I know we’ve been over this ground before, but remind me again… why does Canada even need this heinously expensive new class of fighter jet at all? What possible military threat are we defending ourselves from? Seriously. What is the point?
Aside from the absurdity of ploughing something like $30 billion into a high-tech gizmo that serves no useful purpose whatsoever (it’s worth noting that Lockheed Martin’s last iteration of this plane, the F-22 “stealth raptor” fighter, has never actually been deployed in combat), there is the matter of the Harper government having egregiously misled Canadians about the cost of the program during the last election and then repeatedly lying to parliament subsequent to that. For instance, according to Harper and his ministers last year, there was a contract in place that would prevent cost overruns, but now they claim there is no contract. So which is it?
Bob Rae has called on Harper to resign over the issue, but, of course, nobody seriously imagines that’s going to happen. I mean, we’re only talking about a complete lack of government oversight involving a measly $10 billion discrepancy in accounts… it’s certainly nothing anywhere nearly as serious as the “AdScam” fiasco where possibly $100 million of taxpayer money was at stake! In that case, it was entirely justified that every “conservative” worth his or her salt should howl with OUTRAGE! like a gut-shot dog every day for years and years and years…
Unlike his two immediate predecessors who unwisely allowed themselves to be negatively defined by relentless campaigns of character assassination from the Conservatives, Bob Rae is making it clear that he’s not going to sit idle and simply allow attack ads by Harper’s mufti-million dollar smear machine to go unanswered. Instead, he’s determined to set the record straight (as he sees it), hit back and fight fire with fire…
As with the video noted in a previous post, this seems to be indicative of a more confident and aggressive communications strategy emanating from the LPC – one that has been sorely lacking for many years now.
Here’s a brand new video from the LPC regarding the Harper government’s constantly shifting position with respect to the purchase of an unconfirmed number of F-35 stealth fighter jets that could cost billions more than was initially planned for.
You may recall that during the election the Conservatives claimed they had a contract in place to purchase the new planes – one that would protect taxpayers’ from spiralling costs. Eventually, however, that turned out not to be true (surprise!). Now as things stand, according to associate defence minister Julian Fantino, “The . . . decision has not been made as to whether or not we are actually going to purchase, buy, acquire the F-35,”
Apart from the subject at hand, the nature of the video itself is worth noting. I believe this marks a significant departure for the Liberals – it’s the first full-on, issue-specific attack that I can recall being posted on YouTube. Until now they’ve mostly just uploaded raw clips of testy exchanges in Question Period or lengthy speeches – fairly unremarkable stuff, to be honest. By contrast, this is an engaging, aggressively direct piece that demonstrates some actual effort in terms of production. Good job! Let’s see more of these in the future.
Although the Liberals may have been reduced to third-party status in parliament after the last election, there’s little doubt that, largely thanks to the feisty leadership of Bob Rae, they are presently the de facto Opposition to the Harper Government®.
If polled, I wonder how many people would even know who Nycole Turmel is? Or, for that matter, any of the hapless mediocrities vying to helm the “New” Democratic Party…
… And Avoid Going to Copps
That was the terribly witty headline in The Winnipeg Sun this morning. Never mind the snarky double-entendre; both are welcome developments arising from this past weekend’s LPC convention in
From scanning some of the news stories about the convention and, more importantly, the blogs of those who attended, it seems there’s a promising hope of revival emerging from the doomed wreckage of the last federal election.
A lot of media pundits seem to be complaining about the dearth of thrilling new policy for them to chew on. Well, perhaps… but so what? There will be plenty of time for that to take new form in due course. For now, the most important thing was simply to demonstrate that the party isn’t a totally lost cause or terminally foregone conclusion, and in that regard, it seems to have been a modest success.
To borrow a quote from James Wolcott: “ they’ve seen it all, they’ve said it all; they’re bored; we’re bored, let’s order another round of yawns.”
I guess the take-away from this speech (skip ahead to the last five minutes for the good stuff) was that the Liberal Party is no longer a “club” or, heaven-forbid, a “family”… but rather – is now a “movement”! An expression that I’m sure brought great mirth to editorial writers at the Sun News for its many scatological possibilities.
Good speech from last week by Bob Rae on the Canadian economy in the global context.
It’s short on details, but well aimed in its critique of “ideological islands of waste and profligacy” in the Conservatives’ government spending agenda.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae speaks out on the issue of suicide prevention as an important public health matter.
Needless to say, committing suicide is a topic about which the Liberal Party of Canada has considerable first-hand knowledge and expertise.
Political wonks may recall Stéphane Dion’s cringe-inducing “address to the nation” back in 2008 during the constitutional crisis over a putative coalition government… If not, Adam Radwanski described this way:
At a time when he needed to look reassuring, to look prime ministerial, [Dion] looked exactly the way the Conservatives have been trying to portray him – like the leader of some sort of third-rate coup, being filmed in his hideout with one of his accomplices sticking a cheap video camera in his face.
Fast-forward three years and it seems that the same blundering crew of AV boneheads are resolutely determined as ever to make the Liberals look as cheap and inept as possible…
Patient viewers will note that there’s a seemingly interminable 5 minutes of video consisting of nothing but sound checks preceding the “action” to come. When a speaker does finally appear at the podium after this inexplicable waste of time… Surprise! There’s no audio whatsoever. For an entire minute the speaker is without sound. When the audio does eventually cut in, it’s of the worst possible quality – crackling and breaking on every high note. Subsequently, the AV team seems to get that problem under control, but then the volume is HIGH… then low… then HIGH again… Only in the last 15 minutes or so do they manage to get things right.
Yes, I know… it probably seems like a trivial gripe, and this could just be regarded as “raw video” and therefore held to a lesser standard, but I believe that presentation matters. Good grief, what sane person with better things to do would even bother sitting through that first five minutes of pointless faffing around?
Rex Murphy asks what sort of person would volunteer to lead the Liberal Party in its current state of wreckage.
It’s a rather thankless job by anyone’s reckoning, but in selecting Rae, the Liberals have, I believe, at least got the person with the right mix of experience, temperament and, as Rex puts it, “generosity of spirit” to tackle the considerable challenges facing the LPC as it strives to rebuild itself and become a relevant alternative to the Conservatives and NPD.