The Olympics have been on the Conservative radar for months. A feel good affair, that fits nicely into their budget timetable, many Conservative strategists had salivated at the potential "bump" that might transpire. After all, with the country immersed in a sea of patriotism and pride, hard to envision how this sentiment doesn't play well for the government of the day. The PMO has planned to maximize benefit, with Harper high profile and centerstage, an international ambassador welcoming the world. The Conservatives have been wrapping themselves in the Olympics since last fall, and it was all supposed to climax for them in a few short weeks.
One has to wonder now, if Harper's prorogue has not only neutralized the preceived political positives of the Olympics, but turned them into a symbol for negative narratives. The Conservatives have volunteered the Olympics as partial rationalization for this prorogue, and with the blowback now apparent, has Harper tarnished his image? When Canadians see Harper at events and whatnot, will they be reminded of his democratic slight? Harper at the Olympics doesn't seem to have the same appeal, as it did when Conservatives were first plotting their strategy. In many respects, Harper's prorogue might have undermined this signature event, at the heart of Conservative plans.
The government thought they could shutdown Parliament, avoid scrutiny, then ride the positivity that surrounds the Olympics, to deliver a budget that no one dared oppose. The fact the Conservatives haven't found it necessary to consult the opposition on the budget, speaks to their Olympic assumptions, they see a bounce and the "hammer". So, not only are the Conservatives paying a political price today, but their decision might also have nullified what should have been a winning scenario, from their perspective. In joining the Olympics to the prorogue decision, Harper has squandered the stature he would have enjoyed. Expect no "bounce" as was previously expected.