Monday, June 18, 2012

Conservatives Passed Best Before Date?

The latest spate of polls show a few things, not the least of which is erosion in Conservative numbers, as well as growing disapproval for Harper. Emphasis is on the robust NDP numbers, as predicted this newfound popularity is more than just a traditional post convention bounce, it's a realignment in Canadian politics. Leger out with a Quebec poll, showing the NDP at a staggering 52%, a testament to an emerging solid base for Mulcair. Other polls show the NDP at dizzying heights ahead or tied with the Conservatives. Electorally, the NDP "coalition" looks equally stout, Quebec, British Columbia and very competitive in Ontario and Atlantic Canada is a potential winning combination.  With we Liberals now in flux, I won't be surprised to see numbers remain within this range moving forward.

To my mind, the real "story" within these numbers, this government is very much taking a hit for their performance of late.  The Conservatives will always have a rock solid base, 30% seems to be bottom, but they are alienating marginal voters, and this is perhaps more important in a regional, electoral sense.  Important to note here, 30% in your back pocket, no matter your transgressions, will forever give the Conservatives a strong chance moving forward, only point is a question of vulnerability. 

I contend this government may have passed their best before date.  I also believe they have made a massive strategic error holding to their stubborn budget agenda, galvanizing their opposition in a new and potent configuration.  Once people see you as "arrogant", "unyielding", "anti-democratic", these are not pleasant characterizations and they come with a cost.   I have yet to see a time during their governance wherein so many former Progressive Conservatives are openly criticizing, where the edges of their "tent" are taking in water.    The Harper Conservatives brand is becoming tarnished, their dismissive belief that is is ONLY about the economy is being challenged.  To be fair, the Conservatives have reached this place based on the thesis, but that is not the only consideration.

When the Conservatives had a minority, they were able to reduce any outrageous manifestation as simply a function of the seat allocation realities.  Minorities breed hyper partisanship, strong arm tactics to survive, everyone is continually in confrontation mode, it's simply the nature of the system.  However, Canadians are now faced with the reality that absolutely nothing has changed with a majority, nobody has "mellowed", perhaps the attacks on democracy have worsened and the arrogance at the fore.  This government very much resembles a gang that has held power for to long, so cozy they don't care a lick about Parliamentary process, the ideals of our system, they act and resemble a totalitarian regime dealing with nuances.  A dangerous concoction which is being to manifest as people's opinions turn on the government, good management not the sole consideration.

We have seen these Conservatives rebound many times, but for some reason this instance seems slightly different, both in terms of the growing resolve of opposition as well as historical context on the life of governments.  Harper's Conservatives are beginning to resemble all the things people used to hate about the former "natural governing" party,  they look FAR to comfortable in power and this is where trouble evolves.  We have scandals, we have ethical lapses, we have a tone which is elitist and detached, we have tired faces and arguments, we have baggage, we have alternatives, we have an emerging and growing coalition of forces who wish them no good fortune, we have many signs that all is not rosy in Conservative land.

The mothership is vulnerable.


Steve said...

The Cons plan to do all the dirty work in the first year, then tax cuts tax cuts in the election year.

CK said...

Yeah, Steve, I have to agree with you that Harper will cut taxes even further during his election year. And then how does a divided opposition compete with that.

Once upon a time, most babyboomers fought for social programs and a more fair society. Now, those very same boomers want tax cuts and don't seem to care that services are cut. In fact, for the most part, they welcome them with gusto.

Not to mention, they're very much in a "stick it to your fellow man" kinda mood. Hence, reason why the Cons do so well.

Another thing, I don't trust polls anymore since the Alberta election. Actually all pollsters got the last federal election wrong too. Leger Marketing has never EVER gotten it right. I'm surprised they're still in business, quite frankly, but then when you're covered by Quebecor...

My gut tells me these numbers are going to change soon enough. The very fact that Harper's war room came up with attack ads against Bob Rae, an interim leader of a
3rd party not even a year after the election is telling. It's even more telling that Harper s war room hasn't come up with Mulcair attack ads. Sure there were a few cheap shots in scrums, but nothing more.

The numbers are likely to change (assuming one believes in pollsters that is...) only when there will be a new permanent leader for the Liberals. And then, that will all depend who that will be.

Either way, even if Justin Trudeau runs and wins leadership, I expect there to be much vote splitting between Liberals and NDP, particularly in those newly redrawn ridings designed to give Cons an advantage. Hence, a merger or some kind of cooperation must happen, or else Harper will win the next election.

Most Canadians are still asleep at the wheel. Not enough outrage. Not nearly. I've resigned myself into thinking that a totalitarian regime is what most Canadians relish, particularly if they never ever have to see a polling station again.

Short of a merger or cooperation, I don't see this ending well.

Gloria said...

But, they say Harper has dissention in his ranks.

Europe just told Harper to shut his big mouth. Harper tries to take credit for Canada's, stand in the recession. Well, they all know, it was another P.M. who saved our Canadian bacon. We can thank our lucky stars for that.

There are angry Canadians all across this country. There is still the robo-call cheat election fraud. Harper is trying to quash the investigation. Harper has more than a few lawsuits against him.

There is the snooping of our internet. Harper and his ministers, have called Canadians some really insulting names.

There is Harper selling Canada out to Communist China. China owns huge chunks of the tar sands. They are bringing over hordes of Chinese to work the tar sands, right down to Chinease cooks. communist China is bringing swarms over, to build the Enbridge pipeline.

China has hacked into other country's secret files. Seems it was a mistake for country's to buy their electronic components from Communist China. The U.S. has infected components in their missiles and other weapons. Damn right other country's have had it with Harper. Over 2/3 and counting, Canadians want Harper gone. Harper has caused so much anger, he is literally despised. Who's going to forget the, dirty tactics and the dirty politics? The opposition and the people? That I doubt.

No wonder, the U.N. Security Council refused Harper a seat.