Liberal Erection!

Michael Ignatieff at a rally in Sudbury, exhorting Canadians to shake off their “So what?” indifference to transgressions of the Harper regime and, borrowing an expression from Bruce Springsteen’s turgid post-industrial anthem “City of Ruins,” to “Rise up!”

I’m sure Ignatieff and the Liberals are frustrated that Canadians seem largely unperturbed by the various so-called scandals and abuses that have cropped up during Harper’s time in power. For whatever reason(s) however, they clearly haven’t managed to gain much traction, let alone generate a widespread sense of indignant outrage amongst most people. Well, at least not amongst those who weren’t already predisposed to a negative view of the Harper Conservatives.

I’m not sure that pleading with folks to “rise up” at this stage of the game will serve any purpose. I certainly don’t see it taking off like wildfire amongst voters in general. But then, it’s hard to see what would. The level of interest in this election seems remarkably low. In my area, there are almost no signs at all — in fact, there were a lot more for the recent civic elections and we all know what the turnout for those are…

Update: A little more context provided in this report from CBC’s The National.

Towards the end of the coverage in the above clip, the discussion turns towards online voting, which is something that I’ve long advocated as being an option. Perhaps after the historically low turnout that I predict will occur in this election, maybe it will be given more serious consideration.

28 Comments

Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Michael Ignatieff

28 responses to “Liberal Erection!

  1. sapphireandsteel

    I just registered in my new riding so I’ll be doing my part. Not as many BC Fringe parties here though. my provincial ballot folded out twice to accommodate the candidates

  2. Rotterdam

    Howard Dean?

  3. Rotterdam: Are you suggesting that this is Iggy’s “Dean Scream” moment? I don’t think so, but perhaps right-wingers will portray it as such.

    Personally, any comparison to Howard Dean is a good thing. I was, and still am, a great admirer. The infamous “scream” was unfortunate in that it: 1) was wildly distorted by the media (then played endlessly); and 2) fed into the malicious right-wing spin that Dean was some kind of crazed radical lunatic, which he most certainly was/is not.

  4. S&S: We have a Communist running in my riding, but that’s it for the fringe parties.

    I think it’s a battle here between the Liberal incumbent (who won in the by-election last November as result of Judy Wasylycia-Leis stepping down to unsuccessfully run for Mayor after having held this seat for 5 terms) and the NDP (Bill Blaikie’s daughter).

    My bet is that the seat will go back to the NDP as they seem better organized and have deeper roots in this riding.

  5. tofkw

    Rotterdam’s silly comparison just goes to show how much the wingnut US Republicans & FOXNews have infiltrated the raison d’être of the our Conservative party. Almost no one in Canada even knows who Howard Dean is, let alone his ‘scream’.

  6. TofKW: Nice avatar!

    I think political junkies are all familiar with the “Dean Scream” but otherwise it would be a pretty obscure reference.

    There’s little question that Conservative bloggers and activists in this country take their cues from the messaging of the Republican Party via Fox News and its operatives like Frank Luntz.

    The counter to that would be that liberals and progressives do the same thing with respect to their counterparts in the USA, but it’s never as comfortable a fit because for all intents and purposes the Democrats have become a center-right party.

  7. Rotterdam

    Speaking of Communism.
    Tony Clement tweat.
    Marxist-Leninist candidate & I agreed on no Party funding. Disagreed on dialectical materialism. #elxn41
    11:40 PM Apr 13th via Twitterrific

    Regarding Dr. Dean:
    “Sure to be a howler
    Perhaps best known in Canada — if not everywhere else in the world — for his bizarre on-stage primal howl during the Democratic primary races in 2004”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/11/10/dean-liberals.html

    A lot in the Canadian left are taking cues and messaging from the Democrats via. moveon.org, MSNBC and Micheal Moore. The Canadian Liberal leader even proudly claimed he was voting for John Kerry.

  8. Rotterdam

    Long before Howard Dean we had Jack van Gelder calling a great Dutch World Cup goal that beat Argentina by Dutch Master Dennis Bergkamp.

    Then came Dean, and it reminded people of Jack van Gelder.
    http://deanvsbergkamp.ytmnd.com/

  9. CWTF

    Aren’t trolls like Rotterdam cute when they try to be intellectual?

    Before removing party funding, which is quite democratic, Connies should be advocating the removal of tax deductions for contributing to parties… *silence*

    Speaking about silence, why aren’t those “law and order” macho Connie types asking for the arrest of Michael Sona?

  10. Rotterdam: Now you’re just being a shill for the Cons. Dean’s “primal howl” was a blatant manipulation in that the recording deliberately filtered out the raucous noise from crowd that Dean was shouting over, thereby making him appear to be screaming like a mad man.

    And yes, liberals and progressives in Canada do take some cues from and share sympathies with their liberal counterparts south of the border, but as I said previously, not with the same degree of congruence that so-called “conservatives” take from their corporate flunkies and media whores in the USA in terms of their ardent belief in voodoo economics, hegemonic militarism and any number of counter-factual stances on various issues.

  11. CWTF: Topic of my next post. Great minds… 😉

  12. jkg

    but as I said previously, not with the same degree of congruence that so-called “conservatives” take from their corporate flunkies and media whores in the USA in terms of their ardent belief in voodoo economics, hegemonic militarism and any number of counter-factual stances on various issues.

    Indeed, if major parties all decided to prostrate themselves onto our benevolent cousins, we should do away with the charade that any of them stand to defend any institutions or political legacy that were a distinct product of our social an historical trajectory. Perhaps the inheritors of the American conception of neoliberalism would be content with maintaining this narcissism of small differences, provided of course that we do not anger the jolly gentle giant down below. Or, one of our political aspirants will once again have to beg for forgiveness in a New York Times article.

  13. jkg

    Oh, one little refresher: It is practically expected for progressives to have an internationalist disposition. This is a fact of historical record when it comes to the rise of socialism and social democratism throughout the years. In fact, it is ideologically justified.

    There was a conservatives here in Canada would question the romanticism of globalization and internationalism as it undermined the defense of the nation state and the value of an organic tethered to institutional, cultural, and traditional memory conceived and maintained within that very nation state.

    What Conservatives have done today is effectively marginalize that Toryism, which even survived Manifest Destiny and Revolution only to be conquered by more modern yet sinister means. So, having neoconservatives argue with progressives who both have implicitly reduced the concern of organic society and the nation state in praise of what ever internationalist flavour fancies them is like asking two death row inmates arguing the merits of eliminating capital punishment.

  14. Tomm

    man the barricades! bring the pitchforks and the torches!

    The Liberal’s, Bloc and NDP have all joined together to vote Contempt of parliament! Bruce Carson had been in jail!! Helena Geurgis thrown under a bus!!! Politician’s charged with crimes!!!!

    Hallelujah brother!!!!! The hat is being passed around, please give generously. We must smite the philistines!!! Goliath can be beaten and I’ve been annointed as the one to lead the charge.

    I must say, this is all getting just a little embarrassing. But since Stephen Harper eats kittens… I’m sure it’s all necessary.

  15. JKG: After wading through that deep thicket of prose a couple of times, I’m still not entirely sure that I got your point.

    Speaking for myself, I take certain ideas and values on board that are drawn from various sources and try to re-contextualize them into our own political scenario.

    Like it or not, we cannot be parochial nationalists in the present global economy. Discontented with it though you may be, it is what it is. Retreating into a cocoon of nostalgia doesn’t seem like much of a solution to me.

  16. Tomm: Your heavy sarcasm is duly noted.

    Of course, if you were similarly fair-minded you would have scoffed heartily at the multi-million dollar campaign of malicious character assassination waged by the Harper Conservatives. What? Didn’t make a peep about that? Why I’m shocked, simply shocked at the hypocritical double-standard of your selective humour!

  17. Tomm

    RT,

    A couple of things. One, I’m commenting on a blog post you made. You solicited my comments.

    Two, “…multi-million dollar campaign of malicious character assassination waged by the Harper Conservatives….”

    Yes, of course. Wasn’t there a multi-million dollar campaign of malicious character assassination waged by the Chretien, Martin,. Dion, and now the Ignatieff Liberals?

    …I’m simply shocked by the hypocritical double standard of your comment.

    Except of couse, I’m not, because we are commenting through a continuum of time. It’s all part of a process.

    The new Liberal campaign messaging is so far away from the high road that it would take a map, compass and troop of boy scouts to find it again.

    …should I apologize now?

  18. CWTF

    Tomm, once again showing that Connies have no intelligence and that Harperconisn should be declared a mental disease….

  19. Tomm

    CWTF,

    Do you have a comment, or only an insult?

  20. jkg

    Like it or not, we cannot be parochial nationalists in the present global economy. Discontented with it though you may be, it is what it is. Retreating into a cocoon of nostalgia doesn’t seem like much of a solution to me.

    Oh, I am not suggesting notaslgia, more so just a reminder of that there are institutions here in Canada worth protecting and preserving. In the past, nations who did engage in global trade had no trouble doing as they adopted any foreign values or ideas but modified them to be specific to the context of their own politics, values, and concepts within their own country. In many ways, Canada did that before. After all, Ottawa’s appeal to be the capital of Canada was thanks to the fact that Thomas McKay attracted a lot of business investment from American business, which resulted in the building of the rail network. I am not saying that we should hide under the sheets, but more so capture that discerning quality in which there isn’t a wholesale acceptance of concepts like globalization or internationalism, especially if they are never taken with the basic question of how it aligns with the legacy from our nation’s history and development.

    Speaking for myself, I take certain ideas and values on board that are drawn from various sources and try to re-contextualize them into our own political scenario.

    So, yes, that was actually, that was my underlying point. There is a major difference between modification, adoption, and complete assimilation of values that are conceived elsewhere. In a strange way, I do think America actually performs the former quite well: Generally speaking, there is a concrete and keen zeitgeist even with the consideration that globalization is wholly embraced. This may be because they are the net exporters of these values instead of net receivers. The United Kingdom is a probably a better example, since their Euro-skepticism provides an anchor or a filter to analyze and discuss seriously of whether or not the Eurozone and the political ideas accompanying it are truly compatible with their nation, institutions, and values.

    My original comment was sort of tongue-in-cheek in referring to the folly of drawing attention to small differences between Canada and the U.S. as opposed to focusing on the big ones. The fact that “we elect a prime minister” is conventional wisdom and that pointing out the fundamentals of our system is somehow a bother suggests to me that the “congruence” of which you spoke is probably far more pronounced than we see, especially when Harper felt compelled to apologize to America because we decided not to enter the Iraq War.

    fter wading through that deep thicket of prose a couple of times,

    I got a wee bit carried away. Duly noted, Red. The last thing I want to do is make you strain even more after doing a full day of working on your job!

  21. CWTF

    Tomm, I was dead serious that being Harpercon should be declared a disease of the mind and your lot duly euthanized or at the very least send to concentration camps up in the Arctic.

  22. CWTF

    Tomm, you have to love the Harper message: “Vote for us ’cause we need a majority”…. Simpletons…

  23. JKG: Thanks for the clarification. I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said there.

  24. trainman

    CWTF,

    The Liberal’s message is the one that’s lacking any vision, just watch the clip in this post. “Vote for us because Harper is an evil, evil man.”

    Your summary of the Conservative message is totally inaccurate. Even a cursory read of the campaign headlines will show that the Conservative message is: “Vote for us because we can help keep taxes low and create jobs.” Whether or not you agree with their ability to do that is another discussion entirely, but to suggest that the Conservative message is “give us a majority” can only exist in the mind of a simpleton.

    This clip illustrates perfectly why Ignatief is getting zero traction in Canada. He doesn’t have a vision for the country and can only summon a flimsy bashing of Stephen Harper:
    – He shutdown parliament … exactly within his constitutional authority, to avoid a coalition that included a separatist party governing the country.
    – Found in contempt of parliament … because the other POLITICAL parties had more votes.
    – Shutdown Guelph voting … and since this incident, Elections Canada has disallowed similar polling stations–must have been some merit for the Conservatives concern.
    – He smeared a member of his own caucus … because he had good reason to believe that she was involved in wrongdoing, however if he doesn’t act quickly to eliminate people with questionable pasts, then he is accused of having “convicted criminals” or those “charged with fraud” on his election campaign team. Seems he can’t really win on this one. Either he is too careful and controlling or he has felons on the payroll.
    – Shutdown the longform census … oh the humanity!
    – 5 questions from the press … now we’re reaching, just a bit.

    No, the reason that Ignatief’s personal polling is in the dumpster and his party is trailing the Conservatives, is because he has no vision of his own, and his stump speech is just trash talking.

    Did someone mention something about a “campaign of malicious character assassination”???

  25. CWTF

    Trainman, anyone who knows me has figured that I”m not an Iggy fan.
    Most progressives that I know seem to have critical thinking skills compared to Harpercons.

    At least you are more aware than Tomm.

  26. trainman

    “Harpercons” … is name calling one of your “critical thinking” skills?

  27. CWTF

    Cute trainman.
    Given that Harper has decided to rebrand the Government of Canada in his name…. Harpercons is apt.

  28. Trainman: Valid points and I would agree that Ignatieff’s plea in this regard is rather feeble.

    I will however stand by the term “HarperCons” because I don’t believe that the Conservative Party as it’s presently constituted is anything more than a political vehicle for the promotion of Stephen Harper.

    And I have to admit that I almost hope that he does win a majority so that we can finally see the TRUE side of Harper. To be honest, I’m not sure what it is, but I’m keen to know…

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