Everyone but the hardest Tory partisan has to be ticked off with the Harper campaign. Has it not, from the very beginning, been built on the presumption that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives own a fixed swathe of Canadian voters. To them, it says: "You are ours and you can go nowhere else."Of course, as per the old joke, you don’t have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun the other hunter. And the Tories are doing that.
That presumption is finally riling even the fabled "base." People recognize when they are taken for granted. They may allow it for a while, but then it rises to insult. They also know when they are being played — as when, for example, the Conservatives keep dragging out their eternal gun-registry politics, ringing, as they think, a Pavlovian bell for their deepest supporters.
Mr. Harper thought all he had to do was warn about the madness of electing the other guys. How feeble. That coalition message has the odour of entitlement to it. It is not a commanding virtue — this should be inscribed in every campaign booklet — that you are not the other party. Harper made his campaign about a fort to be held, not new territory to be taken. That is neither attractive nor brave.
Rex on the base.
While Rex Murphy’s opinions sometimes spray forth in all directions, like the spittle from a prolix and over-excitable pundit (to pick a random metaphor) – he is on the money with this one.
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