It's been surreal to watch and listen to Stephen Harper's former cabinet ministers distance themselves from their boss. Bob Hepburn writes:
Let’s start with Rona Ambrose, the new interim party leader. Without a hint of insincerity, Ambrose insists her caucus will no longer engage in the “nastiness” of the old Harper government and will be more “constructive, effective” in working as the Official Opposition.
Also, Ambrose has completely reversed herself on the need for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. For years, the Tories refused to hold an inquiry into what the RCMP says are more than 1,200 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
Now she is all in favour of an inquiry, saying it “is an absolutely non-partisan issue, it should never be political.”
And then there's Tony Clement, who deep sixed the long form census:
Next is Tony Clement, the former industry minister who cancelled the long-form census of 2011, a move widely denounced inside and outside of government. Clement was relentless in implementing the change, insisting it was needed to protect citizen privacy.
Now Clement is expressing regrets, saying in hindsight that “I would have done it differently.”
And, of course, there's Kellie Leitch, who -- academically at least -- is supposed to be very bright:
Then there’s Kellie Leitch, the former labour minister at the centre of one of the lowest points in the Tory campaign. She hit that point when she joined cabinet colleague Chris Alexander in announcing “a snitch hotline” to report “barbaric cultural practices.” In reality, Leitch was urging Canadians to target Muslims in their neighbourhoods.
Now Leitch, who apparently dreams of succeeding Harper, says the plan was misunderstood and not communicated very well.
Hepburn writes that the Conservatives must really think voters are stupid. Given the results of the election, and their own pronouncements, it's pretty clear that stupidity is closer to home than the former Harperites realize.