Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sword Fights

Interesting commentary from Nik Nanos of SES on the Conservatives targeted voter strategy. Trying to appeal to men with cars, hockey and war, might be a net negative:
What's puzzling some observers, however, is how all this heavily male symbolism, mixed with an aggressive, disciplinary governing style, is going to help the Conservatives get more votes in the next election, especially from women.

"It's definitely not a growth strategy. It's the opposite of a growth strategy," says pollster Nik Nanos, who says all this macho posturing may be part of the reason the federal Conservatives are stalled in the public-opinion surveys conducted in the past few months.

"It's reinforcing stereotypes that they're trying to get rid of – which is that the Conservatives appeal to a very narrow group of voters that tend to be very male and right-wing. ... They're creating their own glass ceiling."

Nanos has his own theory – he wonders if the Tories are focused more on appealing to their core, mostly male voters because they also tend to be the biggest financial donors. Nanos warns this may be wise in the short term but wonders about the long-term fallout of making the appeal so narrow.

"The thing is, you're going to have more money on the one hand, but no votes," Nanos says.

It is fascinating, that the Conservatives are pro-active in cementing "stereotypes" which they need to shed to expand support. In preaching to the choir, as Nanos points out, the Conservatives end up alienating people that are crucial for their prospects.

There is already a growing theme developing that easily attachs negative images of the Conservative government. Bullies, who act aggressively, a Prime Minister that prefers the jugular. In identifying themselves with "macho" pursuits, that simply feeds the perception.

A strange strategy to purposely alienate sections of the electorate, while concurrently shoring up the base. That equals a go nowhere condition and serves as another example of why the Stephen Harper "master strategist" thesis is more myth than fact.

10 comments:

sassy said...

Will such sponsorship(s) be remembered in Canadian political history (in the truth is stranger than fiction chapter) as, the “testosterone” campaign (not to be confused with the other campaign), run by the “conservatives”, (not to be confused with the other conservatives)?

JimBobby said...

Whooee! It all points to a mistaken idea that Canadians will respond to macho posturing the way Merkans do. Merkans are impressed by a leader in a bomber jacket standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier and talking tough. Canadians, not so much.

Harper's biggest and most telling blunders all come down to his notion of US-Canadian social equivalency. This is either wishful thinking or extremely poor perception.

Canadians are not carbon copies of Merkans. Patriotic conservative Canadians do not want to be lumped together with the USA.

Harper's misjudging of the Canadian psyche is his Achilles heel. This absurd NASCAR thing is just another indication of how far Harper's perceptions diverge from reality.

Harper doesn't know Canadians because he doesn't want to know us. He ain't stoopid. If he wanted to know what makes Canajuns tick, it wouldn't be too hard to learn. He don't wanna learn because he ain't interested in Canada. He's intertested in gettin' Alberty out of Canada and assuming the throne in teh new oil sheikhdom formerly known as Alberta. Then, he'll be in touch with his loyal subjects.

Harper doesn't believe in Canada or in Canadians. Sad.

JB

burlivespipe said...

Jimbobby's got it right; as much as 'retail politics' is a visual art, what the Harpor team is aiming for (with their latest tricks) remains a likely sympathetic group. The overall image does leave those who empathize with those less fortunate nothing short of discomfort, if not disgust. But Harpor is someone who loathes to do anything half-baked, apparently. His 'inner-bush' so much wants to stand on a frigate and say 'Mission Accomplished!'

Anonymous said...

What I have long said about Bush, despite all the piling on now by his so-called "friends" from just a few months back, was that he didn't want to lead the US, he wanted to lead 50% + 1 he could manuever into voting for him. (and if it took beating down the citizen vote count to get 50% + 1 of the voting public, that worked too).

Thing is it worked in the US because the two-party system allowed it to play out. I am assuming you do all know he won reelection by the lowest margin of a reelected president in US history.

It remains to be seen if that same approach will work in Canada, though the conservatives seem hell-bent to test it out. On one hand, this strategy would never get Harper to 50% + 1. But, hey, if in a pinch it gets him to 39% + 1 and the rest of the votes split among the opposition parties leaving him with a small majority, game over and he wins. Welcome to the new world - and don't think for a moment that the slim margin will make one damn bit of difference. Sad for Canada, but you can't argue with the math (assuming of course the 39% is in just the right margins in just the right number of ridiings).

But, at the end of the day, it remains the sad, sad truth. He, like Bush, doesn't want to win the hearts and minds of his nation. He, in the words of his own cabinet member, just wants "his type of folk" to vote for him in the right numbers. The rest of you be damned!

Bush has done many things that shame him and the US, but that sad fact is that making absolutely no attempt to govern for all is, in my opinion, the most damaging long-term.

I know it gets over-played but sadly Harper has made that "Bush / Rovedoctrine" his own.

Annonymous Joe ; )

Anonymous said...

The simple fact that this sponsorship of a car in a race has Liberals so animanted against it shows it to be a promising strategy. I don't think they could have asked for a better negative reaction from the left, having seen statements such as "Why couldn't they just sponsor a Ballet or Interpretive Dance Event instead of a dirty, stinky car race". It's like poking Niles Crane with a corndog and you suckers fall for it every time.

Bait-bit agin, an ol' jimbob has one of the biggest hooks in his mouth. Too funny.

JimBobby said...

You claim to have seen this statement -- "Why couldn't they just sponsor a Ballet or Interpretive Dance Event instead of a dirty, stinky car race".

Do you have a link to that quote? I thought I'd been following this issue but that's something I hadn't seen.

This being such a crafty and well-planned strategy, I wonder why Transport Minister Cannon is now distancing the Conservative government from the CPC.

JB

Anonymous said...

Whooee! jimbob done bit agin, on the same damn hook, Ma!

Gayle said...

JB - thanks for calling out the troll. As we see by his/her response, s/he was making it up as s/he went along.

Kind of like the rest of the conservatives...

Steve V said...

"The simple fact that this sponsorship of a car in a race has Liberals so animanted against it shows it to be a promising strategy."

Don't fool yourself, it's amusing more than anything, not mention all the checkered coverage- da ding.

Mushroom said...

Well there are waitress moms and chip shop tarts around for the Cons to appeal.