The Liberals have answered the first of the Conservative attack ads against Justin Trudeau. That ad blew up in their faces. As Michael Harris wrote earlier this week:
In a word, instead of defining their political enemy, the Conservatives have defined themselves. Through years of incumbency, the Harper crowd has become an increasingly grumpy cabal of aging incumbents full of spite, malice and, of late, a bloated sense of entitlement. The Senate housing debacle shows how comfortably the party has settled into the easy chair of power.
With each display of bad manners and bad judgement in their zeal to damage the new Liberal leader, they will draw attention to the elephant in the room: their own increasingly dismal record in office. From orange juice to panda bears, things are beginning to slide.
There comes a time when television shows become tiresome. You've seen all the re-runs, and you change the channel. The ad shows Trudeau turning off the channel and taking credit for being a son, a teacher and a leader.
If the Liberals do things right, they won't have to attack Harper. He has become his own auto-immune disease. Harris enumerates the symptoms:
At this moment in the Harper majority, the record is decidedly dog-eared and the polling ominous. According to pollster Frank Graves, the Liberals under Trudeau are on the rise. Even the immigrant vote the Tories worked so hard to win may be slipping back to the Grits. Meanwhile, Harper continues to degrade Canada’s democratic institutions in his pursuit of presidential-style governance. What passes for parliamentary democracy these days is budgets without the numbers, omnibus budget bills bigger than the Bible, and closure.
The system has become so politicized that even the top civil servant in the land is telling other civil servants that they can’t have budget information. Having already stifled scientists and bureaucrats, the info-minders in the PMO are now muzzling members of Mr. Harper’s own caucus. When your own zombies turn on you, you have to ask: What the junta is going on?
Victor Hugo wrote that "there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come." The corollary is: There is no one so impotent as a man whose time has passed -- because the people have seen through him.