Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Conservative Party Will Help You Write a Letter to the Editor

If you go to the Conservative Party website at Harper Leadership 08 you can get help in writing a letter to the editor. If you enter some sort of name and address you will eventually end up on a page that gives you the latest Conservative version of framing spin.

This is how Harper is going to avoid defeat when he faces the House of Commons. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

The idea that the opposition parties don't have a mandate to from a coalition is particularly ironic given Stephen Harper's own position just a few years ago. Here's what is reported prominently on the front page of today's Toronto Star

But opposition MPs are accusing the Prime Minister of hypocrisy, charging that Harper is overlooking his own efforts to forge a coalition to replace Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government in 2004.

Harper, then Conservative leader, even joined with NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe to write then-governor general Adrienne Clarkson, urging her to look at "options" if Martin's government fell in the fall of 2004, mere months after it won a minority mandate on June 28.

"We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation," read the Sept. 9, 2004, letter from the three leaders.

"We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority."

That message is in stark contrast to the one Harper delivered Friday night, when he charged that Liberals don't "have the right to take power without an election."

"The opposition has been working on a backroom deal to overturn the results of the last election without seeking the consent of voters. They want to take power, not earn it," he said in a statement.

Now Conservative MPs are being instructed to take that message to Canadians.

[Hat Tip: Canadian Cynic: Because they really do need babysitting, that's why]


  1. The one fly in this ointment is that the Libs are currently in some disarray over Dion. Much though I would love to see this coalition thing come off (if only for the sheer novelty of the situation!), I'm not sure it's really viable (unless maybe the Libs manage to get their act together -- behind Dion or anyone else -- by Doomsday, now likely to be Jan 27 when the PCs say they'll bring down a budget).

  2. this (having someone write your letter for you) is common practice in the US.

    In fact, in the 2004 election I had a newspaper editor call me and ask me if I had written the letter that I had sent (I had); my letter sounded as if it had been written by a political staff.

    I felt mildly insulted, but looking back on it I see that my letter wasn't that good. :-)