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Stephen Harper is afraid to meet me

In this election, it seems to me that the Liberals are campaigning relatively well. And that the Conservatives are campaigning relatively poorly.

The first week was all about “reckless coalitions”, which has been debunked and declared a distraction and makes them look a bit stupid, especially when quotes such as this are located:

… what will be the test is whether there’s then any party in opposition that’s able to form a coalition or working alliance with the others. And I think we have a political system that’s going to continue to have three or four different parties, or five different parties, and so I think parties that want to form government are going to eventually have to learn to work together.

— Stephen Harper (1991)

(Source TVO, via Procedure and Politics)

So why try that? Well, apart from their peek popularity having occurred when the other parties threatened to make the unpopular Stephane Dion prime minister by coalition, I also think they don’t want Canadians to remember what made the other parties do that.

For whatever reason, the Conservatives have a good reputation on the economy. They are especially proud of the stimulus package, Canada’s Action Plan. So proud they spent $26 million taxpayer dollars telling us it was wonderful. After the program was over. (More proof of their great fiscal management, of course.)

However. When last elected, as the recession was taking hold, the Conservatives presented a fiscal update that cut spending, and provide no stimulus whatsoever. Only after and because of the coalition “crisis” did we get a new budget, containing Canada’s Action Plan (with a segue through the proroguing of Parliament).

But how can the NDP and Liberals remind Canadians of that without playing into Harper’s talking points on their “secret coalition plans”? Best to say nothing.

So, maybe Harper isn’t really campaigning that badly. Maybe he’s achieved exactly what he wanted here, in poisoning  another perfect valid idea to the point it can’t even mentioned. Last election carbon taxes (still a toxic subject), this election governance by coalition.

Of course, this week we’ve moved on to the Conservatives’ excesses in shutting out those who disagree with them:

This last young woman, Joanna MacDonald from Guelph, is the one planning to start on online campaign called Stephen Harper is afraid to meet me, which I think is hilarious. And so I’m borrowing her line, since I also think something should be done to combat global warming, so I ought to be equally frightening.

Also fun? Rick Mercer’s Mr. Harper, are you on your meds? from Macleans, which takes pokes at all parties, starting with this:

The government was defeated on a confidence motion because they were in contempt of the Canadian Parliament—a vote that Stephen Harper immediately claimed did not occur. He didn’t argue about the semantics of the vote; he simply denied it happened at all, preferring instead to believe his government was defeated on the budget. There is evidence to the contrary: he was there and it was on TV, but still, as far as he is concerned, it didn’t happen.


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And I can’t even blame this one all on Stephen Harper

This kinds of pisses me off:

Federal parties agree to scrap bill correcting voting inequalities

The Harper government and the opposition parties have agreed to quietly sink legislation that would have given Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta more seats in the House of Commons. As a result, urban and visible-minority voters will continue to be discriminated against in Parliament.

Under the legislation, Ontario would have received 18 new seats, British Columbia seven, and Alberta five, bringing all three provinces up to the level of representation in the House warranted by their populations.

Though the above is denied by the government, the bill has been given one day of debate so far, so it’s not exactly speeding on its way to passage. The fear, apparently, is of angering Quebec and Maritime voters.

So fellow Ontarians, BCers, and Albertans, if you really want to have an impact on the next federal election, you’d best move to another province, where your vote will actually have weight.

Because in Canada, everyone is equal. Only, some of us are more equal than others.