Friday, August 15, 2008

Harper's New Gambit

Stephen Harper has once again indicated a willingness to break a key policy plank. It's another plank that was supposedly based in his Reform Party roots. Yes, Harper has decided that if he can't goad Stephane Dion into a fall election, he'll call one himself. So why the flip-flop? The most obvious reason is that Harper is trying to learn from his predecessor at 24 Sussex and call the election before a massive scandal (namely, "In and Out" - contrary to what the media and the CPC may have you believe money laundering is frowned upon in this country) discredits his party to all Canadians. By dissolving parliament he breaks up that annoying ethics committee and prays that the wheels of justice move slowly so that his lawsuit against Elections Canada lasts through the writ period. In otherwords, namely his own, Mr. Harper is calling a "snap election for short-term political advantage." Exactly what he said he was putting a stop to when he passed the fixed election date legislation. Well, I guess not all of us are good at keeping promises. Seriously though, what is left of the old Reform agenda? Senate reform? Meet Michael Fortier. No more pandering to Quebec? Nation resolution, UNESCO, the list goes on. Fixed election dates? If he feels like it. Balanced Budgets? Not once they run out of assets to sell. Come on Alberta, how much longer is it going to take before you realize that this guy is more Brian Mulroney than Preston Manning?

So with all signs pointing to a fall election, what is the Tory strategy? Well, radio ads put out by the Tory candidate in the probably never going to be called by-election in Don Valley West may provide a hint. The ads, which are supposedly targeting the people of Don Valley West, talk almost exclusively about M. Dion, his leadership and The Green Shift. The line is clearly that it doesn't matter if you like your local Liberal candidate, this is about who you want in the Prime Minister's chair. Mr. Harper et al. are clearly reading the same polls as everyone else and are trying to make this vote about M. Dion's leadership (where he is weaker) instead of about the Liberal brand and the Liberal team (where we are stronger). Will it work? Who knows, but one can certainly see the wisdom in that line of attack.


Johnathon said...

If what the Cons did was money laundering, then why have no charges been laid?

It must be pretty clear that no crime was committed.

penlan said...

Johnathon...Where have you been? Under a rock?

No charges have been laid YET because Elections Canada is still investigating. Remember the raid on CPC Headquarters? Everything is still in process.

And have you not heard about the Ethics Committee hearings that when on in the past 4 days? All about the In-Out scheme?

Open your eyes & ears.

Dman said...

In response to Jonathan's "It must be pretty clear no crime was committed" ... Bravo penlan ... yet I'm curious why so many of us must spend so much time & energy educating & providing clarification to the con loyalists who so frequently seem so keen to peddle have truths.

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