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Videoblog: On the trail


 

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Videoblog: On the trail

  1. Nice video! And nice summary of the week. Man, I get the feeling it’s about to get a lot more crowded in here, what with the synergy and all.

  2. Hey, you hit the big time!

    Quick, hopefully-constructive suggestion: maybe try one of these a little bit more extemporaneously? You’re great on panels &c, and these would be even better if they felt a little more natural — I have a feeling that is much harder than the tv journalists make it look, but I think it’s key.

  3. So to summarize,

    there’s all this important stuff going on: issues important to Canadians apparently being addressed by Harper, which Harper is apparently doing well,

    but there’s one staffer shooting off his mouth and a cartoon bird.

    The media tells us the cartoon bird is what’s really important “overshadowing” the other stuff.

    And then at the conclusion a poll indicates the Cons surging ahead.

    The title of that clip should be “Out of Touch Leftist Media thinks Public is Wrong”, with a by line: “Cartoon bird is what should be important to families in this election…because that shows Harper’s a Bully”.

  4. Kody,

    The reason Harper pulled the pooping puffin ad was not because of it’s poor taste, but rather it demonstrated the failure of our education system, particularly reflected in the partisans associated with his campaign.

    As any fifth grader will tell you, a poop delivered by a puffin flying from left to right will not fall vertically as depicted, but rather at an angle, reflecting both the horizontal speed of the bird, as well as the vertical gravitational force.

    Now, one may conclude that Harper’s bewilderment originates from his concern over the team’s blatant breaking of the Newtonian laws of physics (remember a body in motion tends to remain in motion?) But, one would be wrong.

    Rather, his concern is rooted in their blatant disregard of the advice offered in The Prince by Machiavelli, some 500+ yrs ago, when advising about achieving goals and hitting a distant far off target:

    Men almost always prefer to walk in paths marked out by others, and pattern their actions through imitation. Even if he cannot follow other people’s paths in every respect, or attain to the merit of his originals, a prudent man should always follow the footsteps of the great, and imitate those who have been supreme. His own talent may not come up to theirs, but at least it will have a sniff of it.

    Thus he will resemble skilled archers who, seeing how far the target lies, and knowing the strength of their bow, aim much higher than the real target, not because they expect the arrow to fly that far, but to achieve their real goal by aiming beyond it.

    Now that’s the real poop.

  5. On the other hand, the Conservatives dominated the coverage all week, and the damage from those gaffes were mostly contained. The Liberals have responded to their week of invisibility by starting the traditional whisper campaign against the leader, if this morning’s papers are any indication.

  6. Dot:

    “His own talent may not come up to theirs, but at least it will have a sniff of it.”

    Mr. Harper fails the sniff test.

  7. Alas, a bit dated coming this Tuesday morning. Why? The ongoing collapse of US financial institutions, with dire ramifications for financial institutions around the world including Canada, has now put the old economy at the top of the agenda.
    Which party, the Liberals or the Conservatives, can offer Canadians the best new economic paradigm for the 21st century?

    This is now the central ballot question.

    The Boomers’ eco generation desperately need good paying, stable jobs to pay their mortgages and college debt while ensuring that their children get a first class education.

    This election, which got off to a farcical start, is shaping up to be either a turning point towards a restructuring of our old fashioned economy or a defensive attempt to shelter Canadians from a rapidly changing economic world.

    So-called financial wizards world wide adopted the defensive approach in a flawed and greedy attempt to wring excessive profits out of the old economy – primary resource speculation and dodgy residential mortgages.

    In doing so these unscrupulous wheeler dealers created an economic tsunami that threatens to derail global investment and trade.

    Investors, and that includes most of us through our now threatened pension plans, will only return to the market once governments reassure them that they are not about to be unceremoniously ripped off yet again.

  8. Good video, Mr. Wells. It succinctly captures the fact that different Canadians see a different Harper.

    Some see him as the strong, steady leader shifting Canada toward directions they like and others see him as a dishonest, guarded leader who cannot tolerate differing views and who misleads on where he plans to take Canada. There are noticeably more Canadians in the second group, but they are divided among 3 or 4 other parties and so that leaves open the question of whether Harper will get the increased mandate he seeks.

  9. Kody, who pulls your string that gets you to speak? You’re such a tiresome toy, perhaps there is a newer model that says something new and interesting?

    You’re like a kid who sits in front of a pile of Smartees. You collect only the brown ones and then complain to anyone and everyone that there are no green, red, yellow, pink, or purple ones.

  10. Kody – it is just boring to keep pounding away on the same theme regardless of the post. How about responding to the substance of the post – as in, Harper has much to offer but keeps getting seduced by the dark side of the force.

  11. I thought the host’s concluding comment was weird. Talking about ‘gaffes’ but the polls show Cons doing really well. Can they be called ‘gaffes’ if the Cons continue to do well in the polls?

    I think this focus on war room meanies is meaningless to the public because they care much more about what the leaders say and do. What they get up to in the war rooms is just something for us political anoraks to talk about while the average voter doesn’t give a monkey’s.

  12. jwl – this sort of nonsense can build into a powerful impression of a political party and leader. Of course, it may have more positives than the many commentators expect, but it is none the less very newsworthy.

  13. The ineptitude of the Liberal campaign is breathtaking. They’ve allowed the environmental emergency addressed by the Green Shift proposal to be turned into a pure debate about tax policy. The Cons will always win a debate about tax policy (regardless of how idiotic their ideas may or may not be in that respect). Why aren’t they reminding the voters that the Green Shift is all about trying to save the Earth for future generations? Why aren’t they calling Harper a planet-killer?

    They’ve ignored Jack Layton, at their peril. A six year old child would be capable of deflating the airbag he has become, yet the Liberals seem content to allow the NDP to siphon off votes.

    Finally, they’ve drifted off the message that Harper is a bullying liar. Without agreeing or disagreeing with that position, it’s probably the best hope they have to undo the damage of the Conservative attack on Dion. Dion is – against expectations – showing some backbone in this respect, but it’s too little.

    Could any of the Maclean’s fine bloggers explain to us just what the hell is going on in the Liberal war room? They may be comparatively without gaffes, but they are equally lacking in winning campaign strategy, it would seem.

  14. Bill S

    I don’t think war room talk is news worthy really. When most people see that puffin cartoon, they think it’s stupid/funny/ childish/crass … whatever. They don’t start psychoanalyzing the PM and wonder what it all means.

    I happen to think that wall to wall coverage of puffin cartoon was a net win for Cons. Harper is far removed from the young ones in the war room and people don’t connect the dots in the same way the media does.

    The only reason this kind of chatter builds into a powerful impression is because that’s what the media says the narrative is and then they impose it on us. If the media didn’t constantly talk about mean war rooms, no one would give a rat’s ass about what they get up to there because it is irrelevant.

  15. A belated note on production. (Our helpful staff posted this last night, not I.)

    Unlike the super-fab Breakfast Club video from last week, of which I am absurdly proud, this is not a trademark Inkless solo vlog. All I did was invade Geddes’ photogenic office on Friday after lunch, talk into the webcam — without a script, Mike G, but it did take several takes because I have the speaking voice of a born print journalist — and then email the .wav to our friends at CityTV. Hours later I got an email from Rich Madan saying they had “jazzed it up a little.” Boy, did they ever. This is what happens when my slipshod work falls into the hands of television professionals. My fondest hope is that next time, they will find ways to keep my mug off the screen entirely. This can only improve the final product.

    So on production values, for this one, I can’t take credit. For my Communist elitist lying Lieberal leftard opinions, fire away.

  16. Paul – nothing there that some good makeup could not disguise and improve :-), and perhaps some of those Palin eyeglasses you were promoting before.

    JWL – there is a fairy-dairy world somewhere that is inhabited by thoughtful sober citizens pondering alternative public policy proposal and tax schemes before placing their considered vote, all the while being guided and advised by objective and trivia-free journalists.

    Unfortunately, we don’t live in it. Thank god.

  17. “Unfortunately, we don’t live in it. Thank god.”

    Bill S

    I agree 100%. The ‘common person’ wants 30 second clips of what the leaders did/said that day and then on to the proper news.

    I think all the rest of it us just great ‘gossip’ for those of us who think elections/ politics is fascinating and can’t get enough of the inside hockey talk. Your ‘average’ person doesn’t want detailed discussion of policy but neither are they looking for psychoanalysis of the PM.

  18. I realize that this off topic sort of but why are there no stories about Garth Turner and the CPAC interview with the fake constituent who seems a pretty good actor and then Garth melting down during the CPAC phone call – I mean really here is a big fat juicy story and not takers? Another Liberal bites the dust!

  19. “why are there no stories about Garth Turner”?

    Because Garth Turner acting like a crazy tool is as surprising a fact as the sun rising every morning. It’s largely a “family matter” between Turner and the good people of Halton, and one best left unquestioned (rather like when Mel Lastman was mayor of Toronto…).

  20. “My fondest hope is that next time, they will find ways to keep my mug off the screen entirely. This can only improve the final product.”

    Au contraire, it’s refreshing to someone on TV who doesn’t jiggle like a marionette or pout like a puppy. Main reason I like bloggingheads.tv. Don’t take yourself out of the picture, I’d say – this is vintage Herzog you’re onto now.

  21. About the puffin cartoon. Some may think it’s a Tory error, and its true they did pull it. But wait.

    Dion’s own pitch is that he is a serious policy wonk, not just another political windbag. Yet his howls of outrage about the puffin cartoon were the first time he really got angry and animated. His reaction to this non-item clearly undermined his claim to being a serious intellectual in the world of practical politics.

    So the Conservatives actually struck paydirt with the puffin gimmick, and now that it’s been withdrawn, there’s nothing to criticize. Brilliant play, really.

  22. My fondest hope is that next time, they will find ways to keep my mug off the screen entirely. This can only improve the final product.

    A face made for blogging. :)

  23. If that.

  24. “For my Communist elitist lying Lieberal leftard opinions, fire away.”

    Seemed like a good analysis.

    I really wonder if the puffin and the sparrow are things that will influence votes. Maybe they will if they happen all the time, but otherise, I doubt that after nearly 3 years of governing the puffin and the sparrow will cause distrust.

  25. Very true, sf. If Canadians don’t already know they can’t trust Harper, it’s doubtful they’ll learn over the next few weeks.

  26. sf:

    “I doubt that after nearly 3 years of governing the puffin and the sparrow will cause distrust.”

    On the one hand, it’s sad that the week revolved around pooping birds, but on the other hand it goes to show that there is indeed a God. That is, the public may not notice or care that you’ve been running Ottawa like a Bolshevik on crack, as long as the economy keeps purring along; really, the more I think about it, the more I think the voters only care about the economy. Nonetheless, eventually the birds will start karmically pooping on you. In other words, the details are unfair, but Eternal Justice never fails to intervene.

    I remember meeting, some years ago, this 82-year-old Dieppe veteran / ex-bootlegger outside Sackville, NB; he was running a campground and eager to chat no matter how rained-upon you looked. He said he never paid attention to politics, but he judged the NB government by how good the roads were. If the roads were good, they were a good government; if the roads were bad, the Premier was a fool. On the one hand that’s very simplistic, but on the other hand very honest.

    Which is all to say, Harper was very wise to call this election when he did. By the Spring the economy may be in serious recession; as of now, he gets all the credit for world commodity prices. But there may be more birds of augury still to fly.

  27. Paul, I actually miss the days when you were a semi-regular on Mansbridge’s At Issue panel. That’s probably what first drew me to your blog in the first place.

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