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Constructive and alternative criticism

Briefly this AM, you don’t see a lot of editorial columnists these days – even in the Star – that are that optimistic about the Liberals. The media meme right now is that the Liberals will not win the next general election. That may be true, but it’s always amazed me how everyone can predict with such certainty a result that depends on a very unpredictable at times 40 day election campaign (or whatever it is).

Anyhow, Bob Hepburn in the Star today is one of the few that don’t rule out the Liberals chances just yet, and he mentions some themes/issues that Harper is potentially weak on, if the Liberals and Ignatieff can manage to point that out successfully in their messaging (The background of this is Ignatieff’s 20 riding tour this week of opposition-held ridings).

Harper’s weak point potential is indeed something that needs to be pointed out – and hammered on over and over again so the messaging has a chance to get through, but at the risk of repeating myself (and others) over the past couple of years, criticism is also going to have to be accompanied, in my opinion, by policy alternatives (and specifics) of what the Liberals will do better or differently then what the Harper Conservatives are currently doing. I know the meme is to wait until an election campaign to reveal all, but sometimes I think trying to stuff all your promises into a 41 day election campaign risks you having events dictate whether people notice them or not.

Better to plant the seeds of ideas and policies beforehand, I believe.

2 comments to Constructive and alternative criticism

  • It’s good stuff, and doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to outflank Harper on his right.

  • TofKW

    A sitting minority government with many scandals swirling around, one potentially serious; but nothing seems to stick. The governing party consistently leads in the polls. Meanwhile the official opposition are ineffective and unable to capitalize on any government misstep. The leader of the opposition is disliked by a clear majority of Canadians, and the media constantly write obituaries for whenever the inevitable snap election should arise. Many argue the wrong leader was chosen, and should be replaced if the opposition wish to avoid certain defeat.

    Sound familiar?

    I am writing about the Paul Martin government circa 2005, and Stephen Harper as opposition leader.

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