Friday, April 29, 2011

NDP Surge

The Harper conservatives caused the surge in NDP support. They pushed the coalition argument too hard and failed to address the issues voters feel are important. Happy Jack Layton pushed harder on a range of issues. In Quebec, it was a simple matter of their voters becoming tired of the separatist argument. They became more interested in the issues that matter to them. When Quebec voters pushed back on the other three parties they had only Jack Layton to support.

When the NDP support went up in Quebec both conservatives and liberals made the mistake of launching attack ads against Jack Layton. This only caused his momentum to spread across the country. Influenced by polls the mainstream media placed the Layton NDP at the top of their news reports and added further support for the NDP.

The conservatives pressed too hard on the issue of who was going to govern the country after the election. The voters generally feel one party is as bad as the other is when it comes to governing the country. Harper comes off as if he is the only person whom can govern the country. It seems the voters may not agree and again confine him to a minority government.

When the smoke clears, we may not see the historic changes predicted by the media and polling companies. The voters are having some fun with the politicians this time around. It is an interesting election!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harper Campaign Troubles

The Harper campaign continues to toss supporters out.  The most recent story involves a Harper conservative insider and strategist by the name of Patrick Muttart whom apparently lives in Chicago.  The story is complex and leaves the Harper conservatives on the defensive by removing Muttart from their 2011 election campaign.  This in turn apparently leaves other insiders angered and leaves many conservative supporters questioning what is going on.  To get all the details on this intriguing story you can Google Patrick Muttart and Sun Media.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Wascana Campaign

There are many reasons to not vote for conservatives. Ian Shields, the conservative candidate in the riding of Wascana is one of them. The wind in his sails comes from his own high opinion of what he thinks he knows about politics. Many of us worked conservative campaigns ten years before Shields came to Canada from Scotland.

Ian Shields lost the Wascana conservative campaign he ran for Brad Farquhar in 2006. Then he left Saskatchewan to lose the conservative campaign in Sault Ste Maria, Ontario. He seems to be little more than a big voice achieving little in Saskatchewan for conservatives. Now as the conservative candidate for Wascana, he claims he will be a better MP than will be Ralph Goodale. Conservative candidates have repeatedly lost to Ralph Goodale.

So why is Ian Shields running in Wascana? He may be running for only one reason. That may be to give him more power and control within the conservative party hierarchy. If he loses to Goodale, which is likely, he will have proven he is a Harper loyalist. This means he is prepared to do only what Stephen Harper's inner circle tell him to do.

Being a conservative under Stephen Harper may cost you your right to free speech. Speaking your mind without Harper’s approval may cost you your right to run as a conservative candidate, your right to serve as an MP and your right to hold a membership in the conservative party.

Two good examples in this regard are Grant Devine and Larry Spencer. Devine, a former Saskatchewan Premier, was denied the right to run for a conservative nomination. Larry Spencer, a former MP, removed from the conservative caucus also had his successful nomination removed by the Harper elites. Then they had his membership in the conservative party revoked as well. Both Devine and Spencer ran and lost as independent candidates.

Ian Shields played a significant role as one of Harper’s loyalists in assuring Larry Spencer's demise. His campaign in this election works to prove his loyalty to Stephen Harper and his inner circle. Mean spirited conservatives are easy to find and there are more of them today than ever before. If you value your right to free speech, you have a good reason to not vote for Ian Shields and the Harper conservatives.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Conservative Brad Wall

Brad Wall should stay out of the federal election unless there is some issue that directly concerns Saskatchewan.  His recent comments slamming Michael Ignatieff are akin to kicking a dead dog.  Further, he has made it clear he either does not understand our Parliamentary system of government or disagrees with the system.  He needs to be reminded that the SaskParty was formed to get unhitched from conservatives.  Now it seems, with his recent comments, he and his government are clearly supporting Stephen Harper and the conservative party.  Brad Wall is a long way from taking a shot at becoming a conservative Prime Minister.  Now would be a good time for him to be quiet on the federal election and focus on the next provincial election.

Brad Trost Controversy

Recent campaign comments made by incumbent MP Brad Trost are not surprising. Stephen Harper has muzzled Saskatchewan conservative MP’s. It is refreshing to hear from one regardless of what you believe on the controversial issue of abortion. The conservative government de-funded Planned Parenthood International. Trost agreed with the decision and claimed the decision was due, in part, to petitions from the Saskatchewan Pro Life Association.

Stephen Harper failed to defend his government’s decision or the comments made by one of his MP’s, Brad Trost. This is not surprising, as Harper will throw anyone under the bus for no good reason. Brad Trost supports de-funding of Planned Parent Hood International and so does the conservative government. So, what is the problem?

The only problem for the conservatives is that it opens up the larger issue of taxpayer-funded abortions. There are contrasting viewpoints between pro-life and pro-abortion in Saskatchewan. So, why is that a problem?

Brad Trost has a right to his viewpoint and a responsibility to express it anytime he wants. His constituents also have a right to know where he stands on issues. Stephen Harper has a right and a responsibility to make his views clear on all issues. This should include defending his decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood International and the larger issue of abortion. He should also have some respect for the viewpoints of his MP’s.

Many Taxpayers have a problem funding abortions in Canada let alone outside Canada. So, why is that a problem?

We have accommodated a wide range of religious and cultural rights and beliefs in Canada. Many Christians do not support abortion. Why is it a problem to respect their religious rights?

Brad Trost has made it clear where he stands on these issues. It is time for Stephen Harper to make it clear where he and his party stand on these issues. So, what is the problem?

The bad boy here is not Brad Trost, but rather Stephen Harper.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Harper Desperate for Majority

With the elusive majority government out of grasp in polling over the last few days Stephen Harper is desperate. He uses personal attack ads against Michael Ignatieff and the liberals. Now he has added fear tactics on Canadian voters. It will be interesting to see if the voters buy into the new strategy Harper has launched.

Harper claims fear that democracy will be at risk if he does not get a majority. Interesting, when he has displayed disdain for democracy.

Harper claims fear that unnecessary elections will arise if he does not get a majority. Well, that is democracy.

Harper claims fear that there will be economic instability if he does not get a majority. Now that too is interesting since all the instability came under his leadership as Prime Minister.

Harper now claims fear over the issue of sovereignty if he does not get a majority. Quebec separatism has thankfully been on the back burner for quite a while until Stephen Harper injected it into this election campaign. Quebec is a nation within Canada. Why is that and is that not enough?

The Ignatieff liberals may be on the right track when they argue that Stephen Harper has turned this election into a campaign of fear. It may be the desperate measures of Stephen Harper voters need to fear the most.

Moreover, Harper's greatest fear is not getting a majority.  Stephen Harper is desperate!

Stephen Harper's Interview with John Gormley

Stephen Harper’s most recent visit to Saskatchewan entertained no questions from the media, but he did entertain an interview with John Gormley. This would be the safest place in Saskatchewan for Stephen Harper. It was a love in and they may as well held hands as Gormley failed to press Harper on any issue.

When asked how he thought he was doing in Saskatchewan Harper stated he told his candidates to work as if they were nine points behind. Nationally that is about exactly where they are in the polls.  So, what else is new?

Then Harper went on to argue that if the voters do not give him a majority then the opposition parties will be calling the shots. That is simply not true if we believe Harper’s claim that he has been delivering good government from a minority position.

Then Harper discussed with Gormley how he intended to continue working toward an economic recovery that he largely caused to be necessary in the first place.  How impressive is that?

Nor did Harper accept any blame for the election in his interview with Gormley. John Gormley failed to raise the issue of why the conservative government is in contempt of parliament by a ruling of the Speaker of the House of Commons and confirmed by a majority vote in the House of Commons. An election became necessary due in part to this issue, along with Stephen Harper’s disdain for the rule of democracy. Harper said the voters did not want an election. Well, when do they want an election? Stephen Harper once believed in fixed elections. What happened to that belief?

To conclude the debate Stephen Harper essentially waffled on the question of why thirteen conservative MP’s are so quiet in Saskatchewan. He said they were strong supporters of gun control, but has Harper ever introduced a government motion to dismantle the gun control legislation?

Yes, it was a love in. Stephen Harper and John Gormley.

Stephen Harper in Saskatchewan

In Stephen Harper’s recent visit to Saskatchewan, he praised the strong economy in our province.  We should be mindful that our strong economy has more to do with a strong resource economy.  We should also credit the provincial SaskParty government for supporting this strong component of our economy.  The Harper conservatives have had little to do with our strong economy, but they have taken us into an unprecedented national debt.  This debt will take a decade or more to pay down and return to annualized balanced budgets.  Stephen Harper has stated certain conservative campaign promises hinge on debt reduction.  Huge debts are bad and Stephen Harper has to take some responsibility for this national problem.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harper Campaign Plagued

The Harper campaign is plagued almost daily with one issue after another.  Each erodes public confidence regarding the integrity and leadership of Stephen Harper.  It is not one issue or another, but rather an accumulation of issues that may begin to take their toll.  Today, the issue of Helena Guergis will surface again prompting Harper to explain in more detail why he dumped her from cabinet on the basis of what appears to be bogus claims against her.  Guergis held a press conference today that questioned Harper's leadership.  This will draw Harper deeper into damaging controversy.  Issues like this may deny Stephen Harper the majority he so desperately is seeking.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back on the Campaign

The two debates are over and the leaders are back on the campaign.  The debates essentially had no effect on voters as the polls have not moved significantly since the debates.  The conservatives still lead the liberals nationally with about a ten point lead.  It suggests the conservatives are still within range of forming a majority government.  All this will hinge on what party is most effective in getting their supporters to the polls on May 2, 2011.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Harper Takes Day Off

Interestingly, Stephen Harper has decided to take today off.  Michael Ignatieff is older and Jack Layton is not in perfect health, but they working hard on their respective campaigns.  Stephen Harper may think he has this election in the bag or maybe he is just not in as good a shape as his opponents.  Either way, it is interesting that he is taking the day off.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Harper Riding to Majority

Stephen Harper has completed yet another photo op.  This time he is riding an ATV on some farm in Ontario.  The voters seem to think this makes him more acceptable because he is getting down and dirty with normal folks.  Unfortunately, the reality is it works so how do the voters feel about that?  It really tells a lot about the intelligence of voters.  By contrast, Stockwell Day once took a ride on a sea-do wearing a wet suit and that ended his leadership hopes and aspirations to become Prime Minister.  Regardless, it seems Stephen Harper is riding, among other things, to a majority government on Election Day.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Leadership Debates

The fiasco over who is in and who is out for the leader's debate is a call for change in future elections.  It seems it may be necessary to establish an independent panel, possibly under the Elections Act, to make future decisions.  It will be interesting to see who takes the lead on this issue to provide voters with a meaningful debate that answers their questions and helps them decide whom to vote for on Election Day.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Harper's Coalition Scare - The Truth

The Nationals' Keith Boag decodes the coalition and provides the real truth.  Read more...

For even more clarity on this issue please view CBC's video featuring Keith Boag or get a copy of the ageement from here.

This should put an end to the conservatives' coalition scare.

Harper's Blunder

The conservative campaign is a guarded and negative campaign. Stephen Harper only allows four or five questions per scrum and keeps the media well away from him behind a guarded perimeter.  Their strategy is to hold their lead and little more. This essentially means it has no theme to attract new voters or to attract votes from other parties. The conservatives may have peaked in the first week and if the NDP vote does not collapse then that may be enough to give the conservatives another minority, or even majority government. If voters decide to choose between primarily the conservatives and the liberals then there is room for growth within the liberal party. At this point, anything is possible.

So, why would Stephen Harper challenge Michael Ignatieff to a one on one debate? This would only confirm the liberals are on even footing with the conservatives in this campaign. This is the worst blunder by the conservatives and the leader, Stephen Harper, made it. Now, he has decided to back away from his challenge to Michael Ignatieff and that only makes it worse. Stephen Harper has control over all the conservative candidates in this campaign. Maybe it is time for them to get control of him.