Oh dear, pity poor Rona Ambrose. It's all going horribly wrong. Already.
She may be the interim Queen of the Cons, but she's finding her throne so uncomfortable, she might as well be sitting on the prickly parts.
Party officials have been complaining behind her back that she's doing nothing to stop different factions from fighting to control the rules of the Con leadership race to suit themselves.
They say she's like a rabbit, paralyzed by the deathly stare of a cobra.
But it turns out that Ambrose's real problem may be the elephant, or the monster in the room.
The leader who won't leave.
The one even L. Ian MacDonald says should move out so the Cons can move ahead.
The Conservatives have the opportunity to refurbish their brand, in the Commons and in the country. This starts with putting Stephen Harper in the past, where he belongs. But Conservatives can’t really do that while he’s still sitting in the House. He needs to leave town, and soon. When it’s over, it’s over.
But that won't be easy because Harper is sticking around so he can keep his cobra eyes on MPs, and make sure the next leader works for him, and that it remains HIS party.
And what MacDonald doesn't point out is that the list of possible leadership candidates is so mediocre, if Kevin O'Leary runs he would have no trouble overshadowing them all.
Which as I pointed out on Twitter would be fatal...
A man who said this shouldn't even dream of becoming a Canadian Prime Minister https://t.co/PsFYBlESBJ #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/onpFhKWA2T— Simon (@montrealsimon) January 17, 2016
For it could blow the Cons to smithereens, and help marginalize the Cons for a generation, if electoral reform doesn't kill them first.
For that is Ambrose's other big problem, and even that she can't get right...
Before he changes our democracy, Justin Trudeau needs to get approval from Canadians. Agree? https://t.co/OApMPkt7pf https://t.co/lKRS2qi6BI— Conservative Party (@CPC_HQ) January 15, 2016
Justin Trudeau doesn't need a referendum to scrap the first-past-the-post system.
And when the Con MP Scott Reid, who is organizing a petition demanding a referendum, claims that electoral reform would make it "virtually impossible" to remove the Liberals from power, that too is baloney.
Assuming for the moment that the committee went with an optional preferential ballot, the Liberals might well have the upper hand in the next election, based on recent polls.
But there are many variables to consider before the next election, including who leads the Conservatives and how that person will position the party. It is not inconceivable that the Conservatives could change the way they approach voters and widen their overall appeal, so that they became the second choice of more Canadians.
The Conservative claim perhaps should have read that Trudeau "might" push through a plan that would benefit the Liberals, making it "extremely difficult" to remove them from power "in the next election." As it stands, however, the statement contains "a lot of baloney."
The Cons could save themselves if they moved their party to the centre, and their real problem is that they can't.
Not as long as their base wags the Con dog. And they depend on that base to raise money...
Because right now they're broke.
And not as long as Stephen Harper is still lurking around in the shadows.
And then of course there's Rona Ambrose's other big problem.
The continuing popularity of Justin Trudeau.
Today, 53% say they approve of the performance of the federal government, similar to the 51% we measured in December. To put this in context, at no point during 2015 did the Harper government find an approval rating higher than 37%.
14% of those who voted Conservative voters approve of the Liberal government’s performance so far, as do a striking 57% of those who voted for the NDP.
Which makes it almost impossible to attack him, when so many of your own members support him.
And if all that wasn't bad enough then there's this.
A large study conducted in the United Kingdom failed to find evidence of a robust link between cannabis use and lowered intelligence among teenagers.
“The notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenage sample,” wrote Claire Mokrysz of the University College London and her colleagues.
Which considering her well known position on that matter...
Only makes her look even dumber, and even less like a leader.
Yes indeed, pity poor Rona Ambrose.
The Cons are caught between oblivion, and change which means oblivion.
They can't get rid of Stephen Harper.
And despite all the challenges ahead, at this time at least.
Our future couldn't look rosier....
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