Say what you will about the Tories, at least they're predictable.
Got a question? The Conservatives have a well-worn talking point just for you.
In 2012, some responses became a little too tired. Check out the most overused examples in the slideshow below and share the talking points that annoy you the most in the comments.
7. Strong, Stable Majority Government
Majority governments are by definition strong and stable, so this talking point essentially means nothing. Do the Tories really think they'll win another majority by reminding us they already have one?
6. The NDP's Illegal Union Donations
Curious about the questionable campaign fundraising done by Tory ministers Peter Penashue and Dean Del Mastro? Well the Conservatives have an answer for you. The NDP is much, much worse. While the New Democrats did pay back nearly $350,000 in sponsorship money from unions after Elections Canada found the party guilty of violating campaign finance laws, that doesn't give the Tories the right to ignore legitimate questions about their own fundraising practices. Then again, why answer questions when you can just blame the other guy?
5. Alexandre Boulerice's Separatist Past
When NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice asks the government something in question period he usually already knows the Tories' answer. 'Remember when you were a separatist?' Boulerice has long since admitted he used to sympathize with separatists and it's time for the Tories (we're looking at you Pierre Poilievre) to let this one go.
4. Liberals Are The Only Ones To Be Found Guilty Of Misleading Robocalls
Instead of answering questions about allegations of misleading robocalls during the 2011 election, the Tories generally pivot and remind people the Liberals are the only party that has actually been found guilty of phone-call shenanigans. While this is true, it doesn't erase the fact that Elections Canada's investigation seems to have a fair bit to do with the CPC. Canadians deserve to know what really happened on election day, but the Tories seem content to remind us of their rival's misdeeds. Let's hope all that ends in 2013.
3. No Money Has Been Spent On The F-35 Acquisition
No answer regarding the now-scuttled acquisition of the F-35 is complete without reminding the audience that no money has been spent on the purchase. Well, as long as you don't count all the cash spent on the flashy press conference in 2010 when Peter MacKay got to sit in the cockpit right? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say plenty of money has been spent trying to replace Canada's ageing CF-18s, it's just that none of it has actually been on new planes? The Tories aren't fooling anyone here. It's time to admit mistakes were made.
2. One Of The Strongest Economies In The Developed World
Concerned about a housing bubble? Worried about Canada's shift toward a more resource-based economy? Put those fears to rest, things are much worse everywhere else. At least, that's what the Tories keep telling us. But are they really? Two problems: 1. Were the Tories responsible for the relative stability of Canada's banking system after the crash? Not so much. The IMF has credited regulations introduced by former Liberal finance minister Paul Martin in the 1990s. 2. Things are now better in the U.S., at least in terms of GDP growth, than they are here. The U.S.'s GDP grew nearly 5 times faster than Canada's in the third quarter of 2012. It's time for the Tories to admit that while Canada weathered the economic crisis well, the country now faces new problems that will require new solutions and not more tired talking points.
1. Job-Killing Carbon Tax
Even though the NDP has never proposed a carbon tax, the Tories continue to hammer this talking point home every chance they get. Got a question about the F-35? Remind them about the carbon tax. Allegations of misleading robocalls? Did we tell you about the carbon tax? The phrase has become such a predictable refrain that it has inspired one of the most dangerous drinking games in Ottawa's history. Let's hope this one evaporates in 2013.