Sunday, August 16, 2015
You See, I've Got These Friends...
Some I've known for several years, some I've known it seems like forever. These friends, well - they're Tories. Real Tories. The kind that would sooner get ass-raped by a gorilla than vote Liberal or NDP.
These friends like a lot of the same things just as they have some dislikes in common. One of their dislikes is Stephen Harper. He's just not a very likable guy. They like having their party in government well enough. They like having a majority Conservative government. It's just that they don't like the guy running the show.
A couple of them have never been able to get the "P" out of the "C". They still cherish the days of Diefenbaker and Stanfield, even Joe Clark. They're at that stage in life where they can look back on Brian Mulroney and see the good things that he did (hint: think "acid rain" and "apartheid"). They don't see much of Dief or Bob or Joe or Brian in this guy Harper.
One of my Tory friends is a close friend of Mike Duffy. Those two were fast friends even while Duffy was Liberal. Did you not know that? He broke his dear mum's heart when he went to the Dark Side. But, like Mulcair, it came down to whatever party was willing to float his boat. Chretien wouldn't. Martin wouldn't. Harper, well what did he have to lose? It sort of reminds me of Mulroney's crack about Bryce Mackasey when John Turner appointed him Canada's ambassador to Portugal, leading Muldoon to quip "There's no whore like an old whore."
Still these friends of mine have dutifully held their nose and voted for Harper over Martin over Dion and, save for one, over Ignatieff. Actually, I don't think they had to hold their noses in rejecting Ignatieff. Hell, I did too.
One of them, a guy who hasn't missed an election since the railways introduced diesel engines tells me he's going to give this one a pass. This is a guy who would have turned out to vote Tory if he was in an iron lung. When it comes to voting Tory, he's absolutely promiscuous. He'll dance with any of them - except not this time, not Harper.
Another Tory friend didn't vote in the last election and he'll not vote this time either. He's waiting for the clouds to part and Progressive Conservatism to shine down and make his Canada whole again. That's sort of the way I felt about the Liberals before I went Green.
I wonder how many other, self-identified Conservative supporters will also just stay home on election day. Having party supporters is one thing, getting them to show up at the polls is another.
There's a courtroom that's could soon resemble a bowling alley where the pins are prominent Conservatives closely tied to Stephen Harper and the guy rolling strikes is some fellow named Bayne. He just knocked the "choir boy" off Nigel Wright and he's got several frames to go right up to the eve of the election and beyond.
I'm thinking as those pins go down - Wright, Perrin, Novak, Tkachuk, Stewart-Olsen, LeBreton, Gerstein, Hamilton and others - more Tories will lose the will to live, or at least the will to vote.
With an election this tight, with all the parties polling in the high 20s/low 30s, turnout is going to be critical. Harper can't afford to lose the support of disaffected Tories but it's hard to see what he can do to prevent that.