theQuestion: What is the likelihood that the federal Conservatives would hold the reins of power again?*
I am feeling a little nauseous. My Duel colleague’s submission this week is filled with spite, venom and hyperbole — demonstrating how even in victory the left only knows the politics of attack and derision. Petr’s diatribe offers nothing to mend wounds or advance discourse. And, he also leaves the question of this Duel unanswered.
The answer is yes, of course, it’s likely to happen. Instead of arguing to the contrary, Petr provides convincing points in favour of a future Conservative win.
Stephen Harper’s leadership is over. Despite the mischaracterizations, Harper was not the anti-Christ. Nor was he a Hitler or Mussolini. What he was is a bad leader.
I have never been a Harper man. Yes, in this column I have defended many of his policies and legislation — those that match my political positions. Never have I defended Harper. With the 1993 election as the only exception, I have voted for the right-wing party in every election. This year, I was undecided down to the wire.
Election day was agonizing. I am still furious at Harper for not stepping down a year ago — allowing the party to draw a new leader from a talented pool of accomplished MPs.
With rejuvenated leadership, the government could have mended fences, fostering a post-Harper future — without first having to lose an election.
I also blame those around him for not doing more to force him out. Anyone in high school social studies could see the Harper brand was poisoned beyond saving. If due to Harper, I almost voted for Justin Trudeau, think of how many other Conservative-minded voters actually did. With Harper gone, the Conservatives shall live to fight another day.
That day begins with the next Parliament. The Conservatives are the official opposition and are sure to hold the Liberal government’s feet to the fire — Liberals also have an inglorious record of scandal and heavy-handed policy. They also know how to grow stale in power. If the Liberal party can come back after being nearly wiped out, the Conservatives can surely rebuild.
Canadians did not reject conservative values as much as they sought to punish the Conservative party in power. Voters did not banish the Conservatives to the political wilderness. That position belongs to the Green Party and the federal NDP.