Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Progressives should tone down Liberal hatred and re-focus fire on the real enemy: Stephen Harper

I have been hearing of torrent of criticism and putdowns against Justin Trudeau and the Liberals from NDP friends and acquaintances for months.   Attacks such as "airhead" and "moron" and "unprincipled" have been echoing on my Facebook timeline and Twitter, mimicking attacks from the Conservatives in their well-financed ad campaign. 

But I say those lefties should tone it down a bit and re-focus their fire on the real enemy: Stephen Harper.  Why?  Because the NDP needs the Liberals to make significant gains in this election.   Yes, you read that correctly.

I reject the notion that two strong centre-left parties will just divide the anti-Tory vote.  That's partially true.  But a stronger Liberal Party with much more than the paltry 19% they took in 2011 will rob the Conservatives of the votes they need to slip into another majority. 

Blue Liberals, red Tories and centre-right folks tired of Stephen Harper's ways will probably still end up voting for him if the only alternative seems to be the NDP.  That's what happened in 2011.  I'll be damned if the same thing happens again this year.

To avoid this, those centre-right folks (especially in the huge Greater Toronto Area) need a strong Liberal option that appears competitive.  There are literally dozens of ridings across the country where the Liberals will be the main competition against the Tories.  The Grits remain the strongest challengers there with great local candidates.  I have a sick feeling that should this federal election polarize too strongly between Harper's Conservatives and Mulcair's NDP, it'll only benefit the former in those dozens of ridings and push the Tories toward another majority.  Clearly with their continued attacks on Justin Trudeau, that's what the Conservatives are hoping.

Sure, the NDP dreams of winning over masses of voters in the 905 area of Toronto and beyond, taking seats they've never come close to taking in the past.  The NDP did win 15 out of 25 seats in Calgary in the May provincial election, after all.  Certainly they can do the same elsewhere, some insist.

No, they won't.  First, the Alberta NDP was the only serious centre-left option in that fight.  The Alberta Liberals and the little Alberta Party combined won only 6% of the vote.  The Alberta NDP also benefited from a divided right.  We have the opposite situation federally, with a strong Liberal Party sharing the opposition vote.  Plus Harper's Conservatives aren't anywhere near as detested as the Alberta PCs.   They are still tied for first place in two credible polls out this week and are very much in the federal game.  Their best hope remains suppressing opposition support while re-inspiring their base to turn out. 

Yes, Trudeau's Liberals have suffered a correction since last year in the polls.  The shine is definitely off Justin's leadership rose.  His inexperience and lack of gravitas have left many progressives hoping for change turning to the more experienced, tougher Tom Mulcair.

I do believe that Mulcair's NDP will form the greatest overall threat to the Conservatives this year, but not in every single riding.  The NDP's new support in the low 30s is not about to decline.  Trudeau's mistakes on Bill C-51 were the straw that broke the camel's back.  Those votes are lost to the NDP this October.  The NDP may even be able to push their vote up from 31% last time but I'm not predicting it'll get much higher than 33% or 34%, unless of course Harper's campaign truly goes off the rails.  If a higher Grit vote can pull the Tories down from 40% last time to 32% or 31% or even lower this time, that'll help the NDP win the most seats.

I do think Trudeau still has considerable abilities and appeal.  I don't usually like to link to Warren Kinsella, but he's bang on here.  He's also largely correct here explaining the Liberals' fall from grace and how Justin may fix the situation.
With a stronger Liberal caucus this year, perhaps two or three times its current size, the result will either be a minority Conservative government or a minority NDP government.  And that'll spell a quick end to Stephen Harper's reign as there's no way the Trudeau Liberals will allow Harper to survive longer than his new Throne Speech.  While I doubt we'll see a formal NDP-Liberal coalition as some would like, I'm sure some working arrangement similar to the 1985 Peterson-Rae accord will be in the works.

That would be a government to celebrate.  So lefties, please lighten up on the anti-Trudeau attacks.  You're doing Harper's bidding. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tories spent $750M of taxpayers' money to promote themselves, then attack the NDP for allegedly spending $3M

Considering their own sorry record (which includes spending $750 million of taxpayers' money on partisan government advertising that merely promotes the Conservative Party's agenda), it's pretty rich of the Harper Conservatives to be attacking their NDP opponents over this.  

Some would call it hypocrisy in the extreme.  I sure do. 

I'd happily vote Liberal if I lived in Eglinton-Lawrence (unless the NDP runs a star candidate).

Lately I've been tempted to vote NDP in this upcoming federal election.  I'm still thinking about it in my home riding of Toronto Centre.  I'm going to wait to see how the campaign progresses between now and Oct 19th voting day before deciding.  

But if I lived in Eglinton-Lawrence, where the Liberals are the major challengers to Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver, I'd happily vote for newly-nominated Liberal candidate Marco Mendicino.  The NDP has no chance in that riding in this election (as they barely got 10% there last time.)  That 10% would come in handy helping defeat Oliver this year. 

Here's a clip of Mendicino on Monday's Power & Politics on CBC:

I have no doubt that opponents of the Harper government need to vote intelligently this year by supporting the progressive opposition candidate in their local riding that stands the best chance of victory.  There's no doubt the NDP and the Liberals can work together to make a better Canada should they have the seats in the House between them.  

In places where the Tories have no chance, I recommend you follow your heart.  That's what I intend to do. 


UPDATE Aug 17, 2015: With the NDP now running former Saskatchewan finance minister Andrew Thomson in Eglinton-Lawrence, I'd have to say I'd be undecided on how I'd vote in E-L.  I'd have to observe both local campaigns and see if Thomson's campaign was seriously targeting the riding.  If not, I'd still vote Liberal as their support is not just going to vanish just because the NDP can find a decent candidate.   Needless to say I'm happy to be voting in another riding and not have to make that tough choice. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Harperites in denial over new NDP strength

Why aren't the Harper Conservatives aiming their guns much yet at NDP Leader Tom Mulcair? 

I suspect that the Harperites are suffering from major denial when it comes to new NDP strength, sort of like Jim Prentice did.   Thus far, the best Harper and his team can muster in attacks against the NDP is the same old anti-socialist stuff they've been spouting arrogantly for years.   They assume public confidence in conservative orthodoxy remains high.   They're dead wrong. 

Tory attacks against JT have empowered the NDP
The Harperites are ignoring the fact that since Mulcair's NDP re-emerged as a viable winner in the spring (after the Alberta election), Tory support has fallen from mid 30s down to the high 20s.  When public confidence in Justin Trudeau's abilities seemed to dip, Conservatives fortunes also dipped.   All of that support transferred over to the NDP.    

I do think the Tory attack against Trudeau's readiness has actually empowered the NDP.   Voters who might've been sticking with Harper because they didn't like Trudeau now see Mulcair as a viable alternative and they're prepared to vote for him.  But will they stay with the NDP in October?   That's the big question.

Meanwhile, the Tories seem to be assuming they're fighting the 2011 election again.  They're not.  Trudeau's Liberals will never collapse as much as Ignatieff's team did.  Blue Liberals who are justifiably sick of Harper will return to the Liberal fold, not vote for Harper to block the NDP.  Blue Liberals like red Tories are no longer afraid of the NDP, especially under Mulcair. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

NDP's great, tough online ad "Enough" resembles my own

I've been waiting for Harper's political opponents to give the creep a taste of his own medicine.  I was thrilled this week when the NDP came out with this online ad, titled "Enough".  Today, the ad got a big thumbs up from an advertising critic. 

It immediately struck me how similar it was to a video I created earlier this month and posted (with very few hits to date) below, titled "Stephen Harper: Not the best person to be making the rules!":

We've known about this accumulation of Harper incompetence and corruption for years.  The list of untalented folks who won Harper's favour and high-paid appointments is long and disgraceful.  It puts Harper's judgment squarely in the cross hairs.  I knew something like this would make a great attack ad.

Of course, I had nothing to do with the NDP ad.  But I was so glad the NDP stepped up with their more-polished version, which has earned almost 300,000 views on YouTube in just five days!   Bravo.   This is what people like myself have wanted to see for a long time: the bully getting a punch back.

The public needs to drop any notion that Harper's judgment is tried and tested.  In fact, the opposite is true: he never was a high quality leader and his litany of appointments of idiots who went on to break the public trust is proof.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

So Eve Adams' boyfriend is a two-faced liar too?

It would seem so from this article.  

If this flimsy attack on NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is the best intelligence that Dimitri Soudas can offer the Liberals, it reinforces just how dumb it was to welcome his partner Eve Adams into the caucus this year (for she brought nothing of value on her own to the Liberal team or brand.)  

It also doubly reinforces the stupidity of tipping the scales in her favour in the Eglinton-Lawrence Liberal nomination race.   She'd lose the riding handily for the Grits.

I can't tell you how many progressive centrists (who would normally be Liberal voters) have mentioned Trudeau's acceptance of Eve Adams as one of their major reasons for losing faith in him.

All leaders make mistakes and this is a small one in the grand scheme of things.  I hope Trudeau regrets it soon.  Clearly, it would be best for everyone for Adams to lose the nomination and go away for good.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stephen Harper: Not the best person to be making the rules!

This is just a little video I created this week to stick it to our misguided Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose man-boy instincts and poor judgment have been degrading our politics for almost 10 years now. 

Part of his power has come from bullying his opponents with attack ads.  The latest have been taking videos without permission from news agencies and private charities to distort or hurt Justin Trudeau's reputation, whether it be a quick strip tease at a charity event or snippets of interview clips cut together to give a distorted view of Trudeau's position on fighting ISIS.

Well, now it's time for Harper to get a taste of his own medicine.  I urge you to share the video far and wide.   There are no distortions of Harper's record in it, though.  Just the facts about Harper's many mistakes of judgment, all put to Harper's own rendition of "Taking Care of Business."

Anyone who appointed Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Pierre Poilievre, Arthur Porter, Patrick Brazeau, Bruce Carson, Saulie Zajdel, Don Meredith, Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein to positions of power needs their head examined.  They also certainly need to be removed from office right away.