Lynton Crosby abandons Harper
The Australian dirty tricks strategist brought in last month to salvage Stephen Harper’s re-election campaign has abandoned the Conservatives, according to the spin doctor’s partner.
Lynton Crosby, who successfully revived David Cameron’s flagging campaign earlier this year helping the UK Prime Minister secure an unexpected victory by resorting to racially charge dog whistle politics and wedge strategies, appears to have thrown in the towel after polls showed that same tactics are failing to sway Canadian voters in sufficient numbers.
Crosby’s partner Mark Textor has launched an online campaign to distance their firm Crosby|Textor from the Conservative campaign, going as far to create a hashtag #notincanada.
“Neither Crosby nor Textor are there,” Textor tweeted. “Nor staff. We don’t do bit-part politics.”
Stephen Harper’s spokesperson Kory Teneycke had earlier confirmed that the Conservative campaign had been getting help from Crosby, but refused to provide any details.
Immediately after obtaining Crosby’s services, Stephen Harper used the phrases “old stock Canadians”, which, according to commentators, is coded language intended to excite the Conservative base.
“It’s part of the deliberate strategy to sort Harper’s constituency from the rest of the electorate,” Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research told the CBC. “It creates a sense of us versus others.”
This was followed by Jason Kenney, tipped to succeed Harper as the next Tory leader, lashing out against “people like Nenshi,” in reference to Calgary’s popular mayor Nahed Nenshi, who is a son of Muslim immigrants.
Jason Kenney, who was responding to Nenshi’s accusation that the Conservative campaign’s use of the niqab as a wedge strategy was “dangerous” and “disgusting,” was derided online by Canadians who deemed the Defence Minister’s comments to be racist spawning the hashtag #peoplelikenenshi.
“This is unbelievably dangerous stuff,” Nenshi had earlier told Evan Solomon during an interview on the former CBC host’s podcast. “I spoke with a group of mayors and councillors from all over Alberta last week, and in my speech with all of these people from small town Alberta, I stood up and said this is disgusting and it is time for us to say stop it — to say this is enough.”
The Conservatives also pledged to start tip line for Canadians to report their neighbours for “Barbaric Cultural Practices,” which was once again met with derision by Canadians, who took to social media to mock the Tory plan.
Crosby’s departure maybe the final nail in the Conservatives’ coffin, as they now trail the Liberals by seven percentage points, according to the latest Nanos poll.
Commentators believe that Stephen Harper’s decision to seek endorsements from Toronto’s controversial former mayor Rob Ford and his brother Doug, widely seen as a last desperate attempt by the Prime Minister to cling to power, caused Crosby to bail on the Tories.
“Betting there was a power struggle behind scenes and when someone suggested using the Ford family, Crosby jumped ship,” former Tory riding executive Tracey Kent tweeted.
Gauging by the reaction online to Crosby’s departure, Canadians do not seem to be missing the man who introduced racist and divisive politics into Canadian politics.
“It’s brand protection,” Michael Budd. “Crosby and Co can’t have neo-cons in other countries thinking racism won’t win them elections”