The cat blog: Ignatieff vs. Harper

A fact that should frighten us all: the Prime Minister’s cat positives/negatives and Ignatieff’s cat positives/negatives will actually swing a few votes.

The purpose of the cat photo-op for the Prime Minister is to show the “softer side of Steve” according to those that run focus groups. The sweater during the last campaign had the same objective. For years, the Liberals have tried to craft an image of the Prime Minister of a scary, mean and cold man. Kittens and sweaters? All that’s missing is the trolly to the land of Make-Believe, neighbour. Prime Ministerial image crafting aside, to most voters the PM has instead turned out to be calm, predictable and maybe even a little boring. But, against the crafted image of the fearsome ogre by his opponents, the realities both crafted and actual serve him well.

Here, Michael Ignatieff — in sweater — stares down his cat. Ignatieff’s perceived negatives — that he’s arrogant, aloof, crafty and out-of-touch — are not diminished by the cat photo-op. Stephane Dion named his dog Kyoto to emphasize a clear policy initiative of his leadership. Mr. Ignatieff has not carved out any bold policy direction on much of anything and naming the cat Nuance may be a move that only Ignatieff and the cat understand.



  • Gabby in QC

    “Relax once in a while.”

    That advice should be heeded by two of your travelling companions: one who posts here quite often and another who posts over at Janke's. Two more humourless people I have never met.

  • Cat

    Send you a private email a few days ago Stephen. Wondering why you’ve not responded.

  • Liz J


  • Jen

    Gabby, will the CTV ever come clean and report the unreported. CTV CBC are the LPOC backbone; both endores corruption.
    PM cats are strays- he need not have to ask any of his caucus to fly in a stray cat like Ignatieff had Derek Lee fly in an expensive cat at 1am.


  • Jen

    Wilson, do you know that game children play ” let go play fish” well, that's exactly what the ctv cbc etc are doing 'FISHING' until a big SHARK comes by to eat them alive.

  • Michael

    Sweaters yes. Sweater-vests….NO!

  • Gabby in QC

    ” … report the unreported”

    Jen, I just wish the media would tell what happened, without the editorial content. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation.

    Fortunately, there are still a few individuals who carry out that function reasonably well.

  • Gabby in QC

    “The other story is not as well know [sic]:”

    Well-known to whom? And made known by whom? How come you're privy to that little-known “information”?

    If it was indeed merely a photo-op with no questions allowed, as you claim, what kind of questions would you have expected?

  • BIG-G

    Harper seems more comfortable with his pussy.

  • Rob H.

    Uh.. the similarities between Stephen and Michael aren’t particularly comforting, probably for either party.. just saying..

  • Alberta Bob

    It sounds like fashion is more important to you than policy.

  • Sam

    Ted, the first story was the PM’s first day at 24 Sussex. NO press were called, they showed up on their own to cover the new guy and his family. This is what the press does Ted and your lies about it again show just why no one takes you seriously. A bit off topic here Ted, but weren’t you just the other day saying that it should be off limits for the press to be looking into Iffy’s kids?

    Oh and just to clarify something else. I doubt that “Harper called” the press at any time since he has become the PM, but keep spinning Ted and maybe someday somebody may believe something you write.

  • Miss Ruby Jones

    Cheddar is a hard working blue collar Timmies Cat! Oh wait … Tim Horton’s is now owned by Big US Multinationals !!

  • terry1

    Spirits are very high here at Liberal central in Vancouver…its going to be a great convention

  • batb

    I don't imagine just spirits are high at the Liberal Convention in Vancouver, with so many Liberals in one room.

    I'm happy for all of you Liberal$ that you're having fun as you crown Count Iggula the Prince of the LPC, but meanwhile, there are a lot of us wondering what happened to all of our money … you know? Adscam? HRDC? etc., etc.

    Isn't it fortunate that the MSM would rather investigate the Mulroney/Schreiber boondoggle? Your friends in the PPG are making sure that the Liberals are Teflon©.

  • terry1

    Actually Bat B…. I would rather someone investigate the stupid moves made by Harper and his FM on income trusts that took, as a best estimate, $35BB out of the economy. I hear that harper is thinking he needs to reinstate the trusts as they were before……….more stupidity and populist nonsense.

  • terry1

    your tastless comment is about par for another angry tory seeing their party slide into obliviion or making desperation side deals with socialists and separatists…something they crowed and spewwed garbage about in another coalition they were not a part of…………speaking of hyocrisy and odour$!!!

  • terry1
  • Liz J

    Terry, you really are pathetic. I wished the PM a happy birthday. Why the hell do you feel obliged to comment on that? It's not about debate.

    Have a nice day Terry.

  • Gabby in QC

    Liz J, Terry1 thinks he's found incontrovertible proof PM Harper is in deep trouble. He must be rubbing his hands together in glee. Too bad his proof falls flat.

    Link 1 is an op-ed by L. Ian Macdonald, who blows hot and cold on Mr. Harper depending on the issue and how that issue affects his former boss Mr. Mulroney. Despite that, I respect Macdonald, although I may not always agree with him, and I admire his loyalty to his former boss.

    Link 2 is a columnist's speculation on what Mr. Harper will do after he leaves politics – which most politicians do. Mr. Harper has nowhere to go but down, as Don Martin cleverly puts it, because Mr. Harper is presently occupying the HIGHEST office in the country. Sort of self-evident. Obama too will have nowhere to go but down after he leaves office.

    Link 3 leads nowhere.

    Link 4 contains links to CFRB radio shows. So?

    But here's a link Terry1 may not enjoy reading. It's from Brian Lilley's blog. Lilley is the Ottawa Bureau chief for radio stations CFRB and CJAD.
    “Stephen Harper continues to poll ahead of his party and is seen as the man best suited to run the country, a person they trust more than Michael Ignatieff and someone who can get things done. Michael Ignatieff you could say is trailing his party. The man remains for many a blank canvas, Liberals better fill it in before Conservatives do.

    Here are some of the poll highlights from the Ipsos-Reid news release.

    When asked which of the party leaders best resemble the following attributes, this is how Canadians weighted in:
    • Someone you can trust: Harper (40%, up 2 points), Ignatieff (28%, up 1 point), Layton (25%, down 4 points), Duceppe (7%, up 1 points).
    • Someone who will get things done: Harper (43%, up 1 points), Ignatieff (28%, up 1 point), Layton (22%, down 3 points), Duceppe (7%, up 1 point).
    • Someone who has what it takes to lead Canada: Harper (43%, up 1 point), Ignatieff (35%, up 1 point), Layton (19%, down 3 points), Duceppe (3%, unchanged).
    • Someone who has a vision of Canada that you can support: Harper (42%, up 2 points), Ignatieff (30%, unchanged), Layton (24%, down 3 points), Duceppe (4%, up 1 point).
    • Someone who knows when to compromise for the greater good: Harper (38%, up 4 points), Ignatieff (32%, up 1 point), Layton (25%, down 4 point), Duceppe (6%, unchanged).
    • Someone who is best to manage during tough economic times: Harper (46%, up 2 points), Ignatieff (32%, unchanged), Layton (17%, down 3 points), Duceppe (5%, up 2 points).
    • Despite trying to shake the opposition branding him as someone who has a hidden agenda, Harper (48%, down 3 points) also leads Layton (25%, down 1 point), Ignatieff (21%, up 2 points) and Duceppe (6%, up 2 points).
    • Finally, Ignatieff (34%, up 1 point) leads Harper (32%, up 2 points), Layton (29%, down 3 points), and Duceppe (6%, up 1 point) when it comes to being someone who is open to the ideas of others.

    Politicians hate polls, except the ones that go their way. This poll has lessons for Mr. Harper, Mr. Ignatieff and their parties.”

    Except for the last two, all the points are positives for Mr. Harper.

  • terry1

    Ask Jean Chretien why he also didn't wish him a happy birthday in his speech last night…..pathetic is the governance of your party

  • terry1

    The trend is clear and now that Iggy will be formally installed as Liberal leader he will certainly take the gloves off as needed and when he so chooses. haprr is very vulnerable and it is showing.

    The rest of your blurb is just more nonsense. Harper would not be acting like a socialist if he felt he was secure in his job.

  • Gabby in QC

    ” … haprr [sic] is very vulnerable …”

    Terry1, that part of your comment proves two things:
    1. Your anger inhibits both your spelling and your typing skills.

    2. If the PM is “vulnerable” – your word – it merely indicates he's a human being, unlike the robotic cold calculating figure his opponents have painted of him.
    That sort of brings us back to the kittens in PM Harper's office …

    “… Harper would not be acting like a socialist …”
    Remember, Terry1, the Liberals voted for the budget, thus they approved it. And now they're asking for more … more … more!

    From this site:
    “John Maynard Keynes, the influential British economist whose ideas are known as Keynesian Economics, sums up how I feel about the overused American political term “flip-flop”:
    When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
    Well sir, I change my mind as well. But I don’t count. I’m a regular guy dealing with an ever-changing situation at work were I have to constantly flip-flop due to layoffs, company strategy, and overall business strangeness due to my supervisory position. Guess we regular folks have leeway in our lives where politicians don’t.” [my highlighting]

    That aptly describes what the PM has to deal with in this new reality.
    So … stop living in the past of bogus surpluses (it's called over-taxation) and start dealing with the reality of a global recession.
    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    I know what the Liberals do … they wax nostalgic about the past … like Ignatieff telling the Young Liberals' caucus how he felt at the 1968 convention … Cue the song “Memories” … from you guessed it … the musical “Cats”

  • terry1


    1. my misspelling is not anger;I simply type too fast and don't check back especially when I'm laughing at your comedic remarks.

    2. The PM is vulnerable in a way that will poke his ego into doing something stupid again. it goes with his temperment and that of most control freaks. Liberals are very thankful for helping them change leaders and [putting them back on top. The Liberlas blocked their noses and voted becasue it simply would have been too stupid to force an election so soon. Iggy is not in a hurry to win a minority and is going for the big win. look closely again at those polls you seem to like and you will see the Liberal party is enjoying growth right across the Country. They collected $1.8MM in the first three months of Iggy's tenure and have already almost doubled their Q2 donations over last year with still two months to go and the convention generating more goodwill towards the party. Of note is the fact the Reformer donations went down by 10% last Q and the dippers dropped by 50%. So please tell us once again about momentum. The party has started rehiring staff and have a counter attack ad budget should Harper's ego get the best of him once again. Iggy will shot him down veery fast which is why I don't think the reformers have the cojones to go ugly again, although desperation produces more stupidity sometimes.

    3. As far as changing ones mind goes… how did Harper go from no recession statements to depserate measures in two short months? The answer is very simple… his ego got to him and he wanted to show he was boss last fall until the opposition stuck it to him and he will never recover from that fiasco. Then he went overboard and didn't even think about what the economy really needed Maybe if he had left isues like the income trusts alone and not touched GST in his populist stupidity, we may not have had to go to such large deficits and over spending. Economic targets could have been better planned,etc.

    4. Liberals are the only party to exist since confederation and have much to be proud and nostalgic about, unlike the regressive and progressive merger that is not working very well these days and has no history and probably not much future. The new leader is hell bent on putting the party back on a solid financial and political footing and is off to a great start, something you would be loathe to admit.

  • terry1

    Vintage Chretien and truthful as usual:

    In a spirited kick-off to the federal Liberal convention in Vancouver, Chretien noted Harper, who once seemed embarrassed by Canada when he spoke abroad, now seems to be boasting about all the things the Liberals did for the country while in office – regulating banks and balancing the books, for instance.

    Chretien took aim at Harper's writings from years ago, in which he expressed dismay at the Liberal decision to opt out of the Iraq war and called this country a “welfare state.”

    “Now he's a proud Canadian,” Chretien said. “And guess what he's most proud of: The Liberal record. He brags about our strong economic fundamentals. Well, it was we Liberals who turned our country around after the last Conservative government ruined our economy.”

    Chretien said Harper knows: “It was Liberals who turned around the Conservatives' $42-billion deficit, the biggest in Canadian history, into surplus after surplus.”

  • batb

    “Proud Canadian” Chretien is spending a lot of time in China with Mo Strong. 'Wonder why?

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't need any “Liberal” reasons to be a proud Canadian. He has paid his dues in public life and the HOC without any help from the Librano$.

    The talk of fiscal responsibility and Chretien's Liberals in the same breath is an oxymoron. Where's the do-re-mi stolen from hard-working Canadians by the Liberals in Adscam, the HRDC boondoggle, Shawinigate, etc., etc.? Until that money has been returned and Liberals are held accountable, any talk of Stephen Harper's being proud of “a Liberal record” is insultingly risible.

    One other thing: How does the small-town Shawinigan Strangler become a multi-millionaire, with a few luxury homes, including a vacation home in Palm Springs?

  • batb

    What happened to my most recent comment, Stephen?

  • batb

    “Proud Canadian” Chretien is spending a lot of time in China with Mo Strong. 'Wonder why?

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't need any “Liberal” reasons to be a proud Canadian. He has paid his dues in public life and the HOC without any help from the LPC.

    The talk of fiscal responsibility and Chretien's Liberals in the same breath is an oxymoron. Where's the do-re-mi stolen from hard-working Canadians by the Liberals in Adscam, the HRDC boondoggle, Shawinigate, etc., etc.? Until that money has been returned and Liberals are held accountable, any talk of Stephen Harper's being proud of “a Liberal record” is insultingly risible.

  • Stephen Taylor

    You juxtaposed a broad statement of criminality of the Liberal party with a suggestion that an individual (JC) is the beneficiary of some sort of mysterious winfall. You can accuse a political party of a crime but you cannot suggest by juxtaposition that an individual (who has not been convicted) is the beneficiary of that crime.

    It's certainly a high threshold, but I hope you'll appreciate it.

  • batb

    Stephen: “You can accuse a political party of a crime but you cannot suggest by juxtaposition that an individual (who has not been convicted) is the beneficiary of that crime.”

    Thank you for your answer to my question. I figured that my question about Jean Chretien, the Shawinigan Strangler, was probably not something you appreciated. I did not, however, accuse him of anything. What I did do, was ask a question about his assets. And, one might wonder why no one in the Liberal Party has been convicted of unlawful activities given all that came out at the Gomery Inquiry.

    It is very strange and somehow disconcerting how the Liberals and their leaders seem to be made of Teflon©.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Just don't give Telfon a bad name!

  • Liz J

    Mr. Chretien never told a lie?
    What would you call telling us the hated GST would be gone prior to an election which he went on to win?

    Why did Sheila Copps have to re-run for her seat in that same election because she told her electorate what her boss had said, the GST would be gone?

    How much was the deficit PET left Mulroney? How about you give us that figure Terry.

  • Pat

    The “so called” goofy picture of PMSH in the Western Hat and Vest…he looks like a period Cowboy on his trip to town. The best he had to wear and a pair of big hands poking out of the sleeves of his shirt. Hollywood he did not look like, contrived he did not look like, real he did.

    Mind you to the evil left, he should have looked like the fakes they have come to adore and darn near worship. We’re really lucky that we have the man at the helm that we have.

  • terry1

    Well thank God Paul Martin talked him out of that idea. Sheila Copps should have been a Tory;she was anal.

    You cannot compare a baby boomer deficit created by PET from a structural deficit created by Muldoon….that's nonsense and even you really do know that although I might be surprised.

    Iggy warned Harper he is playing with fire from now on. I hope he turfs him in June

  • terry1

    As usual you are out to lunch with no dessert. Chretien was a very honest guy and has nothing to hide from the likes of you.

    Accountability is a word the Tories don't like these days.

  • terry1

    It is very strange that your prejudices go so far.

  • terry1

    Thank you Stephen for bing fair and honest and avoiding a potential lawsuit. High thresholds are Liberal trademarks. Are you coming over to the good guys?

  • Liz J

    Not a prejudicial bone in your body, eh Terry?

    How old are you? I'm wondering if telling you to act your age not your shoe size would be fitting.

  • terry1

    Liz J…. I love it when you Tories get angry and insulting….. good sign polls must be bad….LOL

    By the way I'm sure my shoe size is bigger than yours.

    My age is that of a mature 'with it” person…how about yours?

  • Liz J

    Wrap yourself up in polls if you wish, Terry, they have a tendency to change when you least expect it. You probably enjoy the see-saw in the playground too.

    Who is angry? I see signs of it on the Opposition benches every day in the HOC and elsewhere.

    Never saw anyone more angry than Mark Holland, he oozes anger. Marlene Jennings is also perpetually angry, just a couple of observations, I could go on. I'm not seeing it among the Conservative ranks.

  • terry1

    I'm not wrapped up in anything but reality. Polls are indicators however and Harper has reacted vigourously to the recent ones with all sorts of side deals and a new openness to the Bloc who are about to pick pocket us again becasue Stevie baby wants to stay at 24 Sussex.

    The opposition gets angry at being stonewalled by the wall of silence comeing from this useless government. And its not only liberals.

    Your hero John Baird was not mentioned in your diatribe..that a foul mouth ever I have ever seen one.

  • Liz J

    Tell us the “side deals ” PM Harper has made with the Bloc. If they were “side deals” were they public or do you have an inside track? If there's a wall of silence, you must have psychic powers to know what's going on.

    Could you tell us where the ADSCAM money is? How much of the EI pilfering figured in Paul Martin's surplus?

    PM Harper actually enjoys the job of PM and it shows. He knows he's serving at the will of the people, as all PM's do. He also said when he leaves politics he will not be writing a book about how somebody did him wrong. We all know who he was alluding to. He certainly would never give the Bloc veto power over Canada as the signatories to the coalition did, Including Ignatieff.

    John Baird is an effective, experienced and hard working Minister.

    You must be a little disappointed in your Liberal finance critic, McCallum. He got caught in a pathetic lie. He apparently wanted to hide the fact he owns a car not made in North America, so, when asked, he said he owns a GM car, pressed further he said a Chevrolet. Then had to fess up to the media, he actually owns a VW, made in Europe. Oh the tangled web we weave………

    Take breather Terry, you seem to need it by the quality of your posts.

  • Mimosa Tortie

    Obviously there is some confusion here about rescue cats and pedigreed cats. While I’m all for taking in rescue cats and kudos to those who do, it’s not for everyone. A cat that has been abused will have many challenges to deal with — I assure you, none of those make it to the PM’s office. I can’t see Stephen dealing with a cat that has serious behaviour problems. Certainy those in this photo look pretty placid.

    On the other hand, the European Burmese that Iggy got himself is quite predictable. She’s a friendly, affectionate, social, noisy and active bundle of fur. So the difference really, is doing some homework and knowing what you want as opposed to taking on something you might not be qualified to handle.

  • terry1

    I have taken a breather and enjoyed the great sights around Vancouver today……and by the way iggy has another cat of the same ilk of his first one.

    Baird isa typical tory bully and hasn't enough IQ to fit on the head of a pin.

    Your garbage about Mccallum is all about pettiness something you seem to thrive on. I'm not dispappointed in him at all. He contributed to the convention very positively.

    Iggy got it dead on…harper is all about himself and his ideological bent and his determination to destroy the Liberals sometihng he screwed up royally in November. He didn't even know we were in a recession. Give your head a shake.

  • Liz J

    Now that's really one funny post, Terry. Maybe there's and opening at “Just for Laughs”.

    Anyone who could make it to the convention contributed a sackful of platitudes and threats to destabilize the country in a recession by remarks from Chretien to go to an election sooner rather than later. Wonder who he suggested they team up with to bring down the government, 77 votes won't do it?

    I will give you man A++++ for unmitigated gall with the statement, “Mr harper doesn't understand Canada”. This from a person who has spent much of his life away from Canada, swooping back to Canada for opportunity, pledging “True Patriot love”.

    The best report on the convention is given by Monte Solberg in the Ottawa Sun today, you should give it a read: “Canucks top Grits”.

  • terry1

    I think we are talking about the same Chretien who decimated the tories and forced them into an unholy alliance (takover by) with the regressive bunch from the right wing reform party. I would thetefore understand your complete dislike of this winning politician who also cleaned up Muldoon's fiscal destruction while winning THREE MAJORITY GOVERNMENTS out of three tries. How many majorities has your man Harper won in three tries?

    Your tired refrain about Iggy's time away from Canada makes no logical sense whatsoever. Who says he wasn't closely in touch with issues here as he was about the world in general. Besides we live in a very global world and your turkey never ever travelled outside of Canada in his life until he became PM. Guess who has more experience.

    Has Iggy showed any ignorance of Canada and its way of life? Or is this the tory mantra prepping us for the next series of negative attack ads which is your party is good for. Be careful what you wish for in that department.

    Your arguments are so weak as to make me think you are simply lashing out at anything that can save your hopeless party from defeat.

    Monte Solberg is a very strong Regressive Tory partisan so reading him would be just like reading your nonsense. He also got out of politics because he doesn't like Harper's particular brand of conservatism but he is a die hard one none the less.

  • Liz J

    Not “die hard” Liberal anywhere, no siree. All Liberals are non-partisan, yes siree.

  • harblthecat

    I think it speaks volumes to Ignatieff 's character – buying a $1500 cat that reminded him of his home – England. Flying it from Vancouver across the country, because money is no object.

    Conversely, Harper shelter's cats from the SPCA, and adopts cats from local shelters.

  • rox4nn

    cats do bring out your softer side

  • zippit

    why is here when he has not contributed to canada pesion nor spent any canadian dollars why did the states not let him run how much of our hard earn tax dollars is going to his pension
    what he hasnt been in canada for what 25 years does he not get a pension there in states is that why he is back who is he to tell us what we need how much if any tax dollars has he contributed or had to pay like us canadians have i ask these questions to all i am so tired of when i call his office which we are paying for and getting told thank you for your contribution does any of these questions i have asked sound like a contribution and his secretary was quite snippy each time i have phoned i do beleive it has been more than once she has said as in his secretay that we are paying for also has said to me he has paid property taxes as he rented out his home while he was in the states where do you think he spent his rent income the united states where he lived for what 25 years its time to find a true canadian that has contributed like the rest of us have and beleive we can be a better country not one that has two faces and expects everything from us and has given nothing to us for what 25 years has he even paid revenue canada in the 25 years he was not here i ask these questions and have commented on my opinion maybe the news media should be asking these questions instead of letting him go blah blah blah