Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Harper's Time Has Passed

The Liberals have answered the first of the Conservative attack ads against Justin Trudeau. That ad blew up in their faces. As Michael Harris wrote earlier this week:

In a word, instead of defining their political enemy, the Conservatives have defined themselves. Through years of incumbency, the Harper crowd has become an increasingly grumpy cabal of aging incumbents full of spite, malice and, of late, a bloated sense of entitlement. The Senate housing debacle shows how comfortably the party has settled into the easy chair of power.

With each display of bad manners and bad judgement in their zeal to damage the new Liberal leader, they will draw attention to the elephant in the room: their own increasingly dismal record in office. From orange juice to panda bears, things are beginning to slide.

There comes a time when television shows become tiresome. You've seen all the re-runs, and you change the channel. The ad shows Trudeau turning off the channel and taking credit for being a son, a teacher and  a leader.

If the Liberals do things right, they won't have to attack Harper. He has become his own auto-immune disease. Harris enumerates the symptoms:

At this moment in the Harper majority, the record is decidedly dog-eared and the polling ominous. According to pollster Frank Graves, the Liberals under Trudeau are on the rise. Even the immigrant vote the Tories worked so hard to win may be slipping back to the Grits. Meanwhile, Harper continues to degrade Canada’s democratic institutions in his pursuit of presidential-style governance. What passes for parliamentary democracy these days is budgets without the numbers, omnibus budget bills bigger than the Bible, and closure.

The system has become so politicized that even the top civil servant in the land is telling other civil servants that they can’t have budget information. Having already stifled scientists and bureaucrats, the info-minders in the PMO are now muzzling members of Mr. Harper’s own caucus. When your own zombies turn on you, you have to ask: What the junta is going on?

Victor Hugo wrote that "there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come." The corollary is: There is no one so impotent as a man whose time has passed -- because the people have seen through him.


Anonymous said...

I wish it were true that people have seen through Harper. However, we shouldn't rush to judgement. We've been surprised by Harper's election and re-election several times already - especially by his last, majority win. While we can argue that he didn't really win those elections since fewer than 50% of Canadians voted for him, a win is a win, and it speaks loudly. Let's not feed our petulance with phantasies that Canadians finally have seen through him.
It will take more than wishful thinking to see Harper hoisted on his own petard. Not only the NDP and Liberal election teams but others with a voice like yours must ensure it happens by methodically reminding the public what his weaknesses have been, and how they have effected our lives for the worst.

Lorne said...

Class versus crass is the contrast that comes to mind in comparing the the two ads, Owen.

Owen Gray said...

They say that attack ads work, Lorne. But, as you wrote the other day in one of your posts, hope trumps despair.

Owen Gray said...

You're right, Anon. It ain't over 'til it's over. But I tend to agree with Lawrence Martin. Harper won because the Liberals defeated themselves.

The Conservatives seem to be on the same trajectory. But only an educated and involved public will take note of the mess Harper has created.

Anonymous said...

Please let it be so, but don't forget that the Conservatives will resort to anything to stay in control of Canada. Classy ads won`t keep them from throwing cash at the country's media giants to keep the spin going. Their manipulation will continue unabated and largely unchallenged because a small minority of buffoons keep handing them the keys.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, that's true, Anon. I like to quote John Stuart Mill: "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."

Kim said...

I liked Trudeau's ad, good strong message. I hate the fact that he voted with Harper on FIPPA and the Anti terrorism bill. He is dangerous.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau's vote on FIPPA was disturbing, Kim. One step forward, one step back.