Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Check Out Time

Stephen Harper confirmed yesterday that he intends to run for re-election in 2015. Michael Harris at ipolitics gives ten reasons why Harper should retire. Consider three of Harris' reasons:

First, Harper is tempermentaly unsuited for the job. He is a politician who doesn't like people:

And as strange as this may seem, he doesn’t much like politics either. At least not the part most of us would associate with the world’s second oldest profession — meeting people, experiencing the world, trying to make things better for the people whose affairs you temporarily hold in trust. As Preston Manning told me, the Stephen Harper he knew didn’t enjoy constituency work, didn’t enjoy speaking, didn’t enjoy foreign travel. He was a one-issue operator — the economy. The CEO prime minister has shown how little he has to bring to the wider complexities of running a country. What else can you say about a public figure living in the 21st century who thinks the environmental movement is about poor countries screwing money out of rich ones?

Second, Harper has been thumbing his nose at the rules and skirting the law since he arived in Ottawa. The RCMP and Elections Canada are constantly investigating his associates:

It was Stephen Harper who left Senator Irving Gerstein in charge of the Conservative Party Fund even after the debacle of the In-and-Out scandal. That was the little contretemps in which charges against Gerstein and three other party officials were dropped in return for the party pleading guilty to exceeding election spending and submitting fraudulent election records.

This the Tories called a “victory”.

Since Senator Gerstein’s name appears in court documents filed by the RCMP in their investigation of the Nigel Wright/Mike Duffy affair, has the PM picked up the telephone and asked if Gerstein knew about the deal to use party funds to cancel Duffy’s debt, or that Wright himself would pay? As the top Tory in the land, wouldn’t that be the normal thing to do, especially when his own chief-of-staff was involved?
And the Mounties aren’t the only ones lifting rocks. Investigators from Elections Canada are looking into scores of federal ridings for alleged voter suppression. Charges have been laid already against a Conservative Party worker. The want us to believe the whole thing was masterminded by 22 year-old Michael Sona, apparently the Professor Moriarty of election-stealing. No, really. A judge has found that CPC computer data was used in cases of attempted electoral fraud in ridings beyond Guelph — though without any material effect on the outcome of the vote.

But, most of all, Harper has despoiled conservatism.  True conservatives should be appalled:

Former Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber had it right. The Conservatives under Harper are no longer Conservatives — not fiscally, not socially, not politically. They are a lost tribe following a cult figure.
That figure has led them into record deficits, tawdry scandals and strange alliances like the one with China. Harper has turned conservatism into just another brand of political opportunism — power for power’s sake. It is no longer tethered to a philosophy — just to an individual.

There are more reasons for Harper's retirement than for his re-election. But Mr. Harper isn't into re-assessment. He never asks when it's check out time.


thwap said...

Plus, his one focus "the economy," reveals his incompetence.

What a pathetic figure.

Owen Gray said...

He really is a pathetic figure, thwap. He claims to know how to manage an economy. But, as an economist, he's a failure.

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives are not conservatives. They stole the conservative name from the progressive conservatives (thanks Pete!) and then deleted 'progressive'.

They are, in fact, a regional separatist Alberta based Reform party that was created by Preston Manning with oil money.

Harper is simply a paid off shill for the oil industry.

Owen Gray said...

Your last sentence is absolutely true, Anon. Harper has abandoned the Reform Party's populist roots and serves the interests of a small elite.

He's a master of bait and switch.

Anonymous said...

True enough, Owen. Harper doesn't even care about the Reform ideology that brought him to power. It's all about the oil now, to hell with anything else.

Lorne said...

One of the things that Harris left out of his indictment of Harper, owen, may be an intangible but it is undeniably true. In showing his contempt for both democracy and the views of those who disagree with his blinkered vision, he has done grave, but i hope not irreparable damage to the moral compass of Canada and its citizens. By his diabolical obsession at winning at all cost, no matter how high the price, the man has much to answer for. I sincerely hope that history will not be kind to him. i know that I will despise him til my dying breath.

Owen Gray said...

Harper sings a one note song, Anon -- which is not a signal of soaring intelligence.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, Lorne, Harper's obsession with winning at any cost encourages the same attitude among his political rivals -- which does not bode well for the country.

I live in the perhaps unfounded hope, though, that -- like Jean Charest and Dalton McGuinty -- when his end comes, it will be swift and ignominious.

John B. said...

I get the same read from Harper as I did twenty years ago. Everything that he said as a Reform MP and policy spokesperson reminded me of the drivel I had heard fifteen years prior to that from disturbed youths who, as students of economics, had come under the spell of one or more of the bargain-basement professors that had developed a personal business model based on rationalizing the “Let’s Free Enterprise” views of the old Libertarian Party of Canada. It’s very tough to rescue people from this cult once they have received a few paycheques that derived either directly or indirectly from their membership.

When I listened to Harper the MP, I couldn’t believe that this crap had seeped from the Mickey Mouse Economics Club into adult forums of discussion. But there it was; and there was this intent physically mature man, just a few years and one bushy-lipped private sector job removed from the backbenches of the Barry Goldwater Club, rhyming off the perversities of the market libertarian perspective on labour economics from a national soapbox. I recognized that his appeal could be convincing to voters who, like the man himself, had never been engaged in work that involved any degree of physical effort or risk of injury and was relieved when, appearing to have selected the wing-nut welfare cheque option, he left politics. I was too stupid to realize that he could have been just biding the time until his colleagues who had remained active in the party had beaten each other up sufficiently to accept him back as their saviour.

Having learned something from my mistake, I’m now more worried about √úberminister Kenney than I ever was about Harper.

Anonymous said...

Harper was Policy Chief for his Northern Foundation of 1989. Did he not hire Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front as, security for Preston Manning? It seems to me, Harper has a very shady political past.

How can anyone with self respect, moral and ethics, support such as Harper?



Owen Gray said...

Kenny seems to be possessed by the same mad commitment as Harper, John.
As Yeats wrote on the eve of World War II, "The worst are full of passionate intensity."

Owen Gray said...

A good question. Anon. Unfortunately, there seem to be a large number of Canadians who are not bothered by Harper's shady past.

the salamander said...

.. Kenney lives with his mommy ..
& that's OK ..
He's saving his virginity for uh .. umm .. uh
Dont' really think he's electable ..

.. Harper apparently lives with Ray Novak ..
and that's OK too .. has done so for years and years
Who cares ..

Stephen Lecce .. lives with .. uh .. ?
Well .. let's ask Julian Fantino !!

Hello John Baird .. you're uh .. celibate ? Oh really ?

Jenni Byrne lives with .. ugh .. (don't want to know)

Pierre Poilieve lives with .. (I don't want to know)

Eve Adams (who hired Michael Sona) is engaged to/living wth Dimitri Soudas
while divorcing her hubby..

And what about Dean Del Mastro .. & his divorce ?

Joe Oliver .. do we need to know ? Do we care ?
Same re Peter Kent .. just go away, we don't care ..

Hello Vic Toewes.. you are dating whom ?

There's your 'passionate intensity'.. at work
Not much intellect.. or morality .. or intelligence

but hey .. we have a Prime Minister that doesn't recognize his own country.. just like every single sellout partisan soul in his Christian Evangelistic Reform Cabinet

Owen Gray said...

And remember, salamander, they all insist that, if there's one thing they stand for, it's "family values."