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Dion blasts Harper's foreign policy 'blunders'

TCBF said:
- Are you sure that is what he said?  If so, he has just committed long-term political suicide.  Leadership at all levels requires collating and analysing newly-found facts, and this often results in changed opinions.  One could argue that Churchill and Roosevelt knew this, Hitler did not.  If Codere aspires to lead at the national level, would it not therefore be dangerous to hand him those reins of power?  Would future advisors in External Affairs not draw the conclusion that all proposals must agree with the boss's present opinions, because he will not change his mind even when confronted with new 'facts'?

- Pretty scary, boys and girls...


Liberal Defence critic Denis Coderre says his fact-finding trip to Kandahar won't change his party's position on the future of Canada's mission in southern Afghanistan

I wish I were making that up. 
Liberal Defence critic Denis Coderre says his fact-finding trip to Kandahar won't change his party's position on the future of Canada's mission in southern Afghanistan


I'm here to spit on all your hard work while making headlines in Canada and scoring points with the boss.
It appears that Canadians are liking PM Harper's position on many issues as the new poll suggests, no remember it's only a poll, but it is encouraging for the PM. (respecting all copyright, what ever I'm supposed to say here, consider it said)

Conservatives surge to 40%: poll
Norma Greenaway, CanWest News Service
Published: Friday, October 12, 2007
OTTAWA -- The federal Conservatives have surged to 40% in the popularity sweepstakes, opening a 12-point lead over the Liberals and moving within sight of majority government, a new national poll says.


Another interesting tidbit is that 67% of Canadians approve of the direction of the government. That is huge!

So, I think Dion is blustering, and do not forget that Canadians are respectful people, so to see our Prime Minister blasted by Dion, might only work, if the Liberals were still in power. To me it just looks like sour grapes, and arrogance by Dion.

I think Canadians are liking the fact that the military have become important again, that the PM was just as ready to help Lebanon as defend Isreal. He showed a balance and a respect for all sides of the issue. This was refreshing, and it appears I'm not the only Canadian that thinks that way.

With polls like these, it will be tempting for the PM to keep going in a minority position.  My prediction, however, is that he will continue to impress, and complete a full term as a PM for a minority parliament, and come 2009, on October 19 (I believe), PM Harper will lead the Conservatives to majority parliament UNLESS the liberals get a new leader.  Of that, I haven't a clue how that will develop.
Mr Dion is getting the rug pulled out from under him at every turn. It seems there are banana peels under the rug as well.......


Friday, November 2, 2007
Were Tax Cuts Strategic Brilliance By Harper?

This time it isn't me theorizing about the strategy of a party leader, but actually an article in the National Post by John Ivison who says Harper deliberately designed it to drain the government's coffers of funds with which Mr. Dion could launch a credible election campaign. Given the federal government's flush surplus and spending money, was it both a politically savvy move to provoke the confidence vote with the mini-budget and remove the ability for Dion to make financial promises in a campaign he knows he will be unable to keep? It's a bit of a win-win situation for Stephen Harper, knowing that the $60 billion in tax cuts will force Dion to abandon his own commitments, or else be forced to admit they aren't feasible under the scrutiny of a campaign debate.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Dion, even the most optimistic private-sector forecasts suggest there will be no money in the kitty to blow on multiyear, multi-billion-dollar commitments once Jim Flaherty has delivered the spring budget.

    According to the government's own figures, the surplus will be $11.6-billion this year, of which they plan to use $10-billion to reduce the national debt. This leaves $1.6-billion to spend this year, $1.4-billion next year and $1.3-billion in 2009-10 (after $3-billion in debt repayment in each of those years).

Now we see why the Liberals were so adamant about not cutting the GST. It isn't out of some kind of fiscally sound strategy, but the realization that cutting the GST would enfeeble his party's campaign and force him to run on a platform which promises to raise taxes by restoring the GST. Even if the GST reinstatement is sound policy, it won't play very well with voters who will see a government who wants to raise a tax. Liberals already know that now that the GST cut is done, it will never be raised again without serious consequences politically.

As Mr.Ivison points out, the conservatives are not hampered by the same restraints of tax cuts because they aren't promising expensive programs and environmental initiatives. Stephen Harper enjoys the popularity of broad tax cuts [although the personal income cuts are lacking in comparison to 7% for corporations over four years], while at the same time reducing the Liberals' ability to make campaign promises which are feasible. Add to this fact that the Liberals can't afford to mount a campaign, and the news gets even better for conservatives.

Elections Canada show that the Liberals raised just over three quarters of a million dollars from June to October, while the Conservatives brought in $3.1 million during the same period, with a total of $12 million to the Liberals $2.6 million. With a cash flow of 6:1 for the Conservatives, the Liberals and Dion know it's futile to bring down the government on a confidence vote.

Liberal blogger Steve over at Far and Wide admits "the Conservatives hold a MASSIVE advantage":

    Still, the numbers do show that the Liberals have a lot of work to do in re-inventing their brand, exciting the base and developing effective fundraising. Nothing in these results is surprising, but the longer things stay the same, the more it works to the Conservatives advantage.

A fair non-partisan assessment of the situation.

Posted by Raphael Alexander at 2:23 PM 
Wow.  Now, I wonder why the words "check" and "mate" come to mind whenever the PM introduces a new policy...?


EDIT: for puncuatation.
Meanwhile, Canadians surveyed by the Innovative Research Group Inc. for the CDFAI say even Jack Layton would do a better job than Dion representing Canada on the world stage.....

Dion Trails Harper and Layton on Foreign Affairs and Defense: Poll
News release, Oct 31, 2007 15:54 ET
Link to news release - .pdf version

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2007) - A poll commissioned by the Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI) shows that Canadians feel that both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton are better representatives of Canada on the world stage than Stephane Dion. The national poll conducted by Greg Lyle of the Innovative Research Group Inc. (Innovative) was presented during CDFAI's Annual Conference which was held on Monday in Ottawa. The theme of this year's conference was "Canada as an Emerging Energy Superpower - Testing the Case".

The CDFAI poll showed that 38% of Canadians feel that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the best leader to represent Canada on the world stage; NDP leader Jack Layton received 16% support; Liberal leader Stephane Dion was at 15%; Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe received 5% and Elizabeth May of the Green Party was at 3%.

"The theme of this year's conference is very timely," said David Bercuson, CDFAI's Director of Programs. "Prime Minister Harper has stated that Canada is an energy superpower. We wanted to examine this idea and what it may mean for Canada. Canadians are very aware of their nation's prominence in the international energy community, and the impact that decisions made here at home have on the world's energy supply."

The CDFAI poll also showed that amongst decided voters the Conservatives (37%) enjoy a healthy 10 point lead over the Liberals (27%). The NDP were at 15% followed by the Bloc and Green parties at 9% each.

Other results showed that Canadians are supportive of the energy superpower concept (57%), but remain divided over what to do with that energy wealth.

In addition to the poll, participants at CDFAI annual conference were presented with a paper commissioned by the Institute prepared by Annette Hester examining the notion of Canada as an "Energy Superpower" available at. http://www.cdfai.org/

The CDFAI poll was a national online poll conducted by Innovative to explore the issues surrounding the theme of the annual conference. The poll is available at http://www.cdfai.org/

The survey focuses on the following areas:

1. Canada as an Emerging Superpower

2. The Kyoto Accord

3. Canada's Energy Wealth

4. Critical Infrastructure Protection

5. Canada/U.S. Relations

6. The Arctic

The online survey was conducted among current members of Innovative's Canada 20/20 panel between October 15 and 21, 2007. The study included 1038 responses eligible for inclusion in their analysis. After weighting a sample of this size the aggregated results are considered accurate to within +/- 1.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had a representative cross-section of Canadians eligible to vote been polled.

For more information, please contact
Spotlight Strategies Inc.
Jason G. Hatcher
(403) 829-6796
Email: jason.hatcher@spotlightstrategies.com