Monday, September 10, 2007

Conservatives are better Political Tacticians than the Liberals

As Red Tory has effectively demonstrated, the veil issue has everything to do with perceived shortcomings in recent legislation and nothing to do with Elections Canada. For example: Still the Conservatives have rightly sensed what the public feels should be the case. In so doing, they have struck another preemptive blow against Elections Canada. This proves once again that Stephan Harper and PMO are masterful political tacticians.

This is marked contrast to Dion. Whether it be the Doan Affair, or his decision to announce the deal with Green Party days after 6 Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, Dion has proved time again that he has a tin ear for politics. The only consolation for Liberals is that Martin was even worse. Whether it be David Dingwall or BMD, Martin had the unique ability of being able to make an innocent man look guilty and to turn a popular decision into a politically costly one. Lastly who could forget one of biggest political blunders in Canadian political history, viz., the Gomery Inquiry?

If the Liberals are going to win the next election, they are going to have drop Stephen Harper as Mr. Muzzle talking point. Harper’s Achilles Heal is his own caucus. The Conservatives are not blessed with a lot of front line talent. Rob Nicholson is no Irwin Colter. Jim Flaherty is no Paul Martin, John Manley or Ralph Goodale. Peter McKay is no John Graham, or Lloyd Axworthy. Rona Ambrose is no Stephane Dion. Moreover, the Conservative caucus still has plenty of nuts. By painting Harper as one man government and other Conservatives as muzzled and unreliable, the Liberals are inadvertently insolating Harper against the very thing that could most derail Conservative messaging, viz., the ranting of loons or the sure incompetence of his ministers. Moreover, this has over the years allowed the press to paint Harper as a moderate who has successfully beaten down the hard edge elements of the party. The Liberals are going to have to find a way of painting Conservative caucus as being an extension of Harper and not separate from him. Controversial statements should not be painted as missteps but as trail balloons.

More importantly, the Liberals are going to have to prove themselves to be better strategists than the PMO tacticians. This means more than anything else they are going to have to introduce a series of hot button issues that will result in sustained public debate. The Conservatives might score a few tactical victories, they are after all so much more skillful than the Liberals in that regard, but over the long whole superficial talking points stand little chance of standing up to a waves of public scrutiny. Truth almost always wins a war of attrition. This also means shifting the focus away from their incoherent Afghanistan policy and talking points and onto substantive criticisms of the Afghan mission. Whenever the Conservatives claim progress the Liberals must flood the public domain with facts and figures that paint a less rosy picture. Rhetoric must be met with cold hard fact.


Calgary Junkie said...

Your chess pieces are set up wrong. The white king and queen need to switch places.

Koby said...

ha ha. They are by no means "mine", but so they are.