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We have now officially reached the point where it is actually a good move to make wild claims that are disconnected from reality.

We've always been at that point. Elections have always been about fear and that will never change.

Stephen Harper notes that "Canada is not the United States": there is no crisis of solvency in the Canadian financial system, and there's no evidence that one will occur anytime soon.

Anyone who believes that Canada won't be adversely affected by a major crisis in it's only trading partners economy is an idiot. The fact that his polls slipped after this comment show that Canadians aren't as gullible as their neighbours to the south. Remember when the credit crisis was "fully contained" in the US?

Anyone who believes that Canada won't be adversely affected by a major crisis in it's only trading partners economy is an idiot.

Indeed. Good thing no-one said that.

Stephen,

The general populous don't deal well with nuanced discussion/answers. It's unfortunate, but true.

Analytical types (like Dion, probably yourself, and myself as an engineer) don't like making absolute statements -- after all almost anything is possible, it's just a matter of how unlikely something might be.

I've learned in my corporate life that you're better off making a simple absolute statement ("I will never run a deficit") and apologizing if/when circumstances change, then you are making a more rational answer. People, by and large, understand that circumstances change and thus statements/positions will change.

I don't think this reflects a new point in the campaign -- it's an everyday fact of life, common in corporate life (particularly in dealing with big-picture executives) and a requirement in politics. Dion should never have equivocated -- it's a rookie mistake.

Note: All of this flies in the face of what people *say* they want -- but then people are far less rational than they ought to be, especially when they vote.

My two cents, at least.


Indeed. Good thing no-one said that.

Isn't that what Steve Harper said?

I've not seen a quote to that effect.

As to wild claims disconnected from reality:

Harper once called the Kyoto protocol a socialist plot.

He called the Green Shift a threat to national unity and an economic catastrophe.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080911.welxnharper0911/BNStory/politics/home

Maybe that is just election hyberbole. But why in Canada is it acceptable? We are discussing the future of the earth here, quite literally. These positions of Harper's may be fair comment (only because almost everything is), but they are shared mostly by the far fringes of those educated on these subjects. Our press (rightly) complains mightily when the Iranian leaders and press do this on the subject of the Holocaust, the memory of which is protected by not by dogma or anti-racism, but by an application of scientific analysis to history, and, as the Globe pointed out in an editorial, is not questioned by inviting of fringe historians (with pHDs even) to a conference designed plainly to bolster opinions held only because it is politically convenient. But it seems incapable of introspection, when our leaders do it, or our when itself invites mainly the fringe to comment.

What bothers me, is that Canada (including Albertans and Quebecers) will have to negotiate, with a bunch of "socialists" and even out-and-out communists, a new GHG treaty in late 2009 in Copenhagen. Harper is not likely going to have as many strong allies for the positions he may want to take as he did in Bali. He has not given any good indication of what he will do, but whatever happens in 2009 it will allow an excuse for the Government to review, without prejudice, Canada's carbon policies. Many economists favour a Carbon tax as opposed to a Cap and Trade system, or the current puzzling efficiency scheme that 'isn't even wrong' of Harper's (for instance: http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media_releases/media_releases_archive/media_release09260801.html and http://www.straight.com/article-163186/bc-climate-scientists-new-book-contradicts-conservative-election-claim ).

Since Harper is not stupid, he will either have to implement a carbon tax (I hope), or a cap and trade system. How will the press handle that truth? Will the pages burn up in my hands?

Anyone who believes that Canada won't be adversely affected by a major crisis in its only trading partners economy is an idiot.

Indeed. Good thing no-one said that.

Uh, am I the only one watching Canadian television—all right, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but on a Canadian channel—who saw the Conservative ad with the lily-white women with the pure-blonde daughter in their Summer home, glorying in the idea that she didn't live under the US system and fearing for her taxes?

It didn't end "I'm Stephen Harper and I approve this message," but it certainly sounded that way.

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