Harper’s ego trip

06.11.04

There’s been a lot of talk about Paul Martin’s ego. But now it looks like Stephen Harper is going on an ego trip of his own, by publicly talking about a Conservative Majority government:

Stephen Harper has begun to talk publicly about forming a majority government, suggesting for the first time Thursday that his Conservatives would deliver a Throne Speech in the fall followed by a budget emphasizing tax cuts, military spending and increased transfer payments to the provinces for health care.

Even with recent poll results showing a slim lead for the Conservatives, the chances of them forming even a minority government are slim. A majority government is so far out of the realm of possibility, it’s completely ridiculous:

An Ipsos-Reid poll, published in Thursday’s Globe and Mail, showed the Conservatives in a virtual tie with the Liberals, but nowhere near a majority government. The party would need a major breakthrough in Quebec or in Liberal strongholds such as Toronto, Montreal and parts of Vancouver to govern without another party’s support.

Besides which, it’s my sense that the Tory popularity has peaked, and that by next week the poll numbers will show some of the effects of the Liberals’ latest round of attack ads. Negative campaigning is low, but it also tends to have its desired effect – hence the reason so many politicians resort to mud-slinging.

The only way the Conservatives could govern would be by allying with the Bloc Quebecois. And that would be a move that would be met with the rejection of most Canadians. The two parties are so far apart on virtually every issue, it is hard to imagine them finding enough common ground for even a strategic alliance.

Advice to Mr. Harper: if you want Canadians to take you seriously, stick to reality and forget dreamland.

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