Tuesday, March 25, 2008

La révolte silencieuse against the emperor with "no instinct"

For Canadian political junkies, these are interesting times.

The Globe's Daniel Leblanc gives us a peek into the inner turmoil of the Liberal party's Quebec ranks, and it ain't a pretty picture (Dion facing revolt in Quebec ranks).

We first heard of this discord several weeks ago when Joël-Denis Bellavance alluded to a révolte silencieuse on Mike Duffy Live. Both Bellevance and Jean LaPierre had heard rumours that Bob Rae had control of the Quebec wing and was wanting to wait until the March 17th by-elections had passed and Rae had time in front of the cameras in Parliament before forcing an election.

However, the Silent Revolt is getting louder - LeBlanc suggests even more serious in-fighting and lack of faith in Stéphane Dion. Lisa Frulla in particular is surprisingly candid with her remarks:

“He has no instinct,” former Liberal minister and political commentator Liza Frulla said in an interview.

“At a certain point, people feel it if there is something wrong, even if they don't know exactly what it is. But he, poor Stéphane, doesn't feel it.”

She also has strong words for Dion's Quebec lieutenant:

Ms. Frulla also said publicly what many Liberals are saying privately about Mr. Dion's lieutenant in Quebec, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette.

“She is abrasive and she is narcissistic,” Ms. Frulla said.

The former minister of Canadian Heritage argued that Ms. Hervieux-Payette is failing to connect with grassroots organizers.

The more people know her, the more they run away. She has met a number of riding association presidents, and these people … are leaving,” Ms. Frulla said.

(I sure can agree with her on that one. I can barely stand to watch the woman on MDL.)

In any case, it would appear that Quebec cannot be counted on for Liberal support at this moment in time, which may push the likelihood of an election off until the fall or later - especially after the dismal performance of the LPC in two of the four recent by-elections.

If that happens, it will be hard to imagine Bob Rae ranting about the government on one hand, but then actually joining the Party of Hand Warmers on the other, as the LPC continues to run away from votes in the Commons. Will Bob Rae declare mutiny?

Which leads me to the slugfest between Jim Flaherty and Dalton McGuinty. Why would Flaherty continually poke McGuinty in the eye regarding tax policy and its alleged affect on the economy?

The answer may lie in John Ivison's observations in today's Post:

...But Mr. Flaherty's unprecedented interference in Ontario's budgetary process was not designed to persuade his Ontario counterpart, Dwight Duncan, to shred the already printed budget and present a cobbled-together alternative more to his liking.

It was designed to send the message that, even though many Ontarians often think of the federal Conservatives as villains, they are really the "goodies" -- the guardians of fiscal probity. By contrast, Liberals, both federal and provincial, are spendthrifts who will lead us all into a new era of deficits, unemployment, homelessness and rickets...


So all this may well be a carefully honed-plan to set up the CPC as looking like the party to rely on in times of economic difficulties which would, if it all goes according to Hoyle, allow a rich harvest of discontented Ontario voters assuming a worsening of the economic downturn - especially if provinces that follow Flaherty's advice end up faring better than Ontario.

And with the Quebec wing in tatters and Ontario voters looking for responsible, effective fiscal policy, the scene becomes fertile for either an election with positive results for the Conservatives, or else the Liberals continue to enable the present government to enjoy a tacit majority.


Your move, mon petit empereur.

* * * *
Update: Via Jack's Newswatch - This is an absolute must read by Luc Schulz: Ontario's Economy Run by Monkeys.

Another interesting theory here: Ottawa Citizen - Bash Ontario, Win Voters Elsewhere.

CTV - Dion urges restive Quebec wing to pull itself together.

Also worth reading - Fuschi's Canadian Forum - The great (taxcuts vs. bribes) debate.

Terence Corcoran - In Ontario, it's spend and be damned.

25 comments:

Jeff Davidson said...

So all this may well be a carefully honed-plan to set up the CPC as looking like the party to rely on in times of economic difficulties which would, if it all goes according to Hoyle, allow a rich harvest of discontented Ontario voters assuming a worsening of the economic downturn.

the utter genius of it! a finance minister who left the province with a massive deficit while provincial finance minister lectures a majority govt on how to run things.

it seems to be paying off, another poll for CANWEST, yes, CANWEST, shows yet another tie in support. the LPC is up and harper's conservatives are down.

after failing to move popular support in the right direction after over 2 years of ideal political conditions, how can you swallow the pablum with such apparent ease?

you may choose to ignore what the vast majority of polling tells us, harper has NO momentum. the writing is on the wall.

6 by-elections have been held in the last 2 years. harper has won 2 and dion has won 3.

let's review.
harper, who folks around here claim is wildly popular and on a sure course to majority govt has lost popular support and the majority of the by-elections. after pouring millions of dollars of CPC money into discrediting dion, they're absolutely no closer to a majority govt than the day they took office. in fact, given their sinking popularity in ontario and their surprising lack of support in quebec ( a province where they have sunk billions ), they could lose their slim minority.

flaherty is betting on conditions worsening in ontario. he thinks that we will blame mcguinty.

everyone knows that cutting ontario tax rates will do nothing to combat the rise of the loonie, the cost of energy and cheap labour overseas.

harper thinks he can stand in front of the country and explain that the economic downturn that occurred on his watch is ontario's fault.

this might please the gloating westerners with the one trick pony
they call an economy. however, unless he has some way of pulling more support from the west, he's still buggered anywhere east of winnipeg.

yes, pissing off the biggest province in the country makes perfect sense. clever. very clever.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jeff, the language in that comment is borderline deletable, but I'll let it stand.

If Flaherty's plan is so full of holes and the poll results so favourable to the Liberals, then why doesn't your party force an election? Why does it continue to prop up the Conservative government?

Ruth said...

This mess that the Liberals inherited in Ontario gets bigger every story that I read. Nobody mentions the big health tax, pay for your own eye exams and chiropractors now, and the health care is getting worse every day. Can't see that much has improved with McGuinty in charge, unless the union workers are maybe happier.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

unless the union workers are maybe happier.

That is why we don't have eye exams, chiropractors, etc. now.

Anonymous said...

Mcguinty's health care plan:
take away eye exam civerage, then have ab ad campaign encouraging restaurants and others to PRINT LARGER.
Nanny state mentality.

jeffy observes:

"flaherty is betting on conditions worsening in ontario. he thinks that we will blame mcguinty"

Trawnna Libs won't blame Mcguinty jeffy..don't worry.They will keep blaming Harris.
But try to get your head around the fact that all of Ontario doesn't live in Trawnna.

Anonymous said...

here's a clue - watch carefully the reaction of the master of kicking ass in canadian politics as he coils against Jim Flaherty. He wouldn't do that if he didn't think Flaherty was a threat.

Flaherty in fact is going by the book.

Whose book I wonder?

Anonymous said...

How about your leader grow a few Jeff and put those polls to the voting public right about now.

Wait for it folks - more blame and no ideas, no money, no support.

it's not easy to make priorities.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Rae the one who put Ontario in debt? if you bring up Flaherty's past record then it is open to Rae as well...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Flaherty in fact is going by the book.

Whose book I wonder?


Exactly what I was thinking!!!

Anonymous said...

Right! Rae, now McGuinty are "taking Ontario back to the bad old "Bob Rae days" of high taxes and even higher unemployment"(from Ivison's column).

Rae's your problem now Jeffy.

McGuinty's still Ontario's problem.

As the number of Ontario students declines at a rapid rate, we're still topping up the salaries and bureaucrats.

Check out the latest review of all those poor, poor public servants who now make up the Ontario $100K club....released a few weeks ago.

Shame.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Right! Rae, now McGuinty are "taking Ontario back to the bad old "Bob Rae days" of high taxes and even higher unemployment"(from Ivison's column).

Good point. If there isn't a 'best before' date on the Mike Harris argument, then there isn't one on the 'Bob Rae' argument either.

They can't have it both ways.

Jeff Davidson said...

If Flaherty's plan is so full of holes and the poll results so favourable to the Liberals, then why doesn't your party force an election? Why does it continue to prop up the Conservative government?

obviously, the LPC will force an election when they think they have favourable conditions. mr. harper employed similiar tactics before he brought down paul martin's minority govt.

this stalemate won't last forever.if harper has any chance of getting re-elected with a majority, or a minority for that matter, he needs ontario.

polling in this province suggests that the CPC has been steadily losing ground. in fact, the spread has been quite large.

will the politics of mr. flaherty's position help him here?
obviously the braintrust at the CPC thinks so. time will tell.

Anonymous said...

And Harper/Flaherty know it!

"Pick your fights, goes the saying, and the saying is right. You shouldn't take a swing at everything that moves. Instead, pick a fight you can win. Pick a fight when you are ready. Most of all, pick a fight only for a cause you believe in. Don't waste your passion."(Kinsella - p. 181 - The War Room)

Harper/Flaherty have picked their passion.

Dion/Rae/McGuinty have picked theirs too: Dion picked make believe scandals involving dead guys and NAFTA, McGuinty picked the NDP left-of-centre Ontario pocket all the way to a majority. The records and in the case of Mr. Dion's own words and caucus members, priorities aren't easy and he didn't get the job done.

Thanks Warren!

Ruth said...

Would he be thought of any better if Mr. Flaherty was only speaking up for his constituents in his Ontario riding. I think all MP's at times have spoken up for their riding before a budget.

Alberta Girl said...

"Jeff, the language in that comment is borderline deletable, but I'll let it stand."

Good for you Joanne - that way we get the see more of the ramblings of liberal partisan jeff davidson who continues to throw polls out that show what he wants them to show (note he doesn't show other polls that show the gap much higher)

Jeff - just for your information, polls in Alberta were predicting that Ed would have a much smaller majority, even a minority and some even said he would lose.

Of course - in the only poll that really counts, Ed slaughtered the other parties.

I note that again today - after all their rumblings about an election after Easter, the Liberals are once again saying they are not going to the polls.

Could it be that their internal polling is just not showing the support you claim they have.

Alberta Girl said...

""Pick your fights, goes the saying, and the saying is right. You shouldn't take a swing at everything that moves. Instead, pick a fight you can win. Pick a fight when you are ready. Most of all, pick a fight only for a cause you believe in. Don't waste your passion."(Kinsella - p. 181 - The War Room"

Heh, Heh...Hey Jeffy - maybe you could send this little ditty to Liberal strategists because they must not be listening to Kinsella as they have been swinging at EVERYTHING they can in an attempt to bring the Tories down and yet, NOTHING seems to work. Poll after poll goes horribly wrong when the Liberals and the MSM dwell on these Pseudo Scandals week after week after week only to find out Canadians ARE NOT thinking like they are.

Face it Jeff - no matter how hard they try, the Liberals will not be able to paint any other party as being as corrupt as they were.

But you go on thinking like that if it helps you sleep at night.

OMMAG said...

Had a big laugh on this matter .... and James Travers puts the icing on the cake in the Red Rag of Toronto...

No Sissies Need Apply
Of course Travers believes that the rightful governing party of Canada is going to come back and that of course their next PM will be Canada's next Great PM!

Would not occur to Jimbo that the Next GREAT PM is HERE NOW and his name is Stephen Harper now would it?

I do however like the inference he makes to the effete fool Dion.....

Kingston said...

Jeff Do you think you might want to mention that when you quote about by-elections that there were seven not six my friend.

Two were Bloc and five were Liberal. After the bi-elections there were one Bloc, one NDP, 2 CPC and 3 LPC(out of these, 4 of the 5 were traditional safe LPC seats.
How can you call that a loss for the CPC.

Is that the new math they are teaching in the LPC now, like twelve members showing up in the HofC out of the entire caucus means we are opposing. Get real my friend.

paulsstuff said...

"Is that the new math they are teaching in the LPC now, like twelve members showing up in the HofC out of the entire caucus means we are opposing. Get real my friend."

Actually Liberal math consists of stealing $40 million, and offering to pay back $1 million.

Here's a few facts for you Jeffy.

1. Current Liberal MP Bob Rae ran up Ontario's debt so dramatically he actually contemplated having the province declare bankruptcy.

2. Harris/Flaherty actually balanced the budget faster than Paul Martin, and did so despite the fact Martin and Chretien slashed Billions in transfer payments to the province.

3. Then Liberal finance minister Greg Sorbara had to admit that Flaherty had indeed balanced the budget for the last full year Conservatives were in power.

4. Harris/Flaherty actually increased health care spending at a faster rate than McGuinty.

5. The cost of servicing the debt ran up under both Rae and Turner took money that could have been used for health care, infrastructure, education, etc.

6. Harper promised to reduce the massive federal surplus(overtaxation), by lowering taxes. And he did.

McGuinty's claim of the $5.6 billion budget was based on an audit that included billions in debt not normally claimed by any previous government, including Ontario Hydro's debt. Ontario was hammered by Sars, Mad Cow, Softwood Lumber dispute, and the blackout that cost days of government income from both income and sales taxes. And I believe the federal Liberal's offered $100 million for assistance, with MAYBE another $100 million later. The cost of Sars alone was estimated to have cost the province $2 billion.

And McGuinty has done such a wonderful job with the provinces finances that our hospital here in Ajax is going to lay off 10% of the nurses. But fear not, perhaps some of those members of the Ontario Cricket Club who received $1 million last year from McGuinty can volunteer as candy stripers to help replace the layed off nurses.

p.s. Jeffy. Internal party polling by both the Liberal's and Conservative's has Harper between 37% and 42%, which is why your spineless leader is afraid of forcing an election.

Anonymous said...

And we've just heard a budget about nothing at all....go figure.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And we've just heard a budget about nothing at all.

Yeah. Big yawn.

Ruth said...

National Newswatch is reporting that Buzz Hargrove is running for the Liberals against Jack Layton in the next election. Should be interesting.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I saw that too, Ruth. Can't find any confirmation in MSM yet, but it would be interesting.

Kingston said...

Tell me it would not be hilarious is the CPC candidate came up the middle and won in that riding if it is true.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kingston, that would be so sweet!