The biggest mistake Stephen Harper is making right now is that he is communicating to the public a message of fear and uncertainty, rather than trying to sell the public on the strengths of his government’s polices.
All that I am hearing through the media and Harper’s recent advertising campaign is that the Liberals are in bed with the separatists–who don’t you forget, are trying to destroy Canada–and that Canadians elected a conservative government in the last election and the coalition is attempting to destroy the democratically elected government. Fear doesn’t resonate well in the minds of the new generation of Canadians.
What Harper should have done, and as contrary to conventional logic as this sounds, is embrace the coalition’s attempt to grab the confidence of the house. Rather than attack the separatists and coalition parties in the minds of Canadians, he should have worked with them to address their areas of concern. He should not have created these fear radio ads arguing the legitimacy of a constitutionally sound coalition, but have created messages communicating the strength and vision of his government.
Actions that would have resonated well with the new generation of Canadians are:
- Reaching out to the coalition parties, showing them respect
- If he felt that some of the things in his budget announcement were wrong, then offering apologies for them would score big points with Canadians
- Perhaps explaining to Canadians why a stimulus package is not needed at the moment, or at least find some way to reassure Canadians that the government will look out for them
Anything but these messages of fear would have been a lot better. Throwing out accusations does not sell Canadians on the conservative message of… well, to be honest, I’m not sure what the message is. See what Harper has done?