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“It’s all about the base.” That was the refrain of the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2006 to 2015, when policies were examined through the perspective of right-of-centre Conservative partisans. Whether suppressing scientists from speaking publicly, changing the rules for the long-form census, supporting the Likud government in Israel, or cutting development funds for abortion, its stands appealed to “hard-core” conservatives. It was a change from the traditional Progressive Conservative Party philosophy, mostly due to the

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Opinion

Appealing to ‘the base’ may be a recipe for electoral failure

By Andrew Caddell      

Ignoring the brokerage formula is a risk, even in our atomized, Trumpian, internet-dominated political landscape.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to cut funding for some of the province’s planned French-language services is reminiscent of the Stephen Harper Conservative’s cuts to arts funding—both played well with their base but had larger political ramifications, says Andrew Caddell. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade
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