The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Thursday, May 27, 2004


Foot In Mouth: Conservative

Just when it looked like Stephen Harper's minions would be on message and not exposing the Conservatives to charges of having a hidden agenda beneath their new, moderate, appearance, it happened. Bilingualism was the subject.
Via CBC:

Ottawa-area MP Scott Reid, the party's influential critic on language policy, told the Moncton Times and Transcript that Canada's bilingualism policies need a major overhaul. He said a Conservative government would remove the federal government's obligation to offer bilingual services in some areas of the country.

Harper denied that this was party policy, even though it came from his party's leading thinker on bilingualism.

Perk up, Harper-Harpies: As long as Paul Martin's got Jean Lapierre around, the Conservatives can handle the occasional candidate gaffe. But if this is the first of many times that a Conservative candidate lets slip a suggestion that is considerable different than the official party line... We'll be back to 2000 all over again.

UPDATE: CTV's national newscast led with the Reid bashes bilingualism story, while the supposedly Conservative-hating and NDP-loving CBC gave it much less play than Jack Layon's shots at Paul Martin...

UPPERDATE: Kevin Michael Grace, who agrees much more with Reid's position than Harper's new line, weighs in. Coming from the right, KMG argues that sacking and smacking Reid is part of Harper's attempt to suck up to urban liberal voters -- and possibly compromising his own position:

Reid is unusually intelligent and thoughtful for a Canadian politician. Perhaps that’s his problem. Or perhaps, as I suggested, he simply wasn’t paying sufficient attention to the New Stephen Harper: All Things To All People (Previous Offers Now Void).

But perhaps this incident is more significant. Harper’s election platform, such as it is, can be reduced to this:

The Conservative Party stands foursquare behind these principles: long, warm summer days, cool refreshing drinks, frisky puppies and fluffy kittens…oh, you want some meat, do you? OK, weliketaxcutsandhatecorruption...That oughta hold the bastards. Er, is this mic on?

Reid’s sacking (sorry, "resignation") hints at something else. That there are two Conservative platforms: 1. The sunshine, lollipops and rainbows Harper are peddling to the voters and 2. A somewhat more austere vision, which resides in a secure, undisclosed location inside Harper’s head. Who knows? Harper has professed so many different, contradictory beliefs in his two decades in politics that it’s impossible to say.

And there's the rub: Harper's squeezed. If he keeps playing moderate and stick to platform 1, he risks losing his base's confidence. If he exposes number 2, he risks losing any chance at winning over those aforementioned central Canadian liberal types and the seats that they control. Tough balancing act to keep up for the next month.
Comments: Post a Comment

Reports, opinions, columns, and anything else on this site, are © 2002-2003 Ian King unless otherwise noted. Permission granted to use material on this site for non-commercial purposes provided that the work is attributed to the original author. All other uses require specific permission of the original author. Contact weblog owner with any inquiries.

Feel free to link to this web log. The management likes getting lots of traffic.