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On destruction of parties, Listeriosis, and Tony Clement.

– Tom Flanagan came out yesterday and claimed that Harper really isn’t aiming for a majority, but a result that would weaken the Liberals further; part of what Flanagan called a war of attrition aimed at eventually destroying the Liberal Party of Canada and removing it from the political scene. Nice reason to spend 400 million $ for an election, eh? I’m not particularly surprised if that’s what he’s aiming to do. Quite honestly, the feeling is mutual; I’d love for this election to destroy Stephen Harper’s political career if he loses and send him scurrying back to the University of Calgary, where he and Flanagan and the rest of the right-wing ideologues can cry over spilt milk.

– I’ve been very critical of Jim Travers, with his criticisms of Dion which have been ongoing it seems since the day after Dion won the Liberal leadership, but he writes a good column today warning the Conservatives that unexpected events sometimes happen during elections, and the listeriosis outbreak may be one of those for this government. Here are some things he says that could be some key lines and themes to remember during an election campaign – “A core Conservative conclusion is that the best place for government is on the sidelines” as well as in a passing note to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission controversy, “this government has little patience for rules or regulations”.

– Nik Nanos, the esteemed pollster, also warns Harper of having an election with this tainted meat scandal (I’ve seen some people already calling it “Deli-gate”) hanging over his government’s head, and saying the inevitable comparisons to Walkerton will be politically damaging to the Cons during an election campaign:

“it could leave the Conservatives vulnerable if a narrative emerges that this is an example (of what happens) when you don’t have actual government inspectors and you can’t rely on an industry to police itself.” Nanos said the listeriosis outbreak could be particularly damaging for the Tories in Ontario, where voters still remember the tainted water tragedy in Walkerton eight years ago. A judicial inquiry concluded that provincial government cutbacks and a policy of privatizing water testing contributed to the Walkerton debacle, in which seven people died and more than 2,300 fell ill.

– Here’s an editorial cartoon that is pretty well on the mark with regards to Harper’s attitude about government and regulations. It would be more amusing if 15 people hadn’t already died.

– Tony Clement is a bone-head, not to mention incredibly insensitive. He should be fired for that stupid attempt at a joke on this health crisis, but Harper won’t, of course. So, while Harper is manufacturing a phony crisis over Parliament’s supposed dysfunction in order to justify an election, we have a real crisis with this listeriosis outbreak, and our health minister is busy scouting out the Democratic Convention and meeting with oil executives in Denver, while attempting to be a comedian on the side, jokes that are at the expense of people who have died from this. People can at least see out in the open what Harper believes are his government’s top priorities: having his health minister scouting out the possible next President whose campaign his office tried to discredit with that leaked memo on NAFTA, while also doing a lobbying job to American Big Oil on behalf of the Alberta Tar-Sands, which last I looked, had nothing to do with the Health minister’s mandate.

Clement only won his riding by 24 votes last time after a recount. We should be making him a primary target for removal this next election. Those jokes and his lobbying the oil companies write their own campaign ads about how little importance Clement and the Cons attach to this outbreak.

2 comments to On destruction of parties, Listeriosis, and Tony Clement.

  • Flanagan just threw that line out to play with the punditry class and the opposition parties and stir things up a bit. It doesn’t mean anything.

  • Jason Hickman

    Isn’t it possible that Clement was playing off the “I’m , and I approve this message” that you *always* see in the American political ads?

    (And lest you think that’s just shill-talking, James Bow made the point at BC in TO’s place in the posting you linked to. I’m just stealing it from him!)

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