Canadian Dopers: The PMs address to the Nation tonight

Ok so he’s not resigning and he’s not disolving Parliment so what the hell is this supposed to be?

To me, Paul Martin seems to be using public air time to be doing what he supposed to be doing the The House of Commons. Explain what is going on. Are the liberals that frightened to face the music that they can’t even face the opposition and answer their questions.

Any other ideas what tonights little schpeel is supposed to accomplish?

It might be to help his position if/when the election comes. I think he’s wants to essentially convey: “Look Canada, I want the inquiry to finish before there is an election. If parliment dissolves before that, remember which rat-finks are responsible and think kindly of me at the polls. I’m the good guy trying to get to the bottom of this mess.”

You mean like an opening campaign speech…

This leaves me even more unimpressed with the man… I swear if he says he’s the one to clean courruption and keep the country together I’ll need a new TV to replace the one I’ll be hurling my shoes at.

Yeah, but of course he won’t come out and say it explicitly. His speaking to the public directly will demonstrate that he is commited to transparency and accountability. we will remember that he humbled himself before us and asked for our forgiveness and understanding.

I can see it now during the campaign:

Harper,Layton,Duceppe : " … Liberal lies … Liberal corruption …"
Martin : “I called for the inquiry, I went before the people of Canada to ask them to give me a chance to clean up the party, to root out the bad apples. Why could you not wait until the inquiry was over? Do you prefer allegations to facts? Perhaps the corruption is not as deep as you want the public to believe. I am completely innocent in these matters as Gomery will show, but you didn’t want that to come out before the election.”

Of course, that only works to a limited degree and seems likely to get only thsoe who would otherwise support him on board. Politicians abuse the spoken word so often that theirs means little when and if they mean it.

As a non-Canadian, I of course have little direct interest, and despite my conservative leanings I don’t have a real preference between parties in Canada (if I lived there, different story), so take my words with a sack of salt.

Martin’s a horrifically bad public speaker when he isn’t in front of a partisan audience, so we’ll see.

However, he doesn’t really have to say much. His job at this point is to do two things:

  1. Look like a leader, so his own party doesn’t implode, and
  2. Sooth Ontario voters who don’t trust him but are willing to swing back to the Liberals with a little bit of I-wanna-get-to-the-bottom-of-this and Harper’s-The-Devil, which worked last year and will work again.

Those predicting the Conservatives would win a majority are insane. I’d consider a Conservative minority to be an amazing accomplishment right now. Without a real opposition leader - I’m sorry, but Stephen Harper is about as dynamic and exciting as an old grey sock - too many Ontarains will vote Liberal as a default choice.

All Martin has to do is placate those voters with some vague platitudes. He doesn’t have to really say anything, but he has to say something, if you know what I mean. NOT saying anything would just make people more suspicious; saying “Let’s wait for Gomery to finish the job” will give enough Ontario voters an easy rationalization for voting Liberal again that he’d squeak out another minority.

Not that that’s a good thing, it’s a bad thing. I’m probably closer to being Liberal politically than Conservative, and even I hope the C’s win, because it’s really, really bad for a country to be led by the same party in perpetuity. Adscam is a symptom, not a disease.

Is it just me or does it look like Paul Martin has aged 10 years in last 6 months?

RickJay, I think your political analysis is astute. If you also have a talent for accepting wads of cash stuffed in envelopes, there is a party with some positions that are suddenly vacant. :slight_smile:

I generally agree with this. I’m to the point myself where I think a Tory minority for a while might be a good thing, or at least a less bad thing than the status quo. And I am a long, long way from the Tories politically. But do you really think the Tories are going to do so poorly in Ontario? They’re polling ahead of the Liberals at the moment, which I would have thought would give them at least ~50 seats in the province. That’s easily enough to get them into government. I just did a little calculating, and with modest gains in the Atlantic provinces and even more modest gains out west, I get to 134 seats assuming 50 in Ontario. That would push the Liberals down to ~80 assuming further Bloc gains in Quebec and a half dozen extra seats for the NDP.

As for this address, I can’t imagine what it could possibly be aside from a partisan appeal for support, in which case it damn well doesn’t belong on public airwaves without equal time for the Opposition. I can’t imagine what he thinks he’s going to gain.

I have a sinking feeling that if he gets his hold off of an election until after the publication of the report Ontario will let the Liberals come back.

I am disgusted that he addressed the nation in such a way. We have a Parlimentary system, The House of Commons is there for the Prime minister to make this speech in. If he is afraid to face the opposition and the direct questioning he is no man to lead the country.

Unfortunately many of my fellow Ontarians are too frightened of the Conservatives to abandon this filthy party. I hope for a Conservative minority and a chance that all the lead Liberal members get turffed allowing for them to restructure, but I doubt it will happen.

I already have heard Liberal apologists going on about how courrupt the Mulroney governement was and there was no real inquiry. They are at a loss when I explain that the voting public took care of that when they all but obliterated them back in the 92 (93?) election. The Liberals need the same sort of backlash to get them to get themselves reorganized.

I don’t like Layton but if a Liberal government is re elected they will take it as a sign of their devine right to lead. For me better the Devil you don’t know then the one digging around your pockets.

Make that Harper… I can’t vote for Layton he reminds me too much of Tobias from Arrested development

  1. Arguably the worst defeat in a national election in the history of Western civilization.

Even I might be tempted to let the Conservatives if Stronach was at the head of it. She seems to be one of the few (OK, one of the four) Conservatives who didn’t just emerge from the stone age on Equality for Gays and Lesbians… But of course, we have Mr. “Notwithstanding” instead…

So, if the Conservatives bring down the Government, the NDP has my vote… Unless the Cons have a chance in my riding - which they don’t… (And since those of us outside the country get to vote in our last riding, I get to vote in Ontario)

And to clarify, I’d vote the Libs back in before I’d vote Conservative…

So the strategy is going to be stall, buy time, and hope by the time an election is called in a year Canadians have forgotten all about this.

It’s probably a good strategy. Sigh.

Let’s not be too quick to forget the last election–and how wrong those polls were. Not two weeks before the vote, the polls showed a majority for Harper and look where that got us.

And anyone that suggests a Conservative minority is a good thing is out of the minds. I’d rather give Harper the majority than hand the country over to the Bloc.

To defend Martin and counter the OP, I think the address was a good idea. You can sit there and say he should be using the House, but have you ever watched question period? I have watched it and there is nothing to be learned. The reality is that no one else does, except for the snippets and sound bites that the news media determines are scandalous.

My take on this is that Adscam was a massive screwup by the Liberals, but that all of the criminal action happened at a sub-party level, to the effect that the same thing can/has/will happen to any party. We’ve already been through an election where Harper repeated “Liberals are corrupt” over and over and over again, it didn’t work, and Harper knows this. Nobody listens when one politician calls another corrupt

He really went downhill since he stopped being Finance Minister–perhaps the Bloc have been poisoning him…I think I’m going to start that rumour.

As crooked as the Quebec Liberals are, Mulroney was much,much worse, and all in Quebec as well. At least Martin got started on paying down the debt & slow spending and our dollar and the economy snapped right back. Well, let’s see - Clinton & the Democrats did that in the U.S. and the Liberals in Canada while the Republicans and Conservatives spent wildly, ruined the currency (or kept it a mess) and the economy. The decision will be hard but no matter who is in office, Quebec will ALWAYS be corrupt. It always has had corruption and always will. Hopefully, the country will break up completely and Ontario will become a kind of Singapore (already produces more cars than Michigan) & without a National govt sucking down 100’s of billions and welfare provinces begging for shipments of money (to oil rich places like Alberta and Newf esp), Ontario will learn to fly.

The thing is, this mess hasn’t been taken care of. To use Rickjay’s analogy, the symptom, not the disease, was treated. The house cleaning of 12 years ago just brought in a whole new bunch of fresh faces to abuse the system.

Paul Martin lost my vote long ago and, last night, he lost any hope he may have had at winning it back. What he should have done was introduce proposed legislation aimed at preventing these abuses in the future. Things like enhanced whistleblower legislation, greater transparency in the awarding of government contracts, maybe establish independant watchdogs, etc. Martin’s plea for more time was just pathetic.

What Canada needs is a charimatic leader with an over-arching vision to bridge the divides that are becoming increasingly evident. Tragically, I see absolutely nobody in the current political landscape who even remotely matches these characteristics. This situation and attitudes such as those of twelvericepaddies make me weep for my country.

You know, we need a rule of thumb when more than three stupid things said in a single post cause a little flag to be waved.

  1. Quebec is no more corrupt than anywhere else unless we’ve all forgotten the various bizarre happenings in BC.
  2. Ontario generates a surplus to the federal (~20 billion not 100’s), but so does Alberta and BC.

numbers taken from here

  1. Alberta has been a “have province” for quite a while now and likely the old timers out there would object to Ontario wringing its hands over provincial welfare. They likely consider the old NEP as a welfare plan that was crafted specifically for central Canada.
  2. Newfoundland has only just begun exploitation of its natural resources. You can object to the method by which they manage to maintain equalization payment and reap oil revenues but they’re hardly rich.