The Conservatives seem to have this uncanny ability to squelch any momentum with self-inflicted gaffes. A feel good week by any measure, whether it be the goodies or other's "disarray", the Conservatives look poised. Some quick electoral math, Ontario will be ground zero if Harper achieves his majority goal.
What does the Conservative braintrust do? The strategic "genius" turfs one candidate in Guelph, democratically nominated, in a riding with no incumbent, historically of the "swing" variety. Talk of a "star" candidate, which will go over with a gigantic thud against a hometown Liberal boy, with deep roots in the community.
On the same day, and an even bigger blunder, the Conservatives decide to dump a candidate in Toronto, in a riding that they were never going to win. Bob Rae is a sure thing in this riding, miracles aside. In other words, Warren was really just a name on a ballot, which makes the optics of removing a red Tory all the more perplexing. Newsflash, you leave the candidate in place, regardless of the minor deviations from head office, because to remove him brings unnecessary negative coverage, in a region the Tories are desperate to make inroads. You certainly don't remove someone for speaking about issues that matter to the constituents, one's that play well in an urban environment.
The Conservatives have really damaged their brand in the GTA, with this boneheaded decision. The spectacle of Warner telling reporters he won't vote Conservative, because they don't embrace the middle ground is a horrible frame for the party. It would seem the rigid, dogmatic approach of the party brass has sacrificied pragmatism and simple logic in this case. I guess the Conservatives aren't content to just lose this riding under natural circumstances, they find it necessary to highlight all their failings in the process. Good job.