It's difficult to know how this bizarre notion came to be.
Perhaps it's a trait that shows itself when you are desperate or perhaps it emerges when you are paranoid or then again, maybe it stems from an ideology that is focused on fighting the culture and institutions that make up the country that you currently are meant to govern.
As it relates to the Conservatives, my money would be on all three.
There is no question in my mind that this arrogance comes from the top and is being modeled by all who follow Harper. His caucus, his staff, some opinion writers, some bloggers...they all display the same arrogant tone that is either delivered with an attitude of superiority, childish taunts or vindictiveness.
The reason I say it comes from the top should be obvious to all when you consider Harper's history and his disdain for so much of what this country has grown to be. If you need a reminder, Elizabeth Thompson has an interesting letter here, penned by Harper when he was the leader of The National Citizens' Coalition. Fast forward to Tom Flanagan's book where he absolutely delights in telling us how election spending laws can be skirted and it's clear that they feel they have a right to do what they choose without consequence. That is arrogance. There is not a scintilla of regret, remorse or even thoughtful consideration of the ramifications.
I think this places Canada in a rather interesting albeit frightening, position at the moment. We have a party in power that believes the Canada we have become, is wrong, and their vision of it is right. They represent only one third of the population, (though personally I think the number of people that actually understand and believe in the Con vision is less than that), and they do not care what the remaining two thirds has to say. That's arrogance.
I brought up three points when I opened this post. Desperation, paranoia and ideology.
The ideology for all who pay attention is obvious. It was interesting in QP today and I think a good idea, for Dion and Ignatieff to speak to the Economy and leave the scandal stuff to their bench. They both raised the ideological issue of running the public purse so close to the line that the ability to create and/or fund programs becomes impossible. That part of the Con platform has never been clearly articulated and before now would have only been speculation. Flaherty did nothing to dispel the plan.
The desperation in my view is showing up on all sorts of areas. Attacking Dion in an effort to define him before he'd even filed his acceptance speech indicated that they knew they would be facing an opponent that would reveal the Con's, in sharp contrast, as being contrary to what Canadians expect from a government. I think it was Susan Delacourt on Politics last week that pointed to the fact that if you consider that they were willing to do anything to get Cadman's vote and willing to do anything to win an election, even overspend, you start to see a pattern of desperation.
Paranoia? Well again, this too should be obvious to all. From the famous mutterings of Harper hoping for a majority to the continued outright attack since taking power. Even yesterday the, enfant irascible, of the Con party, Pierre Poilievre suggested that Elections Canada tipped off the Lib's to the 'visit', (then changed to raid, now being termed the storming of Con offices). Hilarious really considering we all saw what happened. I somehow missed the battering rams and drawn arms. (BTW, he was made short work of on the panel that CBC Sunday put together, but of course given a pass when Craig Oliver had him on QP. Go figure?) He was equally as foolish in QP today. If the Lib's were ever given a gift it's this guy as the Con point man on the In and Out. He fabricates, misquotes, uses outdated material and generally looks like a buffoon.
I think Canadians are starting to get this party and government now. I'm sorry it's taken 2 years, but I'll allow that sometimes you need to let things play out in order to truly learn. They have been masterful at hiding and conning and given what the Lib's have been through, we've likely been less than masterful at exposing it.
I'm one of those impatient people that would prefer to have everyone have their light-bulb moment at once and wishes that the media actually stuck to reality and gave their audience some history and fact, but I accept the moment for what is.
Cross Country Check-Up, (which I am wont to listen to), had an interesting show yesterday. It spoke to how dysfunctional Parliament is at the moment and while Dion didn't get off the hook, call after call spoke to how the government has created an environment that doesn't work.
Committee's were mentioned, (gee, I thought only Kady O'Malley and I watched that stuff, lol), QP of course, Bills with hidden bit's in them, the Manual to shut down committees, nastiness, personal attack, well the list went on and frankly laid out what I and many others have been saying for many months. While sad for the country, I found it encouraging that Canadians are getting it.
This bears mentioning though. There was not one call that I heard supporting what Harper has done or is doing in the kind of uncertain terms that I used to hear on the program. That is a shift and tells me that Canadians have understood the arrogance of Harper.
Will the Con's shift strategy? I don't think so. For all their attempts to present a faux centrist position, I do not think Harper's fundamental ideology will not permit that. You see, they believe that the longer they are in power, (though not through the scandal stuff), the more they will be able to push their view under the radar, have it become the status quo and Canadians will shift to their mentality.
Good try I say, but to coin a phrase, it ain't gonna work. Underestimating those who elect you is arrogant. Most people easily recognize that trait and have a negative reaction to it. By assuming that no one will notice is beyond arrogant. Give me a word here, I'm at a loss.
Perhaps this phrase comes close?
He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.