Today's election thoughts, and a couple of photos.
Jon Elmer sent me this amusing Vintage Voter site.
Vincent Pang sent me this photo album of protests against Harper's second proroguing back in 2010.
The daily polling is suspicious. Every day the media publishes what the electoral outcome is going to be. And every day it changes. They keep saying there's going to be a Harper majority. Saying it won't make it so, but it might contribute to it.
Earlier today I saw an article on CityTV.ca through Google News headlined: "Majority of Canadians want Harper majority." I looked at the story and it said 36% wanted a Harper majority. That's no majority I have ever heard of.
Pollsters now get people to press buttons about how they are feeling as they watch debates, and have discovered that Canadians are annoyed. This then feeds back to politicians, who try to, presumably, be less annoying, or, perhaps, try to blame other politicians for the annoyance.
So I'm just going to make a few notes:
-Ignatieff was right when he says Harper's offering "fantasy economics". He also answered the financial question directly. And Harper seemed to make eye contact for the first time. And then went back to the camera. Harper: "Every credible economic analyst" says taxes kill jobs - in Harper's words, that's "simply not true." Ha-Joon Chang & Joseph Stiglitz come to mind, but of course if you exclude those who disagree with you as "non-credible", then you're in a perfectly logically valid circular argument, which is where Harper lives.
I don't have a TV, so I just checked if my livestreaming CBC is working and it seems to be, so I will be able to watch the debate tonight.
Two chapters left to go in Lawrence Martin's "Harperland" and I also just picked up Christian Nadeau's "Rogue in Power" yesterday and have read chapter 1. A very different kind of book, Nadeau's book is a piece of living political philosophy. I look forward to blogging about it.
But first, Harperland before I get to tweeting the debates.
Before there was Bruce Carson, there was Maxime Bernier, who left government documents at his girlfriend's house. To put this in context, I don't think that these state documents should be treated with tremendous mystical secrecy - that isn't the point. They are probably mostly banal. The point is that here's another instance of the Harper people treating the government like it's their personal property.
Today's headlines were interesting. Conservatives using the RCMP as their political goon squad to turf people out of events and pre-screen them. But Harper's said he's sorry and, I'm sure, has promised to never do it again. This is a good little quote from the Toronto Star though:
Lawrence Martin's "Harperland" discusses Harper's foreign policy. It isn't really distinguishable from Liberal foreign policy, except that it is a little more paranoid and secretive.
Throughout the West, there is fairly unconditional support for Israel. Some explain this with lobbies, etc. For the Harper people, Israel is a principle, above all others - certainly above human rights, equality, or fairness, anything Israel does is correct, whether it is starting a war of aggression, massacring civilians, or torturing children.
The quote of the day is definitely from Stephen Harper about Bruce Carson's fraud convictions: "I did not know about these revelations that we're finding out today. I don't know why I did not know."
Anyone who doubts Carson's importance in Harper's team should definitely read Lawrence Martin's "Harperland". He's all over the book.
In this light, I think Harper's quote about Brian Mulroney might be of interest (pg. 73 of Harperland):
In Harperland, Lawrence Martin points out how Harper hates the press (you can see it in this campaign, with the 19th century schoolmaster's Five Questions policy).
In a chapter on Harper's press policy, called "the Control Fixation", Martin relates this story (pg. 65):