Sunday, March 08, 2015

Headpieces Filled With Straw


For the second year in a row, Andrew Coyne was underwhelmed by the Manning Conference. It used to be, he writes, the home of the Conservative Party in exile:

It was the place where Conservatives, starved for talk about ideas by a leadership that long ago declared its contempt, not just for ideas, but even for the idea of ideas, mingled with conservatives, the broader movement outside the party, and recalled a time when it was still permissible to think that governments are elected to change things, not just to perpetuate themselves in power; that elections are opportunities to win a broad mandate from the public, not to dangle a few precisely crafted baubles of nonsense in front of the right micro-demographics; that governing is something done openly and through Parliament, not secretly and by any means at hand; and all the rest of what we have been educated, after these many years of misrule, not to expect.

But just as Harperism has seeped into the press, the military and the civil service, it has now firmly entrenched itself in what masquerades as a serious event:

The more open the conflict between what conservatives are supposed to believe and what the Conservatives have tended to produce, the more it has been resolved in favour of the party. As late as last year, when the party was at its lowest point in the polls, there was still a useful tension in the air, the odd veiled suggestion that the Conservatives had lost their way. But this is an election year, and the party is back in contention, and so this year’s conference has thus far broadly favoured politics over ideas, discretion over debate.

Conservatives have drunk the Harper Kool-Aide. Now the lust for power tramples everything and everyone in its path. Like the hollow man who heads Canada's Conservative government, it appears that the movers and shakers at the Manning Conference have "headpieces filled with straw."


Anonymous said...

Okay Mr. Coyne how often can you repeat one word three times in a row in a single sentence?

Seems like three at least and when separated from the body of the text seem, well a little 'loose'?

"...ideas, but even for the idea of ideas,..."

For the idea of ideas? Andrew what point are you trying to make? That the con Harper party no longer thinks? Just come out and say it without tripping over repetitive words please.


I have no idea where he is going with his stuff.

"...and the party is back in contention,..." Andrew is drinking the Harper-con Cool-Aid the Harper-cons have no hope oh wait a minute of a snowflakes chance in hell of getting a majority government ever again.


Kirby Evans said...

THis is the way the world ends . . .

Owen Gray said...

Not with a bang but a whimper, Kirby?

Owen Gray said...

In fairness, to Coyne, Mogs, I think he's as upset with the Harperites as you are.

the salamander said...

.. Need to see mainstream media shout like this.. ie Coyne.. at the smug and mealy weanies attending the Preston Manning goat rodeo and BBQ.

An event where one can applaud tenured professors from Sask or Alberttawa whine about the courts actually defending The Charter.

And distinguished intellects a la Ms Clark can stomp her high heels at the lectern over LNG for China & boast like Stephen Harper that "its Canada's moment.. we can find a new place in the world, forever"

And others can ruminate about Kenney's brown people TFW's.. whities on EI.. and the need for mandarin in the western workplaces

When Harper ascends to his righteous election Rupture.. and falls caterwauling a la Icarus.. those Manning attendees wil be the first to rip at the fallen disgraced PM and any complicit rats too fat to leap from the Harper plague ship

What will they call themselves.. ?
The New Reformatory Party
Progressive Reformatives
The Conservative Blockheads?

Anonymous said...

So Owen Cheers my friend cheers here we are across the country from each other and can have a civil conversation. I love that we though are of the same generation so have experienced similar things. Beetle mania Trudeau mania the FLQ crisis The War Measures Act in response to the FLQ that is where our freedom started to slip away.

Unfortunately we were to busy "earning a living" to realize what the heck was happening.

We now our freedoms are being slowly strangled to death under the Harperium Regime.

I am happy that I had a nice life prior to this Fascist Harper regime which not only controls Canada but the Fascists control a majority of the world as well.

Owen get out and play before it is all over!

Love All-ways to your wife and family,

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

If we can send Harper packing, Mogs, our children may still get to experience some of the privileges we had.

Owen Gray said...

Any of those three suggestions would fit quite nicely, salamander.

Paul Wells has suggested that, when his time comes, Harper will be all alone and in disgrace.

That moment can't come fast enough.

ron wilton said...

The time to stop pussyfooting around harper and his cabal of evil and dangerous paranoid schizophrenics is long past.

If harper had never been given a forum for his lunacy there would not be one hundred and sixty or more young Canadians dead in the interminable wasteland of Afghanistan and at least as many if not more who have taken their own lives as a result of them experiencing the inhuman atrocities they witnessed there.

Three more valiant soldiers have died as a direct result of that madman's pathetic attempt to cling to his power and he must not be allowed to put any more of us in harm's way for his purely partisan political purposes.

Perhaps the death of the young soldier in this latest criminal action in Iraq will ignite what little humanity Canadians still have left and rid us of this truly evil person and Sgt Andrew Joseph Doiron will not have died in vain.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I was surprised to read Coyne's criticism of the Conservatives, but when did he ever think that there party valued ideas. He should have caught on sooner, but I'm glad to see he may have woken up. After all, the neo-liberal think tanks chose Coyne as there go to journalist to propagate their swill.

Owen Gray said...

In fairness, Pam, it should be noted that in 2011 Coyne announced he was voting Liberal.

Steve said...

Governing Canada is a serious post. Harper thinks drug testing people on the way to the senior prom is all he needs to do to be elected Student Council President. Its not the students but the aministaration that he seeks support from.

rumleyfips said...

Head filled with straw, creaky and squeaky and born without a heart. Oh my Toto.

Owen Gray said...

Toto knew a Cowardly Lion when he saw one, rumley.

Owen Gray said...

If he can get only the administration to vote, Steve, he'll remain where he is.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I didn't know that Owen, but I'm glad to hear it. I'll have read him more frequently.

Owen Gray said...

Coyne is a political conservative, Pam. He's no liberal. But he believes that the Harperites care more about power than principle.

On that score, I think he's right.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that Sgt. Doiron's death will change a lot of things, Ron.

It reminds us -- as perhaps nothing else can -- that we can't believe anything that Stephen Harper tells us.