Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You can thank your lucky Facebooks

Today Adam Daifallah of the National Post writes an article about the public backlash to Harper’s strong arm tactics of proroguing Parliament as a means to evade accountability in a piece entitled “The Tories need a cavalry”

But lets give credit where credit is due. Canadians can almost exclusively thank the existence of Facebook for this outcome of Harper taking a face plant over his decision to be a serial proroguer and an issue dodger

Without the transparency afforded by Facebook and its social networking ability to amass discontent, Harper’s Prorogation 2.0 would have been left to the whim of media and in all likelihood would have been spun/shunned by those often dark forces as merely being inside baseball unworthy of Canadians concerns in the same way, for example. The Toronto Star lied to its readers about tax leakage and that whole bill of Harper’s phony goods, called the Tax Fairness Plan.

Now that Facebook in on the scene, never again will a massive fraud like Harper’s Tax Fairness Plan be allowed to be perpetrated on the Canadians people at the behest of nefarious commercial interests like the Editorial Board of the Toronto who are so intent on controlling the editorial freedom of their paper, (via the voting/non voting share structure of Torstar, a corporate abuse they would had to abandon upon succumbing to the market pressure to become an income trust like other newspapers were doing), that they corrupted the very spirit of why its important for the media to have editorial freedom in the first place.

Now we are at a crucial point in the road in dealing with the mess caused by the collective lies that were told to Canadians about tax leakage and the lot. We can either repudiate the entire Tax Fairness Plan by revealing all the falsehoods and patent nonsense on which it is based, as people like me have been attempting to do now for three years, or we can adopt the Marshall Savings Plan solution to contain any further damage that will be inevitable if people simply continue to bury their heads in the sand on this issue while people’s retirement lives and standard of living are destroyed and Canada’s tax base gets further eroded with every takeover and corporate tax dodge entity that these tax maximizing income trusts are forced to become in the little time remaining.

We have reached a fork in the road. One fork leads to moral hazard. The other fork leads to redemptive action. The fork leading to redemptive action, as its name implied, requires action be taken. In the absence of action, assuming the moral hazards of one’s inaction becomes the default mode and the unenviable position people will find themselves in and become accountable for, in this new Facebook world we live in.

Due to the arrival of the Marshall Plan on the scene, from this point w all political leaders and all political parties and Members of Parliament “own” the moral hazard of the negative consequences of Harper’s lie to Canadians about tax leakage, no differently than if they had told that lie themselves. Faced with a house that is burning before their very eyes, they have all been handed a bucket of water known as the Marshall Plan. The Facebook world in which we now live in, will record who of those elected Members of Parliament and which of those leaders took that bucket of water to arrest the fire of that burning building and those who did not.

As the old expression goes. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it put the fire out. Canadians in overwhelming numbers are registering their support for the Marshall Savings Plan solution on a dedicated website at

The Tories need a cavalry

Adam Daifallah, National Post Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let us put aside for a moment the question of whether or not Stephen Harper was right to prorogue Parliament. That point has already been debated to death. Instead let us look at the way this story has played out in the last few weeks and why it has gone so badly for the Tories.

Let's be blunt: The decision to prorogue has been a public relations disaster, and the Conservatives must accept a lot of the blame.

But not all of the blame. What the fallout from this story shows is that despite holding power for four years now, the Tories are still unable to mobilize extra-political actors in the public debate to rally to their side in times of need. The Liberals, and the Canadian left in general, still can and have a huge competitive advantage in this area.

There were three public relations problems with the prorogation.

First, it reinforced the public's existing negative impression of the Prime Minister -- the sense that he's willing to go too far to railroad his opponents. Just like the botched attempt to remove public funding from political parties in 2008, proroguing for two months appeared to some to be a purely tactical move that went beyond acceptable boundaries.

Second, the Conservatives' response to the outcry was incoherent. No overarching reason to prorogue was articulated, and the messaging was inconsistent. The Conservatives were woefully unprepared for the onslaught that has ensued. Imagine how a leader like Pierre Trudeau or Jean Chretien would have handled this. They would have laughed off the criticism and moved on to something else. Not Harper's Tories. They've been on the defensive for weeks. Chretien prorogued Parliament four times throughout his tenure, and at least two of those times were for self-serving reasons --in 2002, after Paul Martin's bloodless coup forced him to announce his retirement, and again in 2003 just before the release of Sheila Fraser's damning report on the sponsorship scandal.

Third, and most importantly, the Tories had few outside defenders to help. Aside from MPs and Senators, party staffers and a coterie of Ottawa lobbyist-pundits with Tory connections, hardly anyone has taken a public stand for the Conservatives. The party simply does not have a critical mass of extra-political organizations and individuals who will come to their aid in times like this. In contrast, in the U.S., the Republican Party has a cadre of like-minded groups and people willing to charge to its defence on a moment's notice.

The Liberals, on the other hand, can still count on their constituent groups to help out. That old network came to life, as if on cue, in the past few weeks.

One such group is the mainstream media. The coverage of this virtual non-story has been breathtaking. Watching it, you'd think prorogation had never occurred before this year. And we can only guess how much more attention the story would have gotten had the massive tragedy in Haiti not occurred.

In addition, more than 100 university professors released a letter decrying the decision to prorogue. It was perfectly within these professors' rights to release such a letter, and some of the points made in it are quite compelling. But where were these same professors in the 1990s when Chretien did the same thing? Nowhere to be seen.

The proroguing controversy is not really a left-right issue. Some on the right are quite upset about this move too. But the hard lesson for the Conservatives is clear -- the Tories simply do not have a ready and able roster of media personalities, groups and activists to count on when they need help. The Tories will likely weather this storm. But unless they cultivate some outside help, next time they might not be so lucky.

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

I am an old guy who has seen a lot in life---there are two things that burn my butt to no end , that is deception & the lack of response to that deception.

The Flaherty/Harper Tax fairness Plan was deception at it`s worst as they used the floweriness of the phrase & the framing of the term "tax leakage" , supposedly caused by the no-faced trusts themselves , to entrench this plan.

People were damaged financially , mentally & physically by these people as they were able to frame this as basically an assault against tax avoiding business & not as it really was , an assault against the savings of the little investor.

The lame response by everyone but us has been irresponsible at best--the NDP , provinces & territories followed like sheep , the media was top-down driven & the rest of Canada was "conned" into a response of "those greedy bastards should pay".

As I said , I have seen a lot , but this took the cake as we were betrayed & then forgotten like yesterday`s trash or as if we never existed at all.

The Marshall Plan is a way out no thanks to any of those involved other than the trust investors themselves.

Thanks everyone .

Dr Mike Popovich