The election is going to slide soon. I feel it in my achy joints:
- You have these words of Mr. Harper from 1997 popping up again:
Bilingualism is largely propaganda, Mr. Harper tells the group. Canada "is basically an English-speaking country," he says. In describing Canada's political system, he says the New Democrats are worse than a party of liberal Democrats. "The NDP is kind of proof that the devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men." And on the Progressive Conservatives -- the party that amalgamated with his Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party -- he points out they were "in favour of gay rights officially, officially for abortion-on-demand."
- In the campaign plane heading to Vancouver yesterday you have him saying these sorts of things:
Harper suggested that most provincial and territorial leaders "hate" Martin with the notable exception of McGuinty. "And I wouldn't want him behind my back," joked the Tory leader, an apparent reference to the problems McGuinty has caused to Martin over the past two years...But, he said, he is bracing for an onslaught of attacks on himself and the party in the three weeks leading up to the Jan. 23 vote. While that worked in 2004, Harper said he doesn't believe the Liberal strategy of personally demonizing him will be successful this time. Declining to discuss specifics, he said the Tories have a strategy to "blunt" the expected Liberal attacks. "Wait and see," he said.
- Meanwhile, Jack Layton is not that complimentary over how relations with the US have been brought into the election:
Mr. Layton, meanwhile, said it's not [US ambassador] Mr. Wilkins, but Mr. Martin who should be blamed. "Canadians have known that Liberals will say anything in an election to get elected. I think now the ambassador has discovered the same thing," he said in Burnaby, B.C.Mr. Layton said the Liberal Leader can't lecture the United States on greenhouse gas reductions because Canada has done "much worse" than the Americans under the Liberals' watch. "He talks about the global conscience. Where is his? The fact is, he's electioneering. He'll say anything to get elected and whipping up the rhetoric against [U.S. President] George Bush is very easy to do. The problem is he hasn't delivered the goods."