So went the lyrics of a song from my youth. Lawrence Martin writes this morning that those lyrics should be repeating themselves inside Stephen Harper's head. The reason for the ear worm is the ascension of Justin Trudeau:
The Trudeau name is his worst nightmare. Mr. Harper’s animosity toward the Liberalism of Pierre Trudeau was what ignited and drove his political ambition. Nothing would plague him more than having a Trudeau succeed him and begin turning back his conservative advances.
And Harper's best before date is catching up with him:
If he decides to stay, he must not only face the Trudeau phenomenon but also the problem – as an Ipsos Reid poll shows – that people are getting tired of him and his secretive, closed style of governance. Some tried to defend him for his latest muzzling effort, one that targeted his own MPs. They failed to see beyond the abortion issue to the broader context, the gagging here being only one of dozens of examples of this kind of conduct.
The Conservatives have a succession problem. The party is Harper centric. It's a one man band. The Prime Minister could argue that he is the best person to take on Trudeau. But, when former Tory prime ministers like Brian Mulroney say things like, “I’ve known Justin since he was a child. He’s young, articulate, attractive – a flawlessly bilingual young man. What’s not to like with this picture?” you have to wonder if such pronouncements dent Harper's hubris.
Rest assured that, if Mr. Harper begins to believe he is vulnerable, he will get out before the next election.