During a morning press conference, where Harper was peppered with questions of falling poll numbers and the economic outlook, Harper characterized our economic circumstance as "fundamentally optimistic". Harper's words are rapidly showing a disconnect with reality, because last time I checked there is nothing "optimistic" about the prospects of a recession.
The only lame excuse we here from the Conservative spinsters, Harper is using positive language because he doesn't want to send negative signals, impact the market. Are you kidding me? Last week, we saw two separate days, recording the largest drops in market history, and this came while Harper was doing his "don't worry be happy" routine. In other words, Harper's phrasing is largely irrelevant, the market has already factored in a sharp economic downturn, so anything Harper would have to add would be largely ignored. So behind the curve here, it is just WEAK to suggest Harper isn't out of touch, just prudent.
I'm not sure what Harper brings to the table tomorrow, but he is losing the battle of public perceptions. Of note, yesterday's SC poll actually gave Dion a better score on who is best to deal with the stock market crisis, which is very relevant when you think about it. Harper's supposed economic trump card, the able manager, is evaporating, essentially because people can see storm clouds gathering and Harper tells us the umbrella is unnecessary. There is a disconnect here, and the Liberals must continue to capitalize in the final week, because Harper is starting to look completely out to lunch.
I believe Harper has boxed himself in, no fiscal room to do anything, you can't preach fiscal discipline, then offer big ticket policies to stimulate. Everything Harper has said will be for not, if he takes this crisis seriously, if he changes direction or acknowledges action is required. Meanwhile, Dion's action plan has been well received, practicalities aside, it brings the optics of someone with a plan, contrasted with Mr. "Optimistic".