Stephen Harper's public career has been filled with betrayals. He added another one last week. Brent Rathgeber writes:
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean was in the crowd for this year’s riding association BBQ — feeling less than festive, no doubt. Patrons were expecting Harper merely to announce that he was resigning as their MP. Instead, he enthusiastically and unequivocally endorsed Jason Kenney for the leadership of the PC Party of Alberta — instantly turning a social gathering into a campaign event.
It’s important to remember just how unusual an action this was for the former prime minister. When Harper was running things, Conservative MPs were expressly discouraged from wading into provincial politics. When the Harperites were in power, PMO staffers frequently reminded caucus members that, as the federal government, “we” had to deal with the people in power at the provincial level, no matter what party “they” represented.
But with the PCs out of power in Alberta and the CPC in Opposition in Ottawa, the rules seem to have changed. Either that, or the MP for Calgary Heritage assumes the rules that applied to his caucus don’t apply to him. They don’t apply to interim CPC leader Rona Ambrose either; she also endorsed Kenney, as Harper encouraged all CPC members in Alberta to join Kenney’s campaign to lead the PC Party into oblivion.
Harper always maintained that he made the rules -- and he could break them. But Alberta's Progressive Conservatives and Wild Rosies are not happy:
You’ve already heard about the pushback in the PC camp. Progressive PCs such as MLA Sandra Jensen and former MLAs Thomas Lukaszuk and Dave Quest are openly questioning whether Kenney’s vision clashes with the PC party’s platform.
What you haven’t heard is how Harper’s endorsement is going over with the Wildrose crowd. Many Wildrose supporters were stunned by it, and by Harper’s decision to publicly snub Jean.
Mr. Harper has always believed that leading a political party implied kingship by Divine Right. He has provided yet another illustration of who he is.