Monday, June 30, 2014
Political momentum is nothing like the momentum of physics. In the world of Newton and Einstein appearances don't cause forces, whereas in politics, appearances are forces.
Stephen Harper became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, he faced two subsequent general elections before finally winning a minority government in 2006. Up until 2011 his Conservative Party only increased the number of seats it held in Parliament; since then however, the Conservative Party has only seen its numbers decline.
Thomas Mulcair became Leader of the NDP in 2012, under his guidance the New Democrats have faced numerous by-elections and instead of growing, the party's number of MPs is shrinking.
Justin Trudeau became Leader of the Liberal Party in 2013, he too has led his party through various by-elections, and unlike all the other major parties, under his leadership his party has only grown. And yesterday the Liberals not only gained another MP, but they increased their vote percentage in all four electoral battles.
Victories in elections establish the appearances of strong leaders and viable parties, and voters cast ballots based on those perceptions. Stephen Harper's continued electoral wins made Canadians see him as a strong and his losing opponents as weak.
Of course all the success at a few polls doesn't guarantee an impending Liberal government, but it doesn't have to. It only only has to appear that way.