Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Their Alternate Facts

Tom Walkom writes that voters punished all the parties in this election. But that reality hasn't set in yet. All of the leaders seem to be living in an alternate reality:

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer treated the Liberal minority win as if it had never happened.
He made no mention of the fact that his party had failed to oust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. Instead, he treated the election as a way station on the road to an inevitable Conservative victory sometime in the future.
There was no talk from Scheer on how to make a minority parliament work. Rather, he suggested that any attempt to do so would be somehow illegitimate, noting that his party won marginally more of the popular vote than the victorious Liberals.
Referring to his Conservatives as the government in waiting, he said that his work would not be over until he demolished the Trudeau regime.

Justin Trudeau sounded like a man who had won a majority:

The prime minister made no explicit reference to the fact that Canadians had deprived him of his parliamentary majority. Instead, he insisted that voters had given him a mandate to continue governing as he had before.
His only concession to the reality of his new situation came in two brief references. He told Quebecers who had switched their votes from the Liberals to the Bloc Québécois that he had heard their message. He said to voters in Alberta and Saskatchewan, who on Monday booted the few would-be Liberal MPs still extant in those provinces, that he understood their frustration.
Like Scheer, he seemed to treat Monday’s election results as a minor interruption. He said he will continue doing what he has done — although he did note that it is always possible to do better.

And, even though Jagmeet Singh ended the night with far fewer seats than he had at the beginning of the campaign, he sounded triumphant:

An excited Singh treated the election as a huge victory for the NDP. In fact, the party suffered devastating results. It was wiped out in Saskatchewan and almost wiped out in Quebec.
It won no seats in Toronto or the so-called 905 suburban belt around the city. In Ontario, it went from eight seats at dissolution to six. Nationally, its seat total went from 39 to 24.

There was lots of hubris in the air -- and hardly any humility. A minority parliament will only work if leaders begin with a realistic assessment of their situation. It appears that each leader has his own set of alternate facts.

Image: Chilliwack Progress


Anonymous said...

This is all post-election spin, with each leader putting lipstick on a pig. We'll soon see how it all plays out once the House is back in session.

As an American, Scheer will be tempted to follow the GOP lead in using committee hearings that the Libs can't control to launch Benghazi-style attacks on the SNL affair.

But he's going to have to watch his back as well. As one Tory insider told the Star, “This was a bad campaign. Scheer is the 21st-century Joe Clark. You can’t pin all of this on Ford.” Is that the sound of knives being sharpened?


Owen Gray said...

There was a story that appeared during the campaign, Cap, that a group of Conservatives -- which included Peter Mackay -- were plotting the direction of the party post Scheer. We'll have to see if Andrew can hang on to his leadership.

Willy said...

Surprisingly, Ford's first statement about the election sounded the most professional. He said, "I would like to congratulate the prime minister on his re-election and also the other party leaders".

I guess after the closing down his government and hiding in his basement for two months, he realizes the sheer hypocrisy of his conservative friends.

Owen Gray said...

It would be refreshing if Ford has reached that conclusion, Willy. But I'll withhold judgment until I hear more from him.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a darn about these so-called "leaders". But Walkom or anyone else who doesn't even remember a mere few weeks ago that the NDP was headed for the skids with the likelihood of not even getting 12 seats and losing Commons research/office money has an agenda whether they're bright enough or not to recognize it. Singh stemmed the loss and got 24 seats - that's why he's happy.

Anybody of sentient mind and body remember this situation?

I mean, the way it's put is revisionism on the trot. And I voted Green, but cannot stand dopiness and lack of truthful explanation.

What I'm far more concerned about is that the Cons are already mobilizing the local business types here in NS to support Alberta's whinging about unfairness. We've had nothing else but nonsense on CBC Radio all day yesterday and today about poor old Albertans, those not-understood destitutes living in shacks and wondering where their next nickel is coming from. Utter nonsense in other words, organized by that slimy demagogue Kenney and his ilk and the petro state subsidized by the foreign petro-barons running Alberta. Why, it's almost enough to make you want to cry out in anguish at the way we've treated that one-industry colossus out West (besides agriculture). The rich guy who has had its pocket emptied by unjust equalization formulas, just like real life billionaires who are always feeling a bit light in the wallet, so the poor folks will have to top 'em up.

What with this relentless blackmail, threats of an equalization referendum based on anything but fact, and the we-might-have-to-leave, head in the sand on climate issues that the majority in Alberta seems to embrace as reality, and the completely bogus BQ party from Quebec, I'd say this place is toast. We are entirely missing a strong Federal leader who actually believes in Canada who can stand up and deliver a lecture to the country, and especially all these incompetent premiers everywhere unable to see beyond their local noses, that the time for farting around has come to an end and that we should pull together as a nation.

The likelihood of this? Nil. We'll just do a Canadian version of Brexit where we argue ourselves into oblivion on stupid petty matters of childish proportions.


e.a.f. said...

Politicians are usually ego drive, so one ought not to expect too much humility from any of the three. One ought not to expect them to admit things didn't go as planned. that might not sound good to the 'troops' and taking responsibility for anything going wrong, means you might have to fix it.

My take on the NDP is they are simply back at their normal levels. I never expected them to keep the Quebec seats. Jack Layton was able to make in roads there but he died and the party wasn't able to deliver what the Quebecers wanted. it was an experiment. they had tried the other parties. didn't get what they wanted, so they went back to the tried and true, the Bloc. the past `10/15 years for the NDP was never going to last.

The NDP not making progress/seats in the Toronto area, my take on it was, people thought they would have to vote either Liberal or Conservative to get what they wanted so they didn't bother with the other parties. we need to remember Trudeau brought in the child tax credit and it plays a fairly decent part of many people's incomes. Scheer/conservatives promised a tax credit for sports. News flash, most people can't afford to have their kids play hockey unless they have the money up front. Tax credits only work for those with money. child tax benefit cheques each and every month, say so much more.

Trudeau rode to victory last time with a lot of hype and people bought it. They wanted to believe, they did not want to look behind the curtain. They have no one to blame but themselves if they were disappointed in him. Trudeau is a politicians, he isn't a messiah.

Post election interviews are sound bites. Leaders have to get out their message as quickly as possible in as few a words as possible. Nothing wrong with what each of the 3 leaders said. Its what they do next which counts.

Hey lets not forget The Greens went from 2 seats to 3. They actually did well. Manley held onto his seat he won a few months ago when 30K fewer voters came out. Not bad.

Ralph Goodale and Lisa Raitt were two M.P.s I would hve liked to see continue on, but its not to be and both parties will the lesser for it. Raitt is the type of M.P. who the Conservatives need if they are ever to form government under a new leader. Scheer most likely did not get the message, the voters sent Bernier: hate doesn't work in Canada as well as the U.S.A. The Conservatives need to move back to the middle.

e.a.f. said...

Scheer's carry on about having more votes than Trudeau and not being government. He can thank Harper for that. It was during Harper's reign that the ridings were "altered". Here on Vancouver island one riding, Comox Valley was split into two with half the Valley being put in with Powell River a ferry ride away. the other half of the Valley was put in with towns up to an hr. away. My take on it was Harper or whomever was hoping by splitting the Valley the Liberals/NDP/Greens would never win because Conservatives were added to the mix. Didn't work out.
Scheer needs to get over himself. things are not much different for Trudeau than for harper, when Harper won, but the other parties had enough seats to gang up on him, which they eventually did, with the result Harper prologued Parliament. If Scheer wants to get rid of Trudeau, he'd have to "make nice" with the other parties but that isn't going to happen, because Scheer doesn't know how to do that and the other parties have more in common with the Liberals than the Conservatives.

I've always supported the NDP, but I'm not unhappy with the election results because, those child benefit cheques are going to continue. It may not matter in other parts of the country, but out here in B.C. that money is necessary to keep a roof over your head if you have kids. To rent a room in a shared 2 bedroom apartment is $900 per month in Greater Victoria and Vancouver. You can imagine what it would cost to rent a "whole" two bedroom apartment. A decent apartment starts at about $2K a month. Social programs are what people want.

Now we can wait until the new budget and see how JWR does in Parliament. That was a huge victory. An independent winning.

Lulymay said...

Okay, I'm going to be rather rude here! Sheer came across as a very shallow person. He has nothing to offer, nothing significant to say, and like a little boy, has been protected by Harper and is managed by Harper to this day.

There's such a thing as "truthiness", a component in his character which is obviously lacking, despite his so-called "Christian" values. I'm not bothered by his dual citizenship; there are lots of Canadians who retain that status. But why the secrecy? I am really bothered that he intentionally kept that a secret, especially given his false indignation and vitriol with respect to one of our Governor Generals. He also purposely misrepresented his work resume both as to experience and status.

He comes across as someone who has lived a very cloistered and protected life and has no understanding of what middle class and other less fortunate families must contend with on a daily basis. Isn't it nice that his wife can stay at home, produce 5(?) children and have the time to home school them and I guess, protect them from all those unwashed non- Evangelical kids they would encounter in a general school population.

I am just so glad that this latest federal election turned out the way it did. It gives me hope for the future of Canada (even if those crazy AB think the are soon off to be another piece of land in the Excited States of Murrica, altho I don't know that's going to give them clear access to the Pacific Ocean. I live in BC - maybe they should aim for Hudson Bay- at least they could maintain their health care!

Owen Gray said...

Your warning about the Conservatives is well founded, BM. They are mobilizing and pulling out all the stops. The fact that Trudeau bought them a pipeline is irrelevant.

Owen Gray said...

Behind Scheer's smile there's a nasty self righteousness, Lulymay. It doesn't take much to see behind the smile.

Owen Gray said...

I agree with you, e.a.f. the conservatives need to once again become Progressive Conservatives. I doubt, however, that they will do that. And, yes, JWR's victory sends a strong message about how to do politics.