Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Harper furious and other campaign notes

1. I second BCL on this one. Particularly in the wake of Bob Fife's report on CTV last night since the Harper people seemed to feel the need to put the word out that Harper is "furious" that Sebastien Togneri, the former Conservative political staffer for Christian Paradis who is now under RCMP investigation, was working on the campaign in Edmonton-Strathcona. Furious is a strong word. If he doesn't tolerate those under RCMP investigation working on campaigns, then the same level of fury should apply to any others facing, say, Elections Act charges who might be working on his campaign at HQ in Ottawa.

The Edmonton Journal is pursuing the story: "Time for Tory candidate to take responsibility for aide: Ryan Hastman's credibility on line over Togneri affair.""No one believes a former senior ministerial official is just hammering a couple of signs together, in the dark, wearing sweatpants and off-gassing Tim Hortons coffee and feeling guilty about his past transgressions." It strains credulity that the national campaign didn't have some hand in this, given Togneri used to work for Giorno, Harper's former chief of staff who's running the national campaign. Money and staffers from across the country are flooding it. 

2. Senator Catastrophic Pay Cut aka Larry Smith may have fired up the gaffe-meter in Lac St. Louis. He said this in Le Devoir yesterday:
Larry Smith ajoute même son grain de sel dans ce débat délicat en affirmant que Gilles Duceppe représente la vieille garde aux yeux de la jeune génération des 25-40 ans, même en ce qui a trait à la langue. «Ce qui est important, c'est le monde, pas la protection des francophones au Québec», a-t-il dit en français.
May have more backfire implications for other Conservatives in Quebec, moreso than Smith, with Lac St. Louis being largely English speaking. Still, notable for him and he's one to watch given we're just a few days in. Hopefully this is not the last we hear from him.

3. Another country worried about F-35 costs, raising questions about Canada's proposed purchase and also the future of the global supply chain all the jobs claims are based upon. In addition to that unnamed country, Turkey has also put its order of 100 on hold indefinitely. Canada's position on the F-35 just continues to make less and less sense.

4. Did someone say coalition?

Ridiculous sounding on its own for the silly repetitiveness but especially given Harper's past words from 1997 and 2004 that are haunting him on the campaign trail. Seems like a real blast, that rally. Here's a better one.