I'm paraphrasing, of course
Paul Wells and Andrew Coyne on the CPC Convention:
"What a bunch of pussies!"
Update: Monte Solberg (natch) and David Frum are more optimistic.
Monte first - he identifies 5 issues on which the CPC is clearly distinguishable: can the daycare plan, lower taxes, tougher on criminals, stonger military, and a better plan than Kyoto.
Here's my criteria for how to tell these (all laudable) policies are being promoted sufficiently: when the CBC and Globe are running regular stories about how (pick any or all)...
- women's groups say the CPC is victimizing single mothers
- judges and lawyers are deeply concerned about the CPC's criminal justice plans
- Greenpeace says a CPC government would result in fish boiling in the great lakes (polar bears starving to death also works)
- the Liberals and NDP are ranting that CPC plan to lower taxes and increase military spending will dissolve the safety net
...then they're starting to be loud and clear enough. I realize it's somewhat counterintuitive, but lads, you're not going to win many media endorsements come election time. Accept that, and move on to the task at hand - letting the people know how you're different.
And here's David Frum:
High taxes are squeezing the life out of the Canadian economy. Billions of surplus dollars are being hidden away through budgetary tricks to be spent as soon as the Liberals regain their majority--and can once again direct money to their pet causes and regions. Relations with the United States have been poisoned. Despite huge infusions of funds, the health care system is collapsing before Canadians' eyes. Sailors and airmen are dying in obsolete ships and planes. The judicial system has been transformed into a romper room for social engineers. And the Chretien/Martin government has been caught in scandal after scandal after scandal whose common theme is an arrogant sense of entitlement and utter contempt for the public.
All conservative-minded people can agree that ejecting these shameful characters from public office transcends any of the minor differences that once divided them.
I'm not at all prepared to concede that last sentence, despite agreeing with basically the entire preceding paragraph. I suppose it's because I don't accept that the differences are minor, at least not at this point. And it's not like I'm that far out on the right fringe!
To repeat, once I start seeing regular criticism of the CPC's substantiative policies in the large media, I'll be a lot more convinced that their goal is something more worthwhile than "running the Liberal machine for themselves". Until then, Coyne and Wells are judging the evidence astutely.