John Williamson, the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, recently posted a commentary over at Macleans.ca in response to a story on Prime Minister Harper's pessimistic year end message.
I am reprinting it year, because I agree 100 percent with John's take.
Here is what he wrote:
"And Happy New Year to you Prime Minister, but I hope it’s not as dark as you anticipate.
With Maclean’s and with other reporters in year-end interviews, Stephen Harper warned Canadians of tough economic times ahead. To make matters worse, he says the federal government will introduce tough policies to reduce carbon emissions and the public will most likely gripe about it. On taxes, Canadians, it seems, can get stuffed. If the economy slows there will be no relief for taxpayers. What kind of message is this?
The Prime Minister has tried to follow in the footsteps of President Ronald Reagan by talking directly to voters free of media filters. The man revered as the “Great Communicator” launched the modern-day conservative movement in the United States. His communications strategy was to bypass a liberal press and speak directly to the hopes and aspirations of voters and, yes, when necessary confront their fears while pointing ahead to a better day.
Prime Minister Harper has adopted only half of Mr. Reagan’s successful strategy. Missing is a reassuring, optimistic message that gives citizens a reason to support Conservative policy, even when the going gets tough. No tax relief to offset tougher economic conditions, higher energy prices legislated by Ottawa, and a looming election campaign. That’s hardly sound policy-making or, for that matter, a wise re-election strategy."