How the control freak lost control -

How the control freak lost control

As a five-alarm gong show threatens to swallow Harper’s Conservatives, party faithful wonder if he’ll ever regain his grip

How the control freak lost control

Blair Gable/Reuters

Just for a change of pace, let’s start with the good news for Stephen Harper’s government as his Conservative party prepares to gather in Calgary June 27-29 for its biennial policy convention.

May was the best month for job creation Canada has seen since 2002, with 95,000 net new jobs, all in the private sector. Unemployment fell to 7.1 per cent. The economy grew by 2.5 per cent in the first quarter. That’s almost triple the growth rate for the last quarter of 2012. It’s the best quarterly growth in a year and a half. And it is well ahead of federal budget projections. If this kind of growth continues, Harper should have little trouble eliminating the deficit before a scheduled 2015 election. He could then bring in a new round of targeted tax cuts designed to buttress his argument that smaller government is better government.

Harper will surely mention this good economic news in his keynote speech to Conservatives on June 27. It will be one of the most important speeches of his career, a curtain-raiser for the second half of his majority mandate, a rallying call to the troops delivered at ground zero of the old Reform party movement. On May 3, six weeks ago, a source in Harper’s office told me Harper had already been working on the speech for some time.

But of course the speech and the convention matter much more now to Harper than he knew when he started writing. Since mid-May, Harper has lost two senators, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, to an expense-account scandal, and an MP, Brent Rathgeber, to internal party discord. His longest-serving chief of staff, Nigel Wright, resigned in disgrace for allegedly writing a personal cheque to cover Duffy’s outstanding expense bill. The RCMP has launched a criminal investigation into Wright’s cheque.

So how’s the mood in the party? “It’s s–tty,” one long-time Conservative political staffer, now recycled in the private sector, said the other day. “I’m a Conservative, and I don’t know what the government stands for.”

The mood this Conservative described—on condition of anonymity, like other party members who spoke for this story—was a long way from despair. “The grassroots of the party is overwhelmingly behind the PM. I don’t think that will ever wear off.” But the five-alarm gong show around Wright, Duffy, Wallin and the rest has made a lot of Conservatives angry and nervous. “If your whole message is that you’re competent people,” this former staffer said, “it is harmful to seem incompetent.”

For several days after Harper accepted Wright’s resignation on May 19, the government could offer no coherent explanation for what had happened. Right up to the end of May the government seemed unsure how to handle the mess.

The chaos led at least one old PMO hand to offer his assistance. Several Conservative sources say that at the beginning of June, Dimitri Soudas, a former PMO communications director who now works for the Canadian Olympic Committee, telephoned the PMO to offer communications advice. Whatever Soudas told his former colleagues would have been mixed in with all the other signals a government receives from its members and supporters, but by last week the Conservatives were offering a more unapologetic defence of Harper’s behaviour, coupled with sharp digs at the opposition parties. The implied message was: If we’re going to be in trouble, we won’t be the only party in trouble.

The news of the day fades from memory. Between the 2008 and 2011 elections Harper endured a steady stream of allegations and missteps, including the controversy over proroguing Parliament, the allegations about abuse of Afghan prisoners, and former minister Bev Oda’s clumsy doctoring (“NOT”) of a memo from her department. Very little of it mattered on election day in 2011, and the Conservatives won a majority of seats in the Commons for the first time.

But Conservatives know the Harper government isn’t eternal, and they have begun to wonder what it will feel like when Harper loses his grip on power for good. They hope the feeling they’ve had this spring isn’t it. “You’re associated with a certain quality, like good government, for a long time and it holds up under wear and tear,” the former Conservative staffer said. “And then one day it tips over. And once it tips, you’ve just lost it and you can’t get it back. You’ve just lost that characteristic.”

Those earlier uproars from 2008-11 often shared common features: they were of interest mostly only to people who work in Ottawa, and they tended to anger people who had never voted Conservative anyway. Conservatives were pretty sure a sitting prime minister should be allowed to ring up the governor general and shut down Parliament now and then, as indeed Jean Chrétien did on more than one occasion. It was no skin off their nose if Harper exercised the same prerogative.

But this business with Wright, Duffy, and a Prime Minister who seemed oblivious and has since seemed deeply rattled is different, another former Hill staffer said. This one described getting an earful about the Senate and about Harper’s associates during a trip through rural British Columbia. The people complaining “were our demographic, in our geography,” this source said. “More than anything else it’s our people who are upset. It kind of comes across as a feeling of betrayal.”

Rural B.C. probably isn’t going to stop voting Conservative this month. But it’s an energized, motivated voter base that has always been the source for the party’s funding. The Conservatives routinely raise far more money, most of it from small individual donations, than the other parties. The latest returns from Elections Canada aren’t recent enough to capture any Wright-Duffy effect, but many Conservatives are worried the demoralizing events of spring will have an effect on party members’ willingness to send the next cheque. All the more so because some Conservatives worry that the Senate scandal is part of a larger malaise facing the Harper government. Seven and a half years into the Harper era, some in the party worry that he’s lost the tune.

“It’s been largely—with some clear conservative trappings, mostly having to do with crime and law enforcement—a caretaker government,” the former staffer who got an earful in rural B.C. said. “His legacy, so far, is on the party side. Not on governance.” Translation: The simple fact of keeping the Conservatives in power—for close to a decade by 2015—is a feat. But it’s less clear what Conservatives would have to show for it all if Harper were to retire next Tuesday.

“I don’t know what word you’d use, but there’s something settling in,” one MP said in an interview in his office this week. “We’re getting a lot done, but that’s not the perception. And it’s primarily the fault of people within our own tent, in our own party.”

This MP is skeptical of the notion that Harper needs to cast about for some fancy legacy accomplishment. “The two greatest prime ministers are generally regarded as Laurier and Macdonald. What would you say are Laurier’s three greatest achievements?” His visitor paused, although I would have gotten around to mentioning the entry of Saskatchewan and Alberta into Confederation. But the MP’s point is that longevity is its own reward, if you can do it.

But even this MP is not happy with recent events. “We have to think about our tone, going forward,” he said, referring to the constant counter-accusations Conservatives are flinging at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for accepting speaking fees from charity clients, and at NDP Leader Tom Mulcair for a minor run-in with Parliament Hill security as he drove to work the other day. “Our voters don’t like the explanation, ‘Well, we’re not as bad as the Liberals.’ They want to be proud of the government.”

What should Harper do? Like many Conservatives, this MP puts a lot of stock in the speech the PM has already been preparing for more than a month. “There was speculation that it would be his farewell speech,” the MP says.

You hear that around Ottawa this spring, but no Conservative I have spoken to gives the notion any particular credence. “The Stephen Harper I know is a very competitive guy,” a former senior PMO adviser said. “With 30 new seats in Ontario and Western Canada for the next election [due to a redistribution of the electoral map to match population growth], and Justin Trudeau as one of his opponents—I would see zero space for the Stephen Harper that I know backing off at all.”

The MP I interviewed said he’s now expecting “a major policy speech that resets things for the next two years.” A substantial cabinet shuffle would accompany the speech, either just before the convention begins or soon after it concludes. The new cabinet will, rumour has it, have a lot of new members drawn from MPs who have been elected since 2008. Michelle Rempel, Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch are among the young MPs most frequently mentioned for a promotion.

But fresh faces in cabinet are not particularly useful if the message they convey hasn’t changed. Another MP put Harper’s convention challenge this way: “The Prime Minister needs to show that he has a clear agenda and the fire in the belly to deliver it. That’s what our party members want to see and hear. The caucus feels we have achieved a great deal to be proud of, and we haven’t communicated our successes well. But looking forward, we need a new agenda, new energy and a new focus.”

This MP identified some encouraging news for the party. “There’s a growing sense that while Justin Trudeau is a celebrity leader, he is flopping in the House and is weak on substance. And the Prime Minister has the absolute support of caucus. That’s one issue that has never been in doubt. Even Brent Rathgeber has said he still supports Stephen Harper continuing as Canada’s Prime Minister—and he has been the most outspoken critic of our government.”

But like others, this MP said Harper must unveil “a clear conservative agenda around which to rally.” Again and again, Conservatives this spring are delivering a version of that message to Harper. They want Harper to “pick fights over things that we can win on,” in the words of one.

That’s actually not far from the message Harper delivered a decade ago at a meeting of the conservative social group Civitas. At the time Harper was the leader of a struggling Canadian Alliance, waiting for the Progressive Conservatives to pick a successor to poor Joe Clark. Conservatives still refer to Harper’s Civitas speech today. It’s the one where he said social conservative stances on crime and family policy could more strongly distinguish his party, to greater electoral advantage, than economic preoccupations like lower taxes.

But Harper also devoted much of his speech to a warning that today’s Stephen Harper probably needs to hear from someone close to him. The younger Harper of a decade ago said parties prosper when they stand for something besides keeping busy. “Our party,” he said, referring interchangeably to the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties through the 1990s, “underwent one period in which it was policy-driven, and another period in which it was process-driven. In the policy-driven phase, the party emphasized what it stood for. It took stands on a litany of issues, from its fight against the Meech Lake-Charlottetown constitutional agenda, to the battle for deficit reduction, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility. This was the period in which the party grew from nothing to become an important electoral and parliamentary force.”

But beginning around 1998, “the party moved into a phase in which it emphasized process. Specifically, the party focused its energies on a process by which it could garner greater electoral success . . . In practice, this amounted largely to making existing policy stands vague or simply invisible. Whatever the electoral potential of this approach promised by the polls, the results were clearly going in the opposite direction.”

In brief, Harper was saying you don’t sell more soup by watering the recipe down but by spicing it up. He proceeded to prove his own point by creating a new, strongly conservative party and building to a majority by keeping his partisan base engaged and passionate.

Harper has recovered from crisis before, often in spectacular fashion: after he became Alliance leader in 2002; after the opposition coalition crisis of 2008; and when he rose to a majority in 2011 after a rough year in Parliament. Most Conservatives I spoke to expect he can do it one more time. Most think he’d better.

On the Web: For more Paul Wells, visit his blog at


How the control freak lost control

  1. The question is whether Justin’s flip-floptical Romney-esque style will begin to wear thin after 2 years with a public that at least would like someone having the latter’s weathervane instincts to also have a commensurate measure of synaptic connections.

    If Harper&Co. can recalibrate as successfully as they have in the past, and recognize they are not dealing with another ‘weakling’ Dion, or ‘for himself’ Ignatieff, but someone with a remarkable gift for putting his foot in his mouth so artlessly as to look only the more appealingly dimwitted, and that the public can only see Trudeau’s OS-bugs as features, then they will proceed simply by ignoring him altogether, or simply blandly and indifferently reply (when the situation legally requires it) to anything he says and focus on Harper’s performance.

    After the charity debacle—wherein JT should have been left to hang in the wind silently by himself—the whole official and popular Con culture couldn’t leave it alone, and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This bodes poorly for their future.

    • Another panicking Tory. “Recalibrate successfully”? What a laugh. They’ve inserted themselves via fraudulent and parasitical means into the PMO and our House of Commons, and it’s only now, due to an overly polite media and opposition, that Canada is seeing the pileup of incompetence, arrogance, stupidity and downright bullying that has personified Harper and his cronies.

      They’ve never recalibrated. They have been playing in the money-room and dropped their guard. That’s all that happened. Now we can see them for who they are. It was only a matter of time.

      Mary Walsh would make a better Prime Minister than Harper.

      • Yet another non-Conservative who doesn’t like the election result claims it to be fraudulent. Can’t you people accept the fact that Canada has rejected your ideology? Can’t you people accept that you lost? Can’t you people accept the fact that you do not have some divine right to occupy the PMO?

        No. I didn’t think so.

        • A judge ruled there was fraud, but you Cons supporters don’t care.

          • He did not. He simply said it looked like someone had access to the data base. If he thought it was fraud he would have overturned the election results. Wake up and smell the coffee.

          • Yes.. And I believe everything written on left wing blog. Not!

          • Nah you just believe PMO talking points

          • C’mon Dude, you’re just phoning it in now. The judge ruled quite clearly that there was fraud and that it was perpetrated using the CIMS database. He was crystal clear about that.

            The only reason he didn’t overturn the election results is because there was not evidence of fraud on a large enough scale to invalidate the election.

            If you can’t be bothered to make the effort, why bother to misrepresent at all?

          • What scares me most about the CPC is that they do stuff like this EVEN WHEN THERE IS ALMOST NOTHING TO GAIN FROM IT. Should we call people and tell them their polling station has moved in the hopes they don’t vote? Wow that’s so underhanded it’s almost unthinkable, but what if five or six people voting for the other guy don’t vote because of it! OMG THAT’S AN AWESOME RISK-REWARD ANALYSIS LET’S GO AHEAD AND DO IT STAT! It’s not that they’ll stoop so low, it’s that they’ll do it to scrape up so little.

          • That’s the argument they used about Spiro Agnew, the U.S. V.P. who resigned over a $3000 bribe. The anger was largely that his price was so low.

          • The judge did rule that fraudulent means where used BY THE CONS and if you can not deal with that then you have a problem living in a place called “Reality”.

          • On the balance of probabilities, the measure most people use to assign blame, the Conservatives are guilty.

        • And yet another poster who generalizes about another.

        • I can accept a minority rejection.

        • Yet another CON who does not know how to read. FRAUD is fraud! harper stole the election through fraud. What part of FRAUD do you not understand?

        • The Conservatives have been successful mostly through having a lot of money to run attack ads. They do no significantly increase their vote but suppress voter turn out through dirty tricks and the negative tone in the campaign. I am not a Liberal, but the negative ads suppressed liberal voter turnout. The core support of Conservatives showed up. I do not believe that will be the case next election. Harper has shown his true agenda ( ultra right wing) and that his group is just as dishonest, if not more, that the last group. I think the Liberals and the NDP voters will be very motivated to vote this time around. I predict the higher voter turn out will result in a Liberal government, likely minority.
          I think the conservatives have built up a lot of distrust amount moderate voters. The core conservatives will still vote for Harper, but I predict the moderates will likely stay home.

      • Lizzy, Lizzy, Lizzy,
        Your knickers are in a knot and nobody knows why. They’re called Elections, you know, people go to a polling station and cast their votes, the winning party gets to govern. If they do good they are returned to govern, if not they are voted out. Seems like a system I can live with. Mary would probably be a great PM but I didn’t see her name on my ballot.

      • ‘scuse me? I’ve never voted Conservative in my life.

        • Does a downvote mean you’re calling me a liar?

          • No, it just means you didn`t accentuate the Harper-Hating part of your contribution for the local crowd in from the LPC.

      • Dear Elizabeth: Who is your preference for saving Canada from the Cons? Quebec supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair? Please tell us who you support as saviour of Canada…… and another PM from corrupt, greedy, socialist, separatist, anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec? Who and tell us why? (One choice only, please.)

        • Why do you think Fire-wall, Sell us off cheap to China Harper has the interests of ordinary Canadians at the fore? He has proven himself a willing tool of overseas Global interests at every turn.
          Anyone who is less that way inclined would at least be putting the interests of Canadians above Harper.
          A low benchmark but still better.

      • Wells, what a poor title to start a story…. After all, PM Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada and I know you would sooner have your beloved friend and liberal party in power, but they are not, and just is not the PM of Canada either, and never will be! REgardless what all the main street media write in support of Justin and against the Conservative Party… we also have eyes and see Justin is just a kid who thinks he can do anything… remember him telling a TV show….”I AM A GREAT SPEAKER’ – If he was, he wouldn’t have to blow his own horn…..

    • Charity debacle? Ethics watchdog signed off, vast majority of engagements happy to have payed, nothing illegal, and Trudeau saying, regardless of all that, I will reimburse anyone who wants me to. A poll taken during the pretend controversy showed Trudeaus lead growing. Poor Conservatives have no clue. :)

      • Are you also calling me a Conservative? What’s with you guys?

        • Don,t know your leanings just pointing out the rediculous assumptions and flawed conclusions you made. Felt like the thinking of a Conservative.

          • What assumptions? And conclusions? Did you read the last sentence? Did you read past the first sentence?

          • If folk have come away with the impression that you are a Con maybe you weren’t as clear as you think you were. I get called a Trudeau supporter all the time, when in fact I view him as a slightly less extreme version of Harper and Mulcair as a centrist.
            I have to rephrase stuff all the time.

          • Allah bless Calgary and Alberta – wherever there is flooding – please let those people have safety, protection from the elements and return to their loving home.

    • Justin Trudeau is a great man in the making. May he always succeed.

    • The thing about JT is that he fills so readily the role of favourite son. So a lot of us send him money and see the potential in the lad, and will work tirelessly to push him over the hump in the next election.

      For the first time in seven years I’ve had a positive political motive: the rest has all been ridding Canada of the Harper and his gang.

      • Hip Hip Hooray. Hip Hip Hooray. Hip Hip Hooray.

    • Squirm CPC squirm!

    • Ha ha ha danRR, you only wish you could believe your words….. Your dear leader is done like burnt toast.

  2. Canadians are ignorant and miseducated enough to vote in this band of criminals and clowns for another decade. Time to flush our once strong democracy down the toilet for good.

    • I remember Mitchell Sharp years ago saying in Trudeau’s day bringing in a balanced budget was standard procedure. We will never see those days again. I do hope we see an end to an unelected Senate stuffed with lazy unethical cronies

      • Hello…it is because of PET’s disastrous economic policies that the country is carrying a huge debt. He started the deficit spending binge and it continued until the Liberals had to clean the mess created by one of their own. It was poetic justice that Chretien as PM had to clean up the mess he started as finance minister in PET’s government.

        • I mean the really old days, when Sharp was minister.

        • And that arch Conservative Mulrooney just piled on too. It’s ironic that it took Chretien and Martin to get things under control and Harper to mess it up again, But at least they did do it. Who’s going to clean up this mess? I can’t see anyone from Preston’s puppy mill having the intelligence to make it happen.

          It also always amazes me that Cons want to excuse Harper’s largesse by pointing to the financial meltdown, but don’t see that Trudeau’s policy decision was also forced upon him by Reagan and Thatcther.

          • Dion and Layton wanted the government to provide even more stimulus than the Conservatives would allow, the Conservatives approach was in concert with the G8 countries.

            As for Pierre Trudeau, our CBC created national hero, was a crook…….his left hand man Maurice Strong orchestrated on of the biggest rip offs of taxpayer money ever, the Petro Canada purchase of Petrofina Canada, how many Liberals made out like bandits on that deal?

            The documents were sealed by Trudeau as a state secret for fifty years.

            That deal should be revealed to the public for all to see.

            Trudeau’s decisions were not forced on him by Reagan and Thacher, when he was asked in a CBC interview how he’d pay for all of his social programs he said” that’s easy, I’ll just print more money”

            That’s why the dollar slid to below US $0.70. and it’s taken until recent times for it recover, that’s the Liberal legacy.

            Chretien and Martin?

            Chretien trying to sell his golf course shares fires the president of the BDBC, because he wouldn’t approve a loan for the hotel adjacent to the course owned by Chretien’s criminal friend.

            Paul Matin’s CSL received over $162 million taxpayer dollars while he was Finance Mnister, curiously that is almost the exact amount Martin owed the loan syndicate from whom he borrowed to buy the company in the first place.

          • If you are excusing Harper by saying Dion and Layton made him do it, I’m not too sure that’s a point in Harper’s favour. A leader leads but he bailed on his “principles” to remain in power.
            Trudeau may have said that, but when the two major financial players of the day decide to convert to deficit economics with the sudden windfall that releases and the deregulation it entails it is tough not to do likewise.

            Harper capitulated to his opponents, Trudeau got on a band wagon to ensure survival and the dollar still plummeted. But that at least had the advantage of making our goods more exportable. Parity isn’t so good now for manufacturing.
            As for the criminal behaviour, no justification there. Just like the ongoing investigations now into the Harper Cons will show, Party politics is crooked to its roots.

          • Harper always maintained that Canada had to work in concert with the G8.

            Take your manure somewhere else.

          • Harper does tend to lie and/or blame others to cover his butt.

          • Didn’t anyone tell you that huffing solvents is bad for your brain?

          • Ah that’s the playground braggart we all expect from someone called Billy Bob

          • playground braggart?

            Huffing is a serious health issue, or are you too far gone?

          • You’re an idiot. In fact the last time the $C was worth more than the $us was during Trudeau’s time.

          • Having our dollar on par is harming our economy. Where is the $3.1 billion that your dear leader lost? And wow, such a poor judge of character…..

          • Preston’s puppy mill? That’s pretty good.

          • “financial meltdown”? – PMSH was strongarmed by the Keystone Koup. Period.
            Your Reagan & Thatcher conflation is ridiculous and has nothing to do with Trudeau’s run-a-muck spending. Period. If only they did then we’d be less in the hole.

          • Mr. Harper was not strong-armed into engineering a structural deficit before the downturn. No one forced him to blow through his inherited surplus, cut the GST, cut corporate taxes, and litter the tax-code with junk credits — all to leave the coffers empty before the downturn. In the 2008 election, the Conservatives denied that anything was amiss in the economy – which I’d always concluded was just a campaign fib – but it has since been revealed that they really didn’t clue in until it hit them on the head.

          • Ya but if you say “Period” after every assertion, it means you are correct. No facts or analysis required.

          • No. He allowed himself to be pressured.
            He was a man of principle and if those didn’t work he found he had others that might.

        • hollinm, And Mulroney took the country to the edge of bankruptcy. THAT was the mess Chretien cleaned up. Can’t change historical facts.

        • Disastrous economic policies? He left power with a lower debt-to-GDP than this government has managed to produce – after inheriting a big surplus and a fiscal capacity that produced them. Mr. Trudeau, on the other hand, inherited a deficit.

    • Band of criminals? That’s a pretty broad statement. Who has been convicted of fraud in the Conservative government. The Senate is a different branch of government I suspect they all have been feeding at the trough for years. Harper had nothing to do with the Duffy-Wright cheque and until there is evidence to the support the opposite I will accept the PM’s word.
      In fact due the process is taking place when it comes to Duffy/Wallin/Brazeau/Harb etc. Let’s wait for the process to come to a conclusion before flushing anybody down the toilet. Trouble is the Harper haters can’t beat him at the polls and so they make these outrageous, slanderous comments without any real proven evidence.

      • Well two Con-men were made Senators after pleading guilty to election offences, on of them just died. Do they count?

      • Actually, it was the Conservative Party that was convicted of Fraud in the in and out scandal. Convicted. Fraud. cannot get clearer than that can it?

        • It’s not over yet Nancy;

          Although the Conservative party did not use the same tactics in the 2008
          and 2011 campaigns, it continues to challenge Elections Canada in a
          civil lawsuit, seeking rebates for two local candidates. The
          Conservatives insist national-local transfers are standard practice by
          all parties, and that Elections Canada set out conflicting
          interpretations of the guidelines for political parties. That case will
          be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

          • But most recently, we have the Conservatives hiding candidate overspending by letting campaigning senators hide candidate-related campaign expenses through the Senate.

      • Start with Bruce Carson, for one.

        • Carson was long gone from the PMO when he was charged.

          • Carson was a convicted fraudster before he worked in the PMO – crack vetting system at work. The joke is that Harper likes to hire people with convictions – if they don’t have one they need to be prepared to obtain one while in his employ.

          • You are one silly person full of hate and envy!

    • Allah bless us all. :)

    • Emotions, especially negative ones such as greed, fear, and anger often trump intellect. The Conservatives, like their Republican counterparts, understand this and appeal to the “limbic brain”. Seems Canadians are coming to their senses and rejecting the fear mongering tactics of the “attack-ad, tough-on-crime (yeah right)” Conservatives, just as the American voters did with the Republicans. I have seen enough. Too bad I’m only allowed one vote.

  3. All politicians can be accused of flip flopping. Take Harper, he was adamantly against omnibus bills. Until he got in power and then proceeded to introduce the largest omnibus bills ever.

    • There’s a difference between flip-flopping and being a flip-flopper. The latter is a skill that one is born with, and manifests itself in the earliest stages of political infancy. Some hone their natural talents to such a degree that they go through graduate school and become weather-vanes sensitive to the minutest changes in wind direction.

      • Seriously?
        Income Trusts
        No deficit
        If you were polite you’d call it flip-flopping; me? I’d call it a bald faced lie
        But it was after he locked himself in the toilet in Brazil I realised what a pampered lieing puppy he was.

      • That’s like saying there is a difference between a duck and a Duck.

      • Are you talking about Trudeau?

    • Generally, I’m not a fan of the phrase ‘flip-flopper’. I would rather a leader who is willing to accept input and, with considered reason, change course. A leader that is stubborn and/or ideological to the point of ignoring rational arguments is not useful. Leadership involves a lot of complicated, interacting characteristics. The ability and fortitude to change one’s mind is high on the list. Again, that’s in general, and not specifically about Harper.

  4. This is a good article. Too bad that, as usual, forums become another place for slagging each other not discussing the article itself.

    Regarding the article, I would like to see some perspective offered that would help the reader put all this into context. How do Harper’s problems with his base compare to Chretien’s decline in the Liberal party? How do Harpers current problems compare to Chretien’s Sponsorship scandal? Or Shawinigate where there were criminal investigations into real estate transactions in Chretien’s own riding? What is the same, what is different and what does that tell us? Was the base of the Liberal party at the time upset mostly because they felt power slipping? Is the Conservative base upset mostly because their policies and ethics are being betrayed (as the article seems to say), or are they primarily hungry to hold on to power, as were Liberals in the past?

    • I think the MPs and party hacks are desperate to hold onto power as their flailing reactions to any perceived sleight illustrates only too well. The base wants it’s red meat and they are prepared to forgive a party that looks exactly the same as the Chretien Liberals because they’ve bought the idea that Liberals a pinkos and that won’t exit their mind. They really don’t see that there is no difference between the Libs and the Cons because of past prejudices and view the Cons as the best chance they have to enact some pretty regressive policies that are trendy amongst them.
      The difference between Harper and Chretien isn’t huge but what is huge is the speed at which information about any lapse or ethical breach is pounced upon and broadcast countrywide. Harper and Chretien are no less crooked than those who came before them because the party system is inherently crooked, just we never heard about it.
      There is very little difference between any of the parties in terms of their ethical behaviour because the parties run stuff to ensure party survival not for the good of the country. Until we address that 500lb Gorilla in the room things can only get worse as communications technologies pick up.

      • The Chretien Liberals competently managed the federal purse. They delivered a decade of balanced budgets, paid down debt, and lowered personal income taxes to where they still are. The rates haven’t changed one iota under the Conservatives. What the Conservatives have done is cut the GST and litter the tax-code with vote-buying gimmickry that would never stand up to any kind of social net-benefit analysis – during a BOOM, as if anyone needed to be encouraged to spend.

        Add to this the loosening of mortgage rules during the same boom, which in turn created the bubble that they’re still trying to deal with.

    • I don’t think your question is relevant. They are different parties and different situations.

      What I do think is relevant for context is this:

      “It’s the one where he said social conservative stances on crime and
      family policy could more strongly distinguish his party, to greater
      electoral advantage, than economic preoccupations like lower taxes.”

      In other words, Harper has been selling the socon narrative to his supporters – the people who buy into this narrative are the ones providing all the economic support. Personally I do not think he buys into that narrative himself (if you really believe abortion is murder you are going to try to do something about it). He knows this is how to retain a solid base, and it has worked for him.

      The second narrative has been the Reform ideals of open government, transparency and accountability.

      As we see he has failed in both respects. If he loses his base that would be why.

      • You are right about the social conservative stance specially since they past a new law with respect to divorce for same sex couple. Same sex marriage has now been accepted by the majority of the population because there was not great outcry.

  5. Thank you comrade for you /editorial.
    You will look good in you Orange coloured suite.

    • Maybe discussing the article would be nice, instead of just a quick cheap shot.

    • I like how he managed to misspell “your,” twice.

      • How reliable in your opinion are those job numbers you quoted and do you see the trend to continue with respect to the economy’s growth?

        • If anyone’s a reliable predictor of the economy, it’s not me. But every good month is a good month, and in general — largely due to some decent news from the U.S. — I’m more optimistic about the economy than I was when the budget came down.

          • Well I always said that if he can somehow help turn the economy of Ontario and BC then he has no problem getting re elected. One more question. Have you had trouble getting Justin to do an interview with you? Reason I am asking is that I was listening to CBC ” The House” and they have not been able to get Trudeau for an interview.

          • I haven’t tried to interview Trudeau since we put him on the cover of the magazine in May 2012. I’m not hearing from others that it’s particularly difficult to get him to do interviews.

          • Just have to pay him $20 large there Paul.

      • I like how you’re now wearing a suite. Interesting style choice.

    • Orange is a little passe as a decorating choice, duke.

  6. Watching Stephen Harper deny knowledge of practices carried out by his inner circle is like watching a child who has misbehaved deny they were the one responsible for the broken lamp. Unbelievable. However we have something much bigger that is being broken all while being denied. Canada has a bitter enemy living in her heart. Stephen Harper is fundamentally changing this country, our idea of ourselves, our direction and our purpose. I have never been as uneasy about a political party charged with providing good governance to the Canadian people.
    The focus on ‘law an order’ as opposed to ‘freedom and democracy’ is very telling. Where you focus your energy is where you get results. Meanwhile associates and members of the Conservative party are showing a disgraceful lack of understanding of the basic principles of truth and justice. Recognised Election fraud should have negated the results of the 2011 election. Dishonesty in elections strikes to the heart of our image of who we are as a people. To get away with this transgression is tantamount to having had a bloodless coup. 30 more chances for the Harper regime to manipulate the next election! Shocking abuse of power and politics.
    The illusion of true north , strong and free is getting harder to maintain.

    • ‘Recognised Election fraud should have negated the results of the 2011 election.’
      Not one person in the entire country came forward to say robocalls prevented them from voting.
      In the Judgement, no CPC MP nor the Cons party was found to be part of any fraud.
      Your talking point is zero fact based.

    • Your condemnation of PM Harper is overwhelming…. now will you inform us who will save us from “control freak” Harper …. Quebec supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair… who is your preferred saviour of Canada… one choice only, please??

      • We all bank online securely lets vote online… (daily)

        It is time for the people to lead themselves for the electorate is far more progressive than it’s leadership.

      • “quebec supremacist”,:educate yourself! or change site, you are annoying

    • I remember a `Steven Harper` many years ago:

      —- surrounded by adoring followers
      —–standing large ( too large )

      —–his word became law
      —–he gathered others money
      —–he purchased the candy; distributed to those he chose
      —–don`t let him dislike you; you will pay the price
      —–dare challenge him; his gang will be set loose
      —–decency, respect, truth and honesty faded from sight

      Don`t even think anyone else could replace the `Steve Harper`

      I am sure many of you experienced this same `Steve Harper` and remember how once challenged he and his kind of self inflated bully boys slinked away.

      ——–The sky didn`t fall and and the schoolyard gained an happy air. ——————————Enough of Harper`s toxic Hot Air !!!!!!!!!! ————————-

  7. Another unidentified source from Wells……………yawn.

    The media party just can not help itself in it’s massive delusion, Justin has permanent foot in mouth, the truth hurts, the LPoC in finished.

    • Quebec French supremacist Trudeau…extracting money from orphan charities in the RoC but not in Quebec… how is the media party gonna whitewash that? …lol

  8. From NP;

    Justin Trudeau’s claim that he has “never charged anyone a single
    penny” while speaking as an MP, has been leapt upon by the
    Conservatives, who say he was paid $20,000 to speak at a conference
    three years ago alongside representatives from the NDP and Conservative
    party, who were not paid.

    Mr. Trudeau spoke at a conference on March 5, 2010 at a conference
    organized by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union called Ontario

    • Part of the $112,500 Unions gave to Trudeau

      • And the seditious Media Party not a peep… only some crickets. Time for a pogrom .. after 2015.

        • Well how much did the Alberta business association give to the CPC?

          • Donations by corporations and unions are no longer allowed,Chretien made that change to screw Paul Martin.

        • “And the seditious Media Party not a peep… only some crickets. Time for a pogrom .. after 2015.”

          So, let me understand you clearly — assuming you know what all the words you used mean, you are explicitly calling for violence against the media.


        • So when Sharon Wilson quotes a Maclean’s blog post in response to an Ivison column, you say there’s been “not a peep” from the Media Party? I admire the humour in your choice of the name “Observant.”

          • But it is true that Paul Wells has not written anything about Justin Trudeau and the fees he charged from unions! Remarkable, that omission.

          • No, that is not true. What is true is that the last thing I wrote on the website before this one is called “Justin Trudeau and Unions.” It’s actually hard to be as utterly wrong on such a simple point as you are here. But bless you for delivering.

  9. Crisis? Scandal?

    Try talking to just some normal guy one the street.

    Q: So what do you know of the current government scandals
    A: Well I know some Senator took money he should not have from the taxpayers
    Q: What about the PMs office paying that money back?
    A: Well I don’t care where the money comes from as long as we taxpayers get back the money.
    Q: Any other scandals?
    A: Not that I know of.

    • I think that just depends on who you are talking to.

    • I love it when the CPC congratulates themselves publicly for feeling they’ve outsmarted their own voters. “Hey LPC, look how far we pulled the wool over the public’s eyes! Best thing? They’ll read this and they’ll still vote for us! Take that, Canada!”

  10. Well I am not sure that there is going to be a convention next week. I am sure he is going to have to adjust the speech if they do have one. The mood will not be that great.

    Some people are going to come out claiming that this disaster was as a result of climate change but who knows. I think that since this was in his backyard he might grasp better what people will be going through when something like this happen somewhere else because these of storms and disasters are not one every hundred years but seem to be happening once every decade.

    I hope he does not go touting the number that Mr Well spoke of because they change from month to month and are not very accurate. He can use them as his own peril. I hope he pulls back from some of his crime and punishment agenda. Some of is outdated. If he is smart he demotes MacKay and drops Fantino and Ritz. Let’s hope he does do something positive with Senate.

    • “because these of storms and disasters are not one every hundred years but seem to be happening once every decade. ”

      Keep on drinking that Kool Aid.

      Glo-Bull Wamring is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated in human history.

      • oops…typo….Glo-Bull Warming

      • I am not 100% sure that this is as a result of global warming. I do believe that we are getting more catastrophic weather though on a more frequent base across Canada and the cost associated with these natural disasters are going to be huge. That is a fact.

        • Wrong, there is not more frequency.

          Although many in the media and the environ-Mental movement would like you to think so.

          • Calgary had a huge flood in 2005 and now again in 2013. If you have time go read an article in Calgary Herald. Now I am not sure how good it is written but you will see that Canada suffered three massive floods that happen in 1990’s and 3 in first decade of the 21th century. Now it does show the same pattern around the 1950 so maybe it happens every decade but Calgary Herald goes from 1954 and jumps all the way to 1986 for the next major flood. I am just going by what I read.

          • In the spring we get rains and melting snow, flooding happens on flood plains, sometimes the flooding is more severe, who’d a thunk?

          • Sure, but I what said is that they are becoming more catastrophic. There are not minor floods anymore that only are news for local people. The floods are making national news. How much is this going to cost the nation and why are we suffering through so many?

          • Perhaps it is Allah who is punishing Calgary… ya think?

          • Must be Gaia, or the space aliens coming to eat the brains of those who wear tin foil hats.

          • LOLOLOL. I am glad you don’t wear one.

          • No. He only punishes the people in the Middle East and Indonesia. We have the Christian God to punish it’s followers.

          • Methinks the Calgary housing values in the flood plains may have plummeted… and many were in rather toney neighbourhoods of multi million $$$$$ digs.

          • I was listening to a bit of Roy Green and he has lady from Calgary that was describing damage done to condo buildings where some were worth quite a few millions. I have also seen some of the damage done to houses close to rivers that must be in the 1/2 to a million in cost. No sure if insurance would cover it but a lot people might have just lost everything. So very sad. I hope this teaches municipalities not allow homes to be build in areas where there is high probability of suffering flood damage.

          • Your childish play ground language doesn’t make your points any stronger. In fact they do the opposite.
            The only people who are opposed to the idea of ongoing climate change are think-tanks and corporations and their evidence is not really evidence. When I see liberal institutions like the US department of defence and their navy making preparations for raised sea levels I think that just backs up what the vast majority of scientists are saying.

          • You’re nutz

          • lololol. Billy Bob lololol. forget it.:)

          • True but that doesn’t mean my point isn’t valid

          • You don’t have a valid point.

          • I’ll side with scientists and the US Navy planners on this. You can stick with the Heritage Institute, Senator Inhofe and Viscount Monckton if you want.

          • The Navy task force on climate change was nothing but a make work project for Obama supporters.

            And your “scientists”……….like the railroad engineer head of the IPCC?

          • And you have Oil industry hacks and a retired TV weatherman… hmmm

    • The convention has just been cancelled.

      • Well I think that is a good move. The PM has important things to worry than cheering up the base.

      • It wasn’t cancelled, it has been postponed.

        • We’ll see.

  11. Media party focusing on the CPC and Harper because every time they swing a mic infront of Trudeau, he says the darndest things….
    The latest, asked if talking to the Taliban was wise, he said huh? and then was given a Dion do-over. To which he accused the reporter of being from Sun News, as if it was a trick question.
    it was a CBC reporter trying to get his opinion before asking the govt, no articles went to print on his answer.
    When he finally relied, he gave a beauty contestant answer ‘I want world peace’.

    • “media party” hey?
      I think you clicked on the wrong link, shouldn’t you be over at Ezra’s home for the terminally befuddled?

      • Looks like EO’s alter ego.

    • When you start with the false assumption that the media are against your guy you lose whatever point you think you were making.

    • The CBC is overtly playing the political game, and they will have to pay the political price after the 2015 election and another CPC majority government. CBC NN should be shut down and stopped from acting like a Canadian government-in-waiting with all their overseas based correspondents. The CBC should be reduced to it’s original mandate — to support and provide Canadian entertainment, arts, documentaries and neutered of it’s Liberal goebbellian propaganda news network.

  12. Conservatives were pretty sure a sitting prime minister should be
    allowed to ring up the governor general and shut down Parliament now and
    then, as indeed Jean Chrétien did on more than one occasion.


    Surely you mean “indeed in a manner so different from Jean Chretien that it satisfied only CPC partisans to make the comparison.”

    • Not sure if Chretien ever prorogue the parliament because of a crisis he was going through. Maybe in 1995. Will have to check.

      • Harper prorogued to foil the seditious attempt against the minority government by a coalition junta that enlisted the help of the anti-Canadian BQ to make it succeed. If you don’t call that a threat to Canadian unity and stability….!!!!

        • No that was just politics by the opposition. Bad mind you but still politics to get what they wanted at that time.

          • A coalition junta propped up by the enemy of Canada, and you call that normal politics? Perhaps you see Quebec separatist as wayward and confused Canadians requiring a hug and extra love (aka $$$$$$$$$ from the RoC)!

        • Wow, the opposition parties are “seditious” too?

          You seem to have a whole list of people you want to see lined up against the wall after the 2015 election.

      • He did, indeed, to avoid the tabling of a report about the sponsorship fiasco. I didn’t know that Chretien prorogued more than once… and finding information about it (like a nice clean list of who prorogued when) looks like it will take a bit of Google work.

        • I guess that would have been I given. What a mess that was for LPC.

        • yup, I recall that one – JC affecting the timing of the release of a report. In contrast, Harper shut down parliament to keep evidence out of the hands of people making the report in the first place. And that’s the LESS damaging of his pro-rogues. I believe there is also something on the Somalia inquiry (I’m too young to recall it at the time), shutting it down early IIRC? But the report still came out.

          I’m willing to compare other examples, but so far it seems JC is head and shoulders above Harper. Now McGuinty comes a lot closer, and if the CPC and NDP had gotten their act together to declare a non-confidence motion the LPO pro-rogue would be indefensible, even when you consider Dalton did have the decency to resign over the stuff.

          • Was Somolia not a PC prorogue? And you are right JC did prorogue a lot but I believe some of the time was because they had nothing on the pipeline to vote for or discuss. I don’t think Conservative will get any more benefit if they do prorogue that is why I don’t think they will any in the future until after the next election.

          • oh yes i mean only pro-rogues that can be criticized.

  13. Ah yes… the Cons are toast once Harper falls from power within the party and they disintegrate into extreme factions. But what are the alternatives?

    Will Canadians flock to the Liberals led by Quebec supremacist Trudeau… or will they embrace the NDP with Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair? Hmmm… the alternative is another PM from corrupt, greedy, socialist, separatist, anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec…. hmmm, wonder who!

    Both Chretien and Harper were/are “control freaks”, but for Chretien it was called “strong leadership” by the Lib-loving media …. but for Conservative Harper it’s labeled “control “freak”. Those in the media slagging and sabotaging Harper will have to retire or be fired for their failed media putsch attempt should Harper win another majority government in 2015.

    • LOLOLO. ” control freaks but for Chretien it was called “strong leadership” by the Lib-loving media ” LOLOLOL. I am sure Chretien sends a Christmas card every year to the Editorial department at the G&M and NP. Or how about Terry Milewski of the CBC.

      • You are mad………get some help.

        • Ah come on. Don’t be mean. It just a discussion. Its not like they are going to take our advice or that our opinion matter to them.

          • My opinion matters as I read all the Harper Haters™ spewing their venom but never revealing their choice for saviour of Canada. They are a bunch of hate/smear/fearmongering vermin who inhabit every political forum and spew their organized vicious hatred against Stephen Harper. These dung beetles just keep on rolling their dung balls and hoping something sticks in their smelly crusade. I try to pin them down for a solution but all I get is suspicious silence… perhaps it’s because they are recruited by the Gerald Butts Brigade of Harper Haters™ with nothing to offer Canadians other than Quebec supremacist Justin … soooo obvious.

          • There you go again. And you call me mad.

          • You call yourself mad.

          • Well if I called myself Nicespic or Happyspic then I would be scream at all the time when I did not agree with someones opinion. Anyways I find that most people on blogs are always writing nasty comments to people who don’t agree with them. Insulting is seems to be the trend. I try not to do it too much.

  14. One of the smartest things Harper ever did was to latch onto a group of people who believe that every time he looks bad it is the media’s fault. It is such an illogical and unreasonable premise, and yet unassailable because how can you reason with someone who is unreasonable?

    • Are you referring to yourself?

  15. May Calgary and Alberta be strong. Let us pray for the rebuilding efforts to go smoothly and may they be blessed with every success in the future.

    • Didn’t electing Mayor Nenji put Calgarians in Allah’s good books…???

      • Certainly not. Mayor Nenji is not a Muslim because he believes in the Aga Khan and true Muslims are only to believe in Allah SWT and no other god, etc.; therefore electing Mayor Nenji truly put Calgarians into the situation they are in now. When we do not glorify and submit totally and humbly to Allah SWT then floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, storms, volcanoes erupt – and disaster ensues. Calgary and everyone displaced by the flooding are in our prayers – may they all be safe, protected, continue in good health and may the rebuilding go as quickly as it possibly can.

      • Perhaps it is because of Nenji that Alberta and Calgary are being punished because he is not a true Muslim. He is an Ismaili – the Aga Khan’s followers lot. Bad people them be.

      • In Islam, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ) is part of the Quran, Sura Al-Baqara, Verse 156. The full verse is as flows:

        الذين اذا اصابتهم مصيبة قالوا انا لله وانا اليه راجعون “Who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say: ‘Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return’.”

        This is the phrase that Muslims recite when a person is struck by calamity in life, and is usually recited upon hearing the news of someone’s death.
        This can also be recited in any situation involving risk of any sort.
        The phrase is commonly translated as “Verily we belong to Allah, and to Allah we return.”

        Muslims believe that God is the One who gives and that it is He who takes away;
        He is testing humankind. Hence, a Muslim submits to Allah and is
        grateful and thankful to Allah for whatever they receive. On the other
        hand, they are patient and say this expression in times of turmoil and

      • The Whole World Is Always In Allah SWT’s Good Books And Good Hands.

      • I’m sure it did. Allah bless Canada and Calgary, Guide Her Ruler and Mayor Nenji. Guard Her Children, including Observant and Mumbejja, and Give Her Peace (especially the Islamophobic Quebecers). Ameen.

  16. Pity – Stephen Harper & the Conservative party are not going to be permitted by Allah SWT to hold their gathering in Calgary June 27-29 for its biennial policy convention. This is mainly due to their shenanigans. Even the Higher Powers That Be Disapprove Of You Conservatives. Sad.

    • I may not be a religious person but i do see the irony in it. You don’t need to believe in anything to enjoy their demise. all religious people that aren’t fanatical don’t like Harper. so this isn’t a religious thing. it’s flat out treason and greed and Harper is using his religious background like most religious leaders do to create fanatical loyalist that follow every word regardless of what others tell them.

      • I have to agree with you – you are right. Thanks for bringing me back on track on this argument. Much love to you. Keep those pearls of wisdom coming on these pages and more.

    • Perhaps Mayor Nenshi should beseech Allah SWT(?) to part the waters… or is it just Allah’s will that cannot be questioned? Perhaps it was a mistake to elect him mayor… ya think?

      • Nenshi is not a “Prophet Musa (“Moses”)” … sorry he therefore cannot beseech Allah SWT to part the waters. It was the worst mistake to elect Nenshi mayor, me thinks. Get him out of office and nature will calm down and Alberta and Calgary will be alright again.

  17. Unfortunately, Harper is the best of the worst….crook in a suit.

    • “…crook in a suit.”….. as opposed to a Quebec supremacist and a Quebec mafioso, both of whom would drain the RoC of $$$$$$$ before Quebec decides to proclaim independence. Might as well milk the Quebec-loving suckers in the RoC before leaving and partitioning Canada into an ungovernable mess.

  18. “It’s the economy, stupid”. Harper can get re-elected if the economy is doing reasonably well.

    That said. It is time for a reboot. Time to get rid of Toews, Nicholson, (and yes)Flaherty, O’Connor, demote van Loan, and put the next generation into cabinet The caucus problems are a partly a result of not enough movement out at the top. The old warhorses are locked into the fighting the last war, and they are apparently incapable of singing any new tunes. Time to promote the talented women in particular. “Paris is a moveable feast” It is time to move on.

    A simple constitutional resolution (after the Supreme Court reference is completed) to abolish the Senate would also be useful. Pass it, and then leave it in the hands of the provinces.

    I think it is better for Justin if he finishes 2nd next time, rather than gets the big prize first time out. It will give him time to discriminate who his true friends and allies are, and allow him to recruit a better slate for the election after.

    • Justin and Thomas (Tom in the RoC) will fight it out to the bloody end in Quebec and both will be isolated to Quebec because true and loyal Canadians in the RoC will NOT vote to elect another PM from anti-Canada, French-only Nation of Quebec… believe it.

    • Interesting cabinet recommendations. What do you think Toews, NIcholson, Flaherty, O’Conner, PVL will do once demoted? Would they drop out before the next election — or will they become the New Disgruntled Backbenchers? I think they would be extremely unhappy with the boss they’ve been supporting.

      Also, I noticed you don’t include Kenney, Baird — some of the other longterm cabinet. Why not — why are they different from Toews or Nicholson?

      • Harper’s new cabinet team will be his campaign team for the 2015 election. With some 30 new ridings mostly outside of Quebec, Harper will try to recruit candidates who can competently fill a post-election cabinet… and then the old dogs will be put out to pasture in cozy appointments. Of course, then there will be more by-elections and more new blood.

  19. The news of the day fades from memory? Yeah, thanks to corporate owned media it does:

    Who Killed Canada

    Media Ownership and the Radical Right in Canada

    Part 1, 2 & 3.
    Note: each video about 10 minutes

    No time for video?
    Read review instead:

    Mr. Hurtig begins by discussing the Canadian media and how we
    now have the greatest concentration of media in the western world. In fact, he states this would simply not be
    allowed in any other western democracy.

    And since these same media outlets control newspaper,
    television and radio news; we are essentially only being given one voice. There are few or no alternative views. As stated in the video, a healthy democracy
    should foster a healthy and independent news media.

    • May I assume that you support the SUNN application before the CRTC for mandatory carriage, rather than being dominated by Bell/CTV and CBCNN…???

  20. Canada’s Housing Bubble – can’t wait for our fraudulent
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Economouse (the four-foot F**K all) Jim
    Flaherty and Mark Carney to rightfully take the blame for it. Why the heck did they secretly introduce
    sub-prime mortgages into Canada?

    It’s all HERE, all the truth re Canada’s financial status
    (mostly Real Estate news) – yes, all the TRUTH you can stand… you’ll RARELY read
    any of this in the corporate owned MSM for obvious reasons (i.e. real estate
    companies buy loads of ads from newspapers in exchange for favourable happy
    spinned articles).


    • Do you only post your “information” when they let you out of your cage?

  21. Yes, Stephen Harper is an autocratic control freak who is starting to lose his control. I don’t count the Conservatives out in the next federal election as the party will likely have a good campaign organization. The Conservatives will need to get their loyalists out to vote. Will some right-to-lifers stay home because Harper won’t change the abortion laws?

    Justin Trudeau is the illusion of political rejuvenation. He appears youthful. However, his sense of democracy seems stuck in the neutral present. He continues to accept the existing appointed Senate as a legitimate institution. He will unlikely change it by seeking to make it elected or abolished. On the issues, he will likely continue with Harper’s policies, but with a youthful façade.

    Thomas Mulcair is a highly intelligent political street fighter. He is very knowledgeable in the issues. He knows the intricacies of fighting in Canada’s political system. He will need to get his ground-troop supporters campaigning at the local level in the next election.

    • Mulcair has to go and talk to the people as many time as it is feasible. He has answer a question when it is posed to him. If he does what Adrian Dix of the BC NDP did in the BC election then he is toast.

      • Mulcair and Trudeau will be rejected by voters in the RoC after the CPC attack ad machine slap-chops them into tiny lil’ quebecois patate frites…. LOL

        • I don’t doubt the CPC will go attack their opponents that way. They are much like the Republicans. And I presumed that their your type of party. The CPC don’t like to play nice, they like to bully and they like to misdirect people. Your type of people I guess.
          Now what I am hoping is for the other 65% to 70% not to be fooled by the CPC and elect one of the other two parties. My preference is for the NDP because Liberal party has not shown me that they have change. They might be going back to the way Chretien run the party.
          The NDP has one chance of ever coming back to power and I think its next election. They have to demonstrate how they will help keep the jobs from going out of the country. They will have to show how they want to help small and medium companies to survive. How they might improve health care and education. But most of all they can not do anything that might make them look like crazy lefties. They have but one chance because the electorate does not forgive the NDP. That has been proven in Ontario and this spring in BC. Conservative and Liberals can get away with running bad governments but not the NDP.

          • Good for you, madspic… you are tilting towards the NDP to save Canada from the Cons and Libs, and you are willing to give your reasons for your choice. Once an election campaign is in full swing, I see it as a contest between Harper and Mulcair, with Justin left to pedal with his leadershit training wheels on and going nowhere except for the horny university girl’s vote. You make many good points, but unfortunately for you, I suspect the Cons will make Quebec an issue, particularly since the current NDP caucus is filled with a ragtag bunch of Quebec incompetents and crypto-separatist… not a healthy team to offer Canadians wary of Quebec with another PQ government actively promoting separation.

          • MADSPIC,

            You are incorrect to accuse the US Republican Party of being the one with the attack ads:

            The Obama campaign was much worse in slandering Mitt Romney.

            Romney was so polite and passive, that during the final Presidential debate he didn’t even go after Obama on the Benghazi horror, where four Americans including their Ambassador we murdered by Islamic terrorists and Obama claimed it was all because of a video.

            And the Liberal Party of Canada is responsible for the dirtiest smut and crap ever produced during election campaigns. For example, their ‘soldiers in streets’ ad against Harper in 2006


      • Mulcair should shave his beard off.

        Not only does it make him look like a rodent, people tend to be less trustful of bearded men and women.

    • Next election, Justin and Thomas (Tom in the RoC) will be isolated to fight it out in Quebec where the Lib and Dip blood will flow copiously as they go for each others jugulars. Meanwhile Harper will sit back and flood the RoC with anti-Justin, anti-Mulcair, and even anti-Quebec attack ads asking true and loyal Canadians if either of these two jokers from anti-Canada, French-only Quebec are legitimate national leaders worthy to be PM of all of Canada. Somehow I suspect Canadians in the RoC will not want to put the welfare of the nation into the hands of Quebec supremacist Justin or Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair.

      • I feel like you think this would be a good idea — maybe for CPC, but do you really think such obviously divisive tactics really would work in RoC?

        • “..divisive tactics..”??? Oh, you mean like “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada”… “ PMs come from Quebec”… “..Dutch Disease..”… and many more such anti-RoC remarks coming out of les quebecois bouches du Justin et Thomas … a couple of real all-canadian leaders from the anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec uber alles…???!!!!! Yes, I think it will work fantastically…!!!

  22. I don’t buy it. Most of this is media hype (although I think the loss of Nigel Wright as PMO Chief of Staff was a serious blow to Harper). As the BC Election showed, voters care about the economy and jobs, not about what journalists and pundits think they should care about. Let me try writing a Paul Wells column for late 2015:

    “News of the day fades from memory. Between the 2011 and 2015 elections Harper endured a steady stream of allegations and missteps including the loss of two senators, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, to an expense-account scandal, and an MP, Brent Rathgeber, to internal party discord. His longest-serving chief of staff, Nigel Wright, resigned in disgrace for allegedly writing a personal cheque to cover Duffy’s outstanding expense bill. The RCMP has launched a criminal investigation into Wright’s cheque. Very little of it mattered on election day in 2015, and the Conservatives won a majority of seats in the Commons for the second time.”

    • Correction:– “…and the Conservatives won an even greater majority of seats in the Commons for a second time as true and loyal Canadians in the RoC flocked to the polls to vote for Harper, while Trudeau and Mulcair were isolated to Quebec.”

  23. Massive election fraud in 2011 perpetrated by the CPC under Harper, the missing and unaccounted for $3.1B, PMO writing cheque to cover Duffy’s crime, PMO being used as election campaign HQ to to spread “anonymous” slander on opposition leaders, the F-35s and helicopter contract that allow no competing bids, $10 million 2-panda rental from China, closing Canada’s busiest coast guard station whilst spending tens of millions on EAP ads and War of 1812 re-enactments (that don’t resonate with Canadians)….

    How much more of this incompetence can we take?

    • Okay, okay… enough with your Harper Hatred™… you’ve convinced me!! Now tell me who to vote for next election: — Quebec supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair. Surely you have a solution to the problem… tell us who is best for Canada… one choice only, please.

      • Ban Political parties, Vote for a local MP and a PM…… I Choose Ms May. For my local MP? My independent!

        The Parties Over!

    • SEE !!!!! Just another hit-and-run Harper Hate™ attack from the overworked trolls in the Liberal Butts Brigade cages… being fed bananas while working their political forum hatefest…. and not a peep about their leader-in-training Justin wobbling about on his training wheels ….lol

    • Notice how Observant never comments on the points you made? He only launches into that tired far right wing refrain of pointing the finger and calling you a hater.

      Since he didn’t comment on your points it was he who did the “hit and run” though it was more like a drive by smear. I don’t know who he thinks he’s fooling with it save himself.

      • YOU ARE WRONG, Allan Beveridge… because all that Gloat pointed out is true; there is a measure of incompetence in the Harper government. What I am attacking is Gloat’s open ended attack with no solution and that’s what I said in my first reply comment below. So far all we have is Gloat’s dung droppings and no solution to the claimed incompetence. You also spew your useless criticism without a solution in your posting above in the topic thread. If you only criticize without a solution, you are an incompetent and can be classified as a ‘hater’ only.

        • “all that Gloat pointed out is true; there is a measure of incompetence in the Harper government.”

          Actually, there is much more that is problematic than incompetence. To fix that, replace the incompetent people with competent ones.

          Although not a complete list, there is also corruption, cronyism, excessive centralism of policy by the PMO, excessive secrecy (ex. gutting by amendment Brent Rathgeber’s private members bill for greater transparency), the gagging and control of backbench MPs by the PMO, fiscal waste.

          Most of these problems could be solved by a change of leader.

          Alternatively, Harper could just start keeping his promises instead of doing the opposite.

        • Observant, Harper is very incompetent, clueless on governance, strategy, planning (except how to debase our democracy, cheat, steal elections, commit fraud etc.). We have succeeded not because of Harper but despite him.

          And I have offered many fiscal, governance and management solutions over the time I’ve posted.

  24. “How the control freak lost control” is a misleading headline. Harper has always been in control. He knew about the cheque, he authorized it, he tells people like Erica Meekes what to do, he appoints all of the cabinet clowns, he tells people when they can talk and what they can say. Harper is still pulling all the strings.

    He is Machiavellian, but he’s not entirely on the ball. He didn’t take into account that his shenanigans would backfire.

    • But he’s the best we’ve currently got for PM of Canada. Please tell us why we should vote for Quebec supremacist Justin or Quebec mafioso Mulcair … which is best to lead us out of the Conservative quagmire …??!!!

      • I don’t know why you see Mulcair as a mafioso. LOLOL. I see Harper as more of the Capo di tutti capi. The man who pulls all the strings of all his ministers and MPs.

        • Mulcair did live with the Liberal mafioso controlling the construction industry but never ratted out on his Liberal paisans for strictly political reasons. As for Harper, he learned how to lead and govern from the best — le petit garçon du Shawinigan …. the top control freak who in turned learned from another notable control freak… his mentor PET. That’s the only way Canada can be effectively governed with a Westminister parliamentary system. Of course should we ever again have another Liberal government with another leader from Quebec, the media maggots will rejoice at helping to overthrow the Western hick and have a more amenable leader to question, but gently gently.

      • Maybe Canada could rent Joe Biden. He’s not too busy, really. He is Catholic and speaks English.

        • sorry, Joe Biden is the Vice President. He knows Barrack Obama’s weakness on the basketbal court too.

          • Joe is just another RC lawyer… like Pierre, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin, even Mulcair… all RC lawyers from Quebec ..{{{shudder}}}

        • Maybe Canada could borrow Mitt Romney, a real conservative.

          He’s straighten this country out.

  25. If America decided to invade or annex Canada, would this P.M. ask them to leave?

    • America would be forced to annex the remainder of Canada if Quebec succeeds in separating, because a partitioned Canada cannot be governed and thus will be unstable. The Americans will justify annexing the RoC to maintain economic stability to “continental” North America. We would have no choice but to merge into the USA to save ourselves from a horrendous economic catastrophe upon the separation of Quebec … believe it.

      • So now we all know how stupid you really are.

  26. Erm your plane sir? Red White and Boooo!

    • Envy tinged with hatred …??!!!

      • Real leaders listen, Harper is not a leader.

        • He’s a bully who leads his caucus with bribes, whips, gags and shackles.

          • Better a successful Canadian bully than Quebec supremacist Justin or Quebec mafioso Mulcair … PM Stephen Harper – Tough Guy and Best Leader..!!!

  27. I think that now that Harper have a majority government we can realize the damage his ideology does to Canada . When he was a minority government we did not really made the distinction between what was progressive conservative party and a reform party. Now we have seen it in action. We see what he did to the econmy. an economy based on petrol, that have give a strong dollar that have dammaged the manufacturing sector of the east part of this country. Harper only govern for his base, located in the west. he was never and will will never been able to govern for the whole country. We have see Harper try to teaching the european about austerity measures. But the truth is that austerity measures never worked – there is not one exemple in history where cutting expenses of the public sector would improve an economy. The nobel prize economist joseph Stiglitz recently comented about this toxic idea. The right movement only bring social inegality. To stimulate an economy governments need to invest into the economy. The power of the money over the media have sold that whole idea about austerity …. We have see Harper cutting on scientifics – he does not want to see the truth about the dammage done to the environment, we have see Harper cut un unemployment insurance and treat people in need like they are fraudulent people…

    • Okay, so you oppose the Harper Conservative governments; now tell us who you believe can govern better… the Trudeau-led Liberals or the Mulcair-led NDP… both parties with leaders from anti-Canada Quebec. Otherwise all you have posted is for naught.. just nonsense with no solution.

  28. amazing that journalists are still able to fawn over PMSH this way. How many scandals, how many criminals in the PMO does it take for the media to stop being lickspittle to this unfortunate regime.

    • I’ll tell you what. Huddle with the commenter who said I was a comrade getting fitted out for an orange suite, and the two of you get back to me.

      • I still think the Ottawa media is in awe or fear and goes easy on him. After all, Paul, he cheats in elections, repeatedly. Combined with the masterful use of the modern tools of hate propaganda and personal destruction there’s cause for concern. There are no credible watchdogs.

        • OMG!!! What shall we do??? What is your solution to this criminality and incompetence??? Who is your choice for saviour of Canada… Trudeau or Mulcair… or perhaps there is no hope except to spew hatred to relieve your abject angst…???!!!!

          • Well you know what they say in politics: “It’s time for a change!”

          • A “change” yes… but a “disaster” no…. and both of the Quebec-based candidates would be a huge disaster for Canada… believe it… and that’s why all the hating trolls are ordered not to reveal their allegiances and just keep up the hatemongering as they have done since 2006… and without much success…. lol

      • Best not to weigh in. Stand above the fray and let the rest of us deal with it, eh what?

    • Sigh…

      This media bias meme is no more logical for the left as it is for the right. I get that it is frustrating that the media does not necessarily reflect your own personal opinion, but that does not make it biased.

      Unless the “reporter” is named Mike Duffy. :)

  29. “You’re associated with a certain quality, like good government, for a long time and it holds up under wear and tear,” the former Conservative staffer said. “And then one day it tips over. And once it tips, you’ve just lost it and you can’t get it back. You’ve just lost that characteristic.”

    Only in the minds of those drinking the kool-aid. Harper has never provided anything close to good government. All that is happening now is he can’t keep a lid on the cr@p anymore and it’s spilling out all over the place. .

    • … and your solution to the problem is what???? Which of the opposition parties and leaders do you believe can govern better… put up or shtfu… and only one alternate choice please..!!!!

      • no GST cut, cut personal taxes and we get more back than through the GST cut

        Do not spend stimulus funds on bogus vote buying exercises (over 30 B wasted by Harper)

        Do not allow sub-prime mortgages into Canada

        Do not add 1,500 propagandists to “spread the Reformer word”

        Do not mushroom basic expenditures by 33% in just 6 years (thats a couple hundred billion saved)

        Cut the ad budget back to what it was, quit funding churches (which we didn’t ever do before), scrap the Office of Religious Freedom

        No corporate tax cuts not tied to job creation, training or capital expenditures

        No billion dollar photo-ops like the summits

        Keep the census as it was

        Scrap the dumb on crime bill

        Save nearly 100 million by scrapping the tax credit for political contributions and return to the fair and cheaper tax credit

        quit giving billions to oil companies

        There’s a couple hundred billion right there…

    • Yes, Allan, what a ridiculous statement. A good government does not undermine democracy by messing with elections and voting.

      • You mean like the LPC in Guelph which was found guilty and penalized for their undermining of the election voting? Elections are a form of warfare, and the Chretien Liberals were masters of deception and deviousness when it came to rigging elections… remember? The Harper Conservatives were desperate in their quest for a majority government and did what they thought was necessary to win that majority… since dozey Canadians were still mired in their sweet liberalism, particularly women. As for “good government”, surely it must be conceded that PM Harper is riding high in the economic health of the nation… and that will be the deciding factor in any next election …. not all this National Enquirer rubbish being promulgated by the opposition and media party scrounging for every scrap of gossip and innuendo.

        • Observant spits:

          “dozey Canadians were still mired in their sweet liberalism, particularly women.”

          Insulting the Canadian electorate and women voters in particular is not a good strategy for winning elections.

          I suggest you pass that on to Conservative HQ, perhaps in a note with your next donation cheque.

          • Go crawl back into your Butts Brigade zoo cage and finish that banana you started….

          • Observant, take a pill. Better yet, take two, and call your shrink in the morning.

          • Thanks for your thoughtfulness… now vacate the forum and go watch tv.

      • No kidding, diane :) cheers my friend

  30. Wells writes: “He proceeded to prove his own point by creating a new, strongly conservative party and building to a majority by keeping his partisan base engaged and passionate.”

    Reviewing the years 2006 to present, where the Harper regime was actually governing rather than just pontificating, I see little evidence of ‘strong conservative’ policy.

    What ‘strong conservative’ policies is Mr. Wells referring to? Government spending and balanced budgets? Government openness and transparency? Sanctity of life?

    • Harper has said on many an occasion that he believes Canadians are adverse to “sudden” change in the governance of the country. Canadians have grown fond of liberal institutions and to eliminate some of these parasitic institutions of little to no value to the taxpayer would create howling masses marching in the streets in support of their madness. Canadians have been screwed up in their heads by the liberal goodies that can no longer be sustained in a competitive global economy… and that is the bitter reality now. Harper is treading cautiously and if that is perceived as “not conservative” or not catering to extremist views, then let them stand alone and see if they ever get elected again. Those that criticize Harper may only be mocking as part of their hatemongering strategy.

  31. Harper didn’t look to ambitious in his quick little trip to Calgary, mumbling a few forgettable platitudes and then I guess he headed back to Ottawa. How many hours was he in Calgary anyway?

    • Perhaps Harper should have been piling sandbags for dikes… like Chretien did during the Winnipeg flood when he called a snap election for his third majority government?! Chretien wasn’t criticised harshly by the media party for calling an untimely election and was lauded for his sandbagging photo op when visiting flooded Winnipeg. Harper is returning to Ottawa to govern Canada, and now has a better appreciation of the AB flooding as he organizes the federal response for aid. His time is best spent in Ottawa making plans instead of campaigning over the misery of Canadians… as Chretien did in Winnipeg.

    • He looked ridiculous in Calgary. The media edited his ramblings to make him look better, but in the live coverage, he talked about himself for several minutes before he got around to noticing the Albertans were suffering. Laureen and I looked at pictures; I can’t believe what I’m seeing; I talked to my mother on the telephone; it happened so fast; it looks so much worse than on the internet… Finally, he got around to the emergency workers and Albertans. He made no comment about federal help until asked and then he mumbled about formulas and numbers being plugged into them. If his speeches aren’t prepared and he doesn’t have a teleprompter, he’s on shaky ground – mainly because he’s so self-involved that other people come as an afterthought.

      By contrast, our mayor Nenshi was brilliant and Allison Redford managed not to talk about herself but about Albertans and what the province was doing and could do for them.

      • … and if he didn’t provide his personal feelings about the flooding and only offered stiff administrative talk, you would have accused him of lack of feelings and empathy. You Harper haters are always spinning in your dizziness trying mightily to find fault no matter what. Perhaps Harper was in a state of mild shock and found it difficult to express his feeling over the devastation of his home town. Ever think of that, you heartless hate-filled hag…??!!!

        • Are you Harper’s mother?

          No matter the issue, those that find fault or room for improvement with Steve are accused by you of ‘hate’ and suffer your foul pejoratives.

          If you’re not Harpo’s mother or father, do you work for the Conservative Party of Canada?

          • No, I’m not anybody’s “mother”…. but Maggie Trudeau in a public speech given a while ago said she was angry at those who “bully” her son in attack ads ….lol …. As for the hatred being spewed, how can you call that “find(ing) fault or room for improvement with Steve”, when it’s so obvious it’s Lib or Dip hatemongering and nothing more..??!!!

          • Observant, I notice you didn’t deny being on Harper’s payrole.

          • I’m a “freelancer”… because I love to prang the Lib-Dip hate trolls.

      • Nenshi has been formidable with some humour to coat the messages. Redford has real depth, credibility, and character. If I was out there i might vote Con myself, that’s PC I mean!

  32. HATE HATE HATE!!!… That’s all we get from the Liberal Butts Brigade of Harper Haters™ and the Dipper Dung Deviants… spewing non-stop hatred against PM Stephen Harper… since 2006 and even before!!!

    Such people would be classified as sociopaths except for the fact that their hate propaganda is being orchestrated by the lugubrious Liberal and NDP parties, all because they have nothing to offer Canadians. They claim they are only the “Opposition” and they must criticize and nothing more… so that justifies their harangues of hate. Of course, there are sociopaths who are steeped in their hatred and malevolence, but you can spot those head cases. The rest are coming from assigned trolls.

    So why do they resort to such devious and despicable hatred? It’s because they know their own leaders are highly flawed and truly not fit to lead nor govern… so they must resort to dragging down the PM of Canada with a stream of hatemongering filth, dirt, mire… coming out of their evil, shriveled minds and mouths. They are truly the mire of mankind… soooo obvious.

    • It’s more fear than hate.

      • OoOoOoOooh … I’m sooo scaaared …. or is it the hatemongers who are fearful because they never openly provide their solution to their hatred of Harper. Do they fear the fact that both their leaders come from anti-Canada Quebec .. one a Quebec supremacist and one a Quebec mafioso…???

    • My, my…read your own rant. You seem like quite a burnin’ ball o’ hatred your ownself.

      • NOT hatred, only anger at all the cowardly critics of Harper who will never provide their solution … only spewing hatred in the hope that the hatred will drive Canadians into the arms of the Trudeau Liberals or Mulcair NDP… and without thinking what a vote for Quebec leaders will do for Canadian unity. I shall be following all the Lib/Dip haters posting their mire with that covert intent to their hatemongering strategy. Time to put up or shtfu ya bunch of sociopaths and party trolls…!!!

        • I see…so your your mouth-frothing diatribes at Harper’s critics are merely anger but any negative commentary about Harper is “hatred”.

          Con supporters are nothing if not hypocrites, of whom you are a prime example.

          • ENOUGH IS ENOUGH … all you neurotic trolls have been spewing your open ended Harper Hatred™ since 2006 to no avail. You have failed and will continue to fail if you refuse to provide a solution. Now any further criticism must be accompanied by your solution to your perceived problem. You must tell us where you are coming from rather than hiding in the bushes of your hatred, and provide us with your preference for PM of Canada, if not Harper. That should be simple enough, because your neurotic almost psychotic stream of criticism and hatred is counterproductive to your trolling. Either provide a solution or shtfu… understand??!!!

          • Thanks for proving my point. Carry on.

          • As usual.. no solutions from the neurotic hatemongers… only insult and innuendo … what a pathetic bunch of losers.

          • Feel better, having vented all that hatred?

            Well then, my work here is done.

          • Yes… I do hate haters like yourself since you offering no solution for your open ended hatred… only ridicule as your only defense to protect your pathetic sociopathic hatemongering. Yes your work is done, now eat that banana supplied for you in the Liberal Butts Brigade cage.

          • You’ll notice that at no point in this thread did I express “hatred” toward anyone, even you.

            Among classic psychoanalysts, your particular defense mechanism is called projection.

            Look it up. It fits you to a T.

          • If you’re not a ‘hater’ then prove it by revealing who you support for PM of Canada come the 2015 election… otherwise shtfu …..!

          • Sorry, my friend, I don’t need to prove anything to you. And since you’re not the moderator of this board and I’ve said nothing offensive (nor even derogatory about your beloved Cons), I have no intention of shutting up.

            My, you seem to be a nasty piece of work…so much vitriol, so much venom, so much…I dunno’…hate.

          • IOW you are a nonentity … aka “troll”….lol

          • Projecting again?

          • Beatings cause a dog to be neurotic…. and you are taking brutal beatings on this fine forum… seek refuge in isolation ….lol

          • Observant’s rants are so ridiculous that I wonder if they are sincere.

            Perhaps they are intentional caricatures of a fiercely, blindly loyal servant of Harper’s, perhaps someone whose groceries and mortgage are paid by the Conservative Party of Canada or the PMO or an MP, someone who was once loyal by principal but now is loyal by economic need and memories of a shattered dream. Stuck in a rut, and nowhere to go.

            Also evident in Observant’s rants is the fear and frustration of things going rapidly south, as he challenges his accused ‘haters’ to provide superior solutions, for free no less. As if a serious person would respond in a serious fashion to a rabid, right-wing loon on the internet!

            It seems more reasonable that Observant is a Liberal or NDP supporter working feverishly to reinforce the nutiness of Harper’s loyalest followers, while providing the readers a few laughs.

            Nobody outside of a psychiatric hospital would knowingly act so foolishly.

          • Sounds like you’re ashamed to admit who your preferred leader and PM of Canada is because both les quebecois garçons are duds, losers, total failures… sooo obvious

          • Observant froths:

            “You must tell us where you are coming from rather than hiding in the bushes of your hatred, and provide us with your preference for PM of Canada, if not Harper.”

            Who is the ‘us’ you refer to?

            The CPC? The PMO?

          • “True and loyal Canadian”…. soooo obvious

        • But, part of the hidden Harper agenda is Quebec separation.

          Why are you spilling the beans? Are you drunk again?

          • Looks like you’ve spilled your bean brains… lol

    • Jack,

      Best see a doctor before you blow a gasket. You appear to be completely rabid. Is there spittle around your mouth?

      • Would you prefer a 140 character twitter brainlet blurt so as not to overwhelm and confuse your lack of intellect?

        • I forgot your twitter account – is it ‘rabid-right-wing-loon’?

          Now cool it, or you’ll blow your cover!

          • Your juvenile name-calling reveals your cover, loser… lol

  33. Anything these hard core good old boys would do would not surprise me. The male who sits in the PM chair is sooo full of himself he can’t see the truth if he had a mind to! They are so full of soft fascism they can justify anything! The past 2 years has been so full of their crooked behaviour that the general public should be horrified. but Canadians have a habit of being blind. I hope they pull another huge crime like the senator scandel then maybe Canada will WAKE UP!

    • Wake up to what? A Trudeau Liberal government? A Mulcair NDP government? Please provide us with your ONE choice to replace the current Harper CPC government… otherwise your complaining is futile nonsense.

  34. Justin Trudeau is clearly ahead in the polls. Polls represent the will of the people. Therefore, Harper should resign immediately and Justin Trudeau should be appointed Prime Minster.

    • Justin is not ready to be PM yet…. he needs a couple more years to mature into a legitimate leader in whom Canadians can trust to lead the nation and represent them internationally with a panache reminiscent of daddy Pierre. Meanwhile, he’s just fine pedaling furiously on his leadershit training wheels until his handler Gerald Butts completes the leader-in-training program. Give the boy some time… and don’t “bully” him or his mommy Maggie will be very angry …. believe it.

      • Justin is popular, good-looking and charismatic. And progressive. Therefore he should be appointed Prime Minster immediately. There is no need for an election, it just costs money. And only stupid and contemptible people support Harper, and such people’s opinions don’t count anyway.

        • Only if things were that simple, o’wise Hippocrates… even yesterday’s polls are only valid if elections were held yesterday too. Unfortunately, in our flawed democracy we require elections asking the ignorant masses who they want to lead them… and then there are the election campaigns by the politicians to ad insult to injury. Life sucks if you can’t wish away your pet peeves…!

  35. “You’re associated with a certain quality, like good government, for a long time and it holds up under wear and tear,” the former Conservative staffer said. “And then one day it tips over. And once it tips, you’ve just lost it and you can’t get it back. You’ve just lost that characteristic.”

    I think the Harper government is close to that point, where they will permanently lose the perceived quality of ‘good government.’

    With two years before the next election, is there sufficient time for the Conservative Party to elect a new leader? If not, they seriously risk losing at least their majority in 2015.

    • Concomitantly, the Liberal party has lost it’s mojo as well as four (Martin, Dion, Iggy,Rae) party leaders, thus suggesting they have exceeded their tipping point and are experiencing a downward momentum… even though their new leader seems to be a shining photon but without political substance. The test will require an election and not spurious polls two years before an election. I have serious doubts that Justin will survive as Liberal leader by 2015 basically because he doesn’t have the right stuff to fight an election nor lead. He’s just an actor on stage mouthing words provided by his handler Gerald “The Brains” Butts.Once the Mulcair NDP start to take serious shots at Justin… watch out …!!!

      • Justin is learning the ropes of what a leader of a political party entails. I think two year is a long time. In my opinion this summer he should be hitting all the events he is invited to, specially from his MPs. As for Gerald Butts he better get working in getting Trudeau to comment on things. Still have not heard anything from him with regards to what has happened in Alberta.
        Harper should call an election as soon as possible for the seats vacated by Rae, Coderre so we can see Justin and Mulcair duke it out. That will be a good test for both as to can better convince the electorate.

        • Justin declared there would be “generational change” in HIS Liberal party come the 2015 election. Just look at the list of all the old dog Liberal MPs with the title “Honourable” before their names who will NOT get nomination protection in their ridings according to Justin’s candidate policy… “NO protected ridings”… that’s what Justin said… so all those old dog MPs will either retire gracefully or by push-purged out the door by youthful Justin…lol

    • I don’t see him leaving. Specially because of what happened in Alberta and because I don’t think he wants to be seen as been less a leader than Trudeau. Resigning would mean that he was not up to par with Justin.

      • Good point, madspic…. and Harper helped elect the Liberal leader he wanted … Quebec supremacist Justin…. by producing a preemptive attack ad against BoboRae, and it worked beautifully. So, now the choice for Canadians is an All-Canadian PM from Alberta, or a couple of garçons quebecois who have already declared their devotion to anti-Canada Quebec..!!

        • He’s no Quebec supremacist, but we know Harper is a white supremacist, he was a major player in the Northern Foundation along with Conrad Black. And even if he was I’d take him over a pathological lying, cheating, fraud artist and narcissistic sociopath like Stephen any day.

          • Try putting that in a Lib/Dip attack ad… whereas we can see and hear Junior sneering that “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada…”… as well as other well documented Quebec supremacist statements made in French in Quebec of course… because he says something diametrically different in the RoC to all the libertine groupie women who swoon at his visage… a louche scaramouche frenchie hunk …. and then there are the Toronto gays too…lol

  36. Wells forgets to mention that the only reason the Conservatives won a majority in 2011 was because of vote-splitting between the Liberals & NDP in the GTA. The Orange Wave caused the Liberal numbers to tank, and a huge number of Liberal seats went Conservative as a result. Still, Harper only won by a small margin in many of those ridings, and many of those went to litigation, one all the way up to the Supreme Court. They have also lost Labrador since the last election.

    • … and that’s why Harper feared that BoboRae might run for the Liberal leadershit and reclaim all those GTA ridings… so the CPC produced that preemptive attack ad while Bob was contemplating a run for the leadership….. and it worked. Harper has the Liberal leader he preferred and now feels confident he can retain all those GTA ridings in 2015 because Ontarians will not vote to elect another PM from Quebec…. Quebec supremacist Justin or Quebec mafioso Mulcair …lol

    • What we should have really done after the last election was add the NDP and Liberal vote together and declared them the winner. That would have been the democratic thing to do. That’s what the people really want.

      • They can do that themselves if they want, when the arrive at the House for the first time. Coalition government. Used around the world. Nothing wrong with it.

        • Trudeau and Mulcair have renounced, denounced and announced they would not work towards a merger or coalition in the 2015 election… so case closed. Of course, that’s only a politician’s promise that isn’t worth much more than spit.

  37. In spite of every dirty trick to the contrary. Canadians should read article in that wonderful on line newspaper the Tyee – ‘How Harper’s Office is Playing News Editor’

    • Isn’t Tyee a Dipper-licking left wing rag ..???

      • If the Tyee hates Harper then the Tyee is good.

        • Yes… the Tyee hates Harper… so you believe that hate is “good”!!

          • If it’s progressive hate, then yes. Everything progressive is good. Just think about the word “progressive”, silly. How can anyone be against proress?

          • So progressive’s hate is good, and conservative’s hate is bad …. aaaaah, now I get it…. but what if you don’t hate anybody, what does that make you, a corpse…??!!!!

  38. “He could then bring in a new round of targeted tax cuts designed to buttress his argument that smaller government is better government.”

    That’s the issue that prevents my support…the fact he has not reduced spending / size of gov’t.

    • Harper has reduced spending but he had to go into deficit because of the 2008 global recession. In fact the Lib-Dip opposition threatened to vote no confidence in the minority government if Harper didn’t spend even more money into debt. As for size of government, the public service will very soon be encountering massive retirements by baby boomers, and their replacements had to be hired now to train them for replacement. You just don’t wait until somebody retires and then look for untrained applicants. Harper’s hiring policy is prudent and cautious too. Your assessment is not only flawed, it’s based on ignorance and emotion.

      • Harper has dramatically increased the size of the public service, and only you are ‘igorant/emotive’ to attempt to deny it. You then, after trying to deny it, contradict yourself by stating he did increase spending and you then blame the opposition. Yes, the opposition would have been much worse, but no you are simply and completely wrong when you say he has cut spending. Facts don’t lie. He has increased spending. Period.

        And then, knowing you have no leg to stand on, you ironically try to strengthen your post by using ad-hominem attacks in your last sentence.

        I want a conservative government, and Harper is not, as judged by his actions, a conservative.

        • And if Harper hadn’t increased spending during the 2008 global recession, the Canadian auto industry would have collapsed and Obama would have repatriated it back to the homeland under Buy American legislation. So you would have sacrificed the Ontario-based auto industry to satisfy your doctrinaire desires to chop everything to the bone and see what’s left standing. Your idea of government is not “conservative” because nobody in their right mind would support what you advocate. Now bugger off.

          • He wasted over 1/2 the stimulus package (and he in fact spent 50% more than the opposition called for) on vote buying rather than on infrastructure which creates real jobs and not a few McJob’s.

            Harper is fiscally incompetent, period.

          • You’re so right. Harper has sent Canada into the economic abyss. We’re done for. We’ve got the worst economy in the world now, after the Liberals made it the best. Any Canadian would be better off living in Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, that’s how bad Harper has made things.

          • +1

          • But Harper had to spend all that money to buy the votes of Canadians so he could get a majority government and break out of the minority cesspool. Past Liberal leaders have shown that this is the only way to trick Canadians into voting for them. Harper just followed the Liberal strategy and it worked. He isn’t fiscally incompetent, it’s Canadians who say “what’s in it for me and I’ll vote for you if you come through for me” that is the cause of the huge debt a la PET…!!!

      • The real source of the deficit isn’t the small and very temporary stimulus package. It’s the series of massive tax cuts. Eliminating a bunch of low-cost, high-value items like the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy won’t make up for those cuts. Harper would have been better off following Paul Martin’s Liberal prescription: use the taxes to pay off the debt. Then tax cuts would have been possible while continuing to govern decently.

  39. ooops

    • I’m a non-prophet atheist ………

      • Go then and sin no more you profitless atheist … thou shall have no rewards in heaven.

  40. Harper will win in 2015

  41. This is a guy who is wasting tax payer’s money to appeal a decision about face coverings during swearing in ceremonies that the courts already ruled on. He is doing this because HE finds it offensive. He continually tries to speak for ALL Canadians and continually has no clue what Canadians want. It has always been about what Harper wants. Use your OWN freakin’ money asshat. I don’t give a shit if her face is covered since her identity was established beforehand. It doesn’t infringe on anybody’s else’s rights so leave it alone. What is Canadian is respecting the rights of others when we can do so.