As if there were any doubt already that The Globe And Mail’s chief political columnist, Jeffrey Simpson, was a conservative-hating soft-left elitist… check out this exchange from his online Q&A session yesterday on The Year in Federal Politics:
Jasmine Francis, Halifax: I was a bit dismayed when the Liberals decided this fall to prop up the Harper government and I was glad to see the NDP step forward to oppose Harper’s insane policies.
But that doesn’t seem to have translated into more popular support for the NDP. Why?
Jeffrey Simpson: Jasmine, you ask why?
It remains in power in only one Canadian province, Manitoba, and the government there is far more practical and pragmatic than the federal party.
Worse, and I say this with dismay, the NDP has become the “nasty” party, engaging in personal attacks, grasping at little weaknesses of their adversaries, being what the Scots would call “mangy,” rather than big-hearted.
It comes, I think, from always being in opposition, listening to yourself all the time, and living within an enclosed world.
You know Acton’s saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely. Flip it around: So does absolute lack of power all the time.
His analysis of the NDP? Spot-on. However, notice the part of Jasmine’s question he does not touch: “Harper’s insane policies.” He simply lets that go, not even touching this blatantly incendiary demagoguery, meaning one of two things: 1) he agrees with the assertion that PM Stephen Harper’s policies are insane, despite the fact that there is not a single rational human being on earth who could make that case; or 2) he privately found it over-the-top and foolish, but decided to keep it out there because it serves his purpose of subtly demonizing conservatives at every possible opportunity.
Still not convinced he’s an elitist prig? How about this exchange:
Emile Scheffel, Ottawa: Hello, Mr. Simpson. My personal perception of this Conservative government is an intense focus on optics at the expense of high-quality achievements.
The most recent instance of this, in my opinion, is the tax reductions in the mini-budget, where an equivalent income tax cut would have saved the average Canadian more money than the GST cut did. But the GST reduction is easier to explain to voters in a heated election situation.
To what extent to do you agree or disagree with this perspective, and how do you think the Conservatives will be able to revert from this pattern in order to create tangible improvements in Canada?
Jeffrey Simpson: Emile, I sat at lunch yesterday with a Harper minister — one of the few he listens to — and the minister admitted without the slightest hesitation or qualification that the GST cut had been completely political and that every bureaucrat in the finance department had opposed it. (He could have added almost every economist in the country)…
Oh, so if bureaucrats and practitioners of “the dismal science” are against it, that means it was wrong? Typical liberal-elitist trick: when you can’t win an argument on merits, defer to authority. In this case, he makes it crystal-clear how liberal-elite thought differs from the rational-thinking public-at-large: the public understands that, if every bureaucrat in the finance department is against something, IT MUST BE SOMETHING GOOD!