Wednesday, September 07, 2005

They Never, Ever Learn

September 25th, 2000:

"Will the Prime Minister, who disagrees with his finance minister on the high marginal rates of taxes and who now disagrees with his MPs, do one of two things? Will he either resign because he has no support over there or call an election based on his record of being the highest taxing leader in the G-7 countries?

-Stockwell Day, leader of the Canadian Alliance, in the House of Commons, providing Chretien with the excuse needed to call an early election later that Fall and leading to another Liberal majority government.

September 7th, 2005:
"The Liberal party thinks they've got great polls? Call the election - we've got the money, we've got the candidates, so ask them what the problem is."

-Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, on the eve National Caucus
Meeting, providing Martin with a possible excuse for an early election later that Fall, one most likely to lead to another Liberal majority government.


Anonymous Luke said...

I made a post on my site criticizing Harper's firings, but I think this is an excellent point and a parallel that few people seem to be picking up on. It's a failure of leadership, failure of vision and perhaps yet another sign of failure of the conservative ideology and movement in Canada. The media should be focussing on this a lot more, and if Martin and the Cabinet Ministers were wise, they might just start to 'slip up' and start 'accidentally' referring to Mr Harper, as Mr Day, from time to time.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

I was amused by Harper's two pronged argument:

1) We should not negotiate over soft-wood lumber; and

2) Martin should have called Bush.

Why do you call if you are not going to negotiate? Just to yell at the guy and waste his time?

4:45 PM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

It's not even the parallel between Day and Harper that I'm focusing on here - it's just their continued absolute lack of strategic insight into how electoral politics and posturing play out in this country. Nothing the Conservatives (at least the leadership) have done shows me they understand the first thing about how to win a majority of seats in this country. By now, they should be aware of the uphill battle they face and accept it, instead of behaving stupidly prior to and during elections, and then getting angry at everyone but themselves when they don't rally sufficient support.

4:50 PM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

As for the softwood lumber - it strikes me as reasonable that Martin call Bush to reiterate the importance Canada places on this issue, and to convey the message that continued defiance of NAFTA courts will result in consequences for the Bush administration.

But for such a call to have any meaning, we'd have to be serious about imposing specific countermeasures. And no one has put forward any solid ideas as to what they should be...

4:54 PM  
Blogger The Tiger said...

I was rather persuaded by Paul Wells' hypothetical strong-minded Martin response -- that it would be a waste of his time and Bush's time, as the real power to change it lies elsewhere (Congress, state governments). But neither Martin nor Harper have the wit to realize it and act accordingly.

Am in agreement with MacDuff re the CPC's lack of electoral smarts. With this gang, they ought to be in majority territory themselves. (But then, so should the Dems have been last year.)

5:24 PM  

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