Methinks John Ivison has hit the nail right on its head with this:
If the Auditor-General’s report does suggest a systemic problem of corruption and abuse, who would bet against the Conservatives using the Senate as a classic wedge issue, pointing out that the Liberals are in favour of preserving the country’s most expensive eventide home as is.
One approach could (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: 2015: The ballot question in Canada’s next election?
The Cat goes to the Senate
Twenty-four hours of so before the US government ran out of money to pay its debts, Republican senators nudged aside the Tea Party senators and House representatives, to kick the can down the road and renew the fight in two months time:
The expected Senate deal would avoid a potential U.S. debt default, but it would only set new deadlines for lawmakers to make decisions about the long-term course of fiscal policy.
As outlined by aides, the deal would fund federal agencies through Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority through Feb. (Read more…)
After Prime Minister David Cameron’s failure to bring along with him a majority of the MPs in the British Parliament, America has been reduced to vocal support from Germany (but no fighting Germans) and vocal and forceful support from France, in his attempts to put together a coalition to punish Syria for what the US claims is a breach of an international treaty on the use of weapons of mass destruction. And now President Obama has stunned the chattering classes in the USA by stating today that he has the power as President to unilaterally decide to take limited steps (Read more…)
Christy Clark outworking and outframing Dix
If you relish the nitty-gritty of political campaigns, like reading a well-written journalist post, and want to learn why framing cost the BC NFP a surefire win in the recent provincial election, then study the article headed Anatomy of a Comeback by Gary Mason in today’s Globe & Mail.
The disemboweling of Adrian Dix and his NDP: Mason lays out how the Christy Clark team of professionals went about disemboweling the inept NDP leader, Adrian Dix, starting with an analysis of how to frame three things: the ballot box question, the Dipper leader (Read more…)
The Senate under siege
With the press baying at the prime minister, calling for answers to serious questions about a possible deal with a senator accused of fudging expenses, PM Stephen Harper decided to leave Canada and visit South America. Resolute in his own righteousness, Harper refused to allow “distractions” to prevent his government from concentrating on the economy. Despite an openly rebellious crowd of journalists, who felt they had been unceremoniously brushed aside while raising serious questions about serious issues, Harper refused to address the issue which is tearing his party apart, and consuming Ottawa: Harper left on a (Read more…)
The 2012 presidential election has been a time of momentous and historic changes in American politics. For the first time the Republican voter suppression tactics boomeranged, with millions of those targeted turning out to exercise their votes – taki… . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Grover Norquist: The Bathtub Drowner meets his comeuppance in 2012
The gods of politics abhor predictability and delight in upsetting humans’ applecarts. Just when Mitt Romney was doing so well, along came hurricane Sandy, wreaking devastation on the eastern seabord. Sandy has given President Obama a gift: the opportunity to use FEMA to clearly demonstrate to voters the enormous difference between his policies and those of his “starve the beast” opponent, Mitt Romney. How to use FEMA: How can Obama use FEMA to draw such a stark comparison between his view of what the federal government should do, and Romney’s downsizing view? Simple, really. Obama should immediately place FEMA front . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Sandy & FEMA: How Obama can ensure his second term, if he moves fast
President Obama surged to victory in 2008 riding the twin horses of “hope” and “change”, in the process beating off Hillary Clinton and then The Maverick and his moose-hunting Veep candidate. But right now the mantle of “change” candidate seems to have settled on the shoulders of the Gekko-like shape shifting Republican candidate. Who would have figured? Romney’s business background is proving to be a valuable asset in year where the economy is in first gear:
A similar story developed during a focus group conducted by MSNBC after the debate Tuesday night. After every single one of MSNBC’s far-left anchors
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Obama & Romney: Who is the "change"candidate this time?
In today’s Globe & Mail Doug Saunders has an interesting article on the difficulty we are having in defining exactly what inequality means:
That’s why inequality has replaced poverty as the great political theme of the moment. Once upon a time, we might have believed the two were related – but it turns out, as leaders from Beijing to Berlin to Bogota are discovering, they’re very different problems…
Yet, as much as we use the word “inequality” to describe this problem, we really don’t understand it. Politicians on both ends of the spectrum abuse the term, and suggest
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Our Struggle to define Inequality – Doug Saunders’ Take
The article in the Washington Post summarizes a plausible scenario for the dynamics of the race so far, and highlights the dangers of not having a Plan B if your main strategy (demonize your opponent) falters:
All of this suggests that the presidential race changed in some fundamental way after the first debate. It can certainly change again, but it is silly to deny that the first debate has been more significant than any one event in the 2012 election.
What happened? For one thing the debate exposed what many Republicans suspected, namely that some of
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Presidential Election: Is this what happened?
Justin Trudeau does not believe in tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses to some of us) politics:
As for Stephen Harper’s policies now, Mr. Trudeau says they are dividing the country, as are NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s.
“Mr. Harper put an X over Quebec and is anchoring himself in the West. Mr. Mulcair has recently put an X over Alberta and is pandering for votes in Quebec and Ontario,” Mr. Trudeau said. “That is not the right solution no matter how successful you are at being elected.”
Under “my watch,” he said, “you will not hear a Liberal … saying one
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau and tic-tac-toe politics
The Obama camp clearly understimated Mitt Romney going into the first presidential debate. No doubt seeing him as a bit of a bumbler, not too quick on his feet, Obama did not do his homework, and Romney pounded him in the debate. No money from China for you, Big Bird!
In fact, the most memorable sound byte that came out of the debate belongs to Romney:
“I like PBS. I love Big Bird,” Romney said. “But I am not going to keep spending money on things [we have] to borrow money from China to pay for”.
The debate was . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Who will win the Big Bird framing battle: Obama or Romney?
The Trudeau camp have shown deft footwork in recent weeks by their control of the Trudeau narrative through speedy responses. Two attacks on the Trudeau brand have been immediately countered, and successfully changed into a more positive narrative. PET & hat The Branding Attack The anti-Trudeau commentators struck out with two frames: Justin Trudeau is just a pretty face, with no record of accomplishments. The Trudeau machine hit back immediately. Just a Pretty Face? They changed pretty face to charisma, which did two things very effectively: invoked memories of his father and Trudeaumania, and drew a sharp contrast with . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau: Controlling the narrative
Andrew Cohen reflects in the Ottawa Citizen upon the Trudeau brand, and its impact on Justin Trudeau, in a good summary of what Pierre Trudeau means to Canadians: Andrew Cohen on Trudeau
His name is Trudeau. In political currency, his name is a promissory note of hope, expectation and sentimentality, much like a Gandhi in India or a Kennedy in the United States. And if that name — evoking an ideal of leadership as well as an idea of country — resounds in today’s Canada, it is because almost three decades after he led it, today’s Canada is . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau: Well said, Andrew Cohen!
John Ibbitson questions whether Canadians will follow the values that Justin Trudeau represents, and concludes that there is much mushiness which bodes ill for the Liberal Party under the younger Trudeau: The Ibbitson Question
Both political strategist Warren Kinsella (Fight the Right) and former journalist Paul Adams (Power Trap) have new books exploring what is wrong with the left and how to fix it. Both identify the core weakness of progressives in Canada: They cannot describe their values.
Everyone knows what Conservative values are: promoting self-reliance; getting government out of your face; keeping taxes low and
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Justin Trudeau & The Ibbitson Question: Lessons from George Lakoff
Thomas Mulcair’s NDP is onto a good thing with its policy of taking steps to stop the continuous hollowing out of the manufacturing industries in Canada. Harper’s Tory government is vulnerable to the charge that it lacks an industrial strategy designed to offset the massive hollowing out of the industrial capacity of Canada, and with it, the destruction of hundreds of thousands of good, well paying jobs: Upgrader Alley – Map
Though he did not mention Dutch disease again on Saturday, Mulcair stuck by his contention that Ontario’s manufacturing sector is being “hollowed out,” noting that 500,000 jobs have been . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: NDP’s Mulcair challenges PM Harper to stop the hollowing out of Canada
Stephen Harper, the one party leader who probably reads a chapter from George Lakoff’s magnificent work Don’t Think of an Elephant each night before he switches off the light, dragged an elephant into the House this week, and smiled contentedly as the man who wants his job kept flailing away at the elephant. What was Harper achieving? Macleans had it dead on:
The Conservatives’ only goal this autumn was to mire the NDP, who have been having altogether too good a year, in quicksand up to their waists. It is now clear that Harper promised cap-and-trade, which feels a
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Carbon Tax, Cap & Trade, Framing: When will Thomas Mulcair learn?
The 2015 election is already on, with Stephen Harper trying to choose the ballot question as anything but the poor Conservative performance in so many areas, the party’s blunders and scandals, and the fact that deep down so many Canadians still do not really trust his party and particularly him. What is the Ballot Box Question? Harper’s choice for the ballot box question is therefore this: Which party is the best to manage Canada’s economy? And which party leader is the best man to do so Mulcair knows this, and he is trying to come to grips with it. The . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Should Mulcair channel Hillary Clinton on the Ballot Box Question?
Showing adept footwork (almost as good as that of Justin Trudeau in the boxing ring a short while ago), Thomas Mulcair has succeeded in persuading the media that he not only can have his cake on the framing of any Quebec sovereignty referendum question, but eat it too. To put it another way, Mulcair has managed to lead the media by the nose by stating with conviction that he is for two conflicting conclusions. Eating his cake and having it at the same time
He has managed to get away with two propositions that clearly have intrinsic conflicts, without . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: NDP’s Thomas Mulcair bamboozles media on Quebec referendum
Monday, May 28, 2012
The phrase “job killing regulation” is beginning to enter Canadian discussions about environmental laws and Bill C-38 – the Budget Implementation Bill which would repeal several laws that protect nature, democracy and marginalized society. This phrase has been embraced by politicians in the U.S. who are seeking to gut environmental laws there, despite having been discredited by a number of studies. It would be unfortunate to have this inaccurate and misleading phrase become a prominent part of Canadian political discourse (more below on why it’s inaccurate and misleading).
The phrase “job killing
. . . → Read More: Environmental Law Alert Blog: On importing U.S. “Job-Killing” rhetoric
Local elections were held in 181 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland. The results for the Conservative government of PM David Cameron, and his coalition partners, the Lib-Dems, were severe: Britain’s governing conservatives took an electoral bruising Friday in local elections as voters punished them for biting austerity measures and a stalled economy…
Like Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats — the junior partner in Britain’s coalition government — suffered woes, losing about 300 councilors, which pushed them toward their lowest total since the party formed in 1988. But the Labour Party was the winner, even . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Today’s UK lesson for Canada’s ‘Harper Tories’
Andrew Coyne has put his journalistic finger on the Achilles Heel of the ‘Harper Government’ – its inherent untrustworthiness: Stealth PM Harper
But while the public might have been inclined to look indulgently on such behaviour when the dupe was the opposition, it is less likely to be so tolerant when it discovers the joke is on it. The government has squandered what little trust it enjoyed before, with the consequence that when it wants to ask the public to do something difficult, it meets only suspicion and hostility; what was a strength when it was weak — its endless . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Why Canada will have a new government in 2015
Harper’sgovernment is responsible for the proper functioning of the civil service. Oneof their key jobs is to ensure that Canada’s affairs are run in a competentfashion, lest we slip into the banana republic kind of nonsense that Greece andItaly have. A keyresponsibility is for the government to collect taxes which are owed. Harper isfailing Canadians by failing to run an efficient tax-collection department, asthe Auditor-General has reported: The Canada Revenue Agency is unable to adequately assess andtrack potentially millions of tax cheats in the country because of lack of resources,and weak oversight and enforcement practices, the federal Auditor-General saidTuesday. . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Harper Tory Government is a bad manager of our economy, says Auditor-General
Canada’s Woodward & Bernstein, Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor, of Postmedia News, today bring us news about The Council of Canadians’ Magnificent Seven. In the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven, based on the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai, seven gunmen are hired to protect a small village in Mexico from a group of bandits.
The Council of Canadians is springing to the defence of Canadian voters, whose Charter rights to a free and fair vote were attacked by a group of bandits: A citizen advocacy group is asking the Federal Court of Canada to overturn election results . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Council of Canadians’ Magnificent Seven
Stephen Harper, his coffers brimming with cash donated through skillful use of the expensive and effective CIMS voter contact database, tossed a few dollars into the hopper and came out with some nice black and white ads which talked about how big a failure Bob Rae had been as premier of Ontario during a deep recession. The gadfly bit, and bit deeply, and the stung Liberals reacted exactly as Harper’s Republican trained campaign experts expected: stupidly.
The Liberals immediately decided to rush blindly and senselessly into the trap set by the Tories.
They decided to fight fire with fire: . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Bob Rae asks Liberals to do something stupid: Fight fire with fire