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Prepping the Troops

October 11, 2007

With the Throne Speech coming up next Tuesday, and the possibility of an election with it, both the NDP and the Liberals are preparing.

Today I received emails from both the NDP and the Liberals, asking for money to fight an election. Now, people who receive these type of e-mails know that they are full of over-the-top partisan rhetoric and some creative truth stretching (and I say that for both parties!).

However, I think that the differences in messages between the Liberals and the NDP is telling. Very telling.

Before I say my comments: I’ll give you the source material so you can come to your own conclusions. The Liberal can be found here, the NDP here, and my comments here.


Hello NBCD,

My name’s Garth Turner, and as a former lifelong Conservative, I know Stephen Harper better than most people. Like Tom Flanagan, I know where he’s headed.

Flanagan has been Mr. Harper’s main strategist for years, and his new book – which I’ve just finished – should be required reading for all Canadians worried about honesty and truth in government.

It confirms a concept called ‘incremental Conservativism’ – a plan for a right-wing government to hoodwink voters by making popular, moderate promises and then, once in majority, to unleash a pure, hardcore fundamentalist agenda.

Why would Tom Flanagan admit this in print? Because he’s telling Mr. Harper’s social conservative supporters to be patient, to lie in the weeds, and wait for unsuspecting Canadians to give this minority government a majority mandate.

My opposition to this agenda that the majority of my constituents do not want is what drove me from the Conservative caucus. I joined Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party to stand up for the agenda of tolerance and moderation and ethics in Ottawa. And now we need you.

All Canadians need to be told what the stakes are in the next election. That takes money, and your small donation will help get that message out. It is so important.
Mr. Harper and Mr. Flanagan have this all figured out. You and I and Stephane Dion stand in their way. Please take the time to donate, and give us the weapons to fight for the best interests of Canada.

Garth Turner, MP


You know that it’s just a matter of time before Stephen Harper’s Conservative government falls. With a confidence vote on Harper’s Throne Speech next Tuesday, we could be in an election as early as next week.

With his leadership in crisis, Stéphane Dion and the Liberals are looking inward, focusing on internal strife – they’re in no position to stand up to the Conservatives.

So it’s up to Jack Layton and New Democrats like you and I to take on Harper.

I’m writing to ask you to make a generous pre-campaign donation right now. I need your help to ensure the NDP is election-ready before this crucial confidence vote.

Stephen Harper will be using the Throne Speech vote to secure a mandate that is wrong for today’s families.

With money in the bank, the corporate-backed Conservatives are ready for an election. Harper is betting that the opposition will be intimidated into giving him a free pass.

It’s time for the other parties to show their cards. Who will stand up to Stephen Harper’s agenda?

Jack Layton has been clear. If Stephen Harper continues to take Canada in the wrong direction, we’ll stand in our places and vote against him – and face him in an election if we have to.

Now your pre-election donation can ensure that Jack Layton is ready to go toe-to-toe with Stephen Harper in a campaign as early as next week.

Jack Layton is providing leadership for everyday Canadians as the effective opposition to Stephen Harper. The NDP is united. Our recent Quebec breakthrough has given us strong momentum across Canada. And you can be assured that your NDP Caucus will vote based on our shared NDP principles and our commitment to:

  • Ending the combat mission in Afghanistan;
  • Tackling climate change; and
  • Closing the gap between the rich and working families.

Your Caucus is doing their part to stand up for average Canadians. Let’s do ours by ensuring that Jack Layton has the resources to take on Harper in an election as early as next week. The Throne speech is next Tuesday, please act today.

Éric Hébert-Daly
NDP Election Headquarters

My Comments

So basically, both messages are the same in that they are trying to rally the troops for an election and get the donation taps running.

But look at the Liberal one. “Why should one vote Liberal”, it says? “Because the Conservatives are scary and planning something”. Basically, its the hidden agenda argument. And might I remind you that the hidden agenda tactic failed in 2006 and will fail even more in the next election. I mean, Harper and the Conservative have been government for how long now? Time to face it, something like this is not going to happen.

And beside prevent the hidden agdena, what are the Liberals going to do for me if they get elected? It doesn’t say.

The NDP message, while having its own stupidities (“With money in the bank, the corporate-backed Conservatives are ready for an election“. Has somebody looked at the election laws and fundrasing numbers lately?) seems to work better (then again, I’m partisan). It acknowledges that Harper is taking the country in the wrong direction while not going overboard. Yet at the same time, it says why one should vote NDP instead of against the Conservatives.

In the end, it seems that the NDP is quite simply, the effective opposition against the Conservatives. Which is good, because we need one; Harper’s not going to wait until the Liberals figure out how to get their stuff together.

  1. Jan Johnstone
    October 11, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    That’s what I see is the difference in the messages. Liberals run a “fear card” again which they always do. This just happen in the liberal election and we see that it worked, but than Tory was stupid and ran on faith-based funding. Harper is not stupid.
    So we have the classic liberal pitch – the hordes are at the door, better elect us to do something to stop them.
    Our message was better.

  1. November 1, 2007 at 7:43 pm
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