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Tough talk


 

There was a darkening in Stephen Harper’s rhetoric today. The line that popped in his speech to a rally in Winnipeg early this evening was this: “If you are worried about tough times then elect a government that can make tough decisions.”

So it’s tough times we’re worried about after all. That’s some distance from his suggestion a week ago that Canadians weren’t letting a mere stock market problem make them anxious about losing their jobs or homes.

In framing the situation as more dire, the Prime Minister also decided to hypothetically share his title with his main rival. By now many journalists have noted his repeated references this morning in Vancouver to how a “prime Minister Dion” would certainly drive up interest rates and bring on a recession.

Perhaps even more interesting, as a few reporters noticed, was Harper’s reference to exactly how Canada might end up with these calamities: “That is what will happen if you get prime minister Dion, either directly or by the opposition parties helping him to take power.”

That seems to be a reference to the prospect of the NDP joining forces with the Liberals to try to create a coalition government. Hard to know exactly what he had in mind—a close finish on Oct. 14, maybe, with the Tories only slightly in front, and then the Liberals and NDP trying to form a government without recourse to another election?

Speculative, but what other interpretation of “or by the opposition parties helping him to take power” is there? It will be interesting to listen for more of this notion as Harper tries to define the choice facing voters more starkly as he drives toward the finish.


 

Tough talk

  1. Actually you’re wrong again. The implication is, if you are worried about tough times, then elect the conservatives, because they can make the tough decisions. If on the other hand, you realise that Canadian’s seem to be in better shape than most of the other countries right now, then elect the Conservatives, because they made it happen. Quite simple really.

  2. “If on the other hand, you realise that Canadian’s seem to be in better shape than most of the other countries right now, then elect the Conservatives, because they made it happen.”

    That’s the problem Greg–they didn’t and they won’t.

  3. Good lord…it’s almost pathetic…

    Prime Minister Dion? Love it!

    Looks like you can’t take the “opposition” from the CPC.

    I think all tories need to regroup from this monstrosity called the CPC, and just rid themselves of this Reform-Alliance cancer. It is simply embarrassing to see this bastard child of the austere PCs continue to go on like this…

    Austin

  4. It’s awfully hard to see the numbers working out to where a Lib/NDP coalition would be useful. Then you have to get past the emotions. No doubt the NDP do not want to see Harper in control. That prospect does frighten them.
    But they truly hate the Libs. All those years of what they see as “running left and governing right” are very hard to get past.

    Anyway, sorry, John. Everybody is upstairs doing their partisan riff on Duffy/Dion.

  5. I was at the rally in Winnipeg and was happy to hear Harper changing his tune. Not that I agree that what we need is empathy, but its what people want to hear apparently, so give it to them.

    Harper also had an interesting attack on the Bloq tonight. Something along the lines of: “The Bloq have even come outside of Quebec and are asking Canadians to vote for anyone other than the Conservative Party. I know one thing: if we are the only threat to the party that wants to break up our great country — we’re doing something right.”

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