Stephen Harper's most loyal supporters are deserting him. Tom Walkom writes in The Toronto Star:
The latest stress point is a damning critique of Harper’s economic policy by the head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a right-of-centre organization that is usually friendly to, if not always onside with, the federal Conservative government.
Entitled “Judging Harper by his own fiscal standards,” the essay by Gregory Thomas, federal director of the low-tax advocacy group, appeared in this week’s Globe and Mail.
It clinically but ruthlessly takes apart Harper’s economic record.
It's a record that leaves Harper's base increasingly furious:
The federal budget? Still not balanced. The federal debt? Up by almost one-third since Harper took office. The tax system? More complicated than ever.
Unemployment is higher since Harper took office, Thomas writes. But more to the point, he says, fundamental reforms promised by the Conservative leader have failed to materialize.
Harper pledged to end subsidies for business. The subsidies have grown. He challenged the equalization system that sends money from Alberta to poorer provinces like Quebec. The system continues.
It's no secret that progressives loathe Harper. But, when the people who enabled you start to grumble loudly, you'd better watch your back. Peter Penashue is gone. Shelley Glover and James Bezan are up for suspension for also exceeding campaign spending limits. And this morning comes word that Brent Rathgeber has resigned from the Conservative caucus. The Harper majority is slowly disappearing. And, of course, there is the Wright-Duffy debacle.
Never one to endure political defeat, I wouldn't be surprised if the prime minister is considering other career options.