In his eulogy for Jim Flaherty, Stephen Harper said, "It is a fact that Jim, as fiercely partisan as he was, was also genuinely liked and respected by his opponents, liked by his enemies. That’s something in this business, something I envy – I can’t even get my friends to like me.”
It was Harper's pathetic attempt at humour. But, like his handlers' attempts to dress him in blue sweaters, or his own rendition of old Beatles songs, there's always something off key or flat when Harper performs.
As with any movement built on the cult of personality, the leader wears a false face. With this prime minister, you know when you're getting the false face. If you're searching for the real face of the Conservative Party, you need look no further than Pierre Poilievre. Gerry Caplan writes:
This is a government passionately committed to not reaching out, to not seeking consensus. This is a government that scorns fairness and honour. In Lawrence Martin’s words, Mr. Harper is “known more for his classless smear campaigns against opponents than any degree of soft-heartedness.” You have to wonder how and why Jim Flaherty tolerated it for so long.
With Poilievre you get the real thing without the blue sweater -- and without the lame attempts at humour. Poilievre is all vengeance all the time. He is what the Harper Party is all about.