Tuesday, October 06, 2015

What Does He Say In Private?


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The differences between the Liberals and the Conservatives are getting starker. Susan Delacourt writes:

If this election is distilling down to a potentially ugly culture war in the final two weeks before the vote, much could rest on how Canadians feel about the people living around them.

Trudeau gave an important speech in Brampton on Sunday — one that all those who have dismissed him as ‘not ready’ probably ought to see for themselves. This being an election and all, it was analyzed immediately afterward through the prism of political strategy — for its ability to mobilize support, to give the Liberals the impression of momentum, and so on.

Simply put, Trudeau is clearly gambling that if Canadians have to choose between generosity and suspicion toward their neighbours, they will summon up their generous side. If that’s your view, the Brampton speech on Sunday probably spoke to your Canada in a way we haven’t seen in this country in a long time.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, are -- and always have been -- suspicious of their neighbours:

In case you missed it, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Women’s Minister Kellie Leitch announced the establishment of a special RCMP “tip line” for citizens to report people they suspect of indulging in “barbaric cultural practices.”

Already, the announcement has sparked widespread parody, including the website reportyourneighbour.ca, which lays out all the ways in which Conservative policies also could be regarded as culturally offside, if not “barbaric.”

In Winnipeg last week, Conservative MP Joyce Bateman presented a list of Liberal candidates she alleged to be anti-Israel, clearly believing it would be a crowd-pleaser at a debate sponsored by B’nai B’rith. It was not. She was booed down by many attendees and at least one shouted “shameful” as she tried to read out her list.

It's all very Nixonian. It's worth remembering that, on the White House Tapes, Nixon called Trudeau the Elder an "asshole." Pierre's response to the news was that he had been "called worse things by better people."

One wonders what Harper says about Trudeau the Younger in private.


22 comments:

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I wonder Owen if Harper has a good word to say about anybody. I think his hatred for Trudeau Sr. is pathological. A psychiatrist would have a field day figuring out what that pathology is really based on. As to Trudeau Jr. Harpers attack ads don't seem to be working, but what sweet justice it would be if Harper lost the election to someone with the last name of Trudeau.I think he has nightmares about that. It doesn't help that Trudeau walks into the crowds embracing people,while Harper bellows from his invitation only bubble. Did you see the Danny Williams interview on CBC? He talked about Harper and he held nothing back. If you haven't seen it it's worth a look/listen.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau is right that those Cons voting people are our neighbours and friends. He is, however, wrong, perhaps even naïve, by suggesting that we can persuade these people to see the nastiness and divisiveness in Harper and to abandon their support for his nasty brand of politics.

Personally, I have tried for over 5 years and had got into arguments with my Cons voting neighbours (yes, we are still friends). But it is a question of values, specifically, huge differences in values. Frank Graves of EKOS is correct. It is a war of cultures, ours and theirs. Essentially, we believe in an inclusive society while they believe in an exclusive one (which is why the phrase old-stock Canadians will resonate very well with these people).

Thankfully, it would appear that the hard core Harper supporters number only about 25% of voters, and figuring in a voter turnout of about 60%, that hardcore Harper supporter category works out to only about 15% of Canadians, or about 1 in every 7 people we meet. Think about that as you look down your street and try to figure out who these people are.

Owen Gray said...

The hardcore Harperites have always been a distinct minority, Anon. But voter apathy has allowed that minority to practice cynical and paranoid politics. What can make the difference is voter turn out. If those who haven't voted come to the poles, Harper will be gone.

Lorne said...

The choice is clear, Owen. Do we want a government that cultivates the better angels of our nature, or the darker ones? My heart will break if Canadians choose the latter.

Owen Gray said...

I saw the interview with Danny Williams, Pam. He has Mr. Harper's number. I'm including a link to the interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xNWjCmDLgw

Owen Gray said...

I couldn't agree more, Lorne. This is not an election about two flavours of vanilla.

Bill said...

There is some serious (scholarly) work being done on the subject of "moral values that form the basis of political choices" by Jonathan Haidt et. al. Here's a link to his TED Talk "The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives": https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind?language=en

Haidt's book for the general public, The Righteous Mind, was eye-opening for me.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I still wonder Owen, what % of hardcore Harperites are Evangelical Christian. This is an extremely dogmatic group and would not be interested in any analysis about Harper. They accept him without question, especially if he's creating policy based on their beliefs.I know too though there are hardcore Harperites who are not Evangelical Christians. In a way, they are harder to understand.I think your observation, that they believe in an exclusive, not inclusive society is a major key to understanding them

Rural said...

Indeed it seems to becoming even more of a choice between those who wish to divide and conquer and those that wish to find some middle ground and seek inclusiveness, cooperation and consensus, Owen. If, as seems very probable, we have a minority government we will need much of those latter two values, I wonder if those values exist in ANY of those wanting to lead our country out of the Harper dark ages, other than the Greens who have been carefully sidelined by the 'big three', but Trudeau seems to be at least making the right noises!

Owen Gray said...

Elizabeth May is a very bright woman, Rural. Unfortunately, she doesn't have much of an infrastructure behind her. I had my doubts about Justin. But I have been pleasantly surprised.

Owen Gray said...

When I look at exclusive Christians, Pam, I remember Gandhi's reply when asked if he had ever considered becoming a Christian. "I would have," he said, "if I had met one."

Owen Gray said...

I've read a little about Haidt's work, Bill. Thanks for the link. Political choices aren't always rational.

Mogs Moglio said...

Well it is obvious that Harper is struggling so he has taken to "throwing dead cats on the dining table"...

""Your best bet in these circumstances is to perform a manoeuvre that a great campaigner describes as “throwing a dead cat on the table, mate”.

That is because there is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout “Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!”; in other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9906445/This-cap-on-bankers-bonuses-is-like-a-dead-cat-pure-distraction.html

harper and his dead cats; Niqab, Refugees ISIS will sneak in, Barbaric cultural practices and enemies of Israel. Explained so well by Heather Libby here:

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/10/05/Fear-Hijacked-Campaign-2015/

Now nobody is talking about any of the Harper-con governments criminally wracked behavior the economy or anything of any value whatsoever. How many more dead cats has Harper got? Or will a terrorist plot suddenly be manufactured?

Your guess is as good as mine but one thing we do know its going to get even more sleazy. One good thing right now is that with Trudeau jr pulling ahead the best Harper the dictator can hope for is a minority. Even though I have misgivings about both Mulcair and Trudeau either man would be a breath of fresh air to be the next PM.

Owen Gray said...

This is, first and foremost, about voting Harper out, Mogs -- and hoping that whoever replaces him will be an improvement.

Scotian said...

I left a very detailed comment in the Delacourt article's comment section at iPolitics under the name "Carpediem" which goes into some detail about the differences in the vision thing and the import of it vis-a-vis the three leaders. One of the things I like about that site is that they don't hit me with a character limit, meaning I can write as detailed as I feel the situation warrants. For a long winded blowhard like me...Paradise! LOL

Owen Gray said...

I've always found ipolitics a terrific site, Scotian, and I use it frequently.

bcwaterboy said...

Just watched Danny William's clip Owen and I say shout it from the rooftops, harper is not good for this country and it's time for him to go. I too have been very impressed with Justin Trudeau and he has some serious momentum going on there. He's most definitely "ready" and I think having a younger man at the helm, there's a good chance we could see the Liberals back as the governing party for decades to come. Fingers crossed, but I still having a sinking feeling in my gut that we're stuck with Steve for another 4 years and a majority at that. Hope I'm wrong.

Owen Gray said...

I hope you're wrong, too, waterboy. Three cheers for Danny. Incidentally, it's been awhile since you commented. It's good to have you back.

Bill said...

Owen wrote: "Political choices aren't always rational."

Who could/would disagree, eh?! Nor should they be, i.e. not entirely! Rationality gets us "safely" from premises to conclusions, but doesn't establish the premises from which we move towards conclusions. That's where values come in ... no?

Michael Sandel (Harvard) notes (apropos all of this) that "market values [tend to] crowd out non-market norms." His TED Talk: "Why we shouldn't trust markets with our civic life." https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_why_we_shouldn_t_trust_markets_with_our_civic_life?language=en His book: "What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets."

Anonymous said...

About that "barbaric cultural thingy" I live in B.C. where a cult called "Bountiful" and its leader Blackmore reside in complete indifference by the con M.P. that represents the area. I guess for them child bride rape and sending them across the border to be raped and "married"Is just alright. Conservative values alright!

Owen Gray said...

Like Sgt. Schultz, Anon, they claim to "see nothing, nothing at all."

Owen Gray said...

I've seen Sandel's lecture, Bill. You'll excuse the pun, but he's right on the money.