Yet, the worse the Tories get the higher their poll numbers go. I for one can't entirely figure this out even with the incredibly biased work of CTV. Of course, like the explanation for most phenomena it is a confluence of factors. Many people just don't pay attention. Many are just not very politically savvy and don't understand the issues. Many people are so partisan that they could have pictures of Harper molesting Collies and they would still think he was a great leader. And many people actually support the total destruction of our democracy and social safety net. After all, the NAZI party was brought to power through the ballot-box, a fact many forget.
The only part that is really a bit of a mystery to me is that most leaders who are blatantly corrupt like Harper is, and manage to maintain a degree of popularity, have a good deal of charisma. Now, regardless of one's political stripes it is obvious that Harper is fairly deficient in the charisma department. And herein lies the rub; the real reason we are where we are is that while Harper appeals to the worst in people politically speaking (something which always gains in popularity during troubled times - again remember the Hitler lesson) , the only real bulwark against Fascist tendencies in difficult times is an opposition leader with real charisma. This is, of course, what we are sadly lacking. And in the absence of this there will continue to be a large part of the population in difficult times which finds the easy way out - the path of anger, blame, and hate. And this phenomenon will only get worse as the population ages because in my experience the older that people get the more susceptible they become to this kind of ideological trap. It seems to me that as many people age they too often fall into two poor political habits. One is that they become disappointed with their lives and start to lay blame for their supposed failures on other people. This it the - "It is single-mothers on welfare, or gay people that are getting all the government's attention and resources, and the rest of us are getting nothing" attitude. Or they begin to imagine that despite all the public services they enjoyed in the past - they were solely responsible for their successes. This it the - "I got there with absolutely no help from anyone, and anyone who can't do the same is just lazy" attitude.
Anyway, as capitalism slowly changes and decays, one of the possible responses that people inevitably take is the one that many in Germany took in the early 1930s, to wit; things are getting bad because minorities and moral degenerates have taken advantage of our kindness and we need to attack these elements of society which are sapping our strength and wealth. This is precisely what Harper's politics represent, and even without the Charisma of Hitler there are enough people who take this negative response in our troubled times to make it a very real and dangerous possibility. Of course, as is almost always the case, conservatives will lead us to a disaster, and when things get really bad progressive people will have to clean up the mess. In the meantime, we must watch the difficult pendulum of history feed people's anger and negativity and watch one more right-wing fool dismantle democracy and equality with the support of many of those who will eventually suffer the terrible consequences. The angry, spiteful, disgusting tirades of men like John Baird will fill our airwaves and some people will eat it up, as though MR. Baird is being publicly hateful the way many would like to be. And as the distribution of wealth gets worse and the education system decays, and democracy is dismantled, and workers lose their rights, and the gap between the rich and the poor increases, what is good in the human spirit will endeavor to persevere in the face of Harper's hatred and we, or our children will attempt, once again, to clean up the mess.