Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Self Unmade Man

In his review of Paul Wells' book, The Longer I'm Prime Minister, Crawford Killian writes that Stephen Harper has a history of political misjudgement:

One of Wells' key points is that Harper is the author of most of his own misfortunes. He's the guy who ignored China until the Keystone XL pause taught him to seek foreign markets for oil; that made energy exports to China his priority #1. And that led to a declaration of war against "environmentalists and other radicals" who might stall the Northern Gateway pipeline to the Pacific.

Perhaps his worst failings might be called human-resources errors. For a man who understands voters, he's a terrible judge of people. He tends to put them in jobs where their behaviour backfires, creating more problems.

Remember Maxime Bernier, leaving classified documents in his girlfriend's apartment? Vic Toews, dividing Canada between his supporters and the child pornographers? Tony Clement, dispenser of tax largesse in the form of gazebos in his own riding? Bev Oda of the 16-buck orange juice? Peter Kent and Leona Aglukkaq? Not to mention a host of disposable gofers in the prime minister's office who soon burned out or otherwise failed.

This, after all, is the man who made Dean Del Mastro his parliamentary secretary, a man now turfed from the Conservative caucus after charges of violating election spending. And this is the man who swore he would reform the Senate, before appointing dozens of mediocrities including Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin.

Wells gives Harper credit for playing the long game. But the prime minister has almost sabotaged that game several times by making poor personnel choices. He knows strategy; but he doesn't know people. His strategy for dealing with poor choices is to accuse those around him of disloyalty and then dispose of them.

Eventually, that strategy catches up with you. The Senate scandal may well be Harper's undoing.


Feverish said...

I respectfully disagree that this current scandal will be the end of subPrime Minister Harper's reign.

He is right on schedule; the man has clearly stated that we will not recognize Canada when he is through... and he ain't finished yet!

He is being propped up by some very serious players and this 'man' is not done by a long shot. There are treasonous 'trade deals' to be 'negotiated.' There are pipelines to approve. There is a work force to import.

'013 is proving to be very unlucky for Canada, but you wouldn't know it judging by the complacency of the sheeple.

Here in BC we may be jolted from our slumber as a mountain of shit comes sliding down Mt. Clark-Campbell into our bedrooms and boardrooms. We will soon see if old sheep can learn new tricks to counter the trickle down politics of the day.

Anonymous said...

Harper doesn't govern, he dictates. He was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. Once you see through that? Harper is pathetically easy to see through. All dictators are control freaks.

As we know? Ford is a very good friend of Harper and Flaherty. Neither Harper nor Ford will resign. Canada is no longer a Democracy. Once dictators get control of a country? They are very difficult to get rid of.

Neither Harper nor Ford have any, decency, honor, morals nor ethics what-so-ever. They are no different than, the Dictators of yesteryear. All of them, had very similar personalities.

Owen Gray said...

Certainly Harper has no intention of riding off into the sunset, Feverish. And, so far, he has been able to escape the consequences of his stupidity.

He may survive. But I can't help but think that there will come a day when he will be abandoned by his enablers.

He will become radioactive.

Owen Gray said...

It isn't easy to force people like Ford and Harper from office, Anon.

But when a critical mass develops, they have to leave -- and quickly. Ask Jean Charest and Dalton McGuinty how it works.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper judges those he surrounds himself with by a narrow perception of their immediate utility. Qualities such as character, integrity and such are discounted or even irrelevant. Although he denied it for the longest time, Harper eventually had to admit he knew of Bruce Carson's chequered past when he brought him into the PMO. Carson's perceived utility trumped every warning shouted to Harper and his PMO staff about this scoundrel. Despite his religious fundamentalism, Harper exists within a moral vacuum.

John B. said...

To me the key to understanding the most damaging legacy that Harper intends to leave in the wake of his departure is in one of the statements made by Feverish: “There is a work force to import.”

Harper’s hatred for unions and contempt for the unrepresented are reflective of a desire to ensure that no voice can be organized sufficiently to stand in effective defiance of his will. This is evident by his complicity with investment interests and transnational labour contractors to drive an expansion and diversification of the TFWP and in his subsequent refusal to monitor it and control the abuses. The agreements that he is forging with foreign partners have less to do with “trade” than with workforce “flexibility”, labour mobility and wage suppression.

Harper is nowhere near being finished. The skill with which he is navigating his way through the ignorance of the public is demonstrated by his success in convincing the media, and then with its assistance the rest of us slugs, that the CETA is all about cheese.

Owen Gray said...

You quite correctly define what Harper's "free trade" policy is all about, John. It has everything to do with the protection of investors and nothing to do with workers.

The son of an Imperial Oil executive cares nothing about ordinary working folks.

Owen Gray said...

Harper's religious fundamentalism is merely a convenient mask which Harper wears in order to appeal to his base, Mound.

It should be obvious by now that the man has no conscience.