Friday, July 16, 2010

Michael Ignatieff Reclaiming the Centre Now That Harper Wants Only the Extreme Right

It would appear that most of Harper's decisions these days are based on trying to reclaim his extreme right base, who have been disenchanted with his spendthrift ways.

For four years he has tried to pretend to be moderate but with his cover blown he's back to, as Guy Giorno puts it, "playing to his base".

His Fox News North and the racist Sun playing from his songbook, are helping to seal his fate.

What's that they say: "You can fool some of the people some of the time ... " He's not fooling many these days.

This next election will be a crucial one. Jack Layton will be running for second place. That's not good enough. We need someone who is serious about running for first and we CANNOT afford to split the vote this time.

The Globe had a sorta' kinda' almost nice article about his stop in Peterborough. The Liberal candidate there is Betsy McGregor, a single mom who put herself through University to come a vet.

Dean Del Mastro brings nothing to the table. He's a partisan hack who's past his expiry date.

Mr. Ignatieff is calling on Red Tories, those who don't support neoconservatism to join him. Stephen Harper hates Red Tories and refers to them as 'Pink Liberals'.
Ignatieff called the big red tent of the Liberal party the "compassionate, reforming centre of Canadian life" where the Canada Health Act, pensions, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and decency and security for every Canadian are found. "That's where the centre is and unless we hold the centre, defend the centre, fight for the centre, renew the centre this country is going in a direction that none of you want and we've got to stop it," he said. "Stephen Harper wants to take the centre from us and move it 10 degrees to the right."

Ignatieff shook hands and spoke with people at an event attended by about 150 supporters at the Holiday Inn on George St. After the barbecue, he went to the Little Lake Musicfest concert. The stop was part of a national tour of more than 90 communities in all 13 provinces and territories over a nine-week period. On Thursday morning, he continues the tour with a stop in Cobourg. NDP and Green voters are people of conscience and feeling, Ignatieff said.

"If you want clean water, if you want clean air, if you want action on climate change there's only one party in government that can do it and that's the Liberal Party of Canada," he said. Ignatieff urged Liberals to reach out to their Conservative neighbours. "(They're) good people, hard working people, caring people, people who love this country just as much as we do.… We can't win this election unless we reach out to those people who wonder where the progressive in Conservative just disappeared. We've got to reach out to the Conservatives who wonder where the fiscal responsibility in conservatism just disappeared. "People who used to be called Red Tories…. They belong in the red tent at the centre of Canadian life."

Even Harper's former campaign manager and mentor has given up on him.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a controlling leader running a “garrison party” in permanent campaign mode, says his former campaign director Tom Flanagan. In a paper written for presentation at a conference in Montreal, Flanagan offers an insider’s analysis that draws on his and Harper’s past experience with the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties.

The University of Calgary political scientist and author casts a critical eye on Harper as prime minister, suggesting his leadership style has created a party that is more like the “old-line parties” that Reform and the Canadian Alliance used to criticize. He says although there is evidence that the Liberals are starting to adopt some of the Conservatives’ tricks of the trade, including centralizing memberships lists, fundraising, and message discipline, the Conservative Party’s continual girding for electoral battle risks turning off grassroots members who view a political party as a way to advance policy, not just win elections.

Harper's last campaign was conducted in a bubble. Every move choreographed, nothing left to chance.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shielded from the public as he criss-crosses the country, campaigning in a political bubble. No handshakes on street corners or rallies in the parks. Only highly staged backdrops for his daily political message, and assemblies where Tory staffers and security officers closely monitor the crowds.

It will be nice to have a prime minister who actually talks to us.

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