He's tried it all. He has emulated his neo-con hero-pal George W. Bush by extending a call to arms in Afghanistan. He has a couple of his dim-witted Ministers over there running around telling anybody who will listen that thanks to Canada's role there that things are improving (we lost 6 more of our valiant young soldiers there again today). He tried to solely occupy center stage at the Vimy Anniversary Memorial, by freezing out other Canadian political leaders.
He's ran American style attack ads in both official languages to beat up on Stephane Dion before the bell had sounded. He has resorted to Joe McCarthy tactics to malign opponents.
He tried to bamboozle the Canadian people with phony guarantees of maximum wait times for surgery. He has sucked up to Quebec in truly epic style by purporting to correct a laughable financial imbalance by giving it 3.4 billion of hard-earned Canadian tax dollars - thus allowing Premier Charest to give Quebecers a 700 million election eve tax cut. He cozied up to the Bay Street establishment by torpedoing oil income trusts.
He has stolen a good deal of the Dion Environment policy after dumping poor Rona Ambrose from the Environment portfolio and replacing her with his pit bull John Baird. He reminds Canadians daily of the Grit Adscam debacle.
He has unveiled his Party's cyber-age 17,500 square foot election headquarters. He implicitly or explicitly threatens to call an election every couple of days. Yada, Yada, Yada.
Yes, Bush's pal Steve Harper has tried everything. Every low-life political trick in the book. Blarney, subterfuge, smarmy brown-nosing of Quebec. You name it.
And guess what? SES Research has just released the results of a poll conducted for Sun Media, and it is bad news for Stevie. The poll conducted between March 31 and April 5 has the Conservatives with a 3 point lead - 36% to 33% - over the much maligned Grits. That's about where they started from at the start of the last election. A party has to be at the 40% mark before it is in majority territory.
The Grits are 12 points up in Atlantic Canada, 1 point up in Ontario, only 6 points down in the west and 10 points down in Quebec.
Of further worry to Stevie is that the margin of error of the poll is within 3.2% 19 times out of 20. SES called the last election to within one-tenth of 1 %. They're good.
The only region where the Tories have significantly increased their numbers is in Quebec. Now, is there anybody in the country who is willing to bet against the Liberals improving their standing in Quebec during a Federal Election?
How about when the Conservative leader is an Anglophone raised in Toronto and grazing in Calgary, and the Grit leader is a home town francophone? How about when the Conservative leader has been an arch-rightist most of his adult life, is a pal of Bush's, frolics in international adventurism and until recently did not give a damn about the environment? And suppose the Grit leader has an impeccable reputation for integrity and brains, occupies the center, does not cozy up to Bush, is cautious about sending Canadians into war, and has led the environment debate with a comprehensive policy from the beginning?
I like the sound of the phrase - "Prime Minister Stephane Dion." Get ready. We're going to hear it a lot more often. You can say you heard it here first.