Monday, June 09, 2014

Chicken Hawk


Last week, Stephen Harper bloviated about the evils of Communism and Vladimir Putin, in particular.  Michael Harris writes that it was all surreal:

Our 1950s prime minister has even taken us back to the political rhetoric of suburbia’s golden age. It’s like General Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers are back warning us of Ruskie tank divisions poised to strike Europe.

It’s Steve Versus Communism; Steve standing tall against the Russian Menace. Steve sending war planes. Steve … the only member of the G-7 making a complete fool of himself over the whole sad mess.

What you are seeing is a professional politician doing the only thing he knows how to do — extract crass political advantage back in Canada from the tragic events unfolding elsewhere. It comes from having never had a job in his entire life other than political marketing. When this guy’s brain gets into high gear, it sees billboards and 15-second spots.

Apparently, Mr. Harper has not paid attention to recent events. Russia may be led by a man who is a nasty piece of work. But it is no longer a communist country. China, on the other hand, is officially communist. And how does Mr. Harper deal with that well head of depravity?

As for the biggest Communist country of them all, China, Harper’s tough stand has amounted to selling off Canadian resource companies to Chinese state-owned entities, and renting the odd panda bear from them. Not much talk of standing up for Tibet, or tough sanctions for human rights violations.

On the international stage our prime minister consistently makes a fool of himself. World leaders have his number. Despite all the hot air, they know he is a chicken hawk.


The Mound of Sound said...

I don't know if you saw the latest episode of "Vice" following Friday night's "RealTime with Bill Maher" but it suggested a new Cold War is building in the Arctic. The Russkies are apparently re-opening about a dozen high-Arctic bases mothballed after the collapse of the USSR. There was a remarkably bellicose statement from the head of the team building Russia's claim to most of the Arctic Ocean seabed. And, thanks to Mr. "Stand on Guard for Thee" what will we have up there? Some guys on snowmobiles with WWI-technology Lee Enfields.

If there's one thing we know about Putin it's that he loves to take blowhards like Harper and give them a real bitchslapping.

Owen Gray said...

Teddy Roosevelt knew it was best to walk softly and carry a big stick, Mound.

The prime minister thinks it's best to stomp around the world and shoot off a big mouth.

Edstock said...

Where is Foghorn Leghorn, now that we really need him? Picture it: Foghorn, Stevie — and a casaba melon . . .

Owen Gray said...

It's always been easy to spot a blow hard, Ed.

Scotian said...

That's an insult to chicken-hawks there I would suggest. The posturing Harper is doing on this issue internationally goes beyond embarrassing and humiliating to downright demented, delusional, and degrading to all Canadians regardless of their political affiliations/alignments. What is exceptionally hard to take is listening to Harper rail about Communist Russia it its evil dictator Putin and its evils while selling Canada out wholesale to Communist China, an actual real Communist country (let alone what Harper has been doing to Canada itself in turning us into something closer towards totalitarianist than almost anyone would have believed possible). He reminds me of one of the fringe lunatics I used to hear back when I was growing up in the 70s who was just counting the seconds until the evil Reds dropped the bomb on us, killed our men, raped our women and stole everything of value (all the while failing to grasp that nukes would wipe out men AND women and irradiate everything of value to the point there wouldn't be anything to raid, but why let logic and reason get in the way of a matter of faith, right?) *sigh*

I suspect in the future Harper is going to be a major case study in many western nations in no small part because of such behaviour abroad as well as at home, he is something far closer to the true extremist fringe movement than most western democracies ever see get near the head of government position, let alone hold it as he has. This business with Putin could well be a whole chapter in itself given just how out there it is.

A few of us saw this coming with Harper, and also saw just how much so many people, even fairly politically informed people, had let "it can't happen here" syndrome blind them to Harper's true nature and the dangers he would pose to the security and stability of this nation both on the domestic and foreign fronts. I hope and pray that by the next federal election enough people have finally gotten it and make sure he and his government are soundly defeated.

Owen Gray said...

After a decade of what Dr. Dawg calls the "Harperium," Scotian, you'd think that people could figure it out on their own.

the salamander said...

.. everything points to this fairy tale grandioso Harper dwink melting down.

That meltdown will ultimately take out The Harper Party, The Harper Government of MP's.. plus the hide in plain sight whacko evangelical MP's secret official caucus..

Many political animals and careers will crash n burn as more best selling 'tell all's' a la Porter, Carson, Duffy, Ford, Laureen, Brazeau, Hamilton, Lecce Novak, DeLorey, Del Mastro, Morgan, Prescott, Christy Clark, Ken Boessenkool, Nigel Wright .. best sellers all.. are released

You think there aren't aching whacko bones in the Harper Graveyard of Them Whackos He Buried ? They're not really dead nor are they silent.. just 'left for dead' supposed political roadkill .. & former valuable sellouts

But Lo .. In the face of International and national condemnation ... Pudge Harper sternly confronts The First Nations of Canada.. by Twitter, late (well after 6 PM) on a summer Friday..) Pudge will have a trusted troll update a website to show that for their own good & jobs for all Canadians & temporary werkers he's going to force pipelines to Kitimaat and service China as scheduled.. with dilbit.. and crank the Alberta valve wide open even more.. hell !

That wraps the future of the creature that is seen on our 25 cent piece.. extinctified 'by order of council' .. in the name of Conservative Values.. that are Canadian Values.. Oh the caribou ..! Right .. collateral damage.. lived once upon a time

Ulp.. that would even further would tear the fabric.. the boreal matrix ripped n blowing in the arctic winds with the loss of the caribou then takes out the wolverine, bear, owl, deer, eagle, lynx, rabbit, marten, beaver, wolf and mouse .. for openers

The coastal matrix then crashes hard.. as the collapse of wild salmon and sudden supertanker syndrome trash orca, seals, eagle, raven, fox and hawk

Oh .. Its The Harper Legacy .. !!
And these are just some of the dead zones
Political Expediency and Situational Ethics.. y'know

Owen Gray said...

Harper is a city kid, salamander. He has no experience of the wilderness. What he does to it is of no concern to him.

His ignorance is truly astonishing.

Anonymous said...

Prince Charles got it all wrong. Putin isn't Hitler, Harper is.

Harper is kissing butt around the globe. Israel, Communist China, Ukraine. Australia is praising Harper and the U.K.

I believe Harper and his Cabinet are mulling, a massive Chinese resource project in our High Arctic. The Chinese military Brass have been visiting Canada. Perhaps that is why Harper isn't worried about our military defending our High Arctic?

I too, found a lot of amusement regarding Harper ripping Russia up for annexing the Crimea. Meanwhile Harper totally sees nothing wrong, in Communist China, doing the exact same thing.China has been menacing other countries non-stop.

Owen Gray said...

If Harper is famous for anything, Anon, he's famous for his blind spots.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

M favourite expression is a quote from Robert Anson Heinlein (although I've made some modifications to it which I'll add after I show the original) which is "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity", to which I have added two extra elements: "nor that of human kindness both are equal in terms of randomness of appearance and intensity. Especially one's own, particularly on the stupidity side, we like to believe in our kindness, our stupidity, not so much." So I have learned never to bet against stupidity winning the day in the face of massive evidence, I mean really, the entire political class HAD to know what Harper was given how open he had been since the late 80s until after his 2004 election defeat as CPC leader in what he wanted to do and the utter contempt he held for core Canadian institutions on both the policy and political/social infrastructure fronts.

I tend to reserve my rage for the stupidity not for the average voters (who have lives and trust to an extent in those whose living it is to pay attention to these things in both the parties and the national media) but for those who make their living in politics or are serious political junkies, because I simply can't believe I am so much smarter, perceptive, and informed with my internet connection, TV, and brain down here in Nova Scotia than all of them. It is why I am especially harsh towards Layton and the Dippers because they of all had the access to know, the values most opposed to Harper's plans, and the credibility at the time to expose him to the average voter for what he truly was and prevent his rise to the PMO and instead they chose to let him gain power because they saw it as in their electoral interests to do so, especially if they could together eliminate the Liberal party as a viable option for voters and replace it with themselves as the only alternative governing choice to the CPC. Which is of course why I tend to get a bit frustrated whenever Dippers suddenly see the light about Harper, but yet still equate him and his CPC to Trudeau and the Libs, the degree of partisanship required to believe that has any truth to it is as delusional to me as Harper's thinking on Russia. I mean really, how far out to the left do you have to be as to see no difference between the two?

I will admit I like the "Haperium" term DD came up with, but it does not offset his love of the word "LibroCon", which is yet another way of saying Lib Tory same old story, which we all know to be utter bullshit. At least those of us not blinded by partisan blinkers anyway, because no Lib or PCPC government in our history would have done a fraction of what Harper did. Hells, I'm not sure Manning's original Reform party would have done a fraction of what Harper did, and it is Harper's will and design that informs all that this government does, as witnessed in part by the branding of it not as the Canadian government, not the Conservative Canadian government, but the Harper government.

I hope and pray that the stupidity has finally been sufficiently washed away, but given how hard the Harper government has been working to stack the deck in their favour for the next election. I am though assuming nothing until after I see that government driven from power, discredited, and exposed for the truly treasonous thing that it has been all along.

Owen Gray said...

Those of us who thought that Harper would always be on the lunatic fringe -- and I was one of them -- underestimated the man, Scotian.

We are paying the price for our stupidity.

opit said...

Like Scotian, I've read my share of Heinlein and recognize the scenarios anywhere from Glory Road to Starship Troopers in the fascist initiatives of our time : internationally. But I don't react to the failure of the Dippers ( there was a reason the Council of Canadians was formed : a realization standard political process was so rigged as to be impossible to breach ) quite as much as noting the Christman present of Iggy a few years back : concurrent with Parliament being put of ice while he was parachuted in from the HewHessHay to lead the 'opposition' Lieberals away from forming the government.
But our feckless 'leader' did not initially approve of China. It was not until trade relations were affected that he realized motormouthing could cost him.
But if we want to decry Tibet, perhaps we should recognize the pattern of depriving 'natives' of opportunity to share in the bounty ( such as it is ).
Too bad they are I.P.'s ( Anne Macaffrey's Inconvenient People ) who have some clue that tar to Kitimat sped on its way by hot corrosives ( on a budget ) is not progress....even by the standards of cons.

Owen Gray said...

It's never been about being progressive, opit. They dropped that word from the party name.

Scotian said...

One of my few consolations is that not only was I sounding the warnings all along an fought his rise to power as best I could, I also never underestimated his threat potential to move beyond the fringe. As I've said in the past he first cropped up on my political radar back in the later 80s in Reform, and the way he found Mannings belief in the importance of the public to have a say a serious problem was a major early red flag about what Harper was truly about. Part of what helped recognize just how dangerous he could be was also my ability to recognize how he could twist our political culture around by ignoring the conventions that all parties had followed despite there not actually being legal requirements to do so. That is also why I always gave him credit as a sharp tactical thinker politically but I've never agreed with the notion that he was anything close to a strategic genius.

One of the man reasons I was always explaining in exhaustive detail why Harper was so bad, why it would take the NDP to stop him, why the Libs were still a far less damaging choice to our democracy under Martin even when yo factored in all the corruption issues the Libs of the day had was because I knew how hard this might be for many to believe. So I was always laying out my reasoning and the facts I based it on. I don't know how many times I explained about the Calgary School and the connections to Straussianism within it AND what that meant. I freaked out about the Grewal fraud because it showed just how much contempt Harper had for even criminal law, and how far he would go in his quest for power, and how blatantly revisionist he would be right in plain sight. AS I said repeatedly at the time, if he would do this while in the LOO, what he would do with the power of the PMO especially as a majority PM would be beyond anything we had ever known.

In the end I got to learn how Cassandra felt a second time, the first was when I was trying to warn people about how dangerous GWB would be, especially with a Straussian like Cheney actually running the policy behind the scenes. What made this one especially harsh for me was this time it was home, and dealing with institutions that I cherished, that my family history and connections in helping create (along with so many others of course, it is not like they were major creators, just some of the many thousands over the history of the nation but still something I was raised with pride in from both the Lib and PCPC sides of my family). That added an element of personal pain that no other political situation ever has for me in my 47 years of life to date, which is also one of the reasons why I carry the anger and bitterness I do towards those that could have stopped this and instead embraced it.

Scotian said...


On Iggy I can't agree with you enough. The only thing I could say in his favour last time out was that he was not Harper and wouldn't be anywhere near as bad even given his many issues as Harper. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. My issues with the Dippers is in part based on their hypocrisy and their raging sanctimony about how they are the party of principles that can be trusted unlike all the others and how they care for Canadians first. Yet when the greatest threat by far to those principles was on the rise,instead of stopping it they aligned with it for their own interests in increasing seat totals, hardly the act of a party of principle, unless that principle is power at any cost. I always saw the Libs as the vehicle for stopping Harper purely based on voting patterns from all federal elections only, not because I particularly felt any partisanship for them. I don't do partisanship or the my leader/party right or wrong thing, my head just doesn't work that way,

As to the Council of Canadians, I always took them as another interest group who had a POV they wanted represented, and one that served a useful purpose, but in terms of electoral power politics they weren't exactly much of a factor alas. I believe in blaming only those who had the power and ability as well as the responsibility to act, and that is where Layton and his party clearly were a massive fail, yet none of them appear willing to accept that their actions had these consequences. This is the House that Jack built after all. The Libs were too weakened by scandal and time in office to be able to stop Harper alone, it needed the Dippers to have any chance of doing so, and if Harper had failed again against Martin it was clear he and his clique within the CPC leadership would have been deposed, his leadership was hanging by a thread back then, something most have forgotten about. I cannot accept that this was so obvious to me and that Layton and his inner circle did not see it for themselves, and they made a cold choice to care more about their electoral competition/enemy than the greatest threat to not just progressive Canada but Canada itself, and that I find inexcusable.

P.S. Nice to see another Heinlein reader noting just how many of his warnings are coming true in the world. One of the reasons I loved his works as a kid was because it did deal with serious political issues that one could see arising in the world as well as creating interesting characters and environments for them. Mot importantly though he remembered that the best SF is not about the technology, it is how we humans interact and adapt to its implications that makes the best fiction worth reading (IMHO of course).

Owen Gray said...

We live in strange times, Scotian. Here in Ontario, Tim Hudak may win on Thursday. We've been down this road before -- with Mike Harris and with Stephen Harper -- and his Harris alumni, Flaherty, Baird and Clement.

Perhaps life has really become Groundhog Day.

opit said...

"they made a cold choice to care more about their electoral competition/enemy than the greatest threat " The NDP has been burned by alliance with the Liberals before ( at the polls ). It is a strategic calculation to go for power rather than go for life as a hanger-on ; a sad fact of life about the helplessness of coming in second....and the power of the purse to rule regardless.
In a 'good cop, bad cop' choice it is not strategically astute to trust your opposition...regardless of the seeming difference in damage control. Canadians should have learned that in 1993, when the P.C.s under Kim Campbell were honest about their aspirations, destroyed as a party...and the Liberals ran against them to then turn their backs on 'the Red Book' of election promises and implement the Con program.

Owen Gray said...

It really is a cynical business, opit.

Scotian said...


Under normal circumstances ie that they had been up against a resurgent PCPC that looked to take out the Libs I would have been fine with the NDP decision, something I was saying at the time all along. The problem I have with your response/defence of the NDP is that it ignores my entire point, namely that Harper was something far greater a threat and danger than ANYTHING our federal system had seen at least on par with the Quebecois Separatists. Under THAT scenario it DOES NOT MATTER whether you have been burned by the Libs in the past or not, what matters is stopping the real destroyer AT ALL COSTS!!! As I have said over and over and over and over again, there is no way I can accept that I was as aware of what Harper was truly capable of and interested in doing to the Canadian federal political system (and I was never afraid of the hidden agenda being a social politics one, indeed, if that were all I wouldn't have been too afraid because I would know the Charter and courts would limit any real damage there) but institutional and infrastructure that allows for any progressive or even sensible centrist national programs to be possible at all, again, what I was saying AT THE TIME. None of my comments and criticisms of Harper and the NDP are things I am Monday morning quarterbacking, I was always making these arguments since the creation in treachery and deceit of the Harper CPC.

In such a scenario as existed the history and bad behaviour of the Libsd towards the NDP is not a primary concern, not if you actually believe in progressive principles and believe that principles first is your measure. You only act the way Layton did if you place expediency and lust for seats/power first, the very core criticism the NDP for decades to this day make of the Libs. Layton Blairified his party at the worst possible moment for Canada and this nightmare is what we live in because of it, and for that not to be owned by the NDP disgusts me, because it comes off to me like Dippers love to take credit for any possible progressive act the Liberals ever did in decades of governing (whether valid or not, not all the progressive things done by a Lib government were because of the NDP's influence the Charter itself being one example, many things yes, all no), but when they actually are in a position to make a real impact on power relationships and they make a choice that ends up creating a horrible result suddenly it is nothing they could or should have done anything about and therefore they don't want any credit.

I don't deal in partisanship, I don't deal in picking party sides, especially where Harper was concerned my sole partisanship was preventing his rise because I did see clearly what he was and would do with power. What I do deal in are facts and placing credit where it is due, whether it is positive or negative, and on those who actually deserve it as opposed to the messenger or easy targets. Like it or not the NDP and Layton especially were the keys to 24 Sussex Drive for Harper, he knew it and skillfully used Layton to get there, and despite the broken record the Libs had of saying vote for us to prevent the scary Cons from getting in this time it was bloody well accurate, and there is no way the senior leadership of the NDP DID NOT KNOW THAT and still made this choice! Note, I blame not the average NDP voter, I leave this to those who make a living within politics and those political activists who are so immersed in politics that they had the skill-sets and interests to find this out for themselves same as I did.

To be continued...:

Scotian said...


So saying the NDP was acting reasonably under these circumstances is for me unacceptable, not because I am a partisan of the Libs but because reality was what it was and is and this time truly was different and they knew it (or should have, I cannot accept I am so much wiser, perceptive, and oracle-like about politics than those who make their livings at it, sorry, I am not that arrogant), and still chose to let Harper past them. That is the true legacy of the NDP as much as any good they have done in the past several decades and they need to own the bad with the good but then given the hypocrisy that tends to run rampant in politics and all parties it seems especially the sanctimonious NDP it is no wonder we don't see that.

Layton won the battle to lose the war. That he failed to recognize which was which and where he needed to be fighting if he actually wanted to keep progressive values and institutions alive in Canada in many ways illustrates why so many socially progressive leaning swing voters have still stayed leery of trusting the federal NDP with power. Just because the Libs say something they have said many times before does not make it false in every case, just as it does not make it true in every case, and the wise person always considers everything case by case instead of closing one's mind and creating blind spots like the one Harper used so skillfully within the NDP to use them to work against their own true core interests/principles. In the end it is entirely possible that this decision will relegate the NDP back to third party status and even more distrusted for governing given how disastrous their decision to let Harper in turned out for Canada.

Please understand opit, I am a process geek first before I favour any party or leader, and it was the threat to fundamental process that Harper scared me so greatly on, a point I also made repeatedly. Harper was clearly alien to anything rooted in Canadian political thought and his approach to governing would also be alien to Canadian precedent. One did not need to be a genius to see this coming. His record, his beliefs, and how consistent he stayed true to them, especially to core anti-democratic beliefs of Straussianism especially regarding the elites such as himself only being qualified to make policy for all, that the noble lie was the way to practice politics to gain and hold power so that elite can have the power to make policy, and that only elites matter when it comes to policy were prominent markers, indeed they were an early point of break between Harper and Manning in the Reform party and why Harper left it.

So again, there is no way the NDP leadership and Layton did not know that this time was different, that Lib Tory same old story was NOT true, and that the Libs old spin of vote for use to save Canada from the barbarian hordes of the Cons was for the first time actually true. Just as it will be in the next federal election.

Owen Gray said...

My impression is that the present leadership of the NDP hasn't really come to terms with the part the party played in Harper's rise, Scotian.

Surely people like Ed Broadbent must be aware of what has transpired.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

One would have thought so, yet the senior members of the party stayed remarkably silent about all of this from the moment Layton first rose to power. Indeed it was that uncharacteristic silence from the old guard which first caused me to suspect there were real changes happening within the NDP beneath the surface because that was not typical of that party. Suddenly the only voice was Layton's to be heard, and it was a voice advocating significant change in how the party operated, and yet none of the old guard had any reservations? That did not sound like the NDP I had grown up around, indeed not like any party or other large organization I've seen.

The level of denial and self deception within the NDP regarding the clear role they played in the rise of "the Harperium" by both the leadership and so many of its partisans online is one of the best arguments as to why they should not be trusted with the powers of governing in my opinion. If they cannot see this clearly or acknowledge something this obvious then they are clearly dangerously disconnected from reality or incredible liars in the face of blatant truth/reality and neither judgment is in my books a recommendation for a governing party regardless of political philosophy. I mean Harper has all but came out and praised the NP for assisting in his rise to power, his actions sure as hells show that he knows it, and yet the party and leadership still can't see it, or worse be honest about it? That in its own right is nearly as scary as Harper's vision of Canada being what he thinks is the "real" Canada and the way Canada should be. (I'm not saying they are equivalent overall, Harper is still far more dangerous because of his aims, but the level of deception, self and other, each has is unfortunately comparable)

One of the best arguments for why the NDP cannot be allowed to govern is the fact that they not only enabled the Harper rise to power, but that they refuse to accept that they have, even after mounds of evidence/reality shows this to anyone not totally blinkered by partisan blinders. The reason I was irked with opit's comment was that it completely ignored the points I was making, it doesn't matter what the Libs did when you face something like a Harper, and to raise that and ignore the rest showed something I find very disturbing (especially when that same party still claims it does politics differently, that it is a party that places people and principles first despite the clear evidence that is no longer the case). As bad as anything the Libs have ever done in NDP eyes the Harper government has done orders of magnitude worse, and was obviously going to even before they came to power. Hells, even the minority government actions of Harper showed that beyond any factual doubt. Yet the Dippers still want to blame the Libs for everything? Get real. Put your big boy/girl pants on and act like adults and own up where you fuck up, especially when it is as obvious a fuck up as this was. That would be the mature thing to do and a sign that the party might actually be worth trusting with governing power, but until then, I. Don't. THINK. SO!

Owen Gray said...

The problem with power, Scotian, is that the closer one gets to power, the easier it is to sell out one's principles.

And once you've sacrificed those principles, it's easy to make up excuses.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

Oh so true, one of the things I liked about the Libs and PCPCs was they didn't try and pretend this didn't happen, but instead tried to at least provide competent government to go with it, and an acceptance that they would need to be sent into the wilderness from time to time. The holier than thou attitude of the federal NDP was always something like fingernails down the blackboard for me since childhood, but at least when they practiced what they preached it was tolerable. Since Layton though they stopped doing that and now that sound makes me wish for fingernails on the blackboard or metal being cut, it is far less painful to the ear.

I expect those who seek power to at least be honest that this is what they are doing, and to sell me on the notion that what they want to do with it is something I can support. I expect them to tell me at least something resembling their overall intentions, to me political rhetoric has a core of truth/reality to it but exaggerated either positively or negatively as context fits. If I want to be preached at I'll go to a church, not a political rally.

How can you tell the federal NDP burned some bridges with me (the wife is even worse, she feels betrayed and sold out by Layton and company as she was a hard core Dipper while I was always the unaligned one, and I wonder how many like her are in the NDP base they are counting on that stayed because they trusted Layton but do not have the same connection to Mulcair)? In the last decade I've gone from having a serious choice between three federal parties to feeling like there is only one that I recognize enough to be able to support. The PCPC are no more through an act of treachery unprecedented in or federal politics, and the NDP have gone from being a party I trusted to practice what it preached even when I didn't agree with some of it to the worst sort of anything goes hypocritical liars. The Libs are the ones closest to being what they were beforehand, and at least I get where they are coming from and I know where they are likely to go, but I really resent feeling like I have no other choices, I LIKED having real choice politically.

It is going to be a long time before I lose my anger at the Dippers for what they have done, and I know it won't even begin to diminish until they start accepting that they let their own lust for power blind themselves to what they were enabling. The excuses they make to let themselves feel like they are still the good guys despite becoming that which they have for years denounced really grate on me, as is no doubt obvious.

I was always someone that never expected any political party/leader not to have some issues with power and corruption, human nature is what it is, and the more power concentrates the more this is inevitable. For me the question was always how well the corruption was contained versus how good was the quality of the government provided despite the corruption. That is what I see as having a realistic view of politics instead of letting oneself get blinded by absolutes which in reality never happen. Political ideals are wonderful to try to aspire to, but to believe attainable is delusional, same with any other perfect ideal for humanity. The point of ideals is not to achieve them, it is to get as close as you can as much as you can, the point isn't perfection but perfectibility.

Owen Gray said...

I could be wrong, Scotian. But when I see traditional Dippers like Gerry Caplan and Michelle Landsberg giving Andrea Horwath a hard time, I get the feeling that some re-evaluation might be just around the corner.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

I sure hope so, and I do tell you that I find it interesting that we saw this on the Ontario Provincial level but never on the federal scene even to this day. I wonder if the Provincial level watched what happened on the federal level and the Ontario stalwarts of their party said "not again" and this time spoke out when it might actually do some good. I do think there is a lot of unease within the NDP voting base about the course of action, and I have to wonder how well the unwillingness to own up to what they enabled by their choices may be slowly driving that support away from them (and before Dippers say where else can they go, they can either stay home or decide that it is more important to stop Harper and go Lib this time out, so this is not an inconsequential issue for them). I know my wife will not vote Dipper again anytime soon if ever, and I did not do anything to change her opinion, Layton did that, I don't operate that way, I care more than people are involved than who they are involved with, at the voting level. So I have to wonder how typical she is of a base that may be feeling very much taken for granted or worse betrayed on the left as the socons appear to feel on the right, and unlike the socons the left does have another choice.

While it would be nice to see the old school Dippers finally come out and acknowledge the reality, it is the current Dipper leadership that most needs to do so in my opinion. Still, it would be a nice start.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that the results on Thursday will tell us if that re-evaluation has begun to take place, Scotian.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray:

If there is a good voter turnout, then I think you have a point. If it is as low as some are fearing though I am not so sure one can make that assumption. The apathy that appears to be present in the Ontario electorate makes making such an assumption difficult for me to go along with, but if there is clear engagement and then we see that sort of result then I think you could fairly make that assumption. We shall see how it goes on Thursday.

Owen Gray said...

We might wind up with a Liberal minority, Scotian, which was what we had before Horwath triggered the election -- which begs the question,"What was the point of the election?"

If it's a Conservative minority, the question becomes, "Did you know what you were doing?"

Graeme MacKay said...


I would've preferred to send this to you privately but there doesn't seem to be any means to do so on your blog.

Here goes:

You're a retired teacher of 32 years and you don't source your images. It's good that you reference the authors of the quotes you use, ie Leo Tolstoy and William Shakespeare. Why not images? You didn't source the above cartoon, and in fact you cut out the moniker of the artist who happens to be me. I really don't mind if bloggers post my work with a link back. I state this on my website: But even without the disclaimer it's just common courtesy, and a basic must for any grade school essay writer.

Please, either source it, or send me your billing address.

Graeme MacKay

Owen Gray said...

I apologize, Graeme, I picked the image up from ipolitics. I don't recall it being sourced there, but that is no excuse.

I acknowledge your contribution here -- and in the future I'll be more careful.