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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Pre-election spin, Part II

Part One in the pre-writ attack on the new Conservative Party was Joe Clark's Paul Martin endorsement. Part II came today: lots of Red Tories can't stand the party, and guess what? They're defecting!

Liberal insiders say moderate or "Red" Tories are joining their party in droves because of fears the new Conservative party is in the midst of a hard right turn under Stephen Harper.
"There's a lot of people, you can call them Red Tories, you can call them Progressive Conservatives, who are making a judgment about what their new political home might be," said the Liberal insider.

Although it would have been nice to see some names (!!!), this is pretty smart politics, and had to be expected. A key Liberal tactic in the campaign will be to drive centrist former Progressive Conservative voters to the Grits (or, at worst, planting enough doubt in their minds to get them to stay home).

If the Liberals succeed in defining Harper as an extremist before he has a chance to define himself -- as evidenced by this week's events -- he's DOA. It's time for the Conservatives to start going on the offensive.

Posted by Adam Daifallah on April 29, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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The fundamental question here is: Are Canadians just plain stupid enough to buy the kind of muckraking nonsense that the Liberals are selling? I have a sneaking suspicion that, this time around, they may not be. I wish I knew the answer for sure.

Posted by: alan | 2004-04-29 10:22:30 PM

Liberal insiders say moderate or "Red" Tories are joining their party in droves because of fears the new Conservative party is in the midst of a hard right turn under Stephen Harper.

The funny thing is, at my level, that of the average voter, this is exactly correct. I voted for Joe Clark in the last federal election. I am the one voters you are counting on in the approaching election and the above sentence perfectly describes why you don't have my vote.

I agree and support so much of what the new party stands for, honesty in government, frugality, personal responsibly, western representation, school choice . . . I'm right behind all that. I felt that way about Manning and the Reform Party too.

But the social conservatives scare me almost speechless. Issues like abortion rights, freedom of speech, drug decriminalization, privacy guarantees, separation of church and state, marriage rights, capital punishment, following America to war as we once followed Britain . . . are big for me.

And nothing I have read has convinced me Stephen Harper and the New Conservative Party will do anything to represent my views in these areas.

It will be your tendency to dismiss me as a hopeless lefty, but that would be a mistake. My positions on these issues are largely libertarian. My views on Iraq and the war on terrorism would likely scare you to death, likewise my views on freedom of speech.

I know Stephen Harper is campaigning as a moderate but that mean nothing unless he can convince me he'll govern as one.

All politician break their promises. Who I vote for will be based of my judgment of what promises they are most likely to break and what it will cost when they break them. If Paul Martin break his campaign promises it will cost me a some money, some prestige in the world and maybe some American good will. If Stephen Harper wins and breaks his, it could cost me a whole lot more.


Posted by: mdl | 2004-05-01 12:19:18 AM

I concur with many of mdl's statements. I normall voted PC (I was one of the six to actually vote for Kim Campbell in her riding of Vancouver Centre). However I could not vote for Stockwell Day, and I do not want to see referendums on abortion forced on a weekly basis for the rest of time. Harper has to make it clear that this kind of thing will not happen or he will make little gains.

Posted by: randall g | 2004-05-01 6:26:01 PM

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