Over the weekend, Tom Walkom wrote that, if Stephen Harper were as smart as his enablers claim he is, he would declare victory and resign. Harper has achieved much of what he set out to do:
First, he is a political success. He managed to knit two parties at daggers drawn, Reform and the old Progressive Conservatives, into a coherent machine.
He won three elections with that machine. He made his Conservative Party competitive again in the crucial ridings around Toronto — while holding onto the West and (briefly) making major inroads into Quebec.
He has successfully refocused the country’s attention toward matters dear to the heart of small-c conservatives: crime and punishment, unregulated markets, leaner social programs, the military.
To achieve those victories, he sabotaged parliamentary democracy in this country. He's smart enough to know that parliamentary democracy would sabotage his agenda. And Harper's agenda would be harder to reverse if he resigned:
Both NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are running as anti-Harpers. Mulcair is portraying himself as the prosecutor-in-chief, whose job is to unearth the roots of Harper’s involvement in the Senate scandal. Trudeau’s pitch seems to be that he’s more likeable than Harper.
Neither opposition party has scripted an overall plan radically different from that of the governing Conservatives. On key economic matters, such as trade, pipelines and natural resource extraction, the Liberals and Conservative have near-identical views. The NDP position in many of these areas
But don't expect a resignation. Harper loves his job too much; and he really doesn't want to surrender control of his government or his party to anyone else -- even though Jason Kenny and Peter MacKay have signalled that they're waiting in the wings.
And, besides, the line that Harper is brilliant -- like everything else that emanates from these folks -- was cooked up in the PMO.