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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Desperation politics

This is good news for the Conservatives and bad news for the Liberals: Reporters riding the Harper express yesterday between Victoria and Edmonton seemed to be of one mind, when stories started Blackberry-ing their way into the  "bus," that Paul Martin had suggested that Stephen Harper was unfit to hold office because of his position on SSM -- and that mind was what Martin had gone too far, and that such an outlandish charge suggested that Martin was desperate, especially with it coming so early in the campaign.

Some of the early reaction appeared to hinge on the use of the word "unfit," which appeared, in quotes, in an early wire story about Martin's speech. Nevertheless, even when it later developed that Martin had not actually mouthed that word, most everyone aboard still seemed to agree Martin's charge was over the top. And nonsensical, too. For, if Harper weren't fit for office because of his SSM stance, then what about the three dozen Liberal candidates who opposed SSM in the House when it came to a  vote earlier this year?

Harper's communications people were quick to recognize the fact they had to respond to Martin's insulting charge, and they crafted a deft and prudent response that they affixed to the start of Harper's usual stump speech in time for his big Edmonton rally.


My week-long tour of Canada has, besides giving me a great opportunity to see Harper's tour up close, also turned into a bit of Western Standard Cruise reunion. The reason is that I've now met four of the good folk, who were part of our cruise, at various Conservative rallies. Dick and Donalda popped up in Windsor, Erwin in Victoria, and then Rochelle in Edmonton. Great seeing them all. And who knows who I'll bump into over the coming week.


It's a down day in the Harper tour today, and I'm holed up at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa. We leave from the Ottawa airport tomorrow at 9 a.m., and I'm told the tour will cover Ontario and Quebec before ending for a Christmas break in Winnipeg. Exactly when it will resume after than is not clear. The Tories had thought they had an agreement with the other major parties not to campaign between Christmas and New Year's, but there was some indication yesterday that Martin is now planning to campaign during that week. Another sign of desperation? Regardless of the answer, if Martin is on the road, Harper will be too.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on December 18, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Martin was in Calgary yesterday, appearing at a Liberal rally in the Northeast (not far from the airport) for about one hour before taking off for (you guessed it!) the east.

Layton appears to be doing the same thing today.


Looks like even the local Liberal candidates are unhappy with his brief visit. This, I think, says a lot about their chances in this election. Martin's inattention cannot be good for their morale. If they weren't representing the privileged wealth of Ontario and unaccountable political masters in Ottawa, I might actually feel sorry for them. But since they brought the NEP and about to bring Kyoto, they deserve only contempt, derision and abuse.

Free Alberta!

Posted by: Scott | 2005-12-18 11:42:52 AM

Yeah, it's a gas. Normally incumbent campaigns don't resort to such desperate measures until the last few days of the campaign. Martin's self-destruction is going to be fun to watch.

Remember that this is the same man who said that Canadians have the responsibility to hold political parties responsible for broken promises. Uh, pot, kettle, black, Mr. Millionaire.

The only way to see whether or not Harper can be a good Prime Minister is to give him the chance.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-12-18 12:22:07 PM

If Mr. Martin will be campaigning over the "Christmas break'...does that mean we will be seeing him appearing as a "devout" Catholic enjoying the "deeply personal", religious event that Christmas represents to him ? (For the benefit of the press, to try and fool any 'Christians' that haven't already realized his "deeply personal" beliefs are phony)

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2005-12-18 1:14:45 PM

The average Canadian does not have access to his neighbours' bank accounts - therefore the average Canadian will not vote for someone who does have access to their money and that someone uses their money for his ends. If Paulie needed more bucks for his "BELOVED" country why didn't he pay his own taxes to the same country, why didn't he hire Canadians to build and work on CSL, why didn't he sell the Company and put the $$$ to his "Passion" - Canada? He is a multi billionare - why was he stealing Canadian citizen's spare 100 doollars to pay his buddies in Que.? The same 'buddies' are rich men now, we are poorer - maybe the sheeple are waking up. For their own sake, I hope so.

Posted by: jema54j | 2005-12-18 3:31:57 PM

I wish that I could agree, but if anyone wants to see thee trends, the media is reporting that under Harper's leadership there isn't a chance. Not emotional enough! (Get over it Albertans, et al -- if you come from west of Manitoba, don't apply. You are NOT WELCOME).

All that I can say is that I hope the Conservative party of Alberta elects a VERY STRONG person to represent its (and my) interests. Can you say Peter Mackay for PM? The last leader of the defunct and thrown away Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Where do you think that we will be? Right where we were before Reform.

It is time for Alberta (and any western or wants) to set up an Alberta First Party. Support anyone who proposes policy to help Alberta and act like the Bloc. To hell with making central Cdns accept westerners. If it is good for Alberta/or the West, then we will support it.

In this fashion, then the Alberta First Party could team up with the Bloc and oppose any policy that proposes involving itself in provincial jurisdictions. This would in time make the Liberals a rump party representing the selfish needs of the Ontario voter and the downtrodden of the East coast.

Ed the Hun

Posted by: EdtheHun | 2005-12-18 9:44:01 PM

Ed: If the ROC doesn't clue in with this election, Alberta first will not be a Federal party, but a going away party

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2005-12-18 9:58:20 PM

NOTE-Supreme Court did not state it's a right to change the definition of marriage to include homosexuals. But rather the government has a right to change the definition of marriage. Of course not that the government must change the marriage definition only if it so choose's. Fed-Liberal PM-Martin constantly talks about rights,hey theirs also freedom and democracy Mr.Martin. Even with rights than the marriage institution should have it's rights too,to be as intended,which is a exclusive male and female union. Rights is not just a pro homosexual thing.

Posted by: Larry | 2005-12-19 4:44:06 AM

Now doesn't this seem hypoGritical? Or is it simply arrogant, and Mr. Martin is letting his MP's know that they really don't count...In today's National Post, Mr. Martin now says: "Liberal candidates are entitled to run in this election even if they want to deny Charter rights to gays and lesbians seeking same-sex marriage." "The issue is not 'What does an individual MP say?' An individual MP is entitled to his or her vision."

Posted by: ann | 2005-12-19 7:56:18 AM

"..hypoGritical" ?! If you coined that word, Ann, I'm nominating you for a Canada Council grant. That (word) may not only be the shortest paragraph in the English language but possibly the stone that S. Harper (David) is looking for! Good on ya, lass!!

Posted by: DaninVan | 2005-12-19 10:36:50 AM


Posted by: Quidnunc Savant | 2005-12-19 11:08:16 AM

I don't know how to post new articles, so while I'll be off topic, I just got wind of the election campaign workers and the Liberal Party scandal.

I can't take ANY credit for digging it up, but on the Blogging Tories site, there is oodles of stuff showing (even got a chance to see Belinda "my daddy's rich" Stronach try and explain how everything is in accordance with Treasury Board rules for Duffy's CTV Countdown).

If you want all of the details, go visit, because this too looks pretty big. A synposis is that federal government workers have taken leave of absences (not paid) to help liberal workers (and get paid, I would assume by the party). Now that there will be a break in electioneering over the Christmas break, apparaently the Liberals are sending the workers back to their offices to collect a paycheque (of course my question is what do they do normally and what in the hell will they achieve over the holiday, except leave the office early since Ottawa is already shut down).

Boy this reminds me of Sgro and Strippergate, where wasn't here office staff working on her election in 2004?

Boy, if the Liberals aren't one thing, they are surely consistent, and it would appear none to smart.

As well, Alexa does a pretty good job of bitch-slapping Belinda. Rona didn't have to do or say much. Alexa said lots for everyone.

This election gets more and more interesting. I think that even Mike Duffy is starting to find the actions of the Liberal party a little hard to stomach.

Posted by: EdtheHun | 2005-12-20 11:39:13 PM

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