Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rona Ambrose and the Monster in the Room

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...

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...

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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Anonymous said...

I guess post election employment opportunities for a faux economist are not forthcoming, and we are stuck with Harper as an MP. Silver lining is that he is so unpopular, as you pointed out, it will be difficult for the party to rebuild. I think that the cons are really in deep denial as to what it will take to rebuild their party. If we take Liberals as an example, they may go through a couple of leaders before they find their stride. One thing is for sure, Rona will not be our first elected female PM. Thank the Lord!

Love second to last illustration, still laughing...:-)))


Kirbycairo said...

Well, said Simon. Great post!

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm convinced the Conservatives chose Mona for interim leader mainly because they know her to be an automaton. Keep the bearings lubed and she'll run straight and true - unseeing, unthinking - in whatever direction she's pointed. After all, Harper kept her in his cabinet despite how many times she showed herself incapable of anything more than regurgitating talking points.

As for O'Leary, he'd have a far better outlook if only he was qualified to run in the States which, by accident of birth, he's not. But, if the Conservatives want to stuff the O'Leary hand grenade down their shorts it's just fine with me.

Anonymous said...

The conservative party really needs to purge themselves of the Reforma-Cons and get back to being a viable option for the Canadian electorate.Like our competitive position in the global economy this marriage made in hell cost the Tories 10 years of progress.It now seems that they have been suppressed to the point where they no longer have the strength to strike out on their own. Its unfortunate as our political system has a sizable gap between the center and the divisive fear driven nut bars on the right.Its not important today but viable options slightly to the right of center are important in the longer term as power eventually seems to bring about a certain level of corruption and complacency.

Dan said...

When you are tied to base that feels compromise is for weenies then you have no where else to go.

As for Rona, the building supply company should demand a referendum to change her name to something else to stop making a mockery of their slogan "Doing it Right."

David said...

How do we know the Cons are broke? Every party asks for donations on a fairly regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Nice hair, though.

Simon said...

hi TS...yes the Cons are caught between the party they should be if they want to win again, and the party they really are. They have to figure out whether they want to move back to the centre or remain a Reform rump with no future, especially after electoral reform. But no Rona has apparently rejected a proposal to change the rules which would have allowed an interim leader to run. So maybe unlike the others she has finally realized her limitations....

Simon said...

hi Kirby...thank you I'm glad you liked it. It's not as brilliant as your last post which everyone should read:

But somebody has got to illustrate that nightmare... ;)

Simon said...

hi Mound...yes I think you're right. She's a convenient bench warmer who can straddle the Reformers and the surviving Progressive Conservatives, and won't cause any trouble for anyone. As for O'Leary, I also think he's running in the wrong country, although I thought Trump was a joke, and I'm not laughing any longer... ;)

Simon said...

hi RT...if they want to remain competitive especially post electoral reform they are going to have to become a more mainstream party. But the problem is the more they reach out to the centre the more their rabid Alberta base will start screaming. So as I said in my post, change is both the solution and the problem...

Simon said...

hi Dan... exactly, and then there is the regional divide, with the Bloc Alberta facing off against those in the east who the Reformers view as the enemy. As for Rona, I didn't know that Rona the company had that slogan, but they better change it before the village idiot takes them down too... ;)

Simon said...

Hi David...they came out of the election campaign in debt due to their incredible ad buys, a lot of their regular supporters stopped sending money to them, and since they won't be getting the subsidies parties once received they're still in the hole, and panicking...

Anonymous said...

I hadn't realized she won't be running with rule change. But rules seem to have several convenient meanings to cons, lol. Thank you for update.


e.a.f. said...

if the party has started the infighting about the "leadership race", this ought to be entertaining. it isn't rona's fault if they are fighting, it is the party functionaries, such as the president of the party who ought to be making the game rules up. that is how it usually works.

Now Steve staying out of the light, it maybe he is just waiting for a "draft Steve" program to start. its not like there are many "winners" running. None of them really have what it takes to run the party in Parliament. They choose the wrong leader, they could go to number 3 status in the next election, as long as the Liberals don't make mistakes.

If there are no clear winners or leaders in the "leadership" race, don't be surprised if there is a "draft steve" campaign. Living in the opposition leaders house with the perks will be better than what he has now.

as to maxie running, I can see the next election campaign signs now, the guy is no mental giant and his one claim to fame is his girl friend was friends with a Hell's Angels member. Now that has a fun time ring to it in an election. guess who maxie is bringing to dinner?

David said...

I think it HIGHLY UNLIKELY there would be a "draft Steve" campaign. Well, maybe one chance in a gazillion.