A party seriously considering hiring a boy as its policy chief – is a party no more. RIP Sir Laurier, hopefully you’ll be able to stop rolling soon.
Category Archives: The Sinking Ship Liberal
As long as Stephen Harper refuses to expand his PR image beyond “competent” and “safe”, he will fail to attain his much-desired majority government. If he can put forth a coherent, positive, aspirational vision for the country – whether it be with a hard conservative edge or not – he will get it. And now may be his opportunity, as he has once again combined strategic mastery with a bit of luck to buy himself at least another year as Prime Minister in a minority parliament, with an opposition in absolute disarray.
The latest work of strategic mastery? The 2009 budget, presented yesterday, unloved by everyone today. How can a document that has been panned across the ideological spectrum be considered a strategic masterpiece? 1) It pays lip service only to the irresistible force of the Keynesian “stimulus” nonsense fad dominating the world right now, projecting an inflated budget deficit that will never actually take place thanks to a neat poison pill (a provision that releases infrastructure funds only when matched dollar-for-dollar by provinces or municipalities – dollars that simply don’t exist) that will ensure most of the infrastructure billions announced will never be spent. This allowed Harper to gain Liberal support and earn NDP/Bloc wrath – wrath directed mostly at his true rivals, the Liberals, once again fracturing the left into little pieces; and 2) It avoids the “third rail” that conservative politicians must never touch – tax increases – and actually offers, in difficult times, small but tangible tax savings for most.
As for the luck? That happened in December, when the Liberal Party inexplicably decided to cancel its leadership race, and install “The Czar”, Michael Ignatieff, as its instant, permanent replacement for the hapless Stephane Dion. “Hey, he’s brilliant, he’s dashing, he’s worldly, he’s respected – he’s our Obama”, the pinheads in the party must have been saying. But what arrogant Liberals have failed to learn is: a coronation hands its recipient a poisoned chalice. The public at large will always be suspicious of a leader who did not earn his position. Paul Martin, Kim Campbell, and John Turner all learned this in the most humiliating way: each was utterly rejected by voters after being handed the Prime Ministership on a silver platter. I guarantee, the vast majority of non-political-junkie Canadians who watched the news tonight had the same opinion of this performance: who the hell is this guy, and who does he think he is, putting the government on “probation”?:
Iggy is everything the Liberals should have avoided: an arrogant-sounding, elitist, Toronto-centric, prickly, inexperienced, cold, humourless, hard-edged, bitter-looking opportunist, whose every public word makes him sound like an actor pretending to be a politician. While Stephane Dion had even worse flaws, at least he seemed genuine. As I have contended for two years now, there’s only one Liberal leadership candidate who was in the running that the Conservatives were scared of facing off against, and that was the very dangerous, very destructive Bob Rae. Further, there’s only one Liberal who could have peeled away the Conservative base and led them back to government quickly, and that would have been John Manley. But, as luck would have it, the Libs, panicked by their ill-conceived runaway-freight-train coalition experiment and their precarious financial position, took the worst possible choice in the worst possible manner.
Bad choices come with bad costs. Now, we’ll see if Harper can seize the opportunity, and move from being a competent caretaker to an inspirational leader.
Parliament now suspended until January 26, with budget presented January 27. Some Liberals are already bailing out of the stinking ship. Some Liberals will be called into Flaherty’s and Harper’s offices for budget consultations, and will slink away from the coalition. Other Liberals will read their e-mail over the holidays, and drop out of the coalition. Iggy will drop his support for the widely rejected coup plot, in his quest to repair his reputation in time for the leadership convention and to separate himself from Bob Rae. The confidence vote will be close. If the government falls on Jan. 27, the Liberals will wear this disaster like a hairnet at a photo op. Conservative majority. Endgame.
And Jack will continue being Jack.
Unfortunately for Stephane Dion and his coalition of the swilling, sheer incompetence prevented him from getting his grade-school-quality rebuttal tape to the networks on time for a full airing this evening, after the networks cleared time until 7:30 EST for the free publicity. Good news! I’ve got it for you here! As a conservative and a Conservative, I want to make sure as many people as possible see the work of the man who wants to be PM (please note: a book named “HOT AIR” appears above Steffi’s right shoulder on the bookshelf. It was in clear focus and easily spotted when the video appeared on its original broadcast, but appears to have been blacked out when posted online).
UPDATE: If you can’t get the YouTube clip to play, you can get the video from this direct CBC link here: http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/news/features/opposition-reacts-081203.wmv
Liberals apologize for late delivery of Dion video
Updated Wed. Dec. 3 2008 10:48 PM ET
Josh Visser, CTV.ca News
The Liberals have apologized for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s taped televised address, after it was delivered to Canadian networks almost an hour past deadline and in near-cellphone quality.
“I apologize for what happened tonight. I apologize for the poor quality and the lateness. I am livid and am doing an investigation as to how this happened,” Johanne Senecal, Dion’s Chief of Staff, said to CTV News tonight.
Dion was supposed to deliver the networks a pre-taped statement to the nation Wednesday between 6: 15 p.m. and 6:30 ET. It was to air after Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the country at 7 p.m. ET about the political crisis on Parliament Hill.
CTV, along with other major Canadian networks, pre-empted regularly scheduled programming to deliver the addresses. Harper went to air shortly after 7 p.m. but networks were left scrambling to fill airspace when Dion’s tape was nowhere to be found.
Alphée Moreau, a senior Liberal communication staffer, explained how the series of technical mistakes on their part resulted in an embarrassing snafu.
The timeline (all times ET):
- 6:15-6:30 – The Liberals miss their promised deadline to deliver Dion’s statement to the television networks.
- 6:40 – Liberals arrive with a single tape at the press gallery in Ottawa. They were supposed to deliver two tapes: one in French, one in English. They arrived with a single tape in DVD-minicam format, which is not broadcast quality.
- Shortly after 6:40 – The Liberals decide to run back to their offices — a block away — because the French portion of the tape needs another edit.
- 7:05 – Liberal staffers are still in their offices as the networks go to air with the Harper address.
- 7:07 – Harper’s statement finishes and network anchors are forced to kill time as they wait for Dion’s address.
- 7:10 to 7:15 – Liberal staffers arrive back at the press gallery on Wellington Street with a DVD-minicam player that they had taken from their own offices, along with the associated cables. There is still only one tape, not two. A press gallery official tells the Liberals that the gallery is not the feed point and an argument ensues. The Liberals ask why they weren’t told that earlier. The feed point is next door at the CBC building, which is the long-established feed play point for all network pools. The Liberals are informed that they need to be walked into the building by authorized staff.
- 7:20 – English network anchors are still live on television, wondering where the tape is. CTV has still had no communications from the Liberals about Dion’s address.
- Approximately 7:15 – CBC receives the tape and begins dubbing into French and English versions. This takes about 10 minutes.
- 7:28 – CTV decides to go off-air and back to regular scheduled programming at 7:30. CTV has still not seen a feed of the tape.
- 7:28 – CBC incorrectly punches out the finished feed only to their network.
- 7:30 – CTV signs off broadcast at scheduled time.
“We missed our deadline,” Moreau said. “The shot was not all that professional. It was soft-focused.”
CTV received angry emails within minutes of signing off. Some viewers thought CTV was ignoring the Liberal leader, while others thought Dion was purposely snubbing the network.
Dion’s coalition partners were both angry and embarrassed by the Liberal address.The NDP said Wednesday’s fiasco undermined the credibility of the coalition, CTV’s Robert Fife reported.
“I’m told that (Bloc Quebecois Leader) Gilles Duceppe ran into Mr. Dion in the elevator and asked ‘What the hell happened?’ and Mr. Dion said, ‘We’re not used to being in opposition,” Fife said.
Jean Lapierre, broadcast journalist and former Liberal MP, mocked the party’s video address.
“This was the cheapest video. I don’t know if the Liberal party has financial problems, but they didn’t have to go to a high school kid to get their video made,” he said on CTV’s Mike Duffy Live. “You ask people to forget about their normal TV show tonight. We did that on TVA. We had a million people waiting for a show call ‘Le Poulet’ — ‘The Chicken.’ We didn’t even get the egg!”
The blogsphere was quick to pounce on Dion’s bumbling performance.
“Stephane Dion was late for the show, looked kind of red faced, and seemed to be getting a couple of bucks for the bankrupt Liberal Party for the product placement of a book entitled, and I kid you not, “Hot Air,” wrote the Alberta Ardvark blog Wednesday.
The Coalition-pushers at the CBC were hoping Quebec Independent MP Andre Arthur – the former talk radio iconoclast from the provincial capital – would help promote the myth that the Separatist-Opportunist-Socialist coalition (as coined by Monte Solberg) will be popular in Quebec (and thus, in the pathetic Europhilic arse-licking world of the urban left, an obviously good thing). Arthur wouldn’t bite at any of Don Newman’s promptings, and instead told him what Quebecers really think of the Coalition’s PM-wannabe, Stephane Dion (hint: they’d rather see him on a shrimp boat in Louisiana). Watch and enjoy!
Is this a dream, or a nightmare? Just weeks after a Federal Election that returned a strengthened Conservative Minority Parliament to Canada, the three losing parties have joined together in an attempt to govern the country. To cut through the bull, here is what is happening, in a nutshell: the lefties in all three parties, inspired by the Barack and Bailout mania sweeping through the USA, want to join the party here North of the border. When Harper refused to join the Keynsian/New Deal redux to disaster, the socialists freaked.
Now, it’s up to them to convince ordinary Canadians – who, I would guess, are about 75% against this nonsense – that they are a legitimate government. Constitutional, maybe. Legitimate to the voters? Good luck with that one.
UPDATE: Are you buying the “economic crisis in Canada” rhetoric of the three pinheads? Buried (purposely) by the media today: Canada’s GDP Rises in Q3. That means: no recession, folks. And, from first-hand experience as the proprietor of a consumer-discretionary-goods retail business – Canada is in much better shape, relatively speaking, than the US right now.