I am often dumbstruck by some of the decisions that the Harper government takes regarding the messages that they send out to the country. They are often dogmatic, but sometimes cut across their dogma. They are sometimes conciliatory – but often confrontational. They sometimes have a clear purpose, but are more often than not quite random.
And this can sometimes be the result of the mixed messaging. Turns out that, despite the Grits having little direction on the leadership front, the Harperites are back down to 2006 support levels.
I mean, how hard could it be to devise a consistent set of messages focusing on leadership – not the attack ads that we have seen, but some coherent and consistent signals that contrast Harper with Dion. Now, as anyone who has ever read my meanderings knows full well that I am not a fan of Stevie, his party or his politics. BUT, he does have a firm grasp on his party and its direction… sure, there is somewhat of a dictatorship right now in the party of John A., but whatever… he does lead.
And Dion? Where the hell is he? Rae and Hall-Findley get seats and they get more favourable press than the leader has cumulatively over the past year! We have no idea who this guy is and what he is all about. And he isn’t exactly educating us in this regard!
But noooooooo… the Reform Alliance folks are let off their spike-studded chains for a moment and what happens? Well, Jim “I hate Dalton” Flaherty starts dissing the province that he is partly responsible for representing by saying that Ontario is the last place in Canada that investors should look at?
Huh? Shouldn’t he be, like, supporting the province?
Of course, Jimmy is ever so generous with his wise advice for his counterparts at his old stompin‘ grounds, Queens Park. On the eve of the Ontario budget, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty again demanded that Premier Dalton McGuinty cut corporate taxes to help stimulate the provincial economy.
Unprecedented interference? Yes.
Settling an old childish feud? Yup again.
Then, (get this) he announces plans for a rail link between Peterborough and Toronto – one that was closed down years ago due to lack of ridership. Why invest in this? Seems that the train service would run through his Tory riding – and also that of his wife, Christine Elliott, who is a Tory member of the Ontario legislature.
Still more – turns out that Jimbo has found some money for a facility for folks with disabilities… nice gesture Jim. But, the facility’s board of directors includes Flaherty’s wife, Ontario MPP Christine Elliott and his executive assistant, Nancy Shaw – and, of course, it is to be built in Flaherty’s riding of Whitby-Oshawa.
Steve. You and I might not agree on much past good morning. But take that leash out of the drawer, call Jim into your office for a chat, distract him with a treat and snap it back on to his collar.