Now we have this latest release from the Liberals: Harper Hypocrisy on Accountability.
Some of the proposals the Liberals cite of Mr. Harper were actually rejected by Harper for being too soft, actually. For instance, C-4, for a creation of an Independent Ethics Commissioner, was blasted for not being tough enough.
But nevermind all that. The real problem with the latest release is that it draws more attention to the problems of the Liberal party. No poll, to my knowledge, has ever indicated that Canadians tend to see the Liberals as the party to make government more accountable. By drawing people to themselves, it is unlikely to work.
If there is any valid critique of the conservatives this election, it is that they are not being conservative enough. Andrew Coyne makes this point. And it is a dandy:
Harper is doing everything he can to reassure people nothing much would change under a Tory government. Those aren't policies he's announcing -- they're policiettes, dainty little morsels of cash targeted at strategic interest groups, in much the same style one associates with a traditional Liberal.
It is a good point. To be sure, the five main principles the Conservatives are focusing on are a good start, given that having a priority in everything is a bad idea. But they are just a good way to frame vision, not a substitute for substance. What made Reform members so passionate and interesting, in hindsight, was their passionate vision. For example, the Triple-E Senate idea is brilliant; now, it just gets dumbed down to merely electing Senators. Sure, one step at a time. But vision is bigger than mere steps. Vision is leaps. Bounds.