And, also:

Oh yeah — using social media to draw attention to information already in the Public Domain as a response to proposed fascist legislation is EXACTLY like rendering meaningless the votes of swaths of the Canadian electorate and making a mockery of our very democracy.

Sometimes our media needs to be slapped upside its collective head with a Toronto phone book to knock the Stupid out of it.

Besides, some folks, myself included, would argue that any political structure wherein 40% of the 50% of eligible voters who actually turn out to vote constitutes a “majority” doesn’t need any help in the Mockery Department.

29 Responses to “And, also:”

  1. 2 Alison S Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    They also need to be reminded that there is no equivalence between airing personal facts in the public record of a bully and smearing opponents with lies and innuendos.

  2. 3 Peter Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Easy now. I don’t challenge your general point about which is more serious, but any family law lawyer would tell you that calling selected excerpts from one party’s affidavits in a bitterly-contested divorce action “facts” or “information in the public domain” is more than a little problematic. They are usually more in the nature of emotional catharses for the embittered, who don’t have to worry about defamation because court docs are privileged. VikiLeaks was pure sleaze and should give anyone concern about how virtual anonymous drive-by slanders will effect political discourse in future. There is no need to semi-excuse it in the cause of keeping the focus on the robocalls.

  3. 4 double nickel Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I suppose Vic could always post his responses to those catharses, then we could judge for ourselves.

  4. 5 JJ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    The false equivalency on the part of the media is what bothers me. Any excuse not to do their job and delve into the electoral fraud issue.

    Commenter Peter (below) makes a good point about the sleaziness of the vikileaks situation, and whether it’s right to excuse it just because the conservatives are known to use tactics that are just as seedy. If the shoe was on the other foot and something like vikileaks was coming from a conservative and attacking someone in the Libs or NDP, it would be unacceptable.

  5. 6 JJ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for making such a good point, and drawing attention to an aspect of vikileaks that I think a lot of people (including me) hadn’t really considered.

    Even those of us who weren’t particularly impressed with vikileaks — I thought it was a little sophomoric and low-road, and doing it from a work computer was certainly dumb — sometimes forget our initial misgivings about it when it’s being compared with electoral fraud. The fact that it’s not even in the same ballpark doesn’t make it any less sleazy or more acceptable.

    And you’re certainly right about the effect on political discourse.

  6. 7 Dana Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t have any problem whatever with airing the dirty laundry of judgmental, moralizing hypocrites who preach the precise opposite of what they practice. No problem whatever. The more the better.

  7. 8 Peter Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:51 am

    You obviously have a lot of company. The charge of hypocrisy, especially from the left, is the modern equivalent of blasphemy and seems to grant a license to drop all rules of civility or even accuracy. But the problem is that conventions and codes of parliamentary conduct aren’t owed out of respect for the individual, they are owed out of respect for the institution and process, and derivatively for the public. If your demonization of the HarperCons has led you to the point you believe that is secondary to anonymously trying to humiliate a buffoon like Toews, bully for you, but I hope you won’t then be complaining about the declining respect for the political process among the public or the lack of quality candidates. Besides, I doubt you really believe what you are saying and suggest you are just being hyper-partisan and indulging in the same “ends justify the means” mentality that is behind the robocalls. Do you believe Svend Robinson’s theft was a license to air all his dirty laundry in Parliament? Are you saying that Rae’s apology and dismissal of the culprit was misguided and that he should be publically feted as a courageous and righteous hero?

    BTW, these kinds of juicy and salacious affidavits are generally accessible by the public, which is why I suppose everybody is claiming they are in the public domain, but the media rarely reports on them. I wonder why.

  8. 9 Dana Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

    You too have a lot of company.

    Unfortunately you erroneously presume a few things, conflate a few others and display your blue ass a little too offhandedly for me to accept you as anything other than a Harperite apologist, albeit a somewhat more adept and eloquent one than we are accustomed to reading.

    We’ve witnessed over the past decade and a half or thereabouts the results of attempting to engage the modern North American Conservative movement as though they were reasonable, rational individuals. Take a look at the quagmire to our south. That’s where Harper and co will take us as well. Too borrow a metaphor, right now we’re in the pot and the water is getting warmer.

    The only realistic, pragmatic option for the survival of secular, civil and civic democracy in Canada is the elimination of Conservative movement political strategies and tactics from our political life.

    I never had a problem with the Progressive Conservative Party other than disagreement. Potentially, at least, I could have no problem with the current Conservative Party except for their Conservative movement ties, alliances, strategies and tactics.

    I never believed that the PCs were attempting to make Canada over in some image not relevant to our history. I never believed they were antithetical to the ideas and existence of the country we evolved together. I never believed they were willing to tear the country apart if they didn’t get their way.

    I believe those things of the present day Conservative Party as articulated and led by Stephen Joseph Harper.

    That’s how dangerous I believe this party and government to be.

  9. 10 Peter Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I guess Jack Layton’s final message didn’t grab you.

    I’ve long stopped being surprised by such self-reinforcing bile. You know, there has been an NDP leadership camapign for almost six months and I could count on one hand the number of posts about it on leftist blogs, but the number “revealing” yet another HarperCon outrage followed by comment threads on whether he resembles more Hitler or Ivan the Terrible and whether those who voted for him are dumb or dumber numbers in the hundreds if not more. Never mind ethical issues, where do you think this is getting you? Do you honestly believe Harper is going to be toppled by leftists who hated him from the get go and wouldn’t ever vote for him to save their mothers just telling one another repeatedly that he is even scarier than they thought? Do you ever plan to actually tell the public what you would do in government in his stead?

    for me to accept you as anything other than a Harperite apologist albeit a somewhat more adept and eloquent one than we are accustomed to reading.

    You mean like when I, like the National Post, say I want a public inquiry into robocon? Shifty, eh? No doubt you smell a secret agenda.

  10. 11 Dana Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Your categorical catechism is so revealing.

    Anyone not bowing down before the glory of your leader is obviously a “leftist”. Even an old centrist like me.

    Do you not see how far to the right that reveals you to be- when absolutely everyone not worshiping at your altar is categorized as only a leftist and nothing else.

    That puts you so far to the right that there is only leftists remaining.

    And for the record, again, I hold Jack Layton more than a little responsible for the existence of the Harper government. I also hold him partially responsible for the radically deteriorating conditions on First Nations reserves. And the dwindling number and rising expense of day care in Canada.

    The man died about 24 months too late in my opinion.

  11. 12 Peter Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I do apologize. Indeed, I did typecast you unfairly. But, my alter?

    That puts you so far to the right that there is only leftists remaining.

    Are you kidding? I assure you, I’m painfully aware of the crosses we have to bear over here.

  12. 13 Dana Friday, March 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    “Are you kidding? I assure you, I’m painfully aware of the crosses we have to bear over here.”

    Is there anything I’ve said that would lead you to believe I’m kidding about anything. Is there anything I’ve said that would lead you to believe I give a rats ass about the pains you have to bear.

    Just for the record I don’t think the pains you have to bear are anything even approaching painful or crippling enough.

    I’ll be happiest when I see Elections Canada and the Supreme Court declare the Conservative Party of Canada de-certified and Stephen Joseph Harper and his cabinet frog marched into a police van for transport to prison.

    Feel free to join them if you have the courage of your convictions. Which I sincerely doubt.

  13. 14 Scotian Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:35 am


    I’m with Dana here, for many of the same reasons, and I know Dana is a very well informed person regarding political tactics, strategy, process, and methods since Dana and I have been running into each other online for well over a decade now. The problem with Harper for me was always on the process side, not the policy/ideological side, it is also where he is far more dangerous too. It is one thing to have a leader and/or party that holds different ideological/policy views but agrees on the more basic fundamental aspects that the rule of law is important (Hell, even the Separatists/BQ did, which is more than Harper, and that you fail to see even that obvious a point is of serious concern), that the mechanism if the transfer of power and legitimacy (aka elections) is too important to tamper with because of how it damages all in the end, that just because another person, party and/or leader disagrees with you and yours does not make them traitors to Canada and enemies to be destroyed utterly. One of if not the largest problems with the Harper CPC from the outset has been its inability to accept the premise of an honourable opponent/opposition, pure and simple.

    The Harper CPC while in Opposition kept slamming the Liberals for using/treating the tools of government as extensions of their party while in power, but the reality of it as has been seen over the past 6 years of Harper governance is that the CPC was projecting what it would do with that power if it had it and ASSUMED the Liberals were doing so despite the record showing the reality to be far different. Back under Lib and PCPC governments in this country people actually were willing to trust and believe that arms-length government watchdogs actually were relatively free of at least overt government control, while after watching things like how Linda Keene was smeared as a partisan and fired for doing her job exactly as required (just to list one example and far from an isolated one, just the most prominent since nuclear safety does tend to be a rather important and bright line sort of issue) leaves one far less willing to accept this premise.

    Remember when Harper said in the last days of the 2006 election that the Liberal courts and civil service would keep him in check? That in itself showed just how far divorced from reality he truly was because the reality of both was that neither were anywhere near as dominated by party partisans/loyalists as he proclaimed and likely believed them to be. Yet because he believed it he went ahead and worked towards changing an imaginary false situation against him into one that does overtly favour him, which in the process ended up seriously corrupting the integrity and very fabric of our system of governance far beyond anything any prior PM has ever done. The problem with Harper and his CPC is that they refuse to accept that the rules, precedents, and laws apply to those in power, and since they are in power they feel they can and should do whatever is necessary to retain and increase that power regardless of the legality (or lack thereof), bad precedents, and damage it does to the fundamental mechanisms of governance (not government, I am talking about the broader point of governance itself which is far more important because without citizen belief and acceptance of the legitimacy of governance and transfer of power no democratic system of government can function/exist, this is basic civics 101 I might add)) because they can and because they feel they are the only trustworthy people to hold power in this country since everyone else is clearly an enemy of all right thinking loyal Canadians

    Dana and I both watched this mentality take over the GOP in the USA over the past 4 decades and we saw the same pattern emerging within the Harper led CA and the CPC. What is worse is that Harper is politically driven by the same political beliefs that Dick Cheney is, the same man who created an imaginary fourth branch of government in the VPs office out of whole cloth despite what the US Constitution said (which to cite one example of the dangers of he used to defend and cover-up treason in the Plame outing of a NOC, only one of if not the greatest intentional destruction of a major intelligence asset by those charged with protecting such in US history), and since a nation’s Constitution is its most fundamental point of law and shaper of system of governance that is no small thing to be doing. It is not a dementia or a sickness to be so worried, so angered and so contemptuous regarding someone that views power and the rule of law in a democratic governed nation in such contemptuous ways, it is patriotic duty if it is anything, and that you fail to grasp any of this speaks poorly to your understanding of basic civic issues that transcend political partisanship of all flavours at best and at worst your are a knowing stooge for inherently anti-democratic operations and hold the history of this great nation in contempt for your own narrow reasons.

    I can’t read your mind so I have no idea where you are on this spectrum but you are clearly somewhere on it, because the reason Dana, myself, and many others react so intensely to Harper is not because we think he is a meany, or because we have policy issues with him, no it is because he has proven by both word and deed to view everyone and everything that does not bend and conform to his vision and will alone as enemies to be defeated utterly and destroyed, cares nothing for the fundamental structures of governance put in place to protect all citizens and to maintain the legitimacy of government and peaceful transfers of power within it and such thinking has no place in a democratically governed nation regardless of whose political banner it flies under. That you cannot see that Harper is qualitatively different than any prior PM or even party leader this nation has seen on the federal scene before shows your blind spots are wide indeed, the only question is whether it is from ignorance or willful intent, either way it makes you impossible to reason with and identifies you as someone that cares more for his narrow partisanship than the greater good of all in this nation.


    Sorry about making such a long reply to Peter as a reply to you, but I wanted to make sure it was understood that I was supporting your position and why. You know full well that I know where you are coming from, just as you know that my problems with Harper always were on the abuse of power/contempt for the rule of law process side, not the so called hidden agenda regarding ideological aims. That hidden agenda never was that hidden, and it didn’t scare me anywhere near as much as the process side one did and does, not because I think they are at all good or wise policies for this nation going by its history to date but because of how much worse and more dangerous the process side concerns truly were/are. Hope you didn’t mind my interjection here. For what it is worth I KNOW you haven’t been kidding about anything you have been saying here on this matter.

  14. 15 fhg1893 Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    At what point does Harper derangement syndrome become more than just a joke about left-wing hysteria? Answer: when HDS results in what could be considered a death threat.

    Exhibit A:

    I know JJ knows it, but I think it can’t be stated loudly enough; the Canadian left wing, which I used to consider my natural constituency, is SICK. If the Conservatives insist on racing to the bottom, it is NOT productive to try to beat them there and then to start digging!

  15. 16 Scotian Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I love this Harper Derangement Syndrome nee Bush Derangement Syndrome talking point, yet another thing the CPC supporting right has borrowed/lifted wholesale from their American counterparts. Personally I find the Harper Partisan Delusionary Dementia to be of far greater concern given how it blinds its sufferers to the reality that Harper is everything they claim to abhor in their lefty opponents, the reality that Harper has repeatedly shown contempt for the basic rule of law in how we govern ourselves including in what should be the most important way for any party and leader our elections laws (whether one agrees or disagrees with the merits of a law does not mean you get to pick and choose following it, especially if your aim is to form a government, this should be patently obvious) and in general clearly holds fundamental concepts of democratic process in clear contempt now that he holds the power that he claimed were sancrosanct and inviolate in their need to be defended for all while in Opposition.

    Personally I find that a far greater and more pressing problem than anything this so called HDS spawns since it actually enables the fundamental corruption, corrosion and possibly the destruction of the nation of Canada and its proud history. Pity those with HPDD are too busy projecting their own illnesses on everyone else instead of trying to get healthy, because this is something that harms us all regardless of political persuasion.

  16. 17 fhg1893 Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 3:37 am

    So, possibly breaking the criminal code of Canada is perfectly fine for the left eh?

    Wait a minute, wasn’t it Harper, according to the left, who was contemptuous of the basic rule of law? Why yes, yes, I do believe that those words were pretty much precisely the ones used. And now this is being used to justify what could be death threats, and possibly sanction domestic terrorism?

    It’s good to know that everything that the right-wing says about the left is true. Thanks Scotian. I’ll be happy to report to the Blogging Tories that everything they say about you is objectively the truth.

  17. 18 JJ Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Beauty: I guess we can file it away with the “liberal hunting licenses” (“open season, no bag limit”) and the rest of the eliminationist crap the right wing has been spewing for the last decade (at least).

    And I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t point out that between the “right” and “left”, only one side actually has a body count 😕

    I know JJ knows it, but I think it can’t be stated loudly enough; the Canadian left wing, which I used to consider my natural constituency, is SICK.

    FWIW, it’s not “the left” (or the right for that matter) that I consider mentally ill & dumb — it’s partisan politics of any flavour that drives its adherents completely and utterly insane (with a big dollop of Stupid). I’ve been mildly critical of “the left” at times because of what I see as increasing indulgence in the same kind of hysteria and purity testing that’s poisoned the right. (I assumed my contrarian views would at least be tolerated, and maybe even taken under consideration by some… hahahaha.)

  18. 19 JJ Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Harper Partisan Delusionary Dementia

    😯 😯 😯


    Not bad!!! I like it!

  19. 20 JJ Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    It’s good to know that everything that the right-wing says about the left is true.

    Careful with that broad brush 😉 You know damn well that everything they say isn’t true 😆

    Putting the shoe on the other foot for a second, I suppose if that was Bob Rae or Barack Obama in that ridiculously bad photoshop I’d probably feel the same way: death threat, or close enough for rock & roll. But then, Eliminationism is wrong no matter who does it.

  20. 21 fhg1893 Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Careful with that broad brush 😉 You know damn well that everything they say isn’t true 😆

    Okay, you got me, that was a little too far. The political left has been getting under my skin lately. Sun News has been far more effective at criticizing the Government than the Official Opposition. That’s not a good thing…

  21. 22 fhg1893 Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    And I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t point out that between the “right” and “left”, only one side actually has a body count 😕

    Both sides have a body count. And that’s nothing to be proud of. The left tends to be better at hiding theirs.

    FWIW, it’s not “the left” (or the right for that matter) that I consider mentally ill & dumb — it’s partisan politics of any flavour that drives its adherents completely and utterly insane (with a big dollop of Stupid). I’ve been mildly critical of “the left” at times because of what I see as increasing indulgence in the same kind of hysteria and purity testing that’s poisoned the right. (I assumed my contrarian views would at least be tolerated, and maybe even taken under consideration by some… hahahaha.)

    Is that all that it is, just partisan politics?

    I WANT to believe you JJ, I really, truly do. But I’m not so sure. In fact, I have suspicions that the left has been turned into a dark reflection of what it used to be. I’m going to caution that I haven’t yet verified whether or not what I’m about to share is true. I’m still going to check it out, so take it for what it’s worth at the moment. Let’s call this exhibit B:

  22. 23 JJ Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    😯 OMFG
    😯 😯

    Well obviously that was an insanely dumb thing to say, if that’s what was really said (There’s no link).
    But sadly, I can’t say it’s all that surprising. That’s why I started to occasionally criticize dumbness on the left — because as a leftie I resented having to wear the dimwitted statements coming from the crackpot corner of the left.

    What can I say? There’s more than enough Stupid to go around.

  23. 24 JJ Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    That’s okay, its a discussion, not a competition 🙂 Say whatever you want…

  24. 25 fhg1893 Friday, March 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Well, the tale of the tape demonstrates that Trusty Tory’s statement was a half-truth. Having dug through this morning’s Hansard, here’s what I believe he was referring to:

    Mrs. Djaouida Sellah (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, NDP):
    Mr. Speaker, despite a record number of women elected to the current Parliament, Canada still ranks poorly internationally when it comes to the representation of women in politics. I would like to point out that Canada ranks behind Afghanistan.

    (emphasis added) Link:

    So, the Trusty Tory isn’t completely right, but neither is he completely wrong.

    However. I think it’s still incredibly stupid to reduce the important gains that females have made around the world to a percentage of elected representatives. While the numbers certainly don’t lie, yes, Canada ranks 40th in the number of females represented in parliament, the idea that this puts us somehow behind Afghanistan on anything other than a score-sheet is patently ridiculous. I’m not a fan of saying that we’ll never do something, because ever is a very long time, but um…–international-women-s-day-2012-marks-little-progress-worldwide-in-women-s-health-education-and-political-rights?bn=1

    Yeah. In Afghanistan, women are still second class citizens – and that may well become codified in law. And I’d wager that if we lose the country to the Taliban, that women will instantly lose everything they’ve gained in Afghanistan.

    Last election, I voted for a woman, and I believe she was the only one on the ballot in my riding. She didn’t win, the Liberals carried my riding. Even so, I’m pretty sure that she never had to worry about being disfigured with acid for the “crime” of being an educated woman. Or being stoned to death if she happened to engage in marital infidelity.

    So… I guess it’s marginally less-stupid, but still extremely stupid.

  25. 26 Scotian Monday, March 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Feel free to use it if you like, I was going for something that matched and yet actually portrayed reality instead of manufactured it like the BDS/HDS one does. HPDD is clearly a real problem (but then one could say that about almost anything a partisan/zealot/fanatic focuses on after all) and I think has far more actual existence/reality that its sufferers are aware of, but then having the condition tends to blind one to its existence after all.

    Seriously, I get so tired of things like BDS/HDS as being some sort of meaningful response to very real and serious questions regarding the actions of those in power. I grew up with the belief that you always are skeptical of those in power even/especially when they are your own preferred choice because as we all know power is an inherently corruptive/corrosive substance. Silly me, trying to actually make a system work the way it was intended instead of simply letting my “betters” (aka those with far greater wealth and power) than myself tell me what to do and think. What WAS I thinking…(for those needing it this is heavily sarcastic in tone)

  26. 27 JJ Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Scotian 🙂

    Things like BDS/HDS (and now ODS in the States) aren’t meaningful responses as such, but rather observations of disturbing human behaviour that happens on both sides of the political spectrum.

    I don’t think most progressives have HDS: there are legitimate reasons to lament this government, and I find most people stick to the facts. You for instance always offer intelligent critique. But there’s a minority who just seem absolutely demented on the subject. (I’m thinking specifically of a commenter who occasionally posts a rant about Harper being connected to Neo Nazis, here and at other blogs — oh, please. If that was true, the media wouldn’t have dug it up? Or at least some liberal blogger?)

    There’s so much to criticize about the Harper Gov’t that’s based in actual Fact, I just don’t understand why anyone would make shit up, and Harper Derangement Syndrome is a quick and convenient way of explaining it 😛 Fortunately HDS isn’t as bad or widespread as Obama Derangement Syndrome south of the border 😯 Half the population there has been locked in paroxysms of fear and hate for the last 4 years.

  27. 28 JJ Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Agreed, it’s still kind of a stupid analogy to make.

  28. 29 Scotian Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    “(I’m thinking specifically of a commenter who occasionally posts a rant about Harper being connected to Neo Nazis, here and at other blogs — oh, please. If that was true, the media wouldn’t have dug it up? Or at least some liberal blogger?) ” JJ

    I think I’ve seen that one too, and I can certainly see where you are coming from there. Although, back in the late 80s Harper was aligned with some pretty disreputable people that tended towards that philosophy for a short time, so it is not entirely outlandish, but really, given there is so much more recent as well as serious not to mention obvious links to radical far right neoconservative ideology like his links to the Calgary School, Tom Flanagan, and his actions both as LOO and PM that to go that far back to something which really sheds nothing useful to the situation is clearly the mark of someone way too disturbed to take seriously or is doing so to try and project the false front of being a anti-Harperite while in truth being a supporter trying to make all his critics look like fellow loonies. Either way I don’t reply to those comments because while I do have some recollection of what that person is talking about I don’t have links to it, I don’t think it is at all relevant and I think it is far too inflammatory without usefulness in terms of exposing just how dangerous Harper is, especially on the process side of things which has been where my main issues have been from. Especially given there is so much better ammunition to work with that does not carry the same level of emotional baggage in still underscores just how far out of the mainstream Harper always has been.

    “I don’t think most progressives have HDS: there are legitimate reasons to lament this government, and I find most people stick to the facts. You for instance always offer intelligent critique.” JJ

    I would tend to agree with this description, it matches my own observations. What really has stuck out for me though overall since Harper first made it to the PMO is how it has tended to be those that claimed to be Liberals that really cried out the warning and really focused on his actions and why they were so dangerous, not all progressives and especially Dippers, at least not on a sustained basis despite how massive and openly a threat he was to their fundamental policies and beliefs. One of the reasons most Dippers have little to no credibility with me these days is because they among other things spent too much time finding ways to equate Harper and the Libs, instead of agree that Harper was well out of the mainstream of Canadian politics, even/especially typical Canadian Conservative politics. I truly believe that if the Dippers had spent their time agreeing with Libs about Harper being so dangerous instead of acting like Lib Tory same old story was still true we would never have gotten into this bad a situation as a nation. When Dippers say why don’t I blame the Libs, I don’t because they did try to warn everyone about how bad Harper was AND because post Adscam they had much less credibility on their own with the public unlike the NDP which used to be trusted to defend social justice principles above partisan politics aka that different kind of party Layton always talked about but never actually provided unlike his predecessors (something I suspect has been seriously damaged over the past 6 years now).

    Unfortunately for us all far too many Dippers decided their own partisan axes and/or opportunism/expediency lust for power were far more important than stopping the by far greatest threat to their principles and values from ever reaching the PMO, let alone as a majority PM, whether it was because they felt it was worth it to replace the Libs as the other choice for government following their disgrace or because of their own past issues/axes/hatreds (and there clearly was a lot of that within Dipper circles too, it was easier for them to work alongside Harper to destroy the Liberal brand than it was to work with Libs to stop Harper) or as in many cases a little from column A and a little from column B. I point this out again because it is the single greatest asset Harper has had towards gaining his current position and even holding it down the road. There is a lot of bad blood from hardcore Libs towards the NDP for their actions over the past 6 years, and suddenly hearing Dipper voices talk about reconciliation to remove Harper now that he has already gained majority power, after he will have been PM for a decade only after the Dippers finally managed to exceed the Libs and become the Official Opposition (and this is thanks more to the cult of personality that surround Layton IMHO than in support for NDP policies, and why I have real doubts that is going to replicate with whomever their next leader is, as much as I despised Layton’s choices I was never blind to his skills and talents and I just don’t see anyone coming close in the current crop of options for leader) sits as poorly for them as the idea of supporting the Libs did to those Dippers who clearly had their own hatred for the Liberal brand.

    I don’t see how any meaningful union of the progressive left/center can happen JJ, because there are too large constituencies in both factions that have been poisoned by the actions of the other side in the past. Ironically enough, I still think the Libs may be the better chance for defeating Harper because they do have the long history of good governance, they have the institutional memory of governing responsibly, and I suspect the memories of the great times under Trudeau and Chretein will by the next election have taken on very high gloss in the selective memories of the active swing voters, while the lack of anything substantive from the NDP as Official Opposition (which isn’t really their fault, it is the reality for any OO in a majority Parliament) combined with no more cult of personality power a la Layton may cause some serious erosion in their support and seat count. Do I know this will happen…of course not. Do I see it as a reasonable possibility? Yes, that I do, because in the end most voters don’t like parties that are too ideological in nature, it took Harper camoflauging his party with NDP connivance to gain him what he has gotten so far, and I suspect for the NDP to hold the Quebec seats as well as restore its western strength will require it to show its leftie purity is still strong, which will hurt them in the end. Not to mention the distaste for such having increased after living under the Conservative version of it with Harper, I suspect going back to more traditional Canadian ways of governing will be very attractive to many voters.

    Sorry JJ, I know I sound like a broken record on all of this, it is just so hard for me having warned over and over how Harper could gain power, increase power, and hold power only to have it mocked time and again and dismissed as the writings of a party partisan when the only agenda I have EVER had as Scotian was to stop the rise of Harper by the only means I saw possible/feasible. At least there were some like you that understood that and also saw that while I was fixated on opposing Harper I was doing so from intelligent, well articulated and rational positions grounded in factual realities. I tell you JJ playing Cassandra about Harper has done more damage to my ability to stay involved in politics than anything else in my lifetime ever has. It will not stop me from voting, but it does make it harder to do much more than that anymore after all the efforts I made in putting forth solidly reasoned and factually supported arguments for so long to be met with such intense contempt across the board by so many that should have been agreeing/allies with me.

    I get why you have your own issues with the progressives (I saw some of the treatment you got on the firearms issue, and I thought that was way out of line then and still do, but it also underscored why even when I was my most prolific I never joined an aggregator like ProgBlogs because I knew some of my positions would not sit well with some, and truthfully I am not so much a progressive as I am an old fashioned small “l” liberal with strong social justice beliefs and old small “c” conservative (Canadian) economic views on the importance of a strong mixed economy (capitalist with some command elements to offset the worst excesses of unbridled capitalism on the citizenry. Basically a classic old fashioned swing centrist voter in the traditional sense…*SIGH*. Well, this went longer than I intended, as so many of my comments are wont to do, so until another time…

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