Is Stephen Harper quietly working to "re-brand" Canada? Is his government emphasizing the military, the monarchy and select episodes of Canadian history in order to create a competing brand of right-wing Canadian nationalism and divert attention from the great symbols of Liberal patriotism, like medicare and Lester Pearson? The pundit class thinks so.
Environmental groups in Canada are in the crosshairs of the government, and are under investigation for fiscal mismanagement. But what about groups like the Fraser Institute, which uses foreign money to feed misinformation to children, undermine national and global climate action and block shifts away from the most carbon-intensive energy on earth?
British Columbia presents another counter-example to the thesis of this being a good time for governments to go to the polls. To be sure, Canadians demand security in tough economic times. However, the lesson from British Columbia is that they also demand competent, honest government.
"Liberals have finally met their Armageddon. Get used to it." So writes veteran journalist Peter Newman in his forthcoming book on the Liberal Party of Canada.
The Conservatives haven't yet figured out that a majority government doesn't need to be constantly on the attack. It's time for them to take a deep breath, pause, shift gears and be the best majority government they can be.
Right now, the biggest threat on Mr. Harper's horizon is the state of the economy. The global economy could get a lot worse between now and the next election and there's no assurance that Canada will be spared, even relatively.
If you thought Stephen Harper reached the zenith of political power with his majority government win on May 2, think again