Lockout Casualty Posted November 1, 2015 Share Posted November 1, 2015 My favorite part in this election aftermath has been the loads of truth coming out of the Conservatives, something we've not been accustomed to for the last, oh nine years or so. And it doesn't paint a pretty picture...Former Tory adviser says Stephen Harper and Conservatives ‘blew themselves up’ with ‘desperate’ tacticsLong-time Conservative stalwart Geoff Norquay, who worked for former prime minister Brian Mulroney and, later, for Stephen Harper while he was in opposition, has written a scathing critique of the Conservatives’ election campaign performance.In the article published in Policy Magazine, Norquay meticulously picks apart what went wrong for the Tories and excoriates their campaign team.He also examines the disaster that befell NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and praises Justin Trudeau’s Liberals for running a flawless plan.His most striking conclusion about the 78-day campaign was just how badly the Tories played their own hand.The team, led by campaign manager Jenni Byrne, apparently hoped to win by convincing Canadians the risk of change was too great, and by using wedge issues such as the niqab to sway votes.“When election campaigns fail, it is usually because the team in charge — in this case, the campaign manager and her key acolytes — have gone back one time too many to the formula that brought them to success many years before,” writes Norquay.“Sadly for the Conservatives, the same clique who reduced the party’s potential support to just above a third of Canadians were the true architects of this defeat.“Theirs was a suspicious Canada and a Canada without dreams; they always preferred short-term tactics over a long-term vision. They never understood governing, so they saw no use for government. They ran a closed circle, they humiliated staff, they berated candidates, they pushed every reasonable argument far beyond its logical limit, they shut out others with a different view, and they crafted a campaign based much more on anger and fear than hope.“Within the Conservative Party, great will be the celebration at their well-deserved and permanent riddance.”Norquay writes that the Conservatives stood a chance of winning at the start of the campaign. But they failed to define the “ballot question” — in their case, the need for experienced leadership.“Harper had always had a strange aversion to speaking in visionary terms about anything, so his platform was static, defensive and uninspiring. Harper was focusing on the achievable, while Trudeau was focusing on the possible.”Norquay was director of research for the Progressive Conservative party between 1981 and 1984 and served as a policy adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office under Mulroney from 1984 to 1988.In 2004-05, he was director of communications for Harper while he was leader of the Official Opposition. Norquay is now a principal at the Earnscliffe Strategy Group.In an interview Friday, Norquay said it was always going to be an uphill battle for the Tories because they were seeking a fourth straight mandate.In his article, Norquay spells out how Harper’s record — such as cancelling the long-form census, muzzling federal scientists, insulting the chief justice and refusing to communicate with the public— came back to haunt him.He writes that the Tories “blew themselves up” by deploying a hard line against Muslim women wearing the niqab at citizenship ceremonies, to hurt the Liberals and NDP in Quebec.But it only hurt the NDP, and support grew for the Liberals. By then, the NDP’s makeover of Mulcair had “misplaced both his passion and conviction.” Trudeau had a platform that worked for him and he “grew in stature as a leader and as a communicator.”Norquay writes the Conservatives realized “to their horror” that their wedge on the niqab had been “too successful.”When they “doubled down” by announcing a barbaric cultural practice snitch line and Harper mused about banning the niqab in the public service, “the Conservatives’ wedge circled back with a vengeance to put the final nail in their coffin.”Norquay writes the final days were painful to watch, as Harper insisted the campaign was not about him — even though most voters thought it was.The final weekend’s rally in Toronto, which included Rob and Doug Ford, was “demeaning, desperate, execrable, and hugely damaging.”It turned away several hundred thousand potential votes, writes Norquay.“Well done, campaign team: coup de grace … on yourselves.”http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/former-tory-adviser-says-stephen-harper-and-conservatives-blew-themselves-up-with-desperate-tacticsBehind a paywall, so use incognito mode to view the original..Look at the bolded. I remember Conservatives always saying all those things are hysteria about some hidden agenda and fabrications of the liberal media (you know, the same one that endorsed the Conservatives for the last two elections). I guess some Conservatives do see what the rest of us see. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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