Friday, May 04, 2007

Conservatives In Trouble

Apparently, Sun Media will release a poll this weekend on Afghanistan, that looks to be devastating for the government. Sun Media's Greg Weston, alluding to the pending poll findings on CBC:
"Without giving away the store, the damage is done and I think from this Canadians have reached the conclusion that everybody's in charge, nobody's in charge. I think it's gone into questioning this whole government's management of Afghanistan. I think it undermined a lot of public confidence in accepting the government's word on what is going in Afghanistan"

"I think it's going to have much broader implications, it's turned alot of people off. Frankly, everytime the Prime Minister comes back with this, if you don't agree with us you're against the troops, I think that is more of an insult than a legitimate response. I think it's turning off more people than it's endearing."

Stephen Harper, turning off more Canadians today in British Columbia:
"I think quite frankly it has detracted from the good work, Canadian men and women are doing in the field in Afghanistan. And, I think the opposition should focus a lot more of their energy assisting what Canadian troops are doing"

People have questioned whether or not the torture issue has political legs. I think the answer lies within one word, credibility. The issue itself may wane, but as this poll looks to point out, it has chipped away at public confidence in this government, particularly as it relates to honesty. That erosion is essential to everything the government delivers. Once the population questions the integrity of the government, it manifests itself in a lasting way, and that confidence isn't easily recaptured.


Gayle said...

I guess I should never lose my faith in the intelligence of Canadians. Harper cannot keep treating people like they are stupid and expect they will sustain his government.

Harper has tried to tie Canadian national pride to the military, and then tie the military to his party. Again he miscalculated. Canadians are proud of our military - but that pride stems from our record as peace keepers and proponents of human rights.

Dion still has a lot of work to do, but the cracks are there and it is up to the liberals to exploit them and show Canadians why they are in the best position to govern this country.

By the way, I just want to say how much I enjoy this blog (you may have noticed by the way I am always posting :)).

ottlib said...

"Once the population questions the integrity of the government, it manifests itself in a lasting way, and that confidence isn't easily recaptured."

Just ask Paul Martin.

Note: Not trying to be snarky with that remark. His experience is just a great demonstration of your point.

As well, you would have thought his experience would have been a lesson for all other politicians that followed him.

I am still amazed (and pleased) that Stephen Harper did not take the deeper lessons of the Sponsorship Scandal and Paul Martin's troubles to heart. If he would have we would be in an election campaign right now leading to a Conservative majority.

Red Tory said...

I think it’s brought the mission into question and made people a lot more skeptical about what they’re being told by the government. Harper & Co. haven't acquitted themselves well at all in the last several weeks.

Also, this line the Conservatives have been using that if you question what’s going on, then you’re not supporting the troops is not only feeble, but resented by any thinking person. We’ve seen where this sort of attitude leads...

Steve V said...


Thanks, I appreciate your comments.


I have a feeling that the Conservatives majority window may have closed.


"then you’re not supporting the troops is not only feeble, but resented by any thinking person. We’ve seen where this sort of attitude leads..."

And that sort of hyper-partisan, divisive language, doesn't have the natural audience that gave his "soul mate" the initial latitude.

knb said...

Harper has made a huge error, imo. Let's be clear though, it's an error for the country, not just his party.

He handled this in the very same way he handles everything else. That would be "fake messaging". Keep repeating the lie, flip the onus to the opposition and know it will stick.

Guess what. This issue speaks to all Canadians and our perception of who we are what we stand for. Anything but honesty and doing the right thing is unacceptable and I guess the CPC just didn't count on that.

I've said it before, partisanship aside, I'm embarrassed now. Harper has made us look foolish and yes, Canadians will react.

I don't know what leg's the issue has and there is a risk of over playing it, but to hear Van Loan today refer to what the military witnessed as "rough housing", was appalling. That's what kid's do, no?

Bottom line, they are inexperienced in the ways of governing, Harper holds all the power and that is in the process of blowing up and frankly, I think there is more to come, here and elsewhere.

The BT's are high on quoting how many Lib's will not be running next election. That's of course because they are allowed to speak and be honest. It will be interesting to see how many con's don't run under Harper. Shhhh, it's a secret.

janfromthebruce said...

Harper's govt actions to coverup about Afghanistan, whether it is about the treatment of detainees, or what we are doing there, speaks to his distain of public perception of how Canadians see themselves.
Also, using Bushisms makes the pubic turn off. They see what is going on in Iraq and sense the same is/will happen in Afghanistan. The public has always been ambivilant about our involvement in Afghanistan, and are quite capable of supporting the troops but not necessarily the mission.
I also think that the public is not interested in another election, but do what the govt, along with the opposition to work on policies that benefit Canadians. If there is a message in the polls, it is about how they want parties to operate in this public arena.

Steve V said...

"I don't know what leg's the issue has and there is a risk of over playing it"

This issue is 90% self-inflicted wound. Harper's preference for wedge politics has finally blown up in his face.

Miles Lunn said...

There is no doubt the last week has been a bad week and has at least given us Liberals a chance to move ahead if we can give Canadians a good reason to vote for us. I am not going to say Harper is done yet since a lot will depend on how long this lasts and how damaging it is, but I think if anything it proved this is a PM who does a good job at winning support win on script, but he has bad instincts and as soon as he goes off script he turns people off and the longer in power the more unexpected events will happen, that will turn people away from him.

burlivespipe said...

Harpor's heavy-handed partisan-trolling has been a regular occurrence, but only now does a big chunk of MsM seem to be catching on. Certainly, the military has a distinct spot in most Canadians' hearts, there is a uniting history that speaks from WWI to current time about how our forces have 'put Canada on the map' and operated as a moral compass during times of trouble.
Harpor's act is just an extension of the crap he's been pulling for months, yet turds like Bill Good (a radio host and talking head on TV who thinks he's a journalist) keep repeating the tory slogans of 'decisive, straight-shooter, a leader' BS... I beg any ethics professor to examine how Harpor has dealt Lebanon-Israel conflict, etc, and not come out with a picture of someone who acts only for the photos, but who is thickly yellow to the core. When the cameras are rolling, he has the punching gloves on, but he's half-a-Diefenbacker without the lip gloss and mascara. Now, if we can just get Dion to start harping on Harpor's crappy economic policies a little more...

Dana said...

This is one I'll believe when I see.

Anonymous said...

Harper doesn't seem to realize that everytime he says "you don't support our troops", etc. he is insulting every Canadian who questions the mission or the detainee issue - a question every taxpaying, patriotic Canadian has the right to ask.

My grandfather was in France in WWI, my dad in WWII, my very favourite aunt in WWII, my brother-in-law in Korea - and because I want to know I'm not supporting the troops?

Harper has certainly insulted me.

A neighbour of my father-in-law was a prisoner of war in WWII and the effects it had on him for the rest of his life was just awful. I'm sure this is the story with many Canadians.

Harper doesn't get it - his job is to protect our troops in every way possible - that's supporting the troops.

Anonymous said...

last nite on MDLIVE Graham Richardson said to Baird' "why do you keep saying the libs increased Greenhouse gases by 35 percent during their thirteen years in power when you know that it increased because of the 'oilsands om alberta' and because the ecomony was at fullspeed ahead..why do you keep saying that",,Baird was speechless for a few minutes with his mouth open....first time I ever heard a politician or reporter come out with this real fact...I always wonder why Dion and the other liberals do not state this fact when the cons. come out with that same old line...they just stand there like dummies and take it...I think Graham Richardson is great.I also think Far and Wide one of best blogs.

Steve V said...


I caught that too. The funny part, Baird tried to argue that the Tories would have done something, had they been in power, in 1997. Given the fact they had nothing when they came to office, never developed a policy while in opposition, and some even denied the validity of global warming, his comments are a joke. Someone should call him on that it. If you knew there was a problem, and would have acted, unlike the Liberals, why then did you only have two lines in party platform? Where was the policy in past years? Is there one example in Hansard, where a Tory MP demanded action on climate change, during the Liberal reign?

Baird also tried to make it sound like Canada will go beyond what was recommended by the UN yesterday. "We think 2015 is too late, that's why we have chosen 2010 to reduce GHG's". Oh come on.