Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creating His Own Reality

Some of the best and most insightful reporting on the Harper government has been done by Stephen Maher. Yesterday he wrote:

Stephen Harper took a bold step forward this week to a new kind of creative, performance-based politics, uncoupling himself from the mundane world of facts and deftly using confusion as a weapon.

Maher was referring to Harper's attack on the NDP's proposed cap and trade policy, which Maher put into historical perspective:

To understand how we got here, we need to go back to 2008, when Stephane Dion introduced his Green Shift, a complicated plan to impose a $40-a-tonne tax on carbon emissions – imagine a meter on smokestacks – and use the money to reduce income taxes.

The Conservatives attacked the idea relentlessly as a job killer. Dion defended it inexpertly, and the result was electoral disaster for the Liberals. Layton, who could see which way the wind was blowing, side-stepped the attacks by calling for a cap-and-trade scheme, meaning that industrial emissions would be capped, and companies could trade their emission allowances on a market. Back then, the position was also advocated by the Conservatives.

As John Baird said in 2008: “Carbon trading and the establishment of a market price on carbon are key parts of our Turning the Corner plan.”

In the House on Friday, Baird dutifully attacked the NDP for advocating the same idea.

Harper is betting that the voting public has a short memory; and he believes that, if he repeats the attack often enough, voters will accept his version of reality. Thomas Mulcair has rightly labelled the strategy The Big Lie. It comes right out of Dr. Goebbels' playbook. And it should tell Canadians what Stephen Harper can accomplish with less than 40% of the vote.


Anonymous said...

Stephen Harper is the big lie...


Owen Gray said...

His principles change with the political winds, Mogs.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper's attack on Mulcair was predictable. What was telling was how ill-prepared Mulcair was when it hit. Sure he called Harper a liar. Sure Harper was, is and always shalt be an unrepentant, shameless liar. But Mulcair still let Harper knock him from his perch. He let Harper put him on the defensive, allowed Harper to frame the narrative of the NDP policy. Denial is a terrible political position.

Let's not forget how Mulcair's predecessor, Layton, happily jumped aboard when Harper was putting the boots to Dion. Now it's the NDP leader getting his ribcage stomped.

Let's hope next time Mulcair is at least somewhat prepared to fight back. Surely experience shows that it's pointless to defend against Harper. You have to attack the bugger - relentlessly. Audace, audace, toujours audace.

Owen Gray said...

Bob Rae's characterization of Harper was pretty accurate, Mound -- "he throws for the head."

The only way to send him to the showers is to hit hard line drives back at the mound.

Eventually, you'll knock him out of the game.

lungta said...

The lie
The converted see it as a way to keep power
The opposition see it as a lie
The uninformed will absorb it
and when the multiple choice electoral question comes around
no matter how ridiculous the answer
some of the uninformed will choose it.
The harper machine has found the formula to railroad their devoid of vision agenda. Split the vote by any means, lies included and win on the odd votes lies get you.
It worked before and it will work again.
What amazes me is the casual flippant way both the ndp and the liberals treat this all out assalt on humanity in general and canada in particular.
They cling to their nuances of differing policies as HUGE separating points putting their infantile belief in party above this absolute threat to the fabric of canada
Together they have the power to stop harper
If they continue to refuse to stop him, if their parties are more important than canada how can they not be held equally responsible?
That harper lies is hardly news.
Go revisit the totally misleading bunch of lies he perpetuated via his fireside chat re:the evils of coalition as flying in the face of canadian democracy and his right to be pm "as elected" of canada.
All lies.
The biggest lie might be the one that everyone has swallowed, that the opposition really oppose as they work their way toward a replay of the last election.

Anonymous said...

Millions of Canadians say, Harper used the robo-call cheat, to win the election. He certainly is, trying to quash the investigation.

Harper wins by using, dirty tactics, dirty politics and his childish attack ads. Contempt for Harper, is growing by leaps and bounds. Even other country's, have nothing but contempt for Harper. They all know, we all know. It was another P.M. who saved our Canadian bacon, in this recession. Harper started out, with a $13 billion dollar surplus. Harper has Canada in the worst debt, in the recorded history of Canada.

Harper was Policy Chief, for his more than shady, Northern Foundation Party from 1989. When I read about that, everything about Harper, clicked right into place.

Lorne said...

Owen, I think that one part of a strategy to awaken the public to the disdain the Conservative Party has for anything remotely resembling the truth has to be the widespread dissemination of posts such as yours. The Conservatives' chief ally is widespread ignorance. Their chief enemy is an informed public.

Owen Gray said...

The truth is that both the Liberals and the NDP, at different times, have supported Harper's agenda, lungta.

They did so because they were afraid that the public would punish them in an election. When they did bring the Harper government down, they had lost the public's confidence.

Unless and until they act upon the courage of their convictions -- assuming they have convictions -- Harper will stay where he is.

Owen Gray said...

One can only hope that, for Canadians, everything about Harper clicks into place, Anon.

If they buy the Big Lie, nothing will change.

Owen Gray said...

An ignorant public is Harper's greatest ally, Lorne.

A knowledgeable public -- which has access to the kind of information he seeks to bury -- will send Harper back into the arms of the buffoons who launched his career.

kirbycairo said...

There is a clear difference between event surrounding Dion's Green Shift and the present NDP position. At the time the media primarily covered Harper's attack and Dion's rather ineffectual reaction. In the past week or so the media has been much quicker to cover the actual policy issues and more than once I have seen MSM representatives say explicitly that Harper has been attacking a policy he long advocated.

This is part of the change of mood that is making it very difficult for Harper to continue his traditional attack strategy. The same thing can be said for the whole "Dutch Disease" affair.

I don't think it is optimistic to say that Harper is wearing out his political currency (the way all leaders do) as people are proving to be weary of the relentless mindless attacks.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope, Kirby, that Canadians have tired of the Harper strategy. After all, there comes a point when re-runs of the same show become boring.

And a little of Mr. Harper goes a long way. We've had too much of him already.

Anonymous said...


Remember I said my intuition tells me Stephen Harper emptying out the Canadian Embassy in Iran was a prelude to war?

Guess what the a**hole could have stayed and moderated but now we have equal rhetoric coming from the mid-east supported by Russia and China. Steven does not even know the true definition of a Semite, which is a middle eastern person plain as the nose on his face...

Now we get this a prelude to a war;

I'd like to kick Stephen Harper in the a**:]


Owen Gray said...

Keep your cool, Mogs. Harper is ignorant of many things. And he's an expert at calling people names.

But, if we sink to his level, he wins.