Wednesday, September 25, 2013

They Tell Us It's About Principles

Tim Harper writes that the prime minister and the mayor of Toronto  are a political odd couple:

Harper would treat a meeting with a voter in an unscripted moment as a crisis. Ford ditches his aides and wanders into crowds at a Saturday night street festival on the Danforth.

Harper works hard to avoid over exposure. Ford has his own open line show. The prime minister seeks political advantage in a squeaky clean image, proudly denying marijuana use in his younger years while

Ford laughs, and, without missing a beat, agrees he smoked “a lot.’’

What explains this oxymoron? The next election. Both men are shopping for votes:

Harper has signalled he believes in a Ford re-election in 2014 and he’s quite happy to help him, as long as the mayor lends him the support Harper will need to keep and grow his suburban beachhead the following year in the 2015 election campaign.

The next federal election could indeed hinge on the GTA and 905 suburbs that slavishly back Ford.
The prime minister and his finance minister, Jim Flaherty, have clearly decided that the    scandal-prone, gaffemeister mayor will not have another nuclear misstep between now and voting day in 2014. This is not merely Conservatives deciding Ford is safe.

This is a full-out plan to embrace Toronto’s stumbling mayor Harper and Flaherty get a two-fer in one fell swoop, not only helping Ford with the subway announcement, but undermining the provincial Liberals as well, providing a potential bump for their other ally in Toronto, provincial Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

So what if this feds distrust between the federal government and the government of the largest province? This is all about politics.

And they tell us it's all about principles.


CK said...

Here I was thinking this was just about Harper shopping for votes around the Scarborough area by bribing them with 660 million for a subway extension.

It has been said that the photo op Harper & Ford shared together recently likely means that the alleged videos of Ford smoking crack are really gone. Goes to Harper's so-called squeaky clean image. However, even if that video actually turns up (and I'm of the belief that close before the mayoral election, the alleged videos will start magically surfacing) or the police investigation of Ford's "friends" links him, it wouldn't be the first time that Harper has aligned himself with people who are really not squeaky clean (Bruce Carson, Nathan Jacobson and Arthur Porter come to mind) and yes, in some cases, people with substance abuse issues (Rahim Jaffer, anyone?). Nothing to see here with the often drunk & disorderly Ford. And why not? Harper's cheerleaders have proven time and again that any kind of bad behaviour is ok as long as you're not a "tax and spend soshalist".

Another thing, it looks like Olivia Chow will be running against Ford. If Chow wins (which is certainly a possibility, if polls are to be believed), would this little quid pro quo deal of Harper & Ford become void?

Owen Gray said...

That's a really good question, CK. The Harper organization is nothing, if not cynical.

They're betting that the suburbs will choose Ford, because he's one of their own. And they're betting that Harper will take the 'burbs, too.

But even people in the suburbs eventually get tired of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Harper is the worst, most corrupt PM in the recorded history of this Nation. Harper's list of degenerates, is as long as his arm. Harper's close relationship with Ford, produces nausea in scores of citizens.

Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. That Harper is a Dictator and a control freak? I don't doubt that for a minute.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper rails against corruption, Anon. But, obviously, it's all about getting votes.

Anonymous said...

It is about votes, and where the votes go, the taxpayer money will follow. Asshole Harper is trying to use Idiot Ford to garner more right wing votes. I doubt that it is any more complicated than that.

Owen Gray said...

There is no shared vision, Anon. And the only mission is getting re-elected.