Writing in the National Post, Rex Murphy considers much of the federal government’s current set of problems are either self-inflicted or made worse by their “browbeating style and defensive righteousness”:
I agree with the point Andrew Coyne made in these pages earlier, that the Conservatives (I’m paraphrasing) have situated themselves to fit these types of accusations. Their browbeating style and defensive righteousness to almost every challenge, or serious question, is a hallmark. That attitude offers them little shield when, as on occasion they must be, they are ill-done by. They play tough and hard and close to the boards, and when a story that fits that broad category, like robocalls, is pushed upon them, it seems to fit. In other words, their brittle style has a cost.
The headlines detailing opposition outrage over robocalls is just the latest instalment of the Conservatives losing all control of what might be called their agenda. They blundered Old Age Security. On Internet surveillance, they surely blundered the “with us or the child pornographers” messaging. And now they’ve been hauled off whatever road they might want to be on by a “scandal” from an election nine months ago. Since the House opened, it’s been one mess after another.
Naturally, the opposition parties are at some advantage in all of this, but not quite as much as they might figure. No one is going to look back on the last week, or the last month, and remember big speeches on the big questions — either energy policy, the country’s fiscal health, or foreign affairs. Instead, it’s been the usual rattle of stones in a tin can that passes for Question Period.