A lot can happen in a month

It is amazing what can happen in only one month. You can go from flying high on the shirttails of scandal, to being yanked down by the shirttails of scandal. If only the Conservatives would have focused on one scandal at a time they might have still been raring to force an election during this weeks confidence votes.

With the recent polls indicating that the Conservative piece of the pie has fallen well below that of the Liberals, and only a few points away from the NDP (yikes), the idea of forcing an early election has quickly come and gone. With the defeat of the government now on the backburner (at least for the time being), the Conservatives are forced to press last minute negotiations or filibuster legislation in order to present themselves as still having some amount of control over the House. A far cry from the control evident only a month ago when House confidence in the government was all up in the air.

So can we expect to see a return of nail-biting politics this fall? I sure hope so, as I have never been more entertained by Canadian politics, but it will really depend on what the Conservatives can accomplish over the summer break. If a lot can happen in a month, then a lot can happen over a summer, and from the sounds of it the Conservatives will be working hard on their public image. Summer is the season for makeovers (I think?), and the Conservatives are planning a big one for Stephen Harper. It really is long overdue. I’d personally would like them to work on his hair. I’m not sure exactly how to describe what is wrong but it definitely needs some work.

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9 Comments

  1. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 6:16 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Harper’s makeover goes. So far his critically low Fun Factor is just decreasing. For example, the assertions of Harper’s alleged coolness by fellow Conservative MPs Rona Ambrose and Peter Mackay aren’t plausible. Ambrose and Mackay are easily the best looking people in the party, and by extension the coolest, so they should be able to bestow some degree of coolness-by-association on Harper, but it just doesn’t stick.

    Also, Harper’s approach to appearing warmer and more friendly feels like something written in Visual Basic:

    Private Sub ProjectFun()
    DoCmd.Attend(BBQ)
    DoCmd.Smile(NonAwkward)
    DoCmd.Speak(Warm,Humour)
    On Error GoTo Seadoo_Rental
    End Sub

    Ultimately, I don’t think Harper has an image problem, he has a policy problem. Those that support Harper applaud his professional, intellectual manner, while those that don’t find him cold and alienating. The electorate isn’t so shallow as to judge a party’s policies on the character of its leader, rather, the character of the leader is judged in terms of the party policies.

  2. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 6:39 pm

    Indeed, that the Conservatives are seeking such a deal shows how desperate they are to enter the summer without another embarrassment. I doubt a summer makeover is a cure-all for team Harper. I am not surprised his leadership is in question (it was predicted here), but weak Conservative support is a result of poor policy, not poor leadership. Even if Harper shows up on a jetski with Stockwell Day or gets his hair cut like the Donald (go crazy photoshoppers), I don’t think the Conservative Party will pick up much ground during the summer.

    The C-48/C-38 deal would be an interesting risk for the Conservatives. Do they really want to run the risk of having to deal with same-sex marriage during an election campaign? It may more wise to let it pass now, as it inevitably would any time in the future (barring a Conservative majority in the House) and then get on with prettying up Harper while still being able to say they did all they could to protect Canada’s economic stability with respect to C-48. Certainly the NDP will want to see C-38 passed soon. They lose votes to the Liberals if same-sex marriage is a campaign issue (and actually care about the issue). As for the Liberals, they have been avoiding this vote for ten years, what’s another few months?

  3. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 6:43 pm

    I can’t believe you commented on your own post while I was in the process of commenting! I demand you delete your comment or I will not invite you to the Manatee and Gnomes BBQ I was planning.

  4. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 6:56 pm

    It wasn’t my post. Pay more attention, Sherlock.

  5. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 7:02 pm

    Now I demand you delete that comment!

    Welcome to the blog, O’Smiley.

  6. O'Smiley said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks Manatee. I didn’t think that my writing style was that similar to Gnomes.

    I would disagree that a Harper makeover would be fruitless. I have spoken to many people, particularly family and particularly people that are not so familiar with what is going on politically, who don’t disagree with the conservative party but are leery of Harper. When asked why they feel the way they do they generally comment on his persona. If the Conservatives can amke the overall feel that Stephen Harpers image exudes more positive I think I would greatly help the overall support of the Party.

    With regard to the Party as a whole I think they have to determine where they stand on the issues and hold firm. I don’t see the payoff for this C-48/C-38 deal. In the past they have opposed C-48 with reasonable justification, and I would not agree that C-38 is any more important. The deal seems to undermine their previous position. With respect to C-38, I wouldn’t think that the Conservatives would fear running a campaign on this issue. This is definitely a dividing line issue that the country is very split on and I’m not sure they would loose a lot of seats over it. This was, after all, an issue in the last election which saw the Conservatives gain. No matter where C-38 sits, the main issue in the next election will be Gomery. Lets hope that the Conservatives can remained focused on it.

  7. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 7:54 pm

    Leadership is important in Canadian politics. Often voters (and political parties) ignore the local candidate, and vote either ‘for the party’ or for the person they wish to be Prime Minister. But Gnomes is absolutely right when he says the Conservatives have a policy problem. The conservative movement has changed a great deal since the 1980’s. The Conservatives are not only too far right on social issues, they are also too far right on fiscal issues. It would take a special politician to overcome Conservative policy.

  8. Anonymous said,

    Thursday, 16 June 2005 at 11:28 pm

    Conservatives should try to avoid the issue of homosexual marriage in an election campaign because it will leave them open to attacks for being too socially conservative (lots of downside) and those most opposed to homosexual marriage are westerners, older and rural Canadians (since they already hold much of these demographics there is not muchj upside).

  9. O'Smiley said,

    Friday, 17 June 2005 at 9:03 am

    Indeed the Conservatives are very far to the right on social issues and should work on pulling their social policy more to the center, but contrary to Manatee’s post, I don’t agree that this is the case with their fiscal policy. The Conservative Party has always maintained fiscal policy as their distinction from the Liberals, and is generally the least controversial. While many Conservatives opinions vary on social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, fiscal policy is a dominant commonality and along with western alienation is a key base issue with their existing electorate.


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