Monday, October 27, 2008

That Slithering Sound You Hear coming from Harper's base which is now demanding that he unveil - and railroad through parliament - the entire radical conservative agenda...before the next election.

Ordinarily, I ignore the swill produced by the National Post, but when the wingnut "news" sites start linking to them (republishing it, actually), then it's time to look a little closer.

Call for Canada's Tories to drop incrementalism

Gerry Nicholls is only marginally more sane than Barbara Kay, but there's some things about what he has to say that Canadians should take note of.

Realistically speaking the Conservatives will be able to effectively govern this country for perhaps one more year. After that a revitalized Liberal party led by a shiny new leader, whose name isn't Stephane Dion, will start to gum up the government's Parliamentary agenda

I love this term "govern effectively" - like so many things that come out of right wingnuttia, it's a meaningless phrase. What it really means is that the HarperCon$ know that they have a limited shelf life before the opposition can force them to either negotiate or trigger an election. The fact is that the current batch of Conservatives have fundamentally isolated themselves in the political landscape. They have no "natural ally" party sitting in the house that they can readily persuade to back them up in a pinch, and in the broader picture of Canadian politics, they have been unable to expand their base of support.

This strategy is usually referred to as "incrementalism." The chief proponent of incrementalism is former Conservative campaign manager Tom Flanagan and it's essentially based on the idea that the Canadian public doesn't really like conservative ideas or conservative polices.

Now, let's consider this for a moment. Flanagan is not stupid. He's a lot of other things, but he's not stupid. If he thinks Canadians will collectively choke on the actual vision that the HarperCon$ have for Canada, then there's a good chance that there's enough ugliness in that vision that Canadians won't like it. In that vein, Canadians should ask themselves just what the HarperCon$ want to do that is so distasteful that the Con$ don't dare let us hear about it directly?

Who knows, maybe if he implemented a true conservative agenda, Prime Minister Harper might even win his coveted majority government in the next election. Then again, maybe he won't. But at least he would have accomplished something while in power.

Notice the "doggy whistle" phrase aimed at the "base". Just what does a "true conservative agenda" mean here? I can guess, and the fact that the HarperCon$ haven't been open in their vision for Canada and Canadians, I'd suggest it isn't something most Canadians would willingly vote for. Instead, they have chosen a path of stealth policy, and quietly not admitting that there is an agenda and vision.

Last election Harper didn't talk at all about what he would do if a Con$ervative government were elected. Think on it - he's either out of ideas, or what he wants to do is fundamentally offensive to a majority of Canadians.

That the National Post is now publishing columns calling for Harper to 'get aggressive' about it is telling as well.

1 comment:

VĂ©ronique said...

I'm definitely concerned about this near-minority. I've known all along that Harper was holding back on his "true agenda." Now, despite a minority, it seems unlikely any time soon that the Liberal caucus will help bring down the government on a confidence vote. That means the government might get to behave like a majority for a period of time, and Harper has not been shy about calling bills matters of confidence.

I really hate the "we know what's best for you" attitude too.