Friday, April 15, 2005

The croakers all say we'll rue the day; there'll be hell to pay

The Globe & Mail likes to pretend there's a veritable firestorm of intra-party naysaying on Conservative electoral prospects: Mr. Harper and his party are involved in a difficult backroom debate about the timing of the minority government's fall. Deputy leader Peter MacKay said yesterday that the party is getting mixed advice from both inside and outside the caucus on election timing. Of course, a lot of the comments from outside are coming from the media's self-anointed political experts, many of whom would like nothing more than to sabotage the Tories by portraying them as opportunists unwilling to listen to sound advice. It's humble of BellGlobeMedia not to mention that, don't you think? "This public inquiry and the evidence that is being disclosed daily is still washing over people," he said. "Understandably, people need to digest this and we need to gauge their reaction to it." That reaction has shown some positive results for the Tories. However, Hugh Segal, once chief of staff to former prime minister Brian Mulroney, commented: "It is fascinating that the Conservative Party is really no strongerin the country today than it was on the last day of the last election." I really wish the media would quit taking Hugh Segal seriously. He's a Red Tory. He doesn't represent the party now, and barely represented it in the mushy-centrist 80s. He endorsed Ed Broadbent for my riding last year, for crying out loud. That he was once high-up in the old federal PCs makes for some nice sleight-of-hand in implying that he's still a voice of authority; but, really, he's not a hard man from which to get a doubtful quote on the current Conservative Party. Certainly, there's going to be a lot of debate about the merits of now vs. later at the caucus and riding association levels, but I somehow doubt it's going to be coming from as negative a place as Segal is.

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