Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is Stephen Harper Possibly Going to Campaign On?

Stephen Harper has not had a good week. In fact he has not had a good several weeks, as his past his coming back to haunt him.

As an editorial in the Chronicle Herald asked:

WHAT’S the difference between a bad week in politics and an abysmal one? Bad is when you cough up the ball and give the opposition an issue to kick around for a while. Abysmal is when you hand it an entire narrative to play with.

The Harper government has certainly fumbled so badly over the past few days that its critics now harbour the hope of changing the ballot-box question ... It’s not that Canadians are overly perturbed that the Speaker of the House spanked the government this week for being economical with the truth (in the Bev Oda document-tampering fiasco) and for being miserly with the figures (on the cost of its tough-on-crime and corporate tax cut policies).
They also severely low-balled the cost of the F-35s. Planes we can't afford and that are deemed to be inadequate to meet our needs, since they are unsuitable for the Arctic.

They were also hoping to use the economy as their strong point, but handling our money is nothing they can boast about. We just got the bill for their latest self-promotion ad blitz, and it's a whopping 26 million dollars.

Again from the Chronicle Herald
NO WONDER the federal Conservatives are trying to steer public opinion toward their one perceived strong point — economic management. In a stunning series of events this week, Canada’s governing party has seen its reputation stained on issues on which it has staked its future.In the third of three blows — many more hooks and jabs had already weakened the government — a new report from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, whose post was established by the Conservatives to ensure “truth in budgeting,” says the total price tag for new F-35 fighter jets is close to $30 billion — nearly 70 per cent more than government estimates.

Not one to allow for questions about his work, Page had his report peer-reviewed by non-partisan experts at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Queen’s University.
How can they argue with that? Not that they won't try.

And Don Newman, in comparing the problems in the NHL with those of the Harper government says:
... the one with the greatest potential for destroying our way of life and central beliefs is the degeneration of Parliament and politics in general into a morass of phony election receipts, ultra-partisan tactics, altered documents, sleezy attack ads and outright untruths.
Stephen Harper is losing control and when he begins to lose control he always does something stupid.

Susan Delacourt believes that he may be focusing on Ontario, tapping into the Mike Harris crowd. He's hoping Rob Ford's butt scratching will give him the itch he needs, but in the process, will he alienate the West? He's lost five strong and experienced MPs from there.

Who knows? But this is the perfect opportunity to change the narrative and change the channel. This country is in trouble and it will only get worse the longer this crew is in power.

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