Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Memo to Stephen: We're not Buying it

Of all the places I could find material to point out, for the fourteen billionth time, that Stephen Harper is lying to us through his teeth about his agenda it has to be the Calgary Sun.

Today in an article entitled Stephen Harper sheds more Tory right-wing baggage the Sun unwittingly makes my case that the man is just saying anything to try to get Ontario voters to swing his way.

Realizing he needs to shed still more right-wing baggage, the federal Conservative leader announces yet another conversion to the political centre ... Stephen Harper, the Johnny-come-lately defender of Medicare. No private health care for him. This week, it is Stephen Harper, the better-late-than-never opponent to shipping Canadian troops into the mess of Iraq.

I find it amazing that he can change his mind so quickly on something he was so fundamentally opposed to. Just think about that for a second: Take the one thing you feel strongest about whether it is Same Sex Marriage, or Abortion, or Fiscal policy, or whatever. Do you honestly think you could change your mind on it in one day, with no new evidence or arguments being sent your way?

Of course not, and neither has Harper. All that's happened is he realizes that if he wants to get to 24 Sussex Drive he needs to fool people in to thinking he's recanted his far-right ways. He hasn't had a change of heart; he's had a change of speech.

Yes, when the U.S. of A. was locked and loaded, ready to shock and awe Iraq, the majority sentiment on the opposition side was red, white and blue. Tory Calgary echoed this conviction. Unlike the rest of Canada, here it was semper fi, do or die and gung ho, their country right or wrong. If you didn't sign on, or like 5,000-plus souls who took to the streets in this city in protest, you were an anti-American, Saddam-loving peacenik scum giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Harper and his MPs despised the supposedly cowardly Chr├ętien who wouldn't stand with the Americans.

There is little that has changed in Calgary since this time, alas the hatred of the Left may have even grown if that's possible. So now Harper is not only fighting a desperate battle to win the affection of the more centrist Ontario voters, he is alienating his own home base in Calgary and even the rest of Alberta. I can't imagine the shock waves being felt there right now over Mr. Harper's rejection of their core values. The polls don't reflect this yet, but the election is still young, and Albertans haven't had a chance to see this new, more moderate Stephen Harper in the debates.

In this case however, no matter what happens it is bad for Stephen Harper. If Albertans start to find themselves with a sour taste in their mouths the Conservatives may lose the one place had counted on as a bastion of support. And if the polls don't change at all it will signal to the rest of the country that Albertans know something we only suspected: Harper hasn't changed a bit.

Think about it, if Stephen Harper moves more to the center and Albertans still support him that means they know he's lying about it, and they'll continue to support him, because they know if his lies succeed in obtaining him ultimate power they'll have a rather nasty bit of long awaited political revenge on their Central and Eastern Canadian neighbors.

Finally, the Sun article ends with this:

No Tory day would be complete without our Ralph. On Friday, the premier promises he'll speak no more of Harper's chances because he's afraid of duct tape. Yesterday, Ralph the rascal peels off the gag and repeats what he's said before. He doesn't like Harper's odds. He's not the only one.

Good news for us all.

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