Sunday, September 13, 2015

Spitting Into The Wind


Last week, Stephen Harper pulled an Australian rabbit out of his hat. Up until now, he's been a pretty successful magician. He's created diversions to distract his audience from what he's really doing. The diversions are called wedge issues. But his show has been on the road for a long time; and it's getting stale.  History shows that, when the show gets stale, Canadian voters shut it down. Jeffrey Simpson writes:

What does the historical stroll reveal? That Canadians do not have formal term limits for the leaders, as do Americans, Mexicans and the French for their presidents, but somewhere in the eighth or ninth year of a prime minister’s tenure, the public says “time’s up.” Call it, for lack of a more precise phrase, the “democratic instinct.”

It doesn’t much matter which party is in power. The state of the economy is not of cardinal importance. How much money a party throws around before and during a campaign doesn’t count for much. None of these, and other factors, seem as critical as the democratic instinct that it’s “time for a change.”

From Louis St. Laurent to Jean Chretien, ten years is about as long as a prime minister gets. Louis St. Laurent got eight years. John Diefenbaker got six. Mike Pearson got five. Pierre Trudeau got eleven, but he was really finished after nine. Joe Clark got nine months.

When Stephen Harper dreamed of establishing a dynasty, he was spitting into the wind:

If he wins this election with another majority, he would remain in office for more consecutive years than any postwar prime minister. Even if Mr. Harper managed for a couple of years with a minority, he would still win the longevity award. Alas, for him, the electorate is not going to give him a majority. It increasingly looks like even a Conservative minority is doubtful.

Opinion polls can, and will, change. Take them for what they are worth; snapshots of a point in time. Today, the serious ones all point in the same direction: The Conservatives are at or below 30 per cent.

The trouble with spitting into the wind is that your own saliva comes back and hits you in the face. 


Mogs Moglio said...

There is another issue here with that Australian rabbit, is it not illegal to have a foreign person involved in Canadian politics? Specifically, Section 331 of the Canada Elections Act, which forbids non-residents from attempting to "induce electors" to vote for, or against, a candidate during the writ period.

Quotes below from:

"“Stephen Harper’s friends have played dirty in each of the last three elections. This one will be no exception.”

Greg Barns, an Australian lawyer and political commentator, agreed with that assessment.

Employing Crosby “shows Harper is desperate,” Barns said in an email to The Canadian Press. “Why? Because Crosby has one strategy only and it is scare campaigns. Appeals to insecure voters on issues like race.”"

Scare campaigns, fear right up harpers dark desolate alley.

"The independent watchdog who enforces Canada’s election laws says there’s nothing wrong with the Conservative party employing the services of controversial Australian campaign fixer Lynton Crosby.

The Canada Elections Act specifies that it is illegal for anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to “in any way induce electors” to vote or refrain from voting for a particular candidate."

Apparently if the harper-cons do it its okay with elections Canada. Which brings me to question why is Marc Mayrand still smiled on by harper when Marc has gone after the cons so often, what is really going on there? Most in Marc's position would have been turfed by harper long ago.

Anonymous said...

Pierre Trudeau was PM for much longer than 11 years, in fact, for 15-16 years, from !968-79 and then again from 1980-84:

He could not have been finished after 9, eh?

But Steve will not get another 4 years unless he cheats, and gets away with it again. :)

Owen Gray said...

I understand what you're getting at, Anon. But remember after Clark won in 1979 he didn't recall parliament for five months and then he had his nine month run. There were large empty spaces in that 16 year period.

The task for Canadians is to ensure that Mr. Harper is given a permanent -- and very large -- empty space.

Owen Gray said...

As you suggest, Mogs, Crosby was hired to take the low road. Harper believes that taking the low road is the path to victory.

Steve said...

Abbots toast, only two facist left in power.

Owen Gray said...

Steve's good Australian friend is going down, Steve, just as he hires a new Australian campaign manager. Perhaps he'll retire to the Outback.