Harperite Dirty Tricks: Have We Had Enough Yet?

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Red Andy
Harperite Dirty Tricks: Have We Had Enough Yet?

Nice to see Jason Kenny connected with the latest Harperite dirty tricks scandal. Kenny is like Harper - only younger, smarter and even more of an ideologue. So, when people say, "political parties are all the same. So and so would do the same thing." Well, when I hear that, I see 'red'.
"They're all the same so why bother" is such a tired rationale for excusing venal behavior. And the clear truth of it is that this "Harper Government" is totally different from any preceding government, including the formerly-named Progressive Conservative governments of Diefenbaker, Clark and Mulroney. In those days, being a conservative was an honorable, valid political viewpoint to take. These Harperites are different. They're not "conservatives". Just look at their record fiscally (profligate waste, mismanagement, procurement botches all), environmentally, their record with veterans. No, Harperites are not conservatives, they are fascists - and if you think that is over-stated, look it up.

Regions: 
Brachina

 Does a bear shit in the woods? Of course.

milo204

we should replace this "dirty tricks"  media/politician catchphrase with something more accurate like 

"a completely predicable way to act under the current system"

what they do is the same as a business that dodge taxes or uses the legal system to gain power over the less powerful.  a person who cheats to win.  someone who cuts in line.  whatever.

if it helps them win or gain an advantage they will do it, especially if they can later plead ignorance and get away with it or pin it on someone lower down the ladder.

it's pretty much one of the foundations of a western society, based on individual gain, massive inequality.  you can't have that unless you're screwing someone cause that's what power (private or public) is.  getting way more than your fair share (fair being no more than anyone else)

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

milo204 wrote:

we should replace this "dirty tricks"  media/politician catchphrase with something more accurate like 

"a completely predicable way to act under the current system"

what they do is the same as a business that dodge taxes or uses the legal system to gain power over the less powerful.  a person who cheats to win.  someone who cuts in line.  whatever.

if it helps them win or gain an advantage they will do it, especially if they can later plead ignorance and get away with it or pin it on someone lower down the ladder.

it's pretty much one of the foundations of a western society, based on individual gain, massive inequality.  you can't have that unless you're screwing someone cause that's what power (private or public) is.  getting way more than your fair share (fair being no more than anyone else)

milo, I agree with your general critique of the current state of our society, but this particular vice (electoral cheating) was not socially accepted in Canada as recently as my own lifetime. Diefenbaker, Stanfield, and Clark would never have considered such cheating justified. Not even St. Laurent or Pearson, corrupt as they were, would have defended this kind of behaviour. Those old timers actually believed in electoral democracy, and, in the main, honoured the unwritten rules that were necessary for it to work.

P. E. Trudeau and Mulroney were on the cusp, pushing the envelope of ethics to a point of "If it isn't illegal, I can do it to gain advantage." In this, they were following the popular business management theories of the time. Chretien and Martin made things incrementally worse, but Harper has moved Canadian elections much closer to the amoral, Machiavellian mess that the Republican and Democratic party experts in the U.S. have created. It seems that now the test is "If I can avoid getting caught before the election is over, why not break the law?"

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

milo204 wrote:

we should replace this "dirty tricks"  media/politician catchphrase with something more accurate like 

"a completely predicable way to act under the current system"

what they do is the same as a business that dodge taxes or uses the legal system to gain power over the less powerful.  a person who cheats to win.  someone who cuts in line.  whatever.

if it helps them win or gain an advantage they will do it, especially if they can later plead ignorance and get away with it or pin it on someone lower down the ladder.

it's pretty much one of the foundations of a western society, based on individual gain, massive inequality.  you can't have that unless you're screwing someone cause that's what power (private or public) is.  getting way more than your fair share (fair being no more than anyone else)

milo, I agree with your general critique of the current state of our society, but this particular vice (electoral cheating) was not socially accepted in Canada as recently as my own lifetime. Diefenbaker, Stanfield, and Clark would never have considered such cheating justified. Not even St. Laurent or Pearson, corrupt as they were, would have defended this kind of behaviour. Those old timers actually believed in electoral democracy, and, in the main, honoured the unwritten rules that were necessary for it to work.

P. E. Trudeau and Mulroney were on the cusp, pushing the envelope of ethics to a point of "If it isn't illegal, I can do it to gain advantage." In this, they were following the popular business management theories of the time. Chretien and Martin made things incrementally worse, but Harper has moved Canadian elections much closer to the amoral, Machiavellian mess that the Republican and Democratic party experts in the U.S. have created. It seems that now the test is "If I can avoid getting caught before the election is over, why not break the law?"

 

Thank you for recognizing the damage the Harpercons have made and continue to make as they drag this country back to the 1930's. Thank you for calling them out for what they are -- Tea Bag Republicans.

Finally some truth and enlightenment from this forum.

Debater

One of the things I find both interesting & disturbing is that topics or scandals involving Conservative abuses of power or law-breaking don't seem to attract very many responses here.

For example, why is it that the threads on the convictions of Michael Sona & Dean Del Mastro get very few responses compared to the threads on Justin Trudeau?  The most popular threads seem to be on the subject of polling battles, Trudeau's chances in 2015, Liberal vs. NDP rivalries, etc.

One might almost think this was a Conservative board considering how little criticism the Conservatives get here sometimes.  All opposition parties should be very concerned that we have such a corrupt government in power.  Have most Babblers not read the exposé on Stephen Harper written by Michael Harris?

The fact that the Conservatives have been caught several times trying to steal elections should be a huge topic around here, and yet it gets very little attention compared to the Trudeau-bashing threads.

Why is that?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I agree with Debater.

There are too many Conservative apologists. Why are people obsessed with Trudeau and the LIberals at babble?

The 1990's are over.

It would be like bemoaning Mulroney. It's history.It's over.

Let's deal with the present and let's admit without being blinded by partisanship that the Harpercons are one of the worst things to ever happen to Canada.

Brachina

 Trudeau is the greater threat, once Trudeau is dealt with Harper will be easily crushed, he's sagging under the weight of a long time in goverment filled with reckless behavior and destructive actions and corruption. Without Trudeau to confuse the issue people will flock to Mulcair and progressives will be united under a great man, all that stands in our way is Trudeau and all that is wrong with him.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Brachina wrote:

 Trudeau is the greater threat, once Trudeau is dealt with Harper will be easily crushed, he's sagging under the weight of a long time in goverment filled with reckless behavior and destructive actions and corruption. Without Trudeau to confuse the issue people will flock to Mulcair and progressives will be united under a great man, all that stands in our way is Trudeau and all that is wrong with him.

There's the partisanship I was talking about.

Brachina

 The NDP has tried partships with the Liberals, but they are too corrupt and incompetant and rightwing to work with. They're filled and lead by useless people.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Sigh.

You're still acting like the Liberals have been holding power since 2006. They're not the government,they're not even the Oppostion.They are the 3rd place party.

Why are you so afraid of them?

Try living in the present and with the reality of our current government.

Brachina

 Trudeau is far more popular then Harper and I am too aware of the deep poisonous roots the Liberals have in the fabric of the nation to risk thier revival. You shrug them off at thier peril. They can be beaten this time and I believe they will be, but only if progressives are vigilant that thier stain never darkens the hall ways of 24 sussex again.

 

 Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to Harper's defeat, his abused our democracy enough and he has a talent for embarrassing this country that rivals Rob Fords. 

Brachina

Wrong thread.

Red Andy

Thank you Michael Moriarty for briefly summarizing the history of dirty tricks - and we haven't even discussed gerrymandering. Elections Canada (again, political interference there) calculates that, of the 30 seats being added in 2015, Harper stands to pick up 22 of them - if people vote the same as they did in 2011. How's that for a dirty trick?

I also agree with Alan Smithee and Debater with the relatively easy ride Harper's Brownshirts get in this forum. It amazes me with how outrageously bad things have to get before people get outraged and focused on the source of the outrage. I've been quoting Bukowski today: "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

Unionist

Brachina wrote:

 Trudeau is the greater threat, once Trudeau is dealt with Harper will be easily crushed, he's sagging under the weight of a long time in goverment filled with reckless behavior and destructive actions and corruption. Without Trudeau to confuse the issue people will flock to Mulcair and progressives will be united under a great man, all that stands in our way is Trudeau and all that is wrong with him.

I just wanted to quote this in case Brachina awakes from his stupor and tries to delete it. Let it stand as a warning to decent people of the consequences of being chronically incapable of recognizing the enemy.

 

Brachina

 I'm very aware that Harper's the enemy, but the NDP can't beat them until the NDP beats the Liberals, so it can unite the  the antitory vote behind its banner. If you can't see that, your the one in the stupor.

Debater

A party can't form government in this country unless it can win in the Ontario suburbs and win over red tories.  Whether we like it or not, we often have to kiss the butt of the red tories to get their votes.  Only the Liberals have been able to win them over historically from the Conservatives.

The results of Layton in the 2011 election and the results Mulcair has got since he's been leader show that these folks won't vote NDP.  It's even hard to keep them in the Liberal camp sometimes (look at how some of them have leaked back to Harper over security fears since the Parliament Hill terrorism).  Getting them to vote NDP is almost impossible.  Unless there is some sort of miraculous change in their psychological makeup before the next election, Mulcair cannot get them to coalesce behind him.

The only one that has had some success doing so so far is Trudeau.  It's hard for NDP supporters to acknowledge this, but look at the polling & the by-election results.  They speak for themselves.  In particular, look at the by-election results in Whitby-Oshawa & Scarborough-Agincourt this year.  In both ridings, the NDP fell below 10%.  That shows that the NDP can't beat the Conservatives in Ontario.

NorthReport

Not according to other opinions who feel there is little hope for the Trudeau Liberals as after several months of Trudeau exnibiting his foot-in-mouth abilities, the Liberals have, not in just weeks, but for months now, been on a downward slide in the polling. And anyways many Canadians are questioning the wisdom of changing one right-wing government for another right-wing government.

Debater

It's not the Liberals who are on the downward slide . . .

You might want to look at the by-election results again.

If you need some help understanding the results, ask a political science professor to help you.  Or perhaps a mathematician or statistician.

Maybe check out the by-election charts by Paul Fairie, PhD.  They show what has been happening with party vote share over the past few years . . .

https://twitter.com/paulisci

terrytowel

NorthReport wrote:

And anyways many Canadians are questioning the wisdom of changing one right-wing government for another right-wing government.

Then explain the most progressive city in Canada (Toronto) electing a center-right mayor John Tory over center-left Olivia Chow.

And she didn't even come second. She finished third behind right-wing Tea-Party Doug Ford.

Debater

The other factor is that since the NDP has been trying to act like Liberals, some voters feel they might as well vote for the real Liberal Party.

The NDP should stop trying to be centrist and go back to its left of centre origins -- Chantal Hébert suggested this in a column after the Whitby-Oshawa by-elections.

Red Andy

Debater wrote:

The other factor is that since the NDP has been trying to act like Liberals, some voters feel they might as well vote for the real Liberal Party.

The NDP should stop trying to be centrist and go back to its left of centre origins -- Chantal Hébert suggested this in a column after the Whitby-Oshawa by-elections.


Exactly. The mushy middle is already well-represented. The NDP would do well to re-think their Middle East policies and their stance re. the environment. And focus on being the progressive voice. There's precious little of that to be found.

Aristotleded24

Debater wrote:
One of the things I find both interesting & disturbing is that topics or scandals involving Conservative abuses of power or law-breaking don't seem to attract very many responses here.

For example, why is it that the threads on the convictions of Michael Sona & Dean Del Mastro get very few responses compared to the threads on Justin Trudeau?  The most popular threads seem to be on the subject of polling battles, Trudeau's chances in 2015, Liberal vs. NDP rivalries, etc.

One might almost think this was a Conservative board considering how little criticism the Conservatives get here sometimes.  All opposition parties should be very concerned that we have such a corrupt government in power.  Have most Babblers not read the exposé on Stephen Harper written by Michael Harris?

The fact that the Conservatives have been caught several times trying to steal elections should be a huge topic around here, and yet it gets very little attention compared to the Trudeau-bashing threads.

Why is that?

I think the reason might have something to do with delivery. Harper is probably the most hated Prime Minister we've ever elected, but he has, for the most part, been quite straightforward about what he believes and he has been consistent in following through. He campaigned against activist government, so he cut programs that helped people. He campaigned against child care, so he gave cash to parents instead. He campaigned on a more interventionist military policy, so he increased military spending. He campaigned on cutting the GST, and he did. He has accused scientists of having an ideological agenda, so he cut science funding. He campaigned on giving more power to the provinces, so under his watch there was a retrenchment of federal power. And he was elected while all this was pretty common knowledge.

Contrast to the Liberals who are so slimy, all over the map, and lack a clear vision of what to do other than get re-elected constantly. The Liberals campaigned against NAFTA, and let it pass. The Liberals campaigned on scrapping the GST, it's still here. The Liberals campaigned on bringing in a child care program, we don't have one. The Liberals campaigned as defenders of health care, yet gutted the Canada Health Act provisions that called for precisely that. The Liberals campaigned as champions of the underdog, but they cut unemployment insurance. The Liberals campaigned as champions of the environment, but allowed Canada's GHG emissions to grow worse than under GW Bush. Never mind the fact that the Liberals, more than any other oppositon party, rolled over for Harper time and again in the minority Parliaments, despite shouting from the rooftops that Harper is the Devil incarnate.

So why is anger directed at the Liberals rather than the Conservatives? We don't like the Conservatives, but we know where they stand and we can deal with that straight up. The Liberals, however, manage to convince people that they are something they are not, and people believe them. It's essentially an uphill battle trying to expose the Liberal Party, because based on polling numbers and recent by-election trends, so far that hasn't been working.

I'll also say that while I disagree with several policies the NDP has taken, I'm getting really sick and tired of every NDP loss being followed up with stories in the press about how the NDP needs to turn further left, without any further analysis of local matters or the context in which the elections took place. I mean, seriously, does Walkom honestly believe that there are large numbers of closet lefties in Whitby who are just dying to hear a socialist program, and who would have come out and supported the NDP had the NDP offered one?