But to get rid of Harper, the opposition has to convince voters not that he is nasty or dishonest, but that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
If the objective is to replace Harper, then yes - cut him off at the knees.
In kindly, paternalistic fashion, lay out all his psychological foibles for public airing. What leaving Toronto meant to him and why he wants so damned much to be seen as a Westerner. Why he left the Liberals (which is why he hates the Liberals) and the things leaders he wanted to admire did that disappointed him that he himself is doing now. The quiet things that torment him even now, driving him further and further away from the values and principles he thinks he holds dear.
If your sole focus is to destroy Stephen Harper, that's completely doable. However, that shouldn't be the goal.
Canadians are cynical of their politicians in the same way young Stephen Harper was. Any politician that focuses on destroying their opposition and portraying their own leader as an faultless demi-god aren't going to address our emerging democratic deficit and all the structural ills that come with it - they'll merely become the next party presiding over the demise.
Attacks of opposition and "framing" of your leader are all about messaging, attempting to build confidence through repetition. Neither are about trust.
Our collective goal shouldn't be to get rid of Harper. Harper is a symptom of broader societal malaise and civic rust.
When was the last time we had a leader that worked tirelessly to make us believe out democratic system was what mattered most? That our voices mattered, when we raised them, and that policy was better when we engaged?
What we need now isn't a leader who can defeat the other guy. What we need is leadership that brings us together with common cause and shows us that democracy works.
That's an even harder job - it means eschewing the quick wins and the low-hanging fruit and doing the more complex business of actually leading, and leading by example.
Whenever that happens, though, we'll all win. And wouldn't that be a refreshing change?
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