Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Harper and Grewal

I suspected early on that the Grewal tapes affair could only hurt the Conservatives. The inside-the-Queensway crowd (for example. John Ibbitson's column here (subscription required) says: Both the governing party and the Official Opposition have been tainted by this latest scandal. But the situation for the Liberals is worse.

Not so. That’s simply because they were already badly tarnished by the Sponsorship scandal (see here), whereas the Conservatives did have at least some positive ratings in earlier polls on honesty & ethics issues (for example, see page 14 in this Ekos Poll), although in this Environics Poll (see for example, questions 7 and 8(b) they trail the NDP. They are the big losers out of Grewal because they have now come to share the Liberal taint.

On a related but slightly different note, David Olive analyzed Harper’s problems quite well in the Star on June 5. It includes my favourite Stephen Harper quote plus a couple of additional gems:

Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country," Harper wrote in December 2000. In a little-noticed addendum to his widely criticized 2002 observation that Atlantic Canada tolerates "a culture of defeat," Harper also observed that "in parts of the Prairies" there is evidence of "the kind of can't-do attitude (that) is a problem in this country."

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