Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Conservative Party Election Strategy
RICHMOND, B.C. -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't talk to Brian Mulroney any more because of the Karlheinz Schreiber affair, but Mr. Harper is trying to recreate the same national coalition that his Conservative predecessor built in 1984 and 1988.
Yesterday, Mr. Harper talked about his government's family-friendly policies at a photo op in a Chinese-Canadian family's backyard in Richmond, one of those surreal campaign events replete with toys on the lawn. On Sunday, however, he called the election in Quebec City, the epicentre of the Harper strategy for recreating the Mulroney coalition.
In and around Quebec City, and throughout the province outside Montreal, Mr. Harper intends to win at least several dozen additional seats and, with them, his coveted majority.
The Mulroney coalition depended on traditional Conservative support elsewhere in Canada married to nationalist votes in Quebec. For two elections, the coalition worked brilliantly for Mr. Mulroney, until the acrimonious collapse of the Meech Lake constitutional accord ripped it apart.
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