us polo association shirts Harper’s shine losing lustre in rural ridings
Even Larry Miller, of “stay the hell where you came from” fame, admits he is hearing negatives about his boss on the front porches and fields of his riding.
In part because of his intemperate rhetoric on face covering for citizenship candidates, Miller’s seat should be one of the safest in the province.
While the remark was condemned publicly from the left, dozens applauded it in whispers.
Miller has represented Bruce Grey Owen Sound since 2004. Although some constituents have turned against Harper, Miller remains loyal. He told a television reporter he doesn’t always agree with the boss, but continues to respect him.
A doctor in the riding cut to the heart of rural voting intentions last week when he asked, “Are we past the gun control thing now?”
He was referring to the hated long gun registry. The opposition to that expensive and mostly useless legislation was instrumental in painting much of rural Ontario blue in the first place.
A majority of country folks remain committed to the idea that law abiding citizens can be trusted with firearms.
Gun control is being replaced as the king of rural issues by supply management.
That is the system under which production levels of dairy and poultry products are controlled and the market is mostly closed to outsiders, thus guaranteeing a reasonable return to producers.
As much as those are the words the farm community wants to hear,
there’s no widespread confidence Harper will stand up for the quota system any more than he stood up for transparency in the PMO during the height of the Mike Duffy fiasco.
Even though supply management is gaining traction as a top of mind issue, details of just how dairy and poultry farmers might be sacrificed in the just announced Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement might not be fully understood for some time.
Other agricultural sectors, such as beef and grain, may fare better under the TPP deal, which still must be ratified by the parliaments of each of the 12 member countries.
It’s anybody’s guess whether a new trade agreement will help save rural communities for which agriculture is their lifeblood.
Moving from the farm to the supermarket, it will be a miracle if Canadian consumers see any drop in the cost of groceries due to changes in the tariffs and market access for imports.
Because of these and many other issues for which Harper is under attack, it is unlikely the blue will be quite as predominant across Ontario after the vote Oct. 19.
It is certain, however, that supply roots are deep enough to choke out yesterday’s controversies,
such as gun control.