Leadership does not occur in a vacuum. A leader takes strength from those who follow.
When faced with a setback, there are always those who would undermine, murmur, question and doubt. Our reaction to them will be what sets the course for failure or success of the party.
In the days ahead there will be questions about leadership. There are those who even before this vote were beginning to say "If Harper hasn't done it by now he never will" and "people are never going to trust him".
Loyalty is an essential to being part of a team -- this is where the Liberals have it over us. Think of the most recent leaders of the Progressive Conservative Party, the Reform Party, and the Alliance.
Kim Campbell, Joe Clark, Preston Manning, Stockwell Day.
Each of these people was ridiculed and not just by the Liberals and the media. They were mocked by those within their party, and within the same movement (conservatism). Even now, petty bickering between the old parties rears its ugly head in call-in shows and letters to the editor. David Orchard is a name that still stings.
There are divisions in every party over social issues, but only conservatives divide over them. Social-conservatives are accused of 'taking over the party', and in turn, they resent that their input has to be pushed aside in order to be more 'mainstream'. There are social conservatives in the Liberal Party, and they are perceived as people of conscience. Why? Because the Liberals say so. Paul Martin stood in the House and said that it was unCanadian not to see that same-sex marriage was a rights issue. A goodly number of his members voted against him. They spoke out against the legislation, but not against their leader. All Liberals who spoke in favour of same-sex marriage levelled their criticisms and accusations across the floor -- not at the people sitting beside them.
Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure. It isn't a matter of not questioning a leader, it is a matter of not undermining him. Internal bickering came with the party, it is not Harper's fault. As grown-ups, we are responsible for tempering our attitudes towards those with whom we differ. Accusations and hostility only advance the Liberal cause, not our own.
Most of the blogs tonight were positive and optimistic. For those who can't be positive, now is the time to take a step back. Our anger and frustration should be at the Liberals, who through conniving and manipulation have orchestrated an assault on democracy.
It is laughable that anyone swallows that Liberal chant that Stephen Harper is scary.
This sort of rhetoric allows people to feel like they are clever, without having to actually acquaint themselves with the issues.
Separatism? Stephen Harper is scary. No need to think at all. No need to know that we owe the Clarity Act to him.
Rights issues? Stephen Harper is scary. No need to know that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives want property rights to be enshrined in the Charter (and the Liberals don't) and that only the Conservatives will allow free votes on issues of conscience.
Health care? Stephen Harper is scary. Don't have to question why the Champion-of-Universal-Care-Paul-Martin uses a private health clinic and Stephen Harper doesn't. No need to think about the proliferation of private clinics since the Liberals came to power.
The Atlantic Accord, the Gas Tax Transfer -- Conservative ideas. The GST and NAFTA? We didn't want them -- they aren't perfect, but Paul Martin owes his 'record surplusses' to them and he became Canada's hero by slaying the deficit because of them. They're Conservative initiatives, of course.
The Liberals gave us separatism (Quebec and Alberta) and they are taking us closer to socialism. They have given us less accountable government and more restraint on freedom (particularly religious freedoms). Think of the gross mismanagement of funds and goods. Passports missing, military equipment unaccounted for, people investigating the corruption within their own departments and party, special appointments in return for favours, and if this is what we know -- what don't we know? People who say we can't paint all Liberals with the same brush, are the first to deride all Conservatives as part of the 'religious right'.
Canadians don't want an election. Canadians want to wait for Gomery. -- what a crock! The press started chanting these gospels as soon as the words exited Martin's mouth. Due process does not apply to government -- just individuals. They would have us believe we have to give them the benefit of the doubt in the interest of justice. They are laughing at Canadians tonight. They have taken our money and tried to sell us on the idea that we should be grateful to them for saving us from the scary conservatives -- and even some "Conservatives" are buying!
Any person who says that because of Stephen Harper there is 'no alternative' to the Liberal disaster in Ottawa deserves whatever this regime visits upon this country. (The rest of us do not.)
Any Conservative who says it, should talk a walk with Belinda over to the dark side.