Scott Reid writes in The Ottawa Citizen that the Senate scandal has forced Stephen Harper to give the Prime Minister's Office a makeover. That makeover isn't merely cosmetic:
But the shakeup of his staff in favour of flinty longtime loyalists tells us not only that the prime minister is girding for war in the style of Sonny Corleone. It also provides clues about his inherent instincts as a leader, his gnawing distrust of many fellow Conservatives and even the truth behind that controversial cheque cut to Mike Duffy.
David Orchard wrote recently that Harper didn't engineer a merger with the Progressive Conservatives. He instigated a coup:
Thus came about what PC Senator Lowell Murray referred to as a “coup, similar to what we have seen in some countries, when the constitution is suspended and a new order ratified in a quick plebiscite.” The historic founding party of Canada — the party of Macdonald, Georges-Etienne Cartier, R.B. Bennett and John Diefenbaker, of the national railway, the Canadian Wheat Board, the Bank of Canada, the CBC and the creation of one country from sea to sea — ceased to exist. Its name and colours had been stolen by Mr. Harper and the Reform/Alliance party.
Harper works hard to present a kinder and gentler facade. But the man is neither kind nor gentle. And, when he's under attack -- as he is now, and more vulnerable than he has ever been -- you get a look at what the man is really like. The picture is far from flattering:
The prime minister is behaving like a man betrayed, like a leader who has determined he must re-evaluate who he can and cannot trust within his own coterie. And who has concluded that only those who share the blood oath of his own Reform Party roots are to be clutched close.
Harper's paranoia is now full blown -- just like Sonny Corleone. He might recall that things did not end well for Sonny.