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Harper’s new smear receives united opposition condemnation

Harper does seem to have a knack of late of getting the opposition united against him with his smearing statements, that much can be said about his latest foray into the mud.

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe:

“We saw the old Stephen Harper of 1993-94. I think he made a huge error, it’s indecent and he’s suggesting just like (U.S. President George W.) Bush … `if you are not with me you are against me’ and `if you are against me you are with the enemy.. From a prime minister I just can’t accept a remark like that … I think he is giving a very bad image of what a democracy is,”

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion:

“The Prime Minister hurt the reputation of Canada, the international reputation today in trivializing the issue of war detainees and the protection they are entitled to receive from a civilized country like Canada. We are all together behind our troops even though we may have different views about this mission. As usual, he was not what he should be as a prime minister.”

NDP Dawn Black:

“It reduces the debate in the House of Commons to a level that’s just simply not acceptable”

Harper was asked point-blank by reporters outside of QP whether he really believed his remarks, and he refused to answer. Apparently he didn’t wish to repeat his outrageous statement beyond the safety of QP (and Parliamentary immunity).

Is this the Prime Minister Canadians want representing him? Is this how he’s going to act with other world leaders when they publicly disagree with him over such issues? Disgraceful.

20 comments to Harper’s new smear receives united opposition condemnation

  • Nasty

    Better man? Why? Because he is a liberal? He’s a flippin’ weathervane pseudo-academic, hideously out of touch with most middle-of-the-road Canadians. Good luck with your endeavor.

  • Canadians aren’t about to fall for that obvious US smear style trap when we’ve seen it for 6 years and derided it.

    Scott, I hope you are right. A year ago I would have agreed completely. Now I am less confident. Harper’s Conservatives seem to be in good shape and some pundits suggest the Liberals are in trouble. It hardly suggests that Canadians have seen through the US style divisive tactic.

    I get that the conservatives are trying to spin this, but I do not think they are convincing anyone but themselves.

    Gayle, fair enough, but motivating the base is as important in an election as winning new votes. It is also a whole lot easier. This is red meat for the Conservatives.

    Nasty,

    The thing is, most of us who know Dion know that he is the better man. All we are doing here is discussing ways to communicate his vision to Canadians instead of being sidelined by “nasty” conservative attacks.

  • Nasty

    You Libs are such a sad and pathetic lot. Really. Harper is only saying what many of us have known for years: Liberals are merely poll-drones who support our military out of political expedience. Harper has a backbone, and you milquetoast metro-sexuals can’t deal with it. I cannot wait to hear you howl when the Red Ensign flies over Vimy next month. (oops-sorry: thats the Vimy Memorial near Arras, France….you know, World War One? Europe? Mud? Oh, never mind).

  • Gayle

    “Harper has transformed a story about the Defence Minister misleading the HOC into an unimportant story about a few remarks.”

    Maybe, or it is possible the story about the defence minister could have died yesterday, rather than being reported on, again, today. Amongst the quotations of apology requests are comments about the damage Harper is doing to Canada’s reputation abroad, and the suggestion that his comments hurt rather than help our troops.

    Oh, and the media have brought up the Bains slur, and the lies about the former liberal cabinet minister appointing her ex-husband (I forget her name and am too lazy to look it up).

    I get that the conservatives are trying to spin this, but I do not think they are convincing anyone but themselves.

    So, all in all some good mileage.

  • I dont mind the Democrat comparison you’re giving from my perspective at all Psychols. The American electorate woke up last election and refused to listen to the Right-wing Republican smear machine anymore.. and the Democrats of course won Congress.

    Canadians aren’t about to fall for that obvious US smear style trap when we’ve seen it for 6 years and derided it. I for one, hope Harper keeps his invective going – even though I am personally disgusted by it and consider him a disgrace to the Prime Minister’s Office.

    The more people see “mean-spirited” Mr Harper, the better it is for the rest of us opposing him, particularly in an election campaign where I think the dignity of Dion will go over very well with people, thanks very much.. when compared to the boorish and bullying Harper.

  • I think this post proves that Harper knows what he is doing. Uniting the opposition does nothing but unite the left among the three opposition parties – big deal.

    Harper has transformed a story about the Defence Minister misleading the HOC into an unimportant story about a few remarks. Of all the comments, Dion’s remarks will please conservatives the most:

    “We are all together behind our troops even though we may have different views about this mission.”

    Compare this to commentary from every US Democrat:
    “We support the troops but……”

    The statement is defensive. Anything said thereafter is weakened because the listener is pondering support for the troops.

    Much as we would like to believe otherwise, it is naive to think that Harper is just being mean or undignified. He is motivating his base, hoping to pick up a few pro mission moderates and putting the Liberals on the defensive.

  • Paul

    This is hilarious!!!

    The Libranos have hurled slimy insults at Mr. Harper for years. Now you are all offended hen he returns in kind. Grow up children, this is the Big Leagues!!!

  • Imethisguy

    Just a quick thought exercise:
    What would it look like if Harper’s French was a bad as Dion’s English?
    Would the Liberals be smiting Harper hip and thigh? Do you think?

  • Gayle

    We all know the liberals are under a time crunch, but there is nothing that can be done about that either.

    There are a lot of things Dion SHOULD do – he is doing them, but Rome was not built in a day. It takes time. Does that mean the liberals will be at a disadvantage if the election is held soon – of course. That is not Dion’s fault – that would be the case no matter what. That is, of course, why Harper is so hungry for an election, because he knows over time that Dion will improve, and the liberals with him. If they thought otherwise I think they would not be so eager to force the election.

    Perhaps, if there is a spring election, the best Dion can hope for is to hold Harper to a minority. That is OK with me.

    Ardvaark – keep trying to convince yourself. The only people who agree with you are the ones voting for Harper in the first place.

  • Marc

    Gayle said:
    Personally, I think Dion is playing for the long haul. Over time maybe people will start seeing him as decent and “gentlemanly” – a stark contrast to Harper. Whether that is what will happen is another question, but since I would do the same thing he is I think it is the right thing to do.

    Dion and the Liberals do not have much time to wait for a long haul. The time for him to define himself and his party the way voters understand should have been months ago when he won the Liberal leadership. Now he is playing catch up. He needs to get out more into the public and promote his party as an alternative to the Conservatives.

  • Thats right Gayle,the focus should be on the comments.

    “I can understand the passion that the leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for Taliban prisoners, I just wish occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers.”
    “I would like to see more support in the House of Commons from all sides for Canadian men and women in uniform,” Harper said.

    “I think Canadians expect that from parliamentarians in every party. They have not been getting it, and they deserve it.”

    Notice the words “I understand”, “I just wish occasionally they would”, “I would like to see”.

    I guess again it wasn’t what the PM actually said but what was “explicitly suggested” that has the Liberals so upset. A guilty conscience can make almost anything feel like a smear.

    Al (tired of being called a neo-con, racist, right wing ideologue,Bush lover etc by those so offended by another non smear)

  • “It is apparent that some people will think Dion is a wimp, and others will think Harper is a bully.”

    I think both those things. Harper IS a bully, no two ways about it. An’ Dion IS actin’ wimpy, imho.

    I hear-tell Dion’s goin’ fer language coachin’. I sed he’s a smart feller an’ that’s a smart thing t’ do. Good move, sez I.

    “You say people are getting tired of him asking for an apology – I say people are getting tired of Harper acting un-Prime Ministerial.”

    I agree with you. Canajuns are gettin’ tired of both those things.

    BTW, I ain’t rootin’ fer either one. The more damage they do to each other, the better it’ll be fer the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May and our band of treehuggin’ Greenies.

    JB

  • Gayle

    Learning to speak English properly takes time. It is not going to happen tomorrow just because you think it should. Somehow I think he KNOWS he has to work on it.

    As for the rest, there is a difference between responding to a comment, and creating an image. While you may be correct that he needs to redefine himself, in terms of the slanderous comment made by Harper, I maintain Dion did the right thing.

    It is apparent that some people will think Dion is a wimp, and others will think Harper is a bully. The way you feel about it may depend on how you feel about the respective leaders. When I read some of the comments on the Globe and Mail forum it was quite apparent that people were split on that basis.

    Harper does not offer an apology because he knows his “people” will like that. Dion asks for one for the same reason.

    Personally, I think Dion is playing for the long haul. Over time maybe people will start seeing him as decent and “gentlemanly” – a stark contrast to Harper. Whether that is what will happen is another question, but since I would do the same thing he is I think it is the right thing to do :).

    You say people are getting tired of him asking for an apology – I say people are getting tired of Harper acting un-Prime Ministerial. There is no love lost between the liberals and the Bloc and NDP – so when representatives from those parties take the time to comment on Harper’s behaviour, I think the people who care about this will listen.

  • You suggest Canadian politics was ever above the “mud”. This latest Tory-Grit pillow fighting is turning more Canadians like myself against politics than ever before.

  • “The focus should be on the comments, not the response.”

    By comin’ out with the whimperin’ pleas fer apologies when none are forthcomin’, Dion shifts the focus to his response, or lack thereof. Harpoon’s hittin’ the Liberals an’ they ain’t hittin’ back. Instead, they’re takin’ the hits an’ askin’ fer Harper t’ say he’s sorry. He ain’t sorry an’ he won’t be sorry until he gets a Dion-flavoured knuckle samwitch – rhetorically speakin’, of course.

    Dion needs t’ go on the attack an’ he needs t’ do it hisself an’ not send in Holland or any other gritbull. He’s gotta stand up an’ act tough or else he’ll keep lookin’ like a wuss.

    An’ his English does need work.

    “He’s not anymore part of the caucus,” Dion said Wednesday after a caucus meeting.

    Dion’s a smart feller. He don’t anymore got an excuse.

    JB

  • Imraan

    Gayle –

    Dion is acting like the wimp getting his milk money stolen from him at school and all he does is politely ask his bully to stop. The bully, fearing nothing, continues to take his milk money every day….until the wimp finally stands up to him. Dion has to take it to Harper.
    Spend money on ads – positive or negative – just get your name out there and don’t let the CPC define you.
    Get out from small, private meetings on cross-country tour s and speak to the masses. Let people know why you won the LPC leadership against all odds.
    Control your caucus and the LPC message better.
    Improve your English so you can effectively convey your ideas so people don’t just listen to you, but LISTEN to you and understand what your saying instead of just knowing you said something but aren’t fully sure of what it is.

    Dion isn’t landing any significant political blows on Harper. He’s feigning and jabbing, but not connecting. Harper seems to be providing a huge target for the LPC, but Dion, always playing the victim and the panty-waist, is not aggressive in highlightling the flaws and shortcomings on the CPC – he is merely reacting to what has been said and done or putting out small fires in his own party. It’s unfortunate but true in that you have to get a little dirty in politics.
    Asking for apology after apology just opens the door to Harper to lay some more onto Dion.

  • Gayle

    Maybe one of you can tell us what you think Dion SHOULD say? I hear a lot of criticism for his reaction, but no ideas…

    The focus should be on the comments, not the response.

  • Whooee! Imraan’s on the money. Dion’s gotta get tough an’ look tough. Harpoon’s a nasty bully an’ I ain’t sayin’ Dion oughta get inta the gutter but he’s gotta do more than he’s been doin’. He does come off as ineffectual an’ whiny. It shouldn’t be too hard t’ make Harper look like the gutter-fightin’ bully that he is but Dion’s gotta stand up to him. Canajuns expect our PM t’ fight fer Canada on the world stage an’ we need a fighter to do it. Dion lets himself be bullied then he looks fer sympathy.

    JimBobby

  • Imraan

    I wish Dion would look a little more manly on this issue and other times when Harper takes a cheap shot at him and the Liberals.
    Dion keeps pleading for and requesting an apology instead of taking it to Harper with some force. He’s gotta stop playing the victim and looking really wimpish, and start looking like a PM in waiting.

  • […] A post complaining about Harper’s hardball tactics in QP seems to have gone horribly wrong in the comments section. I wish Dion would look a little more manly on this issue… […]

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