This election has been a bit of a head-shaker for a few reasons — like figuring out what the issues are supposed to be– but not the least of the mysteries is the unwavering support for the Tories, a party caked in scandals thicker than Lady Gaga’s makeup.
Harper rode to power on a wave of public anger at a scandal from a Liberal government. Now Harpo and company have a record more tainted than the guys they replaced. Lying, abuse of information, abuse of office, election finance cheating, contempt of Parliament, possibly breaking the law…you get the point.
Yet, the Conservatives have maintained a lead in the polls. The same Canadians who were carrying torches to chase the Liberals out of office for playing fast and loose are supporting a government that’s done the same, but more. Now unless we’ve been transported to a mirror universe where Spock has a goatee, something else must be afoot here, and no, that isn’t a sock joke.
Some say it’s economics, others that it’s leadership and still others say it’s voter ennui (a word much better in print than spoken).
Nah. It’s Beverly Hills Cop.
Consider this – the most solid support for the Conservatives are men in their late 30s through their 50s. Hit the Wayback Machine to 20-30 years ago, to when these guys were being raised by their common parents, television and movies.
Who were there heroes? On TV, Starsky & Hutch. Baretta. Hunter. The Equalizer. Movies? Dirty Harry, John McClain, Axel Foley.
What did these guys have in common? The heroes were bad boys, who needed to break the rules to save the day. The rules were shown as an impediment to doing the right thing, usually being championed by anal-retentive authority figures like police captains or pencil-necked partners who were objects of ridicule.
Look at the ultimate expression of this, Beverly Hills Cop…Axel Foley was a wise-ass Detroit (read “bad-ass city”) cop who defied his captain, went to a city where he had no jurisdiction, investigated a crime he had no authority to, was saddled with two by-the-book cops who were an impediment, and solved the case and saved the day.
Professor Ignatieff, yelling about breech of Parliamentary rules, is the clueless authority figure from all those shows and movies. Harper is Axel Foley. And no, I never thought I’d be seeing Stephen Harper as a black man either.
So that’s why every time Iggy mentioned Harper’s transgressions, he weakened his standing and solidified Steve’s. It’s the media message of the previous century, that the bad boy is the hero and rules are for losers, which has led to this resolute male block support for Harpo. Sociologists and anthropologists will read the poll numbers and come up with some other theories. But they’re always full of crap anyway.
I’m Ed the Sock, and I’m nobody’s puppet.