Antagonism - Macleans.ca

Antagonism

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Adam Radwanski on the same section of the Prime Minister’s speech.

For 90 per cent of today’s speech, Harper managed to stick to the former. Then, out of nowhere, he proceeded to announce that he’s “been very frustrated with the opposition since the election,” took a trip down memory lane to attack the coalition and encouraged his audience to tell the dastardly Liberals that it’s time to “stop the political games.”

This was possibly the sincerest part of Harper’s speech; he absolutely loves this stuff. But it also undermined everything else he was trying to accomplish.

Set aside that his attacks weren’t all that grounded in reality (without the coalition, this vaunted economic plan would not have been produced), since every leader takes liberties in bashing his or her opponents. The real problem here is that when these broadsides land like a lead balloon at the end of his text, they serve to cast the entire thing in a different light.

Suddenly, it’s no longer about rallying Canadians around a common purpose; it’s about positioning himself against his opponents, about scoring points that nobody should be tallying right now.

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