Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Canada Election 2006: My analysis with 5 days to go

The election is only days away. Martin seems to be doing his usual self-destructing with Buzz Hargrove. Layton is...well...AWOL. And Harper seems to be reacting too much to the media speculation on a variety of topics.

Harper needs to stop this dance the media is engaging him in, and re-announce his policies. He needs to remind people of his 5 priorities. Each day on, he needs to hammer crime, corruption, accountability, and tax promises.
  • Harper must refuse to engage himself on issues like same-sex marriage.
  • He must challenge Martin on the notwithstanding clause.
  • Harper must voters that a vote for him is a vote against the GST.
  • He must remind people of his $1200 child allowance.
  • Harper must hammer mandatory minimum sentences.
  • This is the time to recap the campaign: to remind voters why they are voting for him, as opposed for voting for the Liberals.
Conservatives need to stay on message; that means Harper needs to redirect creative reporter questions in a variety of topics into his thesis. He must make his answers fit his themes. If not, he will appear disorganized.

As SES pollster Nik Nanos said on Mike Duffy's show on CTV today: "Less emphasis by the conservatives on their platform likely takes some of the wind out of the Tory sails."

As a result, people will ask themselves, "why am I voting for Harper again?" They need something to hang on to. Something to bring with them to the ballot box. Going 'positive' means being given something concrete - something evidential.

The reason the Conservatives need something "concrete" is to combat fear. The typical fear people have is fear of the unknown. Fear of the mysterious.

Undecided voters break for the incumbant because they are comfortable with the status quo; they aren't afraid of what they are familiar with. Conservatives need something to replace this fear of the unknown. They need solid evidence to combat fears at the ballot box. Harper needs to re-announce his policy and hammer them home.

They have brought him this far. And they can take him over the top on Monday.


Anonymous said...

What absolute nonsense.

Harper needs to tell us how he's going to pay for the fiscal imbalance and his health care plan. Or at least include them in his platform.

And he needs to explain what his plan is for Missile Defense, since he's on the record saying we're committed already.

Jonathan said...

Pay for fiscal imbalance? Out of the federal reserve. How can he say how much it will cost when he hasn't negotiated the figures yet with the Premiers?

Secondly, the Conservatives are the only party which has the platform independently costed. Can any other party say that they have costed it?

Missle Defense...he would be a fool not to join.

Anonymous said...

Harper has already stated that the fiscal imbalance in an unknown figure since it must be discussed with each province but that it must come out of the surplus and existing monies.

The health care plan was costed, it was the health guarantee to timely medical treatment which was not specified (send to another province if care not available in own province) and he has already stated that this would come out of the health care money provided to the provinces which has been budgeted for. What this means is that the provinces will be forced to deal with the waiting lists or will be paying for treatment elsewhere if they don't.

His plan for missile defence is likely verbal only (FREE!) support at this time. He also said that he would be revisiting it. If it is not right or affordable for Canada he won't likely support it.

Last, the same organization which endorsed the Conservative plan also offered to look at the LIEberals numbers too and they flat out refused: HIDDEN AGENDA!

Stop drinking the liberal kool-aid and get informed or is living in denial your preferred ideology?

Anonymous said...

Very concise!

Let's see if the Conservatives follow the advice.

Jonathan said...

They must know what's going on right? Why would Harper be in previously weak Ontario and Quebec ridings? But you're right, the campaign managers have to stay on topic. Four days of waiting for people like Buzz to respond to can't quite cut it.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

So, has the leopard changed its spots?

Interesting article in today’s Toronto Star by David Crane, which summarizes the discomfort felt by many at Harper’s apparent “evolution” (as Harper describes it). Some extracts follow (my capitalization):

“Crane: Has Harper really moved left?
Jan. 20, 2006. 07:48 AM

.... Yet big questions remain about what a Harper government would be like. Has Harper really changed from a right-wing ideologue to a middle-of-the-road Conservative? IS THE NEW HARPER MORE THAN SKIN DEEP? OR IS HIS CAMPAIGN SIMPLY AN EXPEDIENT RESPONSE TO INTENSIVE CONSERVATIVE POLLING?

Harper's history is of a strong believer in small government and especially a weak national government, devolution of power to the provinces, as well as being a social conservative seemingly more in tune with the religious right than mainstream Canadian values.

In a telling profile by Marci McDonald in Walrus magazine of members of the so-called Calgary School, a group of Alberta academics who have an almost pathological dislike of both the federal government and Ontario, Harper's neoconservative credentials as part of that group are spelled out. THE ARTICLE QUOTES TED BYFIELD, A LEADING VOICE OF A QUASI-SEPARATIST WESTERN CANADA AND HARPER SUPPORTER AS SAYING AFTER THE 2004 ELECTION, "THE ISSUE NOW IS: HOW DO WE FOOL THE WORLD INTO THINKING WE'RE MOVING TO THE LEFT WHEN WE'RE NOT."

On Canada-U.S. relations, he says he would "demand" the United States repay the duties on Canadian softwood that it illegally collected. But what does that mean? Harper has said he would have supported the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, has talked of a customs union with the United States, shares the Bush administration's opposition to the Kyoto accord and other strong action to deal with climate change, and would review Canada's position on ballistic missile defence.

On the big issue of the fiscal structure of Canada — the division of spending and taxing powers of the federal and provincial governments — Harper believes in reducing the role of Ottawa and handing over powers and revenue to the provinces. He calls this correcting the "fiscal imbalance" but is vague on what this would mean.
The danger is that it could end up meaning a much weaker national government able to act on behalf of all Canadians.

The single most damaging promise he has made is to replace Canada's initiative on early childhood development and replace it with a family allowance of $100 a month for every child under 6. Harper's plan is based on the idea that women should stay at home and not work, since they are the main beneficiaries of his proposal, while early childhood development is about ensuring youngsters are ready to learn when they enter the school system.

In many respects we are entering uncharted territory. It would be easier if we knew which is the real Stephen Harper.”