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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Battle Lost, A War to Win

Julian Fantino wins:

Julian Fantino’s snatching of the Greater Toronto riding of Vaughan in Monday’s federal by-election will further cloud Michael Ignatieff’s troubled leadership and offer a glimpse of a possible Conservative majority government after the next election.

The loss of their long-held seat in Vaughan to the Conservatives is disquieting for the Liberals on several fronts. For one thing, the party is 1-for-7 in by-elections under Mr. Ignatieff, after they took Winnipeg North away from the NDP Monday. Every loss deepens the hole the Liberals must climb out of to form even a minority government.

But the Conservatives inherit a liability:

The Liberals smell blood on Fantino. If he wins, now that the Libs have begun attacking Fantino as did Justin Trudeau (think of that – federal Libs attacking McG’s OPP commish!), they will continue to hound the government for embracing of a guy who openly spits (figuratively) on the Charter, and the issues of Caledonia will get even bigger play in the House, and media.

Stephen Harper has gotten his prize. Let him pay for it. The Prime Minister wanted to burnish his law and order credentials, let the rest of Canada discover just how well he, and Julian Fantino, grasp the concept. A party with any touch of principle would have refused to nominate Fantino. There is every likelihood that the former OPP commissioner will find himself in cabinet shortly. He must become the CPC's highest profile liability. 

In the set piece of a police press conference, Fantino performs well. In the cut and thrust of the House of Commons, where opposition MPs will be far less deferential, he will have a much tougher time. If Michael Ignatieff had any sense - which is doubtful given his tin-eared leadership of the Liberal Party - he would use Caledonia as a club to beat the Harper Tories: Questions in the house. Witnesses called before House and Senate committees to give testimony. Election campaign ads showing the anarchy of Caledonia with a simple caption: "Is this Stephen Harper's idea of law and order?"

The Tories have made inroads in the 905 region by beating the law and order drum. Go negative on their strength, deny them the ability to make a credible claim to being the guardians of public safety. Julian Fantino won through name recognition. But recognition can be turned into infamy. Some have questioned whether Fantino will be able to accept the PMO's micromanaging tendencies. Given how readily he caved into a non-entity like Dalton McGuinty, he'll fit in perfectly. Another trained seal for the CPC benches.

Posted by Richard Anderson on November 30, 2010 | Permalink


Ignoring the bloc, which he is dealing with through cash and goodies to Quebec, it seems that Harper is engulfing the Liberals by abandoning or at least ignoring his base and creating a large enough center-left tent so as to move toward a two party system comprised of the "Conservatives" and NDP or "Left and Lefter". Hey, it has worked for Gordo, and Iggy seems way out of his league with no room to maneuver.

As to Fantino, I haven't followed him closely other than to know that he has proven capable of self neutering and embracing politically correct stasis as a substitute for principled rule of law when ordered from above. He sounds like a perfect fit.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-11-30 10:58:27 AM

The Conservative Party has made inroads through three methods. One is by emphasizing law and order issues which the old center-left PC's were never smart enough to do. The other is using guys like Jason Kenney to go in to minority neighborhoods and do outreach to voters. As shown in a Macleans article, Kenney went into such neighborhoods and explained how the Conservative Party best aligned with the pro-business, pro-law and order, and pro-family views of these socially conservative groups. The result was that the visible minority groups casted more ballots for the Conservatives than for any other party. Third, the party has in certain provinces made attempts at outreach to religious family friendly groups. The result is that Conservatives won slightly more Catholic votes than the Liberals in 2008. Also, the Conservatives polled 50 points ahead among evangelicals. These are the prongs of the attack that Harper and his crew are employing(as compared to Mulroney whose blueprint seemed to be give Quebec everything).

The Liberals and NDP can't use Caledonia against Fantino. The reason is that the Canadian left supported the radicals who seized land and harrassed residents. Fantino wimped out to political correctness. However, both the Liberals and NDP are effectively the whores of the politically correct crowd. When has either party stood up to that crew? If the Liberals or NDP launch attack ads on Caledonia then expect their radical fundraisers to be a little less enthuastic about ginning up donations. What we have in Canada is a centrist party called the Conservatives(which is an improvement on the old center-left Progressive Conservatives but still too big on the spending front) and the left parties of the Liberals and NDP. The NDP are effectively far left socialist. The Liberals talk free markets but are really watered down socialists like Obama and Lester Pearson. What is needed is the same thing that happened to the Republican Party in 1980. We need a true conservative from the right-wing of the party to take control. Just like Reagan transformed the Republicans from a losing centrist party to a competitive conservative party, Canadian Conservatives should press for nothing less. The time is right for such. People have woken to the lies of the left. The presidency of Obama serves as a daily conservative talkpoint to why the lefts' policies are ineffective. We have steady streams of recent Canadians arriving each year from countries that are socially to the right of us. The most leftist part of the country(Quebec) is the one facing the greatest slump in demographics. Finally, polls show that Canadians have moved to the right on economic and law and order issues compared to 15 years ago. The wind is in our sails! If we could find a true conservative leader, we would have an opportunity to establish a conservative era and roll back the abuses of the Trudeau and Pearson eras.

Posted by: Elmer | 2010-11-30 10:48:45 PM

I really wish we could undo Pearson and Trudeau we pay dearly every day because of them.

Posted by: Clinton | 2011-01-05 4:11:07 PM

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