Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Few Desultory Thoughts on Ignatieff's Clunky Spin Cycle

So, who is the spin doctor in the Liberal camp who came up with this horrible strategy? Hmm? And why is Iggy stubbornly playing it out for full Chicken Little effect? Just a hint guys -- there are no bonus points to be won from the ordinary Canadian voter if you are perceived to be riding the recession for political gain, all the while insisting that's not what you're doing. In fact, that advice holds true for all party leaders.

Be honest? Of course. Be straightforward? You betcha. Be forward-looking and reassuring? Please. Be a 'worst-case-scenario'-monger? Never. Be cynically manipulative and hyper partisan? Go to hell!

But also, be sure that those people on the international stage who are 'in-the-know', and who neither have a dog in this race nor a partisan axe to grind, actually agree with you.

What if it turns out that they don't agree with you? What if they actually agree with the other guy that you loathe? What if the international press is actually seeking out face-time with the other guy while you're still washing the egg off of your face?

And what if the National Post runs an editorial like this one?

By way of background, let's review just some of the recent praise for
Canada by people lacking Mr. Ignatieff's political agenda.

As leaders gathered in London for an economic summit this week, the BBC's economics editor identified Canada as the "Best prepared country going into the crisis." Canada, she noted, has had fewer bailouts than any other country --i. e., none.

Meanwhile, Britain's Financial Times noted that of the seven institutions in the world still considered worthy of a triple-A Moody's credit rating, two are Canadian banks. Canada's five biggest banks now rank in the world's top 50.

No one is pretending Canada is untouched by the financial meltdown triggered on Wall Street, but almost any of the other leaders in London would have happily switched places with Mr. Harper. The World Economic Forum has declared Canada's banking system the world's soundest, while placing Germany in 39th spot, the United States at 40 and Britain at 44, behind El Salvador and Peru.

Maybe it's time to rethink the spin.


Toronto Real Estate Agent said...

Mr. Harper sure is gaining a lot of credit for how Canada has dealt with this crisis, but I would give the most credit to the banks. They did a surprisingly good job at keeping up with the crisis. We're lucky to have the economy we have, although job loses have been huge.

Take care, Julie

Osh said...

You're right, Julie.

Things could have gone a lot worse for Canada. And we're not nearly out of the woods yet. But to hear some describe it -- from CBC, to the Economic Council of Canada, to the Centre for Policy Alternatives, to the opposition leaders themselves -- you'd think we we had landed back in 1932. So far, the economic numbers haven't been as awful as the recession of 1991 (touch wood), let alone the Great Depression.

And yes, past federal governments of both stripes deserve their share of the credit for creating, structuring, and refining the "most stable banking system in the world."