Between now and the next election, Stephen Harper will try hard to be a magician. He'll try to make his record disappear. Michael Harris writes:
That is a conversation Harper isn’t anxious to have, for any one of a number of reasons. The mismanagement and bottomless dishonesty on display during the F-35 acquisition process, for instance.
Then there’s the PM’s performance during the Wright/Duffy Affair. You remember how he treated the the truth on that occasion as a kind of multiple choice exercise in storytelling. Should the PM be subpoenaed to Mike Duffy’s criminal trial, he won’t have recourse to the ‘creative option’ — not without consequences.
Or recall the belly-flop of judgment that resulted in the appointments of Bruce Carson, Arthur Porter and several other weak links to powerful and sensitive positions.
There are lots of other things Harper doesn't want to talk about:
Certainly Harper’s not keen to talk about his calamitous record with the Senate — promising not to appoint any senators and then stacking the place with every idle Tory hack with a heartbeat. And then came the unconstitutional legislation to reform the Red Chamber, followed by the drive-by smear of Chief Justice McLachlin.
Or maybe Steve doesn’t want to talk about why he has spied on Canadians since coming to office in 2006, sticking the long nose of government deeper and deeper into its citizens’ privacy. In a police state, you might put union rallies, or a vigil for murdered native women, under surveillance — as they have been in Harper’s Canada. In a petro-state you might spy on a public discussion about the oilsands — but in a democracy? In Canada?
So, like a magician, he'll try to create distractions and change the subject:
Stephen Harper would rather talk about beheadings than the dead room he has made of public discourse in Canada — and his dismal record after eight years in power.
He'll certainly talk about the other guys:
Brian Mulroney called Tom Mulcair the best leader of the Opposition since Diefenbaker. Harper says he’s not fit to run the country because … well, because he doesn’t excel in the corporate ass-kissing department. No lip-liner for Tom.
And Justin? Justin is a callow little defiler of young brides and his father was a slut — or at least that was the gist of Ezra Levant’s recent unhinged rant on the person the polls keep saying will be Canada’s next prime minister. As Scott Feschuk cleverly put it on Twitter, this was Ezra’s “magnus Trudeau-pus … the masterpiece Ezra has been working toward all his life: Trudeau steals a kiss.”
And he'll rely on other folks like Ezra Levant to do his talking for him. When it's all said and done, maybe Ezra will make Magic Steve go away.