Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:47 MDT
Contributed by: evilscientist
Conservative party supporters, in my experience here in Alberta, are largely angry middle aged to older white males. They're angry at everyone and everything. The hate that fills their bodies knows no bounds. Their hatred for the Liberal party is almost limitless. As some anecdotal evidence of this hate, while I was running in our last provincial election (as a New Democrat), I was required to have 25 voter signatures in order to be on the ballot. So I went, form in hand to a random street in the riding and went door knocking. Now at the time I was unaware that the street was a poll that the NDP took 2 votes in the previous election. Anyways, I spent the evening being swore at, called names and have doors slammed in my face. Conservatives are if nothing else, apparently rude and boorish. However the ones that weren't complete asses at least were polite enough to listen I was able to get 25 signatures with the line "You know, if I'm on the ballot, that's less votes for the Liberal." That usually garnered a signature or two from the household. That's right, the Tories hate the Liberals so much that they'll sign an NDP nomination paper just to keep the votes from going Liberal. It also seems I was able to get more votes as I pulled 5 votes from that poll this time around.
This anger seems to permeate the Conservative party as a whole, both provincially and federally. Their anger and hate make them act like schoolyard bullies and will let them condone any action against a political foe. In Alberta, it's using the government to spy on opponents, federally it's Harper and crowd bullying anyone who dare speak against them as any scan of parliamentary debates will easily show, not to mention staffers people who question them Liberal plants. The anger and hate seethes just beneath the thin veneer of civility that the Harper Tories have put on for the election. It is because of this anger and hate that when the party dresses Harper up in a sweater vest and put him in a "fireside chat" mode he manages not to look harmless, but smarmy.
This anger and hate is also why most Tory candidates have vanished off the face of the Earth. They don't show up for public forums, they're rarely seen door knocking. It is because the party lives in fear that one of their angry, hate filled candidates opens their mouth in front of a live microphone and costs the glorious maximum leader the election. Why would that cost the Conservatives the election? Well thought the majority of Tory supporters seem to be angry and hate filled, the majority of Canadians aren't. So when this hatred boils to the surface it scares away the soft Tory support, what used to be called the Red Tories. Unfortunately for Harper and his party, that could cost him the election, let alone a majority government.
So what should the opposition do? Well, the simple thing would be to push Harper's buttons. If my experience with Alberta Tories is any indication, their anger and hate is so prevalent in their being, that it's fairly easy to get them to fly off the handle. The same is true with Harper. If, in the final weeks of the campaign they can get Harper to fly off in one of his trademark rages, that will cause more damage to the Tory brand than any negative ad ever could.