Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rivers in Egypt

Gerry Nicholls, whom may or may not have been ousted from his post with the right-wing National Citizens Coalition for badmouthing Deceivin’ Steven, attempts to diagnose Conservative troubles with a column in the Windsor Star today.

And while he makes some good points, he also falls into the same tired excuses used by so many Conservative apologists when expressing their disappointment with the Harper government.

Gerry’s thesis is that Harper is in danger of losing his base because he’s flip-flopping more than a fish out of water and is wildly trying to latch onto any policy idea he thinks will win him votes in his majority quest:

How are the Tories angering their base?

Well, take your pick.

There's the Tory flip-flop on income trusts, the pandering to Quebec nationalists, the

"Liberal-Lite" big spending budget or the Green Plan with its ridiculous light bulb ban.

All these actions represent a backtracking on conservative principles and values and all these actions have angered grassroots Conservatives

And simply put, that's just plain dumb.
I’ll agree with Gerry on a few things. On Harper being dumb (or rather acting dumb) I’m onboard. Dido the flip-flopping and the pandering. I’m not sure how environmentally-friendly light bulbs are a betrayal of Conservative values (ed: maybe they’re same-sex light bulbs?) but whatever.

Here’s where Gerry and I part ways though:
The Conservatives, in other words, have decided to act like Liberals.

And I guess it's a good plan except for one teensy-weensy problem: It isn't working.
This is a common refrain heard from dissatisfied Conservatives like Gerry, and it’s crap. It illustrates head in the sand thinking that conveniently allows them to skip over any needed self-introspection to address their problems.

The fact is Deceivin’ Steven’s Cons aren’t acting like Liberals. Maybe if they were they wouldn’t be free-falling in the polls.

But Liberals don’t cut funding to the Status of Women or kill the Court Challenges program. Liberals don’t bully province and invite them to sue. Liberals don’t raise income taxes. Liberals don’t run relentlessly negative attack ads outside of elections. Liberals don’t attack the families of political leaders, or question their loyalty to Canada. Or make fun of their ethnicity, or their accents.

Sorry Gerry, but Harper isn’t acting like a Liberal. He’s acting like a jerk. Is the problem really that Harper is acting “too Liberal” Gerry, or is it that most Canadians just aren’t buying what he’s selling?

Incidentally, even if Harper is doing a poor job of "acting like a Liberal" doesn't the fact he feels obligated to even try say something about the appeal of Conservatism in Canada?

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