Friday, April 27, 2012

Conservative "Tarnish"

Every government has a shelf life, prior to outright rejection you begin to see erosion on trust, competence, it's the first sign of moving past your "prime" as a political force.  In recent weeks, the cynical and jaded have scoffed at the scandals swirling around these Conservatives, but given they go right to the issues of trust and competence, I've found the dismissive tone from some quarters amateurish in analysis.  In other words, when voters stop trusting you, when they think you are dishonest, when they feel you are pulling the wool, when there's a sense of cheating, it's NEVER welcome news for a government.  In addition, once people flip that switch, regaining said trust isn't easy, a known quantity doesn't just recreate themselves, there is a tarnish which can last.

Conservatives have a rock solid base of support, a divided "opposition" to their policies tends to insulate from full electoral impacts.  However, a spate of polling today brings some serious warning signs that intimate the "best before" date may have passed, Harper in all his majority glory is starting to wear thin. 

Perhaps the most concerning finding today comes from Nanos finds a dramatic drop for Harper on trust and competence.  I've watched polls for some time and rarely have I seen such a large drop, Harper's numbers have effectively fallen off a cliff.  Nanos notes a "new low" for Harper, clearly these issues that many in the punditry have dismissed are resonating in an important way.  A Prime Minister normally enjoys healthy advantage on these measures, Harper's numbers are downright dreadful, well below base support, a significant problem is apparent.  Given how leaders drive their party's, particularly in a campaign, another red flag for future Conservative prospects.  I'm not suggesting anything definitive, or extrapolating to the long, long road until all this stuff actually matters, only there is some germination at hand.  History suggests these type of findings can be a precursor to waning future fortunes.

A Forum Research poll actually gives the NDP the edge nationally, but honeymoon warping aside, I find the F35 findings more problematic moving forward.  Canadians don't believe the Conservatives on this file, they have no faith that this government is acting ethically or will do so moving forward.  Again the key word is "trust" here, and that is in short supply on a file which will hang around and haunt this government. 

There is no word that has more political significance than "trust", without it you are nowhere, you can have all the slogans, goodies, arguments you want, if people don't trust you, you're dead in the water.  Canadians are getting a taste of the Conservatives in their full majority regalia and it would appear they are less than impressed.  Again Harper benefits from certain divided political realities, but the dramatic drop in personal stature is objectively worrying.

Try to get rid of tarnish, do an experiment, it's never easy...


sharonapple88 said...

The Conservatives could only shine that turd for so long. ;)

sunsin said...

The thing about polishing turds is that the more you rub them, the more they stink. Hateful Harper, who has been reduced to suggesting the NDP was in favor of Hitler (decades before the NDP was born), is turning himself into flybait.

Fred from BC said...

Everyone seems to have forgotten that the NDP was previously called the CCF (as the Prime Minister immediately pointed out in the House).

As for the rest, the NDP with their shiny new leader are now getting the proverbial "honeymoon bounce" in the polls. Won't last...never does...

Jerry Prager said...

from Aaron Wherry
"It is true that Mr. Woodsworth, leader at the time of the CCF, the party that would become the NDP some 22 years later, opposed Canada’s involvement in the war. Mr. Woodsworth was a pacifist. But he was also the only member of the CCF to oppose the declaration of war. Indeed, he was the only MP in the entire House of Commons who opposed the motion. Major James Coldwell, who would soon thereafter succeed Mr. Woodsworth as leader of the CCF, supported the declaration. As apparently did a young CCF MP named Tommy Douglas."

Jerry Prager said...

The Conservative Party of Canada aided and abetted Mussolini's Vice Consuls in their turning of all Italian Canadian social clubs and pulpits in Canada into fascist organs from the mid 1920's until Liberals and Labour defeated Bennett in 1935, back in the days of King Edward the fascist, and the other conservative traitors to liberal democracy who spent so much time aiding and abetting the rise of fascist and Nazi arms dealers with North American and British capital that the orange lodge that formed the base of the conservative party died by the tens of thousands in the slaughter that ensued.

Jerry Prager said...

During the debate on the declaration of war, Mackenzie King said: "There are few men in this Parliament for whom I have greater respect than the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lays on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any Parliament."

rockfish said...

Harper didn't support the battle against Hitler either -- he wasn't born yet, but that shouldn't get in the way of the narrative; he's already reached a great divide with his own twisted hatmongering...

rockfish said...

I personally, was completely against trading Howie Morenz, just in case their are any les Habs fans here...

The Zaphos Institute said...

Fred from BC is spewing CON talking points... oh how predictable and boring.

Dr Robert Manion, the new Conservative leader (installed 1938) was against Jewish immigration to Canada. Antisemitism was very much out in the open back in those days. Also, many backbench Con MPs were sympathetic to fascism during the 30's (seen as a means to defeat communism and preserve the capitalist state).

Do you really want to play this game and hold current political parties to the acts of individual members from 70+ years ago?

More importantly in this matter, are you familiar with Godwin's Law? It's one thing when a garden-variety wingnut (like yourself) brings up Hitler analogies to support their point on an internet forum. (BTW - you LOSS any debate when you dredge up Hitler, or Stalin for that matter).

However it's quite another thing for the Prime Minister of Canada to go "Godwin" in the House of Commons. PM's are supposed to present themselves as above the fray, not stooping to the level of interweb douchebaggery.

Basically, Harper not only lost this debate the moment *Hitler* came out of his mouth, but he's shown himself to be every bit as foolish as your average Blogging Tory.

But by all means, please keep playing the Hitler card Fred. I'm beginning to relish the thought of what an NDP majority government will do to "Harper's Canada".

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry .. did you use the word 'tarnish' ? Is that like the 2011 Election was 'tarnished' by questionable tactics. I'm sorry.. it makes me think the next missing in action Chinook salmon run will be 'tarnished' by a complete lack of Chinook salmon. Or that the Douglas Channel shorelines might be 'tarnished' in the future by a bitumen tanker spill that dwarfs the Exxon Valdez spill. We use a little cleaner or polish to get rid of tarnish on silver.. we don't really understand how to clean up the blight from S Harper et al
For sure we have nothing to remove the tar sands 'tarnish'

I don't want to get on your case F and Wide.. you're consistently on the mark ahead of the entire gang.
In this household in Tor, Ontario, you're one of the first read every day.. for damn good reason.

The ethics rule book is floating rapidly downstream of the tar sands .. It is not in Stephen Harper's library nor on the reading list of barking dogs such as Dean Del Mastro, Poliviere, nor Joe Oliver, nor John Baird, nor Fantino, nor Clements, nor Kemp .. nor sleepy Rob Anders .. nor Stephen Lecce .. nor ..
Well.. you get the idea ..

What can The Harper Government accomplish in the next three years ?
Better said.. What can they destroy or irrevocably set in motion in the next three years.
Bizarre as it may seem.. every single thing this current government attempts
seems completely against all rational Canadian values, behavior and belief.
Tarnishing .. oops ... Trashing how the world perceives Canada .. now

We are now seen as a confused two faced, forked tongue polluting energy super-power
virulently against carbon emissions or capture regulations .. (Kyoto)
upholding electoral grooming and fraud and denial.. and more than OK with that ..
Urgently seeking a good old fashioned war to be involved in.. especially a win-able war !
With a couple of iffy submarines and plans for 50 or so hot 'stealth' fighter bombers

I'm sorry .. I thought Stephen Harper declared on our behalf
that we are simply hewers of wood and bearers of water ....
but now he says .. we need to examine & determine our goals for global security ...
Say .. What ?? !! ??? Global Security !!!!
Will he sort this out along with the non-debate re women and abortion law ???

I cannot hold my breath ,, that would be suicide

Steve V said...

Well put Ann.

Steve V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
weeble said...

In reading Ann's posting I am struck by the fact that people must be confused. There are so many issues, and we seem to bounce from one scandal to the next without any true policy or direction from the government. I am hard pressed to think of anything constructive which has been done since last May. Everything is destructive, the dismantling of systems. In our latest budget we have a direct attack on institutions such as the CBC, as well as dramatic cuts to StatsCan which will force a complete overhaul of what they do.
We have the F35, and the latest fiasco where SH allowed a backbencher to derail any constructive discussion by reopening the debate on abortion. Shame. Does this one person seriously represent the people in his riding, or are these HIS views.
Sorry, we are missing the boat and we have 3 more years of an effectively useless government driven by rhetoric rather than policy. Yipee.

Steve V said...

I've mentioned this before, Harper's inspiration is primarily negative, a reaction to what they dislike, rather than a vision. Us vs them.

Greg said...

Don't be fooled Steve. Harper has a vision and he is pursuing it. He believes in creating a weak central government with all of the taxation power (which he won't use) and strong provincial power without a tax base to sustain a modern welfare state. If you look at what he is doing, it is clear that he is going to abandon whole swaths of jurisdictions to the provinces and not give them the money to carry out their mandates. You have seen it in health. You are seeing it in food safety, justice and the environment. The Harperites are abandoning the field to the provinces and are basically saying to them. This is your responsibility. Don't come to us for money. It is how he is going to bring about the Canada he wants, by bankrupting the provinces.

Steve V said...

The vision is predicated on having a foe. You look at all Harper's writings, he always starts with tearing down, the inspiration is a reaction, it is angry.

Fred from BC said...

Jerry Prager said...

from Aaron Wherry
"It is true that Mr. Woodsworth, leader at the time of the CCF, the party that would become the NDP some 22 years later, opposed Canada’s involvement in the war. Mr. Woodsworth was a pacifist. But he was also the only member of the CCF to oppose the declaration of war. Indeed, he was the only MP in the entire House of Commons who opposed the motion. Major James Coldwell, who would soon thereafter succeed Mr. Woodsworth as leader of the CCF, supported the declaration. As apparently did a young CCF MP named Tommy Douglas."

Fair enough. Here's another take:

But for most of the CCF leadership, those fine words didn’t last a day past the beginning of a real war. In September 1939, the CCF national council voted 13-9 to support the government’s declaration of war. In the House of Commons, only one CCF M.P., party leader J.S. Woodsworth, spoke and voted against the war.

This was a major betrayal of CCF principles, and it’s very likely that a majority of the CCF’s membership would have opposed the war if they had been given a say.

I don't need to go back and grab quotes proving the strong CCF opposition to challenging Hitler *before* the war started (which is what the Prime Minister actually said, wasn't it?) or prove that the CCF, which made it their mission to "destroy capitalism" merely invited a bunch of unionists to join their ranks, then changed their name to the NDP, do I?