Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The News Is Not Good


Yesterday, I wrote that Stephen Harper had devalued the coin of the realm -- trust. And I suggested that the distrust Canadians now felt for him might result in his losing the next election. On the same day, Eve Adams joined Justin Trudeau's Liberals. Tom Clark reports:

Some time before Christmas, Eve Adams and Dimitri Soudas called the co-chairs of the Liberal campaign in Ontario. They wanted to talk, they said, about becoming Liberals.

Talks started almost immediately, but it would take another month before anything was brought to the federal leadership team and Justin Trudeau. By the last week of January, the meetings moved to the senior levels. Sources say that no incentive was offered to get Adams to cross the floor — because none was needed.

They say Adams and Soudas both proclaimed that they had been betrayed by Stephen Harper, and they were ready to fight back.

So the request was granted.

Trudeau said yesterday that, to win the next election, the Liberals would have to win back Canadians who voted Conservative in 2011. The conventional wisdom is that Adams will be taking on Finance Minister Joe Oliver in his Toronto riding.

So what are we to make of all this?  That the best way to defeat a Conservative is with another Conservative? That's happening in Nova Scotia, in Bill Casey's old riding. But Casey is a different kind of Conservative than Adams. He took on Harper from the beginning. Adams -- until very recently -- has been Stephen Harper's loyal servant. Her defection seems to be entirely self serving. And what does Trudeau's welcoming of Adams into the Liberal fold say about him?

The news is not good.


Edstock said...

Owen, depends on your attitude and your sense of timing with the election.

Evie is NOT one of my favorite people. Now, having gotten over the tantrum, let's see what reality presents: a self-serving political psychopath — who has broken with the CONs. This is the big point: a CON "mover" who has publicly split with Stevie.

This is important, not for the 'progs' who are already gonna vote Green or Dipper, but for that 40% of Canada that voted CON, and got Stevie a majority. You might wanna keep that in mind, capisce? This isn't all about progs and their sensitivities.

I doubt that Justin and his advisors are going to bring Evie into the inner circle. Politics is a lot like sausage-making, sometimes, ya don't wanna know.

Meanwhile, the Dippers wanna bring back the Long Gun Registry . . . unbelievably stupid, but that's par for the course as the Dippers piss-off the 40%, even as rural Dippers keep telling 'em not to do it. Don't confuse Mulcair with the facts, his mind is made up.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that the bottom line, Ed, was the same as LBJ's. When asked why he didn't fire J. Edgar Hoover, he answered: "It's better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in."

Adams and Soudas are now inside the tent.

Anonymous said...

If you hang out with rats - you end up with fleas.

Maybe Trudeau knows more than just past history but on the surface this does not look good for the Liberals (and also for Harper's Cons). The loose cannon challenging "Oily" Olly could be sweet karma kicking the hornets nest with lots of mud slinging expected by the jilted duo - so might be useful. Still an iffy move in my opinion given her past performance(s).E

I think the trailing NDP win needed points with this trade.

Anyone but Harper!


Owen Gray said...

Politics produces strange alliances, Bill, But it also produces self inflicted wounds.

Toby said...

Trudeau may be playing a dangerous game. All Harper has to do is say that there is a reason Dimitri Soudas was fired. Harper doesn't have to give the reason or any other explanation. Trudeau could be left holding a pig in a poke.

Hugh said...

I get a strong sense of deja-vu with Bill C-51, (the CSIS-Empowering Anti-Dissent Bill) remembering last years Unfair Elections Act.

Lots of widespread criticism of C-51.

ron wilton said...

Nothing in the madcap world of a harpercon surprises me.

I don't know much about the poliical shuffling of most of the provinces, but I do observe a little in Alberta and Ontario.

Here in BC, the so called 'Liberal'(pronounced Lieberal out here)was a sure bet to lose the last provincial election to the incorporate NDP.

However, after a few photo op visits from the prime minister from which no great pronouncements or unveilings were issued, preceded a mass infiltration of our provincial government by Manning Institute 'trained' harpercon black ops named Morgan, MacIntyre, Pantazopoulos,Boessenkool, and the diminutive but dangerous Soudas along with some of their aides.

Within mere moments of their arrival here in BC on the very eve of the election, the electorate numbers swelled and the hapless surething front runners found themselves licking boots in the empty halls of our largely unused legislature.

This 'Trojan Horse' gambit wreaked havoc on our drunken and deluded left leaning republic and the corporatocracy lived to fleece us for at least another term.

This curious serving of piety from the apple eater and her serpent, watched over from the shadows by their 'former' great leader, by the apparently foolishly naive federal Lib leader should be swallowed with a hefty spoonful of salt.

Owen Gray said...

I fear that the Harperites will live to rub salt into Trudeau's wounds, Ron.

Brian Mulroney lived to rue the day he invited Lucien Bouchard into the PC tent.

Owen Gray said...

And, again, Trudeau's "pass it now and fix it later" attitude smacks of pure political opportunism, Hugh.

Owen Gray said...

As I wrote in my response to Ron, Toby, Lucien Bouchard is an outstanding example of why some people should be left out of the tent.

Scotian said...


I'm with Edstock on this one with Adams, and I have been well aware of her for years, so I know exactly who she is and what she has been like. She is not my personal pick for CPC MP I would prefer to see cross to the Libs, yet as Edstock noted she was one of the truly committed for Harper, and now she (granted for motives which are patently self serving to some extent, how much I think is debatable but that it is at least a major to primary component is hard to argue) has jumped to the Libs, embraced Trudeau warmly and denounced her old master, the PM Canadians have learned is the most controlling PM in our history. For those who are inclined PCPC/Red Tory her shift, especially coming right after the sudden Baird jump from cabinet and caucus a week earlier, this makes Harper seem that much less appealing and more to those between Trudeau and Harper politically, and they are likely to be the voters who determine the government judging by past demographic results.

I will add this too, we know her as a staunch Harper spear carrier, and that is no small thing of course, but it also means she like all the others have been under authority the likes of which we have never seen before. It is possible she may turn out to be a better politician/MP when in a less controlling caucus than this, I'm not saying I think this is the case, but I do think it is fair to keep it in mind and give a little time to see whether it is true or not. Please note, this is not a defence of her or her past, just pointing out a valid consideration that should not be lost in all of this, nothing more.

I also doubt Trudeau et al would have been willing to take this risk with her and her partner if he/they did not see something as a clear value above and beyond just the taking of a Harper MP from his cabinet. I mean clearly the risks of accepting her are as obvious to him as it is to us, and the likely difficulties integrating her into their caucus as well, so I have to think he did this for a gain above and beyond the obvious, else it coming this close to the election would be a foolish risk.

Possibly Trudeau is making an airheaded boner move as many of his critics claim of him. Me, I'm not convinced it is. Trudeau has shown despite his issues/limitations as a polished politician/leader to actually be fairly clever politically speaking (leaving aside the ISIS vote idiocy, as I've noted in the past). All that being said, I cannot say this has left a good taste in my mouth to see, nor to write.

Owen Gray said...

I understand Trudeau's argument about appealing to those who voted for Harper the last time around, Scotian. But I confess I'm much more comfortable with Bill Casey's conversion than Adams.

This may all work for Trudeau. But, as I suggested with my reference to Lucien Bouchard, sometimes it's wiser to leave former foes out in the cold.

Dana said...

So she'll park her ass on a Liberal chair for a few months and then be defeated by Oliver or whoever. Big deal.

The hinge on this deal isn't Adams. It's Soudas. And he's not running for office.

Get a grip people.

Scotian said...

Oh, I much prefer Bill Casey too, him I've met and him I trust a whole hell of a lot more. I believe his just as I did Scott Brison's conversion was genuinely motivated by core principles being betrayed by the abomination Harper and MacKay put together. I'm just saying I am not convinced this is as horrific a decision as I have seen so many people paint it, even knowing her and her history, and her spouse to be. I did note that I believe patently self serving motives are in play here, although I am not comfortable saying they are the only motives here, I do think it possible there really is as well some long standing issues with Harper and the way he treated her and her partner over the last while and even possibly on actual issues as well.

Do I really believe what Trudeau was saying, no, of course not, do I come off that braindead? I do though think it is too simple to just write her off as nothing but expediency driven though, if nothing else it fails to leave room for anger/revenge at being thrown under that bus with so many others even after she stayed loyal to Harper when her lover got in trouble trying to help her in that nomination fight (I'm not defending eithers actions, just referring to the emotional elements from their POV).

She did seem a lot saner on her own out from under the Harper controls, but I want to take some time to see whether that was a one time thing or whether she really is more capable than just the Harperbot she had been in his caucus and cabinet. I also think there are people who swing vote who find her appealing, you don't I don't, but they do, and they are a crucial element for defeating Harper, and to not give that its due risks not removing Harper. Is this a good way to aid that, I'm still not sold, but I have to acknowledge the argument/potential for it, and that it followed so closely on the Baird bombshell I think gave her leaving more resonance in the wider public than it would have had on its own even with all the trashing of it by the national pundit/media class.

I do think the comparison to Bouchard is a bit too much. Mulroney took him in knowing he was still a nationalist, and with the private promise to him that he would get his issues resolved with the Constitution, and when Meech blew up on him the result was entirely predictable. I have a hard time putting Adams in the same category myself, although I will agree that remembering the parable of the scorpion and the river crossing certainly bears consideration from now until the election with her and her partner.

In short, I understand the distaste, but I am more than a little disgusted by those saying this is enough to stop them voting Lib to get rid of Harper. If this is all that takes, the you clearly fail to understand the real threat, and you also clearly never really meant it when you claimed he had to go before all else. This is not aimed at you or anyone here specifically, just a reaction to a lot of such I've red in the last 24hs.

Owen Gray said...

I think you're right, Dana. Which is the reason some of us are uncomfortable.

Perhaps Soudas will be a code breaker, giving the Liberals inside information on how to defeat Harper.
But his commitment is questionable.

mogs moglio said...

"That the best way to defeat a Conservative is with another Conservative?"

Um no people it is with the truth because the conservatives will wilt under the light of truth...

Dana said...

He doesn't need to be committed.

He just needs to tattle.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think Chantal Hebert summed it up nicely when she wrote that JT have Adams political "asylum." There had to be a quid pro quo and that could only have come from Soudas. Given the skulduggery we've witnessed inside Harper's PMO, Bruce Carson and Nigel Wright for example, there's probably plenty of useful dirt that has escaped public scrutiny that occurred during Soudas' tenure.

Owen Gray said...

It's going to be interesting to watch Justin try to take the high ground, Mound.

Owen Gray said...

So much for youthful idealism, Dana.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps that's what the Liberals think they will get from Soudas, Mogs.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that the same giant brains in the Liberal Party that brought you this little drama also brought you Justin Trudeau.

And these are the people that the NDP are supposed to forge an alliance with?

Owen Gray said...

It's a question of who do you dislike more, Anon. Long time Dipper Murray Dobbin is also recommending an alliance:


Owen Gray said...

The problem with Bouchard, Scotian, was that he was always mercurial. It was a question of character more than philosophy.

I wonder if Adams is mercurial.

Steve said...

If you read the offical conservative reaction by Herbert, Coyne and others, its a clear win by JT. They are foaming at the mouth like Bob Fife.

Its an embarrasment to Stevie. Soudas may provide some ammunition. He could also act a a weather vane for liberal policy making the Liberal messaging harder to distort.

I think its a big win for JT and it sends a message that should make Stevie more squirrly than usual.

Now JT where is the followup condeming the Cons for selecting a unilingual foriegn minister, sac on blue.

Owen Gray said...

You and Scotian are more positive about this move than I am, Steve. I question how good Justin is at sizing up people.

Time will tell just how good his judgement is.

Dana said...

Time will tell everything and yet somehow or other in the meantime there are still battles to wage.

Whose youthful idealism were you referring to Owen?

I'm a little pleased to learn JT is willing to play the game as it appears before him. For a while I was concerned he was going to be like the BC NDP and blow sunshine. Now it appears he's willing to scrap. He's going to need to.

Owen Gray said...

I agree he'll need to scrap, Dana. I was hoping that he would mobilize the youth vote. If they stay away from the polls, Harper will win.

Trudeau will have to do more than convert some former Tories if he's going to win the next election.

Dana said...

Multiple goals, multiple strategies and tactics, multiple fronts, multiple, multiple, multiple...

No single thing is going to constitute the winning formula that will rid Canada of Stephen Harper and his abominations.

Owen Gray said...

Agreed, Dana. But having multiple strategies does not imply that they are all equally good.

Scotian said...

Owen Gray said...

"Agreed, Dana. But having multiple strategies does not imply that they are all equally good." 1:17 pm

True enough, but when you are in a major war/conflict where you need to win at all costs, then you cannot be as choosy as one would like. One of the saddest truths about all forms of war is that in order to win against a strong foe you inevitably end up having to become a bit like them in your fighting to do so and win. This is as true in the political battlefield as the military one. If anything I am pleasantly surprised that Trudeau has not gone farther down that path than he has.

I would also like to note I am not actually feeling all that positive about the Adams business, just that I can see said potentials for it and that I think being so dismissive of the decision and her, even though I understand the arguments for doing so, is not the best way to look at this. I also think Dana brings up an important point, Trudeau showed a willingness for risk and getting his hands dirty in this fight, which has been for more than a few a real worry about him, that he was too much in the unicorns and rainbows approach to have the grit needed to "scrap" as Dana put it. While I think this may have some short term negative impact, over the longer haul, I can see it balancing out or even becoming a positive, and even if it does not, Trudeau showed the Libs are still a big tent party by giving her political asylum (which is how I tend to view this), but since it appears he is requiring her to follow the same parameters of any candidate and requiring her to fight a contested nomination he isn't giving her a free ride either.

Finally to your mercurial point, ok, fair point re Bouchard, but we have yet to truly see if that is the case for Adams. It is more than possible that some of her bad behaviour while a CPC MP was due to the stresses of having to be a Harper puppet, especially if she was raised with the older view of what MPs and Ministers got to be, even if behind closed doors that was the norm prior to Harper and his CPC. Again, not defending her, nor even saying that this has to be the case, just that it is easy enough to see how it could be, and that until we start seeing the same now that she is free it may be overly harsh to condemn her as such beforehand. I try to keep open minds even about those I despise, especially when they end up doing something I may find helpful/useful to my interests, which this crossing I think is despite her baggage if only for the insights about Sona in her office and what he husband to be brings in insights even without breaching confidentiality agreement.

Oh yes, I must say, for someone who is supposed to be so obvious for what she is and so minor in the end, the fact that for three days straight this story has been dominant in the national political media tends to undercut that description. Which makes me wonder just how worried are the inner circle CPCers, because it seems almost like a concerted campaign against her as opposed to the more typical sneer and dismiss for lesser beings one might have expected for a one term MP whose papers they refused to sign. Something to ponder.

Owen Gray said...

Geoffrey Hall has a piece over at ipolitics which argues your case, Scotian.

He believes that Trudeau's decision helps turn the race into a battle of personalities -- which Harper will lose.