Could it be because Stephen Harper is not a Conservative? At least not in the Canadian tradition of conservatism.
In the above clipping (you can read larger version here), Stephen Harper then head of the National Citizens Coalition, was pondering running for the merged Reform-Alliance Party. And he was pretty clear that he wanted to use the full name: The Canadian Reform Alliance Conservative Party, to be differentiated from the PCs whom he loathed.
However, after buying out the rights to the PC party, it seemed more expedient to pretend to be them, so as not to frighten the electorate. The media immediately began calling them Tories, which Harper detested.
"It's actually not a label I love… I am more comfortable with a more populist tradition of conservatism. Toryism has the historical context of hierarchy and elitism and is a different kind of political philosophy. It's not my favourite term, but we're probably stuck with it." (Stephen Harper, Hamilton Spectator, January 24, 2004)Environics Research conducted a survey for Avaaz, based on Harper's election campaign.
Poll numbers show that 56% of all Canadians (and 42% of Conservative party supporters) oppose reducing corporate taxes - a key part of Harper's former budget proposal. 74% of Canadians - including 64% of Conservatives - support Canada's gun regulations (including the current long gun registry), which Harper has vowed to scrap. And a majority of Canadians who expressed an opinion on the question,say we should keep the current system of public financing for political parties, including 42% Conservative supporters.His own drum. His own one man band.
"These poll results point to a major democratic deficit in Canada," noted Ricken Patel, Avaaz Executive Director. "Stephen Harper isn't attempting to deliver on the will of Canadians -- even Conservative Canadians -- he's marching to the beat of a different drum.
And his constant fear mongering about a coalition, only suggests that he is unable to get along with others. It's him or the rest of Canada's choice of party.
As Douglas Bell says: Harper’s coalition dog won’t hunt In other words, there will only be another election soon after, if Harper or the Conservatives try to force one. And if they are in the minority, good luck with that.
The other parties will hammer out a deal, if given the chance, that will keep the government alive for as long as needed to get things done.
And like before, only confidence motions will be protected.
Good Gawd, doesn't the media know anything about Canadian politics?
As Susan Delacourt says, it's time to have an adult conversation about this. Media welcome if you can act like an adult.