Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday notes

A few items noticed from the last day or so even while events in Egypt are transfixing the world...

1. More of that great thing the Conservatives have going on, government funding of the pre-election campaign: "Minister Ashfield Wraps Up National Tax-Cuts Tour." Keith Ashfield spread the joy of corporate tax cuts to Fredericton, Miramichi, Campbellton and Dartmouth. The tour also touched down in Oshawa and Saskatoon. No word if commemorative t-shirts will be available.

The release is on both the government site and Marketwire, the expensive news release service that has become an ordinary expense for this carefree spending government.

2. See if this sequence makes sense...

11:51 ET Jan 27, 2011: Media Advisory: Minister Clement to Discuss Participation at the World Economic Forum.

1:48 PM EST Jan 27, 2011: Globe report on Scott Brison meeting at World Economic Forum with UAE Foreign Minister, highlighting willingness of UAE minister to talk with Canadian government.

17:49 ET, Jan 27, 2011: Media Advisory/CANCELLED: Minister Clement to Discuss Participation at the World Economic Forum.

Jan 28, 2011 10:19 ET: Industry Minister Tony Clement Carries Canada's Economic Message to the World Economic Forum, the print release in which Clement is noted to have met with the following leaders:
During his participation at the World Economic Forum, the Minister also met with senior government officials from a number of Canadian trade partners, including Germany and the United States, and with and senior business representatives from international companies such as Barrick Gold Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc., among others.
He was perfectly willing and able, it seems, to meet with government officials from Canadian trade partners. He just didn't want to take any questions on who he didn't meet with or wasn't willing to engage with.

3. Yesterday's yanking by the Conservative party of Thursday's attack ads should not pass unnoted. The calibre of disapproval the ads received was striking:
Among other things, the ads were slammed as dishonest, unethical, "a clumsy hatchet job," and the work of "drunken frat boys."
No matter the spin from the Conservatives to the effect that essentially any press coverage that continues to talk about the ads is a positive, it just doesn't add up. Too many bad headlines. It was a misfire showing Conservative judgment to be off. The musings that Harper didn't approve/he was out of the country? Hard to believe the micro-manager didn't know what ads would be released. He has a record of making bad decisions while out of the country (approving the plan to excommunicate Mulroney from the Conservative family while overseas; G8 in Italy, the unfounded tearing into Michael Ignatieff, for e.g.). And...maybe the talk about a need for increased levels of civility in Canadian politics is gaining some traction and we just saw a mini-trial run. We shall see going forward.