Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Blogging Blue is Panicking over the Reynolds Retirement and the SSM Ads

I discussed these two events yesterday just scroll down to take a look at them from my perspective, which is rather serenely calm. Northern Wish over at Blogging Blue is seeking to weave the two events into a rather pessimistic pattern. He sees it as the departure of one of Harper's staunchest allies and thus some sort of admission of failure by a Conservative heavy weight. He also seems spooked by an article in the CanWest papers that parroted a press release from the Candian Labour Federation and a few "rights" groups attacking the same sex ads. I really think he's reading way too much into this. Reynolds is not as young as he once was and hence probably figures its time for him to pass the torch to younger hands. My comment was as follows -

Northern Wish,

At the moment I think you're taking bits of informations that are coincidentally timed and straining to weave them together into some sort of factual pattern, when they are simply coincidental bits of information.

In this context I think Freud's cautionary statement that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" should be headed.

Is John Reynolds quitting over same sex marriage - no not very likely. You seem to be neglecting the fact that John Reynolds has been in politics since 1972, furthermore, Reynolds is 63 and if an election was held a year or two from now would be sitting until he's almost 70.

Politics is very taxing upon members of parliament, at least those whom strive to perform to the best of their ability. In John's case it involves flying across two thirds of the country with great frequency and long hours. He is not nearly as young as he used to be, and a great many people his age ponder retirement and spending more time with their grand children.Furthermore, as a man who's spent 30 years in the trenches for Conservatives in Canada, he's done more than his part and he deserves a break.

And while you impute his motive as being that he's outraged or dispirited over the running of the same-sex marriage adds. Neither you or I have any way of knowing his mind. I however, offer the alternative that I do not think after so long and deep a commitment to Conservatism that John Reynolds would be stepping aside unless he thought the party and the movement were in good hands.

Furthermore, it seems terribly premature to declare our ad campaign a failure. Reacting to an acticle written on a slow news day which parots the opposition of one conservative organizer in BC whom no conservative I've spoken too has previously heard of, as well as the usual list of culprits - government funded left wing organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress, and Human Rights commisions, is defeatist in tone.

When has the Canadian Labour Congress or any of the Human Rights Commissions ever said anything good about the Conservative Party, the Canadian Alliance Party, the Reform Party or the Progressive Conservative Party? Being condemned in a press release by leftist groups should either produce a yawn, or simply encourage our actions as those who oppose us obviously feel threatened by the tactic.

Needless to say I think your way off base with this one.


At 6:57 a.m., Blogger northernwish said...

From bloggingblue: I'd like to thank Chris from Striving Against Oppression for his comments on my post about CPC House Leader John Reynold's decision to step aside.

Clearly, he thinks I'm off base by suggesting that Reynold's departure is a sign of difficult things to come for Harper. He suggests Reynold's departure is likely little more than a 7o-year old man looking to leave a long life in the political wasteland that can be the Opposition benches. He advises (perhaps wisely) to heed Freud's "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," approach and suggests that I shouldn't assume Reynold's departure is at all connected to Harper's SSM ad campaign.

By way of response, I'd just like to say I never meant to suggest that Reynold's decision to leave was directly connected to Harper's SSM ad campaign. If anything, I'd expect Reynold's to have been supportive. I only mentionned the issue as an example of a situation where Reynold's steadfast support for Harper's leadership and his unique way of cultivating caucus support would have helped to smooth over caucus divisions.

(On a seperate note, I don't think I'm so off-base by suggesting that Harper's decision to run these ads and step up the party's opposition to the SSM legislation is hurting more than its helping. Between caucus dissent on how the campaign was handled, to the ensuing disatisfaction from people like Don Martin, traditionally supportive of Harper's stance, added to the fact that I'm still not sure who we're trying to appeal to on this issue all leads me to believe this was a political misstep.)

I also suggested that, as far as I was concerned, Reynold's stepping aside for health concerns or a desire for time away from the power of the halls of Parliament just doesn't add up. I stand by this. Everything I know about John, both personally and professionally tells me that this just doesn't make complete sense. This is a man who placed a heavy premium on power and the extent of his influence; Reynolds is a true backroom boy, the kind of guy who'd like to go out smoking, strategezing and drinking Scotch.

Anyway, there's still plenty of time for me to proven wrong on this one. I happen to think its just a little early yet.

Thanks again for your comments Chris. Be sure to keep checking back.


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