Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In their own words

The Globe and Mail is running a daily selection of quotes from the major party leaders. My two cents here:

Stephen Harper says
"Being a family man ... a father of school-age children is a big part of my life. People say it must be tough to balance your family life with being prime minister. In fact if I didn't have this family life I don't think I could stay balanced as prime minister."

"We will not be getting into a bidding war [of election promises] with the opposition. That is a fundamental choice of this campaign: do we stay the course or do we go back to an agenda of tax and spend."

"My opponent [Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion] has said he wants to tax things that are bad ... taking groceries to market, is that bad? Allowing airplane transportation - the shipping of goods across the continent around the world; business and passenger transportation - are these bad things? No, these are essential things for the economy."
I think it's very telling that he only stops talking about the Liberals to make the irrelevant claim that he is a family man. This is only a limited selection of quotes, of course, but it's reflected in his campaign. The ads so far have been "Stéphane Dion, scratch'n'lose" and "Stephen Harper, family man". Good on you, Steve, but what's your agenda?

Stéphane Dion says
"I have a hearing problem and it may be linked to that."

"I challenge Stephen Harper to debate this seriously, to stop to lie to Canadians, to not try to win an election by lying. And to be honest for once."

"Yes, I love the beginning of this campaign. The fun is in the Liberal Party. The 'party' is back in the Liberal Party. And I've been told ... speaking about fun and party, we have some burgers somewhere to eat."
#1 is in regard to his alleged lack of proficiency with the English language. Dion shouldn't dignify personal criticisms by trying to defend himself against them. I wasn't paying much attention to his delivery until he brought it up. And if he's going to challenge Harper to be honest, he should really just dive into the attack and start pointing out lies. Taking the high road is admirable but if he's going to define himself in relation to his adversary, he'd better be clear about what's wrong with his adversary.

Jack Layton says
"Winds of change are blowing south of the border and many Canadians are catching that sense of optimism for a better North America - and indeed a better world."

"When we see Mr. Harper claim to be standing up for the North and to have a vision for the North, he'd better start by controlling the pollution and taking action to protect the North from the toxic discharges of his friends in the big oil companies."

"There is a sweater on over his agenda. I'm not sure it changes the agenda, however."
#1 is a continuation of the Harper equals Bush tack, and it's getting tired. That anti-Americanism card isn't going to win new votes, it's preaching to the choir. Layton needs a new line.

Gilles Duceppe says
"These elections will be an occasion to raise a primordial question - what kind of society do we want to live in?"

"Lots of people are family men. It's not All in the Family, it's an election."

"That candidate said very openly that self-whipping is a sacrifice they have to do. I question myself on such practices."
#2 is on point. #3 is in reference to Nicole Carbonneau Barron, an Opus Dei member running as a Conservative in Quebec. Way to take the low road, Gilles. Her religion is none of your business.

Elizabeth May says
"You across Canada: Please pay attention now. Don't tune in CNN. Tune in our networks. Yes, the McCain-Obama fight is interesting, but this is our future."

"It's Day 2 of the Canadian election and democracy's taking a nose-dive."

"I'm grateful for the outpouring of outrage that we're seeing across the country."
#1 is so right. I was thinking about writing a whole post on it. I meet people yammering on about Obama, McCain, and Palin all the time and they don't know squat about local politics. They seem to feel that being well-informed means knowing about American politics because "they affect the whole world." Maybe so, but local politics affect you.

3 comments:

michel.pion said...

Hello Michael,

I partly agree with you on your comment about Gilles Duceppe; Mrs. Barron religion is none of his business. However, when someone is running for a public office with a hidden agenda of potentially using her newly acquired clout to further the influence of her church and the dictates of her sky-fairy over the rest of us, then it ought to become our business. This is why I believe that the people of her riding who will vote for her have a right to know about her affiliation to the Opus Dei. Furthermore the fact that evangelicals are openly supporting the conservative party in this election should give everyone pause to concern about the influence of right wing conservative Christians in a majority conservative government.

michel.pion said...

Hello Michael,

I partly agree with you on your comment about Gilles Duceppe; Mrs. Barron religion is none of his business. However, when someone is running for a public office with a hidden agenda of potentially using her newly acquired clout to further the influence of her church and the dictates of her sky-fairy over the rest of us, then it ought to become our business. This is why I believe that the people of her riding who will vote for her have a right to know about her affiliation to the Opus Dei. Furthermore the fact that evangelicals are openly supporting the conservative party in this election should give everyone pause to concern about the influence of right wing conservative Christians in a majority conservative government.

Michael Reimer said...

Hi Michel. I agree, and I guess I should have written "The way that she practices her religion in private is none of your business." I wouldn't have complained if Duceppe had just mentioned her affiliation and pointed out where Opus Dei's beliefs conflict with current policy.

Stephen Harper's membership in the Christian and Missionary Alliance is what scares me; the influence of right-wing conservative evangelical Christians comes straight from the top.