It was the Liberal-NDP vote-splitting in the Big Smoke that won the day for Harper. How did this happen? Well lots of smarter people than I have waxed poetic already, but here is my 10 second take…
I found this Liberal Party postmortem by Robert Silver very telling. Of note:
We entered the election with a clear strategy to triangulate the NDP on just about every single issue save Afghanistan.
Personally I think “save Afghanistan” is a bit of deal-breaker for many progressives but that’s just me. But even then the strategy strikes me as internally contradictory, given their party leader. Veering left with Tony Blair clone Michael Ignatieff at the helm? These two things cancel each other out.
Which is to say Michael Ignatieff was an incredible, perhaps fatal, mistake for the Liberal Party. It’s too bad because the Tories were vulnerable. Very vulnerable. And it wasn’t the Corporate Income Tax or the JSF or the Income-splitting or any of the other policies that helped those that needed help the least.
It was contempt of Parliament. It was prorogation. It was the abuse of authority. It was the suppression of information. I can’t say with any certainty if this is true, but I have the strongest of hunches there were a lot of Conservative voters in the ilk of my Dad – lifelong Conservatives who were deeply troubled by the behaviour of Stephen Harper’s crew. And then there were the Blue Liberals. And while these latter issues were discussed during the campaign, they were never the central message of the opposition parties.
This should have been hammered on to Harper again and again. He was
on autopilot on message most of the time. “An unnecessary election? No, sir, you brought this on yourself. You have lied to Parliament. You have lied to the Canadian people and it will not stand, sir. It will not stand…”
That would have resonated with Dad.