I was at a function last night, and someone said to me, “You really hate the Conservatives, don’t you?”. In actuality, I have been a party agnostic all my voting life, casting my ballot for the party that I felt best shared my vision of a strong, enduring Canada. Sometimes that was the Liberals, and sometimes the Conservatives, but it was never the NDP.
No, I don’t hate the Conservatives. What I hate is the current Conservative leadership – Stephen Harper and his sycophants in senior cabinet positions. This is a group of parliamentarians who appear to have no moral or ethical boundaries when it comes to retaining power and scoring political points. Now you can rightly point out that the Liberals don’t exactly have a stellar reputation in this area either, but then they didn’t run on a platform of principle, trust and transparency. The Conservatives put themselves on a very high pedestal during the last election campaign only to since prove themselves to be no better, and in many ways worse, than the hated Liberals when it comes to dealing with the Canadian people in an ethical, open and honest manner.
It’s a shame really, because many of the Conservative policies resonate very strongly with the public, but their juvenile and arrogant performance on so many fronts simply continues to foster an anyone-but-Stephen-Harper-for-prime-minister sentiment among a very significant proportion of the electorate. So while the Conservative Party could potentially form a majority government, I don’t think Canadians are about to give them that privilege under Stephen Harper’s watch – much to his personal vexation I expect.