6 Things the GOP can Learn from the Conservative Party of Canada

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Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    I always thought that Canada did so much better under Mulroney than they did under Martin or Chretien or Turner but everybody was embarrassed by him even as they were making money hand over fist. It was *EASIER* to have a Chretien than a Mulroney. You had to make fewer explanations to your friends who always wanted to talk about “the problem with Toronto”.

    Harper just demonstrates that Canada has grown.Report

  2. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    says:

    I dunno. The crass attacks on Obama’s celebrity in 2008 didn’t seem to get much traction.Report

  3. Avatar KatherineMW
    Ignored
    says:

    We don’t actually do any peacekeeping any more.

    Point 2’s description of Harper is spot-on. The failure of Romney should not be allowed to cast doubt of the ability of Robo-Americans to one day attain the presidency!Report

    • Avatar Jack in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      About 93 peacekeepers in the MINUSTAH mission (Haiti), and another 35 or so Experts on Mission (basically staff officers or observers) spread across another five U.N. missions. So yeah, not a particularly big contribution, especially when compared to the big troop contributors, but still involved, and more so than the U.S. in PK missions.Report

  4. Avatar Barry
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    says:

    “Last time ’round, the Liberals had, by any fair measure, the better, smarter and less-evil leader, yet still the Tories trounced them, sending Michael Ignatieff back to Harvard or The Wall Street Journal or Degrassi Junior High or wherever the hell he came from. ”

    Given the sarcasm of the overall post I don’t know if this was sarcastic, but Michael Ignatieff was and is an Iraq War supporter, so ‘less-evil’ should not apply.Report

    • Avatar DRS in reply to Barry
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      says:

      One of Harper’s major screw-ups in Opposition was his strong criticism of Chretien’s refusal to send Canadian troops to Iraq, claiming that if he were PM he would have sent them.

      Ooopsie! Well, let’s rewind that tape and erase the dumb part. He spent a few weeks backtracking on that pretty fiercely when he became PM around the same time as the Iraq war went pear-shaped in a way even the Republicans couldn’t deny. He claimed he’d never said it or if he had, hadn’t meant it – which might sound familiar to American Republican-watchers. But the media had fun replaying the video everytime he denied it.

      I disagree about #4, though. Harper has called himself a social conservative and there was a strong outreach to churches, synagogues and mosques specifically over same-sex marriage – which passed anyway and is now the law of the land. What Harper isn’t, is a politcally suicidal social conservative. So yeah, that’s a difference I suppose.Report

  5. Avatar Richards
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    says:

    Harper’s strenght is his ability to propagandize. He’s figured out how to scare the average Canuck, and isn’t afraid to commit hyperbole to get his way. He’s also an absolute control freak. His inner cadre are absolutely on message 100% of the time, and back benchers don’t say anything to the press that isn’t in the party’s playbook.

    Did I mention his hero is Joseph Stalin?Report

    • Avatar Jeremy in reply to Richards
      Ignored
      says:

      “His inner cadre are absolutely on message 100% of the time, and back benchers don’t say anything to the press that isn’t in the party’s playbook.”

      I thought that was part and parcel of the parliamentary system?Report

  6. Avatar DRS
    Ignored
    says:

    Harper’s “strength” is a divided opposition. As long as the government-in-waiting status is up in the air between the Liberals and the NDP, he can do almost anything short of human sacrifice at the Eternal Flame every morning and get away with it. I would be cautious about attributing any kind of genius or planning to his success so far. Like Obama, he’s blessed in his opponents.Report

  7. Avatar Richards
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    says:

    I’ll give you that a divided opposition is certainly to Harper’s benefit, but he’s done a great job of exploiting that and doing his damndest to make sure it stays that way with contstant negative advertising.

    As far as attributing “genius” to his moves… nah, he’s been lucky. We’ll see if Justin Trudeau can shake him up some. I can hardly wait to see what Harper’s propaganda crew will cook up to demonize T2…Report

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