I know schadenfreude is unbecoming, but this is just too delicious. One of Stephen Harper's newly appointed Conservative senators from Quebec, party bagman Leo Housakos, has a simple explanation for why the party did so poorly in Quebec the last election: the Conservative MPs and candidates just did a crap-ass job of campaigning.
An influential senator suggested his colleagues in the House of Commons performed poorly on the campaign trail last fall.So in addition to having a very poor opinion of his colleagues, the unelected Housakos also has a very high opinion of himself.
``Many mistakes were made the last time. I also think our Quebec team _ our MPs _ did not deliver the goods the last time,'' Housakos said.
``That's a mistake we need to admit, and do a better job the next time.''
Housakos said there have been many improvements since he joined the team upon becoming a senator in December.
``When I arrived I got feedback from many (riding) presidents who said, 'Listen, Leo, we're not happy. We're not involved.' But for the last two months they've been very involved,'' Housakos said in the interview Wednesday.
``We have a game plan for the organization. We have a game plan for the financing. We have more ministers visiting Montreal. . .
``Things are starting to move. People see it. Yesterday, at the cocktail I had three riding presidents _ you can call each of them _ and they said, 'It's excellent _ since your arrival, since Christmas, things are moving.' ''
Naturally, Housakos' elected colleagues fired back, begging to differ with the Senator regarding their level of suckiness:
Public Works Minister Christian Paradis called it a ``hasty judgment.''
``Our colleagues gave their 200 per cent,'' Paradis told The Canadian Press in an interview.
``Leo wasn't even there _ so, frankly. . . He was not a candidate, not in the organization, he wasn't involved.''
They gave 200 per cent Christian, really? Maybe 300 per cent next time then, perhaps that's the lesson. Better make it 350 per cent just to make sure. And yeah, Leo wasn't even there helping!
Of course, the senator is employing the blame the media defence. You know, for reporting the stupid crap that spews from his mouth:
Housakos sent colleagues a letter Thursday declaring his remarks had been taken out of context.But wait, there's a tape!
In his letter, Housakos said he'd merely told a Canadian Press reporter that he had not been involved in last year's campaign because he held a non-partisan position at Via Rail at the time.
He also said he told the reporter that there was a good feeling within the party, which was due to the ``excellent work'' of Paradis and Claude Durand, the party's director of operations in the province.
Housakos said he would never blame any individual or group for the failure to gain seats in Quebec.
But a tape recording of Housakos's 10-minute interview Wednesday contains no reference to either Via Rail, Paradis or Durand.Duh! Sorry Leo, try again.
But seriously though, I think Leo is wrong. Their Quebec troubles in the last election aren't because their candidates didn't give a gazillion per cent effort. I'm sure they did fine.
No, the responsibility for their Quebec showing resides squarely in the Prime Minister's Office. A PMO that was completely tone-deaf to the impact their culture cuts and youth crime rhetoric would have in Quebec. A PMO so centrist and controlling that it either ignored the concerns about it expressed by their Quebec MPs and advisers or had created such a toxic environment they were afraid to speak-up and contradict The Centre.
I'm sure Christian wouldn't say this, he likes his job.And Leo wouldn't bite the hand that sent him to patronage heaven. But don't blame the Conservative MPs and candidates. Blame Stephen Harper
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