I had a rather interesting chat yesterday with a Conservative supporter – my landlord – who didn’t know I wasn’t a Conservative supporter. This is a long held Conservative riding I’m in – the incumbent won with 58% of votes cast – so Conservative supporters naturally tend to think everyone votes for their guy (not far from the truth in this riding ). I played along, and the conversation was revealing as to the mindset of some Conservative supporters.
He acknowledged times were still tough around here for the jobless picture, but he was certain that now Harper had his majority, Harper would improve the economy. Apparently, the fact that Harper had been in power for 5 years didn’t matter – 5 yrs of Harper having to deal with a minority Parliament was holding him back from fixing the economy appeared to be the reasoning. The other thing that struck me was he thought Harper was an honest man – this said without any irony, since the reason the last Parliament fell was because the Speaker and the House of Commons found the Conservatives in contempt of Parliament for withholding key Budget figures.
Now, I had a glimmer of slight hope for him when he said that Harper wasn’t like Mulroney, who he thought should be in the slammer for being sleazy, but then he equated Chretien with Mulroney and thought he should be in the slammer as well. He threw Dalton Mcguinty in that category for good measure. He DID concede Harper was “a bit dictatorial”, but he was honest and would get the job done and would get results for the economy.
That folks, comes from an obvious Conservative supporter from a very Conservative county, but that’s the mindet of some of Harper’s supporters. It also shows the droning and droning of the economy obviously resonated with some of these folks – they didn’t care if Harper was in contempt of Parliament – they blamed the minority Parliaments for Harper’s failings. I can see similarities to the Harper voters and the George W Bush voters from 2004 – they voted for stability – and indiscretions were ignored.
(If you’re wondering about my reaction to all of his declarations was, I just smiled and said nothing. I was bringing my rent cheque to him, was a tad late for work and thought discretion was best).
My gut feeling is though, I think he and other Conservative leaning voters are going to be deeply disappointed after 4 years.