James Moore left yesterday. And Don Meredith was booted from the Conservative Senate caucus earlier in the week. It looks like things are falling apart in Harperland. And, as she travels the country, Chantal Hebert writes that she's picking up on that vibe, too:
In Ontario and British Columbia, the NDP has been on the move in the polls while Conservative support has stalled or declined. Ditto in Atlantic Canada
The NDP and the Liberals have long been communicating vessels for opposition votes but there is more than the usual opposition arithmetic at play behind the deficit in support of the Conservatives.
By all indications, a sizeable proportion of the 2011 supporters that they expected to come home as disenchantment with the Liberals set in are keeping their options open and/or are checking out the New Democrats.
It was not supposed to be this way. The budget and Bill C-51 were supposed to put the opposition parties on the ropes. But, instead, the Harperites have fewer and fewer defenders:
But perhaps what struck me most was how few people were willing to speak up in defence of the government. As opposition to Harper has become more vocal, support for his re-election has become more discreet.
That stands in stark contrast with the immediate lead-up to the last campaign when even non-Conservative voters would often readily concede that they felt Harper had managed the global economic crisis with competence. That sentiment was omnipresent in Ontario — where he subsequently won his majority.Four years later, many die-hard Conservatives privately admit that they expected more from their party’s first majority government in almost two decades. They are underwhelmed by the sum of Harper’s third mandate.
More than a few of them find it hard to take pride in a team that has chosen to dumb itself down by making ultra-partisan MPs such as Pierre Poilièvre and Paul Calandra its poster boys in the House of Commons.
It may all come to and end, as Eliot wrote, not with a bang but a whimper.