Monday, March 15, 2010

Fish or Cut Bait

A great article from Coyne today. Incredibly accurate description of the current malaise in the Canadian Federal Government. This about sums it up:

Talk to Conservative backbenchers, at least among the shrinking numbers of conservatives in the party, and you find a glum lot, embarrassed at what their government has become: the drift, the cynicism, the total absence of ambition or purpose. So why don’t they do something about it? For the same reason that the Prime Minister declines to offer an agenda: fear. The Prime Minister is afraid the public does not share his views, and so refuses to share his views with the public. His MPs are afraid of the Prime Minister, and so shrink from offering any firmer resistance to his right. Unwilling to prod him to do more, they make it easy for him to do nothing.

This is an interesting take given Bernier's increasingly obvious leadership plans. The question Conservatives are dealing with is, just how conservative are Canadians? I've touched on this a couple times, including on Friday when I posted on Allan Gregg's presentation at the Manning Centre Conference. There is a story forming in the MSM, enthusiastically supported by various Conservative bloggers, that Canadians are really conservative, a variation of the old silent majority nonsense. I'd like to know whether CPC leadership is buying it.

Traditionally, Harper has stuck to soft conservative issues. Nobody likes crime, and everyone has an irrational fear of it. Nobody likes paying taxes and, if the resulting cuts are invisible to suburbanites, no harm, no foul. At some point, however, if Harper wants the continued support of the party, he'll need to jump in with both feet. The big question is whether Bernier and the western caucus, along with the Wild Rose movement in Alberta, will force his hand.

1 comment:

  1. The Wild Rose movement may serve to divide the "Right" once again, but I think this is rather telling because if we all recall, Liberal backbenchers revolted against the very powerful Chretien. They can say all that they like about the Liberals (with all their childish jeux de mots ), but they cannot say that Liberals have rolled over while they were the governing party.