Now a couple of months ago I would have said, "sure", if we risk pulling the plug on the government on a major issue of the day, we should be very careful. Still, I always stood firm that on certain issues - even in the days of the large Con lead in the polls - we need to announce our intentions early, and ensure the public knows it would be Harper who would pull the plug on a government.
Back then it was OK for us to justify our timidness with an argument of prudence, and the interests of the party. Bill Graham still sounded lame however.
Since we've started seeing the real Conservative agenda, we've re-attained the lead in the polls - at least part of it.
The Cons have failed Canadians on all the major issues of the day. On any of the wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon) they have abandoned our policy of neutrality.
On foreign aid and AIDs - the "politically correct way" for a conservative to say "no, I have no need for those people", is to state unequivocally that they want to spend their money "at home" first. Of course their fear and hatred of homosexuals causes them to completely ignore the AIDs crisis. Harper skipped the Vancouver Pride Parade, even though he was in town that day. The only minorities the Cons will court are those who can elect some of their candidates (of course minorities typically recognize what conservative policies mean to them).
The most "brainiac" Conservative policy was their abject denial of the existence of global warming. Even though a strong majority of the world's scientists (almost all of them) support the fact that global warming exists, Harper's Cons refused to believe it. They continue to trot out oil industry pseudo-scientists to refute clear evidence. This is entirely too reminiscent of Stockwell Day's belief that the earth was only 6000 years old, and that dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans (can you believe "Stock" is one of our top cabinet ministers - there's someone rooted in reality - good enough to manage "homeland security", a similarly fictitious post).
The Conservatives will be conservatives. But where are WE??? Truly, I think we're all a little tired of Bill Graham's clear lack of gumption. Sure he's a bright man. Sure he is respected by the House. But, our lack of a strong public stand on ANYTHING is really disturbing. It is time for someone to TAKE A STRONG MODERATE STAND on the issues of the day. The radical middle needs to speak. Where is the "brat pack" of tomorrow? Right now we could be screaming about every single issue. We could have the Cons blurting out hastily prepared statements, talking themselves into corners. Imagine Con MPs speaking their minds in anger. Instead we are sitting back. This needs to change if we want to show clear leadership.
I urge my fellow bloggers to begin speaking out against the lethargy that has crept into our party. Yes, we're all "busy" with our leadership campaigns. Yes, the Cons are shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, our interim leader may not want to commit to a policy publicly when it may be contrary to a future leaders. Still, we need to speak on issues that are CLEARLY MODERATE AND LIBERAL before we get labelled as ineffective. If we don't, it will be a long winter...