The G&M article proposes this in regards to Mr. Harper's sinking popularity:
There have been a number of theories offered for Canadians' growing coolness toward Mr. Harper as the campaign progresses, most focusing on his response – or perceived absence of response – to the gathering economic crisis.
That seems to be the popular theory. No one is considering the fact that when faced with a potential period of unemployment most of us would prefer a more sympathetic government. The Conservatives are less attractive when we're looking for a social safety net. We might just be on the receiving on "austerity measures" which would naturally be "for your own good in the long run".
I would also like to indicate my ungratitude for the image provoked by the following line comparing Harper to Robespierre:
“Because there was no sense that if he took his clothes off, he'd be the same as the rest of us,” the social scientist said.
Ugh. Not what I need in my head this early in the morning.