By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 20, 2015
Duffy trial sapping Conservatives’ morale
Even a contrarian would not argue that Stephen Harper’s campaign is off to an inspiring start.
A mega-trade deal that would have given the Conservatives a win on the economic front just in time for the election call failed to materialize.
Looking at the polls, there is little evidence of the lift in party fortunes that last month’s round of child benefit cheques was meant to result in.
Harper’s main rivals each used the first leaders debate of the campaign productively enough to keep the contest too competitive for the incumbent’s comfort.
In Quebec, the positive impact of the return of Gilles Duceppe on Bloc Québécois fortunes has turned out to be short-lived, throwing a wrench in the Conservative game plan. The party needs the Bloc to soften up New Democrats in the ridings that Harper has targeted for gains in October.
Now the Senate scandal is again front-and-centre in the media, predictably sucking out the oxygen from the Conservative election tour.
Nigel Wright’s long-awaited appearance at Sen. Mike Duffy’s trial may not have implicated Harper further in the spending scandal but it certainly did not give the 2011 Conservative supporters who have since strayed to other parties a reason to run back to the fold. (Chantal Hebert, Continued: Toronto Star)