I am not of the mind that the House should be consumed with all Mulroney, all the time, but there is an interesting aspect to all of this.
As we all know, Harper has not improved his fortunes in this country despite Herculean attempts.
The Con's have spent more time trying to appear moderate than almost anything else. Their aim has been clear. Allow (read dupe) Canadians to believe that they are really no different than the PC's and Canadians will warm.
As Mulroney slowly crept back into the public consciousness, this time as an elder statesman, he became the perfect foil for the Con's. He was touted as being "green", he had received an apology and compensation from the Liberal government which seemed to remove the stench of impropriety, he faced and fought an illness that evoked an emotional reaction in the country and he still had admirers in Harper's caucus and cabinet.
What a perfect ingredient to add to the recipe that the Con's had planned to feed to Canadians, right? I mean as it relates to strategy, you understand why they thought this was a stroke of genius. No doubt, Marjory LeBreton thought so. (It will be interesting to see how Harper treats her in the future.) The strategy wasn't thought through though. It's not the first time for this party under Harper, but I suspect this will be the one that makes him kick the furniture and scream Why did I listen to them?
Harper was trying to build a brand. That's a tough thing to do. I suspect he went against his gut but he took a chance in an attempt to gain seats. His craven need to gain majority power outweighed his ability to project how this might all turn out.
Building a brand takes time and thought though and he knew his Reform roots were not going to assist him with that. In fact, he felt the need to push all of that aside, I'm sure to the chagrin of many, in order to pursue power.
So in the end he hitched himself to someone he thought was a rising star. Obviously, that is not the case. The manner in which he has kicked Mulroney to the curb is stunning and I imagine we'll see much more of this. How this will affect MacKay we don't know, but it will.
He was looking for a brand and he chose the wrong logo and spokesperson. He's back where he started from and it remains to be seen how he attempts to re-brand. PC'ers who were beginning to get on side, will not take this lightly and Reformer's will scream for their agenda to be reinstated.
Harper is faced with trying to once again to brand the Party, have no doubt. Watch and wait.
Conversely, the Liberal brand is still strong. The Lib's have built a brand that is right up the middle of the political spectrum. Socially progressive, fiscally responsible. The Con's can continue their claim that the Lib's don't know what they stand for, but that would be classic projection now wouldn't it?
Look, in spite of all the junk that has been laid at Dion's feet, the Lib's tie with Con's. That is everything to do with branding. The Liberal brand is strong and established. The Con's are trying their level best to destroy it, but they may choose to re-think that strategy.
A) They do not yet have a brand and are primed to be branded from the outside
B) They brought Martin down, through "association" .
Harper sought to brand his party by associating with Mulroney. His wish was that link would tie him to the progressive constituents who had avoided him.
Be careful what you wish for.