Conclusions I can't avoid dept.
Wells, 10 days ago:
On current form, Harper seems to have a month before an election starts. It's precious little time to build a team and a plan for government. Swing voters this time -- the crucial Unconvinced -- won't replace one listless one-man government with another.
As usual, I'm not really sure what the best solution is here. There are some CPC MPs who are very able. In general, it's probably best that Harper start operating as if his candidates are assets to the campaign. (This is the opposite of (1) praying no one ever says anything a reporter doesn't like, and (2) disavowing and denying like hell if someone does.) As well, I think it's time for Harper to pick his 3 favorite CPC policy proposals, and start talking about them all the time.
It's a nice head start for the CPC to have. They'll be running against a party that few people trust, led by a Prime Minister with an uncommon handicap: absolutely no one believes anything he says. But a head start is all that it is.