Friday, December 18, 2009

Could the elitist Jeffrey Simpson be any more out of touch with reality?

No doubt there will be enormous satisfaction for all Canadians in knowing that Jeffrey Simpson has declared in today’s Globe that “It was a very good year for the Prime Minister”.

Really? Could Jeffrey Simpson be any more out of touch with reality if he tried? I doubt it

This completely myopic pronouncement just happens to totally ignore that this was one of the WORST years for Canadians. How many Canadians lost their job last year? 400,000 or was it 500,000?

What planet is Geoffrey Simpson on? Oh yeah, the Globe and Mail. Simpson writes, in total callous disregard for the plight of Canadians, but only the plight of the Prime Minister.

Simpson goes on to say: “The recession, far from harming his government, proved to be a godsend”

Godsend? WTF? Is this Jeffrey Simpson guy for real? Talk about navel gazing and a complete disconnect from reality. The Glib and Malice has outdone itself once again.

This reminds me of the time that the elitist Jeffrey Simpson wrote that the income trust policy was the “right policy”, but offered NO EXPLANATION whatsoever to back up such a position. I think this elitist Jeffrey Simpson comes from the “Let them eat cake" School of Journalism.

I’d hate to see what a bad year for Harper would mean for Canadians? Famine? Pestilence? Reporter who start reporting the truth? Now THAT would be a very bad year for Harper, reporters reporting the truth.. Just imagine that?

It was a very good year for the Prime Minister
The recession, far from harming his government, proved to be a godsend

Jeffrey Simpson
Dec. 17, 2009
Globe and Mail

Roughly a year ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper wobbled on the political ropes, or so his opponents believed, retreating in Parliament and forced to resort to a prorogation to save his hide. Today, Mr. Harper runs a stable government that operates almost as if it were a majority.

Mr. Harper's poll standings, for what they count, have improved a notch. He controls his caucus with a customary iron fist. The recession, far from harming his government, proved to be a godsend, allowing him to live out every politician's dream, sprinkling billions of dollars across the country without serious criticism.

Best of all, Mr. Harper's principal political adversaries made him look even better. A politician can't count on the stupidity of adversaries, but when stupidity arrived in the form of a hollow Liberal threat to bring down the government, what could have been better luck? As Frank Sinatra once crooned, Mr. Harper had a very good year.

Once he survived the parliamentary crisis, Mr. Harper did two things that stabilized the government. First, he unveiled a huge stimulus program that, unlike his maladroit efforts in the fall of 2008, responded to the political requirement and economic need to inject public money into a tottering economy. Then, he reinforced discipline on himself and colleagues by handing out one song sheet – called the government's Economic Action Plan – and demanding that all Conservatives sing from it, often and always.

The message was reinforced with ads with blatantly political overtones, paid for by the taxpayers. Scarcely a week passed without Mr. Harper, or occasionally one of his ministers whom he allowed to speak, making one, two or three announcements of a spending project. When necessary, the Conservatives resorted to their advertising attack machine to frighten their opponents.

Nothing was to get in the way of the Action Plan message. Other subjects were banished from the government's agenda, or dealt with swiftly. Distressing files such as the Afghan detainee mess were blunted by partisan attacks, refusal to answer questions, and testimony that rebutted allegations. Ministers were told to put on hold other initiatives.

One file wouldn't go away, because it was an international one: climate change. This file the Prime Minister delegated to Environment Minister Jim Prentice, who essentially spent a year ragging the puck. Mr. Harper literally stayed away from the issue as much as possible, refusing to speak on the subject at home or at the United Nations or at the Copenhagen climate change conference.

Canada is the Bad Boy of the negotiations, and for good reason. But Mr. Harper doesn't care because within his coalition a whole lot of people don't believe the planet is warming, while others think sun spots are the cause, while still others want the least possible done. So the government's approach to climate change has been to tout targets that cannot be met, and tie everything to the U.S. position, knowing that it will weaken in Congress.

Climate change aside, little else diverted the government from its central economic message of spending to combat recession. Since the Liberals had voted for the 2009 budget, they could only chirp – until the foolhardy, empty threat to bring down the government. As for the NDP, fearing political losses, they conveniently switched from being against everything the government did to voting to sustain the government.

The result produced political stability that bids fair to endure well into 2010. The next budget will be a steady-as-she goes affair – more spending for a still-weakened economy – that the opposition might carp about but not enough to precipitate an election.

Moreover, Mr. Harper travelled a lot in the second half of 2009, including to China, which he had ignored, thereby shoring up a weak political flank. Next year, he will play host to the G8 and G20 summits, be seen at the Olympic Games, and escort the Queen around. It would be hard to squander those political opportunities for endless photo-ops and television visuals.

At some point, hard decisions will beckon. Spending will have to be curtailed and interest groups disappointed. None of that had to happen in 2009, which helped make it a very good political year of unexpected stability for Mr. Harper.


Anonymous said...

Mr Simpson
Canada is in a housing bubble on cheap money and if Harper was such a leader he would voice to Carney to raise rates and stop this madness of  cheap money, that is leadership.

I guess Mr Simpson is missing this issue of asset bubbles.
John Roth asking for Billion for help, I wondered where this fool was doing, basically hiding under a rock in the fetal position, asking for help.


Anonymous said...

That's quite the prism that Jeffrey Simpson employs to discern a "good" year from a "bad" year.

Exclusively in terms of what it means for the Prime Minister but NO REGARD for what it means for Canadians.

No doubt that's why this Jeffrey Sycophant was awarded with the Order of Canada that I see on his lapel....or is that bird shit?

Dr Mike said...

I guess the sooner we realize that the guy on the street means dick-all to politicians & most of the media ., the better-off we will be.

We are delusional if we think any of these people gives a flying rat`s rear for our state of affairs.

The members of the media are ever so careful not to step on the toes of the gov`t laying in fear of an info shut-down--the media itself needs gov`ts onside anymore in order to just survive as they become less & less relevant.

Big business has gov`ts in their pocket.

Look at Harper ducking & weaving at Copenhagen to protect the oil sands at all costs.

Look at Flaherty inserting banks & Lifecos at the Whitehorse conference on pensions.

The little guy gets the crumbs & it will get worse as even the crumb stream starts to dry up.

Good luck to us.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...


I was disgusted with his column as well and wrote him a comment!
Will E.