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The meanness of the Conservatives.

Shorter John Ivison: Canadians don’t like Mr. Harper’s personality, so that’s why they won’t give him majority poll numbers, despite viewing his government as competent.

Perhaps that is the case (I do get a kick out of the Post calling these “perplexing poll numbers”, as if they can’t understand why Canadians won’t just embrace Harper and the Cons). I think it’s to do with the overall perceived meanness of Harper in the Commons and the meanness of some of the Conservative policy in general. The decision they’ve taken to no longer appeal for clemency in the case of Canadians who have been sentenced to death in other countries is the latest such example of this. (Caveat: no appeals to countries who are “democratic” and have the rule of law as a basis. That should be an interesting diplomatic endeavour for this government to decide what governments are “democratic” and using rule of law and who isn’t.)

An update to my blogpost from yesterday. I mentioned that the Guelph Conservative Candidate had also been refused to allow to run in the election because of a couple of excuses issues the central Conservative campaign had with him. David Graham, the Liblogs coder, who lives in Guelph, reminded me of this: he won against “star” candidate Gloria Kovach handily, but she had the backing of the party. David has little doubt that he was only ousted to put her in, and I have to say I don’t disagree. The view up in Guelph was that Barr was more “socially conservative”, and that Gloria Kovach – a former President of The Federation of Canadian Municipalities – was the more moderate. It does seem awfully convenient that the CPC would find something they didnt like in Barr’s campaign in order to override the local Conservative ridings nomination election results.

31 comments to The meanness of the Conservatives.

  • Observant

    So the choice is between "mean" Harper or "idiot" Dion ??   Or is it between "idiot" Dion and "wildman" Layton on the Left??

    As for Barr and Wilson, these Red Tories may be more ‘Red’ than Tory.  Their attacks on the Conservative party reveals their hatreds and their devious intentions.

    Once again, the leftwing attempt to demonize Harper is the last resort of desperate people who have had their political legs cut out from under them.  Keep on hobbling on your stumps, because Canadians will love their tax cuts and cuts to all the make-work  ‘social’ fat in our federal government that overtaxes Canadians.

  • catherine

    Ivison is dead on.  If Harper was an open individual who gave the impression of compassion and of liking Canadians as they are (even while trying to change us) the Conservatives would be in clear majority territory now.  His strategies are all working: incremental changes, clever framing, parliamentary brinksmanship, attack ads, etc.  and he has a well-funded party machinery behind him, but his mean-spirited, control freak nature keeps the gains in check. 

  • Must be tough, knocking all those strawmen over Kursk.

    Mr. Smith had a choice too.He could have chose not to end the life of two men in a country not his own.That he chose not to, and bragged about the murders (before being captured and ultimately admitting his guilt on camera..) is no ones fault but his own.

    Mr Smith indeed had a choice, and he made it, and should be punished for it, but not by ending his life.

    When we view discussions such as the one seen above , the left tends to argue in the abstract, as if there were no real people involved, and it all was a semantics excercise.
    In the real world, outside academia , special interest groups and Toronto, there are a whole lot of people who disagree with the premise that this mans life should be spared, or even cares if he rots in an American jail for the rest of eternity.Would any of you so concerned, care if he did? Did you even know he existed prior to this becoming a story?

    "Outside academia", "in the real world", and "special interest groups"? I’ve never seen so many rightwing buzzwords packed into one sentence, Kudos. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter if we did or didn’t know who he was, the fact of the matter is that we’re protesting the unjust application of the death penalty to a human being.

    I won’t go into the optics of those in opposition who are paid to seemingly stand up for a double murderer.That is politics, and the average Canadian must shake their heads in wonder who in their right mind would give a plug nickle for this man, to the point of falling all over themselves to be the first in line to do so..

    Yes silly us for applying our principles to someone whom we loathe as well as to people we like. That makes us unbearably consistent doesn’t it?

    Bad people do bad things to other people.Sometimes these bad people do bad things and are released into the community to do bad things again. Things like murder ( as we witnessed yesterday..) When that happens, are you telling me that this persons right to live, and murder twice, is greater than my right to have this man locked up and put down?

    Where the hell is going to murder again? In his jail cell? No one here is arguing that the man should be set free, only that his life should be spared. Nice strawman thouhg.

    I would think, despite all the rhetoric and verbiage the left could bring to bear, that this dog wouldn’t hunt if you brought it before the people of Canada.Too many people have been victims of a too soft criminal justice system in this country.Braying about the constitution (and how ‘outraged’ you on the left are by stricter sentences and longer times of incarceration..) only make your arguements meaningless to the victims and families of these people, who would no doubt disagree with you..

    Yes yes we’re all aware that conservatives think that everyone thinks like them when the opposite is the case.

    The victims families have a right to disagree with me, but that doesn’t make the application of the death penalty any less wrong.

  • kursk

    "Oh Aaron, I’m pro-choice, because I believe that humans should be able to make their own choices and not be forced into becoming baby factories by the likes of you."
    The dichotomy of choice.
    Mr. Smith had a choice too.He could have chose not to end the life of two men in a country not his own.That he chose not to, and bragged about the murders (before being captured and ultimately admitting his guilt on camera..) is no ones fault but his own.

    When we view discussions such as the one seen above , the left tends to argue in the abstract, as if there were no real people involved, and it all was a semantics excercise.
    In the real world, outside academia , special interest groups and Toronto, there are a whole lot of people who disagree with the premise that this mans life should be spared, or even cares if he rots in an American jail for the rest of eternity.Would any of you so concerned, care if he did? Did you even know he existed prior to this becoming a story?

    I won’t go into the optics of those in opposition who are paid to seemingly stand up for a double murderer.That is politics, and the average Canadian must shake their heads in wonder who in their right mind would give a plug nickle for this man, to the point of falling all over themselves to be the first in line to do so..

    Bad people do bad things to other people.Sometimes these bad people do bad things and are released into the community to do bad things again. Things like murder ( as we witnessed yesterday..) When that happens, are you telling me that this persons right to live, and murder twice, is greater than my right to have this man locked up and put down?

    I would think, despite all the rhetoric and verbiage the left could bring to bear, that this dog wouldn’t hunt if you brought it before the people of Canada.Too many people have been victims of a too soft criminal justice system in this country.Braying about the constitution (and how ‘outraged’ you on the left are by stricter sentences and longer times of incarceration..) only make your arguements meaningless to the victims and families of these people, who would no doubt disagree with you..

  • Oh Aaron, I’m pro-choice, because I believe that humans should be able to make their own choices and not be forced into becoming baby factories by the likes of you.

  • With all this passion for the "fundamental human right to life," Paladiea must be one hell of a pro-lifer.

  • Wow. I almost wish people liked him for his personality because these poll numbers are perplexing and if the explanation is that him and his policies are perceived as sound and good then there is a big problem.

  • There’s that eye for an eye mentality again. Just because Layton may have said something uncouth, doesn’t give you leeway to do it.

    Pogge has every right to ban you if it was seen fit. Private blog and all that. If you have issue take it up with her privately.

    Olaf is having a wonderful time in Africa I’ve been led to believe.

  • I’ll allow that saying that Layton defends the Taliban is excessive, or at least as excessive as Layton telling us that the government is complicit in torture.

    It’s still no reason to ban an intelligent person from a conversation of a friendly nature.

    I wish Olaf would come back to help us out here…

  • Olaf may have lamented that Layton was a political opportunist, but he’s never openly (or privately) said that Layton was defending the Taliban.

    That’s the egregious part.

  • Scott, this is off topic, but congratulations on being one of the finalists for the Best Canadian Blog at the Weblog Awards. Just saw it tonight.

  • Olaf lamented the same thing about Layton as I do. That he seems more concerned about political opportunism than he does about intellectual honesty and finding out the truth about Taliban detainees without stating firstly that the federal government engages in complicit torture. That, paladiea, is egregious, and nothing I have said is so. I have always shown respect for Dr.Layton, though I don’t agree with his politics.

  • Olaf said no such thing. Trust me, I would have taken him to the cleaners publicly (and privately) if that was the case.

  • One, I didn’t even know it was you who who said that Layton was defending the Taliban at the time (didn’t you just admit it on jj’s site?), and two, you deserve it for saying idiocy like that.

    It’s idiotic to say that Jack Layton jumps to the defense of the Taliban? Your respected conservative colleague Olaf used to criticize him for the same thing. Was he banned, I wonder, from POGGE? Oh wait, he was linked on the sidebar… my mistake.

  • "Then why has POGGE banned me? I’ll tell you why. She couldn’t adequately refute anything I was saying, decided to pigeonhole me into some kind of conservative stereotype, and banned me."

    One, I didn’t even know it was you who who said that Layton was defending the Taliban at the time (didn’t you just admit it on jj’s site?), and two, you deserve it for saying idiocy like that.

  • "We do actually have a fundamental right to life, except where it interferes with the right to life of other individuals."

    That’s not true, we never lose the right to life. Just like we never lose the right to expression and thought.

    "You cannot hold in your mind the thought simultaneously that American law is valid where it pertains to criminology, prosecution, due process, but that the end result is not valid."

    That’s not what I’m saying at all. The judgment that he was guilty is perfectly valid. What I disagree with is the fact that they’re going to kill a human. No government or society should have the right to say who lives or dies.

    "Surrendering your rights as a Canadian citizen is as simple as leaving the protection of your borders. Canada can enact its diplomatic reasoning to try and help you if you violate laws contrary to other nations, but it cannot give you the "rights" you have at home."

    Fine, but all we were doing is petitioning to have the death penalty overturned, hardly an egregious violation of US sovereignty.

    "I do support the death penalty, but I am not being subjective. I am respectful of the right for the U.S. to pursue their form of capital law. He received a fair trial, and he is being punished. If we disagree with the punishment, it invalidates all American law."

    I reject that premise. I can argue that a specific law is unjust and still believe in the rule of law. Judges do it all the time, otherwise nothing would be struck down.

    I’m frankly disturbed at your abhorrence to dissent. I can disagree with any specific law that I want to, and in extreme cases, ignore it in civil disobedience. But openly disagreeing with said law is never a denial of the system as a whole.

  • via POGGE you said:

    "Well said. Extremists should be marginalized, not given forum for their insanity."

    Have I said anything extremist to you? Have I said anything insane?

    Then why has POGGE banned me? I’ll tell you why. She couldn’t adequately refute anything I was saying, decided to pigeonhole me into some kind of conservative stereotype, and banned me.

    I’m one of the most reasonable conservatives on the blogosphere. I’ll debate anyone over anything at any time, and if I’m wrong…

    I’ll admit it.

  • If we do not have a fundamental right to life, then what’s stopping me from going out and killing whoever I see fit? There is no such thing as conditional rights. You either have them or you don’t.

    Paladeia, thanks for your response.

    I would retract my original statement and amend it.

    We do actually have a fundamental right to life, except where it interferes with the right to life of other individuals. When we willfully interfere with that liberty, then justice must ensure that there is adequate punishment. At times, it is considered by society by democratic majority, at least in the United States in some jurisdictions, that the adequate punishment is capital.

    Human rights refers to "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.

    I would argue that we do have a basic right to freedom, except where society deems we have infringed upon the freedom of others. We have the right to life, except where we take others. We have right to thought and expression, and that is never taken from us. And finally, we have equality under the law. The law only changes based on jurisdictional procedure and punishment. Some countries have laws we simply do not agree with, such as the view that adultery or homosexuality is a crime. Canada should defend their citizens being found guilty of such subjective crimes to society. Murder is a universal crime which cannot be arguably defended against except in circumstances of defense or act of war.

    The United States in indeed violating the human right to life, and you saying otherwise doesn’t make it true.

    The United States does not view that it is violating that right, and our respect should be for their jurisdictional authority on the matter. That the man should be punished, we do not disagree on. It is his punishment we cannot decide.

    I’m not up to date on citizenship policy, but I’m fairly certain that you don’t lose it when you commit a crime, otherwise we’d have jails full of expatriots.

    Surrendering your rights as a Canadian citizen is as simple as leaving the protection of your borders. Canada can enact its diplomatic reasoning to try and help you if you violate laws contrary to other nations, but it cannot give you the "rights" you have at home. When Ronald Smith committed crimes that would have been tried in the same manner at home, he was found guilty of murder. We do not disagree he deserves punishment, therefore we are agreeing with one form of American justice. When we disagree with their other form of American justice and law, which is state-sanctioned execution, you are deviating from the rights of Americans to seek their form of justice.

    You cannot hold in your mind the thought simultaneously that American law is valid where it pertains to criminology, prosecution, due process, but that the end result is not valid. Either the entire system is invalid, or it is not. By disagreeing with the American right to pursue their legal venues, you deny the entire justice system over an issue which is largely a moral one of subjective parameters.

    I do support the death penalty, but I am not being subjective. I am respectful of the right for the U.S. to pursue their form of capital law. He received a fair trial, and he is being punished. If we disagree with the punishment, it invalidates all American law. If it invalidates all law, we should be seeking extradition for every Canadian detained in the United States.

    As for the nuances of depriving rights, liberty can be restored, life cannot.

    Indeed. Which is why capital punishment advocates believe in justice for the victims, who can never be restored from the crime that was the theft of their existence on Earth.

    Damn the lack of formatting

    Copy the text with your mouse, paste it into the textarea, and then when the text is highlighted, click on the HTML function on the top.

    Nice talking with you, Paladiea.

  • As for the nuances of depriving rights, liberty can be restored, life cannot. We decided as a society that permanently removing someone’s rights is wrong, but a temporary deprivation is ok so long as it’s fair and impartial.

  • Damn the lack of formatting 😛

  • "Interesting. I disagree that we have a fundamental right to life. That right is breached when one is shown to interfere with the right to life of another person. It is particularly appropriate to end the life of a person who is showing to lack in compassion, or displaying malice during the murder, to have a state-sanctioned execution in justice for the people."

    If we do not have a fundamental right to life, then what’s stopping me from going out and killing whoever I see fit? There is no such thing as conditional rights. You either have them or you don’t.

    From <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights">Wiki</a&gt;

    <blockquote>Human rights refers to "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to <stong>life</strong> and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.</blockquote>

    "We support the basic human rights to life and liberty, in the exception of criminal wrong-doing. Nobody should be imprisoned without cause or fair trial. Ronald Smith received a fair trial."

    I reiterate, there is no picking and choosing who gets to enjoy human rights. Either everyone gets them, or no one does. The United States in indeed violating the human right to life, and you saying otherwise doesn’t make it true.

    "Mr.Smith surrendered such rights when he interfered with the rights and freedoms of the American men he murdered. His punishment is fitting of the crime involved. Canada should not interfere unless it is deemed he did not receive adequate representation. Canada should have voiced objections in the 25 years leading up to this date."

    I’m not up to date on citizenship policy, but I’m fairly certain that you don’t lose it when you commit a crime, otherwise we’d have jails full of expatriots.

  • How’s this for an argument. Humans, regardless of their actions possess the fundamental human right to life.

    Interesting. I disagree that we have a fundamental right to life. That right is breached when one is shown to interfere with the right to life of another person. It is particularly appropriate to end the life of a person who is showing to lack in compassion, or displaying malice during the murder, to have a state-sanctioned execution in justice for the people.

    Canada as a country supports human rights.

    We support the basic human rights to life and liberty, in the exception of criminal wrong-doing. Nobody should be imprisoned without cause or fair trial. Ronald Smith received a fair trial.

    When we see a country violating those human rights, it is our obligation to speak out.

    The United States is not violating any rights. They are enacting the laws of their country according to their judiciary process.

    On top of that, this man is a Canadian citizen

    Mr.Smith surrendered such rights when he interfered with the rights and freedoms of the American men he murdered. His punishment is fitting of the crime involved. Canada should not interfere unless it is deemed he did not receive adequate representation. Canada should have voiced objections in the 25 years leading up to this date.

    I would be happy to debate this topic with you in blog-vis-blog forum.

  • "The only arguments I’ve heard so far are the kind of leftist rhetoric that the U.S. isn’t a democracy anymore, or that it’s not "fair" to lobby for one Canadian and not another."

    How’s this for an argument. Humans, regardless of their actions possess the fundamental human right to life. Canada as a country supports human rights. When we see a country violating those human rights, it is our obligation to speak out.

    On top of that, this man is a Canadian citizen and therefore entitled to protection from the Canadian government, again regardless of actions.

  • I fail to understand how it is being mean to ask for clemency for a double murderer, thereby interfering in the rule of law in a fair and democratic nation. The only arguments I’ve heard so far are the kind of leftist rhetoric that the U.S. isn’t a democracy anymore, or that it’s not "fair" to lobby for one Canadian and not another. I agree. Life isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that Ronald Smith butchered two people, and it’s not fair he won’t get bailed out by his country. Them’s the breaks.

  •  Now you’re engaging in hyperbole, Aaron. I am neither the meanest commentator amongst the Liberals specifically  or the Prog Blog group in general, nor do I get THAT personal in my attacks. If you think so, then you haven’t visited too many Liblog or Prog Blog sites (which is a shame – I recommend in my case to visit the Prog Blog homepage and read the nice variety).

    As I said, if your Conservative feelings get hurt visiting here and reading how your party and its ideas are wrong for Canada, you don’t have to visit – bottom line.

  • Angelle Desrochers

    So now we must all agree that Harper does not have a ‘hidden agenda’, his agenda is very clear for all Canadians to see, other than his people and party members who have given up thier rights to free speech, thinking on thier own . The party faithful role is to  carrying on the fine tradition of giving a portion of thier money to the party as is their duty as members of the fine religious organizations that they some may belong to.  The agenda that is for us to see is that ‘party discipline" is the central theme, and governing with a vengeance, as one party supporter put it on another blog, we take care of problems before we know there is one. 

    It now time in my opinion that we stop talking about Harper and his followers as having a hidden agenda, but to now speak about the agenda that is being roll out both in public (redacted version availalbe at this time) and the agenda that is slowly seeping thru the cracks that the one within are creating by moving, speaking or as some have dared to do questions the end point of where this country is heading with this goverment in power.

    The NDP are still using the tag line,  We are heading in the wrong direction, their question should be why did give the keys to the buses to an egomaniac with the personallity of a Prairie gopher to be the be in charge, and now we wonder why as noted: Shorter John Ivison: Canadians don’t like Mr. Harper’s personality, so that’s why they won’t give him majority poll numbers, despite viewing his government as competent.
    Perhaps that is the case (I do get a kick out of the Post calling these “perplexing poll numbers”, as if they can’t understand why Canadians won’t just embrace Harper and the Cons)

    I plan on enjoying this fall weather, getting ready for the holidays, spending time with my family and friends and generating a whole lot of conversations about the now open agenda that this goverment has and biding my time, resting and getting ready to see them out of office.

    Compentence is a very subjective word.

  • ALW

    Scott,

    You’re not just "forceful".  You don’t just criticize policies.  You constantly make reference to specific conservatives and conservatives in general as being jerk as human beings. That’s a lot meaner than any policy position a person takes.  You regularly let your anger with policies spill over into personal attacks.  And you don’t ever seem to swallow your pride and say "okay maybe I was a bit over the top on that one".  It wouldn’t kill you have a little humility, you know.

  • Manuel

    If a party doesn’t want someone to run thats their business isn’t it? besides the guy wasn’t a conservative he’s a complete socialist, why have someone who doesn’t represent your party run at all? to scam a few possible seats which will just cross the floor if the other party gets elected?

  • I’m just going with the perception that I got from some Guelph Liberals when I was last up that way in March, Aaron.  Obviously Matt disagrees with them.

    As for the inference of me being "mean", I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be amused or scandalized.  If being mean is defined as forcefully going after this neo-conservative government and their wrong policies for Canada, or  responding to conservative wingnuts who come on here with their pre-programmed talking points, then I’m guilty as charged. If you feel you’re treated so meanly Aaron, you can stop visiting here if it hurts your feelings so much.

    Guelph Guy: That’s a bit of a technicality, dont you think? If Barr is being prevented from running, Kovachs has a clear path to winning, as there weren’t any other credible candidates up there other then her and Barr. This is just a facade of democracy the Cons. are going through with this exercise.

  • Guelph Guy

    "David has little doubt that he was only ousted to put her in, and I have to say I don’t disagree."

    WRONG!  The Party has already said a new nomination race will be commenced.

  • ALW

    Listening to you make allegations about who is mean is like listening to Ben Johnson make allegations about athletes taking steroids. Take a look in the mirror, buddy.
    As for your Brent Barr theory, maybe you should talk to this guy:

    http://queer-liberal.blogspot.com/2007/11/harper-fires-two-pro-equality.html

    …who says that Kovacs was the so-con candidate. So which is it? Or did you guys not get your talking points lined up today?Two candidates got dumped by the party. Whatever those reasons are, the party will have to face the consequences from the electorate as a result. Any speculation beyond that is just going to be rooted in your partisan desire to uncover some non-existent conspiracy.

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