Friday, June 15, 2007

Zolf on Harper

What proof positive that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading down the wrong track?

Here it is: Larry Zolf is now praising him.

Oh yeah and here's what Zolf says about me in this piece:

"Nicholls was fired by the National Citizens Coalition and is now the Number 1 enemy of the conservative right-wing and a critic of Harper's Tories."

What does this mean?

Does Zolf think I am the number one enemy of the conservative right wing because of my criticisms of Harper?

Wouldn't that make me the enemy of the conservative left wing?


NB taxpayer said...

No kiddin'.

I don't know what's worse for Harper: a) the optics of having the CBC's Larry Zolf defend your style of governing, or b) the optics of having the CBC pan into the crowd during the NHL award ceremonies only to see you and Garry Bettman sharing a few laughs.

Methinks Harper's boys have already forgot the advice Frank Luntz' gave to them. That being, focus on accountability, tax relief and smaller government as well as link Canada's game to your political agenda as best you can.

At the moment, acting like a Liberal and chumming up to Bettman is bound to not only get your voting base really angry, but all Canadians as well. Good work, PMO!

Anonymous said...

Another load of poorly researched, confused nonsense from Larry Zolf.

First of all, the definition of neoconservative is repeatedly abused. "Neocons" are NOT libertarians, NOT traditional conservatives - they are known more as Scoop Jackson Democrats in the US who were hawkish on foreign policy and much more leftish on economic policy (like Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, etc). The term neo-con has absolutely no relevance to Canadian politics.

Second, conservatives and libertarians are not pro-big business, they are pro-consumer. A conservative is loath to use market intervention to help certain industries or certain business, preferring a level playing field for all. Pro-Main Street, not pro-Bay Street which is full of liberals and Red Tories looking for handouts anyways.

Third, Manning did not fight Quebec. He fought special status for Quebec and for greater recognition of Western issues in Ottawa. And Reform was not a purely conservative party, but rather a Western-based party with very specific policy prescriptions to pan-Canadian issues (Senate Reform, Clarity Act, anti-gun registry, decentralization, the debt etc.)

Fourth, the abuse of the term "conservative far right". Jean-Marie Le Pen, Georg Haider, Vlaams Belang - all of these are far-right parties. Harper, Bush, Sarkozy, Merkel et al. are all considered more centre-right leaders by most media observers.

Fifth, accusing Gerry Nicholls of knowing nothing about Cdn. politics. I think your accusation of Harper being liberal/socialist is off - but at least based on disagreement with specific policies rather than Zolf's ad-hockery.

Harper has gone left with respect to Kyoto, but ethanol funding is defensible for conservatives more on national security grounds (not giving money to Arab dictatorships) but bad in that it violates the principle of comparative advantage.

On equalization Harper moved left, but every federal system has a system of transfer payments and the Martinites left a ridiculous mess behind. As long as his promise not to tinker with it anymore is upheld, I'm comfortable with it.

His crime bills, tax relief, the accountability act, child care choice, senate reform, cutting Canada's debt, the GST cut is OK for now - and I'm impressed with the upcoming India free trade agreement and his holding firm on the Afghan mission. People often forget that the Liberals increased spending 12% per year since 2000.

I'm pretty patient though, so I'd give him a 6 out of 10 so far. Another GST cut, income splitting, 1 securities regulator, capital tax cuts, maybe increasing RRSP limits would all be nice to see in the next budget.