Sunday, August 16, 2009

For Them Stephen Harper Is Scary No Matter What

From the SoCon prospective, Harper is at best a social moderate. He won't push through with more Liberal social engineering, but when it comes to undoing what's already there - he won't touch any of that with a ten foot pole. Abortion, family values, freedom of speech - Harper won't even allow a debate on those issues - just so that the opposition couldn't accuse him of being a "right-wing extremist". For the socially "progressive" crowd, that however is not enough:
Principal of University College at the University of Toronto ... argues the Harper conservatives are closer to organized anti-feminism than any regime in the country’s history and will need to reach out to left-leaning women’s groups in order to win a majority. Dr. Bashevkin states:
“In terms of the willingness of pragmatists to win out over ideologues, if pragmatists are going to prevail in the Conservative Party, it seems to me there will be a much more clear focus on drawing in much more activists to the party, who are from all kinds of backgrounds, be they aboriginal, or new Canadians, or women, or so on and, of course, women in each of those other categories and youth.”
The progressive academic fails to acknowledge, however, more often than not, it is social conservative female voices who are more often ignored by the political and media mainstream than minority women’s groups.
I doubt that there's anything Stephen Harper can do to win the support of left-leaning women's groups. Even if he leads a shameful "pride" parade, on foot, all the way from Vancouver to Halifax, or drags his own wife to an abortion clinic kicking and screaming, or triples the handouts for SOW, Quebec artists and the CBC - I doubt any of that will help. That will alienate what's left of his old Reform/Alliance base, reducing the party back to 16% and 2 seats - that's for sure. But I doubt there will be many left-leaning women's groups willing to throw their support behind Stephen Harper.

Why would they? They have finally got the man of their dream, an intellectual, socially "progressive" and (supposedly) fiscally responsible Michael Ignatieff crowned as a Liberal leader. All those "progressive" voters who switched to the NDP and the Greens last year, are now coming back to the Liberal party. So why would any of them want to relinquish their dreams of PM Ignatieff and support a man whom they've been bashing for nearly a decade?

Instead of wasting time and resources trying to win a handful of votes from the no longer disgruntled Liberals, the Conservative party must reach out to the non-voters. Over 40% of Canadians no longer bother to cast their ballot; mostly - because they don't find any of the major political parties worthy of their support. If the Conservatives succeed in convincing at least 1 in 4 non-voters to get out and vote Conservative - that will give them a majority government.

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