But the defining characteristic of the Stephen Harper Conservative government is something that permits no common ground, and that is the politics of hate.
The politics of hate speaks to a small base and is scathing about anyone outside of that base. Stephen Harper is running the country for nobody but his base. When he compromises his extremist views, it is not because he wants to lead the country for everyone, but for reasons of political expediency.
Some notes about the leaked video of Harper's private address in Sault Ste. Marie:
* He says Liberal victory will only happen if they are "propped up by socialists and separatists." This is not off-the-cuff phrasing. He used exactly the same rhetoric last December-January.
* He makes reference to equal pay lawsuits by female civil servants, referring to them as "left wing fringe groups."
* He says "we've had to do a number of things not associated with Conservative governments" but makes it very clear that that was only for political expediency, to make it possible to win a majority.
* He continues to push the spin that Ignatieff wants to form a coalition. (How stupid can Conservatives be!!? Ignatieff is the one who killed the coalition.) He furthers that spin with the idiotic claim that the two options post-election are a Harper government or a coalition, ignoring the obvious option - the Liberals winning enough seats to form a government on their own. In fact, it's the "socialists", "separatists" and Liberals who are "propping up" Harper.
Look: I'm a Liberal. I'm neither a "socialist" nor a "separatist". But over 4 million Canadians voted for the NDP or Bloc in 2008, and they deserve better than to be dismissed with epithets by their prime minsister. The Prime Minister of Canada runs the entire country, even people who voted for other parties. This utter dismissal of a large chunk of the population is distressing. It makes Harper unfit to be leader of the Conservative party and prime minister of the country.