Old boys club - 0
Jack Layton caved and the rest of the dominoes fell over. Elizabeth May will be in the leaders' debates after all.
Kory Teneycke, Harper's director of communications, confirmed Harper had also changed his mind, telling reporters that while the Conservatives still objected to May's participation on principle, he would no longer oppose May's inclusion.
"We don't think she should be there, but if the NDP have decided they're changing their position, we will not stand alone," he said.
In an interview with CBC News, Tory campaign co-chairman David Emerson said the reversal was a case of the prime minister "reacting to changing circumstances."
Shorter Emerson: Steve didn't want to look like the only ass.
The quote du jour though goes to the ever feisty PC premier Danny Williams who, after calling Steve a "fraud" as part of his "ABC" (Anybody But Conservatives) campaign said:
"If [he] is prepared to slash program spending when he has large surpluses and break his written word as the leader of a minority government, the future of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — and indeed all Canadians — will be very bleak under a Conservative majority," Williams said.
But wait, there's more...
Williams called on Harper to stop using the puffin — the provincial bird of Newfoundland and Labrador — in attack ads.
"Leave our provincial bird out of [your] nasty, disgusting, personal attack ads," said Williams.
"The people of this province didn't appreciate being used by you for our votes the last time and our birds don't particularly like being used by you, either," he said.
Take that, Steve! Leave the puffins alone!!
Meanwhile, is Steve trying to go for the sympathy vote now? Check out this headline: Harper says he hates attention he gets. Gee. Pass the tissues. Is that why he's practically cloistered himself in his office - refusing to talk to the press since he was elected? Because he's shy? Pfffft... It would be so much easier if you were a dictator, right Steve?
In the meantime, Steve tried to score political points amid the news that Canadian support for the war is slipping and on a day one of our fallen soldiers was being returned home by suddenly declaring that he wants Canada's military commitment in Afghanistan to end in 2011.
The Tories have been attempting to soften Harper image for weeks with ads showing the personal side of Stephen Harper.
In his breakfast with reporters - a first as prime minister - he revealed that he cried the first few times he had to break the news of a Canadian soldier's death in Afghanistan to his parents. [No one suffers more than you, right? -catnip]
The moves also appear designed to change the channel on a campaign dominated by distractions, from the pooping puffin ad to the withdrawal from the race of the Conservative candidate in Halifax after it was learned she had a criminal record.
If you want to score some real points, Steve, bring the troops home now and say something about the endless civilian deaths over there - not to mention the fact that US troops are flagrantly violating Pakistan's sovereignty by using ground troops on Pakistan's side of the border. Why is Canada still a part of this charade?
In the first seven months of 2008, at least 540 Afghan civilians were killed in fighting related to the conflict.
Civilians used as shields
Of that number, at least 367 died during attacks by the various insurgent forces, and 173 died during U.S. or NATO attacks. At least 119 were killed by U.S. or NATO air strikes.
Steve said that he thought 10 years of war (by 2011) in Afghanistan would be enough. 10 years. That just leaves me speechless.
And, believe me, the Liberal party doesn't get a free ride from me for its part in pushing this failed mission either.
That's all I have for now...