It may seem counter-intuitive, but Canada’s Conservative Party is seeking short-term success in a way that ironically makes that success far more elusive. Human beings can smell desperation. We instinctively recoil from it. When someone seems to want something too badly, when they seem willing to say anything to get it, we feel almost compelled to deny them even more. And the same holds true for politics. While wanting to be elected is of course essential in a democracy — and having to ‘woo’ the voters is part of that — people can sense on a deep level when an appeal is being made from pure desperation, as opposed to when it stems from something true and legitimate. There is also a certain respect people develop for those who are willing to tell them the truth (or in politics at least get closer to the truth), rather than just tell people exactly what they want to hear. When someone seems so terrified to say ‘the wrong thing,’ we feel they are just acting out of fear, rather than out of a genuine desire to inform or share information.