It's not because of any of the little scandals that have bubbled up here and there under your watch. Scandals come and scandals go, and all of yours put together don't even approach AdScam, as far as I'm concerned.
It's not even that you're Conservative. Although I don't vote Tory by default, the way I did when I was younger and had a more black/white view of the world, I can still be swayed to. It just might take a little swaying, is all.
No, the reason I can't vote for you is because of your mindless hatred of anything and anyone that doesn't share your philosophy of the world. That doesn't play well in a country that itself embodies most of the world.
It started with the round of attack ads on Mr. Ignatieff. You'll forgive me, first of all, for missing the election call. I didn't realize there was a campaign going on requiring the use of Parliamentary resources (four million dollars' worth!) to attack other Members of Parliament. That such monies are being spent now, in a recession, is all the more concerning. But the content of the ads is perhaps more so.
Michael Ignatieff has, indeed, spent some time away from Canada. Your ad says 34 years, which is false: 1978-2005 only makes 27. Still, that's a long time to account for, isn't it? What kind of Canadian would spend so long abroad? What the hell was he doing all that time?
Well, the man has eleven honorary doctorates, to go with his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. He's an accomplished writer, broadcaster and filmmaker. He's held teaching positions at universities all over the world.
This attack ad is really nothing more than your Tim Horton's/Starbucks strategy resurrected. It plays well in the hinterlands, I'll grant you that, but a great many Canadians saw the ad for what it is: provincial and anti-intellectual.
"Your Bloc MP has voted against the protection of children"
The Bloc is rightly furious. What they voted against was mandatory minimum sentences for child trafficking. And not because they're a bunch of perverts: it's because mandatory minimums don't work. A Bloc MP even said as much, several times.
Mandatory minimum sentences are no deterrent to crime. In order to impose a sentence, a criminal must be caught, tried, and found guilty--and most criminals don't believe they'll ever be caught, let alone tried, let alone found guilty. Also, the prospect of prison doesn't scare many. Several states in the U.S. are repealing mandatory minimums because they've had no effect on crime. So why would we want to go down that road?
The aforementioned Ignatieff is standing with the Bloc on this.“I’m in politics to defeat the Bloc Quebecois with real arguments, rather than slurs and vicious . . . personal attacks", he said. "This is unworthy.” In French, Ignatieff said “I will never descend to that level of attack because when we do this, we fragment our country, we divide our country. We create suspicion and fear and hurt, where there has to be healing.”
And that's why I'm not voting for you, Steve. You're all about fragmentation, division, suspicion, fear, and hurt. Your Canada doesn't include the two million Canadians who have spent time abroad and returned. It doesn't include anyone who's inclined to think past whatever message you're sending.
What we need in this country is consensus. We need someone willing and able to bridge gaps between East and West, French and English, urban and rural, right and left, and whatever other gulfs you, Mr. Harper, have sought to exploit and widen.