Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Phony War, and the "Icebreaker"

I agree with the idea that currently Parliament is in a bit of a phony war, or a cold war, with all sides building up arms and ammunition, but with no immediate flash point on the horizon, and I also think that this gives us a glimpse of the style of campaign the Conservatives will run.

''Liberals sit on their butt,'' said the official, referring to the Liberal MPs who abstained in confidence votes on the throne speech and the recent mini-budget.
''We have been running TV ads letting people know that Liberals and NDP say one thing and do another.''
Conservative attack ads, portraying Liberal Leader Stephane Dion as being indecisive and keen to restore the recently announced cut to the GST, debuted this weekend.
A Conservative spokesman in Ottawa refused to say whether ads are being prepared to attack NDP Leader Jack Layton.
In an indication the Conservative campaign will be as centrally managed as the last election, candidates will be able to call upon the war room for even the most minute of details, such as drafting a local press release.
Attacks on Dion's leadership are too be expected, although one would think they might have learned from John Tory that a campaign based around a loose idea and hammered home with endless attack ads have a high risk of backfiring. As well, given the beheading of the two Conservative candidates in Ontario, as well as the Bill Casey situation, the Conservative campaign being micromanaged and centrally controlled by the Harperites is not a surprise.
What is interesting is the references to Jack Layton and the NDP. The great secret of the NDP is that they would prefer a Conservative victory, even a majority, as it would allow the NDP to attack the Liberal opposition as opposed to the Conservatives, as seen in the last election. While the NDP is obviously not a Marxist party, they do seem to put much faith in the idea of a "vanguard/icebreaker of revolution" which would be a Conservative majority, which NDP partisans hope would make the Liberals look weak, and allow the NDP to replace them as the main opposition to the Conservatives. This can be seen by the NDP's branding of themselves as the "Effective Opposition" and adapting the exact same "leadership" rhetoric as the Conservatives.
Likewise, the Conservatives would greatly prefer a strong NDP, as it does them much good, both for splitting the vote, distracting the Liberals from focusing on the Conservatives, and allow the Conservatives to compare themselves with the NDP, in an effort to win over centrist voters. The Liberals in the next election must realize that Layton and the NDP care much more about Layton and the NDP than actually protecting and promoting progressive values (as seen by the NDP adapting Conservative rhetoric, and the poor relations between the NDP and the Green Party, which was also shown in the Ontario provincial election) so the Liberals have a great opportunity to show themselves as the true voice of the progressive centre, and directly confront the Conservatives without getting distracted by the barbs coming from the left.


Anonymous said...

I think it is extremely possible that Jack and steve are working together to oust the liberals...U will remember jack mentioned a long meeting they had in private to talk about a riding like Outremont where the liberals and Ndp are close...harperites will vote ndp to get rid of the liberals....wanna bet....signed granny

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