MP Dominic LeBlanc coined the phrase today, and it should become the new opposition buzzword. In the past few weeks, there has been an emerging trend in the rhetoric from pundits and partisans, which is starting to take shape. "Mean-spirited", "iron fisted", "aggressive", "bully", all slip off the tongue with ease, in describing this government, particularly Harper. There is ample evidence available, produced on a daily basis, to support the terminology and that fact represents pure poison for this government.
Everyone understands reputations, you earn them and they are hard to shake. Conservatives are quick to point out the effectiveness of constant references to leadership and strength in framing Dion. Equally relevant, the emerging trend that is starting to gel, that paints Stephen Harper in a decidedly unattractive light. A coherent theme, that draws on a multitude of examples, all of which support the idea that Canada has a government that appears thin skinned, belligerent, aggressive and heavy handed. None of those attributes will prove a ultimate winner with voters, which is why I believe great damage is being done presently. Constant references to mean-spiritedness, fleshed out in the actions, have an accumulative effect that can make it hard for the government to recover.
Harper has always been seen as a sort of enigma. Whenever the discussion turned to the idea of majority, the greatest challenge cited was Harper's need to "connect" with voters, because, despite the relative approval, people still didn't have a firm opinion of the Prime Minister. Who is Stephen Harper? A few months ago that was still largely a open question. However, in the past few weeks, a consistent definition has started to set in the collective psyche. Stephen Harper is a mean-spirited, aggressive partisan, who can't be trusted. A strong argument, show Canadians that the old Progressive Conservatives have been replaced by the "Aggressive Conservatives", supported by fact- simple and devastating.