With Liberal morale low and the official opposition distracted by a marathon-style leadership campaign, NDP Leader Jack Layton was presented with a unique opportunity to step up to the plate as main critic of the Harper government.Ms. Hebert kindly lets Jack off the hook a bit (in a backhanded way), by going on to say the NDP is too minor to make much difference. The point is, Harper failed by moving off the centre (his five points were brilliant). Layton has failed by keeping his focus off Harper's failure and chasing after a party that has been out of power for a year. Recommend this Post
But Layton ended up spending too much time re-fighting his last wars against the Liberals and not enough time defining new terms of engagement against the Conservatives.
If Harper had consistently stuck to the middle-of-the-road approach to policy that had ensured his election victory, the NDP strategy of equating past Liberal failings to present Conservative ones might have worked. (emphasis mine)
But with the government regularly reverting to its Reform roots this fall, many voters quickly started worrying more about a future under a Harper government than about the recent Liberal past. Far from sinking Liberals further, the NDP approach ended up creating a convenient vacuum for its resurgent Liberal opponents.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Chantal Hebert nails the central failures of both Stephen Harper and Jack Layton since the election:
Posted by Greg at Monday, December 18, 2006