Thursday, July 3, 2008

You Can't Beat 'Em At Home, Harper, So Stop Trying

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper helped ring in Quebec City's 400th birthday Thursday, a series of opinion surveys suggested his party has lost key support in the province.

The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll finds that a bruising session in Parliament - along with a perceived values gap on the environment - has cost the Tories crucial ground with Quebec voters and urban women.


Harper has been so busy bending over backwards to come off as "serious" about the environment that he's stopped hitting the effective Conservative points that got him this gig in the first place. Bluntly, the Conservatives are not going to win an election on the environment. It's a non-starter. They can't promise enough in the way of government intervention to compete with this Carbon Tax Green Shift nonsense. A successful campaign against an environmentalist will have to focus on good conservative economics.

"All right, Canada. You want a Carbon Tax? Well, here's what it's going to cost you."

I thought Harper had identified this as the strongest point of attack with the series of Tory attack ads that were released after the announcement of Dion's Carbon Tax. But Harper has wasted a lot of time pleading his Green bona fides and, of course, it's sounding perfunctory and half-hearted.

Stick to the economy, Mr. Prime Minister. The Canadian electorate has often been characterized as a fiscally conservative liberal. Know your audience and start fighting with your strong hand again.

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