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Montreal Simon: Michelle Rempel and the Horror of Stephen Harper

Well it's been a slow and sad descent for Michelle Rempel, into the darkness or the bowels of Harperland.From little Miss Con Goldilocks, to the most fanatical follower of her beloved leader Stephen Harper. The groupie of groupies.The bubbly bubbling fanatic who could put out a tweet like this one today…

I wish I could tell you what led to that absurd statement. Or why she's calling Google The Google.But sadly I can't, because I've been BLOCKED !!!!!Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: #DefineHarper

A couple of earlier posts have started a bit of a discussion about the messages which will be most effective in convincing voters – and particularly swing voters – to shift their votes away from the Harper Cons. But I’ll take the opportunity to turn the discussion over to a wider audience through Twitter.

In addition to ideas for overall themes, I’d also think it’s worth showing how they can be to use. Here’s an example as to how one suggested by Sub-Boreal might be applied in practice:

[Message based on the work done by End Immigration Detention.]

Obviously, (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Canada: Where Cons and Idiots Roam

Oh boy. It's lucky that where I live it's impossible to not know that I live in the Great White North.Because if it wasn't, I might wonder whether I'm still living in Canada, or whether Stephen Harper has already changed it beyond recognition.

For it really is hard to believe that if you type "Stephen Harper was" into the Google search machine.This is what comes up? Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On changing reputations

Following up on this post as to the value of a common message in countering the Cons’ campaign spin, let’s test out Stephen Maher’s theory as to what the opposition parties need to offer: For years, Harper has missed no opportunity to portray himself as the only leader who can keep us from ruin, characterizing his rivals as unhinged crackpots with crazy schemes.

Harper has spent more than $100 million in tax dollars on advertisements promoting the Economic Action Plan, a transparently partisan expenditure aimed at inducing a pavlovian response from voters. Add all the cheque presentations, ribbon cuttings, speeches, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On common messaging

It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the new election year is bringing out the usual, tiresome round of calls for strategic voting and candidate withdrawals.

In the past, I’ve responded by suggesting that if Canada’s opposition parties have enough common ground to cooperate, they should consider working with joint messages rather than trying to carve up the electoral map. And I’d still be curious to see how that type of arrangement would work if there was any interest in pursuing it.

But I wonder now whether the best course of action may have nothing to do with party arrangements (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Image Problem and the Con’s Secret Weapon

Well as you can imagine, Stephen Harper is having a little trouble with his image these days.He can't pose as a Great Economist Leader anymore, not with the disastrous state of the economy.And although he is still trying to portray himself as a Great Strong Leader, as I pointed yesterday. He knows that image is fatally flawed…Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Neoliberal Conspiracy

If you ever wonder how we could end up living in a world where the richest 80 people on Earth are now as wealthy as the 3.5 billion poorest people.Or wonder why the top ten percent in Canada are wealthier than the rest of us.Or wonder how the sinister ideologue Stephen Harper has managed to change this country so much.Here's an excerpt from Donald Gutstein's excellent new book: Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada.And welcome to Steve's World and the neoliberal conspiracy. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Barbarism of Saudi Arabia and the Grotesque Hypocrisy of Stephen Harper

There couldn't be a more hypocritical or nauseating spectacle, the old king of the brutish terrorist kingdom of Saudi Arabia dies.And western leaders fall over themselves praising him. With Britain's David Cameron even ordering that flags be flown at half-mast. While our disgusting Prime Minister Stephen Harper blubbers sympathetically. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Terrorist Trap

Well just I predicted, Stephen Harper is moving quickly to take political advantage of that skirmish between our special forces in Iraq, and a group of ISIS terrorists.Using it to puff out his chest or his belly, and sound like a tough guy.

"This is a robust mission, we're there to make those guys effective so they can take on the Islamic State and deal with them," he said in response to a question from CBC News during an appearance in St. Catharines, Ont. "If those guys fire at us, we're going to fire back and we're (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Frances Russell writes that NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements are designed to make it difficult for democratic governments to exercise any meaningful authority. And Rowena Mason discusses how the EU-US TTIP is particularly directed toward throwing the public to corporate wolves, while Glyn Moody notes that there are plenty more similar agreements in the works even if the TTIP fails.

- George Monbiot discusses Amanda Lang’s interventions on behalf of her business connections as a prime example of how far too much of our media is trying to serve the wealthy rather than (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Humiliation of Jason Kenney and the Desperation of the Cons

Yesterday I wrote about how Jason Kenney was embarrassed, when he claimed in a CTV interview that the government would use budget cuts to easily balance the budget. But wouldn't touch the rainy day fund set aside for emergencies, like natural disasters. Because you know, the Con regime is a RESPONSIBLE government, Only to have an anonymous Finance Department official say exactly the opposite. They're NOT planning budget cuts, but they ARE thinking of going after the rainy day fund.Which as I pointed out, left Kenney looking like an idiot or a dunce…Read more »

Montreal Simon: How to Stop Stephen Harper From Using the War to Win the Election

I hate to ask this question, because I hate to criticize the opposition parties at a time like this one.But when will they understand that our war in Iraq is just a sideshow?Understand that the real war is the battle to defeat Stephen Harper and his Cons and take this country back. And stop falling into Harper's obvious traps.Like they did yesterday.Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Harperland Winter and the Madness of Stephen Harper

It's getting grim out there. It's winter in Harperland. The bay has frozen over so the swans are back looking for food. Like we'll all soon be doing if the Cons keep tanking the economy.I haven't come across a cheery progressive since Christmas Day, and they were drunk.I'm haunted by Michael Harris' line in his story I linked to yesterday:The kiss that will awaken Sleeping Beauty is the promise of a land that is so much bigger than the single issue of the economy.But on the other hand, when I think of what the state of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Rosenberg writes about the high-priced effort to undermine public institutions and the collective good in the U.S. And Paul Krugman highlights how the Republicans’ stubborn belief in the impossibly of good government (regardless of large amounts of evidence that such a thing is possible and desirable) has produced the U.S.’ combination of waste and gridlock: On issues that range from monetary policy to the control of infectious disease, a big chunk of America’s body politic holds views that are completely at odds with, and completely unmovable by, actual experience. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Can Canadians Be Bought By The Grubby Stephen Harper?

He hasn't been seen for days, since he sent his shabby minions out to announce that he was proroguing the budget until April.So he's probably banging away on his piano in his gloomy basement, trying to figure out how he can restore the surplus he blew before he had one.So he can try to buy the votes of even MORE Canadians.But at least now, thanks to Jason Kenney, we have some idea of how he plans to do that. By whipping out a massive chain saw and cutting government to the bloody bone. Read more »

Montreal Simon: What Needs To Be Said About The CBC Scandals

Ever since the CBC was hit by the Ghomeishi scandal, and now the Amanda Lang Affair, the CBC haters in this country have been having a ball.Trying to use the scandals as just another excuse to kill the corporation. For those Cons hate it so much with a zealotry that borders on insanity.But what I find even more disturbing is that some progressive bloggers have been throwing up their hands and declaring that the CBC is beyond saving, and should simply be scrapped. Just like that.I won't mention their names for I have no desire to publicly (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Ghosts of Scandals Past

By proroguing the budget until April, and presumably cancelling any plans for an early election, Stephen Harper has guaranteed himself a visit from the Ghosts of Scandals Past.And I'm not just talking about Mike Duffy, or Dean del Mastro who will be sentenced later this month.Or his old friend Bruce Carson who will also have his day in court on corruption charges…

Or even a possible appearance by the ghost of Pamela Wallin.Because now he's also facing the prospect of having to confront the ghost of Arthur Porter…Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Alberta, and the House of Saud

Well let's face it, it's not a great time to be an Albertan. Their Great Leader Stephen Harper's oily obsession with creating a Greater Albertonia his leading them to disaster.Once they were living high off the bitumen, and lording it over the rest of us. Now the wheels are falling off their monster trucks, and they're heading for a recession. But when they look around for somebody to blame, maybe they should take a close look at their House of Harper and it's warm relationship with the House of Saud.Because then they might ask themselves, as Jeffrey (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Issue that Will Destroy Him

Gosh. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I wrote about that nightmarish Ipsos Reid poll that suggested that Stephen Harper had risen from his political grave, and was heading for another majority.And I said that I couldn't wait for another poll, to see if the numbers were more encouraging.And whether the sagging economy might take him down with it.And in that regard the news couldn't be better. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and his Ghastly Boyfriends in Saudi Arabia

In the latest chapter of the grotesque love story between Stephen Harper and the backward rulers of Saudi Arabia, today I have both good news and bad news.The good news is that the brutish flogging of the blogger Raif Badawi has been at least temporarily postponed. The case of a Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes has been referred to the Supreme Court by the king's office, the BBC has learned. Blogger Raif Badawi's wife said the referral, made before he was flogged 50 times last Friday, gave him hope that officials would end his punishment. A second (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Oliver Milman reports on research showing how humanity is destroying its own environmental life support systems. And our appetite for exploitation is proving a failure even from the standpoint of the pursuit of shortsighted greed, as David Dayen considers how the recent drop in oil prices – and consequent market forces limiting further production – may affect a financial sector relying on constant expansion.

- Michael Harris offers another look at the real Stephen Harper to counter the barrage of selective imaging we’ll see throughout the year. And Bob Hepburn discusses the need (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and My Horrible Majority Nightmare

It was a horrible nightmare. There was Stephen Harper in the musty basement of his House of Pain.Chained to a chair by the young fanatics running the PMO, to prevent their beloved master from blowing apart at the seams, under the weight of all that bad economic news.Or stumbling out into the street in the middle of the night, dressed only in his pyjamas, screaming: "I'm STILL a Great Economist Leader. And I'm not CRAZY !!#@!!But then just as I'm thinking oh goody, at least he's restrained. And all that bad news will surely finish him off. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Breaking: The Harper Cons Prorogue the Budget

Uh oh. In my last post I said that I wasn't sure whether Oily Joe Oliver knew what he was doing.But it turns out the situation is even worse than I thought.One moment he's claiming we have nothing to worry about. Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the government is confident it can balance the next federal budget without scaling back on new tax measures and still turn up a small surplus, despite falling oil prices.And that he isn't really worried about oil prices tanking.The next moment he's proroguing the budget !!! Read more »

Eh Types: Fear Campaign

Fear is a primal response, instilled in us by evolution as a survival mechanism. Recognizing when to be afraid has kept our species alive on a planet where we are far from being the fastest or strongest. Fear can also be irrational, making people do strange things. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are hoping fear […]

Montreal Simon: All The Ways Stephen Harper Could Soon Be Gone

It's one of my fondest dreams, the day Stephen Harper finally leaves. And it can't happen soon enough.Because I honestly believe that him and his ghastly Cons are losing touch with reality, or think they can brainwash us all.And that we are all FOOLS.Because there he was in that latest Con propaganda video I ran last night. Telling Canadians that even though he blew the surplus before he had one, and even though experts are warning he's flirting with a deficit.He's STILL a Great Economist Leader…Read more »