Wednesday, June 18, 2014

He Can't Let Go

Lawrence Martin writes that, if logic prevailed, Stephen Harper would be heading for the exit -- particularly in the wake of Ontario's recent election:

You don’t have to be a reader of tea leaves to see the message. Hardly anyone is talking about it, but these and many other considerations suggest Mr. Harper should be seriously contemplating his future. It’s possible he can recoup enough of his support to score a minority victory next year. But where would that get him? Opposition parties would soon gang up to send that minority packing. As for the chance of Mr. Harper’s winning another majority, odds are not much better than for his stepping down.

Why would he go the long-shot route of another election when he could exit now with the status of a conqueror and guaranteed star-standing in the Conservative pantheon? With a legacy of unifying once-warring conservative factions; with having led the party to three election victories and only one defeat; with having advanced the right-side agenda in so many important areas.

But logic and Mr. Harper are strangers. Having been told by the Supreme Court that the government needs a warrant before looking into the Internet preferences of Canadians, the Conservative dominated Senate passed Bill S4 as written with no references to warrants. And, having been told that Federal Court Judges from Quebec are ineligible for appointment to the Supreme Court, Mr, Harper is repeating what he did the first time around.

No, logic is no where in sight. Martin writes:

But in the cauldron of power, one person’s sense of logic is not another’s. Instead, logic is sacrificed to ambition, to the eminence of high office. Toadies surround the commander, telling him what he wants to hear. There are too many hurdles to seeing things objectively. It makes the odds of Mr. Harper’s leaving no better than one in 10.

Stephen Harper is attracted to power like a moth to a flame. And, having held the reins -- or perhaps that should be spelled reigns -- he can't let go.


Lorne said...

There is, however, something deeply pleasing in anticipating Harper's humbling in the next election, Owen.
If that happens, his staying on well-past his best-before date will have been worth it.

Owen Gray said...

He deserves defeat, Lorne. But his past behaviour suggests that he might resign rather than reap what he has sown.

Anonymous said...

Canada has had its fair share of weirdo Prime Ministers. Mackenzie King and his seances come to mind.

But I think the narcissistic, highly delusion, fake evangelical Christian pathology of Steve Harper takes first prize.

We should place a statue of Harper on Parliament Hill so Canadians do not forget.

Owen Gray said...

Whether or not the statue was a good idea would depend on what was written at its base, Anon.

Anonymous said...

A statue of Harper grimacing and yelling at Canadians from the House of Commons would suffice. There would be no need to write anything at its base.

PS - yer captcha gonna make me blind.

Owen Gray said...

True, Anon. A face frozen in anger and resentment would suffice.

Anonymous said...

Harper won't resign - he'll prorogue himself ;)

Owen Gray said...

That's exactly what it would be, Anon -- prorogation.

Anonymous said...

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all dictators, with huge ego's.

I can't even think of one dictator, that has ever stepped down.

Other counties people march on their dictator and run them out of their countries. Canadians are too placid to do such as that and Harper can count on it. Canadians idly sit by while, Harper destroys and brings this country down around our ears. Can we not see the dictator Harper, on his Enbridge pipeline stance?

It is said. Harper wants Canada as, his Thousand Year Fourth Reich. If Harper can grab control of the Supreme Courts, that is exactly what Harper could do.

Owen Gray said...

So far, Anon, the Supreme Court has been beyond his reach.

Askingtherightquestions said...

Yes Owen, the Supreme Court is Stevies's bugbear, but let us not forget indigenous peoples. His recent behaviour around the approval of Northern Gateway suggests that he realizes that his battle is an uphill one, one he is unlikely to win with most Canadians, let alone the native peoples of British Columbia. He and Oliver acted as touts for this poorly conceived project and he is going to have to wear it! It is not possible to consider another PM (even poor King) who has shown such unconscionable contempt for the rule of law, parliamentary procedure or the environment of Canada!!!

Owen Gray said...

Harper could well lose his majority over this, Asking -- which is to say he may have just signed his political death warrant.

Dana said...

Harper's political death warrant has to pass through both the DND and RCMP HQ.

There's little indication and no guarantee that either will decline his request to fire at will.

We aren't at a police state yet but the trajectory was set in '06.

Piss off mogs.

Scotian said...

This pipeline decision and ewhat went into it is almost a textbook example of why I was saying process issues matter, and that was where he represented the real threat. The old pre-Harper NEB could be trusted to put together a real assessment (not an environmental one, but that wasn't their slice of the Provinces, something some people appear to have forgot or not known) with substance and a process with credibility. Instead we have this mockery of a partisan political face of a system created by Harper and his omnibus bills gutting the actu regs and process.

This is a classic example of what I was so terrified about happening if Harper came to power, especially majority power, and process issues may not be sexy like abortion, SSM and other social issues, but they tend to have more substantial real world impact on our lives, which is why I am a process geek to begin with.

Owen Gray said...

One of Harper's greatest weaknesses, Scotian, is his inability to do process.

That's why he refuses to meet with the premiers -- and why he is toxic to Canadian federalism.

Owen Gray said...

Those two institutions are still working for the man, Dana. But, if the voters of BC and Ontario turn their backs on the man, they won't be able to defend him.

Let it go.

Dana said...

They might not be able to defend him but they sure as hell would be able to attack *us*.

You can bet your pension that there are enough psycho-misfits in both organizations that wouldn't bother to parse the nuance of opening fire on peacefully protesting members of the public. Or First Nations people protecting their own land.

Owen Gray said...

I wouldn't put any of that past them, Dana. Before they go down, they will probably go scorched earth,

But they will go down.