Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Harper self-destructs. Voluntarily.

It is November 29th. Parliament dissolved this morning, and campaigning has officially begun. I have said before that sometimes it seems as though Harper has never seen a bullet he didn't want to jump in front of.

Even the stray ones.

Now, it seems, he's gone a step further and is willfully firing those bullets into his own head.

Harper volunteered this little gem this afternoon - that he would introduce a "traditional marriage bill" should his party win the January 23rd election.

Damn it, the man just can't help himself. Never mind that such a bill has no chance of being effective in any way. He still can't stop himself from saying it.

He seems to still not recognize that 'civil unions' are outside of Federal jurisdiction. So nice of him, though, to commit to honouring the 3,000 same-sex marriages already existing.

I said in an earlier post that the CPC wasn't about to make a campaign issue out of this. It seems that whatever his handlers may tell him (or should be telling him), Harper ain't listening.

Who, exactly, is he playing to? He already has Alberta locked up.

Political instincts of a ... gawd, I don't know. Political instincts of a something-that-has-no-political-instincts. How's that?

Unbelievable. This issue isn't even alive, anymore.

Wasn't. Wasn't alive anymore.

Ok. I get that this is a concern for much of his base. Maybe he wants to get it out there early, since it is going to be coming out (pun!) eventually, anyways. Brison or the party faithful would guarantee it.

Maybe volunteering it after the cameras were already off was the way to handle it, politically.

Still, I'm stunned.

Sure, some CPC candidate somewhere was going to say something ridiculous about SSM. It was bound to happen.

But Harper decides that he wants to be that someone?


Bye bye whatever slim chance the CPC might have had.


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Candace said...

I was wondering who would be first to jump all over that. However, I tend to agree with Pat O'Brien; the issue didn't die with the passage of the bill, so I'm withholding judgement on whether this is truly self-destructive or not.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger williamNPH said...

That's me, breaking all the stories ;)

I disagree with O'Brien, and think that he misreads things. But you, I've come to like.

So ... well, I'm sure we'll be revisiting this whole SSM thing many times over the campaign.

Too late for me to withhold judgement now. We'll see, I suppose.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

To be fair to Harper, I am sure he thinks he can announce this at the beginning and then ignore it for the rest of the campaign. Only those voters who agree with the plan are supposed to remember it come election day.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

It just seems to me that this just alienates the very people the CPC needs to increase their vote haul. People who are fiscally very conservative, and willing to give the CPC a chance, if only they weren't concerned about the social conservatism.

Anyone who is against SSM is presumably already voting Tory, no? And presumably they're all smart enough to realize that this type of talk won't win any new converts to the ranks. So why even mention it? Seems to me, Harper's base is all sewn up, so why continuie to play to them, and risk alienating potential NEW CPC voters.

I don't think many people will stay away from the Tories SOLELY becuase of this issue. But I think there are a significant number of voters who would say that this issue is emblematic of the their broader reasons for staying away from the Tories.

So it can certainly be argued that this kind of talk will do no harm. But do the Tories have such a lead in the polls that "not hurting themselves" is good enough? I don't think so. I think they have to win NEW voters. And talking about SSM is preaching to the choir.


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