Wednesday, February 19, 2014

His Fundamental Weakness

From now until the next election, the Harper Party will repeat the same meme -- Trudeau lacks experience. Never mind that Mr. Harper himself has very narrow life experience. Michael Harris writes:

Stephen Harper was a university drop-out from suburbia who became an office boy in an oil company out west, and then a student again.

Armed with his degree in Economics, Harper moved straight into politics as peach fuzz policy advisor to the newly minted and cash-short Reform Party. He got the job because he was smart and right-wing, but also because he was a cheap hire. And there, in different forms, Stephen Harper has remained for the rest of his working life.

The real issue is intelligence. Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner identified eight types of intelligence, one of which is emotional -- or interpersonal -- intelligence:

Trudeau’s high emotional intelligence even oozed from his Valentine’s card – he was flirting with the whole country. He is as likeable as a movie star who strayed into the 7/11 store of politics. The man likes human beings. People get the feeling he’s not a sneak. It’s why they light up when Trudeau enters a room and clam up when Harper does. And he’s no silver spoon sissy – just ask Frank Magazine’s ex-newshound.

Trudeau’s handlers, unlike Harper’s, don’t have to control the venue and the crowd to get a good reception. No one has to hold up applause signs. Nobody is asked to leave the meeting because they were seen at a rival party event.

Stephen Harper knows what the real issue is:

Consider this. If Justin Trudeau is so completely unequipped to run the country, so woefully inexperienced, why is Stephen Harper training his hate-machine exclusively on such an incompetent rival?

No, it's Stephen Harper who lacks experience and who looks at the world through a very narrow lens:

Harper’s political worldview, pinched by inexperience and poisoned by partisanship, is Right or Left in every sense of the word. Anything run by him, country, company, or bingo game will be dominated by division and conflict.

That's his fundamental weakness.


Percival said...

Great summary. The two men are opposites - like oil and water. Harper sees Trudeau's charisma and easy going open style and is running scared. Unfortunately that's when he's most dangerous. It'll be interesting to see what kind of stunts the Cons will pull this weekend.

Owen Gray said...

Your comment is spot on, Percival. Harper is scared. And he'll do anything to win.

Lorne said...

Always an astute writer, Harris has drawn an excellent contrast between the two leaders; most interesting to me is the point he makes about Trudeau actually liking people, something I believe is not within Harper's capacity, Owen. Now, if only Trudeau can devise some constructive and progressive policies...

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau is likeable, Lorne -- more likable than his father. What we need to know is whether or not he has his father's reputation for substance.

Anonymous said...

One line in Harris' article caught my interest .... "he was a cheap hire ...".

It reminded me of the saying that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Now, I do not know how much Harper was paid to run the NCC and neither did Harris mention it.

However, if memory serves, Harper ended up costing the NCC a lot of money, something to the tune of $1-2M by taking on Elections Canada in court, losing on both counts, and having to pay court and legal costs.

As they say, you get monkeys if you pay peanuts, eh?

Also, if this guy can become PM, anyone else would be qualified too. Lol

Owen Gray said...

One thing Harper did accomplish, Anon, was to put together a first rate propaganda machine.

That machine has managed to convince a significant number of Canadians that he is who he is not.

The Mound of Sound said...

Trudeau would do well to use the gaping voids in Harper's personality against him in 2015. JT has taken the high road in the pre-campaign stage but he needs to remember that it was Christy Clark who trashed a high-minded opponent in B.C. when she wasn't supposed to have a chance.

Polls have shown that Canadians don't like Stephen Harper and we don't trust him. If JT can't speak to those concerns and harness them to a powerful attack against Harper, it could cost us and our country dearly.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau's success will depend on his ablity to target Harper's weaknesses, Mound.

He says he'll take the high road. But he should not expect Harper to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad others are seeing Stephen for who he really is. In reality he never met his father's expectations and had to prove he was better than his father and his fathers opinion of his son Stephen. That's the real Stephen insecure, woefully inadequate, stubborn beyond comprehension and still looking for acceptance where ever he can find like in Israel.

I laughed when Harper got heckled in the Knesset:

"Who was the heckler?

One of those who heckled Harper was the deputy speaker of the Knesset, Ahmad Tibi.

An Arab-Israeli, Tibi served for a time as an adviser to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and is one of 12 Arab members of the Knesset.


Tibi also accused the Harper government during that visit of essentially turning a blind eye to the settlements and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Harper made the outrageous claim that Israel was not an apartheid state, which it is in its treatment of the Palestinians and this provoked the outburst against Stephen from Tibi. Well done Mr. Tibi!

Harper needs constant reminders when he lies so unabashedly.


Anonymous said... order to seek acceptance!


Anonymous said...

"One thing Harper did accomplish, Anon, was to put together a first rate propaganda machine.

That machine has managed to convince a significant number of Canadians that he is who he is not."

So right Owen hence believe it or not his 'hockey book' the propaganda machines organizers told him do what ever it takes, go to games be seen with players, what ever to id yourself in the Canadian publics mind with hockey the national sport.

"...Massaging the Voter: Manufacturing Harper’s Hockey Identity...

...Harper’s fondness for representing himself via an affective national symbol is far from unintentional; rather it illustrates his skilful adaptation of the promotional strategies of the George W. Bush administration. Indeed, in May 2006, Harper met with Frank Luntz, a US Republican pollster, communications adviser, and adjunct fellow at the conservative think-tank, the Hudson Institute...

...Luntz claims to be in the “language guidance” profession: “my job is to look for the words that trigger the emotion. Words alone can be found in a dictionary or telephone book, but words with emotion can change destiny, can change life as we know it”...

...Luntz’s interest in Canadian politics and his relationship with Western Canadian economic and social conservatives dates back to Reform Party days when Preston Manning’s political advisers hired him as an official election pollster and strategic adviser; his focus was to coach Manning on the art of negative political campaigning (Walker).[11]...

...Luntz’s speech, “Massaging the Conservative Message for Voters,” was a communications blueprint offering a range of promotional strategies for “tailoring a conservative message and selling it to moderate voters” (Moxley);...

... As Luntz explained, “language is your base. Symbols knock it out of the park…” (Mason). To this end, Luntz encouraged Harper to link his identity and right-wing agenda to national symbols like hockey: “If there is some way to link hockey to what you all do, I would try to do it” (qtd. in Thompson A6). According to Luntz, these types of personal appeals to national popular culture play a critical role in appealing to “average voters,”...


Wake up people Harper is a Frankenstein, a creation of the US, American far right and the agenda is to assimilate Canada for the filthy rich right (we have resources and water they need not necessarily tar sands) and Harper is their created tool. Tom Flannigan (AKA The Professor) is also a far right US stooge who has poisoned many a young U of C (Calgary) student's mind to be a right wing nutter and Harper was his favorite pupil.

That's my opinion backed with proof.


Anonymous said...

>>> "Tom Flanagan, along with Ted Morton, Barry Cooper, Roger Gibbins, Rainer Knopff, and David Bercuson, form a group of political scientists from the University of Calgary known as the “Calgary School,” who are attributed with facilitating Harper’s swift rise to lead the CP and ultimately become PM. McDonald describes the “Calgary School” as being bound by a “neo-conservative agenda [that] read as if it has been lifted straight from the dusty desk drawers of Ronald Reagan: lower taxes, less federal government, and free markets unfettered by social programs such as Medicare that keep citizens from being forced to pull up their own socks.”"

"According to a poll conducted for the Vancouver Sun, a CanWest Media daily, Stephen Harper’s political fortunes are grounded in male Tim Hortons voters who view HNIC’s Don Cherry as a “national icon,” watch more sports, and are most likely to fear a terrorist attack (O’Neil)."

Owen Gray said...

All of which is to say, Anon, that the founding principle of the Harper Party is Ignroance.

Owen Gray said...

It's been clear for some time, Mogs, that Harper is a puppet of right wing interests.

What is even more disturbing is that he is a puppet of American right wing interests.

Owen Gray said...

Like George W. Bush, Anon, Harper is still trying to please his father.