Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Repetitively redundant

Babble on.

I freely admit I don't have a good grasp on what the average voter is thinking when it comes to politics. If I was an average voter, I wouldn't stay moderately well-informed about current events, I wouldn't be a member of a political party, and I certainly wouldn't blog.

For reasons ranging from Francois Beaudoin to the Upholder sub purchase – without even touching on Adscam – I think the Liberals should be hounded from office in such a way as to make them wish for Kim Campbell's fate. The fact that the Grits still have the vote of nearly a third of Canadian adults quite literally boggles my mind.

So when it comes to political strategy designed to win the hearts and minds of the average voter, I’m not much of a guide.

I seriously doubt that professional pundits, including those currently wandering the halls of academia, have any firmer a grasp on the mood of the electorate. At least bloggers have the advantage of a real job to keep them honest and grounded. Still, I found it interesting to see a fellow like Chris Waddell echo much of the blogosphere this past week:

For the Conservatives, it isn't good enough just to oppose the government. An opposition needs policies, too. What are the policies that are going to help the Conservatives win the seats the party must take in suburban Ontario if it hopes to win the next election?

Stephen Harper needs to showcase his MPs elected last year, talking in detail about their party's policies, not just screaming about scandals, if he hopes to persuade Canadians he leads a government in waiting, not just an opposition.

This isn't anything you haven't seen from Andrew, or Bob, or Alan, or Greg, or Taylor, or a host of other intelligent bloggers. But maybe if the All-Knowing, All-Seeing Main Stream Media&trade starts saying it, the mandarins pulling Stephen Harper's strings will get the message.

Then again, maybe they won’t (ht:Andrew):

"The difficulty with laying out our platform right now is the Liberals have demonstrated they are prepared to steal everything," Peter Van Loan, the Conservative MP for York-Simcoe in Central Ontario, said yesterday.

"Obviously, if we laid it out right now, I have no doubt it would be stolen within hours. And for that reason, to a large extent, the platform elements of a positive message will be seen most obviously during an election."

It seems the only people more out of touch with voters than journalists and bloggers are politicians and the Svengalis who advise them.

I know this will seem blasphemous to some, but if the Liberals were to steal and implement all our Conservative ideas, wouldn’t that be a good thing? I mean, for everyone not angling for some sweet sinecure in a Conservative government?

I don't believe Joe and Jane Canuck trust Harper and the Conservatives. Unless Harper gets a personality transfusion sometime before the election, he's not going to earn their trust through his folksy, down-home demeanour. The only way voters will learn to trust him is if they hear him consistently laying out a solid vision for the country and defending it against all challenges. And if he waits for an election campaign he simply won't have time to establish that credibility through consistency.

In the meantime, the longer they stay solely negative, the longer the Conservatives cement their current image in the minds of the voting public. In case any of the Conservative brain-trust is reading, I'll remind you that the current image isn't a winning one.

I'm beginning to believe we're going to have to get extremely lucky to win the next election. I hope I'm wrong.

Babble off.


At 4:29 p.m., Blogger Matt said...

Hear, hear. Van Loan's comments are stupid on numerous levels. Besides the reason you've noted, how about the fact that he's admitting flat-out that they're planning on keeping their agenda hidden for the foreseeable future? Boy, it would sure be a surprise if they caught some flak for that.

I just thought of a riddle:
Me: "Hey Peter, what's the difference between party principles and election promises?"
Peter Van Loan: "I don't know."
Me: "No shit."

At 5:02 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Fenwick, that riddle is frickin' brilliant. LMAO!

At 9:26 p.m., Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

I can't do riddles so I will just pass on an observation. When people in the real world realize I am a conservative most have mini-heart attacks - most Joe and Jane Cannuck's equate conservatives with the paleo's or the Pat Robertson's of the world - they have yet to realize that nothing stays stagnate forever.

At 9:14 a.m., Blogger VW said...

One thing to remember: it's not enough to articulate policy. John Kerry could articulate details better than George Bush, but look who's sitting in the White House.

As things stand, Harper has the personality level of an Al Gore. He needs to acquire "the common touch" that folks like Bush, Bill Clinton and Ed Broadbent have; the type that makes the average Canadian feel like they want to invite you over for barbecue.

This doesn't mean you change your policy to make people comfortable. It means you show the part of you that people can identify with.

Example: the former premier, Mike Harris plays golf. Elitist? No, because lots of people play golf or know how the game works. You could imaging having Mike Harris over for barbecue, not to mention clowning around with The Air Farce.

Another way to acquire "the common touch" your weaknesses and exploiting them yourself, rather than let your political opponents exploit them for you. Usually you do that by making fun of yourself. See George Bush's "Jean Poutine" remark as an example.

Possible steps to take this route:

1. Invite Rick Mercer over to talk about policy over a hamburger. At Hooter's.

2. Offer to guest on "The Red Green Show" and do "The Experts" section. Or "Handyman Corner."

3. Operate a booth on Sparks Street during the next BBQ or Chili contest.

4. Host a CMT or MuchMusic "Top 20" segment.

5. Host a "Juste Pour Rire" show in Montreal during that festival.

At 11:05 a.m., Blogger Debbye said...

As a Bush voter, I'll let vw's comment pass ;-)

The American voter defied the polls and the media in '04.

I believe that Bush won because he trusted us, the people, not the polls and not those who dare to presume they speak for the people. His message was simple and straightforward, and even if he must pronounce nuclear as my grandparents did, it sort of endears him to that part of our roots that migrated to the cities from the country.

I am beginning to think that maybe what Canada needs most is that kind of "Americanized" politics.

Enough with the superficial, the spinners and the preppers. Give us some genuine people to vote for with genuine ideas and please, genuine love for this country.

I am so tired of those who view all this as a sport or movie production.


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