Saturday, November 07, 2015

They Don't Get It


The Harperites don't seem to understand why they lost the election. "We got the big things right," Jason Kenny says. "We got the tone wrong." Andrew Coyne disagrees. The Harperites lost because they got the big things wrong. They were always about power, not principle:

With each about-face, broken promise or abandoned principle, from corporate subsidies to foreign investment to deficit spending, from the rights of MPs to the discussability of abortion to Quebec’s nationhood, it became harder and harder to understand just what principle or philosophy was guiding Conservative policy — other than blind obedience to the leader.

At their very core, they knew their was no philosophy -- no set of principles -- which guided their decisions. That is why they ultimately lacked confidence. And that lack of confidence had disastrous consequences:

And from this void grew the darkness. People are inclined to be generous to others when they feel confident in themselves; they will be open about their plans when they believe in their purpose — and trust that others can be brought round to them as well. Not only is it not enough to change the tone, then. It’s not even the point. What has to change first is the Tory psyche. They have to believe in themselves, which is to say they have to believe in something.

In the end, they were in power to serve the ego of one man. Michael Harris has it right. They were a Party of One. That is why they lost the election.


Anonymous said...

We (ie. us 'progressives') like to think 'they don't get it', but when you look at the numbers, a point or two in their favour would have resulted in a minority or even (god save us) another majority. We really can't rest easy, because so many people out there think there was something worth following with the Harper Conservatives.

I guess my point is they DO get it and they MAY get it again next election if we don't get our act together and implement a serious overhaul of our democracy. They DO get that being in power is easy if they lie enough and they DO get it if they continue to repeat those lies and kick the Liberals when they have their tough days.

Which is why it's not a pleasant thought, but we need to kick the Cons when they're down and out before they can retrench and begin their massive lying campaign and attack ads over again.

zoombats said...

I'll say "they just don't get it"! The excuses are flying around and only match the past back slapping when things appeared good. Look at Rona Ambrose and her abrupt turn around as a compassionate leader of the opposition and vowing to support missing indigenous women. The more I see her in the news, the more I question her leadership. What could the cons be thinking here? Will the whining never stop? Is it just me or do other people think that Rona Ambrose looks like Harper in a skirt? Same mouth, same eyes, same self absorbed attitude. Just saying.

Owen Gray said...

That's an interesting comparison, zoombats, which -- I confess -- I missed.

Owen Gray said...

That's a sobering thought, Anon. They hung onto their rock solid base. Which says something about our level of civic literacy.

The Mound of Sound said...

And when exactly did Coyne "get it" Owen? There's been a perceptible shift at PostMedia now that their preferred ruler has been toppled from his perch. Coyne, too, did his share of the lifting almost until the end. How many times did he depict Harper as not a bad guy who was just a little rough around the edges? Plenty. He set the bar for the "voice of reason" which is why lesser minds, like den Tandt's, were able to depict Harper's legitimate critics as suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome.

Coyne worked in and quite freely for an organization that was "in the bag" for Harper. They had nine years to denounce the bastard for his lack of principles, for getting the big things wrong. Instead they glossed it all over, branded Harper a "good manager" and sold snake oil to a gullible public.

Yes there were many worse than Andrew Coyne, some far worse, but they were all Good Germans.

Owen Gray said...

When Coyne wanted to announce in his column that he voted for his local NDP candidate, the Postmedia gang muzzled him. Harper succeeded because he had plenty of collaborators, Mound.

ron wilton said...

I don't get it either.

Surely it is not just ignorance of the harm they have done and apparently would like to do again if given the opportunity.

Is it just willfull blindness that they fail to understand why they were removed from control?

This whole KXL matter seems to be a reflection of their mindset inasmuch as KXL was never a benefit for the U.S. other than perhaps the Koch brothers. The producers were never going to get more dollars per barrel, they were just going to sell more barrels.
The Koch refineries are already at full production and the Albertabit would replace heavy crude from Mexico and Venezuela because it is cheaper, adding about $2 billion to the Koch coffers annually, like they need it.
All of the refined product and the leftover mountains of petcoke were to be shipped elsewhere and never used in the U.S., yet the politicians and their adherents blather on about the benefit to Canada.
Obama did the right thing for the right reasons and politics were not the reason.
Yet they persist that the parrot is not dead.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the clip, Ron. The sighted can choose to be blind -- despite the evidence provided by dead parrots.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I think they do get it Owen. The CONs want to continue on with the same ideology they've always had Neoliberal/evangelical Christian. There is absolutely nothing except for tone, that they want to change. They think their base is their key to success, after all they got Harper a majority in 2011. There are no innovators, or independent thinkers in this party only followers. These followers are not idealists, they don't want to nation build, they just want to win. We seem to expect the Cons to behave as a normal political party by acknowledging policies such as the unconstitutional legislation, the ridding of the long form census, the Duffy scandal,the muzzling of scientists, the ongoing abuse of veterans, as being contributing factors as to why they lost the election. What do they have to say about the policies they put forth, that Canadians rejected? Nothing! What do they have to say about their governing in secrecy? Nothing! What do they have to say about lying to Canadians about the F-35's. Nothing! They are like a man who has stolen large sums of money from his employer, who, when caught states only that he needed the money, never once taking reponsibility for having stolen it. A thief who rationalizes his theft based soley on need.So too do the CONs rationalize all of their corrupt behaviour, justifying that kind of behaviour, because they just wanted to win. It's like their living in a filthy house, but acting as if it's spotlessly clean. Mean while everyone knows it's filthy. I find it hard to even see them as a political party. There are very few if any political ideas of which they engage in. The arrogance of their ignorance, lies in the fact, that they really believe that they do not have to explain their past corrupt behaviour to anyone. Even though Harper has moved out, this is the house that he built.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Pam. The present Conservative Party is the Harper Party. I suspect that one of the reasons Mr. Harper is staying around is to ensure that it remains the Harper Party.

Cycles said...

I wish I shared your confidence but Conservative candidates are telling reporters that their biggest obstacle at Canadian doorsteps was antipathy towards Stephen Harper. Even then, they earned 32% of the vote with a terrible campaign and an unlikable leader. The Liberals earned 39.5% with a flawless campaign and a charismatic leader. We are going to have our work cut out for us in 2019.

Steve said...

They get it, they get it big time, they just can not admit the trutht and give sexual dsyfuntion to the 30%

Owen Gray said...

It's hard for these folks to come to terms with failure, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Cycles. These folks are far from vanquished. Harper's base is rock solid.