A member of Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper has been sharing some wonderful old news clippings, and I found the one above quite relevant to today. In it former Sun Media columnist, Greg Weston, predicts an easy victory for the Liberals and the end of Stephen Harper's political career.
This was the fall of 2005, just months before the election that brought Harper to power, proving that columnists and pollsters know very little about how Canadians think.
There is an opinion piece in the Globe today, written by Harvey Schachter, who reminds us of the 1987 Ontario election, when Bob Rae managed an upset to become Premier of Ontario with a majority of seats. No one could have predicted that. Says Schachter: "Public opinion polls are really measures of public sentiment, not more deeply held opinions for the all-important uncommitted voters, and can change dramatically when an election is called."
Some comments from Greg Weston in September of 2005, when he thought he could predict how voters were feeling:
"recent polls show the ruling Liberals have regained a significant lead over the Conservatives, with support for the two parties essentially back to where they were last election day."Any of this sound familiar? Different opposition leader but the same dire predictions.
"Harper didn't exactly raise spirits at last week's retreat with a call to arms for a possible fall election the Conservatives currently have little hope of winning."
"if the polls are any indication, Canadians were underwhelmed by Harper's appearances ..."
"even Harper's most ardent devotees have apparently accepted the harsh reality that no matter how they dress up the boss, no matter how clever the sales pitch, most voters just aren't buying."
Weston did have Harper pegged correctly though:
Only months before the next federal election, the opposition leader's office is a mess, with disillusioned advisers heading for the exits in droves. The Conservatives' all-important communications shop, for example, lost all but one of its experienced pros in a mere matter of weeks this summer.Harper still micro-manages everything and when he falls, he will be "the architect" of his own demise. With mounting scandals, it will be impossible for him to distance himself from them, given that his fingerprints are on EVERYTHING his government and caucus does.
Some of them have told me the problem is Harper tries to micro-manage all aspects of his organization — and obviously can't. Compounding the problem is a small coterie of longtime sycophants whose personal loyalty to Harper is evidently far more important to him than their professional performance.
The result is an insular control freak surrounded by a few fellow bunker dwellers ignoring the advice of more capable and experienced staffers who inevitably leave in frustration. If a leader is judged by those around him, Harper is certainly the architect of many of his own problems.
And just as Greg Weston failed to predict the outcome of that election, he also failed to understand just how vindictive Stephen Harper is. Weston was fired from Sun Media for exposing the "fake lake" story in the lead up to the G-20.
Many pundits are suggesting that there is no populace movement to oust Harper, so he will probably be given another mandate, possibly even a majority.
Silly them. They need to get out more.