I’m an economic conservative. That made me sort of your natural constituency, until recently. I’d never bought into, or feared for, your supposed hidden social agenda; despite the scaremongering, I never thought you had one.
The Chretien and Martin governments did a fairly decent job of getting public finances under (relative) control but I’ve always credited Preston Manning with putting the entire notion of responsible fiscal management on the radar for the electorate. Until he brought home the point that endless annual deficits accumulate, I think the average elector believed they were of no future consequence.
What those previous government couldn’t get beyond was the sheer malodorous rot of corruption, entitlement, crony-ism and arrogance. Your party offered the electorate a clear commitment to responsibility, accountability and honesty, in addition to its traditionally sensible view on financial management.
Your government clearly abandoned any pretext of living within our economic means very early in your mandate. The growth of both spending and the size of government speaks for itself in that regard. Astonishingly, you’ve added to corporate welfare, trivial (but expensive) ‘feel good’ regional photo-op spending and a host of other financial sink holes. You’ve even had the gall to spend our money advertising to us about programs that don’t even technically exist.
And now, your betrayal of the principles you campaigned on is complete. During the recent scandal-fest, you and your party have played “politics” at it’s very worst – avoidance, obfuscation, denial and ‘spin’ being perhaps the very nicest things someone could say; outright lying, cover-up and obstruction of justice are more likely appropriate descriptors.
This wasn’t the time for “politics-as-usual” Mr. Prime Minister. The public deserved better answers than you, or anyone in your government, saw fit to offer them, despite ample opportunity.
So, here’s my commitment to you: Whoever I decide to vote for in an upcoming election, and despite likely having to hold my nose doing it, it won’t be a Conservative Party candidate. (I assure you, I’m better at my word than you are.)