Tuesday, September 16, 2014

He Could Care Less


If yesterday served as any indication, Stephen Harper isn't going anywhere. I confess I've had my doubts he'd make it to the next election. But, as Chantal Hebert writes, it's getting harder and harder for him to exit gracefully:

As of now the odds of an orderly pre-election transition to a different Conservative leader will lengthen dramatically with every passing week.

In theory Harper could still decide to call it quits before the next campaign. Some of his predecessors left much later in the pre-writ period.

In his day Brian Mulroney did not grace successor Kim Campbell with more than a few months to make her mark before she had to face voters. Mulroney’s mandate was in its fifth year when he resigned.

Pierre Trudeau also allowed the fourth anniversary of his return to power to pass — albeit by only a few days — before he took his now famous walk in the snow in 1984.

Yesterday, in his speech to the converted, Harper focused on his record -- insisting that the country is better off because he's been prime minister:

Harper’s single-minded focus on the government’s record — including a lengthy but essentially par-for-the-course segment on foreign affairs — suggests that there has been a belated shift in the thinking of Conservative strategists.

Having spent months on attack mode only to enter a pre-election year behind the Liberal party, it seems they have come to the conclusion that they need to reintroduce Harper to voters more than they need to continue to try to pre-emptively destroy Trudeau’s public persona.

Obviously, he hasn't been reading sources of contrarian opinion or the polls:

In a recent Abacus poll Harper scored more poorly than his main rivals in virtually every leadership category, with his poorest marks earned for attitude.

As he told the last Conservative convention in Calgary -- the one that shut out the media -- he could "care less" what his opponents think. When the election comes, it will be interesting to see how much  his "care less" policy is worth.


MikeAdamson said...

I doubt he could care less.

Owen Gray said...

I take your point, Mike. When it comes to his future, he cares a great deal. But when it comes to Canadians in general, his opinion of them is purely transactional.

He cares about them only in so far as their votes can take him where he wants to go. When it comes to their welfare, he could care less.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Hi Lorne
Harper not only couldn't care less about Canadians, we are actually an inconvenience to him and his policy making. He knows that the majority of Canadians do not agree with his "vision" (agenda) for Canada. His way of dealing with this is to completely ignore us whether by avoiding the press or us directly. He treats Canadians like he would an unwanted guest in his home. He moves full speed ahead to implement any policy or program or legislation regardless if we agree or not. He acts as if we are not even here! For anybody watching he does not act like a PM governing the whole of Canada. He sees most Canadians as intruding on his religious cult leadership. The bizarre thing is, we are outsiders in our own countries affairs.

Kirby Evans said...

At the risk of sounding like a broken record - Harper will never leave office voluntarily. Even an election loss will not see a smooth transition of power - as I predict that the Cons would attempt everything, even a coup to hold to power.

Owen Gray said...

Your last sentence is spot on, Pam. Under Harper, we're outsiders in our own country.

By the way, this is the second time someone has called me Lorne. But that's OK. I take it as a compliment. And the confusion is understandable. We're both retired English teachers.

Owen Gray said...

Given the character of the man, Kirby, I concede that your vision of the future is entirely possible.

I simply hope it doesn't happen.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Sorry Owen, I had just read one of Lorne's articles.

Hugh said...

Country is better off? Federal debt has grown by over $100 billion since 2006. Household debt way up. Provincial debt way up. We're swamped in debt.

ron wilton said...

If Canadians in general are offended by harper's disdain for anything but oil, imagine how peeode we are here in BC.

First he slaps us in the face by appointing, against our wishes and pleas, our previous and criminally contemptible premier to high office in England to schmooze his oil affiliates, then he punches us in the nose by slipping through his insidious FIPA 'deal' that ensures the dreaded Enbridge pipeline will be built across our backs and over our dead bodies.

Apparently under FIPA , the Chinese can also 'build' the bloody thing with Chinese TFW's as well.
Look for harper to lose many of his bootlicker mp's from BC in 2015.

P.S: The people of BC will never allow that Enbridge thingy to happen, ever.

Anonymous said...

I really think Harper will win with, all of the ethnic votes he has been buying up.

Since Harper has sold this country to China, we know thousands of more Chinese are coming into BC. The minute China knew they had control of Canada? Thousands of Chinese are being brought over, for the mines in Northern BC.

Harper gave China permission to sue if, anyone tries to block China's takeover of Canada. There are wealthy Chinese suing to get into Canada.

Just stop and think, how many Chinese there are in Canada? Just think of the Chinese donations.

So, I guess I disagree. Just the Chinese are enough, to win the vote for Harper.

Owen Gray said...

Harper -- and Jason Kenny -- have done a great deal to capture ethnic voters, Anon. But this government has an immigration policy which favours foreign investors, as opposed to ordinary folks.

My sense is that ethnic voters are beginning to cotton onto the scam.

Owen Gray said...

I'm a long way from B.C., Ron, and I claim no expertise when it comes to understanding the province's politics.

But, from what I read, I get the sense that there will be open rebellion if Harper tries to build Northern Gateway.

Owen Gray said...

That's what Harper claims to be getting rid of, Hugh. Something's out of joint.

Owen Gray said...

As I said, Pam, it's entirely understandable.

e.a.f. said...

many of the 'ETHNIC vote' may not be that enamoured with harper and his herd. How many people of Ukraine descent are military vets who aren't being treated fairly? How many of Chinese descent, know that any deal with China isn't good for this country

Just about everything which harper and his herd have done has impacted all of those who are from ethnic groups, he is trying to win favour with.

There are lots of people who left Hong Kong because mainland China took control. Don't think they are going to be all that enamoured with the trade agreement with China. They know how bad China can be.

there are those who came from mainland China because of persecution based on their religious, environmental, political views. It is doubtful they will see harper and his trade deal with China as anything to vote for.

I would suggest many who harper and his herd hope to "con" into voting for him, from ethnic groups, aren't all that keen on harper and his herd. They know their lives are in Canada, not in the "old country".

When they see how harper and his herd have reacted to the murdered/missing 1,200 F.N. women, some may ask, what if someone starts to murder women from our community. Will harper and his herd react the same way?

harper and his herds wanting to throw everybody and anybody into jail for longer terms because they violate his sense of whats right and wrong, may remind many of the lack of rule of law in countries they left.

Like many who are immigrants and descendants of immigrants, I don't care what harper and his herd do or don't do in regards to my country of origin. I only care about what he does in Canada, to me and the citizens of this country.

Owen Gray said...

You have a point, e.a.f. Many immigrants have fled tyrants. And they know a tyrant when they see one.

Askingtherightquestions said...

You know Owen, Ron makes an important point. With his quiet authorization of FIPA (who would know it had happened if not for "bloggers" and Elizabeth May), Harper has set himself up for the ultimate confrontation. Will China let the Northern Gateway be stopped, with the powers conferred in this document?
If a decision were made to block the NG can you imagine the price (to taxpayers!!) that would be awarded to China under this legislation. Although I suppose like the Alberta Energy Regulator, Harper is confident that he can never be held to account for incompetent (or fraudulent) oversight (must read Nikiforuk's latest http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/09/16/Fracking-Suit-Supreme-Court/) Yeah, canada' never been better off......

Owen Gray said...

Harper is like an adolescent, Asking. He sees himself as invincible. And he conflates the country with himself.

Thus he and we -- he thinks -- will prevail.

Toby said...

I agree with Kirby Evans, "Harper will never leave office voluntarily . . . "

Harper will cheat. This guy went to the Robert Mugabe school of retaining power. Whatever dirty tricks he needs, Harper will use.

There is one thing that might send him on his way: laughter. If the whole country laughs at him he just might run away to hide.

Owen Gray said...

Your suggestion has a lot of merit, Toby. Harper uses laughter against his enemies.

But, for a man who can't crack a genuine smile, being the target of others' laughter might just be too embarrassing for him to live with.