Monday, August 03, 2015

On control freaks

While we're on the subject of Stephen Harper's campaign to insult Canada, let's note the significance of his choice of attacks on Tom Mulcair.

As others have pointed out, the "career politician" complaint makes absolutely no sense as an attempt to contrast Mulcair against Harper - who has been in politics longer, and has far less of an outside resume, than his NDP counterpart.

But it might be explained if the Cons see a need to contrast Mulcair against Justin Trudeau - particularly to revive the latter's campaign enough to create the vote splits which the Cons need to have any hope of survival when two-thirds of Canadian voters want them gone.

In other words, the Cons look to be banking on being able to control not only the message they're sending to possible supporters, but also the behaviour of voters who have long since ruled them out. And it's doubtful that even a doubled expense limit will leave enough room to make that happen - particularly given the credibility issues arising when the Cons' messages are now as contradictory as they are ill-founded.

10 comments:

  1. I hope you're right, but the cons don't believe in playing fairly, which means if they can, no matter what it takes ,steal the election they will

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  2. Anonymous5:33 PM

    The other part of the ad is the "Can't Afford", trying to paint Mulcair as corrupt with the tax-payer's money and only interested in himself. I think that might also be their way of trying to win over some of their old supporters who have taken an interest in the NDP.

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    1. Actually, that's an equally weird line of attack in some ways. It certainly creates a contrast in terms of perceived ideological orientation, but I'd have to think anybody whose vote might be decided based on the admonition that we can't afford social supports was probably likely to be in the Cons' camp anyway.

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  3. Interesting. So, Trudeau is wrong for the job because he isn't a career politician, and Mulcair because he is.
    I suppose this is in keeping with Harper's more fundamental stance, which I take to be, "Down with political representation, elections, and prime ministers, just shut up and accept me as dictator."

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    1. That may be his mindset, but I don't think it's the strategy at work in this case. I'd categorize that more along the lines of "Rule out those other guys, and it doesn't matter whether our reasons for saying so make sense on their own or in combination."

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  4. Yes because Trudeau is just not ready, does not have enough political experience, while Mulcair is a career politician, with too much political experience, while Harper, I guess,. is like Baby Bear's bed, just right.

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    1. Again, Harper has spent demonstrably more time in politics than Mulcair - so he doesn't actually occupy the middle ground to make that message even superficially plausible.

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  5. I think that the Cons conceived of their attack ads against Trudeau when he was still doing well and they thought that they could either syphon votes from the Liberals or bolster the NDP in their vote splitting strategy. Now they are dazed and confused given that the latest poll puts the NDP at 38% and the Liberals only a couple of points behind the Cons. To make things more troubling for them, I suspect that they reengineered the constituency map in an effort to split the vote more between the Libs and NDP but this will be problematic if their vote collapses. I am in a new riding (the lion's share of which was Poilievre's riding) and I think he actually could lose now.

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    1. It couldn't happen to a more deserving Con. (And I suppose it's possible that they're just not ready to deal with the NDP doing better than they considered likely - which would make them far from the first party to run into that failure to plan.)

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    2. Kirby,
      I've seen your point a few times around the web:"To make things more troubling for them, I suspect that they reengineered the constituency map " and I disagree.

      The redistricting commissions are a legacy of Lester Pearson, the man who led us to the promised land back in the 60s. They replaced a corrupt system that gerrymandered many ridings.
      During the recent process, we heard complaints in SK from CONs who will lose the new urban ridings that have been created w/o rural tails to blunt the progressive vote. And maybe a peep in MB?
      Can you point to any evidence for what you say?
      Harper has suborned much of our democracy but so far the redistricting process is (so far) in the clear.

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