Federal Tories losing touch

LICIA CORBELLA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Besides being a political power play that is way offside, the Shane Doan affair is instructive on another level.

It shows just how sadly out of touch the federal Conservative party has become.

When the Conservatives broke their election promise on not taxing income trusts, most of their voters understood why and forgave them. The Tories did what they believed was best for the country and many economic analysts agreed that changing circumstances required a change in policy.

EQUALIZATION

When the Tories fiddled with the equalization formula and gave the lion's share to Quebec, most of their voters understood why and forgave them.

In their eagerness to be viewed as more green than Kermit the Frog, the Tories announced a carbon tax. Most of their voters understood why and forgave them. If the Liberals had done this, there would have been screams of bloody murder in Alberta. Then again, a Tory carbon tax is likely better than what the Liberals would do under Stephane Dion.

When it comes to the Conservatives being uncharacteristically off-message on what happens to Taliban prisoners after our Canadian soldiers hand them over to Afghan authorities, most of their voters understand why and forgive them. After all, Afghanistan's government is in a bit of a mess.

Now that it's been shown the Liberals knew Taliban prisoners might get tortured way back in 2002 and decided to turn them over to Afghan authorities with no provision for even checking on their welfare, many voters recognize the Liberals were much worse on the file than the Conservatives - and hypocrites besides.

But this latest swing by the Tories into shameful Liberal, NDP and Bloc territory in the Doan affair will not be forgiven so easily. It is not good for the country, for the party, for decency or for anything.

QUEBEC FACTOR

All politically attuned Canadians know that for power all politicians in Canada must pander somewhat to Quebec. It is simply a necessity. Most of us can live with some of that.

But trying to score political points on the back of an upstanding, honourable young hockey star playing his heart out for his country on a volunteer basis in Moscow is akin to a cheap shot for many Conservatives. This will stick in their craws for a long time.

Yesterday, Conservative members of the Commons' official languages committee -- including the five Conservatives who supported a Bloc motion to summon Hockey Canada officials to yesterday's hearing -- tried to soften their message and show support for Captain Canada. It was too little, too late.

They should have voted against the motion. Period. First, Doan categorically denies having called a French Canadian linesman a "f---ing Frenchman." By virtue of the fact that he is known not to swear and actually uses the word "fudge" on the ice at times of frustration would appear to back him up.

In addition, Doan was cleared by the NHL more than a year ago on this almost two-year-old incident.

If there is ever a time when French and English come together most beautifully in this country, it is on the ice. The political arena tends to muck up the whole thing.

PLUMMETING

The Tories are plummeting in the polls because they no longer know who they are or what they stand for and voters know it.

They should stand up for decency and this country. Always. Shane Doan stands for both. By voting to question his captaincy the Conservatives prove unquestioningly how offside they have skated in their blind pursuit of power.


Videos

Photos