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The Insiders: What's up with the Conservatives?

Last night on The National I was piling on with other commentators remarking on the Liberal failure to react to the NDP surge in time to nip it in the bud or at least contain it.
 
Equally if not more puzzling is the Conservative reaction. Virtually none. One ad, and it is a lame carbon copy of the anti Ignatieff coalition ads they had been running previously.  No change in tour message - steady as she goes, calling for majority.

To a point, I get where they are coming from.  From the time he moved to Calgary Stephen Harper has wanted to kill the Liberal Party.  Perhaps they saw the NDP surge initially as a gift - something that would wipe out the Libs and create a polarized choice that Conservatives think they will win more often than not in future.  Perhaps they saw it as something less than it is, something that would just split Liberal votes and elect Conservatives in unlikely places.

But now it appears that the NDP wave is bigger than that - and is not just drawing from the Libs but also now the Conservative vote is shrinking.  At current trends, Jack  Layton is going to be in a position to be the Prime Minister, and the NDP may beat the Conservatives
outright in terms of seats.  Surely the Conservative campaign cannot be sanguine about that.  They went dark on television for a week to save their money for a last week advertising charge. Where is it?  Can they think that a trip to rural Quebec to endorse the asbestos industry is the way to turn this tide?

One thing everybody has known in Canadian politics for the past five years is that the Conservatives are better at politics than anybody else - more money, more sophistication, more strategic.  At the moment, I don't see it.
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