Core support keeps the PM in thrall

Core support keeps the PM in thrall

John Ibbitson

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Mar. 12, 2010 11:04PM EST Last updated on Saturday, Mar. 13, 2010 3:20AM EST

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government fled from its plans to make the national anthem gender-neutral because of “the base” – loyal conservatives who phoned, e-mailed or grabbed the lapels of MPs, furious at the idea of tampering with the lyrics to O Canada .

What is this mythical base, and why does it have the Prime Minister in thrall? Some people – especially those on the left – think of it as a fringe of angry, radical, rural conservatives.

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