Saundrie

After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Further evidence of the CPC/GOP alliance and Harper's admiration of GOP political tools

Over the last several months I have taken a fair amount of grief for my comments regarding my concerns that there is a de facto alliance between the GOP and the CPC. In particular I have spoken of my concerns that Harper in particular is enamoured of the success of the GOP and wants to use the same tools the GOP used to win in America to gain majority in Canada. I have been told time and again just how far fetched this is, how it reflects my inherent anti-Americanism and my so called hatred of Harper by smearing him with false charges of being too close to the American model of politics than the Canadian one. Well, thanks to the Canadian Cynic I now have a link to a Globe and Mail article that shows quite clearly Harper dealing with the GOP pollster extraordinaire, Frank Luntz.

Frank Luntz has a well known reputation in political circles in America for being a whiz at spinning things so that they sound good even when they are horrendous in reality. He is the author of the strategy of spinning everything that happens after 9/11/01 that would have been unacceptable to the American public and challenged as such being the proof that those raising such concerns lived in a pre-9/11/01 mentality while the GOP lived in the post 9/11/01 world. He helped exploit the bipartisanship given to Bush after 9/11/1 to create partisan political gains for the GOP in 2002 and 2004. He is well known for his methods, and Google search will help people find this out for themselves.

In this article we know that not only did the CPC send representatives from its caucus to this meeting the PM himself met with Luntz. Now, is anyone seriously going to try and claim that just because he met him it means nothing? If so don't bother expecting any response. Given the clear management style of Harper to limit access to him to only those he is interested in hearing from since he became PM there is no doubt that Harper is interested in using Luntz' methods no matter how ugly they are, no matter how deceptive they are, and no matter how divisive they are to the country as a whole. What matters to Harper is that they appear to work in helping Conservatives gain and hold power and that is his first interest, not the national interest but his and his party's. This is a very bad sign, it is further evidence of the collusion (thanks to Cerberus) between the CPC and the GOP, and the admiration for American politics by the CPC INCLUDING its leader and our current PM. Well excuse some of us for thinking Canada and America are fairly different cultures and that the tools that may work in America are not automatically going to work the same way, and given the inherent reliance on divisiveness involved in Luntz' methods the price of the tools working may well be the balkanization of the country. I consider that a risk no responsible PM should be willing to consider, yet Harper certainly appears interested in considering Luntz' methods.

I would also point out that partisan investigations of the prior government by a new government and exposing their flaws and mistakes as a primary purpose for staying the government is not typically a part of our political culture. If Harper decides to follow that path then when the CPC is eventually defeated from government they will end up being hoisted upon that petard themselves. Is that really where we want our politics in this country to go? I do not think so. This is Canada , not America Mr. Harper and we Canadians will not appreciate being treated like Americans by any political party. You are playing a very dangerous game here Mr. Harper, and one which I hope blows up in your face, because better it blows up in your face than blows up what little stability/integrity/cohesiveness exists in Canada from your use of these tools for political success. Then again if it does work in getting a Harper/CPC majority next time out the agenda there will be enough to do this as well. We do know after all that Harper is enamoured of the culture war concept, he said so as leader of the Canadian Alliance and even did a policy paper to this effect. So using the pollster that helped manipulate polling questions AND political rhetoric to further this culture war in America only underscores this desire to replicate such in this country by our current PM.

One interesting thing to note. The above mentioned culture war policy speech was made to the Civitas meeting in Toronto April 25 2003, and the meeting Luntz spoke at the day after speaking to Harper was a meeting of, you guessed it, the Civitas group. Coincidence or foreshadowing? Me, I do not think it was coincidence.

13 Comments:

Anonymous john said...

Oh Scotian, this is ripe, even for you. A couple of things, I think it was you who said that the G&M is not the dicider or all things implying that they are not always correct. Or are they reliable again?
And secondly, it still proves nothing. Conservatives talk to conservatives, Liberals to liberals. So he listened to this guy speak, so what? I am not sure how you can make the leap to say that because he listened, he will act. And if he does, so what? If Canadians don't want that then he will be voted out next election. What is the smoking gun here? You have been giving out advice to SH for the past couple of months now and keep saying how if he did what he has done that the Canadian public would destroy him and it would be political suicide. Well here we are four months later and even without heeding to your advice, he is still up in the polls. Imagine that. Perhaps you don't quite understand the Canadian public as well as you think you do. You know not everyone is out there looking for a reason to hate him.

As an aside, are you going to post any back up to your other post about the senate. Once again, you have made a claim and we wait for the facts behind it. And wait, and wait, and wait. I am sure you will simply not respond to this as you are doing more and more often when people challenge your ideas, you are even starting to pre-empt it by putting it in your post. It's like what Scott said on Cathie's the other day:
"It's a tired old game. You make an unsubstantiated accusation against your target and put the onus on him to deny it by meeting some arbitrary criteria. If your target is foolish enough to waste his time trying to live up to your demands, you'll move the goal posts, refuse to accept the evidence or change the subject and level some other unsubstantiated charge. It's thoroughly dishonest, of course. It has nothing to do with debate and certainly nothing to do with trying to establish what's true or what's right. (That's right as opposed to wrong, not right as opposed to left.) It's designed to bait people, change the subject and waste your opposition's time. And I don't have time for it." Couldn't agree with him more, you?

Mon May 08, 08:35:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Red Tory said...

Hey, I finally got around to checking out your blog. I’d meant to do so long before now after having read your thoughtful comments over at my place, but being remarkably lazy and easily distracted, somehow I didn’t until now. My loss.

The Montréal Gazette had some coverage about Luntz’s work with the Conservatives. His advice ranged from the tritely conventional to the absurd. For example — Hockey metaphors! Yeah, that’s what we need. Ordinary Canadians can relate government policy to hockey.

I know many of our Conservative friends bridle at the accusation that they are just a pale knock-off version of their Republican cousins south of the border, but the facts speak for themselves.

Mon May 08, 09:24:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous macadavy said...

Wow! I finally made it! You're spot on in your analysis - pay no attention to john the apologist.

Tue May 09, 07:41:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

John:

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that I am here to do whatever you ask of me. Sorry, not the case. You can as I have told you before keep leaving these posts of yours, but all you do is show yourself for the obsessed personality you have come off as to myself and many others like at Cathie's. Incidentally, ever find any example of the Senate rejecting a budget sent to it from the House of Commons? That was the challenge I put to critics like yourself but instead of providing such (assuming it exists, something I do not believe to be the case) you instead go on yet another of your tirades of personal insults, false comparisons, misstating the words of others (Are you sure you are not related to Maurice Vellacott btw) and generally acting like the schoolyard kid that mouths off to everyone regardless of whether the kid knows anything about what they are saying.

You seem to think that you are providing some sort of service or performing some noble act when you are doing this. Instead all you have done is make yourself look like a fool to everyone that actually does know what they are talking about. All you generally evoke is pity, not respect, nor credibility. Feel free though to continue, until and unless you start getting particularly offensive to others here I have no problems letting you make a total jackanapes of yourself.

Red Tory:

Thanks for the kind words. Welcome to Saundrie, may you continue to enjoy yourself here and grace us with your company for a long time to come. I quite like your blog because it is substantial in its discourse, both your posts and for the most part your comments. The CPC and Conservative voters/supporters as opposed to its leadership really do not grasp just how much they are connected to the current GOP. Nor do they grasp just how much of the tactical and strategic tools Harper has chosen to employ, this time to great success in the last election, come from the GOP and especially the religious right as well as the more corrupt fundraisers as well.

macadavy:

Welcome, glad you were able to make it. As for John, not to worry, he discredited himself a couple of months ago back in my threads dealing with the Emerson buyout by Harper. Feel free to examine them if you want to see just how poor a critic this particular Trolletariat member is. I faced far more aggressive members of the Trolletariat in the American political blogs for the past three years before I started up Saundrie, I know them for what they are and how much/little credence to give them. However, I will always let them dig their own graves first, they have to build a track record for dishonest criticisms before they get so branded. It is too bad that John still thinks anyone takes him seriously here, at Cathie's, indeed anywhere I have encountered his work. Still, I am not into censorship so I have no intentions of banning him, and the only posts I have ever deleted were spam posts.

I do have one policy aside from spam posts and that is comment spamming. When I find someone spamming the same post at several blogs and they leave such here they are given fair warning that I do not appreciate such. Either create an original post for the blog, leave a link in a short comment to the post elsewhere, or do not comment at all. That to date is the only degree of restrictions I have in place and so long as it is feasible to maintain this open commenting policy I intend to keep it. Criticism so long as it is honest and especially informed is something I welcome, I am not so arrogant as to believe I am all knowing always correct in my readings of situations, same as any other human being. What gets me about too many (C)conservative posters I encounter though is that instead of doing honest criticisms where there are some to be made too often instead it is dishonest, false equivalencies, totally incorrect paraphrasing being credited as what I said, personal attacks, etc.

Ah well, you know why those like John do not bother me? I always keep in mind the most important thing about taking criticisms to heart, and that is to always consider the source. Consider their motives, their credibility, and their honesty. To date John fails in all three categories as his prior postings here and elsewhere have demonstrated.

Wed May 10, 12:35:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous CuriositykilledTheCat said...

Neocon parallels – north and south of the 49th, OR the story of Harper's shiny new Black Helicopter:

Let's start with PM Harper's new plan for a black helicopter, to be used to fly Liberal MPs around the country so as to discover the vast rightwing conspiracy. Harper was reported in May 9th Hansard as saying he will recommend buying such a helicopter for such a purpose. He was trying to deflect attention away from MP Mark Holland's question as to whether there was a connection between one Tory MP's (Vellacott) recent attacks on the Supreme Court, and Harper's membership in a group called Civitas, with the focus being on their common aim to "destroy the independence of our judiciary."

Nice quip, Stephen. A few chuckles, and the subject deflected. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

But is there smoke we see out there? And could that mean there is a fire?

Is there a concerted "act of working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations"? (as Wikipedia defines conspiracy).

Perhaps not. But is there a concerted acting together of rightwing elements in Canada, with a view to promoting changes in the Canadian body politic of revolutionary proportions? Decidedly yes. And one does not need Harper's Black Helicopter to find it ...

• It is up to bloggers to follow this trail, and expose this concerted action of neocons to subvert the existing Canadian political system and replace it with an intolerant, theocratic neocon system.

• First thing: we should agree to follow the following people in Harper's brand new, shiny Black Helicopter, on our quest for the Harper Neocon Plot.

Start with some of the characters ("Round up the usual suspects", says the cop in Casablanca) – as Public Eye Online (http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/2006_05.html) says:
"Republican pollster Frank Luntz will also be in attendance to deliver a speech on "Massaging the Conservative Message for Voters." Other topics of discussion will include "Euthanasia: The Next Battle in the Culture Wars" and "Supreme Future: The Role of Courts and Judges in Modern Democracies." Members of Civitas reportedly include former federal Conservative national campaign director Tom Flanagan, as well as Atlantic Institute for Market Studies president Brian Lee Crowley and former Montreal Economic Institute president Michel Kelly-Gagnon. The group's current president is Lorne Gunter, a columnist with the National Post. Civitas was founded following the 1996 Winds of Change conference organized by Ezra Levant and David Frum. Civitas's 2003 annual general meeting made headlines when future Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a presentation suggesting the Conservatives would need to adopt a more "incremental" approach if they wanted to win government. No word yet on whether Civitas members will be sacrificing goats or nubile virgins at this year's meeting."
• Flanagan? Calgary School? How do they fit in with Harper and his shiny new Black Helicopter? Well, back in 2004 Harper was heading Alliance Party, and some people were talking about the future – the takeover of the old Progressive Conservatives, gaining power in Canada – those sort of things (see The Man Behind Stephen Harper: Tom Flanagan, The Walrus Magazine, October 2004):
"The looming power struggle is not only for the soul of the new party. It is also over Stephen Harper's political future: how much is he willing to water down the ecumenical wine required to win the PMO? Rick Anderson calls it "the defining question of his leadership -- whether he'll fudge the party's policies or not." But back in Alberta, Ted Byfield, the unabashed voice of the West since the Calgary School's professors were pups, sees it another way -- in terms Leo Strauss might have approved. "All these positions which Harper cherishes are there because of a group people in Calgary -- Flanagan most prominent among them," Byfield says. "I don't think he knows how to compromise. It's not in his genes. The issue now is: how do we fool the world into thinking we're moving to the left when we're not?" To those who are unnerved by that prospect, Byfield offers no cheer. "Those people who said they're dangerous -- they're right!" he says. "People with ideas are dangerous. If Harper gets elected, he'll make a helluva change in this country.""

Now, let's fly Harpers little Black Helicopter over Calgary, in May 1996, and hover over the Winds of Change conference. Here's what David Taras of the University of Calgary has to say in The Winds of Right-wing Change in Canadian Journalism, about that conference, summary first, quotes afterwards (see http://info.wlu.ca/~wwwpress/jrls/cjc/BackIssues/21.4/taras.html):

• the aim was to unite the right in order to achieve a merger of the Progs and Alliance so as to gain power and implement a rightwing agenda;
• the attendees were heedful of the success over years of the neocon movement in the USA to fund talk shows and think tanks and to take over the political agenda there, leading to taking over the government (via Congress and the White House) and implementing the rightwing social, cultural and political agenda);
• they would agree on steps to be taken to unite the right, win power and implement change.

In the words of David Taras:

"The Winds of Change conference, which took place in Calgary in May 1996, brought together approximately 70 leading right-wing thinkers and activists in an effort to bring unity to conservative forces before the next federal election, expected in 1997. The goal, according to organizer David Frum, was to discuss the prospects for a merger between the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties. The stark reality facing Conservatives is that a continued fracturing of the right-wing vote is likely to ensure not only a victory for Jean Chretien's Liberals in 1997 but that the Liberals remain in power indefinitely."

"Frum believed that a vigorous airing of views behind closed doors, steps to develop a common agenda, and the bon amie of personal contact would create the momentum that was needed."

And:

"The triumph of a right-wing agenda [in the USA] is not simply, one can argue, the result of liberal failures or flavour-of-the-month ideas that have caught the momentary fancy of the public."

"The legitimacy of conservative viewpoints is the product, rather, of a sustained and concerted effort. A right-wing information infrastructure has been built up over the period of the last 15 years -- an infrastructure that has the capacity to shape public opinion through a variety of means. Think tanks such as the Fraser and C. D. Howe Institutes, the conservative ideological tilt and corporate boosterism of Canadian newspapers, and the rise of right-wing talk radio are all evidence, one can argue, of the extent to which conservative institutions and ideas now dominate the public sphere."

"The Winds of Change conference in Calgary brought together some of the often disparate elements of this formidable infrastructure."

There, now: the seeds of the rightwing movement laid bare. Add top this Harper's speech of 1997, and in 2003. Mix this brew, stir well, and consider it carefully.

Now it is over to you, bloggers, to continue this story and tell the Canadian voters what really is happening in Ottawa right now, despite the muzzles put upon the New Tories by Harper.

Wed May 10, 05:17:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

Again from Scott at Cathie's :
"It's a tired old game. You make an unsubstantiated accusation against your target and put the onus on him to deny it by meeting some arbitrary criteria. If your target is foolish enough to waste his time trying to live up to your demands, you'll move the goal posts, refuse to accept the evidence or change the subject and level some other unsubstantiated charge. It's thoroughly dishonest, of course. It has nothing to do with debate and certainly nothing to do with trying to establish what's true or what's right. (That's right as opposed to wrong, not right as opposed to left.) It's designed to bait people, change the subject and waste your opposition's time. And I don't have time for it."

I'm sorry, the onus is on me? You are the one without fact here. You are either too stupid to understand what you write or you are smart enough to realize that you cannot support your claims but too arrogant to admit dishonest blogging. Both can be explained by your constant refusal to back up what you say with any fact other than "because I said so". Yes all, please read the other posts where I challenge Scotian to support his accusations. He does not and can not. His arguments are so assbackwards that not even he can see the hypocritical stance he takes. Be warned, anyone who disagrees with Scotian or challenges his thoughts will be either ignored or rebuffed for it, but don't take it too hard, he does that on other bloggers sites as well. The only thing dishonest around here is writing a post without the facts to support it. But then again, we come to expect nothing more here. This really is just a diary for Scotian to vent his hate. Hate away my friend as you are blind in your ignorance. You are so angry at the world that you have lost all ability to think rationaly. Can't see the trees for the forest I think the expression goes.

Wed May 10, 05:38:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Niles said...

I would just like to see the media in this country NOT roll over and expose its belly to the present CP government, obediently picking up those cynically planted talking points without a whimper. Publicity of what's going on away from the camera friendly moments is the point of an uncensored press.

The journalist able and /willing/ to report on the Civitas gathering with the American consultant is a definite step in the right direction. She provided facts and ably recorded and reported what was being said, in a place where no reasonable expectation of privacy had been provided the event. Open doors and loud mics do not a closed meeting make.

What astounds me are those who, unable to deny the facts of the situation, went after the reporter for being 'rude' enough to 'eavesdrop'. Never /mind/ what she heard.

I shouldn't be astounded, given the identical behaviour of the undiscriminating support of the GOP by its apologists, but I am.

I just hope non-apologist reporters with dissenting information are not voices in the wilderness. The Liberals, NDP, Greens, Bloc, and yes, disaffected Conservatives, must also take a long look at the quivering Democratic party response south of the border and cowboy up instead.

There's polite and there's condonation by silence. Just start it "with all due respect..." and go hard from there, hammering the facts.

Please.

Thanks for your contribution to such nailing, Scotian.

Wed May 10, 07:12:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

You are quite welcome, but aren't you concerned that you will be exposed to my hate if you continue reading this blog? After all, our resident expert mind reader and person who claims that he knows my mind better than I do has said this blog is a place for me to pour out my hate, are you sure you wish to risk being in such an environment? :)

Seriously though I agree with you regarding the media doing its proper job, which is to be questioning of those that hold power in our country, be it financial or political, indeed especially political power and officeholders. It is the role of a free press in an open society to always examine critically the actions and words of those in power regardless of their political affiliation. When this does not happen, or is prevented from happening by a government then there is a serious problem.

As for this idiotic response about how the Civitas meeting was private and therefore the reporter acted badly/unethically, hogwash. They did not close the doors nor did they close it from public/media access. So this is just utter nonsense. What really gets me though about this argument is that the CPC is supposedly the champions of openness and transparency from the government, which usually includes the governing party in that definition. Not to mention the utter irony of being upset about having their negatives in the media regarding a meeting from a GOP pollster that among other advice told the CPC to do the same thing to the Liberals.

I hope you continue to enjoy what you find here. Thanks again for stopping by and leaving an intelligible comment, unlike my resident Trolletariat member John.

Wed May 10, 09:02:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Adam Daifallah said...

This is great comic relief. Luntz has no official role in the Harper government and is not a paid consultant of the Conservative party or the government.

To find out who uses US-based consultants, do a Google search for David Axelrod and Dalton McGuinty.

Thu May 11, 09:40:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

God you are a jackass. Where did I say I could read your mind? This is so blatantly simple is laughable. All I asked was you to provide support for your arguments. Can you do that? How is this trolling? Put in the link, show me the proof. Prove yourself right.
Do you have any backup and if so, why won't you share it. An intelligent reader might ask themselves why after you make a claim stating fact that you cannot support that claim with fact. And when challenged to do so, you duck and weave. It's all right here in your postings. And you want to talk about credibility?
So I will try this again, and I will type slow so that you understand the question: do you have any backup to your claims, yes or no, if yes, can we see it?
We don't need some long winded, circular logic response, just a simple yes or no and the corresponding links or proof. We're all waiting.

Thu May 11, 10:19:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

John:

I did not know I was required to meet your idea of backing up my arguments, more than a little arrogant of you. As to the Constitutional argument, here is a thought: go read it for yourself and find out for yourself. As I said the Senate cannot block a budget bill, cannot originate one, and cannot stop money bills with impunity because of how our constitutional spheres of authority between the two chambers is set up. Instead of finding out for yourself whether I have this wrong or not you have instead demanded that I provide links for you. I told you to do it yourself as I certainly gave you enough to look for yourself.

This is part of the problem I have with you John, you are always insisting that I back up my arguments yet your own arguments never seem to have any links to back them up with, so aren't you demanding behaviour of me that you refuse to demonstrate yourself? I realize this is something you have difficulty with but this is not your blog to set the rules at, to define what is appropriate and what is not, and especially not to use me as your own personal researcher instead of doing the work yourself. I might have been willing to do so initially when you first came here before you showed your true colours to me and everyone else here. So seeing as all you are interested in doing is attacking my credibility and my honesty and have chosen some rather dishonest means to do so in the past I see absolutely no reason to do anything you ask at all.

Indeed, I only keep responding because you afford me amusement and you present a wonderful example of Trolletariat behaviour. You made your bed so you can lie in it.

Thu May 11, 03:04:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

I did research it there fella and I think you have it wrong. My source was the Globe and Mail and also wikopedia. I believe your response was the the G&M was not credible enough to take as fact. Not like your source which was was, ummm, well nothing. So yes, I guess we have proven that they can stop it and your whole post is nothing more than the continuing smear campaign against the right. Thank you for proving my point. You are right though, I didn't make the "rules" (backing up a point), I just play by them. It's how you gain credibility. Maybe you should look that up while you are there too. I now choose to lie in my perverbial bed.

Thu May 11, 06:54:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous john said...

"The Canadian Senate is NOT in the practice of rejecting ANY House of Commons budget because it does not have the Constitutional authority to be doing so, in no small part precisely because they are not an elected body."
Didn't you say something over at wonderdogs about you being the first to admit when you have made a mistake? Should I wait for that or can I assume that that was another one of your hypocritical statements?
ps. I really like the part about anyone with a high school deploma... do they have summer school in your city?

Fri May 12, 08:09:00 PM 2006  

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