Thursday, April 06, 2006

Simpson's Implicit Message to Liberal Leadership Candidates

Here's his closing paragraph from today's online chat:
The Harper government's policies are givens. What the country needs, however, is a focus on its productivity, on using less energy, on becoming smarter and fairer. These are the kinds of ambitions almost all other countries enjoying success and preparing for the future are debating and pursuing. None of these policies point Canada in that direction. Perhaps when the famous five are done, with whatever changes are negotiated in the minority Parliament, we can get around to catching up in our public discourse with the rest of the successful world.

Issues of economic innovation and improved productivity have long been on Simpson's mind. (note point #6) While Harper busies himself with his 5 priorities and a tightly-lipped cabinet, it will be interesting to hear how various candidates in the Liberal leadership race debate alternatives on these more crucial issues to the country, and what impact it may have inside the House.

On that note, here's your evening laugh. Thanks to the "insider edition" firewall, you only get the first sentence from this Globe article. Fortunately, it is probably enough to discount the conclusions of the entire piece:
Stephen Harper has offered a Speech from the Throne that, barring the truly unforeseen, will lead to the re-election of the Conservative government in 2007, because he understands what his critics do not understand: the hidden fears of the middle class.

So this speech from the throne will lead to Harper's re-election in 2007 "barring the truly unforeseen". Heh. Conventional wisdom is so funny, as it turns on a dime without the slightest sense of irony. My favorite part of the conclusion has got to be that "truly", though.

Haven't we learned that election campaigns (or *gasp* who the opposition elects as leader) might actually matter to voters?


Blogger The Tiger said...

Ibbitson's point is that Harper is demogoguing middle-class fears, while the opposition are completely ignoring his tack.

I see some very dangerous candidates among the Liberal leadership contenders, but I do think that the next election is Harper's to lose.

He totally can lose it (and may), but here's my comparison. John Tory. He's a great, thoughtful Ontario PC leader, would make a wonderful premier, no-one has a bad word to say about the guy -- but he's probably not going to get elected next time out. Because McGuinty is doing a pretty decent job, after his rocky start.

After a second term, Tory may get his shot. I think the same holds federally. If Harper doesn't screw up too much, he shouldn't have such a tough time of it, with the twin advantages of freshness and incumbancy, in the next election.

That's my line of thinking, anyway.

We shall see. If the Liberals do a thorough house-cleaning and have a dynamic new leader, though, all bets are off.

6:37 PM  

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