Musings —04.02.2011 09:03 AM—
- It’s a down day! Or, maybe tomorrow is. Either way, every campaign is back in Ottawa, or heading there, so that the leaders and the planes and the tour staff can get home, hug the kids, get sleep in a familiar bed and – most crucially – do laundry. Some, if they’re courageous, will wander in to campaign HQ to see how central campaign staff are doing. They will look bleary-eyed and exhausted, because they are. The war room staff will make jokes about Stockholm Syndrome (which seizes reporters travelling with the leaders, by the way, and shows up in their coverage). And everyone will read the papers.
- What will they see? In tomorrow’s Sun, I write this: “Stephen Harper looks like he is phoning it in. He appears washed-out and tired. At his much-trumpeted Montreal rally, in fact, Harper didn’t look like a political leader fighting for a win – he looked like an exhausted chartered accountant in a crowded airport, trying to get home for the weekend.” That’s some of my take. What do others see? Here’s a columnist sampling – add yours in comments! I guarantee you’ll be read – the stats for www.warrenkinsella.com have exploded by 300 per cent since the campaign started, and so too have comments. Thanks to all for your contributions – you’re all pretty smart, left, right or coalitionist.
- Chantal Hebert, Star:“To drive his message home, Harper has been blatantly creative with the facts, starting with his own manoeuvres as an opposition leader in a minority Parliament. He has risked turning the election into a debate on his character, a huge gamble for a figure that has been shown to have a higher-than-average potential to polarize Canadians. Harper is taking that gamble based on his conviction that against a divided opposition, polarization is an ace up the Conservative sleeve.”
- Stephen Maher, Chronicle-Herald: “Harper’s team may be nervous, and if they’re not, they should be. Harper is on track to win this election, but so far the Liberals are having a better campaign, and the Conservatives could lose the government even if they win the election.”
- Adam Radwanski, Globe and Mail:“…the Liberal Leader is surprising even his own handlers with his comfort on the campaign trail. And he shows signs of making the Conservatives pay for underestimating him, and for conditioning the public – through advertisements that portrayed Mr. Ignatieff as a bumbling dilettante – to do likewise.”
- David Akin, Sun Media:“The Conservative war room has been obsessed, in the meantime, with penny-ante “gotcha” shots every time they think they’ve got more evidence of Ignatieff’s designs on a coalition government. OK. We get the point. But if Conservatives really want that majority, they’ll have to do more than that to tell Canadians why they want it.”
- David Olive, Star:“It has seemed almost farcical to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper warn that Canada’s economic recovery would be jeopardized by a Liberal-led coalition of opposition parties taking power after the federal election May 2.”
- Bruce Campion-Smith, Star: “A week that started strong for Harper — by putting Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff on his heels with accusations of plotting to lead an opposition coalition — ended with the Conservative leader looking unsteady on everything from debates, his dealings with the media and even his attacks around the coalition.”
- Pic of the day: It’s fuzzy, but so is the campaign so far – nobody has landed on the narrative strikes a chord, most voters aren’t paying attention. Add a caption!