John Crosbie was laid to rest yesterday. And, Susan Delacourt writes, the old and ugly divisions in the Conservative Party were on full display at the funeral:
While one former prime minister, Brian Mulroney, was eulogizing Crosbie this week with a funny, touching speech, another former PM, Stephen Harper, was suddenly popping up everywhere too — except at the funeral in St. John’s.
Harper has appeared multiple times in the news this week: lecturing about Iran at a conservative conference in India; quitting his role on a Conservative financing board. Macleans’ columnist Paul Wells even reported that Harper was planning to get more active in the leadership contest, to ensure that Charest doesn’t take over the party.
History makes clear that -- whether the leader's is named Trudeau, Mulroney or Layton -- there are distinct advantages to choosing one of Quebec's native sons as leader. But Harper is strange piece of work. Certainly John Crosbie didn't like him: "“He is cold. He doesn’t have human warmth. He’s not able to even work a room. He doesn’t want to meet people.” Crosbie knew his man.
And Harper was no friend of Crosbie's son, Ches:
Ches Crosbie . . .was blocked by Harper from running as a Conservative in the 2015 election.
[He] was reportedly turned away because he’d committed the sin of making fun of Harper on stage in a satirical play. John Crosbie was not at all amused by the summary justice from the then-PM, telling a reporter that his son should run as an independent. “I feel like running myself and beating the piss out of them,” the elder Crosbie said.
The Conservative Party is in bad shape these days. And, as long as Stephen Harper haunts its back rooms, it will remain in bad shape.
Image: The Toronto Star