Voxeljet, a 3D printing company in Germany, created three 1:3 scale models of the rare DB5. Each model was made from 18 separate components that were assembled much like a real car. The massive VX4000 printer could have cranked out a whole car, but the parts method created models with doors and hoods that could open and close.
“We made a decision — and I take responsibility, I am the leader of the party — we decided to play safe, not to lose, and we ended up doing so. It was a campaign focused on saying what’s wrong with the other path without saying clearly what our alternative was going to be.”
So Mr Hudak, why did it take you a year to apologize for what happened? Quite a few of us spent the whole of 2011 practically screaming at you to say something substantive. We harangued you to speak and act like a conservative. Again and again you were told that in order to win power as a right of center politician you needed to be about something, not merely against someone. The Liberal Party can coast on its image of ersatz compassion and ethnic vote bribery. The Tories need to project a vision of the future of Ontario. You didn't do that. Not even close.
But you ignored us. The mouth breathing, knuckling dragging and unreconstructed Harrisites that you pandered to in the leadership campaign and then betrayed once elected. Ah, you were a professional politician and we were just crazy fanatics, unaware that "Ontario had changed" and we needed to change with it. You and your clever friends in the party HQ looked down on us ordinary right-wing folks, so crude and unsophisticated. We told you that defeat would be the reward for cowardice.
On behalf of many millions of my fellow Ontarians: We Told You So!
Now the Ken Doll of Ontario politics wants a second chance. He's promising that this time he'll be about something. He won't just wait for the Liberals to implode under the weight of their own lies and incompetence. No, he'll actually campaign! Perhaps, if he is feeling really frisky, as an actual conservative. Not just the pretend-Tory who mutters silly nonsense about chain gangs cleaning streets. He even vows to take on the public sector unions.
John Tory said the same thing after 2007. He failed to deliver. I don't have much hope for Timmy Hudak.
Dalton McGuinty was the lamest of lame duck premiers. This should have been an easy campaign. Remind the voters of what a lying spendthrift buffoon this guy has been, then present Ontarians with a moderate conservative vision for the future. Nothing too radical. Just a gradual reduction in spending to keep it in line with inflation, some red tap cutting and killing the Green energy boondoggles. You didn't even have to go that far to the Right. Just a gentle lean.
But you didn't.
The problem here is not so much Timmy Hudak himself, it's the phenomenon of the career politician. The bright young thing who goes into politics at twenty-two and expects to start collecting a pension before they hit fifty. They know nothing beyond the game. They are terrified of the real world and its deadlines and objective metrics. Having talked their way into a decent income and minor fame, they loath the idea of going into the obscurity and irrelevance of private life. Delivering a power point presentation doesn't have the same adrenaline rush as fighting through a media scrum.
In order to win you need to take risks. That includes the real possibility of losing. Can Timmy bear to lose? That's the question he needs to ask himself. If he can't bear losing, he won't have a chance of winning. Should he lose again more than his political career will be toast.
Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor was born on February 11, 1915 in London, one year into the world war that changed the face of Europe for ever. Within four months, the Lusitania had been torpedoed and the first Zeppelin air raids carried out over London. At his birth, the attendant good fairy seems to have been in a generous mood. She lavished on him striking good looks, a strong streak of imaginative creativity, physical vigour, a long and – despite an outsize addiction to both cigarettes and alcohol – largely healthy life (he died last year), linguistic skills well above the average, a phenomenal memory, daring courage, an outgoing and exuberant, almost Herodotean fascination with the oddities of the world (not least its more eccentric and obsolescent aristocracies), and an equally exuberant ability to charm a remarkably wide range of people, most notably (though far from exclusively) women.
And her approach gets more intriguing still. Like Trudeau, she lays claim to being “post-partisan – that is the notion that traditional definitions of left and right are outmoded and that the classical spectrum itself is obsolete. Unlike Trudeau — at least so far — she has clearly articulated what that can mean: cutting left of the NDP on social policy and right of the Conservatives on fiscal issues, in ways that neither can now manage because of their respective political baggage.
“There are issues where a majority of Canadians are traditionally more socially progressive, and yet absolutely we appreciate fiscal prudence,” Hall Findlay says. “Nobody wants a government to waste our taxes and nobody wants huge bloated government. We want it small but efficient.”
This poses an interesting strategic dilemma for Martha Hall Findlay. It is understood that she is probably a good 30 IQ points beyond Justin Trudeau, with a resume that could intimidate most CEOs, much less an ex-drama teacher. With this in mind, how does she stoop to conquer? Let's say she goes full attack. Ideas, rhetoric and the odd well timed photo-op. In one-on-one debate the odds are she could flatten Trudeau. But should she?
Destroying the Son and Heir might not be the smartest long-term strategy. Barring the unforeseen Justin will win. Martha, Deborah & Co are there as supporting players in the elevation of the Dauphin to his rightful place leading the nation. If Martha Hall Findlay or Deborah Coyne KO the once and future leader, the Tories are going to take the footage and play it again in 2015.
Justin's hysterical performance in denying separatist sympathies could easily be repeated a few times during the leadership campaign. A few awkward questions and his very low boiling point could be reached very quickly. In the 1980 American Presidential campaign some of the best material the Reagan team had was provided by Ted Kennedy in his quixotic bid against Jimmy Carter in the primaries. The Tory War Room is hoping that Justin trips on his tongue a few times, aided and abetted by his leadership opponents.
Playing the long game the best approach for Findlay might be to pull her punches. Make it clear to those in the party that she will be the brains of the Liberal revival and Justin will be the pretty face. There is the very slim chance that Martha could win. It's very slim as she has several notable disadvantages. Each of these disadvantages are, in truth, rather juvenile. So is modern politics:
1) She's too intelligent: People dislike voting for people who make them feel stupid. It's why Stephen Harper MA puts on the hockey dad routine. His usual speaking style is that of a chartered accountant at a Rotary convention. This is carefully practiced. The young Stephen Harper was far more wonky and showed far more disdain for those less able than himself. He learned that in mass politics you need to pander to the masses. Even Pierre Trudeau eventually learned this in time to win the 1974 election.
2) She's a middle aged woman: Wait? Isn't politics filled with ugly middle aged men? Many of them a few Timbits await from diabetes? Yes. But life is cruel to middle aged women whose faces must be plastered over TV screens and posters. Justin is about a decade younger than Martha Hall Findlay, but in some photographs the gap seems to be about twenty years. Some bad lighting, an awkward camera shot and she might look old enough to be his mother. This should not matter a wit. But ability, truth, intelligence and perseverance pale before shallow nonsense. Don't believe me? See the career of one Justin Trudeau.
3) She's a keener: The great Canadian electorate might tolerate an intelligent leader, but not one who rubs it in their face. Did you know that Martha Hall Findlay finished high school at 15? It's one of many line-items in her official website bio. She also had three kids while in law school. Many modern Canadian parents can barely control one kid much less three. Doing that while going to law school is a tad more difficult. Martha also likes mentioning just how accomplished she is. People really hate that. It reminds them of how little they have accomplished.
Envy, appearances and stupidity. Based on actual qualifications Findlay should cruise to the leadership. While only a one-term MP she can speak effectively, think on her feet and learn quickly. That she has no seat, a spurious objection raised by certain Liberal operatives, does not matter very much. Neither Brian Mulroney or Jean Chretien had seats in the House of Commons when they nabbed their respective party leaderships. Mulroney had just over a year to settle into the party leadership before fighting his first election. Papa Jean had three years. Leader Martha would have about two years.
What we will see between now and the convention in April is an indictment. An indictment of the Liberal Party as it revels in its intellectual bankruptcy. An indictment of the wider electorate who, as the polls are beginning to show, will focus their resentment of the Tory government by supporting the empty suit that is Justin Trudeau. I doubt that support will last very long. Martha might want to pull her punches for the good of the party and her future political career. Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair have no reason to be so generous.
The high-flying Canadian loonie may soon be joining the elite club of global reserve currencies.
The International Monetary Fund signalled in a new report it is considering asking foreign countries to report their holdings of Canadian and Australian dollars separately, which would technically make them global reserve currencies.
It would be the first addition to the list of five reserve currencies — the U.S. greenback, the Japanese yen, the euro, the British sterling and Swiss franc — since 1999.
Of course when the commodities market tanks, we'll be back to the 60 cent loonie. Enjoy it while it lasts.
It has only taken them seven years but it looks like the Liberals have just clued in to why they keep losing. Mr. Trudeau, in particular, has made a statement of intent about what a party under his leadership will look like.
Opinion polls may suggest a majority of Canadians are opposed to deals like CNOOC’s purchase of Nexen but if that vote is split four ways, the Conservatives win. The gamble appears to be that by the election in 2015, enough centre-right voters will have been turned off by nine years of Mr. Harper to give the Liberals a chance to present themselves as the acceptable, progressive face of fiscal conservatism – or, more accurately, the conservative face of progressivism.
So how's that incrementalism working out?
Having spent a decade inching steadily to the Center the Tories, thanks to their reckless fiscal policies, are slipping to the Left of the Liberal Party. Think 2015 Grit Ad Campaign. Split screen. On one side Paul Martin and a graphic showing how he tamed the deficit. On the other side of the screen show Jim Flaherty and how he increased the deficit. Who's conservative now? Sure Paul Martin was aided and abetted by the GST, downloading and falling interest rates, but that's details stuff. It doesn't sound bite well.
To some this gives hope that actual conservatism might be alive and well in Canadian politics. Even if it is in the Liberal Party. Don't be too hopeful. I know things are tough right now, but there is an iron law of Canadian politics that must always be remembered: Never Trust the Liberal Party.
This isn't partisanship, I'm not that fond of the Harper Tories, it's history. The relative fiscal prudence of the Chretien- Martin was driven by necessity not principle. Global capital markets were looking wearily at Canada's balance sheets and beginning to take a pass. The Reform Party was threatening Chretien's Right flank in Ontario. The 1990s also saw Roy Romanow's NDP in Saskatchewan balance that province's budget. Roy and Paul did what they did because they had to, not because they wanted to.
Fiscal necessity can compel even the most bleeding of bleeding heart leftists to become Scrooge like. The most prosperous of times can turn even right-wing ideologies into spendthrifts. Politics is the art of the possible, it is also the art of the necessary. People like free stuff. People also don't living in a country that's going broke. When you get into the latter position then the default urge for free stuff is reduced. The electorate understands that cuts are needed. But when the boom times return, they want more free stuff again.
Faced with penury the 1990s-era Liberals leaned Right on fiscal policy, though otherwise carried on with maintaining the essentials of the Trudeaupian project. Faced with years of steady surpluses the Harper Tories decided to spend. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may be defeated. Every Conservative politician knows that much of the electorate regards them as tight-fisted misers. The historical record is actually quite different. Federally the Tories have traditionally been horrible managers of the public fisc. But politics is about impressions, so to counteract the miser image they spend and spend.
I doubt this does much to make the Conservatives seem more lovable, but Tory politicians insist on leaning Left in fiscal matters to assuage public perceptions and public greed. The perception of the Liberal Party, born during the Trudeau years, is of a party spendthrifts with their hearts mostly in the right place. It is a truism oft repeated in the 1990s that will be repeated again in the years ahead: When Paul Martin cut he was praised as a statesman. When Mike Harris cut he was denounced as a monster.
Having sat in Mike the Knife's cabinet I'm sure Jim Flaherty has fond memories of those years. There was a time you couldn't swing a golf club on the front lawn of Queen's Park without hitting a protester. Such things wear away at even the toughest of political souls. Besides, Jimmy can be pretty darn reckless between here and 2015 and still look like Margaret Thatcher compared to the mess going on to the South. In a weird though important way, Barack Obama is Jim Flaherty's best friend.
Martha is promising to dismantle supply management. Justin is talking about legalizing marijuana. Over the next six months the Liberal leadership candidates will promise and say many things to many different people. Not much of it will actually end up in the party platform. In the unlikely event that the Grits regain power in 2015 or 2019, don't expect too many of these ideas to be implemented. Many of these ideas were also mused in Papa Jean's last days. They did not come to pass.
Beware the Liberal Party of Canada. They are pragmatists down to their bone. For decades they campaigned to the Left and governed from the Center. Now in third place they're campaigning from the Right and might, if we're lucky, govern from the Center. Given all those NDP voters in Quebec there will always be the temptation to engaged in some old fashioned Quebecois vote buying. The party has no based and no principles. It is power for the sake of power.
Believe nothing they say. A good rule for most politicians, it applies doubly so to the Grits.
If you're looking for conservatives in Canadian politics, look in the Conservative Party. Deep, deep in the Conservative Party. They're in a locked room, bound and gagged. Our goal should be to unlock the door, not to chase Liberal mirages.
Members of Parliament voted. Ipsos Reid tallied the numbers. And 2012s’s best of the best emerged. Just like that, Maclean’s and L’actualité named seven parliamentarians who accomplished an outstanding feat—they got colleagues from across party lines to, yes, vote for them. Indeed, they couldn’t win without impressing some of their fiercest opponents in the House of Commons. Here are the winners.