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Friday Mar 28 bits and bites – political, everyday, and geeky stuff.

Everyday stuff first:
Thanks to all those who wished me a Happy Birthday on Tuesday; very surprised how many birthday greetings I got, but appreciative. Also, my thumb is feeling much better from my tree accident, though it’s still a tad stiff and sore. I’m also amused to hear everyone grouse about the latest winter.. er.. spring snowfall we had last night in Southern Ontario. Just remember that the farmers love it for all the extra moisture it adds to the soil.

Geeky stuff next:
I’ve updated the Text Editor that people use to leave comments here. The newest revision allows you to edit your comment using HTML codes by clicking on the HTML button in the menu above the text box.

Political Stuff last:
I see Harper has come to the conclusion that his “Bash Ontario” strategy wasn’t working too well, either in Ontario or anywhere else, so he’s scrapped it for now, and appears to have reared in his attack dogs. What a wasted effort that was, that did nothing but highlight the man’s extreme hyper-partisanship.

Also today, in the category of “dog bites man” type of news, Chantal Hebert attacks Dion. Meanwhile, Lawrence Martin of the Globe posts a sympathetic column, and comes up with a pretty good statement here:

As a close Dion caucus ally, Bryon Wilfert, put it yesterday: “If our guy is so bad, then what does it make theirs when we’re tied with him?” Mr. Wilfert is right. It’s a dismal comment on the state of the governing party to be about even with a party led by a man that the Conservatives allege is one of the wimpiest Opposition leaders of all time. (H/T Impolitical, and I agree with her that the Liberals need to stop with the backbiting and the internal political intrigue and concentrate on their real adversary.)

One other political observation: the NDP and Layton aren’t getting much traction out of Dion’s problems either – since polls and the recent by-election results show no mass wave of disaffected left-wing Liberals stampeding to the NDP. If anything, some of it is going to the Greens. That’s the other thing that this Liberal infighting masks – the failure of the NDP to connect to those voters. NDP strategists and MP’s can make excuses all they want about not really trying in any of the ridings that recently had those byelections, but you surely would think there would be some movement of the Liberals progressive/left wing flank to the NDP for all the attacks they’ve done on the Liberals and the claim they’re the “real opposition”. They have their own questions that need to be asked about why that has failed to happen.


13 comments to Friday Mar 28 bits and bites – political, everyday, and geeky stuff.

  • Sorry, the thaw release would have been written long before the latest round of Flaherty attacks.† They got their point across, now every things back to normal.

  • John W:

    The "strategy" in the Harper backing off is they’re getting killed in Ontario over it, as per Steve’s blogpost.

  • Ted

    No doubt Harper is a crafty shrewd political operative. He has to be. The Liberals may have a weak aimless leader, but they do have† shrewd operatives in the background waiting to pounce at anytime.

  • On the issue of Harper dropping his McGuinty/Ontario tax policy attacks through Jim Flaherty, and writing a conciliatory press release,† a 180† degree change in overnight by the Conservatives means nothing. I am convinced they never, never mean anything they say, it’s always strategy.

    This 100% tactics 0% principle has been the Rove rule in US for some time, but Canadians are having a hard time adapting to it, like the football story line in the Peanuts cartoon. Stephane Dion our weak John Kerry, has been shaken so many ways he doesn’t know which way is up or for that matter what’s even real anymore. Best example? Getting snookered on Afghanistan. Next best? Cadman. Then there’s Linda Dean, Brenda Martin etc.

  • I said you were irrelevant, but thanks again for proving my point.† Fini.

  • ALW

    No Steve, you have to be one of the most delusional posters online.
    You are unbelievably naive if you think that what the polls say today will in any way resemble the results in an election 36 days hence. If you donít believe me, you might like to review the numbers prior to Paul Martinís ill-fated collapse in 2005. Which was the purpose of my post: can you honestly say you think that Stephane Dion is going to bring up Liberal numbers the way Harper did for the Tories during the 06 campaign? Really?

    I honestly cannot wait until a campaign, largely so I can see what the Liblogosphere pore over how they could possibly lose so badly when all the polls were in their favour.

  • "I like how there isnít any denial that Dion sucks, just an assertion that Harper must suck too if heís tied with Dion."

    ALW, you have to be one of the most irrelevant posters online.†† Obviously, Harper sucks, because the man is currently enjoying the political equivalent of the perfect storm and if anything the polls have narrowed against him.† Good grief man, any other leader should be in the mid to high 40’s at this point, the fact he isn’t speaks to a deep reservation and dislike.† Harper is still stuck beyond the Liberals in Quebec, think about that, given the circumstances???

    You can comfort yourself about the campaign, but that is all unknown, the actual FACTS don’t support a big Harper advantage.† Seems to me, both can spend the maximum, and it is also common knowledge, admitted by the Cons, that they still lack a "ground game" in Quebec.† Conservatives are under the false illusion that Harper and the company ran a great campaign last time out.† The guy won a fragile minority, while scandal raged and the country had a "kick out the bums mentality".† Remember the last time that happened, the Conservatives were reduced to rubble, and the Liberals won a MASSIVE majority.† All Harper had to do last time was stay out of the way, try not to be noticed- what brilliance!† Harper winning the last election is about as impressive as Ralph Klein balancing the books in Alberta, more circumstance than aptitude.

    Face it, Harper SUCKS, and the more people dismiss the Liberals, the more it points to your own inability to connect with voters.†

  • Whooee! Happy belated birthday, Scotty.

    I seen a little nod to the Greens in yer piece… or what that a slap at the Dippers? ūüėČ

    Interestin’ how LPC, CPC and NDP support is either stagnant or negative and GPC support keeps up its slow but steady growth. Here’s why I think that’s happenin’.

    †The Con’s appeal to a small but loyal base. They aren’t growing because they don’t really want to appeal to more people. They’d rather convince more people to agree with their way o’ thinkin’. It ain’t gonna happen so they’re stuck right where they are.

    A lotta folks sorta wanna support the Grits but the Grits have been exceedingly disappointing in opposition. Dion has confirmed the not-a-leader thing and the abstentions have made voters ask why they’d bother voting for a party that refuses to vote in Parliament. Additionally, many Liberals are opposed to the extension of Afghanistan fiasco.

    The Dippers been doin’ yeomen’s work in teh opposition department. I give ’em credit fer that. Why ain’t they pickin’ up support? I figger they’re seen as irrelevant. They sometimes get on dumbass hobby horses like ATM fees when the danged planet’s facin’ extinction. They at least try but when the Libs and Cons are actin’ as a coalition gummint, they can’t really do much. Their vitriolic attitude toward everyone who ain’t a Dipper sure don’t help ’em much, neither.

    Lotsa folks is concerned with the fate of ol’ Mother Earth. They’re not happy about all the kindergarten antics we see in the House o’ Comments. They know we’ve got serious environmental issues and they see our Con gummint doin’ nuthin’ or worse. They see the Libs lettin’ the Con’s do nuthin’ or worse. They see the NDP as an ineffective, outdated socialist party of union factory workers and smoke stacks. All the while, the Green Party is gaining more credibility and is seen as another viable alternative to the Lib-Con alliance.

    Either that, or it’s all the pot heads movin’ to the Green Party on account of our legalize marijuana policy.


  • Of course Antonio – when the polls don’t support your views, do as Chantal does – discount them.

    There will be no leadership race till a election is held – the Liberal Party has no mechanism – as Martin Lawrence pointed out – for removing a newly elected leader prior to an election – only post-election. As for the Liberal organizers in Quebec, the fact of the matter is there are problems in Quebec that Dion needs to address vis-a-vis candidates, but there are also many in the Quebec Liberal Party wing that never accepted Dion winning, and would never accept him being Prime Minister, and I dont doubt they wont try to help him win PM, because that would be even more intolerable to them. Some of those folks need to be rooted out.

  • Commenter 3 proves commenter 1’s point.

  • what hebert writes is the sobering reality of how things are in quebec.

    why would the BQ, who for years have made a laughing stock out of dion, suddenly let up?

    why would they be really concerned with Harper, whose party trails the Liberals in Quebec in many recent polls?

    They want to prevent the federalist vote from uniting as iit did in the 2nd and 3rd chretien elections when Dion was the unity champion taking advantage of a weak tory party.

    Liberal organizers in the province are either sitting this one out, after back to back elections and a leadership race (and probably another one sometime soon, in the post today they reporteted the Rae camp telling Quebec organizers to "keep their powder dry")

    The others are working for the Tories, who have the money and the better chance out in the regions.

    The way it is lining up doesnt show up in the polls Scott. That is what has even the most loyal Liberals in Quebec, the Anglos, really worried right now.

  • ALW

    I like how there isnít any denial that Dion sucks, just an assertion that Harper must suck too if heís tied with Dion.
    Look, you can believe what you want. If you really, truly, honestly believe that in a 36-day election campaign with sustained national attention focused on the respective leaders of the two parties that can form government in this country, Stephane Dion will best Stephen Harper in that kind of a contest, well, I have a few super-high-risk investments you might be interested in. Although I guess even the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, so anything can happen. But do you honsetly believe thatís likely? No. And that has nothing to do with policies or values, and everything to do with performance under the gun. Dion, whatever his merits, is a brutal performer. That is why he will wilt in an election.
    If you support an election strictly because itís the right thing to do, win or lose, fine: I respect that. Thatís always a good reason for an election (this is why I supported one in 2005, and why I was so outraged by the NDPís willingness to be bought off by rewriting the last of Martinís ill-fated budgets: because it would be better to fight Martin and lose, than to stand by and let him survive out of our own fear of losing.)

  • The interesting bit about this is that the same people who are predicting Dion’s failure in Quebec are the ones working the hardest to ensure that it’s happening.

    It’s a bit like taking as gospel truth Microsoft stating that "OSX is doomed because Vista is JUST THAT AWESOME". Well, yes. You’d say that, wouldn’t you?

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