Tuesday, 14 August 2012

"Positive" Pallister

Brian Pallister speaking to seniors in
Grunthal, Manitoba.

Image Source: Dawson Trail Dispatch
The purportedly positive Pallister is now effectively campaigning for the Premiership. This is his chance to declare his positive vision for Manitoba. As we all know (or not), Pallister utterly disfavours the negative, "dirty" campaigning of people like Greg Selinger or Barack Obama.

In speaking about what an awful, dirty, political age we live in to a small crowd Pallister claimed that Obama was "smearing" US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. How so? What was the smear? In the video clip of Pallister talking to people I've seen he doesn't specify.

US Republican Party Presidential
candidate hasn't released multiple
years of tax returns.

Is pointing this out, as Obama has done,
"smearing the poor guy" - to
use Pallister's words?

Image Source: Wikipedia
Is pointing out that a candidate continually refuses to release their tax returns, an indisputable fact, a "smear"? It's odd, because Pallister claims that the Obama camp wasn't using "data, research, or fact". The oddness comes in because Romney's refusal to release multiple years of his tax returns is a fact, as is his Swiss Bank Account and money in the Cayman Islands. Those are the lines of attack the Obama re-election campaign is using.

When not aiming his righteous indignation at someone popular in this country - including the prairies - Pallister's commentary is closer to home.

We just saw the NDP insinuate and smear and belittle and bully throughout the last election. It was a shameful thing to watch.  
 I ask you this, can we not ... can we not conduct ourselves as people who have respect for other people? Can we not lead the way in behaving as if our children were here, watching us, every step of the way?  
 When we debate in the house, when we are on the hustings, when we are fighting for votes, we must remember that, despite the fact we do not respect the NDP's job that they've done or their record, they are people too. 
 Greg Selinger has two daughters, as do I. I will not ... I will not denigrate the man. [My emphasis added] ]But I will unhesitatingly go after his record on FACTS, on DATA, on RESEARCH.  
 (Crowd applauds) 
 We win that way. 
 (Brian Pallister, speaking to supporters - on or before June 13, 2012)
Now, what data-driven, rock-solidly researched, factual charges has Pallister leveled against the NDP? Well, he's...

  • Blamed the NDP for Manitoba's status as a half-not province by stating that Manitoba really is a "have" province with a "have-not" government. This, by the way, is pretty damn hard to prove or disprove and so approaches the "McFadyen may want to privatize Hydro" territory.

    Rightwing Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck has called the Pallister talking point a "tired line", stating "We're definitely not a "have province". Brodbeck went on to state that "...I get that Pallister is just trying to borrow a page out of a banking commercial and give us the 'you’re richer than you think' treatment while taking a partisan shot at his political opponents."
  • Wrote an article for the Winnipeg Sun that was styled as a "job evaluation" of "Greg S." (Pallister's cutesy and unnecessary abbreviation of Premier Greg Selinger's name). The op-ed OMITTED clear FACTS, like the global financial downtown and deficit-spending as part of a countercyclical fiscal policy. It seemed to insinuate that, rather than being largely the result of macroeconomic forces, that the deficit was mainly the fault of excessive spending by "Greg S". This claim certainly indicates sloppy research on team Pallister's part, given that most governments - including the federal CON gov't he left during the year of the financial meltdown - also experienced larger than usual deficits.

    The op-ed also contains this indictment:

    He ["Greg S."] is unwilling to accept personal responsibility and has a tendency to place blame elsewhere.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sure as hell sounds like denigrating the man.
  • Criticized the part of Bill C-33 (which certainly has some nasty sections) that changed the election timing.  

    The Selinger government wants to spare Manitobans the prospect of living through simultaneous federal and provincial election campaigns in the fall of 2015.

    It introduced legislation Thursday to move the province's fixed election date. Rather than heading to the polls on Oct. 6, 2015, Manitobans would be voting for their next provincial government on April 19, 2016 -- 41/2 years into the NDP's mandate.

    Government House Leader Jennifer Howard said the province will stick with the original October date if Ottawa backs away from plans to hold its election that fall. (The now-scheduled federal vote would be less than two weeks after the provincial one.) But so far, the Harper Tories haven't indicated they will budge from that timeline.

    Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's government has already passed similar legislation to avoid the conflict with the next federal election. Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories are also in the same bind.


    "They can't give themselves another six months in office," Pallister said. "They didn't run on that mandate." (my emphasis added)

    But Howard said the move has nothing to do with extending the NDP's reign. "It's not unusual for a political party in Manitoba to have a 41/2-year term," she said. "This term will be 41/2 years. The last term was 41/2 years. The last two terms of the Filmon government was 41/2 years. It's not unusual."

    ("Bill would avoid election overlap" Larry Kusch (May 18, 2012). Winnipeg Free Press.) 
Now, I don't know about you, but the horror of a whole half year to avoid overlapping elections doesn't seem like a big issue. But maybe that's me. Maybe this is the type of deep, profound, principled issue Pallister will run with to victory - yeah to accountability! How dare those evil Dippers - led by "Greg S." ! - give themselves a term half a year less than the five year max.

Former Royal Canadian Mint head
David Dingwall, whose expenses
were the subject of parliamentary

As an MP, Pallister had these lines about
him & the questions for the
then Liberal gov't

Mr. Speaker, we don't need no information
We're in charge of thought control
Fine wines with caviar in the back room
Hey Tories, leave those Grits alone
All in all, it's just another ding in the wall

Clearly not denigrating the man, eh?
Pallister later faced his own
"entitlements" controversy.

Image Source: CBC
Brian Pallsiter is trying to frame himself as a serious, honourable man with the big ideas to move Manitoba forward. That's what his whole "Aim Higher" motto is about. The problem to this self-styled champion of seriousness and civility in Manitoba politics is his record: Pallister was ruled out of order by the speaker of the House of Commons for botching Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall, Part Two" song to mock David Dingwall and the Liberal Party. Low blow denigrations of the man - such as puns based on Dingwall's name - were included. 

The Manitoba PC leader's record and current practice make it obviously clear that he's not above denigrating the person. Brian Pallister is all about taking the other side down, whether he's running as the anti-Dingwall/Liberal entitlement candidate (while taking advantage of generous entitlements of his own) or when running as "Not the NDP".

What this thoroughly regressive Conservative has always lacked is a broad-based positive vision to move Canada and Manitoba forward. It looks like he's going to sit back and just take swipes at the NDP while giving some Pollyanna talk about how he's going to "cut spending" without hurting services. This might just be enough to get him into the Premiership, though, especially if there's a second dip in the global economy before next election.

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  1. What a goof. Nice writing though.

    1. "What a goof."

      You can say that again.

  2. So you denigrate Palliser over and over and criticize him for not presenting sources for his quotes or facts which is the exact same thing you do in this post.

    You really are a hypocritical POS, aren't you?

    1. How the fuck could you read my post and miss all the data, facts, & research incorporated within it? Have you had your reading comprehension skills tested lately?