More than a year ago, there was the Liberal leadership race. I supported Stephan Dion over two other big name candidates. The other candidates were Michael Ignatief and Bob Rae.
I thought Dion was better than Rae because of Rae's poor leadership record in Ontario, which is the Liberal voting heartland.
I thought Dion was better than Ignatief because Ignatief supported the Iraq invasion.
Dion and the Liberal attacks on Stephen Harper were borderline pathetic. Take Obama's campaign. The democratic attack strategy on McCain centred around linking him to George Bush at every opportunity. This was slightly unfair. As a republican, Mccain had to toe the line most of the time. As democrats, their job was to oppose Bush most of the time.
In reality, I think that few people in the world despised George Bush more than John McCain. It was McCain after all who was Bush's first victim of dirty political smear campaigning.
The liberals came out with the Harper/Howard Iraq war speeches near the end of the campaign. It should have been their starting point. Stephen Harper equals George Bush should have been the message the Liberals portrayed from day one. This was the basis for me supporting Dion over Ignatief. It was the one chance the Liberals had to stick it to Harper. Compare every major policy over the last three years to that of George Bush, and highlight it with the fact that we could be going to Iraq if Harper gets his coveted majority.
Bush comes out with the Clear Skies Initiative.
Harper got his thesaurus out to invent the Clean Air Act.
Clear skies initiative equals Bush
Clean Air Act equals Harper.
Clear is a synonym of Clean
Air is a synonym of Sky
Act is a synonym of initiative.
Three words to three words. I'd wager if some Liberal pundits poured over the two documents they'd find enough in common to lambaste Harper for being a Bush imitator.
This was the groundwork.
The unfolding of economic events could have played into Dion's Green Shift strategy. Canada, if we'd taken the ridiculous profits from oil and put them toward green jobs, could have helped shelter our economy from the American fallout.
Would Toyota be interested in developing the Prius here in Ontario where automotive jobs have slumped? What if the Canadian government promised to subsidize all Canadian sales of greener Canadian-made vehicles and promote low financing options. Furthermore, a green license plate program with free parking in cities and no annual road taxes. This stuff is gold with voters!
If not Toyota, Honda, or Nissan or all three.
It wasn't that complicated. Tidbits of stuff Canadians can relate to.
The fact that the TSE slumped worse than the Dow should have been a rallying cry. Did the Liberals not do the math? It really wasn't that complicated.
A vote for Harper is a vote for Bush.
Bush inherited a strong economy and a balanced budget and went on to gut the American finances and leave huge deficits.
Harper twittered away huge budget surpluses, oversaw the collapse of the economy into a recession worse than the Americans, and if he's elected again, the Canadian cupboard will also be bare.
Hope and change was Obama's rallying cry.
A better future should have been the Liberals rallying cry.
The last word.
I've heard talk of how Canada needs an Obama like election. No we don't. In order to get an Obama style election, we must first have an extended period of abysmal leadership that leads to hopelessness and despair. I'm no fan of Harper, he's not a great leader, but I don't think he'll take us down Bush's road, at least not for another decade and a couple of hoodwinking fear mongering majorities.