The Shotgun Blog
Monday, March 21, 2005
The Betamax of politics
This is how COMPAS refers to the Conservative Party of Canada.
In Canadian politics, the Conservative party is the political "product" with the more appealing features in the eyes of today's consumer-voter, much closer to where the public stands on issues. The Liberal party appears to outsell or outpoll the CPC because it appears to outperform the CPC in marketing. In consumer product language, the Liberal brand appears to trump the Conservative brand while the Conservative brand while the Conservative product appears to outperform the Liberal product.
They have found that on issues as wide ranging as crime, smaller government, lower taxes and free-markets, Da Canadian Values are Conservative Policies. In fact of the 10 issues that COMPAS has determined to be most important to Canadians, the public prefers the CPC policy in 7 of them, tied on 1, and the Liberals are preferred in 2.
Anybody know a good marketer?
More on this can be found here.
Posted by Greg Staples on March 21, 2005 | Permalink
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The dominant political marketing 'agent' has been the media. And given the media's heavy left bias it's not much wonder the better product's brand lags its competition.
Somehow, as Harper suggested, there has to be a way around the media - direct marketing of some kind. Not a simple task.
Posted by: JR | 2005-03-21 11:30:01 AM
I say the best salesman for the CPC would be Joe Green railing against us in the MSM. How about it Joe, maybe some one with connections to the CBC, Toronto Star or Canwest could land you a job with one of those outlets.
Posted by: BobWood | 2005-03-21 11:36:09 AM
"I say the best salesman for the CPC would be Joe Green railing against us in the MSM."
I watched the convention, hoping to see the stirring of new life in a genuine Canadian Conservative Party. One that in fact could re-attach itself to Conservatives historically in Canada, a party with the vision of Sir John A. MacDonald, and with the strength of "One Canada" as John Diefenbaker would have it. Indeed, with the bravery of Joe Clarke and Flora MacDonald, who were the actual Conservatives responsible for the dramatic American hostage rescue in Tehran.
One would even hope that Harper's "neo-cons" would put a lot more water in their wine, tone down the right wing extremist ideology and work on a platform that could make the Conservatives a credible Official Opposition.
Lord knows there are no shortage of problems facing Canada, and there are no shortage of issues.
But instead of taking this opportunity to put forth a policy that all Conservatives could stand behind, what did we see?
Well as his first plank, Harper picked George Bush's favourite hobby horse, Ballistic Missile Defence, multi gazillion in tax payers money for the military industrial complex, for a system that cannot work in principle.
Then he goes on to lie about it by saying that "its not going to cost us anything". (Remember the lies of Brian Mulroney crying out "jobs! jobs! jobs!"). Are there any Canadians who believe that you can engage in a complex military research and development effort that is "not going to cost us anything")?
Then he shoots himself in the foot over medicare. Instead of addressing the problems such as the unacceptable reduction in cleanliness standards in Canadian hospitals resulting in thousands of fatalities each year due to anti-biotic resistant "bugs", what does Harper and the Conservatives offer up? I did not hear a single thing on public healthcare. And I did not hear a single thing about the operation of CIDA, which surely would have to be another hotbed of "corruption" (For Tories, spending money in Quebec is "corruption") and foreign aid and the very slow response of creaky systems in the Canadian Armed Forces to the Asian disaster. But what did we hear on that topic from the "leader", well perhaps I missed it, but I did not hear anything at all.
And on Paul Martin's favourite policy initiative, that of correcting the "democratic deficit" by allowing more democratic expression of the will of the people in Parliament, what did we see the Harper "neocons" do? Well they put forth an undemocratic notion to run their own party, until it was defeated on the floor of the convention by the "traditional Tories". Kicking chairs is not the same as actual leadership. What did Harper and his supporters in caucus actually do to manage contraversial issues within the Party? Not much from what I could see.
With respect to the "abortion" issue, the "neocons" have not put forth anything that might actually work to gain support in the Commons. Rather, we see them wrapping themself in the failed pro-life mantra and shouting insults and obscenities at pro-choice supporters. Since Canadians are evenly divided on the issue, nowhere was any leadership provided by Mr. Harper that the two sides might be able to accept as better then the current "armistice" that is supervised by the Courts in the absence of any credable legislation that might serve the Courts as a guide.
We do know that the Conservatives that Mr. Harper leads is big on tax cuts, but is nearly clueless as to how to achieve these without destroying the country. Canadians have long memories of Brian Mulroney "rolling the dice", they have long memories of $650B public debts and endless Mulroney deficit budgets while European bankers would frolic aboard Canadian Government executive jets and feast on the finest champagne and caviar that could be had in Paris and Washington.
Could the wives of Canadian ambassadors in foreign lands, slapping around the help be far behind in a Harper Government?
I guess Canadians are looking for a maturity among the Tories where they have put away the knives and are trying to concentrate on policy that will actually solve Canadian public policy problems.
No one for example, was prepared to discuss NAFTA or the FTA, although Conservatives had people in the party with ideas and skills on these questions. Mr. Orchard was declared "persona non grata" by the "neo-cons"; forgetting how this country was built, forgetting that Mr. Orchard was merely echoing the "National Policy" of Sir John A. MacDonald. And of course, Canadians did not hear anything from the lips of Mr. Harper related to the closure of the US border to Canadian beef, and now pork production, of the increased trade frictions between the US and Canada since Mr. Mulroney negotiated the FTA and the NAFTA agreements. You would think that at a minimum, the Tories would be out there front and center showing Canadians that their policies actually worked, and providing the public with proof of their foresight and of the excellence of their leaders. Again, nothing.
In fact, Harper focused upon a negative American style campaign that criticized the Liberals for the "adscam" scandals. Apparently the "neocons" believe that Canadians are going to be harsh upon the legacy and conduct of Mr. Chretien for his leadership in the aftermath of a razor thin victory in a referendum in Quebec that nearly destroyed Canada. If that is what Harper wants Canadians to get upset about, or about the $650,000 Federal Industrial Development Bank loan to a Chretien constituent while that bank was being run by Mulroney Appointees, then its pretty obvious that Harper does not know where the centre of gravity of the country really lies.
Indeed, it looks like he does not know where the bear shits in the woods.
The Conservative Policy Convention was a disappointment to most Canadians because instead of delivering meat and potatoes, all we got was a little whipped cream and jello.
You want Canadians to vote for this sort of undefined platform? I don't think so. The last time Canadians handed the Conservatives a blank cheque, we were taken to the cleaners to the tune of $650B in public debt while at the same time, every level of government activity and services to the public were reduced.
I could comment about "social programs" but I did not see any in any of the speeches or presentations. The sole social program that was provided was for the coupon clippers of Bay Street and for those that have retired to the Bahamas.
I suppose that Mr. Harper could have at least attacked the state of Canada's security in the aftermath of the Air India bombings, and trials.
However, he did not even propose any concrete and beneficial action, such as calling for a judicial inquiry into the failures of CSIS and the RCMP to bring these mass murderers to trial. I guess he understands better than most that such an inquiry would point to failures in the Mulroney government even after CSIS had so deeply infiltrated the conspiracy as to become part of it.
I guess that Mr. Harper and the "neocons" were too busy trying to figure out how Mr. Bush's anti-ballistic missile defence program could have saved Air India and the 329 souls that perished over the seas of Ireland.
About the only smart thing that Mr Harper has done as leader, is to abstain from the budget vote in Parliament because he did not wish to face voters unprepared, and to prove to voters that the Tory cupboard was bare of idea and new policies.
No wonder the NDP and the Bloc were emboldened to vote against the government while Tories sat on their hands. Still, given what a rag tag bunch of losers he is leading, it was perhaps the best of a bad hand.
Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-21 12:43:35 PM
Red-Green is at the flogging again.
Who is Joe Clarke?
Joe is Clarke?
Clarke is Joe who?
Clarke Kent be Joe red-green?
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-21 1:32:02 PM
I think time is on the side of the Conservative Party of Canada. As fewer and fewer Canadians get their news from traditional Liberal dominated media like newspapers, TV, and radio, the Conservatives' moderate mainstream message can more efficiently and accurately gain headspace among the electorate.
Posted by: David St. Hubbins | 2005-03-21 2:23:52 PM
>tone down the right wing extremist ideology
Which ideology is extreme?
- anything less than public-funded abortion on demand at any time prior to birth?
- marriage privileges that didn't exist a couple of years ago? (Those were such extreme times...)
- free votes in the House?
Ah, heck with it. Maybe if we vote in another couple of Liberal governments they'll at least stop feeling that they need to bribe us with the part of our own money they're not siphoning off for themselves.
Posted by: lrC | 2005-03-21 5:36:58 PM
">tone down the right wing extremist ideology
Which ideology is extreme?"
The "neo-conservative ideology" is extreme. It actually the "rugged individualist gone mad". Everything in life according to this ideology can be incorporated and turned into a profitable venture, and nothing else matters in human affairs, except to generate profits. The crowning glory of "neo-conservative" values is to elevate a cardinal sin, greed, into man's highest achievement.
But nowhere are the "neo-cons" making proposals that would curb corporate crime. Do you need examples of crimes by capitalists? I will give you a few examples.
Bre-X and the role of George Bush, Brian Mulroney, Family Suharto in Indonesia and others in the murder of Mr. de Guzman, the company geologist. And the likely murder of the corporate president, Mr. Walsh.
The theft of investors funds to the tune of some $6B mostly Canadian and American investors whose greed blinded their judgement, but never the less deserved better protection then was afforded them by the criminals associated with the Carlyle Group.
Why is it that when the largest stock mining swindle in history by an Alberta based public company has not resulted in a single criminal charge, in a single civil charge, and in a single proposal for better practices in the minding industry by managers and capitalists to prevent this sort of swindle from happening again.
But the "neo-cons" are quiet as churchmice when it comes to "policing the marketplace". I guess that for them, Mulroney and Bush and Suharto, who were the principle architects in this affair, are "above" the law.
Or why not have a look at Lord Black, the Darth Vadar of the Canadian Business Establishment. A hunted "neocon" on both sides of the border. Black wants to privatize a public company that he plundered while its CEO, according to the popular press. No doubt Kate's miniature poodle, Ezra will find positive glowing things to say about this swindler.
So the "extremist ideology" is what you see taking place in "neo-conservative" circles like Alberta, where there is more specialized legislation than Carter has liver pills, and the Laws have completely departed from their historic foundation where they applied uniformly and fairly to all citizens. No more. "Neocon" extremists will now generate for you "private law" which means a resolution duly passed by the majority in the Legislature to make it "law". In Alberta, we have over 60 trained seals that do nothing else, but vote on and endorse specialized privatized laws. Check it out at the Web Site for the Queen's Printer if you do not believe me. Over a thousand separate acts.
I next expect the New Sarepta Tire and Girdle Company, whose CEO Yardley Jones, aka a former Edmonton Journal cartoonist; can get a special act passed which gives him unique access to government funds for his business, and his sTory business.
That is how corrupt Enron screwed Alberta electricity customers out of hundreds of millions of dollars while Ralph the rubiedub, was given drunken lectures to low paid workers living in a hostel while earning minimum wages that are the lowest in Canada.
The core of the extremism is that "every man for himself", which is to say, a new kind of social darwinism where your genetics and your parents money will determine your survival prospects in a world overrun by hucksters, liars and cheats, and to use P.T. Barnum's term "suckers".
Barry Goldwater said it best for this bunch when he said "extremism in the defence of "liberty" is no vice". He might have just as well been reading from an Ayn Rand Novel.
That is the "fountainhead" of this current malignancy on the Canadian body politic. Only surgery can correct it, and as Jesus said, about these kinds of evil spirits, they only come out with prayer.
Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-21 7:11:06 PM
David St. Hubbins wrote:
"I think time is on the side of the Conservative Party of Canada."
The Conservatives have been out of power since Jean Chretien defeated them in 1993. That is now over twelve years ago, but its still too short a time in the political wilderness for the Tories. They should have a sentence of 25 years with no parole for the political crimes they committed under Mulroney, Devine, Lougheed, Klein and Harris as well as other Tories that did great injury to Canada and her Provinces.
They should remain out of power AT LEAST until 2018 so they can get lots of practice as the Official Opposition and learn the lessons that crime does not pay.
If they cannot even govern themselves as a party, and not get disbanded because most of their senior leaders are in jail(in the Grant Devine Government they were criminals convicted in open Court); how do you expect they could ever govern the country???
Please note, not a single "neocon" has ever stepped forward to explain what happened with Devine in Saskatchewan, or with Mulroney in Ottawa as he appointed criminals to the Canadian Senate and to the Quebec Court.
Go ahead. Make my day! Give even a single scentilla of evidence that these political crimes were justified or explainable.
Tories historically have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to get the worst bottom feeders in the country to join their party. Frankly even being in the same room with them gives rise to apprehension since you might catch their lice if you get too close.
Just look at the kinds of people that are attracted to lead this party.
Stockwell Day, convicted of libel
Peter Pocklington, capitalist and swindler
Conrad Black, capitalist and swindler, stock market manipulator, fraud artist, or as Joe Friday of "Dragnet" would say "bunko artist".
Then you have the drunks:
Or the visionaries
Peter Lougheed who wanted the Alberta Treasury to own all the airlines in Canada as a defacto monopoly but operating on "free market lines".
and of course the granddaddy of deception and lies, Lyin Brian Mulroney himself.
Scriptures teach that you may know a tree by its fruit.
And indeed, if you look at the fruit produced by all the "neocons", its not hard to identify the tree as "capitalism" and its fruit as "failure".
And pleazzze do not bring out Peewee Herman as an example of "good free enterprise" vs. "bad free enterprise". Lets not complicate this economics discussion with perversions of grown men wanting to remain as little boys.
Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-21 7:34:31 PM
Wow, I had no idea how prescient I was in my early comment on this post. Joe Green, why don,t you send your three rants below into Liberal friendly media to see if they would publish them for you? For the blog readers perhaps you could try to explain to us what what you mean by neocon. At least look up the conventional understanding what the prefix neo means. A friendly hint, methinks you do protest too much.
Posted by: Bobwood | 2005-03-21 9:28:39 PM
OK; thanks for confirming it was the Liberal straw-man extreme conservatism to which you were referring.
Posted by: lrC | 2005-03-21 11:32:46 PM
Joe's always good for a chuckle. I like the part where he defends Chretien and the ADSCAM scandal. It's also quite a laugh every time he suggests that limp-wristed Orchard and Red Joe "who" Clark are actually conservatives. heh heh
He's even mentioned that the only way for the Conservative party to move forward is to rid themselves of all those nasty "neo dash cons" and follow the "brave" and noble TRUE conservatives, like Joe "gay pride parade marshall" Clark.
Keep 'em coming Joe
Posted by: jhuck | 2005-03-23 3:55:09 PM
"He's even mentioned that the only way for the Conservative party to move forward is to rid themselves of all those nasty "neo dash cons" and follow the "brave" and noble TRUE conservatives, like Joe "gay pride parade marshall" Clark."
I guess "forward" for Joe Green means being reduced to 12 seats in the house of commons. Didn't they try that once before?
Posted by: j | 2005-03-23 3:59:02 PM
"I guess "forward" for Joe Green means being reduced to 12 seats in the house of commons. Didn't they try that once before?"
You are not stating the facts accurately. The facts are that Mulroney ran the Progressive Conservative Party into the ground with his "neo-con" policies, corruption, and patronage. The Canadian electorate was so angry at Conservatives for not bringing Mulroney down, a la Margaret Thatcher, that they reduced their standing in the House to just two Progressive Conservatives, a lone male and a lone female (Jean Charest and Elsie Wayne)
That was in 1993. Under Joe Clark, the party gained in standing to 12 sitting members and re-established it official party status. The facts are that Joe Clark "grew" the Progressive Conservative Party while leader by 600% after the Mulroney disaster of 1993 and he did it by taking one of the hardest seats in Canada, right in the heart of downtown Calgary in the middle of "neo-con" country.
You have to understand that the "neocons" are political whores. Men like Tom Long and Rod Love, Peter Lougheed, Mike Harris and Ralph Klein. These guys don't give a shit for "policy" or "people", these losers care only about "power" and the money that it brings to them and their immediate supporters.
But give Clark his due. He saved the party while Peter MacKay was the Judas that betrayed it.
And the record will also show that Stephen Harper is a manipulative and vile little man in the service of American "neocons" that want to destroy Canada and its Confederation. Tom Long for example is an American Republican that meddles in Canadian political affairs.
He should fuck off into the sunset as far as I am concerned.
Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-23 8:35:46 PM
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