Thursday, May 26, 2016

Climate Change Did Harper In

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 Chr├ętien 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.



The Mound of Sound said...

It's curious how Justin Trudeau seems to have forgotten Harper's mauling in British Columbia. Trudeau's failure to meet his own deadline for delivering a climate change policy/report; his failure to clean out the detritus that we now know as the National Energy Board; his failure to reinstate the tanker exclusion zone on BC's north coast; his weasley support of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that will massively increase the hazmat danger to southern BC and the south coast say one thing - he's bent on finishing what Harper began. Harper never got there and we were greatly relieved to see him fall. Trudeau promised to defend our environment, especially our marine ecology. Instead we find ourselves with Trudeau, McKenna, Garneau and Carr. I suppose at some point Steffie Dion will find a seat in this Liberal clown car.

Trudeau should be consolidating his party's newfound support in this province instead of degrading it. The cons might be held at bay for another electoral cycle but Harper hasn't permanently damaged the brand. An armada of hazmat supertankers could finish the Liberals out here for a generation or more.

Owen Gray said...

People are beginning to suspect that -- when it comes to the big stuff -- the face has changed but the agenda is the same. The last election was a warning, Mound, that the agenda has to change.

Toby said...

Remember Iona Campagnolo? She was the MP for the Skeena riding. During her time the Trudeau (senior) government decided to end a shipping subsidy on the coast. It was a hot issue in places like Prince Rupert and Masset. Campagnolo sided with her party and lost the next election. Federal Party leaders are slow learners. The sad part is that, for her loyalty, Campagnolo was rewarded with some cushy appointments including Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Screw the public.

Steve said...

The Who commmented briefly

"meet the new boss same as the old boss" ecept for the margins, some of which are progressive.

Owen Gray said...

And therein lies the tragedy, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

Hubris is a disease that knows no exceptions, Toby.

Steve said...

Owen I was thinking aboot this. Who can stop a supertanker. Like the Edmotom Oilers.

Owen Gray said...

That one is sure to go down, Steve.