Short Answer: No, it’s not too late. As this campaign period demonstrates; anything can happen. But there are things the party can’t change. No amount of spinning can change the fact Stephen Harper was the one to name Mike Duffy to the Senate, or that Duffy is standing trial for fraud, and taking a bribe.
Nothing can change the image of Alan Kurdi washing up on Turkey’s shore dead. Or the subsequent exposure of Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s incompetence on national TV. Clips, and images stick in people’s minds, and the other parties are sure to have someone who can make use of both unchangeable facts.
The Conservatives can change their response. Canadians are a notoriously generous people. Manitoba, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Quebec, and Ontario all now want to help take in additional Syrian immigrants. “There is nothing stopping them from saying; any Syrians who are at Stage —- of the refugee claimant process get automatic acceptance.” Harper also should back down from his pat answer of it being mainly a military problem. Arguably it’s the military that helped cause this mess.
Within the last couple of days national security has started to come up as an issue. Liberals, and N.D.P. have been pretty weak on this subject, but C51 promises to be an equalizer. Components of the controversial legislation are being challenged in court on the basis of its constitutionality. The Liberals are in a worse position because the bill arguably doesn’t mesh with “liberal values”, and supported it anyway. The difference may be on the spin for the Conservatives.
If they don’t change now, they’ve lost.