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5 years ago

Republicans need to take a page from Canada's Leader Stephen Harper's playbook on Conservative campaigning

Republican strategists need to fly to Ottawa for a lesson on how Conservatives win elections even in the toughest of economic times. Stephen Harper, an uber-conservative, is a year and a half into a third term in office; his 2011 win, a robust majority government. U.S. Republicans, fresh from their second electoral defeat in a row at the hands of a Democrat, might imagine they have little to learn from Canada because the political system and population are so different. But both nations are advanced democracies in the grip of slowing growth, with large immigrant populations. In the U.S. race, the Republican candidate had trouble defining himself. Voters kept waiting for the real Mitt Romney to stand up. Was he a moderate conservative or a Tea party type? Voters typically are reluctant to embrace leaders with authenticity problems. By contrast, Harper's persona as a right-leaning fiscal conservative is clear. When folks mark an X beside his party, they know what they're getting. Harper's success has come largely from his focus on the economy. Conservative policies are packaged and sold mainly as measures to boost job growth. Even immigration policy is fashioned to help Canada's bottom line as much as to be compassionate. The PM has worked overtime to reach out to immigrant groups, paying attention to historical grievances, courting trade with home countries and tapping into the small-business interests of new Canadians and their concern about crime. Harper refuses to discuss incendiary social issues. Same-sex marriage, abortion, contraception - all are shelved topics. Should any Conservative backbencher raise them, the parliamentary agenda is arranged to ensure such topics remain a one-day wonder. Romney, in his campaign, was forever jabbering about protecting religious groups' rights not to fund contraceptive pills for their employees, closing Planned Parenthood, restricting abortion. Those issues are historical for most women. In this century, North Americans covet individual freedom. Many are even libertarian. Even in the more religiously conservative U.S., a growing number of states are opting to sanction same-sex marriage. And resolutions on marijuana legalization, in both Colorado and Washington state, passed Tuesday night. Blacks and Hispanics were a huge part of the Democratic victory. They obviously saw in Barack Obama someone who would protect their interests. A presidential candidate can no longer ignore this community. There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 16.7 per cent of the population. By 2050, they'll be 30.5 per cent of the population. In New Mexico, they're 44 per cent of all residents. In Texas and California, 36 per cent. In Arizona, 30 per cent. These are religious people seeking a better life, who believe in family and hard work. Just as in Canada, this immigrant group is susceptible to conservative-think. Canada's Liberals used to pretty well own the immigrant vote - until Harper manoeuvred to win it over. This is a challenge Republicans must take up. Obama went into the campaign with the considerable advantage of owning the black and Hispanic vote. But he also had a record of having done nothing on the deficit and debt, and not enough on job creation. This contest should have been winnable by the Republicans, who did manage to come close in terms of the popular vote. Had they not alienated women, had they cultivated and nurtured the Hispanic vote, the Republicans doubtless would have pulled off a win. Canadian politicians have taken a lot of notes from the U.S. playbook over the years. It's time for Republicans to consider the modus operandi of Canadian conservatives. Read more:
This post was modified from its original form on 08 Nov, 20:08

This post was modified from its original form on 08 Nov, 20:09
5 years ago

Why can't I get that there editor to work for me???? WHY OH WHY?????

Now Stephen Harper is my guy. I support him and worked my fingers to the bone helping him win. That article was printed today in my Vancouver Newspaper and it is right on!!!!

5 years ago

The RNC needs to learn from the left and stand behind their candidates. They are too quick to cut candidates off when they make mistakes or get attacked like Herman Cain And Palin were. Michael Steele should have fought back against the vile attacks on Palin and Bachman.

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