A brief historical above-the-49th parallel
[Much shortened version of a much longer post I accidentally destroyed by hitting a wrong key but am too lazy to rewrite.]
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a Canadian Prime Minister named Jean Chrétien from the Liberal Party who took over when the Conservative Party was weakest and proceeded to hold his political enemies at bay for more than a decade. He did so because he had no compunction about seeing politics as war, and never accomodated his opponents for high-fallutin' reasons of unity. No Unity Ponies for him!
He was a relatively conservative politician but he did not scruple to use politically liberal legislation to hold his enemies down. And sometimes vice versa. However, within the party there were rumblings of discontent, because certain wings felt stymied in their plans of self-aggrandizement through National Healing. He took a good long time to even respond to them, and when the din grew to loud he threw in the towel and took his marbles and went home.
The party was left in the hands of its New Saviour, Paul Martin, who, after a successful history as Finance Minister, proceeded to attempt to fix what wasn't broken, was totally inept at it, and completely misunderstood that his opponents on the right and in Québec weren't interested in *actually* cooperating in healing national divisions and "cleaning house" in the governing party. He eked out a minority government once, and then, being too neoliberal to cooperate with Canada's left party, the NDP, went down in defeat, leaving Canada as it is today under the aggressive (but minority) wingnuttery of Stephen Harper.
The moral of the story: in our systems and societies, politics is war, and treating your political opponents with contempt is usually the correct strategy, because your opponents are usually sharks who see you that way.