Stephen Harper
2 min

Dawning of Day 10: static vs dynamic

It’s now Day 10; Stephen Harper is in St Catharines, Michael Ignatieff is in Halifax, and Jack Layton is in Toronto.

At his London rally yesterday, Harper repeated his same speech with the addition of his new fitness tax credit plan (not mentioning it wouldn’t kick in until at least 2015). He then went on to repeat mistruths on various topics, such as which groups apparently endorsed his budget (despite not actually doing so).

In contrast, Ignatieff presented almost entirely new material at a Halifax rally to a crowd of about 1,000 people. He immediately touted the platform, joked that the exam was in the morning and noted that it was the “program to turn this country around.” He touted his Halifax-Centre candidate, Dr Stan Kutcher, because of his respect for science as opposed to ideology. (Incidentally, Gilles Duceppe has been going on about how the current minister of state for science and technology is a creationist.) He continued by touting his platform planks on education, home and childcare, and pensions. He noted that, being half Scottish, he knows the value of money. He gave a shout-out to the new Conservative ad about the iPod tax that’s not in their platform; he said that he would make a deal with Harper – stop telling lies about the Liberals and we'll stop telling the truth about you.

And then he added some comprehensive local colour. Ignatieff spoke about Harper’s “culture of defeat” comments, saying that you can’t trust a man who doesn’t respect you. He brought up Harper’s record with respect to the Atlantic Accord (which will likely play a big part in his speech to a St John’s audience later today). He then discussed Joseph Howe, a pre-Confederation Nova Scotia premier who fought for freedom of the press and responsible government – a concept, he reminded the audience, that is the central part of our democratic tradition. Though Halifax Chronicle Herald journalist Steve Maher noted that the speech was deft for the local audience, he also noted that Howe was fiercely anti-Confederation in his day.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives put out a new attack ad yesterday with a new tagline: “Ignatieff. Higher prices. Higher taxes. Higher spending.”

Their proof? The so-called “iPod tax." The Liberals didn’t support it, the vote cited as evidence didn’t specifically mention said levy and the party came out against it that day. But hey, details.

Paul Martin, one of the architects of the Liberals' 1993 Red Book, gives his stamp of approval to this year’s platform.

Copyright expert Michael Geist also gives the Liberals props on their digital strategy in the platform.

Oh, look – Bruce Carson had even more fraud convictions than previously known, and yes, the PMO knew of them before he was hired. And the government quietly went to the Federal Court to muzzle the Military Police Complaints Commission over Afghan detainees? Will we see the return of these two issues on the campaign trail?

And the CBC has a fact-check video on Harper’s claims that the per-vote subsidy is the reason we have so many elections. Hint: the claim scored a “fail.”

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