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Can Harper turn the tide?

In 1865, the American Civil War was engaged in one last significant battle, The Battle of Palmito Ranch or it sometimes referred to as Palmito Hill. Fought on the Rio Grande, the Confederates were determined to protect the shipping of natural resources (cotton). Knowing that the war was all but lost, they pinned their hopes on this battle and the experiences of old warhorse commanders. They needed the profits and hoped this win could reverse the tide against the Confederacy.

In 2015, Canadians will be engaged in what could be considered Canada’s civil war, the centre versus the right. Conservatives like the Confederates are trying to reverse the tide against the Conservatives. They are pinning their hopes on the experience of an old warhorse (Prime Minister Stephen Harper). Every battle or byelection, to date, the Conservatives have lost ground.

The soldiers are seeing it on the ground, in the polls, in the media, at town hall meetings and at the door: they are seeing a lost war. Every Conservative candidate believes he has a chance of winning his battle or seat but feels the war is lost.

Grasping at straws, they turn to an experienced campaigner, known for sneaky moves, attack ads and compelling disinformation about their opponents, an experienced old warhorse named Harper.

Interesting is the fact that the Confederates were aided by their neighbors in the south, (Mexico); 150 years later, the Conservatives will be using advice and tactics from our southern neighbours (U.S.).

One hundred and 50 years ago, there were southern states that stubbornly remained dedicated to the Confederacy and were extremely resentful of the Yankees’ union as there are Western provinces stubbornly remaining dedicated to the Conservative Party and are extremely resentful of more moderate centrist parties.

In Alberta, the Conservative vote will bring electoral victory to most Conservative candidates but the feeling is it will be by much smaller margins, and that there will losses in the more progressive urban ridings.

The ideals, the policies, the goals and the management style are not resonating with Canadians, so the war will be lost unless the old warhorse can pull tricks out of his sleeve, produce some smoke and mirrors, create some effective attack ads, winning sales pitches and handicap or bankrupt the opposition. This could be 1993 all over again and the Conservatives could go from majority to two seats.

October 2015 could be the last significant battle for the Conservative Party of Canada and if they cannot adapt to the times, it may be the last battle for the party as they may end up in third place, or nearly obliterated like in 1993.

Garfield Marks

Red Deer

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