Monday, February 28, 2011

The Opposition's Logic

So what's going on with the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc? Very quickly:

The Bloc has the least to worry about. They don't like harper, Quebec doesn't like harper. harper might give Quebec more autonomy, along with all the other provinces, but for the most part, harper's policies are unpopular in Quebec. The Bloc can make big demands on harper that nobody expects him to comply with and Quebec voters aren't going to care.

The NDP is scared of the poll numbers and is scared of actually having to take responsibility for the government falling. If it turns out to be the case that harper comes back with a majority, the NDP will just as likely be blamed for that as for giving harper his minority when it took down Paul Martin. The fact that Martin deserved to get the boot and that the NDP was hoping for more seats in a weaker Liberal minority is generally ignored, especially by Liberal supporters.

The Liberals have decided that there are no further excuses for hiding from a fight. harper's corporate tax cuts are exceedingly bad policy, and if Ignatieff does not do his job now, he might as well never do it.

But both parties know that the idea of a coalition is violently disliked by a large minority of voters, and perhaps a majority are opposed to one in principle. They also know that Mr. and Mrs. Suburbia would rather live in a quasi-dictatorship without any elections ever, and it will take a lot of soothing and comforting of them to win them back after subjecting them to an election. (These are people who never follow politics and couldn't tell you what's been happening or whether it's right or wrong, even if you promised to pay them.)

harper, meanwhile, sees that he's at 35-40% in the opinion polls and therefore feels comfortable in making the NDP grovel, airily dismissing them, all the while behaving as if he's in a campaign now when it comes to the Liberals.

Personally though, I believe that if the NDP and the Liberals dig deep, and re-discover the core of what they're supposed to be about (for the NDP it's advancing the cause of social democracy and for the Liberals it's manipulating the sentiments of the mushy middle and kicking the "conservatives'" asses) that harper will crumble on the campaign trail. Lord knows he's given them enough ammunition to use against him.

No comments: