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.