Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Payback is a - well, you know.

The Tory ads attacking Stephane Dion have been labelled weak and amateurish. They're also stupid.

As the Toronto Star points out, using criticisms levelled by rivals in a leadership campaign, might leave Harpie in line for some nasty payback.

On Stephen:

Tony Clement, now Harper's health minister, had this to say about the boss in February 2004, when the two were rivals for the leadership of the newly merged Conservative party.

"Stephen ... you've been on the record as a wall-builder. I want to be on the record as a bridge-builder," Clement said during a leadership debate broadcast on CBC Newsworld.

Clement expressed this fear about a party led by Harper: "We cannot be an extreme party. We cannot be a party that is speaking to one part of the country."

Calgary MP Diane Ablonczy remains excluded from Harper's cabinet, though most observers expected Harper to lean on her for experience and female representation. Could it be that Harper remembers snippets like this from the 2001-2002 leadership for the old Canadian Alliance?

"I believe where he would take us is back to the NDP of the right," Ablonczy said in a February 2002 leadership debate.

To Harper directly, Ablonczy chided him on his personality: "You are not going to be able to work constructively with people with that kind of attitude," she said at that same debate.

Stockwell Day was also at that debate, fighting to keep his job as Alliance leader against the Harper challenge. He lost, but he's now public safety minister. Back in 2002, he had some worries about Harper's attitude, too – specifically, his reputation for walking away when things got tough in the old Reform party.

He told Harper at that debate that many MPs "still wonder why you quit and left the caucus in the lurch and left (former Reform party leader) Preston Manning very vulnerable and left the separatists to be the Official Opposition."

There's plenty more out there. If nothing else, it shows just how cheesy, how contemptible the Tories are willing to become.

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