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Wednesday, June 19 2024 @ 11:37 MDT

Be careful what you ask for - part II

Canadian PoliticsSubtitled why a Harper majority would be bad for the Conservative party. Now we know that a Harper majority would be a disaster for Canada, but what isn't as well known is the damage to the Conservative brand that a Harper majority would do. The reason for this is actually quite simple. Ever since winning his first minority government, Harper and his minions have been placating the base on their hot button issues by telling them to wait till Harper and the Conservatives get a majority. Once that happens all the things that the neo and theo cons want will come magically true. The elimination of same-sex marriage, the banning of abortion, the return of the death penalty, the elimination of the gun registry, the destruction of public health care. All things that Harper's base want, and all things he hasn't been able to deliver on because the evul opposition have prevented that from happening in a minority parliament. The base has been told to be patient, that all these things will come to pass when the Harper Conservatives have a majority.

Herein lies the problem for the Conservative party if Harper gets his majority, Harper will have to deliver on these things for the base. He won't have any excuse this time. He's stacked the Senate with party hacks so there's nothing there to stop a hard right agenda and with a majority in the Commons there would be nothing there stopping the agenda either. The neo and theo con base of Harper's party will be pretty much demanding that he finally deliver on his promises to them, that they should be rewarded for their patience.

Now where people fall on a left-right political spectrum is a bell curve. This means most people tend to the centre and not the tails on either end. So if Harper, in an attempt to appease his base introduces a hard-right legislative agenda there's a good chance he'll lose support towards the middle. Now with the continuum being a bell curve, one loses more support at the middle with a shift than one gains towards the tail. So by appeasing the base, Harper will push the more moderate fiscal conservatives out of the party. Since these voters are towards the middle, it won't take much of a shift to the right for Harper to lose tens of thousands of voters. A hard-right shift would pretty much doom the party east of Manitoba.

Conversely if Harper doesn't do a hard-right shift, he risks losing his base. Admittedly there are fewer of these neo and theo cons (as they are towards the tail of the curve) but there are likely enough of them in marginal ridings that if they stay home on election day (they won't vote for anyone else) the Conservatives would find it hard to get a second government mandate. Worse, they could decide to start a new party (ala Reform) out west out of spite, again splitting the right wing vote.

So Harper has a difficult line to walk should he get his majority on the 2nd of May. His base isn't renowned for being warm, understanding people and they likely will not forgive him if he doesn't do a hard-right turn on the 3rd of May. Of course this hard-right turn will push away many of those who are voting for Harper this election as that's not what they want either. It will be interesting to see what will happen.

The short of it is that if Harper does do a hard-right turn he is more than likely to damage the Conservative brand so badly that it will guarantee another 15 years of Liberal rule. Can't believe it can't happen, just look at what Brian Mulroney did for the Tories.
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Be careful what you ask for - part II
Authored by: Anonymous onThursday, April 28 2011 @ 11:06 MDT
yes look what chretien did...and we are still paying for his balanced budgets which cut transfer payments and caused infrastrusture to crumble.