Skip to comments.Trench warfare -- There should be no more playing Mr. Nice Guy
Posted on 01/11/2005 3:30:32 AM PST by Clive
January 11, 2005
"There's no whore like an old whore"
-- Brian Mulroney on Liberal heavyweight patronage king Bryce Mackasey.
Just months after Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney made that condemnation he went on to win the largest election majority in Canadian history in 1984, even eclipsing John Diefenbaker's massive 1958 win.
Both Mulroney and Diefenbaker went for the jugular in their political battles. They spared the enemy nothing. Gave not an inch of leeway.
On the other hand, Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield played the nice guy, and lost. His successor, Joe Clark, played the pompous but incompetent guy, and lost.
There's a lesson here for current Conservative leader Stephen Harper: Shipping Tycoon Paul Martin's cutthroats are on the ropes, victory is within reach, just don't play the nice guy or the incompetent guy and hand the government back to these charlatans, clowns and con men.
From the Adscam rip-off to Martin's phoney foreign junkets to his mess-up with Newfoundland's Danny Williams, Martin has proven he is incompetent for the job. So are his cohorts around the cabinet table. From Sex Trade Minister Judy Sgro to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale things are in a sorry state around the Martin-government cabinet table.
Their mothers must surely be ashamed of them all.
So what is Harper doing?
Won't someone please tell us?
The public should be aghast at the Liberals, and the Conservatives should be on top of the opinion polls right now.
But there's been no real outcry.
Someone is asleep at the switch.
Right now, we haven't seen in recent times a situation like this since Mulroney torpedoed Prime Minister John Turner in that 1984 television debate debacle.
That's when Turner tried to wriggle out of pushing through a stack of the odious Pierre Trudeau's patronage appointments with the excuse he didn't have a choice.
Mulroney shot back, "You did have a choice, sir. You could have said 'No!' " Brian's only error was to call Turner, 'Sir.'
But Turner withered and died on election day.
Why aren't we getting this from Stephen?
A week ago I sat down with former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and the two of us recalled a chat we had just weeks before the 2000 federal election.
I told Stock then to ignore the CBC, ignore the Toronto (Red) Star, and basically ignore any media outlet that was likely to be hostile to him. Particularly, I told Stock if he had an editorial board meeting with the Star, within a week he could expect six columns calling him a racist, bigot and religious maniac.
Stick with newspapers like the Sun chain or the National Post which will give you a fair hearing.
Stock, always the optimist, ignored the advice.
He went to the Star.
I was only slightly wrong.
As Stock confessed in our downtown Penny Lane coffee shop chat, the Star ran six columns calling him a racist, a bigot and a religious maniac within three days, not a week.
Day, a thoroughly decent man, and as foreign affairs critic in Harper's shadow cabinet he is head and shoulders over Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, ran his 2000 campaign on 'an agenda of respect' for his opponents.
Respect? -- Jean Chretien's Liberals just laughed and tore him apart at every touch and turn.
As did the eastern lib-left media.
Harper should be sitting down right now and taking some hardnose advice from the likes of Calgary MPs Art Hanger, Jason Kenney, Lee Richardson, Edmonton's Rahim Jaffer -- and even Mulroney himself.
Stephen -- and I like you personally -- you can't sit around and simply philosophize on conservative principles.
You have to go for Martin's throat, and kick every other cabinet minister where it hurts hardest.
Not one of them deserves any respect.
So, let's have no high-minded principles, just trench warfare.
Your loyalty is to Canada.
You must rid us right now of this scourge that is destroying our nation.
Some of the parallels between Canada and the U.S. are quite striking. I've wondered similarly about the resolution and effectiveness of the GOP.
I have always held that we succeed when we stay faithful to our principles and argue them vigorously without regard to any carping, or ridicule from the left and without regard to any advice from the Red Tories within the party.
And we always lose when we lose our nerve and start compromising out stance in attempts to satisfy people who are not going to vote for us anyway.
In Ontario, Mike Harris got a second term by staying the course in the face of opposition that had become vicious and hysterical and sespite some major pusillanimity on the part of the Red Tories in the Ontario Party.
And the Ontario Tories lost when Harris was no longer leader and the Red Tories regained influence and the party started to yield to pressure from the pundits infesting the CBC and the Toronto Star.
I am unsure if the Canadian press is as unbalanced as it is here. But the fact that "conservatives" are assassinated in the press, has some bearing on their behavior.
One is tempted to formulate a new oxymoron, wavering stalwart, to describe our more weak-kneed elected officials.
That's my only frustration with Harper, he has not been visible.
God save the Queen!
And confusion to the Liberals!
They know the original version from the Napoleonic Wars.
And their motto is "Je me souviens".
I thought they'd changed it to "Je me regarde."
I thought they'd changed it to "Je me regarde."
Oh how I agree Clive. If Stephen was going to jump into this ring, he should be prepared with gloves on and spikes on his toes. Kick the BUMS OUT!! Do WHATEVER it takes. And it shouldn't take much. They have enough baggage to sink them easily.!!
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