Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Sinking Ship

Tonight was a historical event in Canada. It was likely the last time we will have seen Paul Martin on national TV as Prime Minister, save for his concession speech on the 23rd. Tonight was the last debate, and the mighty PMPM went out like a lamb. To be fair, he performed about as well as could be expected, but his body language said it all. It was quite apparent that the balloon was leaking. (No reference to CPC ads intended.) He was also talking about what Stephen Harper "will" do as PM, rather than "might". It was a non-concession concession. In the post-debate media scrum, Harper was relaxed and smirking like the cat who swallowed the canary. The fat lady is done with her rehearsals. It will be a Conservative majority government, and probably by a fair margin. I know that thirteen days is an eternity in politics, but if I were to give odds on this right now I wouldn't get any takers.

As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. To this extent, Martin and the Liberals are following conventional wisdom. In my job, I am in a position to see the TV ads by the both the Liberal and Conservative parties before they air. Yesterday I saw twelve new Liberal ads attacking Stephen Harper that can only be described as desperate. At least one of them they finally decided not to air, although it was distributed to stations and posted online. Out of respect for my employer and our clients, I won't discuss or link to the content - there is plenty of buzz about these ads both in the MSM and the blogosphere. There isn't a hope in hell that these ads could do anything but backfire on the Liberals - and they were already in deep trouble. Of course, Martin also threw up the desperation flag with his surprise announcement about his new Notwithstanding Clause policy in Monday's English debate. Did the Liberal Party suddenly lose any sense of how to run campaigns? To paraphrase HL Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Canadian public. We've finally found an exception to that rule.

4 Comments:

Blogger NorthBayTrapper said...

Jay, I am sincere in hoping for a revitalised Liberal movement in Canada, whether that be the Liberal Party or the NDP or whomever. I fully believe that there has to be balance in the democratic process and unfortunately we have not had it in Canada since the demise of the PC's.
Love your closing line as well.

1/11/2006 11:03:00 a.m.  
Anonymous mustard said...

Jay... what has happened to the Canada that I love? I leave the country for 2 weeks and everything goes to Hell in a handbasket.

Stephen Harper in the lead... oh my gawd. The big bankers on Bay street must be happy...

1/11/2006 05:36:00 p.m.  
Blogger NorthBayTrapper said...

...and the Logistics Managers on Queen St too...

1/11/2006 07:00:00 p.m.  
Blogger NorthBayTrapper said...

btw, knock on some wood b4 you leave for your vacation Jay...this post has a rather ominous title that may test the patience of the fates.

In all seriousness, have a great cruise.

1/13/2006 04:51:00 p.m.  

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