Lot of Folks Can’t Tell Left From Right
By: Rachel Marsden
If Liberal leader, Paul Martin, ends up shopping around his resume after Monday’s election, it will be mainly because the one thing all Canadians have in common is that we’re fed up with endless Liberal scandal.
But a Harper victory might also indicate that a lot of Canadians have held those “scary conservative values” all along, but just didn’t know it until now. I’m serious.
In fact, a 2002 Compas poll found that over half of Canadians are oblivious to the differences between the political “left” and “right”. Some 18% thought the Canadian Alliance precursor to the Conservative Party was on the left. Another 32% admitted outright to not having a clue.
This campaign has spotlighted some of the tangible differences between the two ideological camps:
Canadians may finally be realizing that lefties tend to pop off about nonsense for dramatic effect—as Martin did during the TV debate when he promised to rip the notwithstanding clause out of our Charter of Rights—while conservatives are about getting things done.
In the 2004 U.S. Presidential race, John Kerry lost to George Bush largely because Kerry had people scratching their heads and wondering what this windbag had actually accomplished in his 20-year Senate career.
Likewise, if Paul Martin loses next week, his lackluster results as Prime Minister will have played a big role. And rehashing your stellar record as Finance Minister from the good old days when AdScam was in full swing hardly compensates for the fact that you’re out of new ideas. Besides, that’s a little bit like bragging about being the Human Rights Minister during the Third Reich.
Conservative Ronald Reagan crushed then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1980, after Carter had proven himself to be one of the biggest political fubar artistes of all time. Voters were so desperate for change that they took a chance on an actor. But this actor ended up selling real conservatism through results. If Harper gets his shot, he will have to do the same—or I’ll be all over him like Mick Jagger at a supermodel convention.
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (January 20/06)
COPYRIGHT 2006 RACHEL MARSDEN