Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Conservatives: The Chess Master failed

Make no mistake. The Conservative Party won last night's election in a convincing fashion.

However, they failed in achieving the primary objective of calling this election, which we all know was to win a majority government. For the second time in a row the Conservatives found themselves in the ideal position to sweep the country and they came up short. Certainly they did better than last time but they still came up short.

Now let us remind ourselves as to why they wanted a majority government.
  • The economy is going into the crapper and they wanted those four or five years in order to have security during the worst of the coming recession.
  • They wanted the novelty of a liberal, black US President, preaching change and liberal values to wear off before they have to face the Canadian electorate again.
  • The In-and-Out Scandal has not played itself out completely. It should come to some sort of conclusion within a year. In all likelihood it will not be great news for the Conservatives. Having four of five years with which to recover from any negative impacts of that scandal would have been nice.
  • The Mulroney/Schrieber Inquiry will have to go forward. With a majority government the Conservatives could have canceled it and that would have been forgotten by 2012. Now it will be occuring at the same time they will be trying to come to grips with a faltering economy.
  • The Cadman Affair could come back to haunt them again.
  • The Conservatives could have used a majority to squash all other Parliamentary Committee inquiries into all of the other little ethical lapses that have dogged the Conservatives.

The Conservative's second term in office will be much different than its first. They no longer have a Liberal surplus with which to buy votes and the economy is heading in the wrong direction. If it really heads into the crapper the Conservatives will wear it.

The In-and-Out Scandal has the potential to be very damaging. Perhaps fatal in the short time between now and the next election. The RCMP only executes search warrants if there is sufficient probably cause to believe a crime has been commited. Although nothing has come out yet the potential damage of Canadians seeing the Conservative Party and dozens of Conservative Party members, including sitting MPs and Cabinet Ministers, being criminally charged with violating Canada's election law could be catastrophic to the Conservatives.

Combine that with many of the other scandals that have dogged the Conservatives since last winter coming home to roost, I expect this Parliament to be nasty, brutish and short.

To make Mr. Harper's life just a little more difficult he could have some difficulty keeping his party under the tight control he prefers.

I would have to say that judging by the facial expression and subdued demeanour of Rick Anderson last night on the CBC not all Conservatives are happy with Mr. Harper's failure to win a majority. Mr. Anderson should have been bouncing off the walls since the Conservatives had just won back-to-back elections for the first time in almost two decades. Instead, he was saying that Mr. Harper would have to think upon last night's results.

Mr. Anderson and many other Conservatives know that Canadians will only give you so many kicks at the can before they decide that you are no longer worthy. They know that Canadians will eventually grow tired of Mr. Harper and his ways and they know that he may already be on borrowed time. Many Conservatives may feel the same way I felt after the 2004 election when Paul Martin only won a minority government. Although I was happy that the Liberals won the election I also knew that they would not win the next one.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the next 12-18 months.


Blogger WesternGrit said...

Great post. I agree with the direction the cons are headed (down). Anderson has reason to worry. They are going to wear the upcoming storm...

October 15, 2008 10:18 PM  
Blogger Frankly Canadian said...

Yes I believe that this will wear well for the Liberal Party over the next few years, let the Conservatives deal with the up and comming mess for the future. I only hope Mr. Dion stays on as leader, he has shown tremendous growth throughout the last two and a half years. Some of the points brought forth in these blogs confirm Steven Harpers continuous attacks on the Liberal leader Stephane Dion, however if you remember the leadership race the conservative attack ads were already portraying Mr. Ignatieff as being an absent Canadian, having lived outside Canada for a time. They also had the attacks ready for Mr. Rae as well, showing him as a failure in the provincial leadership of Ontario, I believe it did not matter who the leader of the Liberals was going to be, the conservatives had already formed their lines of attack towards poor leadership, they are very calculated that way. I have to agree with some of the bloggers that we Liberals have to be very cautious not to play into what Steven Harpers wants, the master chess player has this all figured out, we should not rush to act towards quick remedies, that may be his next line of attack, "policy on the fly". What is more than likely going to happen is that Canadians will finally be fed up with Harper with in the next two and half more years, and we will see a revolt to throw him out of office the way we Canadians threw out Brian Mulroney! I don't believe it matters at all who the Leader of the Liberals is in the next election is, when Canadians make up their minds about something that's, that and we don't need the polls telling us what we already know. Sadly to say however that a high profile name like Justin Trudeau could help fight for the odd seat back here and there, no offense to Justin, I love the way he has launched his political career and stewarded the truly important values of Canadian politics. As Steven Harper has shown, it is often salesmanship not statesmanship that wins elections, however, it is Statesmanship not salesmanship that wins Canadian hearts. Canada needs intelligent and diligent hard working politicians to win back our confidence in our electoral system, until this happens we have our country being ran by individuals who win with less than forty percent of the general support and voter turn out of less than sixty percent!

October 15, 2008 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention the O'Brien - Kilrea - Baird - Finley affair... They comes up to court in a few months. Should be interesting!

October 16, 2008 12:24 AM  

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