view the Hood-winking days are over for the Harper government's way of fooling some of the people some time, but not fooling all the people.
    So i say power to the people do not be blinded by promess that are full of Hot air from any party seeking your vote!! remember the Green Party Leader got all most one Million votes four years ago?! she may indeed up set the old boys club in this up coming election.

  115. or oilers fans… err what am I saying?

  116. Exactly my hopes. Exactly.

  117. There is a "like" button right across from your name.

  118. I can't believe the CTV website had no mention of the 5 queston limit or the 10 metre seperation from the reporters. Lloyd Robertson seems to be running their coverage like a little cheerleader for Harper.

  119. I can't believe the CTV website had no mention of the 5 queston limit or the 10 metre seperation from the reporters. Lloyd Robertson seems to be running their coverage like a little cheerleader for Harper.

    • I suspect CTV is controlled by Conservative Party supporters (a friendlier version of Fox News)….. look at the remarks by the two lap-dog senators Pam Wallin and Mike Duffy; former "journalists" now party mouth pieces unable to speak freely. They are "on message" with the handlers in the PMO's office.

      By the way, how many decions about the running of the government come from these UNELECTED people in government?

  120. He's love them to stop; that way, his message gets out unchallenged.

  121. Another brilliant ploy: Come up with a campaign slogan (Here for Canada), but don't bother to… you know… buy the domain name. Hilarity is guaranteed to ensue. <a href="http://www.hereforcanada.ca” target=”_blank”>www.hereforcanada.ca

    • LOL, I hadn't seen they'd grabbed the domain name, or rather some rogue may have since it doesn't indicate on the site it's a campaign expense.

  122. I love this idea. Mr. Harper has yet to answer anything about why he and his party was seen in contempt. I wonder, is it because the Opposition got it right?

    I have never been a Conservative, or PC, supporter, but I have never felt so negative about a "leader" than Steven Harper. What totally baffles me is why he is seen as supportable. I know we do not really vote for the leader, but from what I have seen, Harper has an iron hand over his Cabinet. Unless there is an open revolt, the current Conservatives are extremely dangerous to the future of Canada.

  123. I love this idea. Mr. Harper has yet to answer anything about why he and his party was seen in contempt. I wonder, is it because the Opposition got it right?

    I have never been a Conservative, or PC, supporter, but I have never felt so negative about a "leader" than Steven Harper. What totally baffles me is why he is seen as supportable. I know we do not really vote for the leader, but from what I have seen, Harper has an iron hand over his Cabinet. Unless there is an open revolt, the current Conservatives are extremely dangerous to the future of Canada.

  124. The fact that the media are reporting on anything Harper is saying – at this point – is allowing him to escape responsibility for his actions, and those of his party, prior to the vote on contempt,

    I wonder if they should refuse to report anything until he is prepared to deal with that charge. I know he will justify his inactions with his ministers, but it gives the media a chance to look at how most previous Canadian leaders have chosen to deal with serious issues – and may well give insights as to how the Ministers are not really allowed to make ANY decisions of substance – and if they inadvertently do -how willing the PMO is to step in and refuse to accept the decision. (That is my view of what happened with Bev Oda.)

  125. What if they refuse to even agree to let his message get out? Or they simply list their questions (the ones they would have asked – and why) in front of the press release.

    It is interesting hearing Harper's (and Ignatieff's, for that matter) views on coalitions. In fact, they have it wrong. It is generally the parties which are willing to work together in a coalition who offer their support. The Liberal Democrats chose between Conservatives and Labour as to who they wished to support in Great Britatin. The Greens and majority of the Independents chose to support Labour in Australia.

    It seems a third, or even a fourth party, can increase the opportunity for stable government – and because they are all in it for their survival, there has to be openness.

  126. Agreed. The PM had a really bad first week campaigning. Latest Nanos poll show that.

    The latest numbers from Nanos Research, April 1 numbers, with March 15 numbers in brackets:

    Conservatives: 41.3 per cent (Mar. 15: 38.6 per cent)
    Liberals: 30.3 per cent (27.6)
    NDP 16.0 per cent (19.9)
    Bloc Quebecois: 8.5 per cent (10.1)
    Green Party: 3.7 per cent (3.8)

    Liberals are up 2.7% in that time period. Conservatives are up 2.7% in that time period. Ignatieff is really kicking Conservative arse eh? Imagine thsoe Conservative numbers if Harper gets his act together as Feschuk seems to think the PM is blowing the campaign.

  127. Agreed. The PM had a really bad first week campaigning. Latest Nanos poll show that.

    The latest numbers from Nanos Research, April 1 numbers, with March 15 numbers in brackets:

    Conservatives: 41.3 per cent (Mar. 15: 38.6 per cent)
    Liberals: 30.3 per cent (27.6)
    NDP 16.0 per cent (19.9)
    Bloc Quebecois: 8.5 per cent (10.1)
    Green Party: 3.7 per cent (3.8)

    Liberals are up 2.7% in that time period. Conservatives are up 2.7% in that time period. Ignatieff is really kicking Conservative arse eh? Imagine thsoe Conservative numbers if Harper gets his act together as Feschuk seems to think the PM is blowing the campaign.

    • Indecided are somewhere between 20 – 30%.
      These polls are essentially meaningless.

  128. From "Canadian Government" to "Harper government" with a minority. To "Steven's throne" if her gets a majority. Hail Steven.

  129. From "Canadian Government" to "Harper government" with a minority. To "Steven's throne" if her gets a majority. Hail Steven.

    • he

  130. Indecided are somewhere between 20 – 30%.
    These polls are essentially meaningless.

  131. he

  132. I like my humor like I like my martinis — dry, cold, and as a desperate coping mechanism against depression.

  133. What's you point?

  134. Ahhhh, "The Secret, Scaaary Harper Secret Agenda To Enslave & Subjegate (Secretly) Every Non-white Non-Albertan Non-Male (In Secret)" ™. I was wondering when the MSM would first pull the pin on that grenade once the budget fell through, and who would be the first to dip their toe.

    "Stephen Harper actually announced he wants to increase Conservative presence in our cities. Canadian cities. Conseratives with ballots. In our cities. In Canada. WE DID NOT MAKE THIS UP!!!!!"

    BTW, did Feschuk/Reid have any hand in designing those particular set of ads?

  135. I especially like the TV ad where Jack Layton admits that at least Harper has done something to fix the medical system mess we're in, then goes on to say that more needs to be done. No options, no strategy, and not even a promise to do anything about it if elected. Empty hogwash! Then there's Duceppe. Doesn't care about anything but Quebec. Would sacrifice the rest of the country in a heartbeat, if it was in the best interests of Quebec. Which brings us to Mr. Ignatieff. That pretty much corners the market on arrogance. Again, no reasonable policy, nothing for the betterment of our country, just I want to be King, and if I'm not, I'll do whatever I can to disrupt the legally elected government from fulfilling their mandate, or maybe I'll just go back to the country I love. Thanks for the help, dude. Harper may not be running the smartest campaign in the world, but at least he's been a capable Prime Minister.

  136. I especially like the TV ad where Jack Layton admits that at least Harper has done something to fix the medical system mess we're in, then goes on to say that more needs to be done. No options, no strategy, and not even a promise to do anything about it if elected. Empty hogwash! Then there's Duceppe. Doesn't care about anything but Quebec. Would sacrifice the rest of the country in a heartbeat, if it was in the best interests of Quebec. Which brings us to Mr. Ignatieff. That pretty much corners the market on arrogance. Again, no reasonable policy, nothing for the betterment of our country, just I want to be King, and if I'm not, I'll do whatever I can to disrupt the legally elected government from fulfilling their mandate, or maybe I'll just go back to the country I love. Thanks for the help, dude. Harper may not be running the smartest campaign in the world, but at least he's been a capable Prime Minister.

    • Do you really think he is a capable PM? Canada has gone downhill in the international community since Harper became PM! We lost the seat in security council. We get the Fossil Award at every meeting on environment. He believes maternal health does not include birth control and abortion. His stance on Israel has alienated many of our European firends.
      He has been an embarassment to this country. The reason our economy is so good is because Paul Martin made the cut backs in 95 and we had billions surplus in our budget.

  137. Committed partisans of all parties behave this way, it is just that a lot more Conservative supporters are committed partisans, and they more actively encourage the behavior.

  138. Committed partisans of all parties behave this way, it is just that a lot more Conservative supporters are committed partisans, and they more actively encourage the behavior.

    • Generally I do not think you are wrong with your comment.
      I believe that the new right has moved so far to the right that it is a natural state of affairs for party members to be hyper partisan. It is also more important for them to be seen to be supporting the party leadership. After the debacle in the US over the last decade of similar moves and machinations, to see politicians and their partisans traveling the same path and using them as role models is worrying. Alarm bells are ringing.

  139. Oh #5 of course! And I enjoy your humour too!

  140. What if Harper called for a "Photo Op" and nobody came?
    Come on folks…. Pick a day and DON'T cover the PM's "message". There is no free speech in a government controlled by Harper and his "handlers".

  141. What if Harper called for a "Photo Op" and nobody came?
    Come on folks…. Pick a day and DON'T cover the PM's "message". There is no free speech in a government controlled by Harper and his "handlers".

  142. but should the "media" report the News or promote the "lies" of a party platform. Politicians often say one thing to get elected and then totally change once they're in power.

    Why not say, "The Prime Minister was in Halifax today…. spoke to some people… and left".

    DON'T quote the speech or the "sound-bites" his aides are hoping will make the news…. just report "He was here".

  143. but should the "media" report the News or promote the "lies" of a party platform. Politicians often say one thing to get elected and then totally change once they're in power.

    Why not say, "The Prime Minister was in Halifax today…. spoke to some people… and left".

    DON'T quote the speech or the "sound-bites" his aides are hoping will make the news…. just report "He was here".

  144. Rae does not need to apologize. What he said was not untrue.
    Jihad has two meanings:1) a Holy war undertaken as sacred duty by muslims
    2) any vigorous, emotional crusade for an idea or principle
    I think that we can all become passionate about things that mean something to each of us, right?

  145. I suspect CTV is controlled by Conservative Party supporters (a friendlier version of Fox News)….. look at the remarks by the two lap-dog senators Pam Wallin and Mike Duffy; former "journalists" now party mouth pieces unable to speak freely. They are "on message" with the handlers in the PMO's office.

    By the way, how many decions about the running of the government come from these UNELECTED people in government?

  146. I'm happy to see the media making themselves the story of this election… again, everyone knows the most important issue in this election is how the media feel, and they don't like "Harper". Although it is funny when "ex" Liberal party operatives of the disastrous Paul ( "I'll get rid of the Not Withstanding Clause") Martin regime give advice to others, on what to do, and what not to do in a election. Perhaps taking advice from "former" Liberal party flunkies on what constitutes a disastrous election campaign like Feschuk and Scott ( Alberta can blow me ) Reid, is a good idea. After all, you can't argue with experienced failure.

  147. I'm happy to see the media making themselves the story of this election… again, everyone knows the most important issue in this election is how the media feel, and they don't like "Harper". Although it is funny when "ex" Liberal party operatives of the disastrous Paul ( "I'll get rid of the Not Withstanding Clause") Martin regime give advice to others, on what to do, and what not to do in a election. Perhaps taking advice from "former" Liberal party flunkies on what constitutes a disastrous election campaign like Feschuk and Scott ( Alberta can blow me ) Reid, is a good idea. After all, you can't argue with experienced failure.

    • Let me know when you join the rest of us in 2011.

  148. Do you really think he is a capable PM? Canada has gone downhill in the international community since Harper became PM! We lost the seat in security council. We get the Fossil Award at every meeting on environment. He believes maternal health does not include birth control and abortion. His stance on Israel has alienated many of our European firends.
    He has been an embarassment to this country. The reason our economy is so good is because Paul Martin made the cut backs in 95 and we had billions surplus in our budget.

  149. Now that is funny. Porn or movie stars behaving badly.
    I am amused by it but I look forward to his article on ziggy to make sure McLean's has balance. As a small business owner, if the Libs get voted in, I am closing shop to get a govt job. What is the point of even trying? With Dalton's family day these guys show what they think. Omly conservatives have held meetings to ask how to simplify our business.

  150. Generally I do not think you are wrong with your comment.
    I believe that the new right has moved so far to the right that it is a natural state of affairs for party members to be hyper partisan. It is also more important for them to be seen to be supporting the party leadership. After the debacle in the US over the last decade of similar moves and machinations, to see politicians and their partisans traveling the same path and using them as role models is worrying. Alarm bells are ringing.

  151. As a small business owner myself. I am wondering who is going to pay off the debt that this economist has left us with now he has excused large corporations from having to pay their share. I do not get the welfare via government contracts that they get, I do not get access to off shore tax rules like they do, I do not get bought and paid for political parties like they do and I do not get paid when I mess up like they do, I go out of business.
    But you are right they asked us how we could simplify our business so that makes it fine.

  152. Let me know when you join the rest of us in 2011.

  153. A little song for Mr. Harper, re: his withdrawal of a one-to-one debate challenge with Iggy http://tinyurl.com/kpjns4 #canpoli #chicken

  154. LOL, I hadn't seen they'd grabbed the domain name, or rather some rogue may have since it doesn't indicate on the site it's a campaign expense.

  155. I want to just say a word about election. I shouldn’t because I choose not to vote, still, at the age of 31. Since all this garbage from parliment, I have one thing to say…… If you think Harper is so bad, how long do you think our rising dollar will last after election? I mean, since Harper was elected, I’ve seen nothing but a high value for the Canadian dollar. Over a dollar even!! Before Harper our dollar was about 65 cents. Now almost, almost, doubled! Canada you sure picked the wrong time to pick another person to vote for. All I see is Harper trying to fix all those years of being the last kid picked, and actually make a difference to be proud of, and be picked first. If I ever decide to vote, it better be for the greater good! I wouldn’t waste my time voting simply because I have nothing to vote for. I’m waiting for the day when the social assistance programs enforce strict rules to have it …. like you must educate yourself to come off of it or not have it at all! What the heck is E.I for anyway?! In all my years of working I couldn’t even get the “yes” when I lost my job! THERE NEEDS TO BE A HUGE CHANGE! AND LETTING THE SENIORS DECIDE IS A BAD DECISION!

  156. I want to just say a word about election. I shouldn’t because I choose not to vote, still, at the age of 31. Since all this garbage from parliment, I have one thing to say…… If you think Harper is so bad, how long do you think our rising dollar will last after election? I mean, since Harper was elected, I’ve seen nothing but a high value for the Canadian dollar. Over a dollar even!! Before Harper our dollar was about 65 cents. Now almost, almost, doubled! Canada you sure picked the wrong time to pick another person to vote for. All I see is Harper trying to fix all those years of being the last kid picked, and actually make a difference to be proud of, and be picked first. If I ever decide to vote, it better be for the greater good! I wouldn’t waste my time voting simply because I have nothing to vote for. I’m waiting for the day when the social assistance programs enforce strict rules to have it …. like you must educate yourself to come off of it or not have it at all! What the heck is E.I for anyway?! In all my years of working I couldn’t even get the “yes” when I lost my job! THERE NEEDS TO BE A HUGE CHANGE! AND LETTING THE SENIORS DECIDE IS A BAD DECISION!

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