By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, September 12, 2015
Lynton Crosby, Australian strategist, hired by Tories to boost political fortunes
Stephen Harper is going Down Under to come up on top.
With polls suggesting the Conservatives are struggling in third place, the party has reached out to Lynton Crosby, a top Australian political campaign strategist who has been credited with securing victories for British Prime Minister David Cameron and other right-leaning leaders.
Crosby, known as the “Wizard of Oz” for his string of political successes, is working with the Tories as their campaign tries to regain momentum after a series of negative headlines.
But the exact role he will play is unclear. Conservative campaign spokesman Kory Teneycke would only say that “Crosby is somebody that pretty much everyone in our organization has known for a long time, we’ve had a lot of cross-pollination over the years with our friends in Australia and also the U.K.”
Teneycke wouldn’t get into details, but denied Crosby was running the campaign, adding, however, “he’s been around for a very long time and continues to be around.”
Crosby is widely acknowledged for playing a key role in the surprising majority victory of Cameron’s Conservative Party in Britain this year. He was also the national campaign director for the successful campaigns of former Australia prime minister John Howard in 1998 and 2001 and was behind the winning London mayoral campaigns of Boris Johnson in 2008 and 2012.
He has been described as the Australian Karl Rove, after the key adviser to former U.S president George W. Bush. According to a Guardian profile of him, Crosby employs the strategy of wedge politics — finding an issue that can be exploited to split off an opponent’s traditional supporters. (Source: CBC News)