Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Problem With The Conservative Narrative

I hate to pick on Andrew Coyne, because he seems like a genuinely nice guy and, apparently, alone among Conservative pundits, has advanced math skills. Or at least this is a claim I am not in a position to dispute. But since Andrew represents what I would call mainstream Conservative opinion, weaknesses in his discourse can be seen as weaknesses within the thinking of the entire movement.

And it is not at all difficult to find the logical flaw in his most recent column:

No wonder Mr. Harper looked so confident. I don’t think we should interpret his “fish or cut bait” challenge to the opposition as an invitation to a fall election. He doesn’t want one, either, not now: with the Tories still mired at 33% in the polls, there’s little to be gained just yet. More to the point, he doesn’t need one. He can press forward with his agenda, or at least those parts of his agenda that overlap with the public’s -- crime, taxes -- knowing the opposition will not dare to bring him down over them. And time is on his side: the longer he stays in power, the more comfortable the public gets with him.

Latest Poll: CPoC 33%, Libs 31%

All you have to do is google the last time he invoked Canada's "comfort level" with the Stephen Harper Tories. From a March blog post:

The burghers of rural and suburban Ontario, who had deserted the Tories en masse during the Chretien years, have found a comfort level with Stephen Harper.

March Decima Poll: CPoC 36%, Libs 27%

It appears that the more "comfortable" Canadians get with Stephen Harper, the less inclined they are to vote for him. If the trend continues, our whole nation will vote him out of office so they can bring him home to their mothers.


Sean Cummings said...

You need to look at regional breakdowns because while the Tories appear stalled on the surface, they have room for growth all over the place. You're also failing to take into consideration two significant factors that can positively impact the Tories in an election:

a) The Bloc is a dud and the Liberals are persona non grata. There is room for significant inroads for the Tories in Quebec.

b) If an election comes this fall, Stephane Dion will be running a flat broke campaign with the sound of knives sharpening over his shoulder. Very simply, I think voters are going to have a problem supporting Dion in a federal election when he can't even get a grip on the disharmony in his own ranks. The average voter might very well ask: How can I vote for Stephane Dion to become Prime Minister when his party is fractured and questions about Dion's leadership still linger.

Anonymous said...

Time to warm up the Liberal fear-mongering machine. Queue up the following words for dissemination through the Communist Broadcasting Corp, and all other left-wing propaganda sources:

secret agenda
extreme right-wing

You get the picture.

bigcitylib said...


Tories have room for growth in Que. Libs are solid in Ontario and have room for growth in Sask., Atl. Canada, B.C.

The Bloc has no more fallen apart than have the Liberals.

Dion will labor at a significant financial disadvantage. This point I concede. The Quebec "coup", however, seems to have been over in a week. And I wager it will stay that way for awhile. Why would Quebec Liberal party types stir up shit when their seats are most at risk in the next election? I think that may have sunk in.

It seems you are still assuming the polls will go in a direction that thus far they have stubbornly refused to go in.

Anonymous said...

About Quebec:

The overall numbers in that province show the Bloc Quebecois at 31 per cent, the Liberals at 23 per cent, the Tories at 22 per cent, and the NDP at 13 per cent.

That's because the Tories appear to be winning the lion's share of soft nationalists, many of whom appear to be abandoning the Bloc.

The Harris-Decima poll showed Liberals with a 15-point lead among voters who described themselves as "federalists.''

Ti-Guy said...

Yes, but the Connies have correctitude (and moraliciousness) on their side, so eventually, Canadians will come around to see the inescapable beauty that is Harpermania.

It's divinely ordained.

Seriously, pinning their hopes on Quebec "soft nationalists" strikes me as profoundly desperate. It'll just take one Albertan MP to say the word "frog" and the whole thing could come crashing to pieces.

Anonymous said...

Or, remind Quebec on Harper's prior views on Quebec and bilingualism.

Quebekers like their social things - have they really paid attention?

Mario Dumont - during the last referendum in 1995 voted FOR separation - what's he planning?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the conservative narrative is that it's intended for and aimed at rational, intelligent people. Meaning it's lost on about 66% of the population.

Meggy said...

um, of course the Liberals have room for growth in Saskatchewan (1 of 14 seats) but unless you count re-winning Mearsty's old seat there isn't anywhere else they have a hope of winning (they don't even have viable riding associations in at least 2 ridings I can think of).

Ti-Guy said...

Yes, you are a perfect example of a nazi.

burlivespipe said...

There's some truth in both these examples. I'd like to toss in the idea that Harper has accepted that his gov't is limited (probably politically correct-wise 'mentally challenged') in selling its programs as a gov't... However, in a short-run, quick-quote exchange of gunfire known as the hustings, he can look 'presidential' and 'legally snipe' at the opposition without looking meanspirited. The media, like a tennis ball, will then spend the campaign bouncing from one attack to get a reaction shot of Dion, and back again.
No one, especially the lazy f**k heads at Canwest/Sun etc will pretend any interest in dissecting any of Harper's low-level promises and what lies behind the curtain.
We need more Kady o"malleys...