Saturday, January 21, 2006

When a non-issue becomes THE issue

Paul Martin is making hay about Conservative candidates who are being 'hidden' because of their 'extreme right-wing' views on social issues.

These candidates are being hunted by the national media to talk about issues that are not on the table. We've already seen Harper state that his opinion is irrelevant because he has promised not to introduce legislation, and not to support legislation on the issue, and yet he's being damaged by the suggestion that 'if' a private members bill was put forward, and 'if' it came to a vote . . .

Never mind that everyone knows private members bills are incredibly hard to get on the docket. Harper is being smeared because of what he might think. Nothing Harper has said, and nothing he has done, or would do, even suggests he'd change the status quo on abortion, but how well would a local candidate do, trying to field loaded questions from a socially 'progressive' media?
No one in the media is running around asking John McKay et al. how they'd vote on abortion and the stance Martin has taken on this has simply hurt and offended people who are not part of his definition of 'caring,' 'compassionate' Canadians'

Everyone is worried about the Conservative candidates who aren't talking, but here we are, only two days to go in this election campaign, and Paul Martin has yet to reveal which MPs received taxpayer cash diverted from the sponsorship programme to help their 2000 election campaigns. We know these people exist -- but he won't tell us who they are. Why hasn't he given the names so people can ask whose money they're using this time?

Babbling Brooks points to Tiger in Exile who contrasts the positions of Paul Martin and Stephen Harper on issues like abortion and gay marriage. No wonder Harper is frustrated, and Martin is elated. The information here is readily available to anyone who goes to the effort (thanks Ben) of looking -- but instead of doing their research, much of the media coverage just shows Martin and his ranting.

I don't know who Martin thinks his constituency is, but if people want government from the left, the NDP isn't tainted by corruption and desperation. If the Liberals are looking for voters in the centre, Paul Martin's offensive style of campaigning and marginalizing differing opinions, will not endear him to people with moderate views.

Paul Martin is musing about Conservative candidates who aren't talking to reporters. When the votes are counted on Monday night, the Liberals might realise that Paul Martin has made the mistake of talking too much.



macbeth said...

I ran into this type of thing today while going door-to-door. One man told me he was concerned that Harper was "hiding and muzzling" the extreme right wing candidates in his party. I explained to him that it would do no good to anyone to have these people musing about anything in public... all it would do would be to needlessly scare people, because these people DO NOT reflect Conservative Party policy.

I'm not sure he bought it.
But I am almost positive it doesn't matter, because the Conservative candidate in that riding is going to win. Down goes one Liberal.

Anonymous said...

The media is acting like a pack of dogs because they are looking for fresh stories which may be scandalizing. It is revolting to see this type of thing from our left leaning media.
Harper is the spokesperson for the national media, not local candidates.
So what if they have socially conservative views. So do many in the Liberal party but nobody is hunting them down in order to trap them into saying something which may reflect Martin's view of the party.
There is no question the worker should not have touched the female reporter from Quebec but on the other hand this issue of "hiding candidates" has gone way too far.
While I understand why Harper is not meeting with the press because all they want to do is talk about ssm and abortion, he has no choice but to soldier on for another day and let them have their silly questions.

Sara said...

its funny they made abortiion a choice but when you say your choice is not for abortion you are shunned!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Harper's answer to reporter's questions re: muzzled candidates( on CPAC tonight)
"Is Mr. Martin letting Lib candidates talk to National Media on his tours?"
fizzle, fizzle, pop
next question

Gabby in QC said...

I turned on CPAC at around 6:15 pm EST & saw Paul Martin delivering a speech, with Belinda Stronach and two other women whom I assumed to be candidates behind him. Every so often, the three candidates' heads nodded in agreement with Martin's spurious lies.

During the usual question period that followed, a francophone female reporter asked Martin why he keeps insisting that Harper intends to bring in abortion legislation, when Harper has repeatedly stated he will NOT. While this was going on, I was watching Belinda with interest as she nodded, raised eyebrows, shook her head, in reaction to her boss's answer.

And the thought occurred to me: before she decided to join the Conservative party, did she not do some research to find out what kind of party she was joining? Did she have any inkling as to what the party's principles were? Was she not at the Conservatives' March 2005 convention, where a resolution against introducing legislation on abortion was passed? Yet there she was, like a bobble doll, her head nodding in agreement with all of Martin's lies. As a woman, as a Canadian, I find the Liberals' hypocrisy repugnant.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure some Conservative candidates would rather people know they hold right wing views by not answering questions then the media twisting their words and making them look like vile monsters. It's not a crime to not think like the media or left wing ideologies. I just watched the clip on the reporter claiming the security man held her back...I don't really see that as being intentional.It looks more like the reporter was thwarted from pushing too much and suddenly decided to become the news, rather than report on it. She may be frustrated, but don't smear a campaign because she didn't get what she wanted. And Cheryl Gallant is certainly not hiding anywhere. She recently participated in an all-candidates debate where, lo and behold, the Liberal candidate told a WWII vet to move to the U.S. if he didn't like the gun ban laws. Simply deplorable. Ms Gallant received a standing ovation at the end of her speech and will likely be re-elected (even with her so-called "radical abortion views").

- Dennis from Ontario

Anonymous said...

You Conservatives just get more imbecilic by the day.

Les Mackenzie said...

Ouch - that hurt.

Anonymous said...

Folks. If the polls are to be believed it would appear that a minority Tory government is about to be elected. Starting in 48 hours, Stephen Harper will have the opportunity to prove his and our detractors wrong. The Conservative government will have approximately 30 months (allows for Liberal leadrship convention) before the Grits, Dippers and BQ bring the govt down. In that time, Stephen Harper will have to have delivered (or be well on his way to delivering) the Party's five key pledges to the public (GST, child care, crime, wait times, and accountability act) - and be seen to have honoured his pledge on abortion and managed SSM II in a manner that satisfies the broad majority of the public. If he (we) deliver then the opportunity for a majority follows. If not ... your guess is as good as mine.

With each passing day Stephen Harper takes steps that demonstrate he has what it takes to totally restore the national Conservative coalition that has successfully led this country in the past (because the building process is far from over). Muzzled candidates - that's the national gallery doing it's thing - looking for another news hook for another campaign story - giving us all something to react to. Makes it interesting. Of more interest - and more concern - the heavy responsibility of government will soon be upon us. Are you up for it?

peter williams said...

Here are issues Paul Martin is hiding from Canadians

At the beginning of this campaign Paul Martin was running on his record: promises made and promises kept. After a week or so Liberals stopped talking about Paul's record because there were no accomplishments, promises made were shown not to have been kept, and the questions just kept coming and coming. But there were no answers.

Since you can't have a campaign with no platform you re-invented the evil Mr Harper platform. You and Liberals have whined about Steven Harper, while still refusing to answer questions.

Mr Martin here are some questions. Liberals have refused to answer these. So we try again.

a) Since we can set up systems to register voters and automobiles for much less than a billion dollars, where did all the gun registry money go? We've asked you and the Liberal Party to guarantee that this money did not end up in Liberal hands or in Liberal Party coffers, yet you refuse to provide this guarantee. Why? What are you hiding?

b) Much was made about the Liberal party paying back $1.1 million of ill gotten gains that Judge Gomery identified. Since the Liberal party is broke where did you get the money? Why won't you tell us?

c) You've criticized Mr Harper for saying he'll pull us out of Kyoto. Fair enough, but you refuse to tell us why CO2 emissions have risen every year since the Liberal government signed the treaty. Why have they?

d) How are you going to reduce emissions to Kyoto target levels in two years?

e) Why are you proposing to send massive amounts of taxpayer money to Putin's Russia to buy CO2 credits? How will this reduce global CO2 emissions

f) You said if the courts forced religions to perform gay marriages you'd use the not withstanding clause to stop them. Why have you abandoned your promise that religions would not have to perform gay marriages?

g) You've always said there is no fiscal imbalance between the provinces and Ottawa. Yet you now say reducing the fiscal imbalance will cost many billions. Why do you say this? All the newspapers have pointed out this inconsistancy, yet you won't answer it.

h) You've said you will not introduce new taxes. Yet your web page says that new tax measures will be required to meet Kyoto commitments. Please explain how a tax measure is different from a tax.

i) And where is the rest of the Adscam money?

Why won't you come clean with Canadians Mr Martin?

If you loose the election Mr Martin we will find out where they money went. There will be serious investigations.

If you win the election rest assured Mr. Martin we will also find out. Too many people will be watching. You won't be able to escape answering these questions.

Win or lose Mr Martin we are not going to go away.

Sara said...

Paul Martin admitted on Peter Mansbridge One on One that its unfair to stay at home parents. He mentions split income and looks like he is going to cry when Peter pushes the fact. Martin wiggles out of it and says "we're not there yet" for the stay at home parents.
Well he was asked the same question in 1999 by Beverly Smith and his answer 7 years ago was "we're not there yet".


If you don't care about the Canadian people then the Canadian people don't care about you!

Does anyone have a dolly they can lend Martin to move his crap out of Sussex!

TrustOnlyMulder said...

Monte Solberg has a post on this too. He says something very profound in his creative exchange between a Misguided Reporter (MR) and Stephen Harper (SH)

MR: Well if its so absurd then why didn't you let us speak to the candidate today.

SH: Because he doesn't speak for the party on this issue. I do.

I think Harper's comment hits the clearly chosen as the leader of the party. He runs on his promises and we will judge him on that record if/when he becomes Prime Minister.

TrustOnlyMulder said...

p.s to Gabby in QC. I caught Belinda getting all nervous when PMPM said the GST cut would benefit the most rich and prosperous among us. She triple adjusts her collar in the video clip.

I think it clearly shows her discomfort with some issues the Libs hold.

And yes, she was at the convention when the Tories set their abortion policy and she should know better.

Belinda Bobble dolls....hmmm..... (business mind thinking here).

Anonymous said...

No wonder more women don't run for politics, when a Prime Minister of Canada can slander a good person like Cheryl Gallant. He is a monster. He is using her to try desperately to hold onto power now that he has figured out that Canadians are sick and tired of his corruption and lack of vision. He doesn't care about women. He cares about himself! His vendetta against Gallant, supported by the Liberal Press sets the rights of women back for years. Gallant is a hard working MP for this riding. She is a wife and mother who has given unselfishly of her time and energy. She has done nothing but represent the views of her constituents.
Even here in Renfrew County, we can hear the knives being sharpened in the Liberal War Room. Mr Martin, be careful because when the dust settles, it will be Cheryl Gallant left standing, not you! Renfrew, Nipissing, Pembroke voters, especially women, get out and show Paul Martin that we are pissed off and won't take it any more!

ndp nadine said...

To macbeth and first anonymous: Of course it matters that the Conservatives are hiding there Republican-Christian Coalition candidates! If they're not reflective of the party, why are they running then? It's not an unreasonable question. It just increasingly looks like Harper has something to hide. How is he going to deal with them? Is Stockwell "humans were alive with the dinosaurs" Day going to be a cabinet minister? How will Harper reign in Anders, Kenney, Thompson, Gallant etc when they get a taste of power and want to impose their Republican agenda on the country? Mr Harper, answer these questions please.

Fortunately Canadians are seeing the light and realizing that only the NDP represents their values. The NDP tempered the Liberals and will do so again in this next parliament so my fears have been allayed. Canadians still have time to elect an NDP majority government, one that'll truly stand up for Canada. Vote NDP tomorrow!

Canadi-anna said...

Nadine - If you want to make a point, don't do it by resorting to mocking someone's religion.

Are you saying that only people who hold your secular, humanist world view are entitled to a voice in the public square?
Why would Harper have to rein in these people? They are representing their constituents who also happen to Canadians -- whether you think they're worthy of it or not.
People who don't fit your left-wing, socialist POV are not American, they are not Republicans, they are not necessarily Christian fundamentalists --they are your fellow Canadians. You would do well to learn to show respect for people even when you disagree with them, because your put downs are getting boring.
Talk about imposing agendas . . . the NDP, with only 15% of the popular vote, foisted its radical values on our country and we're supposed to say thanks? No thanks.
Think about what you said about Day, and all the many people who are members of his faith -- these are people who feel their Christianity is an integral part of their being -- if any blogger were to make that kind of disrespectful comment toward any other minority group, you would tear a strip off them, but because this is about faith, you feel quite free to spew your hateful venom. Take your ignorant, Christian-bashing rhetoric and grow up.

Gabby in QC said...

You beat me to it with your reply to Nadine, and much more eloquently than I could have done.

What I don't get is that NDPers & other Canadians have practically made Tommy Douglas, who was a Baptist minister, a saint. His religion didn't get in the way of his political career nor in his continuing stature in Canadian history.

So why all this hatred towards anyone "suspected of harbouring" religious convictions, especially coming from groups whose supposed guiding principles are the promotion of solidarity among all human beings?

Sara said...

Because its easier for people to hate others rather than respect themselves...

Sara said...

Hey, Canadianna.

Would you drive to Ottawa for a beer and popcorn blogging tory party?

PelaLusa said...

Some thoughts from the West Coast . . . today I listened to 2.5 hours of a talk radio show devoted exclusively to tomorrow's election. The viewpoints ran the gamut.

Though I'll be voting Conservative, I do understand why some will be voting NDP or even Green. But I truly can't understand why any decent, thinking person could possibly vote for the Liberals tomorrow? While we're not at the Banana Republic state-of-affairs yet, we've definitely been headed in that direction. No one who believes in democracy can possibly vote for the Liberals tomorrow.

macbeth said...

Canadianna did a good job of replying to you already, Nadine, but I want to address this:

Of course it matters that the Conservatives are hiding there Republican-Christian Coalition candidates! If they're not reflective of the party, why are they running then?

They're running because they were given the nomination by members of the Conservative Party in their riding. If elected, they speak for their constituents and their constituents alone. They do not speak for Stephen Harper, and they do not speak for the party, or create party policy. Why does it matter if one Conservative candidate is pro-life, as long as a Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will not support abortion legislation? It simply doesn't.

Sara said...

Your MP represents you. The MP gets into seat by showing you what he or she stands for. When the MP is elected he votes on your behalf. If you agree with same sex or abortion or on peanut butter in the bathroom it doesn't matter the MP is supposed to vote the way of his area residents.
In the end it is the Prime Ministers call. Just like the U.S. our Prime Minister has the last say!