Very good column detailing the Conservative approach to politics, "narrowcasting" and appealing to a core constituency. The philosophy is readily apparent almost every single day in Ottawa, sadly it appears a winning formula, at least under present political dynamics.
Those of us who don't support the Conservatives are continually amazed at how they conduct themselves, the entire approach is a stark departure for traditional notions of "good government". Truth be told, these Conservatives don't give a rats ass about the vast majority of us, what they care about is tending to their defined base, keeping it secure and safe, everything else is irrelevant. The notion of a government representing Canadians is replaced by a government representing its own special interests, there is absolutely NO sense whatsoever of a greater calling or duty.
If you reside outside of certain targeted demographics your opinion is meaningless, your resistance a non factor, dissent is left to subsets that are of no concern to political fortunes. Only when the core is vulnerable will we see a retraction, a rethink, a revision, pragmatism, otherwise stubborn and draconian rule, propped up by a reliable demographic. These Conservatives continually use the language that soothes, they highlight tertiary issues to keep people in that column, they have no qualms trampling all over democratic institutions if they sense their base is indifferent. In other words, there is no higher purpose to government, it is forever tactical and immediate, a state which feels it acts with impunity.
The particularly alarming consequence of this mindset, your government then lacks a unifying quality, because they frankly have no desire to appeal beyond a narrow audience. In a country like Canada, this mentality is particularly worrisome, a government that isn't interested in inclusive politics is of concern. Perhaps this explains the relatively toxic environment we currently see, no interest in compromise, reaching out, civility, a mean spirited, flip the bird attitude which poisons everything.
If modern politics is simply about defining a base of support, cultivating legislation to firm up that constituency, while simultaneously offering indifference to those outside of the target, then I submit we are in for a more fractured country that will drift apart and cease to have any cohesive force. If all you care about is securing 35-40% support on issues that impact us all, we truly are in a place where traditional notions of democratic appeal are over and this isn't a positive development.