Tuesday, November 13, 2007

He's Baaaaack

All through the 1990s I remember there was this sort of understanding (at least among people I talked to - there were no blogs, alas) that any party with "conservative" in the name was made radioactive to too many people because of the spectre of Mulroney. There has been some re-evaluation of the man, hell, even Jason Cherniak seems positively sympathetic to him now.

Still, I think it is worth remembering the visceral hatred this man engendered in so many Canadians by the end of his second term. Some polls had his popularity at 4%! You think Dion has problems? The reality is, if Mulroney and his record are dragged back into the spotlight, there's a good chance that some of that anger at him will come roaring back. It doesn't matter that Chretien and Martin largely continued the two policies that made the man hated (free trade and the GST), there was something about Mulroney himself that people just reviled by 1993.

If this anger does come back because of Mulroney's reappearance in the Canadian political spotlight, Harper had better watch out for the halo effect it will have on his party.

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