Like Richard Nixon, Stephen Harper is obsessed with his enemies. That's why, Bob Hepburn writes, he continues to attack Justin Trudeau more than Tom Mulcair. Mulcair may be first in the polls. But Harper hates Trudeau because:
First, Prime Minister Stephen Harper hates Trudeau and the Liberals. It’s a personal hatred, dating back to the 1980s and to Justin’s father, the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Harper’s right-wing ideology was forged forever during Trudeau’s reign when the young Harper felt Justin’s father had a personal dislike for western Canada, and Alberta in particular. He felt the introduction of the National Energy Program and Trudeau’s focus on Quebec were the clearest proof of this anti-West attitude.Second, Harper actually fears Trudeau more than he does Mulcair, despite what the polls are saying now.
While the NDP has risen in popularity after the stunning victory by the New Democrats in the Alberta provincial election in May, Harper suspects the NDP surge isn’t the real thing, and that it will ease as the Oct. 19 election nears.Third, Harper is obsessed with totally destroying the Liberals as a national party.
Ever the political strategist himself, Harper is playing the long game, looking beyond the October election which likely will end with a minority government of some sort. His aim is to set up the next election as a battle mainly between the NDP and the Conservatives. In basically a two-party race, Harper is convinced the Tories could trounce the NDP, with “blue Liberals” switching to the Conservatives, not the “leftist” NDP.
After the last federal election, Harper almost wiped the Liberals off the map. He won't be satisfied until he leaves the Liberal Party in the same state the Romans left Carthage.