Quite a few of you regulars – Lala, Namesake, et al. – have suggested to me that the Libs are smart to make the election frame about ethics, and not economy. They’ve accordingly told me I’m wrong to be worried about what’ll happen to my party if a campaign happens in the Spring.
Fair enough. Maybe they’re right, maybe I’m wrong. Here’s my three-point rationale:
1. The top of mind issue for Canadians, by a long shot, is the economy. It usually is. I consequently don’t see how we can ignore the economy in a 36-day campaign. I understand the desire to avoid talking about an issue that is a Conservative strength. I get it. But the economy? Get serious. That’s the 600-pound gorilla in the room. Ignore it at your peril.
2. I like the ethics theme as a ballot question. I do. I mean, it is clear that the ruling party was engaged in a widespread conspiracy to defraud taxpayers, and that they cheated in the election. It’s not conjecture: Conservatives have been charged with breaking the law. But here’s the problem: voters are pretty skeptical about “scandal” stuff – they’ve heard too many baseless allegations get thrown around too many times. That’s not all: it takes weeks and months to publicize and explain something like the “in and out” conspiracy – Hell, it took Harper more than a year to capitalize on the sponsorship stuff. It’ll take too much time to tell the story right.
3. Look at the polls, folks. If you take Quebec out of the picture (where the Bloc utterly dominates, anyway), the Reformatories have A TWENTY POINT LEAD in English Canada. Twenty points! That’s massacre time.
I understand the grim assessment made by some Libs – “let’s just get it over with, nothing is going to change.” I also have heard some senior staff in OLO have simply given up.
But that’s emotion – that’s not a strategy, folks. It’s also a formula for disaster.
I don’t want us reduced to third party status. I think going now, and going on the ethics theme, will lead to a majority Harper Government.
That’s what I think, anyway. What’s your view? Comments are open.