Q. In putting this budget forward, do you think that the federal government is thinking more about the long term interests of Canadians or thinking more about its chances of winning a majority in the next election?
Thinking more about long term interests of Canadians- 22%
Thinking more about chances of winning a majority next election- 64%
No opinion- 14%
Translation, even though Canadians liked the tax relief in the budget, they are under no illusions as too motivation. Interesting, that despite the continual pleas that Harper is working for Canadians, people can look past the veneer and see the self-interest at play. Numbers like these offer a clue into the possible opposition strategy as we move forward. Historically, it is quite early in a mandate for people to question a new government's true intentions.
This government is quite arrogant, in the sense that they openly speak of their electoral ambition and how policy is framed within this lens. This position attaches little nobility to governance and the above numbers speak to an awareness of the "marketing strategy". No matter how popular the policy, the opposition will have an opening if Canadians feel legislation is purely political. For the Liberals, it is essential that they formulate a vision which can make the comparison between genuine principle and hyper-politicism. Harper is vulnerable, and will remain so, precisely because he is governing with the singular goal, that is obvious to all. Canadians don't have time to pour over the nuances of policy, but this politicism is so overwhelming, a simple glance or two reveals it. This fact is the soft-underbelly of this government and offers the best opportunity for the opposition to trump the propaganda.