Errol Mendes writes that Stephen Harper recently went to see Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln. If Harper saw himself in the man, he's deluded:
If he saw any of himself in the film’s focus on the rather Machiavellian methods Lincoln used to obtain congressional approval for the 13th Amendment proscribing slavery for all time, then Canada had better watch out.
While Harper certainly could offer a list of the devious machinations he’s used to secure his political objectives — from eliminating the Progressive Conservative Party to treating Parliament, the Crown’s prorogative powers and taxpayer’s money as his playthings — there is nothing even remotely similar in how the two men have handled power.
Lincoln devoted his efforts to establishing a "more perfect union." And he advocated acting "with malice toward none, with charity for all." Mendes writes:
Lincoln, no doubt, was prepared to engage in unsavory politics in the right cause. The Harper Conservative government also engages in unsavory politics, but to what end? Killing the Liberal party? Imposing policies on most of the country in order to secure a base that can deliver elections? Focusing on wedge politics to divide Canadian society? Abandoning principled conservatism in order to push through massive budgets that hide environment-damaging measures that advance the interests of the most powerful lobbies?
Most of all, Lincoln believed in government of the people, by the people and for the people. Mr. Harper believes that his country would be better off if "the people" kept their noses out of government -- most particularly, his government.