The Tories have been blindsided, and they are angry, enraged, furious! How dare the Liberals hold a vote just because some of them were gone!
So now we have Peter McKay comparing Paul Martin to Hannibal Lector and Stephen Harper, aka Stumpy, the Great Wooden Leader, raging about "separatists and socialists." They still don't get it.
Yes, it was a rather sneaky move. It was very political (from politicians? we're shocked!) and at least a little bit anti-democratic. Yes, the Liberals are a bunch of slimy buggers desperate to stay in power just one more minute.
Guys. We already knew that. No one is surprised. Everyone in Canada has already a) decided to vote for someone else because of it, b) made their peace with Liberal sliminess or c) been driven away from the ballot box altogether.
All the Harper & McKay Brothers Circus will do is add more people from columns a and b into column c. Non-voters, as pointed out by Barry Link in a recent column, are far and away the largest political segment in the land right now.
The Tories, especially Harper, need to come up with some ideas. Look at recent polls. The Liberals are up because of the idiocy of the Grewal tapes fiasco, but the biggest gains are going to the NDP and the Bloc.
Now, I'll admit that the Liberals have stolen all their good ideas from other parties for, oh, about 30 or 40 years now. So their political survival has depended on stealing good ideas and pretending they came up with them. They haven't done too bad, Harper could learn from the Grits.
Look at the NDP and Bloc. They have ideas. Jack Layton has successfully rammed through more spending on social and environmental causes, and damn good for him. The Bloc may only have one idea, but they are quite clear about it.
What is Harper's big idea? "Gay marriage bad. BAD! HULK SMASH GAY MARRIAGE!" This idea has its fans, but it's not really a new idea. And for every intolerant, red-faced old geezer who has a heart attack while writing his daily letter to the editor about the damned sodomites, Canada comes closer to complete tolerance. Harper's natural constituency has a short shelf life.
So Harper needs new ideas. I hereby pledge that if he drops his opposition to gay marriage and comes up with a better plan for the country than any other political party, I will vote for him in the next election. I expect to go to the Ice Capades in Hell later the same day.