The old joke goes: What do you do when an 800 pound gorilla sits on your fence? Time to get a new fence.
Well, conservative strategists, it’s time to get a new fence because the old one was just smashed to splinters by the Greeks.
The “fence” in question is the most bedrock of Conservative messages: that we are the economic managers, and the other parties aren’t, and you should vote Conservative as a result. Even when it hasn’t worked, it’s at least something a conservative party can rally around because until now, the left would try to pretend it cared about balancing the budget and so they would have to deceive the public with some half-hearted tax relief.
Personally, I never understood why the left bothered to do this. We don’t believe them when they say they want to reduce the deficit, they don’t believe themselves, and worst of all, their voters actively complain and stay home when they do.
Look at what happened to Olivia Chow and Andrea Horwath: two NDP contenders who were abandoned by their base for tacking to the centre. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the left has embraced their financial illiteracy and made it into a virtue instead of running away from it, the same way they’ve made drinking white cisgendered male tears into a virtue.
So what do you think the CPC is going to do about that? Do you think they’re going to warn Canadians about the NDP’s “risky economic policy”? Or maybe a contrast between Harper’s “sound judgement and strong leadership” and the NDP’s “reckless spending?” Well, if the NDP puts their money where their mouths were this week, they’re willing to roll the dice and hope that Canadians will mark their X’s next to the party that’s saying “OXI” in October.
Does Harper have a backup plan if the left calls his bluff? I want to believe he does, but Conservatives have an unfortunate tendency to underestimate just how badly the average Canadian wants to shirk their responsibilities.
I live in Ontario, so I hear the complaint that the Ontario Liberals “bribe people with their own money” a lot, but after four election wins I can’t really draw any other conclusion than there are a lot of people in this province who like giving control of their lives up to the state. It’s a fascinating paradox: conservative roll their eyes at left-wing optimism about human nature, and then get all flabbergasted when the voting public takes the path of least resistance.
Fairly or unfairly, conservative economic doctrine has taken a pretty big pounding over the past few years as the left complains that capitalism itself is a straightjacket. The financial know-nothings are getting louder and prouder, and Alberta may have been the first domino to fall. Yes, yes, I know, voting in the NDP there was a “protest vote” instead of an endorsement of socialism, but the left will call it a victory regardless just like they did in Greece, and people will believe them, so does it really matter?
So unless Harper can stickhandle his way out of this one, a horde of debt-happy anti-cappys are going to swarm Ottawa, and the entire nation will get a nice taste of what we’ve been eating here in Ontario this past decade. And here’s the worst part: The success of the financial know-nothings in Ontario and Alberta shows that we can’t just rely on the voters to throw them out after they’ve made a mess of things.
Maybe it’s time for the right to hit the streets and start organizing….before it’s too late.
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