Rope a Dope? Harper Slipping in Polls as Canadians React to Proroguing – Ignatieff on the War Path – January 16, 2010

A true warrior uses his brain.   Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers in history.  He wasn’t a flash in the pan or a shooting star.  He had a long and gloried career.   He wasn’t Joe Louis,but he could knock you out.   He could dazzle you.  He could head f*** you too.

Ali fought George Foreman.   Foreman was young and a monster.  He destroyed opponents.   Facing this juggernaut Ali decided to “Rope a Dope”.   He got into Foreman’s head.  He let him feel like he was winning.  He let Foreman pummel him and took everything George could dish out.  He did it quietly and with bravado.

He did it on his terms.  He controlled the agenda even while taking a beating.

Could 2010 be the year that Michael Ignatieff ropes Stephen Harper?  Mr. Ignatieff is on tour across Canada now speaking at Universities to the leaders of our future; our youth.  He’s talking about the issues and taking questions.   Like Ali in those late rounds of the fight, he’s now starting to jab back.

The Poll numbers are now starting to tip as the pendulum swings.  Mr. Harper has committed himself to mediocrity, and in the eyes of many Canadians shown himself to be cowardly and not willing to fight his opponents.

Sure proroguing isn’t unique.  Sure it’s been done by Liberal governments; but has it ever been done as a strategic move designed to hide at the expense of over 30 bills?

The term “Storm Trooper” was devised to describe Canadian Troops after their ability to spear head attacks in WWI and WWII.   Canadians have a reputation of not backing down from a fight.  We’re not the biggest or have the shiniest toys, but guts we have never had a shortage of.

Spin in the media rolls many ways, but you really can’t fool the public.    There are many things that can be said about all of the political leaders in play right now, but nothing can change the history created by Mr. Harper and his repeated shutting down of parliament when the going got tough for him.

Great strategy, but gutless.

The difference between winners and losers has always been how you deal with adversity.  Mr. Harper’s reaction to date has been to take his ball, go home, and spend a lot of money on attack ads on his perceived enemies; usually on the dime of we taxpayers.

What do you think Canada?

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  1. “Harper has committed himself to mediocrity, and in the eyes of many Canadians shown himself to be cowardly” — absolutely. So, it’s time to say, ” Mr. Harper: Enough is Enough. You’ve had your chance and you have let us down. Canada and Canadians deserve better…much better.”

  2. We should consider the fact that our parliament has been prorogued 105 times before, thus it seems that this issue is being driven by those who are either ignorant of our parliamentary history, or for partisan reasons.EG Mr. Chretien prorogued parliament to escape the Adscam fallout when his Liberal government stole millions of dollars from the treasury, a far more serious situation than today’s closing of parliament for five weeks longer than it otherwise would. In this instance the government will be able to appoint 5 more senators to give them a chance to pass bills that the previous Liberal dominated senate had blocked and will be able to reconstitute the parliamentary committees which will stop the opposition’s games at trying to create scandals. In any case the issue of torture of prisoners in Afghanistan, is a major hypocritical one for the Liberals to be yapping about since their leader is the only Canadian political leader in a long long time (possibly ever) to have suggested (while as a Professor) that some forms of torture are okay with him.

  3. – Harper dares not face the Opposition.

    Harper is only concerned with power, grabbing it, holding on to it and mongering it, Canada be damned. His contempt for Canada and its Democratic Institutions is well established and of a nature and degree that all Canadians ought to take serious note.

    Harper’s aim is to minimalize Canada, dismantle our great nation to the great detriment of all Canadians and to favour a few.

    Soon Harper will claim ‘Canada is dysfunctional’, prorogue Canada and defer entirely to the Provinces.

    This dedication to power is why he hasn’t got the ‘right stuff’ (morally right that is) to stand up to the Opposition.

    Harper’s base is in Alberta. They make up the die-hardest of his supporters, and perhaps the source of the lion’s share of the Con’s funding. Harper, from the start has done everything to increase Alberta’ autonomy and protect its oil industry, and Canada be [censored – see above] – this is nowhere more apparent than Harper’s policies on Global Warming. Natural Resources Department assessment indicates that the projected increase to economic growth from the oil industry is $885 billion between 2000 and 2020, including growth of $634 billion in Alberta. Just imagine how much the benefit would remain in Alberta if there were no Federal taxes. Then there is the transfer payments, which would be hugely increased, that would be done away with. You do the math.

    Harper knows that as long as he has this core of support, the Con’s will be able to hold onto power. Further, he need only Con a relatively small segment of the regular population to get a majority – in that case, all I can say is, ‘God save Canada’.

    As long as he has this significant core-support and the regular population is divided amongst the other Parties, Harper knows he can display this contempt for Canada, our Democratic Institutions and, frankly, anyone who dares to stand up to him.

    Harper’s Prorogation is, of course outrageous, and there is no doubt it was done to try to quell the backlash of the Afghan Detainee Transfer scandal and ensuing cover-up.

    Paul Martin stood tall, took responsibility, showed leadership, putting the grasping onto, maintaining and grubbing of power, second to the good of the country, and called for an Inquiry into the Sponsorship Scandal. One might say that, yes, but, Martin knew that he, personally, had nothing to worry about when the truth started to emerge, whereas you can’t say that about Harper.

    There are other examples of Harper avoiding to face the Opposition for example – his economic update announce he made while in China so that he could avoid facing the Opposition. Also, while in Trinidad, Harper viciously lashed out at Ignatieff, the Liberals and all the Opposition, with slanderous allegations of a deceitful nature,

    Lloyd MacIlquham

  4. Paul Martin,went on a vacation while a world disaster was taking place. He ignored the disaster for days then had our military move in but they couldn’t until we hired some old Russian aircraft to move our troops, -a disgrace to our country; -What a difference. Mr Action vs Mr. Dithers. Then along comes Mr. Chretien whose party stole millions of dollars from the treasury, he prorogued parliament to hide the story until he retired (forced to by Martin). Lloyd MacIlquham is either ignorant of our history or is a Liberal hack.

  5. A) very well said Lloyd!

    B) I hope the Liberals play it smart from this point. Because their bungling could possibly give Harper that much un-deserved Majority if they don’t play their cards right.

    Again, not that I am Liberal, I just want the best for our country of Canada. And I do not feel that Harper is ever going to deliver that. I find him to be dangerous to our country.

    Daisy Girl – you must like the vague and regressive laws that Harper is trying to push through with his agenda. I would have more respect for him if he appointed members to the senate and then IMMEDIATELY ABOLISHED it, but we all know that he’s going to try to push his agenda through first, and in turn this will **** up Canada if he gets that chance. Don’t believe me now, that’s your prerogative, but if or when that happens, don’t turn around like a hypocrite and say that no one told you so!

    Fact is, we were promised fixed elections, democracy, transparency, elected senate, and we’re getting none of the above with this government! It has been smoke and mirrors from the beginning with Harper. I even speak with many diehard conservatives and even they agree with all these recent happenings that Harper (and many of his cohorts) needs to go. Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee as well Daisy?

  6. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Liberals have big mouths and continuously keep putting their feet in it.
    Call an election if you dare, otherwise – “Shut up.”

  7. Vote for grimalot… replace Guy Lauzon!

  8. Another vote for grimalot to replace Lauzon

  9. Daisy Girl: It is an imperfect world and none of the political parties has clean, daisy-fresh hands. That said, it is Harper’s cumulative contempt for parliamentary democracy and his habit of bullying anyone who stands in his way that have Canadians by the tens of thousands saying, ‘Enough is Enough: What is happening to decency and democracy in public life?’

    Ronald: Did your mother never say to you, ” Now Ronald, where are your manners” ?

  10. As body scanners invade our airports and conservatives gleefully line up in front of a sea of Canadian flags for photo ops on democracy in this country is dying. Thankfully, nearly 200,000 Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament on facebook have recognized the problem and are standing by ready to do some CPR, Canadian Proroguer Reform!

  11. I agree that NONE of the parties have done well in the last 10+ years. Chretien was as much a DICTATOR as Harper; Martin was a great finance minister but to weak(ened) to be a great PM. Jack Layton just doesn’t inspire enough confidence as leader.

    If you want to really change the way government is run. Come and join my fledgling grass roots movement !!

  12. Thanks for the laughs. Some of you need to have a green tea, or find some relaxing activity. Those 17 sitting days will give your parties time to repay all the debts and GST overpayments they need to return.

    See you in March 2010 when Gerry Cooney offer his chin up.

  13. Author

    Someone give this person a cookie for the wittiest come back of the day! And we drink Coffey’s Coffee around here, not green tea. (at least not during working hours..)

  14. I’m not sure where to begin with this.

    Going on “tour” to talk with students is hardly a “war path.” Ignatieff has been complacent, squandering his summer for a holiday while Canadians suffered from unemployment. He has been away for over 30 years, and while he was proudly teaching in the USA and Britain, never forgot to insult Canada. Going on a campus tour is the least he can do.

    Second of all, all the attack ads were strictly paid by the Conservative party, not taxpayers’ money (discounting ten-percenters which all parties use). You better watch the accuracy of your statements before posting something as serious as that. It really damages your credibility as a journalist.

    Finally, whether prorogation was a good thing or bad thing, I am not exactly sure. But saying that Harper is gutless is laughable. This was the same Prime Minister who risked opening a can of worms to issue apologies to the First Nations for the Residential Schools issue and initiate reconciliation and healing process. This was the same Prime Minister who has supported the Liberal-initiated mission in Afghanistan in the face of irresponsible opposition (leaving immediately would have serious repercussions of stability in that country). This was the same Prime Minister who stood up against Iran’s government when they denied the Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel. On the issues that really matter, Harper is the gutsy one.

    Don’t even try to paint Ignatieff as some sort of underdog Messiah. Because he’s not. The Liberals have ruled this country with arrogance and corruption for far too long. A few points up in the polls does not mean much. Get a grip.

    Prime Minister Harper has truly more guts than most of us would ever have.

  15. It is rare these days that one sees a friendly, polite group of folks on a discussion board. I applaud your intelligent discussions. I’m from a riding near Oshawa, and I’m quite aware that Canada is going to continue to have a ‘tough’ time on the jobs front. Unemployment is running at 17.3% in the US. Yes, that’s terrible … and they are our major trading partners. The Harper government has not been able to establish ‘trade reciprocity’ with the US. Their bailout / stimulus packages were issued with the stated bias of ‘buyAmerican.’ On the other hand, a large US construction firm was permitted to bid on a construction project for the Olympics. We are also facing a very large debt load from the Harper years. According to Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Harper government will have had rolling deficits to the tune of $167.4 Billion through 2013, which increases the national debt to $632 Billion. I did not vote for Mr. Harper. It seems all the reasons for NOT voting for Harper have rung true. Now, unfortunately, he has invoked a second prorogue of parliament on a whim. I attended a local Conservative meeting where one senior likened the Harper government performance to shifting chairs around on the Titanic. Don’t let Harper continue to plunder the Canadian Treasury … or give him any indication you support his quasi-dictatorship.

  16. It’s true that Muhammd Ali was great. His real name was Cassius Clay.
    It’s true that Michael Ignatieff wants to be great but his real name is not Pierre Trudeau.
    J, you speak the truth.

  17. A question for you, J: Is it gutsy to run away from serious issues and confidence votes, and attack civil servants in public? Consider Harper’s words in 2005: “When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is when it’s rapidly losing its moral authority to govern.” Is it gutsy of Harper to act repeatedly in direct contradiction to his own words, now that he’s in government?

  18. Glad to see Ignatieff is going to fight back and develop new stategys.Maybe this time around when supporting the government confidence motions,budgets etc. he can ask for some twinkies in addition to report cards.Brilliant stategy hiding him aways in the halls of acadamia instead of actually talking to the people who pay the bills and are unemployed.

  19. Ignatieff will prove to be nothing but a Czar Communist!

  20. They are all a bunch of lazy bums.

  21. Author

    Who is glassbowl?

  22. Harper likes to throw around the phrase, “serving the people.”
    Maybe what he means to say is “serving the people incorrectly.”

  23. At least he’s said something about what he’s going to do……Ignatief hasn’t said a word yet on his aspirations for the country!

  24. The man who forced metric, bilingualism and multiculturism on us used the legal procedure, Bob Rae used it while Ontario Premier ( once for 4 months), Mr. (GST is gone) Chretien used it as well. Something like 107 since we became Canada.

    Gues Facbook was not invented then!

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