The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Moonbats on Parade: The low point of election night
Listening to Jack Layton's speech, I witnessed what I thought was the low point of the night, and it made me nervous.
Jack Layton of the NDP thanked each of his opponents in turn: Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois, Paul Martin of the Liberals, and of course, Stephen Harper of the Conservatives.
But while the mention of names of Duceppe and Martin were met with polite applause, a chorus of boos greeted Stephen Harper.
Jack Layton didn't miss a beat, or scold his supporters, but carried on with a congratulatory message.
I worry that in Canada, the potential exists for what has happened in the US -- the fight between the Left and the Right will become intensely personal, at least for the Left. George W Bush is hated on a very personal level by Americans who have never met the man. Is Stephen Harper in for the same sort of treatment, hated for committing the crime of being a conservative?
The jeers made me wonder if that process has already started. I blame Paul Martin for this. The attack ads, especially the group that included the "military ad", were intensely personal. They depicted Stephen Harper as duplicitous and without scruples, though without any real evidence. And in the last days of the election, Paul Martin constantly reminded people that "Stephen Harper's values are not Canada's values." What are Canada's values? Whatever the voters say they are, I think. That why we have elections, in part, to elect leadership that embodies the values a majority thinks are important today. To imply that Canada has one static set of values and that Stephen Harper and his supporters don't share them is to say Stephen Harper and his supporters aren't really Canadian.
Casting the enemy as the outsider, the foreigner, the alien, is the first step to convincing someone to hate the enemy.
I understand that the NDP crowd was tired and punchy after a long campaign and a long election night. But somehow they found it in themselves to applaud the Liberals, a party with strong corporate ties, run by a multi-millionare shipping magnate, and mired in scandal involving millions of dollars taken from "working Canadians".
Stephen Harper, a man with young children, an academic not unlike Jack Layton, hardly a rich man or the product of Corporate Canada, is subjected to jeers.
Here's hoping that Jack Layton can maintain some level of control over this element of his party as he tries to find ways to work with the Conservatives in the minority parliament. If Layton allows the moonbats to take control, he might be forced to pull the plug on the government against his will, and who knows what will happen next.
A return of the Liberals? A Conservative majority? No way to know, except to be certain that the Canadian voters are likely to punish the NDP if it forces an election out of spite.
Posted by Steve Janke on January 24, 2006 | Permalink
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> The jeers made me wonder if that process has already started.
It started long ago, maybe even before Canadian news started going along with the George Bush is the Devil line, years ago. An equation of "conservative" = "evil", once ingrained in the public mind, spreads easily to other challengers of the "good".
Posted by: Frank Ch. Eigler | 2006-01-24 10:56:54 AM
A long time ago, a wise man explained to me a principle that I have found to be true and underlying much of our current politics:
"The conservative thinks the liberal is wrong,
and, so, he tries to correct him;
The liberal thinks the conservative is evil,
and, so, hates him and will condone anything to stop him."
After all, you'd jeer a Nazi wouldn't you?
Posted by: newsisyphus | 2006-01-24 11:09:27 AM
There were boos at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary too. Mr Layton got a few boos but the loudest jeers were reserved for M Duceppe. Though there weren't loud jeers during Mr Harper's speech, they were still prevelant in the building.
However, while I've found that the distaste for socialists by conservatives has partisan and simple-minded undertones, the contempt of the conservatives by socialists is very worrisome indeed.
What is significant about this election, however, is how self-proclaimed "progressives" have joined in the socialist mantra of full-on hate for conservatives. Fanatical hatred has come to the middle of the spectrum.
Posted by: Huck | 2006-01-24 11:14:23 AM
I watched Harper & Layton's speeches. There were no 'discernable' boos from Harper's group and there was an obvious and loud booing from Layton's.
Don't kid yourself, the disagreement that Conservatives have for/with 'progressives' is generally on policy, while the reverse is based upon almost entirely upon 'personality' and just distaste and dislike for the deep/dark conservative. I have yet to have met a liberal/socialist who can 'argue' the issues without describing the issue/messenger/leader as being 'just evil'.
Ed the Hun
Posted by: EdtheHun | 2006-01-24 11:26:36 AM
The liberals killed debate in this country. The internet has now helped, but still people use phrases like, "you are not pro-choice," "conservatives are evil," or "you must be against national unity" to end the debate. It is free speech that has taken the worst hit. It is preached in the schools and work places through political correctness. The boo's don't bother me so much as the words they use to kill debate and with it the conservative movement. Any leftist agenda item is no longer debatable and that is wrong. That is where we have to change people's minds. Make free speech a corner stone of the debate. You're not against free speech are you?
John M Reynolds
Posted by: jmrSudbury | 2006-01-24 11:29:28 AM
Yes, there were boos in Laytons camp.
There were also definite boos when the Harper mentioned Paul Martin and the Liberals.
And given Ezra Levants performance yelling and screaming on Global... and threatening Western Seperation, well, I don't think much can be said about the level of "Debate" from that side.
It's time to take a step back and refocus... for all Canadians. We have an opportunity to move forward now. I hope all parties take that opportunity.
Posted by: Chris Alemany | 2006-01-24 11:36:30 AM
it's also got something to do with the over-simplification of issues-all sides do it. Did the Liberals really run the country into the ground for twelve years, as was stated throughout the campaign? In some ways yes, but they did kill the deficit, etc. etc. And all parties have a segment of their base that will revert to the "evil" argument. Let's keep dismissing those segments, no matter what their political stripes may be.
Posted by: bobloblaw | 2006-01-24 11:55:22 AM
The conservatives have regrouped are ready to move forward. Moving forward involves discussion. When you are done moving backward and refocusing, then let me know, so we can continue the debate on how we should move forward.
Oh, and I don't watch Global. Do you have a link to a video or transcript of Ezra's performance on Global? I would like to see or read the whole thing, so I can understand the context too.
And about the deficit, that is small potatoes compared to paying down the debt and thus reducing the size of the interest on the debt. Zeroing the deficit was simple to do in the strong economy of the late 1990's as compared to the need to pay down the debt. We need to stop wasting money on ineffective tasks and duplicate layers of government for the same areas. One level of government to be responsible for the good and the bad. We don't need overlap creating a question of who is to blame when something goes wrong.
John M Reynolds
Posted by: jmrSudbury | 2006-01-24 12:09:28 PM
What the Liberals did (both Martin and Chretien) was to divide the country in ways never before seen. Prior to both we had divisions between Quebec and ROC. Now we have cracks between:
b. Alberta (representing the evil conservatives)/liberals (everywhere else apparently);
c. Urban versus rural;
d. Quebec versus ROC (still);
I can't even begin to count the number of times that I have seen an eastern bastard insult, berate or belittle my province/my values/me just because it would garner votes in the 'enlightened' regions of Canada.
Guess what. Even that has failed (thank God because the country was on the line yesterday).
I could care less what some lazy, underachieving Ontarian thinks of me or my home. Because in all honesty, I am now reciprocating the attitude.
HOWEVER, along with my 'best wishes', just a reminder. As the lynchpin of the Ontario economy tanks (auto pact will be shit-canned soon I believe) and the Ontario economy sinks, just remember not to come calling for help. We Albertans/Westerns will gladly help the East Coast (they just don't know a better way to do it yet) and will have to 'wean' Quebec off of the federal teat.
But Liberal (read Ontarian) had better understand that their 'better than thou' attitudes won't help them to get anything from us.
bobloblaw, I suggest that you'd be better to spend your time 'educating' liberals that now that we have a 'direct' into the powers of Ottawa, the past attitudes will not be forgotten. And when Ontario starts to sink, they had better have a way to fix themselves, because we Albertans just DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN ONTARIO.
I can't wait for the day that it is a 'have-not' province.
Ed the Hun
Posted by: EdtheHun | 2006-01-24 12:14:56 PM
I doubt anyone could honestly be shocked or even dismayed by boos for 'the others' at a political gathering. Who cares? When it gets down to doing business, I trust the Conservatives will proceed with honest and straightforward presentation of their policies, and open debate. The result? One hopes for the best. Maybe the 'others' will find truth in debate to be refreshing and stimulating!
S.J.- The demonization of anyone considered conservative (never mind politics!) has been part of the secularization of Canada and has been ongoing and growing since the fifties. Its part of social history. (l)iberals don't discuss anything with those who put forward strong belief in right and wrong (the existence of) or truth and reason. Noone is less tolerant of other ideas than a liberal. The preferred approach is insult and ridicule, and avoid logic at all costs. Histrionics and loud screeching. Maybe Canadians are deciding they are tired of the 'dark ages'? ( The US has nothing on us-- don't fool yourself. Our national use of truth and reason is no better than the US, but perhaps just a bit better than our good buddies the EU?)
Posted by: lwestin | 2006-01-24 12:25:39 PM
Oh yes, the boos. Sadly enough, I managed to tune into the radio right when Layton began to thank the other leaders. I too thought the booing was disgraceful, but what do you expect?
It is the NDP, afterall. Their base is made up of spoiled rich white college kids and their pinko professors. You know, the kind of people with more money than common sense. I know, I go to school with them everyday. Heck, Layton himself was a spoiled rich white kid. Why do you think he always has that stupid grin on his face? When daddy is rich, who cares about other people...Vote socialist!
Posted by: Dishwasher | 2006-01-24 1:53:01 PM
The lowest point of election night? Actually, I thought it was Kim Campbell's dull, ill-informed, petty comments on CBC. What a waste of air time.
Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2006-01-24 2:01:15 PM
I feel the hatred of Conservative's is the creation of the Sponsorship program. Reform was vilefied, as was Alliance. How much work did the Liberal friendly Ad agencies do on creating the Liberal strategy of teaching Canadians to be afraid of the Opposition.
...... You can get a pretty good campaign for a hundred million dollars. Good enough to use it election after election.
Posted by: truthsayer | 2006-01-24 3:05:09 PM
We on the left don't hate conservatives - at least those on the left I know do not. We're sick and tired of having our on-line names mocked, our sexuality questioned, our regional differences insulted and our political opinions ridiculed by those too ignorant of the issues to present a reasoned argument in support of your opinions or in rebuttal to ours. The constant dim-witted belittling of your opponents’ positions and/or perceived personality is not helpful.
We don't hate the right - we're disgusted by the behaviour of many of those who defend it by abusing those who disagree with them. To act like a thug leads those watching to believe you are a thug.
Perhaps having the conservatives form the government with a minority will be a good thing for political discourse in this country – maybe you people will relax a bit now - let's see how Mr. Harper does - let's see if he and his party reach out to the 64 per cent of the population that DID NOT vote for him. If he's successful at reaching a consensus with most Canadians, my opinion of him (and the opinions of many others) will change.
But forgive me if I withhold my unconditional love for all things conservative for now...I’m just being a sensible and careful Canadian. lol
I would like to work together to get things done for a change instead of hurling insults back and forth over this divide separating us. How about it?
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-24 3:56:44 PM
To be fair, Jack looked quite uncomfortable when the crowd started booing Stephen Harper. And he clearly tried to discourage it with a stern shake of the head. But really... What could he have done to settle down a room full of ND's who just watched their team gain 10 seats?
Posted by: Richard O | 2006-01-24 4:02:17 PM
I genuinely believe that these four leaders have more respect for each other privately than what they would let on publicly in front of their own. (Yes, Layton was uncomfortable with the boos.) Afterall, they are all very polite Canadians (even Duceppe). The kind that say "sorry, excuse me" even if someone else bumps into them.
Posted by: Jack | 2006-01-24 4:42:16 PM
Arturdecco, there are ignorant people across the political spectrum. So when opposite sides converge on-line to do ad hominem slapdances, remember that it's not so much about politics as about personality. I have to remind myself frequently, too.
You are sick and tired of being insulted based on regional differences, and of being ridiculed for your political opinions, and that's understandable. But please keep in mind that such inflammation seems to be ideologically driven simply because by defining ourselves in one way or another, attacks will come from the other side and will therefore seem like the expressions of an identifiable group.
If you were to fall and hit your head on a coffee table, or something, and miraculously woke up as a Conservative tomorrow, you would find that when you expressed those beliefs in the right forums you would find the same nature of attacks you have felt, which you correctly condemn, being addressed at you even more fulsomely, but this time, they would be coming from the left.
One difference between the respective angers of the right and the left is that for those on the right, the sort of unfair condemnations that you have mentioned are actually *institutional* in Canada. CBC for years has intro'd pieces set in Alberta by using banjo music, showing marble-tiled half-million dollar motor homes, etc., etc. I can guarantee you that not more than one in ten-thousand Albertans has ever seen the inside of on of those, or listened to banjo music. It would be the equivalent of portraying Maritimers as drinking rum and pushing cod around the floor with their noses.
Artur, I guarantee that if you were at a gathering of the feared "conservatives" voters, but where politics was not an issue, you would find peole not unlike you, people who care about others, who love their families, who are kind and helpful to strangers and who love this country. After last night's election, such venom as you mentioned will be just that much less institutional, and I bet you'll find that there's a little more unity and friendliness between yourself and those who might disagree with some of your political views.
Posted by: EBD | 2006-01-24 4:53:22 PM
The Liberals have been using 'divide and counquer' to control Canada for most of the past 40 years. That has led to the bitter attitudes of the groups that were intentionally wedged apart by the Liberals.
Posted by: JohnR | 2006-01-24 4:58:47 PM
Canada has not been united since 1967. Trudeau and the Libranos have kept the country divided to stay in power. They invented political correctness to advance their cause thus ensuring that anyone questioning of their policies was cut off quickly - thus them not having to explain themselves. Let's call these points wedge items.
St. Paul the Ditherer raised the gay marriage issue knowing he would be heading into an election and would use the limited scope of the lefties (whose main purpose in life is to life off the public trough) as a way of isolating the right. Unfortunately, it backfired because somewhere along the line it was asked: "where in the UN Charter of Human Rights is the right to marry a right?"
So he had no choice - since he did not learn from the last election - to start with his fear mongering based on lies and misinformation.
He biggest fear and the fear of the Dippers is that the Conservatives might show them up and actually teach them a thing or two about how to really manage a country.
As for Smilin' Jacko, I suggest he take his 29 seats and look for subsidised housing that they can live in. They are not the balance of power since the Conservatives have more in common with the Libranos - until they get a new leader about a year from now. By then Harper will have proved himself. The next election the Libranos will be reduced to third party status and the Bloc will be the Official Opposition. Smilin' JAcko will be looking for a new job and will have to move back to municipal politics worrying about garbage and snow removal.
Posted by: fiumara | 2006-01-24 6:02:34 PM
I really couldn't care less about who is booing whom--nor about the latest waste of time for Alberta known as a Federal Election.
The ideological gulf between Alberta and the ROC isn't new; it has been developing since the 1920's when Premier Brownlee successfully pushed Ottawa for Alberta's sovereignty over minerals. It reached its present irreconciliability in 1980 when our beloved Liberal Federal Government, lead by P.E.Trudeau, singlehandedly destroyed the life work of hundreds of thousands of Albertans with the accursed National Energy Policy. It continues today with the Feds dictating by fiat unpopular and unwanted policy to Alberta without our consent or approval.
Between 1961 and 1992 the Feds pillaged Alberta, removing $139 billion, to effect socialist programs Alberta never wanted, never voted for and rarely use. This is the largest money transfer within any democracy in history. Canada imposes on Alberta and we suffer for it: official multiculturalism, bilingualism, the metric system, the NEP, abolition of capital punishment, gay marriage, gun control, Kyoto--Alberta never chose these policies yet Alberta pays dearly for them or must chafe under them!
We go through the motions of democracy, hoping to win the Magical Conservative Majority, when finally the ROC will suddenly repent from their ways and accomodate Alberta's dream of a Triple-E Senate that will make things right.
A Triple-E Senate requires a Constitutional ammendment. The bill would have to be passed by the Commons, then the Senate and then have seven provinces with 50% of the population ratify it.
This is impossible and is only a pipe dream. No Conservative majority will ever justify Alberta's continuing allegiance to Canada or be able to right the wrongs.
Forget about who's booing whom. We will never have to ask Ontario's permission again for anything, we will never wait breathlessly for a Conservative miracle, IF WE SECEDE. Alberta must become independent so we can be masters of our own house.
Posted by: peppertrout | 2006-01-24 6:07:37 PM
arthurdecco, I have tried to find a forum that was willing to debate. I am aven willing to pour through some more jeering to find the gems in the debate, but so few people want to debate. Perhaps I have not found the right site. Blogs like the Shotgun here do not allow us to start our own topics, so I have tried a couple forums. Babble's rabble is not the right site, and the jury is still out on Free dominion. I want to learn and share knowledge. I am willing to ignore the name calling from both sides. Just saying that you want to debate though is not enough. A topic must be chosen. The hate for the right as signified in part by boos at an NDP gathering may not be your topic of choice. Try the Rhetoric room:
Does anyone know of any better policy debate forums?
John M Reynolds
Posted by: jmrSudbury | 2006-01-24 7:57:53 PM
No. There are more colourful, more unanimously back-slappy sites, and ones with more famous people at the helm but, for better or worse, as much actual debate goes on here than as any other site I've seen.
It doesn't happen every day, or every week. Open forums often devolve into pettiness and raised back hairs and monkey-brain stare-offs among males, but that's --apparently -- unavoidable in open forums, where the content is determined by the commenters.
Reasonable interlocuters tend to come out of the woodwork when you post something reasonable or cogent. Go ahead, jmr. I have been only partially successful on those grounds. If you find a better open forum in terms of the quality of discourse -- as opposed to a series of "amen" comments -- let us all know.
Posted by: EBD | 2006-01-24 9:27:54 PM
I was trying to say that I have only been partially succesful at being reasonable or cogent, if that wasn't clear.
Posted by: EBD | 2006-01-24 9:33:41 PM
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