Thursday, September 10, 2009

Harper parries "hidden agenda" attack

The Tories are frustrated by the fact that the Liberals have finally decided not to bellow loud but then roll over softly as Harper rams his legislation through. Whether the call for a majority will work is doubtful. I cannot understand why Canadians just don't vote for other parties. Vote for Christian Heritage or a Libertarian if you are on the right vote NDP or Green or Communist if you are on the left. The two main parties are just Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum representatives of the most powerful interests and the differences between the two are marginal. One good sign is that neither leader Harper nor Ignatieff are popular among Canadians. This shows that Canadians have still some good sense left!
Harper is going to play the coalition boogey man game. Ignatieff has already rejected the idea of a coalition but that is just plain stupid. Politicians should always keep options open not close them down. By acting on suggestions such as that of Norman Spector, a former Mulroney operative Iggy would be simply cutting off sensible strategies to parry a Conservative attack of doubtful power.

PM parries 'hidden agenda' attack

Campbell Clark
Ottawa — The Globe and Mail
Last updated on Thursday, Sep. 10, 2009 12:42PM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicates in a leaked video that he is preparing to mount a fall election campaign calling for a Tory majority, turning the tables on the “hidden agenda” attacks that long haunted him by charging the Liberals harbour a secret plan to seize power with the backing of “socialists and separatists.”
In a grainy cell-phone video provided to the CBC by the Liberals, Mr. Harper can be seen last week practicing his election campaign themes for Conservative insiders in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., at an event that was closed to reporters. The video is not the Prime Minister with his guard down, but is instead a partisan address that provides a preview of his stump speech.
Mr. Harper, who as opposition leader struggled to shake off Liberal allegations he harboured a secret far-right political agenda, is brewing up his own allegations that Michael Ignatieff has a hidden agenda: to revive the short-lived coalition with the NDP, backed by Bloc Québécois votes in the Commons, that former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion mounted December.
“Most of all friends, I want to tell you this, and I want to tell you this frankly: It will be a choice between having a Conservative government or not having a Conservative government. And let me be clear about this: we need to win a majority in the next election campaign,” Mr. Harper said in the speech.
“I am not just saying that because we need a few more seats: you saw what happened last year. Do not be fooled for a moment. If we do not get a majority, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois will combine and they will form a government. They will deny this till they are blue in the face in an election campaign, but I guarantee it, if we do not win a majority, this country will have a Liberal government propped up by the socialists and the separatists.”
Mr. Harper has avoided direct calls for a majority since the 2004 election campaign he narrowly lost – because many Tories believed the prospect of a too-right government scared some centre and left voters back to the Liberal camp.
Mr. Harper's attempt to pin hidden hopes of leading a coalition on Mr. Ignatieff also provide the Conservative with a “wedge” that splits them from all the other parties.
But it's not clear if it will stick : the coalition was short-lived and is largely forgotten, and Mr. Ignatieff only reluctantly backed Mr. Dion's scheme, and killed the coalition once he became leader.
In his speech, Mr. Harper warns that a Liberal government propped up by the NDP and Bloc might now last long, but would do “long-term” damage to the country, favouring soft on crime policies, appointing left-wing judges, and expanding spending permanently.
Mr. Harper makes clear that it is not just coalitions he will campaign against, but that he will charge that the Liberals will raise taxes as the recession ends, while the Tories won't. The huge deficits generated by recession-era stimulus packages means either future cuts to government spending or future hikes in taxes, and Mr. Harper will promise to protect Canadians' pocketbooks.
“They have said, and I know Mr. Ignatieff is trying to change his tune today, they have said repeatedly they would raise taxes to pay for that spending, to pay for their permanent spending.”
“And that, friends, is one of the biggest single reasons this government needs to be elected: so when the recession is over, we can keep taxes going down in this country.”

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