Friday, July 20, 2007

With friends like that...

Adam Radwanski has a strange way of complimenting Stephane Dion.

Stephen Harper will never, ever face weaker opposition than he has from Stephane Dion in the past seven months...

...Admittedly, he's still not exactly lighting any fires; the Liberals aren't moving up so much as the Tories are sinking...

Interesting comments too. The first one by 'Wet Back' is very thought-provoking.

And I like this bit from the second one:

And we have yet to hear Dion's costing out of fully implementing Kyoto.
And... the significance that will have on health, education, infrastructure budgets.
To name three.

Dion's silence has him at exactly the same place Martin was when he resigned.
Once Dion opens his mouth, down, down he goes.

Kept those columns coming, Adam!

22 comments:

Moebius said...

I've made the point here before, that SH only looks good when compared to an extremely weak leader like Dion.

Harper was strong in his first year, and had everything under control, but has lost focus. His Afghan and Israel policies were correct and principled, and the pre-budget discussions were favourable, then came a budget that Chretien could have written.

He's now backing away from Afghanistan, Dion is stealing his income-splitting policies, etc.

I voted for a change, and got more of the same.

Moebius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moebius said...

Another quick point, Dion will be toast in/after the next election, and the Libs will get someone better. If the CPC doesn't react long before that, they will be in trouble.

I strongly respect Dion and his work against separatism after '95, but he's not a natural leader. His embrace of environmentalism/Kyoto at all costs will hurt him eventually, when he has to cost his policies.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Moebius is right, Harper is the best of the worst. His backing away from Afghanistan is understandable, and probably the best course of action though. And Dion is not going to steal his income-splitting policies cuz he can't afford that AND his environmental policies. Dion's just saying that cuz he wants to try to appease Garth and scare Harper.

My problem is with the budgets. Harper could have and should have pushed a little harder than he did. We were all expecting something more .. I dunno.. conservative out of him for the second budget at least.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, I guess we're all a little disappointed with the whole lot of them.

Moebius said...

Let's express how disappointed we are with them, and maybe things will change.

My impression before the last budget was, introduce full income splitting, beg off on the next 1% GST decrease, and then force an emininently winnable election.

Instead, they did the other thing.....

Kingston said...

Does anyone else think that Mr.Dion's comment was more to give them wiggle room if it appears in some abbreviated form in the next budget because it is going to be super popular if it comes out.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kingston, that is a very interesting perspective. So he may be hedging his bets, right?

Moebius said...

That is exactly what it's about. Dion is defusing a future problem.

Before the last budget, they were really worried about it. They were damned lucky that it wasn't done, and an election called.

Another CPC blunder.

Kingston said...

J, that is the first think that popped into my mind when I read it this morning.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Aha. So Mr. Dion may be a bit more crafty than I gave him credit for.

Mmm...

Kingston said...

It is not a blunder yet Moebius, Whoever introduces it is going to get the credit for it, its a blunder if they let the LPC or NDP start advocating for it first in the public forum. At this point, Mr.Dion still has grave concerns which means he is still worried about his base on it. This should not be a worry to the CPC base in anyway. Mr. Harper would increase his base and pick up a large portion of the small L side of the voting spectrum. Plus I just think it is the right thing to do.
Disregard the NDP comment above, Mr. Layton's base would deploy him to Afgan for suggesting income splitting,LOL

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Here's someone else with similar thoughts.

SouthernOntarioan said...

My impression before the last budget was to cut, cut, cut and cut. Moderate tax decreases while focusing on paying down the debt. Reduce government spending or hold it to the level of inflation with the exception for the armed forces which badly need money.

Instead we received more government spending, a half-hearted attempt to pay down the debt, some targeted tax cuts (thanks though, I actually received a bundle =) but anyways), etc...

It wasn't a bad budget, but i think we all expected it to be less like previous Liberal budgets.

Actually, just on this note, Stephen Harper on taking the job as leader of the then Canadian Alliance never saw himself as a future PM according to people I've spoken to who know him. He saw his job as more of an interim leader, a place holder and organization builder. His job was to keep the party together (remember how bad things were then? 10% in the polls), merge with the PCs and make the party more viable. That was why after the 2004 election when they 'only' won ~100 seats that he offered his resignation immediately.

Hence, the logic went, a better candidate would come along, replace Harper and beat the Liberals. BUT, I still can see no better alternative to Harper as leader.

Baird isn't, MacKay isn't, Ambrose isn't. Any thoughts on a possible replacement?

Moebius said...

It's still a semi-blunder to allow Dion to promote something that would be a real vote-getter, as if it were his idea. He will then claim that he is setting the agenda. Luckily, he's being really wishy-washy about it, so he won't gain much. Garth might win some brownie points.

Regarding other candidates for PM, there aren't too many good ones, maybe Prentice. SH doesn't allow too many stars to shine.

I'm a big fan of Diane Abl. (don't ask me to spell her name), but she's probably too abrasive to be PM (although SH made it!).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

S.O. - Interesting discussion. That's right about Harper. He is doing the job because he's the one to do it best for the moment. I agree that the budget was less than inspiring, although there were a few things I did like in it.

Don't forget that in order to pass a budget in a minority government like this he needs enough in their to appeal to at some of the other parties. When you're the only right-wing party, of course you're going to offend some of the grass roots.

And then the Liberal-dominated Senate held it up anyway. I understand it only got through there with a deal about the Kyoto bill.

I think the best thing would be for Dion to force an election with the help of the other parties. Let's have it out once and for all.

Moebius - Regarding other candidates for PM, there aren't too many good ones, maybe Prentice.

Yup. I totally agree. Prentice has had a lot of experience on the very difficult native file, and he handles himself well. He will be the next leader of the CPC, IMHO.

It's still a semi-blunder to allow Dion to promote something that would be a real vote-getter, as if it were his idea.

Actually, the Finance Minister was giving this whole deal serious consideration. So, I wouldn't say that Dion could promote it as his idea. Anyway, he'd never go for it because it strays to far from the whole Nanny-state daycare theory that the left are so fond of.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Aha. So Mr. Dion may be a bit more crafty than I gave him credit for.
Unlikely....

Kingston said...

12 months ago I would of said Mr.McKay had a good shot at it. Now, Wow, No idea, Mr. Lord keeps poking his name into my mind but I do not know if the western part of the party is ready for a Quebec born, NB raised PM. They might have to go outside the party which is another story all together. What about Mr. Hill, he is pretty respected on the Hill from what I can gather reading about from articles.

SouthernOntarioan said...

How about Rahim Jaffer? He's not bad, has a little baggage, but I haven't heard much from him lately.

Diane Ablonzcy (?) is an attack dog, like Baird. A Prime Minister needs to be less of an attack dog and more of a leader. Stephen Harper alternates between attack dog and leader unfortunately.

I could see Bernard Lord, but a couple problems, one of which is that he doesn't have strong roots in the small-c conservative movement. He'd be a good person to get into Parliament and once he has become familiar with caucus take over.

Moebius said...

Let's put full income splitting into the budget and watch to see if the opposition would vote against it!

Not likely.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Let's put full income splitting into the budget and watch to see if the opposition would vote against it!

Wouldn't that be great? I would love to see Stephane Dion order his caucus to vote against the budget and then have Garth Turner against the wall trying to decide if he should kowtow to the leader or follow his 'conscience'!!!

Moebius said...

I was completely dumbfounded when Dion ran for the leadership, and completely stupefied when he won.

I told my wife that this was a huge error by the Libs, and even bet her 5$ he would be gone before the next election. He's an intellectual who served his country well post-referendum, but is absolutely not electable as a PM.

He's not really crafty, he's just reacting to SH as best he can, because the Libs are bankrupt of ideas.

This from someone not particularly happy with the CPC party performance in the last few months!