Tim Hudak’s PC Party has released their first ad attacking the newly minted Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.
Predictably, her “Dalton, Dalton” cheering during her victory was used by the PCs to link the old with the new as more of the same. McGuinty has been a polarizing figure in Ontario and with an imminent election, the Tories will be looking to make the ballot question one of McGuinty’s legacy in Ontario.
The Tories have chosen to highlight debt as the first criticism of Wynne. They go back to Wynne’s days as a school board trustee and her record as a fiscal manager there and state that Wynne would not aim to balance Ontario’s books for five years.
This won’t be the last we’ll see on the Tory full-court press, however. The gas-plant and ORNGE helicopter scandals are still fresh in the minds of Ontarians.
[It] shocked the Canadian public and brought to light internal problems in the Canadian [Forces]. Military leadership came into sharp rebuke after a CBC reporter received altered documents, leading to allegations of a cover up. Eventually a public inquiry was called. [It was] controversially cut short by the government…
Is this today’s story of alleged (yes alleged) torture in of Afghans in Afghanistan by Afghans? No. This was about Somalia. This was about Canadians. This was about a cover-up by a Liberal government.
Today, Afghan detainees, one allegedly beaten with a shoe by an Afghan prison guard, is (allegedly!) throwing the country into madness. This is not Canada’s Abu Ghraib as some Liberal strategists have regrettably suggested.
Get the scandal playbook! Look up Chapter 3: What did you know and when did you know it?
The Liberal ad continues:
“When questions arose about what he and his government knew about torture in Afghanistan, Stephen Harper shut down Parliament.”
Flashback to Michael Ignatieff in a New York Times magazine op-ed piece, May 2, 2004:
“To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war.”
And for full context, we know that Michael Ignatieff has since climbed down on the Iraq war, and called it a mistake. And torture? Well, that was intellectual pretzel making, his defenders will say. He has, afterall, grappled with the issue and has come around to the fact that torture is wrong. We think.
“His current view is the same view he held as a renowned human rights expert who helped author the Responsibility to Protect: he is opposed.”
Case closed? Seems good enough for some reporters.
And Stephen Harper?
“The Prime Minister unequivocally condemns torture in all its forms. Canada is a signatory to both the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”
Good enough for others?
And the prorogation of Parliament? Was this to “cover-up torture” in Afghanistan? The Liberal line is a classic political attack from days gone by: “we don’t know, he just won’t say”.
Much has been said of prorogations and their history. Shutting down Parliament at the apparent whim of a Prime Minister should perhaps open up a broader debate about the use of this power, and those that prorogue may incur the political cost that goes along with it whether large or small. But while we’re on the topic of Parliament and the apparent upset that prorogation has caused some Canadians, surely the dissolution of Parliament at a Prime Minister’s whim should be much worse shouldn’t it?
Flashback to 2000, Jean Chretien in a comfortable majority not only padlocked parliament, shut it down, cast aside committees and put up a chain link fence, but he also fired all MPs from their job and made them reapply, just because Stockwell Day was weak and ready to be slaughtered (he was).
And to 2008 when Stephen Harper, despite his own fixed election date law, called an election citing the log jammed committees in Parliament. Granted, the law allowed for an early election to be called if Parliament could not proceed smoothly, but despite this subjective test for maneuvering within the law and straight into an election, opponents called it crass opportunism because Stephen Harper perceived Stephane Dion to be weak and ready to be slaughetered (he was).
So, does prorogation cause anger and if so, does it amount to a high political price to be paid by whomever invokes it? And yet, dissolution is in effect, Prorogation Plus. Prime Ministers have been accused of political opportunism in the past and will be accused of political opportunism in the future. And if opportunism is the currency of politics, who knew that in Canadian politics we’d see… politics?
The question remains. Is this an unusual time in Canadian politics? Does prorogation cause more upset than dissolution? Are we in a place where down is up and black is white in Canadian politics? If so, does Michael Ignatieff perceive the Prime Minister to be weak and ready to be slaughtered in an election?
Today, I launched a new political mini-site at IggyFacts.ca.
The site is meant to be a humourous take on the definition campaign of the Leader of the Opposition and of the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff.
The site is meant to be integrated with, but does not require, Twitter. Random facts about Michael Ignatieff are presented and with a single click of a button, they can be “re-tweeted” (repeated) via a person’s twitter account. You can even submit your own facts.
For those that aren’t familiar with Twitter, the service is like building your own mailing list. People sign up to receive information from you at your discretion. For example, at the time of this writing, I have 3,846 people “following” me on Twitter. This means that several times a day, almost 4,000 people read my updates on a variety of topics from politics, what I’m thinking or even doing (or whatever else I’d like to write). The political implications of this are large because each one of these people have their own “following” (or list) and this presents the opportunity to spread a message. Some people that follow me are web designers, some are Democrats, some Republican, some Conservative, some Liberal, some Calgarian, some Australian, among others. A police officer that follows me on Twitter may find a message that I write interesting enough to re-tweet (or repeat) it along to his list of his police officer friends, his Vancouver motocycle club twitterers and even his fellow jetskiers on Twitter. In turn they may pass the message along too. This bridges groups and it can find a message going out beyond one particular community. Blogs are often read by die-hard partisans and not often by swing voters. Since Twitter allows you to read beyond the highly integrated political blog community, it is a powerful tool for politics.