Thursday, December 27, 2012

Doomed To Repeat Themselves

Today, Postmedia's Michael den Tandt asks a question of national import: Can the Conservatives learn from their mistakes? For, indeed, they have made many. But they all add up to one major mistake:

The hardest knock of all against the Tories, however, and the one that cuts deepest, is simply that they’ve forgotten how to listen. Their opponents will say they never knew how to begin with. That is untrue. If the Conservatives had a single secret weapon over the past seven years, beyond their extraordinary fundraising network, it was their ear.  They had an unerring sense of what, when all is said and done, Canadians want.

In the past year, however, and especially since the spring, the Tories have stumbled from one deadfall trap to the next – with they themselves doing the digging. They consider their two omnibus bills in 2012 to be triumphs of efficient government: Doing the job Canadians elected them to do. From a Conservative standpoint, that is to re-structure every aspect of the economy, and the government’s relationship with it, in light of what is most efficient. Only this approach, the thinking goes, can prepare Canada for the challenges of the 21st Century.

In the end, rule by fiat will catch up with the Harperites. The evidence of rebellion is everywhere -- in Quebec, in B.C. and in the Idle No More protests of Canada's First Nations. Den Tandt suggests a couple of things which Harper could do to improve his and his party's standing -- like holding press conferences and dumping cabinet ministers like Vic Toews, Peter Mackay and Gerry Ritz.

However, don't count on Stephen Harper taking den Tandt's suggestions, because the prime minister suffers from the same disease that infects all of modern conservatism -- terminal certitude. These jugheads are dedicated to repeating their own failures.


thwap said...

They haven't listened to Canadians. They've pandered to the stupidity, ignorance and delusions of the bottom-third of Canada's intelligence bell curve when that has been in the interests of wealthy elites.

And it's ludicrous to imagine that harper could dump Toews or MacKay when he's just as big an idiot as they are.

What is the height of insanity is continuing to discuss the possible strategies and etc., of stephen harper when the man is quite clearly an anti-democratic menace who should be removed, and not a genuine politician to be debated and critiqued.

Owen Gray said...

It's clear that Harper can't deal either with debate or criticism, thwap. And Canada's newspapers -- with the exception of the Toronto Star -- will not oppose him.

Canada's First Nations know how to deal with Harper. It will take people in the streets to bring him down.

Lorne said...

'Terminal certitude'- an outstanding choice of words that captures one of Harper's many flaws, Owen.

Owen Gray said...

When you're immune to evidence -- and you've stopped listening -- you're beyond persuasion, Lorne.

The tools and procedures of democracy will not move you.

the salamander said...

I'm afraid I want to lightly dispute a primal part of Mr den Tandt's observations.

The Harper Party never actually listened to the electorate at all. That was just pretend stuff n fluff.. posturing & propaganda .. cue the trumpet blasts.. See Thwap's latest post to remind us all how Mulcair pinned the tail on Harpers naked donkey arse over that matter.

Certainly they spent millions monitoring and studying and think tanking us.. to see if we like them.. what we are saying and thinking in our little meek squirrel brains. They've spent millions reflecting their odd interpretation of us.. back at us via television & web ads... and I suppose their attack ads reflect their interpretation of what we will believe, swallow or accept as electoral virtual reality

The last election sent the nation reeling sideways & downhill via the fine situational ethics of suppression, dirty tricks, live and robo calling ad nauseam, before after during and exit electoral polls, proroguing, court challenges, secrecy, redaction, denial, torture, more denials, F-35 accounting errors, environmental ignorance, infected poutine salmon and beef, abortion law, tar sands, ministerial incompetence or evangelism, cover-ups, obstruction.. and a hell of a lot of absolute bullshit handed down as the very gospel of that great white sun god economist Stephen Harper.

Where do we stand re those arctic patrol vessels, the support vessels? What about Chief Theresa Spence? What's this shite about LNG refineries scaling up for construction at Kitimaat? That report about the Canadian soldier killed in Lebanon by a badly aimed Isreali 500 lb JDAM laser guided bomb after hours of badly aimed artillery and morters.. and those other friendly fire scandals? Does Peter Kent still have a pulse? Does anyone care. Is Joe Oliver actually a robot? Has John Baird had his rabies shots ? Did yo see right through transparent and accountable Tony Clement the other day ?

Exactly who is The Harper Party listening to ? Rush Limbaugh ? Is Terminal certitude as dangerous as omnipotence ?

Owen Gray said...

The real threat associated with terminal certitude, salamander, is that it leads those who suffer from it to believe that they are omnipotent.

The principles of sound public health dictate that the disease be nipped in the bud. Unfortunately, we haven't done that.