View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Of Arrogance and Majority Governments – May 3, 2011

Cornwall ON – Arrogance can lead to the downfall of many politicians, political leaders and on occasion of political parties as well. Last night Canadians taught the Liberals that lesson.

Unfortunately for the Liberals, their arrogance has been on display for some time. Back in 2004, it was expressed by their over confidence that Paul Martin would easily win 250 seats.  Canadians showed the Liberals that they shouldn’t be so sure of themselves and reduced the Liberals to minority government status. But that lesson wasn’t good enough for them.

Their arrogance again surfaced just prior to this election when they just assumed Canadians would welcome them back into power. After all weren’t the Liberals supposed to be Canada’s natural governing party? Liberals must have thought so or why would any political party with shaky financing, and poor polling results purposely force an election when the odds were so stacked against them?

Did Liberals think that all they had to do was say, here we are, vote for us as we are Liberals and we are the ones who deserve to be running the country? They went into an election with a weak platform, a weak leader who couldn’t connect with voters and they still expected Canadians to just naturally flock to them and they actually expected that they would form the next government. A dose of humility in the upper echelons of the party and in the OLO might have prevented last nights fiasco for them.

Liberals can blame negative Conservative attack ads all they want; it wasn’t the Conservatives who picked the date for this election. It was the Liberal nonconfidence motion that set this election into motion. It was their arrogance at play as they just knew Canadians had to want them back in power. Once again the Liberals were taught a lesson by the voters. This time though they will have to listen. They will have to rebuild. They will have to come up with new policies that Canadians tell them they want and they will have to show by their actions that they once again deserve the votes of Canadians.

And for Harper and Layton, this lesson should not go unheeded. One has a majority and the other has vaulted into Official Opposition, but don’t let it go to your heads. If it does, Canadians have a way of letting you know that they won’t tolerate arrogance. Canadians have the ballot box and they know how to use it.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

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  1. Keith what convey mirrors exactly what I believe and many times expressed. You have hit the nail on the head. Exact as you say… and for Harper and Layton, this lesson should not go unheeded.

  2. And contempt of Parliament is not arrogance? Or a reason for non-confidence and going to the electorate? A glaringy one-sided View from the Hill!

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