"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Was Harper's Ego Simply Too Big For Lynton Crosby?

Election 2015: And they're OFF...
in more ways than one...
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the beginning of "Horse Race 2015", marking the longest election campaign in modern Canadian history, it was believed to have been a strategic move. 

The Conservative party had by far the largest war chest of any of the federal parties. This is what happens when you have corporate Canada in your pocket...or Corporate Canada has you in THEIR pocket. Which ever way you look at it, the Conservatives felt that they had more than enough cash to spend their way to another election victory.

Long time Harper confident and adviser Jenni Byrne was instantly dispatched from the PMO to the Stephen's campaign tent to manage what many believed would be the battle of a life time. 

As an aside here, I have to wonder about the constant flow of personnel to and from the PMO and Conservative Party Central. To my mind, this has a profound effect on the nature of the governance of the country, given that the PMO, in it's current form, exercises  vastly greater power over the country than the collection of elected MPs in the House. And that has led to the blurring of lines between where the Government of Canada ends and where the Conservative Party begins. To many observers, there HAS been no distinguishing between to two in the last nine years. But that's a story for another day. 

Anyway, Harper's campaign got off to a less than glorious beginning. With Thomas Mulcair riding high on the afterglow of an NDP victory in Alberta, The Conservatives actually saw their popularity drop to third place in the polls at one point. 

Like the Old Reform Party, who were the original incarnation of the
The Reform-a-Cons 2015
current Conservative Party (there are a great many who believe there is absolutely NOTHING Conservative about the way this collection of thugs does business), the Harper team tends to attract a great many "loud mouthed schnooks" (to quote Bugs Bunny). Hence Harper's need for constant message control, lest the loose cannons in the party demonstrate to the Canadian people, the insanely true nature of the New Conservative Party.

But even tight message control couldn't keep the spectre of angry old white men calling journalists "lying pieces of shit" on camera or being caught on video peeing into a coffee cup. Not to mention Conservative candidate Ryan Leef, jumping from behind bushes wearing camo to handcuff a woman. The loonies were getting loose. 

Lynton Crosby: Master of the dark political arts. 
So with the profound dip in the polls that accompanied the escape of craziness from Harper's asylum, poor old Jenni Byrne was sent to her room. It was at this time, that Maclean's Magazine announced that the "Lizard of Oz", spin doctor extraordinaire and master of the dark political arts of wedge politics and fear mongering, Lynton Crosby was taking over the Harper campaign.  

It was not long after this report that Harper let slip the phrase "Old Stock Canadians" in a campaign debate. A comment which many have referred to as "Dog Whistle" messaging, meaning it was a comment sent directly to the ears of xenophobic, Anglo Saxon, Protestant Canadians. And soon there after, the debate about a woman's right to wear the Niqab surfaced along with a so-called snitch line for citizens to report "barbaric Cultural Practices" of their neighbours. Yet another swipe at Muslim Canadians. 

These tactics seemed to have Lynton Crosby written all over them. And they seemed to be working. Riding a wave of xenophobic fear and racial tension, Harper and his Merry Band of Loonies jumped to a first place tie in the polls.

No Mr. Harper. Canadians aren't drinking your
cool aid this time. 
But then a funny thing happened on the way to the finisn line. The politics of fear and division began losing ground to a much wider debate about values and freedom. Harper began losing ground once again as Canadians were refusing to swallow his cool-aid. 

So now, in the dying days of Election #42, it has been reported that the "Lizard of Oz" has abandoned Harper's sinking ship.  Some, have speculated that this move may have been because of Harper's decision to seek the support of the "Buffoonic duo", Rob and Doug Ford in Toronto, which most observers regard as a supreme act of desperation. 

Many Canadians like to feel that Crosby's racist tactics simply won't work here in Canada, so he packed up his didgeridoo and went home.

Others have speculated that the presence of Crosby in the Harper campaign has been greatly exaggerated in the first place. Curiously, no one in the Conservative campaign would either confirm or deny Crosby's involvement. But Election Canada saw fit to announce that it was ok for a "non-Canadian" to advise or consult with a political party in a campaign and that this was not contrary to the Elections Act. 

My guess is, that regardless of the extent of Crosby's involvement, Harper's controlling, micro-managing, "my way or the highway" nature probably caused a clash of characters with Crosby who is probably himself, used to exercising complete control over campaigns or he wouldn't be doing what he's doing and wouldn't have gained his reputation as one of the top political strategists in the world.  

Both probably have egos larger than some planetoids in our galaxy. We know this for certain about Harper. And with Crosby's winning record and way of doing business in both Australia and in England, it's not much of a stretch to infer that his sense of "self" is also probably "otherworldly". Both are probably used to sucking up every molecule of oxygen in every room they're in. 

So in the end, there probably just wasn't enough oxygen in all of Canada to feed two such monstrous egos. 

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