Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Old Ladies, Crumpets Key Features in Political Analysis

Okay, so I'm no political strategist or insider or big media pundit, but it seems to me that the desperate hang-wringing and hysteria by Globe & Mail columnists (among others) about the strategy of the Liberal party is a Little. Bit. Silly.

Igs has a good plan. He's been leader about nine months. He spent the first 8 months raising money and learning the ropes. As soon as parliament reconvened in the fall, he announced he would no longer prop up the government. This has two main benefits: it forces Layton into the propping-up hot-seat and it puts Ignatieff in the limelight. It has one drawback, hopefully short-term: Canadians don't want an election and are letting him know via their answers to pollsters. (But not to worry: polls mean virtually nothing between elections.)

Media pundits are going wild. Here are a few of the hysterical outpourings in the Globe:

  • Women no longer like Igs! According to Michael Valphy, in six short months Ignatieff's support among women over 50 has dropped from 46% to 26%. What a fickle group we old ladies are! Worse, according to Valpy our main concern is whether a male politician is "sexy" or "a crumpet" - and while Ignatieff was a heart-throb in the 1990s he is now, well, just another old guy in a grey suit.

  • Bruce Anderson is very concerned about Ignatieff's strategy. He believes that Igs has been "hiding his light under a bushel" and needs to "make his pitch." Nice point; unfortunate that Bruce has missed the fact that that's exactly what he's doing.

  • Igs is down in the polls. Today, the Globe has trumpeted that with an article called Liberal Support in Perilous Slide. When this article was first posted in top position on the Globe home page, it was called "Harper in Majority Territory" - despite the fact that a poll this far before an election does not mean much, and they know it. Two months before she lost nearly all Conservative seats, Kim Campbell was miles ahead of Jean Chretien.

Some Globe columnists think Ignatieff is doing quite well, but the Globe isn't letting that slow them up in making it seem there's a landslide of criticism of him:

  • Greg Fergus actually thinks that Ignatieff might be the next PM, because (1) of his bold step announcing he will no longer support the government, (2) Ignatieff's vast international experience give him fresh, impressive ideas and make him uniquely qualified to run the country, and (3) under all the spin, Harper is doing a terrible job. Despite the content of the article, the Globe in its wisdom decided to make it look like another doom and gloom missive with the headline "It's Deep Breath Time for the Liberals".

  • Judith Timson wrote a positive article about Igs, with lines like, "Iggy marched into the House of Commons last week and delivered a highly focused speech about why his party wanted to bring down the government, which showed a man getting back in touch with his vision and sense of purpose" but the Globe slapped the headline on it, "Iffy Iggy: This is your 'real character moment'".

Heck, I know the print media is hurting and this is their way to sell papers. But in the long run this sort of crappy analysis is not going to help their reputation.



Bert said...

It looks like Iggy, or Iffy, is having issues with the Liberal senators. From CTV:

The Conservative government is expressing outrage after Liberal senators amended a piece of "tough on crime" legislation that had already passed the House of Commons -- and that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff had supported.

Part of the original bill would eliminate the current two-for-one sentencing credit given to convicts who spend time in jail before their conviction.

The Senate justice committee voted to change that to time-and-a-half served, meaning convicts would get 1.5 days' credit for every day served pre-sentencing.

From here:


Bert said...

What about Iggy's "tough talk" on possible tax increases ?.
News that Ignatieff was prepared to even discuss the possibility of tax increases was greeted as a political gift by the Conservatives and NDP, who instantly began circulating the story and offering critical comment…

The insiders indicated Ignatieff intends to kick off discussion of the tough choices ahead with a speech Thursday to the Chamber of Commerce in London, Ont. That was to be followed by a series of townhall-style meetings to engage Canadians in the debate.

However, Ignatieff spokesperson Jill Fairbrother said late Wednesday that the leader intends only to continue demanding that the Tories “come clean” on the real fiscal numbers. As part of that, he’ll continue to argue against what Liberals contend is a Tory attempt to muzzle Page. ”He doesn’t believe you can develop a plan to get us out of this mess until you know what the real numbers are,” she said. ”That is where we’re at and there’s no strategy beyond that.“


Maybe he didn't want a repeat of Dions disasterous "Green Tax" policy ?

Yappa said...

Hi Bert -

I'm not sure how much Igs supported the crime legislation. In the first few months after taking over as leader he was in no position to vote against the government: that does not mean that he liked what they were doing. As I have said many times, the most odious policies of the Harper government, IMO, are the bills that are corrupting our justice system, putting more youth in prison, taking away judicial discretion and in general turning the successful Canadian justice system into a US style system - which is a failed system. The erosion of basic human rights under Harper has been appalling. I hadn't heard about the senators but it looks like a good move.

The tax increase stuff is but another Conservative dirty trick - like the false floor-crossing rumors last week.

Bert said...

Sorry Yappa. Iggy voted for the crime legislation.

And as far as the tax hike thing being a Conservative lie, check this:


Anonymous said...

As Yappa pointed out, Bert, the issue isn't whether Iggy voted for the crime legislation but whether he supported it. "Supported" = wanted those changes to happen. Yappa's speculation is that when the crime legislation came on the floor the Liberals did not want to bring down the Conservatives; that being the case, they voted for or at least did not vote against the crime legislation. But of course that's a far cry from their supporting it in the above-defined sense. So don't suck in to the spin the Cons are putting on the Liberal senators' amendment. Or, if you are participating in the spinning, then shame on you.

Bert said...

Good news !! Conservatives extend poll lead over Liberals.

Find it here:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bert!

Hey Bert, what about the tax increase to the EI by your dictator PM. Do you even understand what an increase in taxes are and how governments can finance all the social programs, health care, transfer payments to the provinces which the Feds collect through taxes and for funding schools, welfare etc. How Canada is quickly losing its status of a country of opportunities where no one needs to go hungry and every one has the right to good health, education and a roof over their heads.

People like you make me laugh. Arm Chair want to be politicians that think they know everything, to lazy to do a little research and rely on others to tell them and gullible to believe it all.

Childish Bert and his juvenile company. Impotent are you Bert?
Actually you are beginning to sound like a child having his very first erection and in a complete panic about it. Impotent are you Bert? One who Can’t tell truth from fiction.

You want to hand out insults, then expect to take some in return.

It looks like Bert is having trouble with seeing the difference between truth, lies and the sham party of Reform/Cons and their ideology.

Sorry Yappy about the anon but I keep losing my password and have to keep reseting it.

Yappa said...

To Anonymous at 11:33 -

Hey, that's way out of line. Even if I hated Bert's guts I'd say that that was way out of line, but I am very pleased that Bert (a Conservative) comments on my blog - we even agree sometimes (!). What's the point of blogging if you only have discussions with people you agree with? I really enjoy Bert's comments. There has been a problem recently with some Conservatives hitting Liberal/NDP blogs and dumping unrelated, unpleasant and longggg comments, but Bert isn't like that.

Anyway, apologies to Bert and I hope that my Comments section is more civil in future. We need less polarization and more work on finding common ground.


Anonymous said...

Bert, my sincerest apology if I have offended you. You too Yappa. I take it all back but I might add I do disagree somewhat with his comments.

He seems to always base his remarks on what he reads by opinion writers which are not always truths and realistic. Try blogging on Ardvarks blog and see the Cons attack in full force. They are clearly not welcoming anyone who isn't Cons and they do not apologize either.


Bert said...

Thanks to all for the recent couple of comments. Anonymous 09:52, you said, He seems to always base his remarks on what he reads by opinion writers which are not always truths and realistic. I beg to disagree. If you'll look, my comments were based on articles written on CTV, CBC, and a couple of other news sources. No "opinion writers" or bloggers or anything else. They were all part of the MSM.

Yappa said...

Hi Anonymous again -

Now since I've defended Bert, I should also say that I don't mean to dump on you. I greatly appreciate hearing from like-minded non-Conservatives!

Anonymous said...

it looks like Bert is having issues dealing with articles such as this in July on National Newsweek's latest news. Because they fail to make your chosen party look good or is it the opposite making your party look like law breakers when they think they can get away with it. You know Bert, Canadians aren't all as gullabile as you think and the next election will show it.


Bert said...

Well, Anon 2:54, I don't quite get your comment about National Newswatch. I went there and, among other headlines, saw this one:

Polls put Harper on the podium
With the Tories' surge in popularity, the opposition has little choice but to prop up the government until the end of the Olympics..