Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Road Not Taken

Stephen Harper is obsessed with the name Trudeau. When he arrived in Edmonton, a university drop out, he admired Pierre Elliott Trudeau. By the time he graduated from the University of Calgary, his hero had become his bogeyman. Now he is faced with Trudeau le fils and, Michael Harris writes, he has come to a fork in the road. He must decide how to deal with his obsession.

Given his nature, he will probably rev up the Harper Hate Machine:

Harper’s hatred might be so blinding that he will opt to go to war with the son of the guy with the rose in his lapel. He has gathered his Praetorian Guard of dirty tricks around him, he has gorged on corporate contributions, so it’s obviously on his mind.

If he goes that route, you can bet the farm that the Harper-hate machine will be coming after Trudeau like fire ants at a picnic. They will do it on every front — from sex, love and rock-n-roll, to mad notions of Stephen Harper’s vast experience and rock-solid judgement.

But, given his history -- and the fact that, so far, the machine has not been able to sabotage Justin -- the man who twice prorogued parliament to avoid his own self induced demise, may choose another route:

But there is another possibility. With all the signs of trouble in the Tory jungle — from Jim Flaherty’s obstreperous outbursts, Michael Chong’s rational reforms, and a general sense in the back bench that it’s no fun being a eunuch — Harper could run before he gets run over.

And, as was the case in Frost's poem, the road he chooses not to take will make all the difference.


Lorne said...

In response to the second possibility presented by Harris, Owen, to quote my old friend Hamlet, "Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished."

Although this blight's early departure from the political landscape would rob many of the satisfaction of seeing him defeated in an election, at least we would know Harper was gone for good.

Owen Gray said...

I don't expect him to resign, Lorne. He's too mean spirited and bull headed to do so.

But bullies, by and large, shrink away when they know that can't win.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see which road he takes.

Anonymous said...

No way will Harper resign. He is a dictator and you can't shame dictators. They are also sociopaths.

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all dictators, they refused to step down even though, their countries were turned into rubble.

All of those dictators, lied, deceived, thieved, were corrupt, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and all of them cheated to win.

Owen Gray said...

As I wrote to Lorne, Anon, I don't expect Harper will resign.

But he might -- if it became clear that he was going to lose to a guy named Trudeau.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wouldn't put it past him, Owen, to see what he can do to get his numbers up over the summer and then call a snap election in he fall on some trumped up pretence.

If Flanagan's right and Harper's smear weapon no longer works, he might not be able to turn the next election into a referendum on the opposition leaders as he did with Dion and Ignatieff.

That might depend on whether the Senate scandal flares up again this spring. It's curious that Ol'Duff seems to have been spared anything too nasty. Word I'm hearing is that it has reached Harper that Duffy won't turn on the PM unless his hand is forced.

Apparently Duffy still clings to this delusion that he and Harper will kiss and make up and he'll be welcomed back into the Tory fold. I don't know what to make of that. Bizarre.

Owen Gray said...

Given Harper's treatment of Garth Turner, Helena Guergis, Tom Flanagan and Nigel Wright, Duffy would be ill advised to reach an agreement with Harper, Mound.

He'll become vicious with anyone he perceives as a threat.

e.a.f. said...

It is not in oil can stevie to resign. he thinks he is right and that is all there is too it.

While oil can is focused on Trudeau, Jr., the rest of the country may well be focused on the number of suicides by active and retired members of the Armed Forces. In the end, that is what maybe the end of Harper.

it is interesting the MSM hasn't had much to say/write about the senate scandal. Must be Duffy and Wallin are trying to work out a deal with oil can, which will see them be "excused".

Dana said...

I think the game is over for Canada and the citizens lost.

The national institutions that promote democracy; Elections Canada, Auditor General, Privacy and Information Commission and so on have all had yet another round of budget cuts and a promise of more. Elections Canada has been declared to be an institution just barely this side of legal.

All in the name of austerity.

Yet at the same time the budget of the those who spy on you and me and your relatives and university roommates has been doubled.

Not in the name of austerity.

And Canadians are as quiet and complacent as the good burghers of Munich in 1923.

The game is lost.

If you can afford and are young enough you should migrate.

There's nothing left here but dilbit and other poisons.

Owen Gray said...

Harper has always felt that he can ride out any problem or scandal, e.a.f. -- because, in the end, the only thing that Canadians care about are their pocket books.

Owen Gray said...

That's a sad commentary, Dana. As Harper transforms Canada into a Fascist state, we citizens sit back and watch.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Raitt is running for the top job. I hear a tremor in her voice that says, to me-- "I want to run, but I know everything I've ever said, can and (should) be used against me, showing my shallow, callous conservatism. Oh well, here goes...) Remple too. And Moore, can't wait to see his campaign. Feeding the nation's people won't likely make his platform. And if he name-drops the term 'liberalism' ever again, to promote his group's 'teabagging' of the True North, I will file false advertising complaints; all over this nation. Loudly...

Owen Gray said...

I'm sure there are lots of members of the caucus who would step up if Harper left, Loving It.

Unfortunately, none of them have the courage to tell him it's time to leave.

CK said...

Mound, I venture that Harper will call the election earlier and a commenter on my blog predicts this election would take place say, day after Labour Day.

For openers, it would be an effort to catch Trudeau & Mulcair off guard and ill-prepared.

As the commenter SD pointed out, Harper may not have the poll numbers, but he has a solid core base who will stick with him through thick and thin & guaranteed, they will go to the voting booth come election day.

They have the ground organization that Mulcair and Trudeau simply don't have.

Plus an early election would finally put to rest the senate scandal. Last election worked in dropping Harper's other scandals, so why wouldn't it work again?

Owen Gray said...

A snap election is certainly a possibility, CK. It all depends on just how desperate Harper is.

Dana said...

Harper's not desperate at all. He knows exactly how malleable, complacent and stupid the majority of voters are.

Owen Gray said...

You may be right, Dana. Ignorance put him where he is.

But even the ignorant can turn on their masters.