Thursday, September 10, 2009

Listen to Mr. Harper, not the polls

I have argued on this blog over the last couple of weeks that Stephen Harper is afraid of an election and he is afraid because he is reasonably certain that he will lose one when it happens, regardless of what the polls say. In fact, I have argued that the polling should be making him more bullish about an election and he has been acting the exact opposite.

That point was again demonstrated by that "secret" video that came out last night. When I viewed it my jaw hit the ground. I could not believe that a sitting Prime Minister (thinking of Stephen Harper holding that job still makes me queasy) would make such as speech, to party faithful or otherwise.

In order for Mr. Harper to win an election, let alone a majority government, he needs to appeal beyond his base to women, minority groups, people living in cities and Quebec. Last night he managed to bad mouth most of these groups in one speech. He gave the Liberals ready made advertizement material that they can use to hammer home the message to these groups that he really does not like them. Considering the Conservative base is really only about 30% of the electorate, concentrated mostly in the West, it is not good politics to alienate groups outside of your base.

A rule in politics is a sitting government never, ever, ever, ever acknowledges that their chief opponent can beat them. They do not say it specifically, they do not infer it, imply it, surmise it or speculate about it. It shows weakness and you avoid doing it at any cost. In last night's video he broke this rule with both his words and the tone of the speech. It shows that he is very afraid and that is often the kiss of death in politics.

Then there is the question of why he made such a speech to begin with. Yes, it was in front of party faithful in a closed door meeting. But he should know that given his position every word he utters outside of the confines of 24 Sussux and the Langevin Block will be recorded and eventually disseminated to the broader public. So, he was taking a great risk in making these statements in "public". Why would he make these statements? Perhaps because he is not as afraid of Michael Ignatieff as much as he is afraid of his own base. He has run a decidedly unconservative government and many in his base are not happy about it. If just a few percentage points of them stay home during an election day he loses government.

So for those Conservative bloggers who have stated that this was a planned leak I would suggest you pray that you are very wrong. If the PMO really decided that they needed to leak such an imflammatory speech, one that will only appeal to their base, then you can be certain that things are going much worse for the Conservatives than the polls are telling us. They are seeing things that the public newspapers and their polling companies have not detected or are not bothering to report.

Then again, the most likely scenario is Stephen Harper thought he was amongst friends and fellow travellers so he could "let his hair down", which surely demonstrates the chess master had better take some more lessons.

As well, if this was not a planned leak then Conservatives had better be very worried because this was a room filled with his base. If one of them cannot be trusted to not leak a damaging video to the media that would seem to show the level of displeasure they have with Mr. Harper, which again reinforces the idea that he felt compelled to give such a speech to the party faithful despite the risks involved.

Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are not posturing. They are afraid of an election and they are increasingly showing signs that they do not expect to win it when it occurs. That speaks much more loudly than the polls we have been seeing from our MSM for the past few days.


Blogger Lizt. said...

Now the Tories are making fun of the Liberals, because the Tories say that Harper knew all about the video, so everyone could understand other words, pleading for votes

September 10, 2009 8:21 PM  
Blogger wilson said...

The Con Majority vs the Coalition Majority has been in the news for over a week ottlib.
CBC/Libs gave the Cons free messaging, thanks!
So far, MI has evaded answering reporters questions on the coalition.

Yes, I think PMSH is sincere when he says he does not want an election, like 30 million other's called election fatigue.
Oh and that insignifcant matter of the recession, where parliament should be working together, but instead we got 'probation' and 'Harper gets to wear this recession, no Liberal ideas for him to steal'.

PMSH needs 12 more seats for a majority, Libs need 78 more seats.

So to get that Lib majority, doubling their seat count is the least likely senario, a coalition is a very real possibility.
It's not as if it can't happen, eh.

September 11, 2009 3:02 AM  
Blogger marie said...

Wilson, wrap your wee closed mind around this. The average Canadian voters aren't as stupid as you think they are. Just because you can't tell truth from fiction doesn't mean we are all stupid. Drop that stupid coalition line. Your idol, the freak, used that avenue in 2004 and he can lie all about that if he wants, there is a paper trail to prove that.If Ignatieff had wanted to be PM than, he would have proceeded with it, not turned it down. I think you had better get a life because you are getting sicker by the day.

September 11, 2009 11:53 AM  

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