Show Us the Beef!

In the 1980 American presidential campaign, Sen. Walter Mondale famously appropriated the Wendy’s slogan “Where’s the Beef?” to berate his Democratic primary opponents at the time, Jesse Jackson and Gary Hart; effectively exposing what he contended was their tragic paucity of policy depth.

At present, we seem to have a similar situation with Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party. On one level, it’s a notable achievement that after several years of aimlessly groping about in the political wilderness (or impatiently fidgeting in the penalty box, if you prefer that metaphor), Iggy and the Libs have finally managed to extricate themselves from the obligation to reluctantly support Stephen Harper’s cynically extemporaneous Conservative government. That said, what are the specific policy alternatives the Liberals presume to offer in regard to their boastful claim that “We can do better”?

So far, we’ve seen Michael casually talking to folks in an open-collar denim shirt from his woodland retreat about his fuzzy “world view” and some nebulous concept about “green jobs” of the future and other such rudimentary ideas which are all innocuously pleasant enough liberal clap-trap one supposes, but what will the Liberals do that’s actually different from the Stephen Harper’s Keynesian Conservatives that the Liberal spin-machine somewhat mysteriously claims is “not good enough”? Inquiring minds want to know…


27 Replies to “Show Us the Beef!”

  1. I imagine the Liberals wouldn’t do this:

    “OTTAWA–The Conservative government is spending more than five times as many taxpayer dollars on promoting its economic plan as it is on raising public awareness about the flu pandemic.”

    Not without their own supporters beating them about the head and neck for it, that is.

    The thing with Conservatives is that they swallow, open-throated, whatever the Harpies shove at them. They don’t deserve to be in power. It’s as simple as that.

  2. I have a few questions, maybe somebody here can point me to where there are answers already in the public domain:
    – what is the Liberal Party suggesting we should be doing radically (or not) differently and what stops them from bringing that up in the Parliament?
    – what did they just pass in the last vote that the NDP and BQ felt is productive and constructive and not worth delaying another few months through another election with very unlikely to change anything results?
    – what was presneted in this last session that was so dangerous for Canada and how does this compare with all the other instaces in which the Liberals voted together with the Conservatives? After all, where we are today is a direct result of them propping the Conservatives during the last few years…
    – I do vote NDP most of the time at the federal level (because I do agree with most of their platfom and in my riding, this is how we defeat the Conservative candidate, which for a couple of electins was splitting the center and left of center vote and was getting elected with ~ 30-35% of the popular vote (from the people that bothered showing up so, really, representing about 15-20% of the riding’s population, at best). Why was NDP & BQ so bad this time around, in light of the practical outcome and the current context?
    – how exactly are we having such a huge deficit? On what are we spending all that money? I am not aware of any serious program with long term benefits nor about any huge bailout to any industry… is there a Government webiste that details where the deficit money is going and what kind of long term effects it’s expected to have? Also, if this was a one time deal, how come it will take us 5-10 years to get back to balanced books? What am I missing here?

  3. Layton could find himself occupying Stornoway and many NDP MP’s in critics posts after the next election if the NDP play their collective cards right.

  4. we need a leader with 1) passion 2) a bit of humour is nice too 3) and a bit of attitude.

    how much more ‘dull’ can we take?

    show us what you got Iggy!

  5. Inquiring minds are gonna have to wait.

    Kinsella was a huge fan of harper’s timed policy releases in Stevie’s successful campaign against Martin.

    With the levers of government and money, why would the Liberals release any policy now, giving the Tories a chance to frame and skewer ANY significant policy plank.

    They people you want to win over usually make up their minds during campaigns anyway.

    The Liberals will keep their powder dry as they should.

  6. Jackie — Yeah, I too want to see what Iggy’s got to show… his campaigning efforts so far has been relatively inoffensive, but also not exactly stirring.or inspirational (which his message attempts to be). Maybe a little more passionate tub-thumping would be beneficial in driving home his “we can do better” demagoguery if that’s the way he’s going…

    But I still want to know what the Liberal platform consists of. Where do they stand on the HST, for example? What’s their policy on the tar sands? And so on…

  7. Next Bob will tell us that he has heard from reliable sources that 10-15 Liberal MPs are dissatisfied with Ignatieff’s leadership and are preparing to cross the floor any day now.

  8. “Bob” is delusional if he thinks that Jack will be occupying Stornoway any time soon. Fact is that the political landscape favours those who can somehow figure out the puzzle of how to capture the “mushy middle” of the political spectrum. The NDP is inherently excluded from that contest by virtue of their ideologically socialistic principles that viscerally alienate most voters.

  9. Kinsella was a huge fan of harper’s timed policy releases in Stevie’s successful campaign against Martin.
    Kinsella likes anything that is not Martin.

    So how are the Liberals doing with this has-been in the upper powers?

    “We can do better” catchy but complete fluff without meaning.
    Maybe Iggy will put voters “on probation” and deny us voting for him… then Kinsella can spin it as a victory.

  10. I believe that was the 1984 Presidential election you were referring to, since the 1980 contest was between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

  11. Good post and comments.

    I am also curious on what Ignatieff would do differently.

    McCallum on Question Period said that it wasn’t the $50B that the Liberal’s had issue with, it was the incompetence of the delivery and the package.

    I am really bloody curious on what these guys would do. Maybe it would be better. But I can’t eat vapour and slogans.

    If they just sit back and do the 5 minute scrum wallowing in their own arrogance every couple of days; and don’t start dangling red meat in front of us, people will just walk away. By the time Kinsella unvails the policy a day, it will be too late. Peter will have cried wolf too many times. Elvis will have left the building.

    So many bad sayings strung in order. I wonder if there is some award for that.

    Anyway, people want to know what these guys would do differently. Otherwise they just look like they are bums warming seats.

  12. Curiously the NDP and the Bloc have a combined 86 seats to the Liberals 77 seats.

    Plus the Bloc has always been rather socialist haven’t they?

  13. Ti,

    Didn’t I recommend that you read a little Calgary School literature?

    Start with Barry F. Cooper, he uses reasonably small words.

  14. Barry Cooper…Wasn’t he the one who was laundering oil industry funding through the U of C to fund climate denial “science?”

    Yes, I think he was.

  15. Richard Littlemore’s website may not be the best place to get your unbiased news.

    But I guess you are just interested in slagging some stranger than actually educating yourself. The choice is yours.

    It is just a little disingenuous of you.

  16. Tomm — Start with Barry F. Cooper, he uses reasonably small words.

    Author of the thrilling monograph The Klein Achievement

    How’s that working out for Alberta these days?

  17. the wonk in me wants some policy, the partisan in me wants to keep the powder dry so as to not get green-shifted ;-).

    the media in this country would immediately switch from “where’s the policy; does this guy stand for nothing” to “i can’t believe this guy is dumb enough to release policy and open himself to attacks”. if only the libs could get away with not releasing any policy until days before the vote.

  18. Wikipedia is a place to get all of our unvarnished, unbiased opinions on others.

    It is also a good source of knowledge on Margaret Thatcher and David Suzuki, unless of course you would like your whipped topping a little less whipped.

    With respect to Barry Cooper, …he is a God!

    … or at least a guy worth reading.

    If you’ve bothered to read “Lament for a Nation” then you should also read something else.

    Maybe Crowley?

  19. For somebody who reads & believes wiki but can’t be bothered to read a guy who is trying to clarify Canadian political issues, you are one fine example of an open minded central Canadian just looking out for us bumpkins in the sticks.

    I am thankful we have people like you to put in a good word for us with those who matter.

  20. you are one fine example of an open minded central Canadian just looking out for us bumpkins in the sticks.

    You have your own province to worry about and your own government to look after you.

  21. Ti,

    I appreciate the good word.

    Also, please make sure the Canadian Wheat Board is never dismantled. Without that I might have to think for myself and make my own decisions like Ontario farmers.

    Thinking like an adult would just be wrong.

    Thank you so much sahib.

  22. Oh no sir.

    Having the good and privileged national leaders in Toronto making decisions about how best to ensure Ontario and Quebec get fed cheap energy from their far flung territories is what they must do to preserve national unity.

    I totally understand. I have come to love Big Brother.

    Given that you are my own personal sahib, would it be possible for you to look into why my ration of victory gin has been cut?

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