Sunday, August 16, 2015
Stephen Harper's Disastrous Possibly Fatal Duffy Mistake
When Stephen Harper decided to launch the election campaign into the midsummer storm of the Duffy trial, he must have thought he could get away with it.
His criminal mind must have hoped that the campaign would distract Canadians, and limit the damage to him and his Cons.
But as even John Ivison points out, with every passing day that decision is looking more and more disastrous.
The thinking must have been that Stephen Harper’s appearances on the campaign trail would deflect attention from the goings-on in court. Those hopes look increasingly forlorn.
While most people won’t delve into the minutiae of the testimony, they will remember the prime minister looking like a character from the poster for the Usual Suspects, as he was peppered with reporters’ questions about the murky behaviour of his most senior staff.
Making him look even more ridiculous and beaten...
Standing behind a podium with a large sign reading “Leadership,” while denying any knowledge of what was happening in his own office does not bolster the prime minister’s credentials on the accountability file.
Which as I pointed out in my last post, may actually be fuelling the already strong desire for change.
The real barometer of public opinion is the question of whether it is time for another party to take over in Ottawa. A poll by Ipsos Reid suggested that two in three voters think it is. That change voter is split but, ominously for Harper, most of those people think the two main opposition parties should gang up on the Tories, if they win a minority.
And to make matters worse, as Chantale Hébert points out, the sordid revelations coming out of the Duffy trial can only demoralize Harper's supporters.
And make it even harder for him to win back those who have abandoned him.
Nigel Wright’s long-awaited appearance at Sen. Mike Duffy’s trial may not have implicated Harper further in the spending scandal but it certainly did not give the 2011 Conservative supporters who have since strayed to other parties a reason to run back to the fold.
At a time when Harper needs to sustain the enthusiasm of his base for an election marathon, the Duffy trial is making it hard for many loyal Conservatives to feel proud of their first majority government in two decades.
Especially since Batty Harper is now protecting his beloved Robin, Ray Novak, even though he and another large group of Cons in the PMO knew all about the sordid plan to try to cover-up a scandal.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper stood by his chief of staff, Ray Novak, as evidence in court suggested his senior aide was kept in the loop about a plan to have Nigel Wright reimburse Sen. Mike Duffy’s inappropriate expenses.
Because you know what his rabid base thinks about love stories like that one eh?
And who could be proud of a cowardly leader like this one?
But then he is desperate. He knows that if he loses even part of his Con base he's done like dinner.
It was a fatal mistake. And he's no political genius.
He allowed Duffy to surface at the worst possible time, and swamp his campaign...
And now they're both going down together...
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