Monday, June 25, 2018

Be Prepared

Michael Harris writes that the Conservative communications strategy for the next election is pretty clear. They plan to stage a full court Trumpian Press:

Their goal? 
To portray the PM as a trust-fund aristocrat who hasn’t got the foggiest idea of how ordinary people live. Not a man of the people, but of the beautiful people. Not a weekend cottage kind of guy, but a holiday buddy of the Aga Khan kind of guy. 

You can see that strategy at work in Andrew Scheer's reaction to the $7500 swing set Trudeau bought for his kids and had installed at Harrington Lake:

The way Conservative leader Andrew Scheer raised the subject, you would think that Trudeau had taken the money straight out of the Mint to splurge on his brood’s private playground.
The reality check here would normally be to simply state the facts. Trudeau personally paid for the swing set, charging taxpayers $1,800 for its installation, as per National Capital Commission rules. Presumably when he leaves as prime minister, the swing set stays — along with the sauna (also paid for by Trudeau), and the refurbished deck and floating dock.

All of those things will become part of history -- just like the architectural remnants Mackenzie King left on the property.

The real problem the Conservatives have in painting Trudeau as a spendthrift is that, on that score, Trudeau can't hold a candle to Stephen Harper:

The Conservatives have also roasted Trudeau for the profligacy of his February trip to India. The $1.5 million price tag for this ill-fated journey, included more than $17,000 to fly in a Vancouver chef. The guy whipped up a couple of doubtlessly delicious meals for mucky-mucks attending an official reception at the Canadian High Commission.
It also cost nearly half a million dollars to staff and fly the government Airbus that took Trudeau and his retinue from Canada to India.
Trudeau may have flown in a vanity chef on his nine-day sojourn to India, but former PM Stephen Harper blew $3.9 million during two trips to the same destination, one in 2009 and a second in 2012, which totalled nine days as well.
Part of Harper’s obscene travel bill was to fly in his own armoured and bullet-proof vehicles — two Cadillacs and an SUV.
Missing in Conservative screeds alleging prime ministerial excess is the fact that Trudeau used vehicles provided by the Indian government. At $58,000, that was quite a bargain compared to Harper’s million-dollar motorcade.

Trudeau can be criticized for many things. But, when it comes to spending money for his personal comfort, the guy who came before him is not the paragon the Conservatives will claim he was.

The Right these days is not principled. But it is shameless. So be prepared.

Image: You Tube


Lorne said...

Reality checks and facts are not in vogue these days, Owen. Clearly, as you suggest, the Conservatives are apt students of our southern neigbours.

Owen Gray said...

We live in an age, Lorne, where The Big Lie is the most used tool in a politician's toolkit.

Danneau said...

We are well prepared, but perhaps not in the way that would be optimal for the good of the country: there is a current of ignorance and closed-mindedness abroad that has adopted the Con/Trump/Scheer/Wall/Kenny brand and which seems not to let go of a mind once infested. Neither facts nor framing will penetrate the fog-bound anti-intellectual and anti-empathic vitriol that fills these brains, and these brains are legion.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Danneau. Those brains used to be on the fringe. But now they are many and their ignorance seems impenetrable.

Lulymay said...

There's one name left out: Harper. And if you consider Trump's lack of any normal values or morals, there is one thing the rest of the names remind me of is that they are all full of evangelical fervor (or is it fever?). These people are absolutely ton-deaf when it comes to their belief system and from what I see, will not be happy until they have the rest of locked in to that same set of beliefs.

I grew up in a family that had those same goals and I can tell you, I counted myself out many years ago.

Owen Gray said...

Fever is exactly the right word, Lulymay. It's a sickness that endangers public health. And, like you, we should check ourselves out of their hotel.