After this absolutely dismal week for Harper and the Conservatives, you have to wonder what they will come up with next.
I mean this week was supposed to be all about the announcements wasn't it? Harper out there doing photo-op, upon photo-op, assuring us all that he was on the job. (I wonder if anyone has calculated just how much money was spent doing these 'look at me I'm a great PM' stops?) That's not what grabbed the headlines though was it? No, the gaffes by Ministers and the economic contradiction by a respected former civil servant dominated the news.
Given that and noting that the week ended with a poll that is pretty darned good for the Liberals, you have to know that all is not rainbows and ponies in Conservative land. That generally leads to nastiness on the horizon. What form will it take though?
We know that the Conservatives have bills to get through and of course they require Liberal support. The bills that we know of have already received verbal support from the Liberals, so the Conservatives can't really go negative on that front, though they did pull a fast one with the Budget. It's been mentioned that they will start with the negative ads against Ignatieff, but I just don't see the benefit in that strategy. Any 'wo/man on the street' interview that I have seen clearly tells us that Canadians just aren't in the mood. It seems to me that they would do that at their peril, but stranger things have happened I guess.
While it's tempting to think that in this 'week off' for many Canadians, the gaffes etc. went unnoticed, somehow I don't think that is the case. Indeed some people may have taken a March break, but in this economic climate it is unlikely that the majority would take a hiatus from the news. Additionally, most of the stories will continue to play out into the future.
James Moore and the CBC certainly isn't dead, nor is the environment and what Prentice is up to. The raffling of guns may not be written about again in it's original form, but there certainly is the potential to allude to the issue with gun crime bills on the horizon.
So, what will Harper bring next? While I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall in their caucus meeting next Wednesday, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be one of the Ministers, or backbenchers who made the news this week and outshone their boss. That's not a good thing to do in any environment and one can only imagine what it's like if your boss is Steve.
Give me your best guess on the direction the Conservatives will decide on. For the Liberals part, at this point I'd say steady as she goes, meaning staying above the gutter, yet calling them out on whenever it's warranted. The on-line tracking of Conservative actions that I've seen mentioned is also a positive course to be on. There's nothing like a picture to back up your words.
Update - Didn't I say this wasn't going to go away? Silly man.