If there was one policy which doomed the Harperites in the last election, it was their steadfast refusal to do anything about climate change. Chantal Hebert writes:
Last October, a mismanaged election campaign only compounded the decade-long mismanagement of some core policies. Few of those are more closely identified with Harper’s leadership than the party’s dismissive approach to climate change. On his watch, it became part of the Conservative brand and an albatross around the party’s neck.
At both ends of the nation, Harper's refusal to tackle the problem led to his defeat:
Last October, Harper’s approach paid few dividends in the parts of Atlantic Canada where projects such as TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline otherwise enjoy widespread support. His candidates were beaten across the region.It failed even more spectacularly in British Columbia. Going into the last campaign, B.C. was a long-standing pillar of Conservative support. On the scale of the party’s past presence in the province, Canada’s Conservatives are paying a visit to a field of ruins this weekend. Here are some numbers:
In British Columbia -- which had adopted a carbon tax -- the numbers tell the story:
- The Conservatives came out of the last election holding only 10 of 42 B.C. seats — seven fewer than the Liberals and four fewer than the NDP. It was the worst Conservative showing in at least three decades.
- The year Stockwell Day lost to Jean Chrétien and the last time a divided conservative movement took on the Liberals in 2000, the Canadian Alliance won a majority of B.C. seats (27) and almost 50 per cent of the province’s popular vote.
- Between 2011 and 2015, the Conservative share of the vote went from 45 per cent to 30 per cent. Over Harper’s majority mandate, the party lost almost 150,000 B.C. supporters.
The Conservatives will be saying goodbye to Harper this weekend. As he heads for the exit, they would be well advised to pay attention to his blind spots.