Optics and wooden nickels

Now one of the things that the backroom boys in the Liberal party always told me, when I was a little kid (in their eyes) optics was everything and you need money to run a campaign. I learned well from them, even won a few elections operating on that premise.

Still as I got older and I am sure smarter, optics are not the only thing that counts but they can sure as heck give you a pain in the neck. Lets look at the current LPC effort in Sudbury. It was a pretty smart idea to hold the gathering of the clan in small city Canada.

The optics are great. Sudbury is hurting. Lets go there and show them and other Canadians in similar small towns that we're with them. Besides the money we spend (House of Commons) on rooms, meals, car rentals, escorts, golf, real nickel nickels and drinks, we will have a great time out of the direct glare of all those nasty national media types.

Then things started to go wrong. Sudbury workers are engaged in what looks to be a long strike against the town's largest employer, a Brazillion mining giant. You see several years ago the workers signed an agreement with the company that said we will take less now, but as the price of Nickel goes so do we. So when the price went up the workers got a share. As the price went down a little the workers got a little less.

That apparently is not good enough for the big Brazillion company. They want to extract more than nickel out of the ground, it looks like they want a little bit of the workers hide as well.

Still this isn't totally lost for the LPCers. They could do something for these workers right? Maybe talk to the company about being fair here. Maybe they could meet with the strikers and show their support. Walk the picket line or bring Timbits and coffee down and have little chin wag.

I am sure the local LPC candidate loves having the party there to show support and perhaps give them a boost in maybe, just maybe, unseating the NDP Member of Parliament.

It seems the optics have got out of hand, even in the area that they have control over. The local LPC nomination is spilling messy stuff all over the place. Accusations of the the party wanting someone over someone else and who knows if membership applications arrived early or late, it was just 90 or so potential members.

The situation in Sudbury doesn't look so great now. At least you will all be able to gather around a grand hall and have dinner and reassure each other you have the right stuff to govern. Its so silly voters that haven't recognised this yet. At $550 a plate its a sure bet that many of the people the LPCers want to vote for them won't be at the table. Heck it would take a person working at the grand hall serving up this feast for a king, over 50 hours to earn enough to attend. That sucks for him or her, right?

Then we have that wily NDP MP from the area that the LPCers would love to upset, he goes and hosts a dinner for $5.50. Every cent of that goes to the local strikers. Just how do you compete with that kind of logic. Doesn't he know you need money to win elections? He's giving it away for crying out loud. Heck Maria Minna said this to CBC in defense of the Liberals fundraiser ...
"saying it was planned long in advance. She insisted this week's gathering will benefit the local community and the country politically and economically."We're also going to be spending money, by the way," she told CBC News. "I think we're giving." - Maria Minna, Toronto Beaches Liberal MP
At least the LPC is good for something, Maria can afford a $550 dinner.

The LPC still haven't learned a thing since the good ole days. They would have been better off going to cottage country or trying out the York Hotel. At least they know how to talk to those people.

Now I post this because I think we deserve better than this and of course it shows the LPCers slipping up again. Maybe, just maybe some LPCer blogger or PR guy will do something.

One last piece of advice, don't take any wooden nickels, especially in Sudbury, oh that looks bad...

update: Iggy is meeting with local strikers today. Hope it went well, anybody here?

Update: 4pm Aug 31 - LPCer Jeff says on Twitter: Iggy calls on Vale Inco to come back to bargaining table

4:30pm Aug 31 It appears Jeff's view of event in Sudbury neglected to include Ignatieff's refusal to support the workers beyond calling for the company to come back to the table. CBC reported that Ignatieff met with Steelworkers for about 90 minutes. The Union was hoping Ignatieff would support their efforts to open the agreement between the Government of Canada and Vale Inco. Ignatieff said NO.

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