As a Stephen Harper fan in Canada, I was sickened by the constant bombardment of the conservative party's ads telling us ad nauseam that 'Justin is just not ready'. You can watch the ad here:
The truth is the best policy. Did the conservative party really believe that Justy wasn't ready? Ie. don't elect him yet but it's ok to elect him next time. Whereas the Liberal's message was that Harper was evil and charged him and his party with all kinds of lies in order to win, the conservative message was quite the opposite: Justy isn't a petulant, arrogant, ignorant, spoiled, dangerous jack ass, he's simply 'not ready'. Those pathetic conservative ads helped to legitimize Justy as our next leader. If Stephen Harper really thought that, then he deserved to lose. But I don't really think he thought that. I think it was a combination of:
1. he didn't want the thankless job that badly any more
2. he had a terrible marketing team (or the team was working for the liberals)
The conservative party needs to be far more aggressive. My adds would have said that Justy will never be ready. Harper was PM for almost 10 years. Any idiot knows that people want change simply for the sake of change. Even if he was the best PM ever and I think he was, most people think that he had his turn and it's time for someone else. I truly believe that most people didn't necessarily disagree with the policies or performance of the conservative party. They just wanted someone else. Conservatives should have started grooming someone else with the same principled values as Harper, a year ago. Harper himself should have nominated someone like Jason Kenny or John Baird for the job well before this election instead of staying in the race himself. Especially knowing who the 2 alternatives for our next PM were. Given the choice, I would prefer Mulcair over Justy but it's really neck and neck between who is more dangerous and what their motives are. If you live as a principled person, you understand economics, foreign policy, history and have decent values, you must do what's best for your country. Even if it means not running despite being the best person.
Good bye Prime Minister Stephen Harper. You'll be sorely missed!