Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Defining Stephen Harper: TDH Don't Get It

Canada's surliest political blogger, TDH, doesn't like the Liberal strategy of constantly calling Stephen Harper a mean-spirited Bully, or comparing him to Attila the Hun:

Has the party's strategy really got to the point where accusing the Prime Minister of being "mean" is the best that can be offered?

The indignance that the Liberal caucus has shown towards Harper's tactics over the past week does not translate into the same level of anger within the general public. And yet, the powers that be continue to walk down the path of demonizing the man, a tactic that is played out and no longer applicable.

Whoa! Terrible advice, and from a professional, too.

The Tory's election strategy for any Spring election seems to be this: get issues off the table, and run on capital "L" Leadership. Hence, as an example, $1.5 billion gets thrown Ontario's way "for the environment". The Tory message will be: since we're almost as liberal as the Liberals, you don't need the Liberals, and anyway their leader is a Frenchie wuss.

Given these intentions, it only makes sense to attempt to define the Tory's leader right back at them. How well will it work? I don't know, but certainly "demonizing" Harper is still "applicable". The debate over renewing anti-terror provisions last week demonstrated this. The Tories were "winning" this debate, it seemed, and then Harper got up in the House and, on national television, smeared the family of a Liberal MP, an act so jaw-droppingly vulgar and stupid that even some of his natural allies called him on it. For a day or two, the debate shifted from the content of the provisions to Harper's actions, which frankly gave the Libs some relief.

So you might say that when Ralph Goodale compares Harper to Atilla the Hun, he is trying to establish a theme in the minds of Canadians. Look at it as a kind of attack ad on the ultra-cheap. Of course, I hope the Libs have other arrows in their quiver should we get into a Spring election, but they would be fools not to work this angle, especially since Harper really does have a habit of popping off at inopportune moments ("Paul Martin is soft on child-porn", for another example).

In an election about "character", the Liberals will attempt to recall the "scary" Stephen Harper, and if possible, to draw him from his lair.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Waaa waaaaa waaaa!

"You're mean! I HATE you"

Why do all you Liberals in opposition sound like a bunch of spoiled, petulant, whiny pre-teen girls?

Grow a pair or grow up. You've made a spectacle of yourselves long enough. Yes, yes, we've heard it a million times now. PMSH has poisoned Canada, will turn us back to the Stone Age, and is the worst PM ever. Whatever, Canada has tuned you out. Only the most extreme left-wing ideologues can hear your yappin'.

Until your mob actually comes up with something intelligent and constructive to say, STFU.

Anonymous said...

Well, this has been the gameplan since March of 2004. Certainly, it represents no change from the "mean-spirited far-right neoconservative ideological agenda" rhetoric of pretty much ever Liberal Party of Canada question and public utterance since M Dion became party leader in December. So, how's it working for you so far? And, anyway, is Attila the best you could do? I think that big, bad, meanie (oooooh! he just makes sooo mad I could just CRY!) bully-boy Harper reminds me a lot more of Vlad the Impaler, or Hitler, or could it be ... Satan?!!!

Anyhow, keep on keeping on and Harper will get his majority and the LPC will get its very much needed time to get its head back on straight and remember what it means to govern a country and not substitute one's own self-interest for "Canadian values".


Anonymous said...

I think that you are correct and that the Opposition should target Harper. After all, he (and the poor quality of his Cabinet) are the main reasons why the CPC is not higher in the polls. Ten years plus of Liberal government, scandals, and yet the voters seem reluctant to give the CPC a majority? Why? That is a question for both the Libs and the CPC to ponder.

Anonymous said...

I think the volumous, irate reactions to your post speak volumes to just how sensitive Harper's supporters actually are to just a frontal attack despite all the bravado and back-slapping. It reminds me a bit of the drunken frat-boys in the corner of the bar who grow bolder and louder and ruder as the night goes on, convincing themselves that they are adored while the rest of the crowd eyes them with derision.

There is ample evidence that Harper will change any position, toss taxpayer money about loosely (usually funds his government earlier), and lie about anything if he thinks it will bring him enough support to claw himself into a majority.

There is also ample evidence that Harper actually does have an agenda to weaken the judiciary, militarize the country, and turn thoughtful study and worthy discussion of national issues into black-or-white sound-bites.

The only mistake Liberals can make is to shrink from the challenge. My only concern is they stop the screeching demands for apologies. Forget the apology! But don't ever miss an opportunity to hit back on the mistruths and underhanded attacks and don't let the people forget that is how this government operates.

Canada prospered under Liberal leadership - deficit reduced, economy boomed, opportunity and equality expanded, and international reputation enhanced.

And it will do so again. That's the message. Run with it!

Anonymous said...

What concerns me is that TDH would never make statements like the ones on his blog today if there was a possibility that Warren would refute them on his blog.

The Liberal Party SHOULD NOT attempt to portray Harper as the Devil incarnate. The Liberal Party SHOULD attempt to portray Harper as the second coming of Harris and Mulroney.

The Liberal Party must expose Harper's HYPOCRICY and Harper's DICTATORIAL GOVERNANCE.

A sad thing is happening in Ontario today. Ontario provincial Liberals are prepared to sell their souls to the federal Conservatives to get re-elected.

For almost 60 years, the party in power at Queen's Park has been different from the party in power in Ottawa. Reasons for this are numerous. One of them is that in Ontario provincial elections, there is a tendency to attack Ottawa. You can attack Ottawa a lot harder when your cousins are not running the House of Commons.

Anonymous said...

Under Liberal leadership, Canada has become number 1 among the Tier 2 countries. Way to go Liberals!

Anonymous said...

In an election about "character", the Liberals will attempt to recall the "scary" Stephen Harper, and if possible, to draw him from his lair

If the party is gambling that a sustained character assault will draw Harper out of "his lair", then we have already lost the next election.

It was the same strategy that was deployed in 2004 and 2006. Im not surprised though, Dion has surrounded himself with the some of the same incompetent people from Martin’s communications/campaign team that can probably be blamed for losing a majority and then losing an election all together.

Harper and the Conservatives have tasted power. They will pull all stops to make sure they dont lose it by making their own mistakes.

We are not dealing with amateurs anymore.

rockfish said...

We need to collect the dots for the media and the public -- Harpor's irrational, unprovoked accusations in the House of Bains was a screen to dodge questions about bringing patronage to judicial appointment board. Harpor will use any tactic necessary to keep from scrutiny. A Harpor Gov't has no interest in the Charter of Rights as so defined by the supreme court, not when it protects equal rights for homosexuals, landed immigrants and assertive women. He will invoke the 'fear card' ala Bush -- aka Bains, dropping health care waiting times from his five priorities to ride terrorism as a concern -- to create a more conservative, cautious meme for the public. His accusations in the house, as opposition leader and as PM -- against Arar, against Martin, against Goodale etc -- are meant to be below the belt shots that are easy for the media to repeat, but not refute.
He's got a simple strategy -- he knows that if he says it, someone will air it and then he disappears (and his caucus is gagged) before some of the more honest working members of MsM can fire their questions back at him.
He is crafty. His is dishonest. But he is beatable.

Ti-Guy said...

Let's not forget where the Harpies are the weakest...humour. Any number of public appearances is fodder for the rest of us to laugh at these over-serious and arrogant mean girls and frat boys and focussing on the sheer adolescence of the CPC is as easy as falling off a log.

Outing a few of these ill-bred and petulant anonymii (I'm sure half of them are Conservative MP's) would also be a good start.