Thursday, March 22, 2012
A good piece by socialist, liberal conservative, libertarian Andrew Coyne. One of the recurring characters in Canadian politics is the devilish adversary who Wins Either Way, a spectre that can be relied upon to induce a state of near panic and hopelessness amongst his intended victims. At the height of his powers, for example, Lucien Bouchard was often said to possess this confounding genius. If the rest of Canada refused to yield to his demands for powers and money, he would use it to prove Confederation was a straitjacket from which Quebec had to escape. On the other hand, agree to his demands, and it would only show how pliable the rest of Canada would be in post-separation talks. He wins either way. Something of the same panicky sentiment seems to have taken root among some Liberals with regard to the Conservative war room. The mere unveiling of an attack ad on their interim-possibly-permanent leader, Bob Rae, has Liberals running about with their hands in the air. What do we do? What can we do? If we fail to respond, the Conservatives will swamp the airwaves with these ads, stamping Rae as a failed premier and incorrigible spendthrift before we’ve even elected him leader. But if we raise a lot of money to spend on ads defending him, we use up scarce party resources buffing Rae’s profile, to the detriment of other potential leadership candidates. Damn Stephen Harper! He wins either way.