By Aaron Wherry - Friday, May 17, 2013 - 0 Comments
A statement from Senator Pamela Wallin.
I have been involved in the external audit process since December 2012 and I have been cooperating fully and willingly with the auditors. I have met with the auditors, answered all the questions and provided all requested documentation.
I had anticipated that the audit process would be complete by now, but given that it continues, I have decided to recuse myself from the Conservative Caucus and I will have no further comment until the audit process is complete.
And a succinct statement from Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton.
“Senator Wallin has informed me that she has resigned from Caucus to sit as an independent.”
CTV reported in February that Ms. Wallin had paid back some amount of expenses, but Ms. Wallin declined to confirm that.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM - 0 Comments
Doug Finley, the Conservative campaign manager and senator and husband of Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, has passed away at the age of 66.
Here is the statement from Ms. Finley.
“Doug fought a hard and very public battle with cancer. His death is a loss to our family, our friends – and to the entire country. Although further details will soon be announced, I do ask that our family have some privacy as we prepare to formally bid farewell to a great man.”
And here is the statement from the Prime Minister.
“It was with great sadness that Laureen and I learned of the death of Senator Doug Finley. Our Government has lost a trusted adviser and strategist. Canada has lost a fine public servant. I have lost a dear and valued friend.
“Senator Finley came to Canada as an immigrant and in a long and remarkable career he helped build a better country. In the business world, he rose to prominence in several important enterprises, notably Rolls-Royce Canada. He also expressed the love he felt for his adopted country through his work in the democratic process. Here his skills, style and passion were legend.
“When he learned he had cancer, Senator Finley faced this vicious opponent like the fighter he was. He continued to participate in Senate debates almost to the end, and shared information about his diagnosis and treatment with the public.
“A great Canadian has been taken from us, before his time. Laureen and I join with so many men and women from across the political spectrum, in extending our condolences to Doug’s wife Diane, his daughter Siobhan, and all their family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.”
John Geddes spoke with Mr. Finley in February 2011 about the Conservative party’s hopes for a majority. Laura Stone spoke with Mr. Finley last November about politics and death. Kady O’Malley notes that he gave his last speech in the Senate on Wednesday.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM - 0 Comments
Conservative backbenchers might wonder why their names are included in the government’s media monitoring—the Privy Council Office says it’s merely about searching widely—but they could also ask whether $23 million over two years to monitor public media reports is a reasonable and defensible use of public funds.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
To the previous tallies of Conservative MPs who say they won’t be using their office budgets to distribute the Conservative mailout attacking Justin Trudeau, you can add Scott Armstrong, Ron Cannan, Patricia Davidson, Joe Preston, Ed Holder, Susan Truppe, Gerald Keddy, Peter MacKay and Greg Kerr.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM - 0 Comments
Included amongst the Conservative documents obtained and distributed by the Liberals yesterday were two pages of scripts, apparently meant to be part of the mailouts.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM - 0 Comments
Yesterday afternoon, Liberal Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette apparently sent out a tweet suggesting that an alignment with U.S. policy would somehow draw the interest of terrorists.
On that basis, the Conservative party is now appealing for funds to help spread the word of Justin Trudeau’s unfitness for office.
Yesterday, the RCMP announced they had foiled a potential terrorist attack here in Canada – and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal team thought it was a good idea to use the moment to score cheap political points against our Conservative government.
Here’s what Trudeau’s senior Quebec advisor, Senator Hervieux-Payette, had to say on Twitter: “Harper wants to align Canada with the US, wants the same republican policies: he will get also the same terrorists.”
I guess now we know what Trudeau meant when, instead of condemning the Boston bombers and calling for their swift punishment, he opined that we needed to look for “root causes” because terrorists are probably feeling “excluded.” Trudeau’s Liberals think Conservative policies are the real “root cause” of terrorism.
The media are deliberately ignoring this story to protect Justin Trudeau. We tried to get reporters interested, but the media would rather report on an NDP news release about Earth Day.
That’s why we need your help. We need to make sure every Canadian knows that Justin Trudeau lacks the judgement and experience to be Prime Minister.
He’s the most inexperienced leader of the Liberal Party in history – and it shows. Help us send a message to Justin Trudeau that his comments on terrorism are unacceptable.
National Campaign Manager, 2011
I’m not sure what evidence there is that the senator is Mr. Trudeau’s “senior Quebec advisor.” (I’ve asked Mr. Trudeau’s office for clarification.) She endorsed Joyce Murray in the Liberal leadership race.
Update 6:02pm. Liberal House leader Dominic LeBlanc was asked about this after QP today.
I actually don’t follow madame Hervieux-Payette’s comments on Twitter. My understanding is that a staff person has apologized for in fact having used her account to put on Twitter views that certainly are reflected by myself, by the Liberal caucus or by the Liberal leader. What’s interesting for us is that Mr. Harper probably holds the speed record in trying to exploit a tragedy like the Boston bombings for political advantage and this week he gets another prize for the record in terms of speed of trying to exploit for financial gain for his Conservative Party these tragic events. There’s no depth to which he won’t sink to try and collect money for the Conservative Party, sending a fund-raising letter with a series of falsehoods, that’s only one of them, there are others, but we’re not – we’re not particularly surprised or worried about that.
I’m told Senator Hervieux-Payette was not Mr. Trudeau’s senior Quebec advisor.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM - 0 Comments
As Paul notes, a new poll has found that 70% of respondents believe the attack ads launched by the Conservatives against Justin Trudeau are unfair. Maybe that means something. Maybe a few years from now we’ll be citing this survey with irony.
Three years ago, Nanos found that attack ads launched against Michael Ignatieff had left 65% of respondents with a more negative view of Stephen Harper. Angus Reid and Ipsos Reid also found negative impacts on the Prime Minister. Two years later, Mr. Harper had a majority mandate and Mr. Ignatieff’s political career was over.
In reviewing the latest science on campaign advertising last year, Sadie Dingfelder suggested the fears about a backlash against attack ads (at least in the United States) were dissipating, but NPR found that the evidence of effectiveness was mixed. That said, attack ads have at least one public proponent: the senior strategist for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
David Axelrod, Obama’s senior strategist, felt he had been given a gift. For months, he had worried that the Romney campaign would find a way to present its candidate in a compelling fashion. But as far as Axelrod could tell, the Romney campaign had no such strategy. “I questioned why they didn’t spend more time and energy early defining Romney in a fuller way so people could identify with him,” Axelrod said in a postelection interview. “One of my conclusions is so much of his life was kind of walled off from use. His faith is important to him, but they didn’t want to talk about that. His business was important, but they didn’t want to talk about that much. His governorship was important to him, but his signature achievement [health care] was unhelpful to them in the Republican primary. My feeling is you have to build a candidacy on the foundation of biography. That is what authenticates your message. I was always waiting for that happen.”
Axelrod jumped at the opening. In a major gamble, the Obama campaign moved $65 million in advertising money that had been budgeted for September and October into June, enabling the president to unleash a series of attacks that would define Romney at a time when the Republican would have little money to respond. From Axelrod’s viewpoint, the timing was perfect. Romney had been weakened by assaults from fellow GOP candidates during the primaries. Romney alienated many Hispanics by suggesting that illegal immigrant families should “self-deport,” and he said he had been a “severely conservative” governor, hurting his strategy to move to the middle for the general election.
Mr. Trudeau has stated a general aversion to negativity—which is perhaps a principled position, but also surely at least something of a political calculation—but it will be interesting to see what that means in practice. Will his adverts avoid all criticism of the government side? Will they include criticism, but also happy thoughts and smiley images?
A few years ago, in the midst of an earlier round of attack ads, I compiled some of the scathing reviews those ads received and was (perhaps rightly) mocked for doing so. The general discussion around attack ads risks becoming like the general discussion around civility, in which we all rend our garments over some vague idea—undefinable at best, simplistic at worst—that things should be somehow better. I tend to agree that our politics should not be soul-crushingly awful to watch and participate in. I suppose the most virulent demagoguery should be discouraged and we should hope to never get to a point at which outright lies are accepted as acceptable. But past that, it is all in the eye of the beholder. One man’s destructive attack ad is another’s necessary critique.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM - 0 Comments
Because the Conservatives are super-classy, they released a statement congratulating Justin Trudeau on winning the Liberal leadership. Here it is (for real) in its entirety:
“We congratulate Justin Trudeau on becoming Liberal leader.
“Stephen Harper has an Economic Action Plan that has created 900,000 new jobs since the recession, the best job creation record in the G7. He’s lowered taxes, such as the GST, and increased support for families with measures like the Universal Child Care Benefit.
“Justin Trudeau may have a famous last name, but in a time of global economic uncertainty, he doesn’t have the judgment or experience to be Prime Minister.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM - 0 Comments
Justin Trudeau says thanks to Liberals for their support, and the $336,000 they’ve apparently donated to the cause in response to the Conservative attack ads.
Meanwhile, here is a note that just went out from the Conservative party.
On Monday, we launched three new ads informing Canadians that Justin Trudeau is in way over his head.
Unsurprisingly, some members of the media are criticizing our new TV ads. They are circling the wagons.
But here’s the truth — these ads have spread farther and faster than any ads we’ve ever done. We are communicating directly with Canadians rather than passing through the media’s “filter”.
In two days, our ads were viewed more than 270,000 times on YouTube — more views than we have ever received on any video before — including during an election cycle.
We received so much traffic to our website that it temporarily crashed — something that’s never happened before.
Despite what the media wants you to think, the response to our new ad campaign has been overwhelming.
I’d like to thank you for helping make this happen, but our work is far from over
Please visit http://JustinOverHisHead.ca today and hit the share button on these ads and to help us keep the momentum going.
National Campaign Manager, 2011
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
Greg Fingas wonders if the Conservative attacks on Justin Trudeau are an attempt to cut down on the Liberal leader’s public displays of fun.
But I have to wonder whether the first salvo against Trudeau is less an indication of the Cons’ ultimate plan to define him, and more a form of inoculation against future scenes like this.
The Libs will naturally want to build up a unique persona for the man who holds their party’s future in his hands. But the Cons will now have a ready-made counter to any step outside the political straight and narrow – with any originality on Trudeau’s part framed as evidence of a dilettante “in over his head” rather than a distinctive personality. And the flat-out falsehoods within the Cons’ ad will seem far less significant in the long run if Trudeau’s actions make the underlying theme seem plausible – forcing the Libs into some much more complicated calculations as to how to set Trudeau apart without risking the Cons’ message sticking to him.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 12:38 AM - 0 Comments
The Canadian Liver Foundation can’t be entirely sure how many of the donations they received Monday and Tuesday were related to the inclusion of Justin Trudeau’s striptease in Conservative attack ads—yesterday, Mr. Trudeau made donating to the foundation part of the official Liberal response—the CLF says they have noticed an increase in web traffic and online donations. This was the word from Melanie Kearns, vice president of marketing and communications, on Tuesday afternoon.
On any given day, Canadians donate to the Canadian Liver Foundation via phone, online or mail for various reasons and those reasons are not always disclosed. While some individuals have specifically stated that they are donating on behalf of Mr. Trudeau, others have mentioned other reasons or not provided a reason at all. At this point, we would estimate that the amount generated as a result of all the media coverage has more than tripled the amount raised by Mr. Trudeau’s auction item at our fundraising event. Since we do not want to under or over-estimate the funds raised however, I cannot provide you with a definitive amount.
This situation has helped provoke a great deal of conversation about our cause and the need for support for liver disease research and education which we hope will benefit all Canadians with liver disease.
That auction for lunch with Mr. Trudeau raised $1,900.
So the Conservatives get to question Mr. Trudeau’s credibility, Mr. Trudeau gets to claim the high road and the Canadian Liver Foundation raises some money. For once, everyone wins.
By Adam Goldenberg - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM - 0 Comments
A Liberal scripts an ad for Justin Trudeau
Lights up on Justin Trudeau, wearing a dress shirt open at the collar, a blazer, and blue jeans. He’s walking through a middle-class neighbourhood, somewhere in suburban Canada. He speaks directly into the camera as he walks.
TRUDEAU: It’s true, I was a teacher, and a whitewater rafting guide too.
He stops walking and pulls a BlackBerry out of his pocket. It’s playing footage of a moustachioed Justin Trudeau from the Tories’ new attack ads.
TRUDEAU: It’s true, I’ve grown a moustache for prostate cancer research.
The video on the BlackBerry screen switches to the slow-motion footage of his striptease.
TRUDEAU: And yes, I’ve even taken off my clothes to support the Canadian Liver Foundation.
He puts the BlackBerry back in his pocket.
TRUDEAU: But I’ll tell you what I haven’t done—and what I won’t do. I won’t lie to the Canadian people. I’ll challenge my opponents without taking their words out of context. Because the only way we’ll make this country stronger is with hope and hard work, not division and fear.
He starts walking again.
TRUDEAU: So let’s start right now. Mr. Harper thinks I was wrong to raise money for the Canadian Liver Foundation. I disagree. And if you visit liberal.ca, you’ll find a link to donate.
His father’s Mercedes convertible is parked at the curb. He gets behind the wheel.
TRUDEAU: Let’s do something positive for the nearly four million Canadians suffering from liver disease. And let’s demand the hopeful politics we deserve.
He drives off. Cut to footage of the Trudeau family—Justin, Sophie and the kids—waving from the stage at Sunday night’s leadership announcement.
VOICEOVER: A message from the Liberal Party of Canada.
OK, maybe not the thing with the car, but you get my point.
Tape it, release it online, get a news cycle’s worth of free media coverage, run it during a hockey game or two, and then announce the amount of money raised for liver research.
When that’s done, bring out the ominous music, the dark, grainy images, and the heavy artillery—and blast the Tories on their record for the next 30 months.
If that doesn’t work, see if Patrick Brazeau wants a rematch.
Adam Goldenberg is a former Liberal speechwriter and currently a contributor to CBC News: The National. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/adamgoldenberg
By Paul Wells - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
Paul Wells: Thatcher’s legacy will weigh heavy on Harper as he pays homage
What will be on Stephen Harper’s mind as he flies to London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral? What will the champion of feints and defts, a man who edits his speeches to take out the memorable bits, be thinking as he approaches the valediction of an Iron Lady?
The Canadian conservative movement has more than a few household gods, as befits a large and diverse group. The summer before he became prime minister, Stephen Harper told me the most exciting item on his vacation agenda was a meeting with Australian prime minister John Howard. When Kory Teneycke was Harper’s communications director he had a 1984 Ronald Reagan “Morning in America” campaign poster decorating his office. Jason Kenney actually helped chase Preston Manning out of politics, but you should see the look of affection on his face when he watches the Reform party founder speak today.
But Margaret Thatcher is the Big Kahuna of Canadian conservatism, for reasons having as much to do with timing and culture as with her own considerable accomplishments. While she was Britain’s prime minister, Canada was led by Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney, the provinces by the likes of Bill Davis and Robert Bourassa. A generation of Canadians grew up believing our own country’s politics was a sea of vanilla pudding. Only Maggie offered grit. She stared down the unions, counselled Reagan and watched, warily, as the Cold War ended. On our TVs every night, endless handwringing over Meech Lake, whatever the hell that was. And then the news from London, Maggie steadfast against the tide.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
Meanwhile, the Canadian Liver Foundation tweets.
And releases a statement.
The Canadian Liver Foundation is grateful for Mr. Trudeau’s past support of our fundraising efforts. Liver disease is a serious national health issue which does not receive enough attention.
The footage used in the recent political ad was filmed at the Canadian Liver Foundation’s What a Girl Wants fundraiser held November 17, 2011 in Ottawa. Mr. Trudeau was willing to not only attend our event but also generously donate a lunch to be auctioned off to raise funds for liver disease research and education. This auction item raised $1,900 and the event raised $128,000.
The Foundation believes Mr. Trudeau should be applauded for his commitment to an important health issue that affects an estimated 3.4 million Canadians.
Paul Wells considers the political strategy at play.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 15, 2013 at 9:53 AM - 0 Comments
Et en francais.
And here is the companion website.
The striptease footage is taken from a liver foundation fundraiser in Ottawa in 2011.
Update 7:57pm. A second English ad.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM - 0 Comments
The statement released by the Conservative party in response to Justin Trudeau’s election as Liberal leader.
“We congratulate Justin Trudeau on becoming Liberal leader.
Stephen Harper has an Economic Action Plan that has created 900,000 new jobs since the recession, the best job creation record in the G-7. He’s lowered taxes, such as the GST, and increased support for families with measures like the Universal Child Care Benefit.
Justin Trudeau may have a famous last name, but in a time of global economic uncertainty, he doesn’t have the judgement or experience to be Prime Minister.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 2:16 PM - 0 Comments
The issue isn’t abortion — it’s democratic reform
Brent Rathgeber, the Conservative MP for Edmonton-St.Albert, has a blog. And on that blog, on Feb. 6, Rathgeber wrote something simultaneously remarkable and mundane. “I understand that members of Parliament, who are not members of the executive, sometimes think of themselves as part of the government; we are not,” he wrote. “Under our system of responsible government, the executive is responsible and accountable to the legislature. The latter holds the former to account. A disservice is provided to both when Parliament forgets to hold the Cabinet to account.”
Here was a simple, if generally forgotten and regularly ignored, principle: MPs, even those who run under the same party banner as the prime minister and his cabinet, sit in the House of Commons for the purposes of holding the government to account.
Two months later, the basic place and principle of the MP is a point of open debate in the House of Commons. What began, with a motion from another Conservative backbencher, as a discussion about abortion—specifically, “sex-selective pregnancy termination”—has become an even more profound debate about the way in which our representative democracy functions. At its essence is the question of what we elect MPs, and send them off to Parliament Hill, to do.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
The remaining commercial time not yet filled by Economic Action Plan ads will apparently soon be occupied by Conservative attacks on Justin Trudeau.
If the Conservatives move “almost immediately” after Mr. Trudeau is officially chosen leader of the Liberal party, it might set a new speed record in this regard. They waited 57 days to similarly attack Stephane Dion and 10 days to attack Michael Ignatieff. The Conservatives then waited 93 days before launching an attack ad against Thomas Mulcair.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM - 0 Comments
The impact on Canadians will likely be higher prices on a wide range of goods, including imported food. Some examples include an increase on the tariff on bicycles to 13 per cent from 8.5 per cent; venetian blinds to 7 per cent from 3 per cent; table fans to 8 per cent from 2.5 per cent; tableware to 6.5 per cent from 3 per cent; umbrellas to 7 per cent from 5 per cent, and potato starch to 10.5 per cent from 5 per cent.
According to the government’s own calculations, the elimination of duties on sports and baby clothes will cost $76 million a year, but it will gain $333 million annually by its other measure. ”They are basically giving us a dollar and taking back five. It’s a bit of a shell-game,” Moffatt said.
The Harper government expects to take in $1 billion more in revenue as a result.
If the New Democrats were proposing this, the Conservatives would almost certainly—using the same logic they’ve employed to deem the NDP’s cap-and-trade proposal a “$21-billion tax”—describe this as a $1-billion tax.
Mr. Flaherty promised in his budget speech that the Harper government would not raise taxes.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, March 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM - 0 Comments
Democrat minority leader Nancy Pelosi pronounced yesterday that “Canadians don’t want the pipeline in their own country” and John Baird is terribly concerned that Thomas Mulcair might be saying bad things about Canada in the presence of Americans.
An NDP source tells me Mr. Mulcair did not tell Ms. Pelosi that Canadians don’t want the pipeline.
Do Canadians want Keystone XL to go through? In November, Abacus found 53% in favour and 47% against. In January, Nanos found that 45.2% had a favourable impression, while 41.7% of respondents had an unfavourable impression.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Conservative party is seeking donations in response to the NDP’s stance on Keystone.
“Instead of supporting this pro-Canada project, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair traveled to Washington and did what the NDP always do when travelling abroad–attack Canadian jobs,” reads the letter, written by the Conservative Party’s director of fundraising. “Will you chip in $5 or whatever you can afford and stand against Mulcair’s NDP?,” the letter said.
And Bob Rae believes Keystone XL is in the national interest.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM - 0 Comments
He mentioned (though not by name) Wildrose candidate and evangelical pastor Allan Hunsperger, whose “derogatory reference to homosexuals” was “dredged up during the recent [Alberta] provincial election,” and “a questionable comment by a prominent libertarian and a good friend of mine, which seemed to imply that the freedom of an individual to view child pornography had no serious consequences for others.” That would be Mr. Flanagan.
And he took some of the blame for this state of affairs. “In the early days of the Reform Party, we were so anxious to allow our members the freedom to express contrary views that we virtually let them do and say as they pleased,” he said. “But in later years I have come to see the wisdom of Edmund Burke’s observation that before we encourage people to do as they please, we ought first to inquire what it may please them to do.”
That’s the founder of the Reform Party and the principled conscience of the Canadian conservative movement telling people to shut their yaps on controversial subjects for the good of the tribe. First and foremost, it’s depressing.
It is at least cynical. Consider these two paragraphs from the prepared text.
For the sake of the movement and the maintenance of public trust, conservative organizations should be prepared to swiftly and publicly disassociate themselves from those individuals who cross the line.
This does not mean that we as individual conservatives on a personal level ostracize or disassociate ourselves from those who cross the line. Everyone makes honest mistakes, conservatives believe in second chances, and we need to rally around those who have been lured across the line by opponents rather than “piling on.”
So the line-crosser should be publicly scorned, even if also privately comforted. Perhaps it’s only odd to hear someone acknowledge that much out loud—perhaps this is only the political equivalent of breaking the fourth wall—but it does raise all sorts of interesting questions for further discussion.
Consider the case of Mr. Hunsperger. What was his “mistake”? Holding those views? Expressing them publicly? Expressing them publicly if he ever hoped to run for political office? Or, rather, was it the Wild Rose party’s “mistake”? Should it have barred him from running as a candidate given that he had expressed such views?
Is this anything more than a public relations exercise? Or does a party make a philosophical point when it condemns such “mistakes”? (More broadly, how should a modern conservative party reconcile its social conservative members and supporters with the increasing acceptance of gay rights? I actually think that should be the topic of a panel discussion at next year’s Manning conference.)
How generally should this idea of putting the team before the individual be applied? Could it be applied to Stephen Woodworth, Mark Warawa or Brad Trost? They certainly seem to contradict their party leader’s line on abortion, but they also speak to a sizeable constituency within the party. Does determining whether a line has been crossed and how the party should respond become a purely mathematical matter of determining how many votes are won or lost as a result? And at what point does this focus on the team limit the independence of the MP and contribute to the disempowerment of the legislature?
All of which perhaps sidesteps the fact that, as political advice for conservative parties who aspire to government, Mr. Manning’s advice is probably very sound.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM - 0 Comments
Ezra Levant, the carnival barker of the conservative movement in Canada and the foremost heel to Canadian progressives, was trying to explain the problem with environmentalism.
“I have no problem with treating the environment on an issue by issue basis: we’ve got to fix this or solve that,” he said. “But environmentalism is a philosophy, like most words ending with ism. Socialism, communism… hinduism, it’s a faith. And so the question is if your true ideology is conservatism or libertarianism, and you also think you can be an environmentalism person, you may have a conflict there.” Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 1:36 PM - 0 Comments
I’ll have a longer piece about the Manning conference tomorrow, but for now, here is the prepared text of Preston Manning’s state of the conservative movement speech. Mr. Manning addresses environmental conservatism and the phenomenon of “intemperate and ill considered remarks” by conservatives (including a reference to Tom Flanagan).
When I first got into the management consulting business many years ago, my first client was a scrap metal dealer in Edmonton. He had his heart set on buying one of those big machines that crush old car bodies into bales for sale to a steel mill. I did all the analysis and came to the sad conclusion that he would go broke if he bought that machine – news my client did not want to hear. This raised the question that every political candidate and leader must also address: “Do you tell them what they want to hear, or do you tell them what they need to hear?”
Of course, the Canadian answer to such questions is, “Do both.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM - 0 Comments
According to the Conservatives, the New Democrats have proposed $56 billion in new spending.
That figure apparently represents a “costing” of the NDP’s submission to the finance committee’s report pre-budget consultations in 2011. If you read through the NDP’s submission, you’ll note that there are relatively few figures related to total cost. Presumably then, the Conservatives have done their own math to arrive at that $56 billion estimate. Unfortunately, the Conservatives don’t seem particularly keen to show or share their work. They do at least acknowledge that that $56 billion is spread out over four years.
So I’ve attempted to do the math myself. Mostly by cross-referencing the NDP’s submission to the finance committee with the costing document that accompanied the NDP’s 2011 election platform.
Including a reduction in the small business tax rate, the introduction of a job creation tax credit, an extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance, increasing the guaranteed income supplement, investing in long-term care and home care, adjusting the employment insurance system for new parents, investing in high-speed broadband access, investing in child care, transferring funding to the provinces to lower tuition fees, increasing funding for the Canada Student Grants Program, helping parents with the cost of raising kids, hiring more doctors and nurses, improving access to prescription drugs, increasing foreign aid, establishing a benefit for the families of fallen police officers and firefighters, hiring more police officers, funding arts and culture, increasing funding for aboriginal education and infrastructure, expanding mental health programs, establishing a fund for demonstration projects for military procurement and aerospace and, for the sake of argument, all of the environmental initiatives in the NDP platform, I count $55.73 billion in expenses over four years.
So possibly the Conservatives and I are using the same math. Though I suspect estimates will vary depending on how the NDP’s submission is interpreted. (The Conservatives, it has been suggested to me, attach a cost to the NDP’s EI reforms. But I think this is a disputed point, so I’ve excluded that from my estimate.)
Of course, the NDP submission also includes new revenue: an increase in the corporate tax rate and the introduction of a cap-and-trade system. The NDP platform booked $33.7 billion from the former and $21.5 billion from the latter, for a total of $55.2 billion over four years.
That, by my very unofficial estimate, would leave $530 million over four years—$132.5 million per year—to be paid for.
The full NDP platform in 2011 proposed $68.9 billion in new spending over four years and $72.3 billion in new revenue.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 8:45 AM - 0 Comments
It will probably not turn out to be Watergate, but conjugate-gate does have a certain unique ridiculousness.
In terms of helping people both improve their grammar and familiarize themselves with the political system though, it might be better to have them conjugate “prorogue” or define “omnibus.”