Who would say such a thing about the Stephen Harper party?
They are not good at reaching out. They are not good at broadening the tent. They are not good at getting beyond the bristling, mean way they view everyone who is an opponent. Even after their victories - they are in power, remember - the Conservatives of the Stephen Harper party, still radiate the sullenness of a party denied, a party - even though it is in power, is making the big calls, setting the agenda - nursing a sense of injury that they haven't been fully acknowledged, fully appreciated for the wonderful folks they are.Rex Murphy, that's who.
Can they not at least understand that it is precisely this attitude, more than any other factor, that has kept them frozen in the polls near the low 30s - that has denied them any measurable, sustained growth - from the moment of their first victory?
It comes mainly from the edgy, mean spirit that predominates in how they choose to present themselves. We saw it in the attempts to cut public financing for political parties last December. Any chance to kneecap their opponents and Mr. Harper's men start to salivate. It was surely present in the blitz of attack ads on Mr. Dion, which were unnecessary, and mean. Whatever those ads did to undermine the already weak Stéphane Dion is debatable. What is not debatable is how much they underlined the Conservatives', and Mr. Harper's, mean streak. There is some quality of the Conservative Party that gives the impression that they are always just about to have a temper tantrum.
Funny... Murphy used to think Harper and his pack of rabid animals was the neatest thing since sliced bread.
But, like a kid who is completely enthralled by the bright, shiney, toy electric train when he first opened the box, Murphy has become tired and fed up with the fact that it's the same thing, going around in a circle, and he can't seem to find any track that will fit to make it bigger and better.
The Harper party will always be like the little toy train on a circular track: capable of very little and simply repeating its route.
Many of us had that figured out ages ago, Rex. We've known that Harper and his reformers were no different than the nasty southern US Republicans on which they modelled themselves. We knew it before they ever gained power.
What took you so long?