Saturday, January 07, 2006

Howard's End meets Harper's front

How did Harper 'surge' like that? Him?! Seriously? I know I've been out of it lately (moving, starting new job & still no TV) but dude! What happened?! I don't understand how Harper took the lead. I don't buy the RCMP/income-trust thingie. I know that everyone says that it "fits a pattern" or "confirms suspicions about Liberal corruption" but, honestly, I could care two-shites about it myself. Ok, ok, I know...it's early. The lead is "soft" and Leger says that 30% could still change their minds. The Tory gains in the so-called '905' region really bug me. Do they really think that troops in the streets is going to solve the gun problem in T.O.?

The Globe has a feature on how Stevie got his groove back. Looks like he took some cues from Australia's John Howard. I know what you're thinking (Him?!) but apparently that's where the whole tax-breaks-for-apprentices-tools came from. Lifted verbatim from Howard's 2004 campaign. Funny that they didn't mention that other campaign device of Howard's: "Asian immigration" (nudge-nudge...they're terrorists! vote for me!). Aussie commentator John Quiggen had this to say at the time:
Whenever, it has appeared possible to ride a wave of prejudice in Australia, Howard has sought to do so...the crucial element in his success was the combination of racial/religious prejudice and law and order (the asylum seekers as queue-jumpers). This enabled what would otherwise have been recognised as overt racism and plain lies (most obviously in the 'children overboard' incident) to be coded as appeals to decency.
The "children overboard" scheme was a disgusting bit of Rove-like campaigning. It's a long story but it boils down to this: a boat carrying asylum seekers sank off of the coast of Australia. Howard's gang planted stories in the media about the refugees throwing children overboard. It was eventually proven that no children were thrown off of boats. The topper:
The office of former defence minister Peter Reith, told government photographers not to take or circulate "humanising" pictures of asylum seekers during last year's election campaign..."
I'm not saying Harper would resort to such extreme GWB or John Howard tactics. After all, he has no occupation-of-Iraq to defend (er...just the unequivocal support of same in 2003). Still...why would Harper take campaign notes from a desperate candidate like Howard?

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