Conservative Party failing

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I can’t say I’m surprised:

I’ll tip my hand: I’m a voter who has probably shifted from a soft supporter of the Conservatives to a soft opponent.

I never wanted Harper to have a majority, but I was relatively content to see Canada led by a minority Conservative government. A hobbled government that wasn’t the corrupt Liberals or the socialist NDP was a good option.

Here’s the problem, though: the party of reform has become the party of self-entitled establishment in record time.

More transparent democracy? Nope.

Smaller government? Nope.

Accepting responsibility for mistakes? Nope.

Less corruption? Big nope.

My target here is the prime minister and the party, not our MP specifically. I think most people would agree Armstrong punches above the weight of the average MP. He publicizes the goodies he brings to this riding, which I don’t think is anything to brag about - I'd like to see less goodies everywhere - but it does seem to be a significant amount of treasure, which makes many voters happy. That said, however, to the degree he may participate in his party's failures, my criticisms would apply to him as well.

Those caveats out of the way, let me now speak bluntly: The Conservative Party sucks.

Yup, I said it. Listen, before you get too upset, the Liberals and NDP suck, too. Sorry if my language isn’t professional enough. Sometimes, though, you want to call it like it is.

We deserve better.

We deserve better than senate swindlers. We deserve better than muzzled experts and civil servants. We deserve better than big spending and more big spending. We deserve better than the F-35 debacle. We deserve better than Peter MacKay helicopter rides. We deserve better than a swollen PR corps to spin any crisis that assails the government. We deserve better than pre-approved talking points from backbenchers. We deserve better than robocalls made with access to the Tory database.

We deserve better than avoidance of the truly tough decisions, such as tackling debt, getting our environmental house in order, reducing the size and power of the civil service and addressing the looming health care crisis.

Once a party has power, the real world intrudes on principles, of course. Maybe these crises are things Mr. Harper would like to take care of. Maybe he can’t, or doesn’t know how to. But the loss of faith happens when politicians don’t speak honestly to voters about those challenges. The conversation might start something like this: “We were idealists and we were wrong.”

That hasn’t been the tactic of the government, however. No, it has doubled-down on its mistakes. Mike Duffy wasn’t contrite, he was outraged. The Conservatives didn’t turn over every stone to ferret out the few bad seeds that participated in robocalls, no, it obstructed efforts to get to the truth.

Every government these days controls the message – the NDP are guilty of it in Nova Scotia – but Harper seems to be, at best, no exception to that rule. Independent thought and speech are vital to our democracy, to rooting out corruption, and to challenging all of us (but especially government) to do our best.

The Conservative Party is losing support because it’s exactly what it wasn’t supposed to be: a bloated, undemocratic, defensive bastion of narrow certainty.

Democracy is dying, one nail in the coffin at a time. Harper has learned to wield the hammer adeptly, like too many politicians before him.

Oh, you may be wondering why I described my opposition to Harper as “soft.” Simple. The NDP are socialists and Liberals, while occasionally developing smart policy, are another big government party with a track record of corruption.

How can one be “staunchly” opposed to the Conservatives when the other options are so grim?

NOTE: This version has been altered from the version initially posted.


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