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.