The menu at Red Lobster


Rick Mercer unloads.

Maybe it’s time to ask not what is wrong with Canadians, but what is wrong with our leaders. Or better yet, let’s just start placing the blame squarely at their feet. It’s not like we choose the leaders, the parties do. And apparently this is as good as it gets…

Voting Conservative is not a problem for a majority of Canadians; we’ve done it before. Voting for an angry guy who thinks we’re stupid and will believe anything? That takes some getting used to…

Mr. Ignatieff is, as we speak, surrounded by a brigade of young people in pointy shoes and designer glasses who work for him, worship him and twitter about him. Why we should vote for him? I’ve read the tweets; I’ve yet to see an answer…

The problem with Jack is, we all saw how excited he got when he actually thought that he was going to be a part of a coalition government. It wasn’t a normal excitement; it was the kind of excitement that scares other passengers on a plane.

Gilles Duceppe goes unscathed. Which may or may not be Rick’s subtle way of endorsing Mr. Duceppe for Prime Minister.


The menu at Red Lobster

  1. I don't know why we even ask this question. In the US, they have elections every two years, one if you count the odd-year state races. In democracies, we have elections.

    Why even ask this question, why not just ask — do you want democracy and cogitate over the answer there?

    • The "…What is wrong with our leaders." question? It has less to do with election frequency — and more to do with leader quality. We have a titular leader, not a real leader. Real leaders inspire their followers, not divide them.

      "What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires — desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

      — Bertrand Russel

  2. Acerbic wit of the highest calibre.
    I salute Mr. Mercer.

    When it comes to issues that Canadians care about – the economy, Afghanistan, heath care, medical isotopes – there is a campaign of misinformation that qualifies as pathological.

  3. I really don't like Stephen Harper, but can you honestly tell me the other candidates offer a decent alternative?

    It's like I'm the belle of the ball, and everyone wants to dance with me. The problem is, it's a prison dance and guards aren't very diligent chaperones…..

  4. Rick Mercer nails it. I wish he were running. He'd have my vote.

    • I don't know how good a job he'd do, but we'd all be having a lot more fun, that's for sure.

  5. I really don't like Stephen Harper, but can you honestly tell me the other candidates offer a decent alternative?

    It's like I'm the belle of the ball, and everyone wants to dance with me. The problem is, it's a prison dance and the guards aren't diligent chaperones…..

    • Well … you must first define the word "decent".

  6. Ah, I live in Toronto. I just want to know who is the leader of Liberals
    Iggy or Bob Rae. ? I feel sorry about Iggy, he is a lame duck.

    • So whom is the "cooked goose"?

  7. "Gilles Duceppe goes unscathed. Which may or may not be Rick's subtle way of endorsing Mr. Duceppe for Prime Minister"

    I think it's those stunning blue eyes…

    • Gilles is a joker but rather The Joker.

      • Gilles is a "jack-in-the-box" — turn his crank around enough and he pops up with a predictable shock.

  8. I've always thought that MP for MP, brain cell for brain cell, soundbite for soundbit, the Bloc looks like it'd be the best party to serve as government of Canada. The only trouble, it seems, is getting them to take the job….

    • Maybe we should lease the country out to them? Who knows, maybe they'll like it enough to stay.

    • Duceppe is like the architect that claims the flying buttress is a football tactic.

  9. The media, in this case Rick Mercer, often call Stephen Harper angry. I am curious where that comes from? From what I've seen, the Prime Minister conducts himself in an even-keeled manner… always professional, and never blowing his top. He's got four opposition parties plus the media throwing around all kinds of mis-truths about him, and yet he just keeps on going calmly… doing us proud, I may add, internationally. I know Paul Wells says he kicked chairs once, but other than that, when has he shown anger? Is this just a mantra the media has drummed up among themselves that they are determined to perpetuate? Does anyone have an answer to this seeming contradiction?

    • Wells provided plenty more examples than that. And he's far from the only one to do so. Maybe angry isn't the exact adjective to use in every case, but the man is clearly a control freak who easily snaps and loses his temper when things don't go his way. Have you never seen footage of him losing his cool in Question Period, as one easy example?

      • The f-bomb meltdown described in Right Side Up was rather awesome.

    • I think he got that label from his days as opposition leader bettie.
      When Adscam came to the political scene, there was a lot of frustration (and anger) on the opposition Conservative benches that the NDP and BLOC would keep supporting a proven corrupt government.
      That anger was still there in the 2004 election campaign,
      but absent for the most part in 2006.
      Now Kinsella tries to keep that image alive, and it just isn't there any more.

      • Thanks for your reply, Wilson. We lived in France during that time, and one does miss out on nuances of the political scene when out of the country. We've been back now for two years, and, as mentioned above, all I've seen from the Prime Minister during this time is professionalism and coolheadedness in spite of all the abuse he puts up with. I guess the media doesn't think people can and do move on.

        As for Question Period, SeanStok, I watch it all the time, and no, I have never seen him lose his cool. But I have seen him insulted almost daily. He said he can take a punch… and that he has proved.

    • I'm not sure angry really covers it. He is angry, but that isn't the whole. He's resentful; he needs to punish, not just win, and if you disagree with him you are lower than dirt or less human or something. I base this on his actions. The sneering tone that he uses when someone disagrees with him (hard to notice these days since he uses it all the time). More than kicking a chair or two, he wins an election then immediately punishes the opposition parties. He refuses to apologize for almost everything (little apologies that would difuse a situation with very little downside for him). He's litigation-happy. He goes on the attack to opposition parties when they are supporting him. He doesn't care whether criminals get rehabilitated, he wants them PUNISHED, dammit! And he doesn't care how much money that will cost or how many more criminals it will create, all that matters is the punishment. And when that doesn't work, I'm quite sure if he has his way he'll institute whipping. I think he'd like to be the one who does it.

      • ''He goes on the attack to opposition parties when they are supporting him''

        And are you saying then that MI and his party DIDN'T attack PMSH and the government,
        while still supporting them?

        • I'm saying that there's a difference between pointing out problems with policy and complaining about process, and launching an attack ad outside of a writ period for no other reason than to announce that MI is just in it for himself.

          • In the last election the Liberals ran 14 attack ads, and 3 positive ones. They had a special Harper-Bush website, introduced by George W. Bush. Then there were those NDP ads in Quebec (the one with ominous music and boots marching). In the election before that they ran ads suggesting Harper would, among other things, mobilize the military in cities. In the 2004 election, the Liberals ran another almost entirely negative ad campaign, including suggestions that Harper would recriminalize abortion. Another had a gun pointing directly at the screen. In the election before that the Liberals mocked Stockwell Day's personal religious beliefs and suggested he would bring in 2-tier healthcare (which is something he has never campaigned on).

            You have chosen to willfully ignore all of this, however, because it doesn't fit the narrative you prefer of mean old Stephen Harper.

          • Did you notice in your own comment how many times you said "election"? Did you notice how I said "outside of a writ period"? I'm not suggesting for a moment that other political parties don't run attack ads. I do suggest they don't run attack ads in the middle of "trying to make Parliament work." Please remember, my comment was replying to Wilson.

            Now, what's this about a special Harper-Bush website, introduced by George W. Bush? I missed that at the time, apparently. Was it good?

    • Attack ads are part of the political game – get use to it (and Canadians are silly to think that our hands our clean around attack ads). Harper is forceful and decisive (but unlike a past Liberal PM I don't think he has ever choked anyone!!). And he plays to win, which it the only way to do so in a political field with five parties, including one that's mission is to break up the country (if they ever are willing to let go of the perks that our Canadian political system gives them).

      Harper is more than willing to debate on issues – so you better have your arguments and facts at hand, because he will and that is what a lot of people don't like about him. But anger? Maybe in Rick's mind.

      • You can take he high road or the low one. It's a choice. Obama chose the one, Harper the other. If you think there's no other way to win in a minority situation then how do you explain the Pearson govts? Life's a matter of personal choices – cons should understand that as well as anyone – Harper made his choice – it's worked so far, but the game's not over yet. Who knows even Harper can learn and change – based on evidence so far i wouldn't hold my breath.

      • What should we do about the Bloc?

        • I honestly don't know. Logically it would seem there are two basic options. 1) You attempt to involve them as the coalition tried – good luck with that one thanks to genius Harper. 2) The hard line. Good luck with that thanks to genius Harper [ much more risky now] and it would require a majority. Who's most likely to acquire one? Genius Harper. Good luck with that one. What can Harper offer Quebec other than a hard line now? But perhaps i'm underestimating the pragmatism of Quebecers, and perhaps the nation within a nation resolution could be Harper's ace in the hole yet?

  10. "The media, in this case Rick Mercer, often call Stephen Harper angry."

    That's standard Liberal Party spin. Go look at Kinsella's blog. The irony is that if you look at Kinsella's post, you see a real live angry person spouting off. Mercer's part of the mainstream left/lib establishment and reflects their way of thinking, nothing original or insightful to see there.

    • Just brings a tear to my eye to see a guy bleed blue for the team the way you do Jarrid. Keep it up, that call to the senate might come at any time.

    • Is it possible that it's not just spin?

      • Oh i've no doubt there's a grain of truth or two in what Jarrid has to say. Politics is a nasty partisan business and the libs have played it as hard and dirty as anyone over the years, it may be even fair to say they wrote the book on this stuff and are now seeing some payback – i'm not naive that way. W e're all partisans here, to some degree or other, but Jarrid, along with a few other uber partisans seems however to believe its all a one way street. Take Mercer, he may be liberal, he may not, but to claim that he only calls it one way is to be wilfully obtuse. He's a funny man who calls it as he sees it, nothing , or nobody is sacred. But Jarrid knows he's a liberal tool – its all very predictable and all very tiresome and frankly boring. But i do enjoy tormenting him. My bad.

        • I may not in my rambling have answered your question. " Is it possible that it's not just spin"? You're talking about Harper being angry man. I'd say it's a perception he's helped to create. Have the libs spun this and magnified it? Of course. It's politics – isn't it?

        • Actually I THINK – though am not sure – that Mercer is a dipper. He may be going off Layton of late (even so, the coalition was the only thing he could think about earlier).

  11. Rick Mercer is a national treasure.

    • and as such should be buried

  12. Too bad Mercer has such a short season. I'd love for him to run his piece on our parliamentary system again.

    Then you'd know how much Harper is trying to misinform you, because he believes you are all stupid.

  13. I really like Mercer, his comedy can cut pretty deep.
    But I do think his perspective is very East Coast.
    Out here in the West, we see things alot differently, evidenced by giving Liberals only 7 out of 92 seats.

    • "Out here in the West, we see things alot differently"… Speak for yourself, i'm a westerner too. If we had an electoral system that reflected more equitaibly voters preferences you'd see those numbers move.

      • ditto

  14. Interesting to see that Mercer's attack against Harper was personal, not so much for the other two. In fact, he wants to blame Iggy's advisers for Iggy's failures. Poor Iggy. If only his real self could show more, then the court jester would approve.

    You know, I'd love to see some of these egg-throwers from the media cheap seats run for office themselves. Instead, they keep throwing their eggs, then wonder why people get sick of politics. Never occurs to them that they might be part of the problem. Typical.

    • Mercer talks about 'pathological misinfornation' and then throws out this:

      ''When asked the philosophy behind our Prime Minister's communication strategy, Mr. Harper's former campaign manager, Tom Flanagan, summed it up with the phrase: “It doesn't have to be true; it just has to be plausible.”

      When Flanagan made that statement, he was specifically (not summing up) talking about Harper's secretly taped speech, the coalition majority vs Conservative majority.
      And a Liberal led coalition is highly plausible, as many pundits have pointed out, and we witnesses the attempted coalition in December.
      But Mercer was trying to imply that PM Harper's communication strategy was to present fabrications as truths.

      • In other words, if Harper or other politicians even thought of trying to pull what Mercer is pulling here, Mercer would be, guess what, throwing more eggs from the cheap seats.

        You see, it's so much easier to tear things down than it is to build things up, isn't it?

        • Yeesh! Lighten up guys. Mercer's a comedian/satirist. A reasonable person might conclude that " It doesn't have to be true; it just has to be plausible", is a pretty good description of the Harper govt communication strategy, at times – not that they invented It – It's this kind of approach to politics that has helped fueled cynicism in the public as much media cynicism. I'd say it all feeds off itself. It may even be unavoidable in a free and adverserial democracy. To claim that poor Mr Harper is just misrepresented and maligned is absurd.

          • a) I'd prefer responses that articulate actual points or arguments. I guess you don't.

            b) I also guess that people who use the term "PMSH" :

            i) Don't get tired of it;

            ii) Don't seem themselves as being juvenile.

            Then again, when your responses tend to be comments like "Ask PMSH", or "What kcm said" I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

          • a) But you'd also prefer to believe that after you've spoken, everyone else should recognize that the authority on the topic has spoken and they should cease commenting. Feel free to dream your dreams, but you needn't feel quite so inclined to think others need you to share them with the group.
            b) And honestly, why do right/cons always immediately resort to belligerence and name-calling when they don't agree with someone? Tut tut, sir.
            i) By the sounds of it, no, you shouldn't be surprised, so
            ii) Don't be so easily surprised. But if it's not surprising, why is it worth the additional comment from you? Oh yes: see a).

          • I can see why you resort to the knee-jerk one-liners because, when you try more, you obviously have trouble maintaining a logical and consistent argument — and then some.

            Can you please indicate where I have ever expected anyone not to respond to any of my posts?

            Can you also explain to me where I have resorted to name-calling?

            As for the rest of your post, you're clearly in over your head. Gobbledykook is no replacement for reason and coherence, sir.


          • It's implicit.

          • In other words, you stopped trying again. Maybe it's better that way.

            I'm also wondering who would give this post of yours a thumbs up.

            Fascinating the kinds that show up on these boards. And some even consider themselves enlightened and sophisticated in politics. Go figure.

          • Dennis_F, I'm sorry it had to come to this. I realize you're a proud man and I didn't want to embarrass you by explaining the meanings of words like "agree" and "ask," or explain acronyms like "PMSH" that are commonly used on this board, but you seem so earnest in your desire to learn that I can no longer refuse you.
            First, when I said, "I agree with kcm," that means that I think the particular statement that kcm made is accurate, and I want to say so that kcm and others know. "PMSH" is a shorter way of referring to Prime Minister Stephen Harper without having to write that whole thing out every time. Likewise, PMJC would refer to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and so on.

          • Craigola, you can't possibly be serious. You can attribute any false emotion to me that you want. You're the one using juvenile acronyms to describe our prime minister. Now you're hiding behind others? Or falsely claiming that similar acronyms were used for other PMs? lol. Whatever.

            You write one-liners that you incredibly feel a need to justify now. And when you do try to justify it you can't.

            I suggest you start from the beginning, be less juvenile, write more constructive posts, and maybe I won't have to call you out anymore. Got it? lol. Next.

          • When I said "Ask PMSH," it was a response to your own (rhetorical?) question, "You see, it's so much easier to tear things down than it is to build things up, isn't it?" It was my way of saying you might consider the actions of our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, because I feel he has a tendency toward the tearing down of things, rather than the building up, without using several thousand words (an exaggeration, I know – need I explain 'exaggeration'?) like you might, but someone who prefers an economy of words might give an answer that is short and to the point a thumbs-up, in case you really wanted an answer.
            Dennis_F, I don't have to justify my style preferences to you. If you don't like them, that's too bad. For you. But your churlishness is rather unbecoming the person who purports to be the adult in this interaction.

          • It was a juvenile knee-jerk one liner that tried to distract from the main issue, and it looks live you've succeeded. What did it have to do with my original point again? Nothing. Again, I suggest you start from the beginning and start writing at your own level of logic, instead of extending beyond your reach. Seriously. You came on here to fart, then you laughably try to justify it when called on, and you can't even do that. So, next time, don't even start. Simple. Stick to the topics. Stick to your level of argumentation, if you have one.

          • Oop, time for your nap, I think! My friend, I don't remember the last time I encountered a person quite as invested as you in proving to all comers that HE IS RIGHT. Uh, congratulations?
            Also, thanks. It has been truly enjoyable watching you get so wound up over someone you clearly think is beneath you.

          • LOL. DF claims he's not dismissive…Next!

          • Do I dare tell you that I agree?

  15. I'm amazed how often we agree, Dennis, when coming at a thing from two different directions. I can't fault your opinion of Mercer's comments, for example. But we do have the example of Peter Kent. Has anyone interviewed him to see if what he thought he'd be doing in Parliament matches the reality? Or, if he knew then what he knows now . . .

    • Except that Peter Kent never came across to me as an egg-thrower. From what I recall, he was pretty much a straight-as-an-arrow anchor.

      • Hmm, yes, he's not a good example then. Too bad Duffy went to the Senate instead of running for a seat.

  16. However, I can think of at least two examples of where former pundit types entered the ring and, guess what, became partisan gunslingers: Susan Murray and Mike Duffy. On the Ontario provincial level, you can throw in Ben Chin.

    It's a lot easier said than done, folks.

    • I think its interesting that all three of your examples are not, and never were, elected MPs. I give credit to Ben Chin who at least ran for election.

  17. From my partisan perch, it appears to me that when the Liberals are not competitive , our msm goes into
    'well, none of them are any good'.

    Thing is, PM Harper is surviving the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the media is still gobsmacked that he is.
    From inside their 100 sq klm bubble, they don't see Harper as a winner,
    never have, but that is their problem, because outside the Enchanted Forest, Canadians do.

    Liberals are not competitive is this environment, if there isn't alot of social program spending bucks to toss around to lure Dipper votes,
    they settle in at under 30%.
    (illustrated by todays TorStar /Angus Reid poll, Libs at 29% , again, 4 times now)

    • Considering the dosh that Harper has been doling out your comments are ironic in the extreme. From my partisan perch i see the carping/self-pitying narrative of yourself and Dennis, among other con partisans, as choosing to deal with the fact that the world is not fair to anyone by tapping into that most comforting of all conservative illusions – that any criticism is an orchestrated conspiracy on the part of the media/special interest groups/the judiciary/and the taliban.

      • LOL! This is TOO funny. Here you are telling us that we need to lighten up, meanwhile you use this thread to go on a rant about "con partisans" "conservative illusions" "orchestrated conspiracy" "special interest groups" "the judiciary" and "the taliban" — all of which was a concoction of your own oh-so-lighthearted soul, and not us, and certainly not me. lol.

        • We did all preface our remaarks with: " from my partisan perch", didn't we? But you guys were just funning – my bad. I'll try to not take your bleating about the media too seriously next time. PS. I made the stuff about the Taliban – good spotting on your part DF.

    • Good point Wilson, I remember the media did the same thing when Dion was self-destructing as a leader. The meme was: all the leaders are bad. But that wasn't true: only one leader at the time sucked and it was Dion.

  18. Mercer is a humorist – a very good one. It is not surprising that the government party gets the sharpest barbs since it is the ruling party that usually offers the best targets simply by being in power.

    I am not a great fan of the MSM, especially highly partisan ones such as Susan Delacourt and Jane Taber, who do not openly admit their biases. Nevertheless, I do not believe the MSM is always on the same side.

    Instead, there seems to be a bandwagon effect from time to time. In 2004, many in the MSM jumped on the anti-Harper bandwagon late in the campaign and helped elect a Martin minority. In 2006, however, the MSM was on an anti-Liberal bandwagon and helped to elect a Conservative minority. I think the 2008 election was pretty much of a wash with the MSM bandwagon effect hurting both Dion and Harper while possibly giving a small boost to Liz May.

    • I could support this sensible analysis of how the media generally operates.

  19. "When asked the philosophy behind our Prime Minister's communication strategy, Mr. Harper's former campaign manager, Tom Flanagan, summed it up with the phrase: “It doesn't have to be true; it just has to be plausible.”

    I take issue with that statement. The "it" that Flanagan was referring to was specifically the "scary Coalition" tv ads. No way was Flanagan referring to all of "our Prime Minister's communication strategy".

    Besides, there are TWO communication strategies being used. There is the one that PM Harper uses with the "action plan" ads and the like. The second strategy is the one that CPC Leader Harper uses with the 'just visiting', etc ads. Flanagan was obviously NOT talking about the "action plan", etc ads.

  20. All right, I'm going to call foul.

    Harper's been an excellent PM and a strong leader who has managed a few crises quite well. Ignatieff would probably make an excellent prime minister, too, though I still think he chose the wrong party — which is why he can sound so darned inauthentic sometimes. (Rae would've been a better pick.) Layton has a wealth of experience at municipal politics and has a PhD — a very good preparation for leading the forces of socialism on the federal level. Duceppe has been great at what he does, though I hate what he does (shake down the rest of the country for $$).

    All four major parties have good leadership and strong, qualified caucuses. Parliament can be a bit of a zoo, sometimes, and Question Period is a bit of an embarrassment, but Canadian political parties have a pretty good set of leaders.

    If Canadians want to have a Parliament that is a bit less of a cagematch, they have three options:

    1. Finally give Harper his legislative majority, and see what he does with it;
    2. Give Ignatieff a majority, and see what he does; or
    3. Elect a Liberal minority with a large enough NDP caucus that the social democrats can hold the balance of power.

    (1) would be centre-right governance probably in the Mulroney style with a tinge of Harrisite policy (but moderated by the need to keep the Quebec caucus on side), (2) would be centrist not unlike the last Chretien years or the Martin years, and (3) would be more of the centre-left stuff, not unlike the Pearson years — with lots of (ugh!) social legislation.

    That the people haven't seen fit to exercise any of those options since 2004 means that the general public hasn't decided yet what it wants.

    Once people get annoyed enough with the status quo, they'll pick one of these options for a stable government.

    Canadian democracy is doing just fine.

    • I concur with most of what you've said – i'll even go out on a limb and agree with you that from what i've seen of Ignatieff – so far – Rae/ Leblanc [ generation change thing, Trudeau's ot seasoned enough ] would have been a better choice despite Rae's downside – he's much more of a natural and genial politician than Ignatieff.
      I can't agree with your take on Harper, mainly because his highly partisan and vindictive play for all the marbles style. Bear in mind he still has a minority. I believe he's set some precidents we'll come to reget down the road [ ie., prorogation, attack adds outside the writ, and libel chill suits for political reasons among others. My personal one being opportunistically granting Quebec nation status – juries still out on that one – it could yet be a stroke of inspired genius, but it's a hell of a gamble, and it's a logical absurdity – there being only one nation] It follows that i don't believe that granting him a majority is in our best interests.
      I pretty much agree with you that so far we've got the parliament the people want.

  21. You can hide under a mountain if you can. Keep popping out if you will. So refreshing.

  22. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the coaltion fiasco. I like Roy Mcgregor's theory that Canadians mostly vote backwards: that is vote people out not in. Much of the anger at the time was therefore directed at the userper Dion, who had absolutely no right to be there – what was the coalition braintrust thinking? It was pure insanity putting Dion up for PM after he had been so roundly rejected in the recent election. None of this in any way excuses Harper's demagogic reaction – including putting pressure on the GG. As you say, the reasonable thing to do was to turn the keys over, and remember Harper could have still tried to get libs to cross the floor in the confidence vote. If that was impossible it was entirely due to him being a venimous dick. The coalition would have likely had its ass kicked in a subsequent election anyway. Yet more evidence of Harper's questionable judgement when not working from a script.

    • Venomous dick? That's the Rt. Hon. Venomous Dick to you — as PM, he's the only one who gets to give the GG advice. (She could've said no, but that probably would've been a bigger crisis. King-Byng Round Two.)

      Demagoguery is in the eye of the beholder — Dion had given firm assurances during the election campaign that he wouldn't go for a coalition, and given those assurances a bunch of people didn't vote Tory who otherwise might have, had they known that the PM's chair hinged on it. (The above-mentioned voters who want Harper, but not Harper unleashed.) A flip of only 8,000 votes across 12 ridings would have given Harper his legislative majority last October.

      And has it not worked for Harper? He saved his government. He's still prime minister. And he seems to be pulling away from his nearest challenger for the moment…

      Had the coalition taken office, who knows? Maybe it'd still be going right now, and maybe public opinion would have settled down on it. A risk he wasn't willing to take, apparently.

      Which takes us back to that infuriating thing about Stephen Harper — "he gets away with it." Maybe he shouldn't — maybe the honourable thing to do would have been to toss Dion the keys to 24 Sussex ten months ago. Probably it was. But he didn't, and he's still here.

      It won't last forever — Trudeau lost to Clark in '79.

      On the other hand, Trudeau came back in 1980.

      If Harper gives you hives, if looking at footage of him makes the blood boil — you might want to prepare yourself for the possibility that he's going to be around for a while.

      Maybe he won't. Maybe he'll lose confidence next month, and lose government in December.

      But even if he does lose, the man's only fifty. And he's not going to get tricked out of his leadership the way Joe Clark did. Last December, if nothing else, should show us all that.

      • Well i disliked Trudeau and disagreed with him as a young man – but i came to both like and admire the man in time. Could be it'll happen again, somehow i have my doubts. Harper may be the most transformative politician we've seen since Trudeau, but then he represents a complete anthithesis of everything Trudeau stood for.

      • Oh, The calumny! Would that he could abide and prosper until his folly is plain, thrusting him and his adherents to the nether world of historical hicuppitude.

  23. Yes i agree Iggy was to blame for the Q motion – in fact his was worse still – Quebec as a nation – nuts!. It still doesn't absolve Harper and parliament. Other such motions have come up before – it could have even been ignored. But no – Harper opportunistically grabbed at it, without plan or forethought. I ask you when has a PM ever took such a reckless gamble? It's right up there with Mulroney's loony threat to "roll the dice" at Meech. I despised Parliament [ and still do] for cravenly passing that motion. As M. Bliss wrote at the time: "If Quebec is a nation within Canada, than how much more of a nation will they be outside of Canada". It was a shameful day for Canada, and a good day for political correctness.

    • Maybe.

      Do they matter that much? I mean, Chretien's parliament passed a "distinct society" motion sometime in '96 or '97, as a placating measure after the referendum. Does anyone remember that now? (Well, I do. But anyone outside those who follow politics as a sport?)

      Man's hard to read — one year, he's passing King-esque "Quebec is a nation in a united Canada" motions, next year, he's denouncing the Bloc as traitors (which, to be fair, they are).

      Canadian politics has been a funny business, these last few years.

      • Agreed!

      • Agreed! (The funny business part.)

  24. @tigerinexile I Don't know about you; I miss the blood sport. Politics today is too… I dunno… like hockey, or doughnuts.

    • I rather miss the skulduggery of, say, the late Mulroney years. Bouchard betraying Mulroney — that's the sort of thing movies are made of! (Had he not — think the man might have been the next PM, instead of Campbell? I think there's a very real chance.)

      On the other hand, I'm glad that there aren't any constitutional negotiations. I got tired of those.

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