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Canadian’s aren’t buying the snake oil you’re trying to sell, Harper

It appears the Cons. vaunted messaging isn’t getting across to Canadians, or they’re not as naive as Harper and the Cons. thought they were:

The Harper government is having a hard time convincing Canadians that it is different from Liberal predecessors when it comes to managing the public purse, market research conducted for Ottawa shows…A consulting firm hired by the Treasury Board conducted 14 focus groups in nine Canadian cities last fall to test marketing messages for the Harper government’s “new approach” to managing federal spending. The reaction was poor…The firm told Ottawa that receptiveness to messages about how the federal government is managing money hadn’t improved over last year, […]

Help Andrew Coyne get a more creative name for his blog.

Actually, Andrew isn’t actively soliciting a name change, but his fellow blogger at Maclean’s Andrew Potter is stumping for one:

You have to admit, there are some pretty snappily-named blogs here at Blog Central…And then there’s the blog hosted by our very own National Editor Andrew Coyne, and his cleverly titled blog, Andrew Coyne’s Blog…since Andrew himself doesn’t seem to have any good ideas, it’s time for the people to choose. So here we go PG readers, fire up the brain cells. Put your suggestions in the comments here or email them to me. We’ll run this till Friday midnight, or till we get a winner, or till something else happens.

I’m sure there are lots of creative folks out here in blogworld that can come up with a better name for Andrew Coyne’s blog then…Andrew Coyne’s Blog. SO go on over to the link and submit your best one! (I’ve submitted a couple).

[email protected]:47pm: Due to overwhelming submissions, with most being of the pun variety, Andrew (Potter) has shut down the comments sections of this site in order to preserve peace at Macleans and keep Andrew (Coyne) from quitting blogging forever.

6 feet of blather (or whatever height Pierre is).

Pierre Poilivere (who else?) decided to come out today and issue a statement in the House on Senator Romeo Dallaire’s testimony yesterday (actually, let me amend that – no doubt the PMO sent out Pierre today and asked him to say this and no doubt pre-approved the statement he read) which was worse, if possible  then Jason Kenney’s blathering yesterday on the topic) which more or less equated Dallaire, “a retired general, author, speaker and respected parliamentarian to “a member of the Khadr family”

Dallaire responded in an appropriate manner as shown by Kady here. (Note: this was a response to Jason Kenney’s twisted logic from yesterday’s hearing, but the reply can apply to Pierre’s blurtings today as well)

All I will say further to this is that Pierre Poiliviere couldn’t lick Senator Dallaire’s army boots. Also, while Dallaire may have been very strong and harsh in his criticism of Canada and the US, and while some may disagree with his wording, I don’t feel he should be disciplined for it. Rather, we (as in we, the Liberal Party) should be taking Jason Kenney and Pierre Poiliviere to task for their twisting and distortions of the good Senator’s remarks.

All signs point to a Republican meltdown in November.

There was a special election held in Mississippi last night to fill a seat in Congress. This seat is one that is in deeply conservative territory; it voted for George Bush to be president by a margin of 2-1 in 2004.  In this particular campaign, the Republicans tried to tar the Democratic candidate here with being a Barack Obama supporter, and more importantly, played up Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his remarks and tried to use that against him.

The result? Not good – for the Republicans that is. They lost by an 8 point margin:

For Republicans, Davis’ defeat is viewed as a possible preview for a widespread GOP thrashing in November, and it shows that trying to link local Democrats in conservative districts to Sen. Barack Obama and his former pastor was not a winning strategy.

Now, some people seem to think that Obama will not be able to stand up to the Republican slime machine when it gets into gear, but recent polls show the Republicans face long odds at making that strategy work:

The party’s fundamental situation is terrible: Republicans are saddled with an enormously unpopular president, a war, a troubled economy and a Democratic opposition that’s being energized by important constituent groups.

An analysis of the recent ABC/Washington Post poll shows signs of the Republican’s being in deep trouble. Obama leads McCain in 3 of the 4 regions of the US and even is competitive with McCain in the South – a traditional Republican stronghold.  It also shows Dems are more trusted then Republicans to deal with the US’s problems – by wide margins. Another new poll out this morning shows Obama again beating McCain nationally.

Combine that with the fact that McCain will be under what I think will be a very effective attack – calling him “McSame” – as in the same as Bush and his failed policies and the Republicans in general, as well as exposing him to the public that he’s not as much of a “maverick” Republican as he’s tried to project, and I think you’re going to see a Republican bloodbath at the polls.

It is not a good year to be a Republican, and I can’t say I feel sorry for them. It can’t happen to a worse bunch (except perhaps Stephen Harper and his lot up here).

Shameless fundraising plug appeal (for the Liberals, not me)

I saw this story last night over at Steve’s place, where even he was impressed with the turnout and the welcome amount of money raised for the Dion fundraiser in Montreal.

Do you want to help boost that even more, Liberal and wanna-be Liberal members? Do you want to show that members of the Liberal Party of Canada are able to donate just as well as their Cons. counterparts? Want to help bring in more grassroots/netroots money and wean the Liberal Party off its corporate donations, which no longer works as a fundraising tool in this new era of capping donations from companies, corporations, etc?

More importantly, do you want […]

Will Canada aid China’s earthquake victims?

This will be interesting to watch and see the Canadian government’s reaction and whether they will send real aid to victims of the earthquake in China or not:

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to offer relief to earthquake-ravaged China. Surrounded by leaders of Chinese organizations from across Greater Toronto, the Scarborough-Agincourt MP said messages of sympathy alone won’t help relief efforts as China continues to dig out from the devastating quake.

(China, by the way, is also accepting aid, but like Burma is refusing to allow foreign aid workers to the scene of the devastated areas  -in their case claiming it’s a matter of […]

Passive support of the death penalty by Harper, Day and the Cons.

Canada is not allowed to deport people convicted of the death penalty in other countries without first getting legal assurances from said country that the death penalty will not be sought. That was a decision brought down by the Supreme Court of Canada – a decision I am sure the Harpercons absolutely detest in their attempts to come across as the law and order party.

That hasn’t stopped them from trying to show people how macho they are however – Stockwell Day announced last November that Canada would no longer seek clemency for Canadians convicted and given the death penalty in countries deemed to have “the rule of law” […]

Shorter Jim Flaherty:

Don’t worry, be happy.

Oh, and by the way, it’s the media’s fault for Canadians thinking we’re going into an economic decline:

“There is a steady drumbeat of negative media coverage on the state of the U.S. economy,” he told a business audience this morning. “Sometimes I think this spills over into Canadian readership and influence on Canadians. Often, when you pick up a newspaper, economic forecasts are being adjusted downwards.

Thanks Jim. I feel much better now.

Random Sunday night thoughts.

I hope everyone had a Happy Mothers Day today.  My parents and I spent it at my brother’s place today with his family. This is me trying to show my niece Monica pictures of a wild turkey and the sounds it makes, right after we saw one walking in the fields outside my brother’s house. My nephew Michael is more interested in getting his picture taken then wild turkeys.

Also on Mother’s Day, 2 of the crabapple trees at the folks really came out in bloom.

On the political front, does anyone think Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier would have generated such positive commentary or (positive) attention in the French papers if he had gone to France, rather then Governor-General Michaelle Jean?  Check out this under the title, “French Press Enamoured With Governor-General:

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean charmed French media and even had President Nicolas Sarkozy swooning during a visit to France that also saw a significant shift in relations between the two countries. Jean was officially in France to take part in celebrations marking Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. But the French press soon became enamoured with Canada’s “charming,” “beautiful” and “intelligent” Governor General. One leading newspaper went so far as to dub her an “elegant mix of Lady Diana and Nelson Mandela.” Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro opted instead to gush over her “disarming charm and simplicity. Jean is “the very photogenic multicultural icon of her country,” the paper wrote. Le Monde, another major Paris daily, vaunted her “fairy tale story” of originally coming to Canada as a Haitian refugee.

I don’t think one can shake the feeling Bernier would have somehow managed to cause an international incident if he’d have gone. I’m pleased to see Harper had at least the good sense in this case to not send him. Props to Governor-General Jean for a successful trip.

Using a disaster for propaganda.

Not good:

Burma’s military regime distributed international aid Saturday but plastered the boxes with the names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the relief effort for last week’s devastating cyclone into a propaganda exercise. One box bore the name of Lt. Gen. Myint Swe, a rising star in the government hierarchy, in bold letters that overshadowed a smaller label reading: “Aid from the Kingdom of Thailand.” “We have already seen regional commanders putting their names on the side of aid shipments from Asia, saying this was a gift from them and then distributing it in their region,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, which campaigns […]

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