LPC Pre-election Ad

As imagined by Rick Mercer…

I think this definitely falls into the category so aptly described by Homer Simpson’s immortal quote: “It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.”

I mean really, what does the Liberal Party stand for these days? Other than opportunistically sniping at Harper and the Conservatives, to borrow another famous quote, “there’s no there there” when it comes to having any sort of vision or definite purpose that might arouse a degree of interest, let alone rally widespread popular support for the Liberal cause… whatever it may be.



Filed under Humour, Liberal Party of Canada

31 responses to “LPC Pre-election Ad

  1. Penny

    Odd…. I’d been wondering the same thing. Much as I wish I liked Iggy – and he was pleasant the time I met him – he appears to me to be fronting for the smoke-filled, back-room boys who begged him to come back to Canada. That is, he says what he’s told to say, and if that doesn’t make the polling numbers shoot up today, he’ll come out tomorrow with something the fellas think will sell better….. One thing we can be sure of, though, the Liberals won’t bring down the House until the numbers tell them to.

  2. It’s a tough situation for Ignatieff and the Liberals to be in at the moment what with the economy being the sole focus of attention. The Conservatives have not only stolen planks from the Liberals in that regard, but have in fact absconded with all of their flooring. As for social issues, the Cons have cleverly done little but posture when needed, while ensuring that they avoid doing anything serious like meddling with healthcare or key safety net programs. So what’s left for the Liberals to fight over? Harper has been very successful in taking over the middle-ground of Canadian politics – a spot that used to be dominated by the Libs and which made them the “natural governing party” for so many years.

  3. Red:

    You’re absolutely right, but the fact that a charmless, cynical, existentially vacant gargoyle like Harper can take over the middle ground is a bitter indictment of the middle ground. Wrapping a U.S.-controlled “security perimeter” lockdown around the nation—a drastic measure that deserves at least a national plebiscite—without the slightest pretence to Parliamentary ratification, initiated by a “populist” prime minister who used to insist that citizen-initiated referenda be integrated as a normative mode of governance, is representative of the views of the middle ground?

    Please tell me it aint so…

  4. It may just be my rampant paranoia, but I’m not sure a party led by Michael Ignatieff can convincingly (to me, anyways) advance a plausibly Canadian alternative to Stephen Harper’s anti-democratic continentalism. Until he moved back home, Ignatieff was a fairly enthusiastic cheerleader for American empire.

  5. SF: That description of Harper was too funny. However, I’m not sure that a plurality of the electorate perceives him quite the same way as you do.

    As for the citizen referenda poppycock from Manning’s old Reform Party, I seriously doubt that an aspiring autocrat like Harper ever truly subscribed to that. No surprise that all the prairie populist nonsense was tossed overboard like so much unwelcome ballast at the earliest possible opportunity when the party matured into conventional hackery.

    Funnily enough, Rick Mercer may well have played a role in its ultimate demise through his highly effective campaign that attempted to compel Stockwell Day to change his name to Doris by force of an online petition.

  6. LMA

    “So what’s left for the Liberals to fight over?”

    I must be living in an alternate reality because the world I know is in the process of being transformed by climate change, and despite major warming in the Arctic and increasing extreme weather events, everyone is just ignoring climate change as a political/election issue. Has the debate between the Tar Sands fossil fuelers and clean energy advocates already been decided in Canada? Am I just behind the times and out of the loop?

  7. LMA: After the Liberals’ disastrous “Green Shift” campaign, they are mortified at the prospect of fighting another battle along those lines or proposing anything that puts a tax on carbon, so that’s off the table.

  8. LMA

    RT: Times are changing. With peak oil looming or already upon us, there are economic as well as environmental reasons to transition from fossil fuels to green energy. Our political leaders are ignoring the debate the rest of the world is having about adopting strategies to transition to renewables, e.g., transferring subsidies from oil companies to the development of solar, wind, etc. as Obama has proposed. Or, has the future of Canada as a petro state already been decided?

  9. …has the future of Canada as a petro state already been decided?

    Pretty much.

    I’m not sure you fully understand what we’re dealing with here, LMA. You appear to be proceeding on the assumption that CPC/LPC elites are patriots, that they love Canada, and are committed to the national interest. In fact, Harper and Co. are spiritually American, hate Canada, and have no conception of any interest other than their own. They see Canada as a heavily capitalized asset to be chopped up and delivered to whoever can guarantee soft and lucrative landings on boards, directorships, foundations, and “think tanks” after an enraged electorate curb-kicks their sorry asses. You really think they expect to fund their summers on Martha’s Vineyard and winters in the Turks and Caicos on their meagre Parliamentary pensions?

    The Harper vision of Canada is the classic continentalist vision: Canada is America’s Belgian Congo, to be sucked dry in order for our betters to continue carrying the White Man’s Burden. We masses of unwashed natives are not expected to “transition to renewables”; our job is to provide the raw materials and unskilled labour for Sahib’s transition to renewables.

    As a postscript, just a little fact that went largely unreported last year: Canada’s position on the U.N.’s HDI slipped down to #8, well below the U.S, in our lowest ranking ever. At this rate, we’ll be joining Guatemala in no time.

  10. As a postscript, just a little fact that went largely unreported last year: Canada’s position on the U.N.’s HDI slipped down to #8, well below the U.S, in our lowest ranking ever. At this rate, we’ll be joining Guatemala in no time.

    There’s something the Liberals should put in an ad.

  11. LMA

    Nicely put, SF, and I certainly agree that the CPC and LPC are birds of a feather. Unfortunately, there is nothing new behind the big Red door.

    As naive as I am, I still hope that grassroots environmental groups such as WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc. will arouse enough public outrage to change the political landscape.

    If all else fails, perhaps climate change will turn out to be the great leveller of the inequities in our society. The oil barons and their political lackeys will go down with the ship along with the rest of us, despite all their money and power.

  12. jkg

    While I take Mercer’s point, the fact of the matter is that I think after Dion’s evisceration at the hands of the Vanier Compound (i think that is where their “War Room” is now), the LPC is not getting not going to give any fodder for the Conservative Attack Machine. If I recall correctly, when Harper’s team was in opposition, their platform was simply a diametric opposite of what Paul Martin was putting forth. So, I say, let them wait and keep poking at the Harper’s government hoping that another series of utterly facepalming-induced imbroglios arise again.

    The problem with Ignatieff is that he cannot carve a space in the middle to distinguish himself from Layton as well as Harper. Given that the modern state has solved most major problems, most of these battles are based on ideological purity. For neo-liberals who proudly wear the CPC button, the preoccupation with the American neo-conservative obsession with ‘smaller government’ becomes the principal litmus test. As a side note, I do get rather amused when such acolytes disparage the ‘Utopian” view of society when the abstract concepts of liberty and freedom are seen as panaceas. Of course, in this ironic view, it is the Utopian view of the individual that takes place of the Utopian view of society at large. Ultimately, I fail to see a significant distinction. One is still taking a Panglossian view when preaching about the unlocked potential and primacy of the individual in society. The buck, indeed, stops when the certain individual actions are unsavoury, and suddenly, formulating collectivist arguments with respect to ‘responsibility’ are perfectly acceptable.

    The reason why I raise these inconsistencies is because this typifies the continental, political landscape. In the US, for example, no matter how many protestations of European Toryism, and in the end, those who have accumulated vast amounts of wealth inherently believe a deterministic factor was at play. In other words, the hierarchy that arose from ‘earning it’ is the best of all possible worlds (again, Panglossian in nature), and thus, those elites who occupy that level believe inherently that they deserve to be permanently there. Of course, in their ideal neo-liberal world, that would not be the case, but as far as I can surmise, American Plutocrats what all the trappings of a Peerage but without horrible inconvenience of admitting that collectivist institutions played a role in protecting their sacred status (that is what contracted lobbyists are for, after all).

    NAFTA was an extension of these utterly hypocritical elites. After all, if economic woes due to such an arrangement should tragically befall one area of country, too bad; that is the nature of free trade, which is no fault of the governments involved.

    When the Progressive Conservatives embraced Thatckerite and Hayekian pipe dreams, the Liberals could have repositioned themselves as a party who are intensely national in which the capital markets were a reflection of the economics and the social interactions of the Canadians as opposed to markets that served some phantom international sentiment that is hardly anchored to any particular view or goal. The problem is that the Liberals embraced Free Trade, and given Ignatieff’s affections for the American ideal, there is absolutely no way that they can carve a space that reminds Canadian voters of the virtues of addressing the societal demands in a communitarian context.

    As a postscript, just a little fact that went largely unreported last year: Canada’s position on the U.N.’s HDI slipped down to #8, well below the U.S, in our lowest ranking ever. At this rate, we’ll be joining Guatemala in no time.

    If there isn’t a good reason for why pious reverence to neoliberalism is not advantageous, this would be a good start.

  13. Rotterdam

    The Liberals just need to hang in there.
    Canadians will get tired of the Tories.
    Ignatieff can sneak in easily with a minority in one or two years.

  14. At the risk of sending Sir Francis into the streets with a shotgun:


    The Canada disease… lovely.

  15. Rotterdam

    Hugh Segal’s idea will never fly.
    The American right would blow it up to smithereens.

  16. TofKW

    Rotterdam said:
    The Liberals just need to hang in there.
    Canadians will get tired of the Tories.

    Indeed this is what happens to all governing parties after a time, the only question is when.
    The Liberals have been banking on this for the past few years, and this is the reason for their quagmire in the polls.
    In other words they haven’t really changed.

    I do admit I hope they win a weak minority if there is an election any time soon. However a lot of this for me is due to Harper being a terrible PM and divisive creature who is destroying our already challenged parliamentary democracy in ways beyond any damage that Chretien, Mulroney or Trudeau ever managed. As an prominent example, we now have the precedent for a government to avoid losing a non-confidence vote by proroguing parliament. You can pretty much guarantee future CPC and LPC governments alike will be using this nifty little trick.

    Getting back to a possible Liberal win, all this would really do is help delay the inevitable. The Liberals have always been the party of continentalism and closer economic integration and with the USA; ever since the days of Mackenzie King, and Laurier before him (indeed you can go back to Alexander Mackenzie). However since Mulroney, our conservatives have taken up the cause of radical economic neo-liberalism to levels even the Liberals never dared.

    So even if Iggy were PM we’re still heading over a cliff …just we’d be taking the brink off the accelerator.

  17. Thanks for that, Shiner.

    Remember that anti-Alliance/Reform book Segal put out about ten years ago, No Surrender?

    Well, he surrendered—and he wants the rest of us to surrender as well. What a porcine sack of moose spoor.

  18. Hugh Segal’s idea will never fly.
    The American right would blow it up to smithereens.

    I agree, Hugh Segal is an idiot who thinks he’s a visionary.

  19. TofKW

    Sir Francis, Segal surrendered when he became part of the CPC in the senate. Now he is simply confirming the reprogramming is nearly complete.

  20. Rotterdam

    It will be boneheaded moves like funding pro sports arenas with a gas tax that will doom Harper.

  21. Now there’s something we can agree on!

  22. Rotterdam

    Can you see the reaction at CPAC if Hugh Segal’s idea ever comes to fruit!

  23. Can you see the reaction at CPAC if Hugh Segal’s idea ever comes to fruit!

    Though a sentence that links Hugh Segal to fruit is certainly admirably aspirational, I should think a more realistic hypothesis would confine itself to envisioning CPAC’s reaction should Segal’s idea ever come to doughnuts.

  24. Rotterdam

    Hand out more pork and your numbers go up.

    What do I know.
    Harper has just become another liberal.
    Gerry Nichols is right.

  25. Segal surrendered when he became part of the CPC in the senate.

    You mean the Senate that Segal joined only on condition that Harper pursue its reform immediately? You meant that one?

    Yes, Segal’s case is a pluperfect example of falling upwards; he made the violation of our meritocratic norms look effortless. Who ever said he lacks grace?

  26. Harper has just become another liberal.

    Duh! I’ve been saying that for years.

  27. jkg

    If I may chime in gentlemen,

    Hugh Seagull’s Ode Of The Integrationist
    is quite timely because our nation’s stock exchange is being taken over by the London Stock Exchange . Quite pathetically, CBC reported it as a ‘merger,’ but the deal would involve the LSE taking a majority stake in TMX group, so this hardly a marriage of equals. I know it is the LSE instead of being integrated by the NYSE, but this really strikes just another chapter in the willingness to internationalize as per the whims of those gnarly neoliberal globalists. Let me be clear: This only benefits institutional investors because there will be no common trader access. So, an average schmoe like me who is trying to cultivate some savings (because hey public and private pensions are the bête noires of the business community such that they are in need of ‘reform,’ which is really doublespeak for doing away with them altogether), I cannot even have access to all those wonderful equities listed on that exchange.

    As for the pork stuff, one must take note of the spin here. The blogger Stageleft was receptive to it because the Harper government is framing this as giving money to the municipalities from the gas tax and let me employ as they see fit. However, giving this much autonomy with respect to allocating infrastructure spending may dilute the ability for such funds to properly be allocated with the long term view in mind. If it is true that local politicians are more accessible and can respond more quickly to public pressure, this can backfire as misallocation of resources can easily arise if projects are constantly shifting at the whim of public demand. The whole point of ensuring that the federal government is still seen as a centralized and significant part of national governance is to make sure that regionalism is never amplified to the point that there is serious discontinuity with respect to social priorities and policies. Otherwise, you just have a series of city states and provincial fiefdoms.

    The Harper government is being a little foolish, unless of course this whole “we will give you, the municipality, the money with no strings attached” angle is seen to placate the regional interests in order to finally implement a national securities regulator, a policy that has yet to be accomplished. It is pretty embarrassing, considering that the bastion of pro-corporate individualism down south have been able to keep one much less constantly hammer Ottawa about making it easier to invest with having one securities regulator. Something tells me though is that if he decides to play this through, his attempts at creating a national securities regulator will be laughable.

  28. jkg

    *let them employ it as they see fit

    I have never really believed that Harper really cares about the regionalistic character of parts of our country given his penchant for neoliberalism, the very philosophy, which disregards precisely the tethered values and shared perspectives of regions in pursuit of that barrierless equilibrium of free flowing capital (or ideas in some cases).

  29. JKG:

    Harper is explicitly on record with his view that Canada’s federal governance is irrelevant and expendable (i.e., that Canada is not, essentially, a country at all) and that provincial jurisdictions are the only ones that matter. He’s a Blociste in a dime-store Stetson and a too-tight Village People vest.

  30. Rotterdam

    Harper has just become another liberal.

    Duh! I’ve been saying that for years.

    …..Or a Red Tory.

  31. TofKW

    HA! Nice joke Rotterdam.

    The major traits of a Red Tory are to respect and maintain the anchors of our democracy (Parliament, the Crown, our judiciary system, etc), fiscal conservatism, the acknowledgment of collectivism and the common good (versus the individualism of liberals), and to look after the ‘common man’ so they may participate in an open market (versus the corporate, neo-liberalism of the CPC and the LPC).

    Harper actions show him to be the exact opposite of a Red Tory in every regard.

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