Bob Fife reports, in the Globe and Mail, that Stephen Harper will resign his seat before Parliament resumes in September:
“He is not going to be there when the House returns in September,” one close associate said. “He has had some good conversations about what is next for him. … He has some board discussions happening and he’s looking at some options about setting up his own institute.”
Apparently, the institute will focus on foreign policy:
The institute is in its early stages of discussion, but friends say it won’t be academic or domestic-policy focused, such as the conservative think tank founded by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning. Mr. Harper’s interests will be directed largely at global “big picture” issues that he has espoused over the years.
His former policy director, Rachel Curran, said once Mr. Harper leaves politics, he will want to champion global free trade, building on his success in negotiating deals with South Korea and the European Union, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.“He spent tremendous time and energy really concluding these trade agreements and opening up trade corridors,” Ms. Curran said. “He has got a really recognized expertise and a lot of respect internationally in terms of his kind of knowledge.”She said Mr. Harper will also want to promote his geopolitical thinking – whether it’s on human rights, the promotion of democracy or standing up to authoritarian regimes.
Mr. Harper knows something about authoritarian regimes. He'll need money to fund the institute. Word has it that he has been spending time lately with Las Vegas casino magnet Sheldon Adelson. His base might be a little concerned about where the money comes from. But one suspects the base is not on Harper's mind these days.
No, he's thinking about the world. And that's just what the world needs -- more Stephen Harper.