Sunday, February 23, 2014

Harper's Achilles Heel

Some commentators were disappointed that both of Justin Trudeau's convention speeches were not barn burners. But Michael den Tandt writes that Trudeau's second speech was masterful in the way it went after those who voted for Stephen Harper the last time around. He did not demonize them:

Appealing directly to disenchanted Tories, Trudeau first debunked the notion of the Blue base as “some angry mob to be feared.” Rather, he told his audience, “the 5.8-million Canadians who voted Conservative aren’t your enemies. They’re your neighbours.”

If the Conservatives plan is to run on the theme of promises kept, Trudeau's plan seems to be to contrast promises with performance. He knows that hypocrisy is Stephen Harper's Achilles heel:

“This Conservative party is not the party of John A. Macdonald. It is the party of Stephen Harper. And here is the hard truth about Mr. Harper. I believe that as a young idealistic reformer, he was a principled man. But over eight years as Prime Minister, he has abandoned the principles he held dear. And not just about senators.”

Trudeau knows there is dissension in Conservative ranks. Income splitting is the most recent example. And so, it was income splitting that Trudeau turned to in his speech. It was a bad idea to begin with, he said. But on this issue -- like so many others -- it's beginning to look like Harper will again betray his principles:

“He looked straight into those cameras and told the nation that they were being treated unfairly, and if he was elected, he would right that wrong.”

Trudeau didn't chew up the scenery.  He didn't breathe fire and brimstone. He simply took direct aim at Harper's Achilles heel.


the salamander said...

.. Harper's achilles heel .. mmn..

Has anyone noticed how he walked.. with Obama in Mexico ? And he needs a tailor to tell him how badly he fits his suit.. or to cut out the pulled pork BBQ dinners.. and investigate what a brisk walk is.. He's sporting a brisket a Hereford steer would be proud of .. the day before .. the end.

But in reality.. the shifty paradigm of modern media and his crimes of commission, omission and plain old mean spirited deceit will take him down. He lies constantly to Canadians.. and so do his dull complicits

He can run but not hide despite all the froth at the mouth via supernumeraries, asshats and flunkies.. or his loyal (why?) wife..

But.. his Harper Government is engaged in a clear & defined policy of ignoring and breaking the law.. That's right.. the law and order political party .. is some 5 to 6 years into its strategy of refusing to act on our mandated law re Endangered Species Protection.. and our Federal Court has said so.. and Harper says.. 'so what? The alleged crime is not enforceable.. I'm immune'

This is harder to explain away than one might think.. and Harper, Kent, Shea, Ashfield, Oliver, Flaherty et al can dodge and weave.. wiggle and squirm.. but a government that will fail the woodland, boreal caribou.. will fail the (gasp) polar bear.. and the beaver and eagle.. and (the horror!) the killer whale as well.. and any whale ripe for the killing .. is undefendable..

As much as the short pants boyz n girlz of the PMO see themselves as brilliant users n abusers of Twitter, data mining, trolling, spin, TV ads and electoral fraud.. they are ignorant of how social media can kick your ass in minutes..

Poof ! You're a laughingstock .. !! Or seen as Nixonian.. or fraudulent, untrustworthy .. Time is Harper's enemy .. and he is too slow afoot, too fat, to conceited.. too dim to see he's a dinosaur enchanted by tar sands..

A fraudulent fossil.... with a sticky, stinking failed legacy..

Owen Gray said...

An excellent analysis, salamander. Harper does not understand that he is his own worst enemy.

Given enough time, all his chickens will come home to roost.

Rural said...

It is long past time that we had those who would lead us and those who would speak for us in the House work towards pulling the country together rather than the divisive tactics of Herr Harper.

Owen Gray said...

My worry, Rural, is that the other parties will adopt the Harper model. If that happens, we will be no further ahead.

The Mound of Sound said...

I do admire young Trudeau's packaging, Owen, but, at the end of the day, the Libs remain petro-pols content with merely tweaking government policies instead of scrapping them wholesale.

I wonder how many shades of taupe there are.

Owen Gray said...

I have to admit, Mound, that if Justin sent Harper packing, I'd be quite happy. But, as I wrote in my response to Rural, I worry about changing the faces without changing the substance.

ben burd said...

To win me over he would have to commit to overturning 85% of Harper's legislation.

Can't see it happening his corporate backers would go bonkers even at the thought of it.

Owen Gray said...

That's my concern, too, Ben. Changing faces does not necessarily mean that we are changing direction.