THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN SENT TO EVERY CONSERVATIVE MP IN CANADA
The Conservative Party needs to do some quick damage control, and this has to be a grassroots movement, not a directive from Stephen Harper for once.
#1. We need to distance ourselves from Stephen Harper. He has just made a rookie mistake and handed Canada over to the opposition parties. Cutting $30 million in political party funding? There was no way the other parties were going to accept that. It was Harper's idea to try and force the opposition to swallow that "poison pill" by threatening another election. Instead it has only united them under an Accord government which will usher in carbon taxes, carbon emission caps and an era of Liberal changes. Harper's stupid and INCOMPETENT idea to force that through has only doomed his administration to end on December 8th.
#2. We need to pick a new leader and quickly. It would be nice to pick an ethnic leader to cash in on the Obama effect, but really what we need right now is a strong interim leader like Tony Clement, Chuck Strahl or Jim Flaherty. Harper needs to resign as soon as possible, we need to hold a meeting and vote on an interim leader and begin preparations for a leadership race in the late Winter or early Spring.
#3. We need to realize the Harper era is OVER. We need to acknowledge that Stephen Harper has tried his best, couldn't win a majority government because he's incompetent and in 9 days from now the Liberals/NDP/Bloc will have their vote and probably even have a leader picked amongst them. Bob Rae will be endorsed by the NDP, Michael Ignatieff by the Bloc and whomever wins won't be a pushover like Stephane Dion. When that happens Harper will be back in Stornaway as opposition leader and likely contemplating retirement anyway. The longer we try to hold onto Stephen Harper the less time we will have to prepare the new leader for the role of opposition leader and maybe another election a year from now. The Liberals/NDP/Bloc are going to be struggling hard to stay in power as long as possible.
#4. When we do come up with a new leader it has to be one with an actual economic plan. Harper's current plan of doing nothing and praying the recession will go away obviously didn't inspire the Canadian voters. Four out of five Canadians didn't vote for Stephen Harper. Thanks to low voter turnout 40.9% of Canadians didn't even vote. We only got 21.8% of Canadians to vote Conservative. That is NOTHING to be proud of. We need to have a strong economic plan that bolsters jobs, spending and new products.
#5. We need to stop nay-saying the environment. This is really hurting our reputation. I cannot emphasize this enough. The biggest complaint our party is getting is that we're too weak on environmental reform and too cozy with the Alberta oil industry. It makes us look corrupt and provides fodder for the leftwing media, and that in turn hurts our image. We are living in a post-Bush pro-green world now and clinging to the oil and coal industry like suckling babes is the wrong thing to be doing right now.
#6. We need to prepare for the possibility the Liberals/NDP/Greens will unite. Their numbers are greater then ours and we could be stuck as an opposition party for YEARS to come. We need to be thinking greener and more progressive. Uniting the Reform Party and the PC party only partially worked. We managed to change names but our reputation is still so radical it scares average Canadians. We need a leader who is CHARISMATIC and doesn't scare average Canadians. Only then can we ever hope to defeat whatever abomination the Liberals/Greens/NDP unite and become. The New Green Liberal Party (or whatever you want to call it) has a better chance of winning a majority a year from now than we do.