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Awaiting the Stephen Harper comeback

He’s not going to quit. Paul Wells has the reasons why.


 

Adrian Wyld/CP

Colleague Taylor-Vaisey notes this morning that highly equivocal columns abound lately, in which the stars of the Bytown commentariat say Stephen Harper should maybe kind-of sort-of quit so we can… I’m not sure… make fun of somebody else, I guess.

Noticing the rather tentative nature of these predictions (“less and less far-fetched” — Hébert; Conservatives “might also need fresh leadership” — (Tim) Harper; “Might maybe might maybe might” — Den Tandt (I quote from memory)), Nick asks me to make sense of it all.

Happy to help, Nick. Three things. First, you can add Lawrence Martin and Paikins père and fils to the should-he-stay-or-should-he-go crowd. Steve Paikin wrote his blog item positing a summer Harper resignation way back in early March, and they all laughed. Well, as a wise man named Ira Gershwin once said, they all laughed at Rockefeller Centre, now they’re fighting to get in. Still, now that we’re up to six (more or less mealy-mouthed) predictions of a Harper departure, we are not far from triggering Wells’s Second Rule, which holds that if everyone in Ottawa knows something, it isn’t true.

Second, what ever happened to bold predictions? If you think the PM’s going to quit, don’t be shy, guys.

Third, he’s not going to quit. There are still reasons to expect a Conservative Party led by Stephen Harper to win the next election, and at any rate, reasons to suspect his resignation this summer is highly unlikely. Let’s look at a few:

1. Conservative doldrums and Liberal sugar highs usually don’t last. An Ipsos poll a couple of weeks ago put the Conservatives at 30%, compared to the Trudeau Liberals at 36%, with the NDP at 27%. That’s a 6-point Liberal advantage, and Ipsos says it’s growing. This should be preoccupying the Conservatives, and I’m pretty sure it is. But it’s hardly unprecedented. Éric Grenier’s blog includes a compilation of 35 years of Environics federal horse-race polls, and it suggests that Liberals often do well when Canadians aren’t voting, and conservative parties often dip between votes.

Jean Chrétien spent most of his years as Liberal leader at roughly 50% in the polls. He’d dip nicely just in time for each election. Even in his first campaign leading to his biggest majority, in 1993, he ended up substantially lower than he’d been polling. The worst polling months of John Turner’s career were the month of the 1984 election and the month of the 1988 election. As long as nobody was voting, Turner was fine. Martin, Dion and Ignatieff each gave the Liberals a 10-point boost in the first months after becoming leader. Each brought the party to a lower election result than the last. The Reform/Canadian Alliance/Conservative picture is the reverse: Election days in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 all represent local spikes in voter support for those parties.

2. Running a campaign is hard. There’s nothing like being a national leader in a general election campaign. It’s a huge enterprise, you’ve got hundreds of candidates saying the craziest things, you have a busload of surly reporters on your ass and for a break, you get to engage the other leaders on national TV in 90-minute French and English slanging matches. Leaders tend to get better at it as they go along, which is why it took Harper two tries to defeat Paul Martin. At the next election, if he stays, he’ll be the only national leader (besides Elizabeth May) who’ll have done any of this before. It’s a huge advantage.

3. Replacing a leader blows an incumbent party’s advantage. My limited reading suggests Australian political commentary is much more familiar with the notion of “incumbency” than is Canadian punditry. It’s a simple notion: voters tend to focus on leaders, and a voter who’s supported a leader once will likely do so again. Most people who voted Conservative in 2011 were doing so for the third or fourth election in a row. Maybe you don’t like Stephen Harper, but they do. It would take a lot to shake that confidence. But if he’s no longer the leader, they are free to consider their options. That’s what Liberal voters did after Pierre Trudeau stopped leading the party, and then again when Jean Chrétien did. It’s what Progressive Conservatives did after Mulroney retired. Incumbency, and its lack, helps explain why the NDP’s worst result came in 1993, after it won its best result to date in 1988: Because Ed Broadbent stepped down as leader, and loyal NDP voters started to consider other options.

For these reasons and others, I suspect we’ll have Stephen Harper around for a while yet. Whatever trouble the Conservative Party is in, it will be in worse trouble if he quits. And to a greater extent than most leaders, Harper’s pride is bound up with the long-term success of his party: if he left the leadership and the Conservatives were routed, he would take this, not as proof of his irreplaceable greatness, but as evidence that he’d failed to construct a durable conservative political movement. So I won’t be writing my Farewell-Harper(?) column anytime soon.


 

Awaiting the Stephen Harper comeback

  1. Wells is still waiting for the chess game.

    • While EmilyOne keeps playing checkers! Having fun?

      • The game is called ‘Go’ actually.

        And I believe you said you were done on here. Make it so.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Cons need to learn English

          • Why… just to respond ungrammatically in 140 character twitter blurts as all the Harper Haters™ seem to do ….?

          • As in. Baing stilly?

          • As in knowing the meaning of various words.

      • The only people who have been speculating on PM Harper leaving are the Leftwingnutz who have only wishful thinking, rose coloured glasses, lollipops, fairy tales and unicorns to help them make it through their dreary moribund days.

        Just like the poster who precedes you on this thread Francien…….: )

        • Perhaps Canadians need to believe in unicorns and fairies to support Bill C-377 – An act to amend the Income Tax Act.

          From Open parliament May 31 –

          http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-1/C-377/

          Alexandre Boulerice

          Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

          “Mr. Speaker, a union is made up of workers. When you attack a union, you attack workers.

          What do they have against workers?

          Information provided by the Commissioner of Lobbying proves that Bill C-377 is actually a government bill disguised as a private member’s bill.

          The member for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale met with none other than the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff, the incomparable Nigel Wright, on this matter.
          That is not all, however. According to the Commissioner of Lobbying, representatives of Merit Canada also attended those meetings.

          Why was the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff interested in a private member’s bill? ”

          (Perhaps someone will want to ask him when he explains about the cheque?)

          Quote from May 29 Senate Standing Committee on Banking Trade and Commence presentation by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

          http://www.cga-canada.org/en-CA/SpeechesPresentations/ca_pre_2013-05-29_bill_C-377.pdf

          “Some may argue providing more financial information will bring about increased transparency, promote good governance and improve accountability. But yet, unions disclose financial information to those who oversee their activities – their members.

          It is argued that Bill C-377 is necessary because union members benefit from a tax deduction for their dues. Yet, this measure is not unlike the tax deduction accessed by many other Canadians, including our own members, with respect to professional dues.

          The policy intent of this deduction is to recognize that there are certain costs associated with the maintenance of professional status which are often employment requirements. In fact, in many cases, these dues are paid by employers directly and therefore professionals cannot use the tax benefit. I would hope that it is not Parliament’s intent to bring about
          similar legislation for other organizations including professional associations.

          In fact, in many cases, these dues are paid by employers directly and therefore professionals cannot use the tax benefit. ”

          http://www.wgc.ca/files/WGC%20Oral%20Presentation%20to%20the%20Senate%20on%20Bill%20C%20377F%20v4.pdf

        • …What’s wrong with lollipops, fairy tales, and unicorns?
          Sweet treats to reward a child’s good behavior, epic tales to inspire children to seek to perform to their potential (or caution them on acts most perilous!), and a mythical creature, rare and full of beauty and majesty, that only the worthy and noble of spirit may chance?

          A far sight better than being “Little America”. Seriously, have you seen the US lately? I don’t want to live in that.

      • Meanwhile you, and partisans like you, are playing Simon Says.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • LOL Harper has accomplished zilch.

        • Sure Harper has accomplished something Emily? All Harper has to do is, ratify his FIPA deal with Communist China. China will take Canada over, for a minimum of 31 years. Won’t that be fun?

          • Harper has accomplished zilch….and dude….Canada is a trading nation. It’s how we started in fact.

            We trade with lots of countries….they don’t take us over….stop being silly

          • Good gawd!! You totally missed the point. Harper has accomplished absolutely nothing for Canadians. Everything Harper has accomplished is for China’s benefit, not ours. Harper has shut Canadian citizens right out, for any benefits from our resources. Canadians don’t even get the damned resource jobs. Harper gave those to China too.

            Have you read Harper’s FIPA deal with China? Do you know of? Harper’s Omni-Bull-S-Bill that permits China to sue Canada, if anyone tries to block China from taking the resources and the resource jobs?

            In what way, am I “baing stilly”?

          • Do you have to work at being that obtuse or, does it just come naturally to you?

            Why then, did Harper give the 200 BC mining jobs to China? Did you not hear of China suing in BC, to take the BC mine jobs?

            Do you not know? Harper permitted China to bring over their own cheap oil workers, to the tar sands?

            You are the most dim bulb, on this entire board. Gee whiz!! Does Canada really trade with other country’s. Let us see your reaction to this one.

          • Listen DW….I work in global development analysis…..it’s my field….so stop being an ignorant loudmouth schnook on here.

            He didn’t GIVE jobs to anybody…..a) they aren’t his to ‘give’, and b) there aren’t just X number of jobs in Canada, nor are they ‘ours’.

            Northern Ontario….and Alberta tar sands…. have thousands of jobs they can’t fill. CANADIANS DON’T WANT THEM

            So we bring in anyone willing to work

            And here are the trade deals

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade_agreements_of_Canada

          • Oh really, how strange? What jobs are they? Then, who brought the Chinese into the tar sands? Who gave China the 200 BC mining jobs, over 300 BC miners applied for?

            Really weird about those thousands and thousands of jobs. My son is an Electronics Engineer for the petroleum industry. He was thinking of switching over to, a Mining Engineer. However, the BC mining jobs Harper gave to China. I told he and his University buddies to apply overseas, there is nothing in this country for them. They soon realized I was right. There are thousands of University, College and Trade School Grads, who want to know where those thousands of jobs are. Mostly they are told, they are not hiring at this time.

            Who can these Grads apply to? What are the job positions? These kids will take any jobs, in the resource fields.

            Actually, I have known since grade school, Canada trades with other country’s. Harper screwed up with some country’s, that used to be our friends.

            What about the nine mines and mine expansions, going into Northern BC? Who do they contact for those jobs? China perhaps?

          • Canada has thousands of jobs we can’t fill…..have had for years. It’s why we bring in workers, temporary and otherwise. Canadians don’t want them or are not qualified for them. Cripes, google this stuff.

            Canada started with trade…beaver pelts, remember?

          • Good grief!! Is that the field you work in? Figures.

          • I cannot believe that I am saying this, but Emily is right. There are many jobs in Canada that Canadians won’t, or cannot do. We allow others do do those jobs, because they need to be done. I am not sure if you remember, but awhile ago, in one of the maritime provinces, they tried to make a rule that people must accept a job, even if it is a distance away, or they would lose employment insurance. There was an uproar. How dare the government say that people must move for work. So they sit on insurance, and we import people to do these jobs. There are many people who will work for peanuts in Edmonton, but would never even think about going 4 hours north to Fort McMurray, for a lot more money.

      • Actually the Con attack ads backfired and improved Trudeau’s poll numbers while lowering their own, so that was a boner of a move. There, fixed that for you.

      • Puerile post positively posted by a political poltroon. Observant phew.

      • I guess you didn’t know? In Harper’s earlier shady political days, he tried to have Alberta separate from Canada.

    • Harper is no Conservative, what-so-ever. Harper isn’t even honest about that. He was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation Party of 1989. Harper’s Caucus called him a control freak? They were bang on. Harper hired his good buddy, Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front as, security for Preston Manning. Wolfgang Droege was murdered in 2005. That is where Harper’s Dictatorship and, being a control freak stems from.

      In this neck of the woods. People are furious at Harper for giving Canada to Communist China. Harper brought China into the tar sands. China refused to pay Canadian wages. Harper permitted China to bring over their own, $800 per month oil workers. Harper also gave China Nexen.

      Harper’s Omnibus Bill gives China the right to sue Canada if, anyone blocks China’s intrusions into our country. Therefore, China sued in BC, to take the 200 mining jobs away from BC miners. Chinese miners also earn, $800 per month. There are nine mines and mine expansions going, into Northern BC. Wonder who Harper will give those jobs to?

      Then, there is Harper’s FIPA deal with Communist China. That means there will be thousands and thousands of Chines brought over, to take the resource jobs. China will take Canada over for a, minimum of 31 years. FIPA also means, China will take the timber and the mines on, Vancouver Island. Harper is bringing China, into the rich resources of the High Arctic.

      Everyone I know signed the petition against, Harper’s FIPA deal with Communist China.

      However. Harper as a control freak and a Dictator? We no longer have any rights to object to Red China, setting up shop right onto our Canadian soil. Other country’s are also angry with Harper, over this utter foolishness as well.

      • No, Harper is not a Conservative….but then neither are you.

        WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS IN THE WRONG CENTURY???

        • What ever that means. I just said, Harper was no Conservative. Never was.

          • True….but then China isn’t communist either

          • China now practices something called “state-controlled capitalism,” they are no longer communist in any sense of the word.

          • What in the hell do you think? “state-controlled capitalism” is?

          • What about, Chinese still worship Mao? What about the Chinese people’s Human Rights. Why is China, North Korea’s ally? Strangely, some people, just seem to vanish in China. This is the country, Harper was stupid enough to permit in Canada.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk

            globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com

          • No, they don’t worship Mao, and never did.

            Daily Mail is a tabloid. You might want to read something more realistic

            China has been a civilization for 5000 years. Canada is an upstart in comparison

            And btw Chinese have been in Canada for eons…it’s our third largest language.

          • Which one? They have more than one language…

          • Standard Mandarin.

          • I love their buffet. Great selection! LOL! But it isn’t our third largest language – at least not according to your beloved Wikipedia. Of those Chinese who specified language spoken, Cantonese far outstrips Mandarin. There is a pool of non-specified Chinese that is even larger but unless it skews heavily to Mandarin then Cantonese is more common. But Spanish, Italian and German all rank higher; even Punjabi ranks high than the specified number of Cantonese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Canada

            However, these numbers are from 2006; according to CBC, the 2011 census shows “… that the most common immigrant language in Canada was Punjabi, reported by 460,000 people. When Punjabi speakers are grouped together with others who speak a closely related language such as Urdu, their numbers total 1,180,000.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/10/24/census-language.html

            Just sayin’…

          • You said Mandarin. My point was Cantonese is more widely spoken in Canada (at least according to the 2006 census as reported in the Wikipedia article).
            If you are counting all Chinese languages, then – if you look at the article I posted – Punjabi and related languages has a slight edge over Chinese languages. The article you post gives ALL Chinese languages when giving its total but does not account for related languages when it ranks Punjabi below “Chinese” – i.e. not an apples-to-apples comparison.

          • Actually I said Chinese…..you just like to argue

          • Recap, since you are having trouble following the thread: You said Chinese is our third biggest language. I then asked which Chinese language; you said Mandarin. I showed you an article that says Cantonese has the bigger number of speakers. Neither of which, by themselves, come close to placing third. Punjabi, for one, ranks higher.

            If you lump the Chinese languages together, they come close. But if you are going by close linguistic families, Punjabi and its close linguistic relatives again have a slight edge and take third spot.

            And yes I do like to argue. But isn’t that a pot-and-kettle kind of statement? ;-)

          • I’m not having any trouble at all….Chinese is our third biggest language

            You, like always, choose to argue tangents.

          • From the CBC article I cited earlier:

            “The census shows that the most common immigrant language in Canada was Punjabi, reported by 460,000 people. When Punjabi speakers are grouped together with others who speak a closely related language such as Urdu, their numbers total 1,180,000.

            “Chinese languages are a close second, with a total of 1,113,000 people speaking Cantonese, Mandarin or other Chinese tongues.”

            “Chinese” is not a language. If you lump the various Chinese languages together in a group, then in order to have a fair comparison you have to do the same with other closely related languages. As done by the CBC.

            But of course, as always, the Great Wise Emily is incapable of admitting she spoke – erroneously – off the cuff…

          • Did you even read what you linked to? Opening line: “Chinese (汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ or 中文 Zhōngwén) is a group of related language varieties, several of which are not mutually intelligible, and is variously described as a language or language family“.

            Another line: “The internal diversity of Chinese has been likened to that of the Romance languages…”

            [Emphasis mine; note the comparison to Romance languages – same as one I made earlier in this chain]

            So like I said, even if you combine the various languages and call them “Chinese”, then an apples-to-apples comparison means you have to do the same with Punjabi – as done in the CBC article.

            It’s really odd that you point to an article that backs my every assertion, and then you think it proves your case.

            BTW – did I tell you that I did several linguistics coiurses in university, and have read a number of books on the topic over the years? I have a more than passing familiarity with this topic…

          • I read it the last time I posted it months ago…..there is a Chinese language. Period.

            You don’t even have a passing familiarity with this topic….next you’ll be telling me about your Chinese neighbour. LOL

          • We have never discussed this before, Emily; I’m afraid you are getting senile…
            And like I said, go back and read the article you linked to. Look at the Census stats. Do a little studying on linguistics. This is an area of interest for me; I know what I’m talking about. Brushing me off with sarcastic comments doesn’t change the reality of the fact that you don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Yeah we have…..trade as well.

            I don’t intend to ‘discuss’ it again. Especially with someone who doesn’t speak Chinese.

            Ciao

          • Calling Cantonese and Mandarin “Chinese” is like lumping French and Italian together (call ’em “Romance” if you need a name).

          • You don’t speak either of them, right?

          • Do you? I know people who do.

          • They are both the same when written,

          • Forget it. Trying to get through to some people is, an exercise in futility. That some of the Chinese still worship Mao, was just on a documentary. However. No doubt that documentary, will be a crap TV channel as well. Do I dare say, PBS?

            I guess the Chinese people at the tar sands, that send their money back to China?? Live in Canada?? How strange. They say, there are 2,500 Chinese miners on their way here too. I wonder why, seeing all those Chinese miners live in Canada?

            Does that make any sense to you Keith? China sued in BC to take the mining jobs. AND, they have been in Canada for eons?

          • That’s because some people…..who actually work in the field….know what they’re talking about…..and you don’t.

          • You pick tomato’s out of a field. That’s about it.

          • Maoism hasn’t been in vogue in China since the late 70s/early 80s.

            It’s now all about the Dengism.

          • I am well aware of Mao. However. There are Chinese, that still worship Mao.

            Did you happen to see on the telly? The Communist young people, had a long row of computers. They work at, hacking into other country’s secret files. This time China hacked into, the U.S. secret files.

            The Chinese people, work for the state.

          • Dear gawd, you’re hopeless

            Do us all a favour and look up the word ‘propaganda’…..and then ask yourself how likely it is that we’d have film of Chinese hacking!

          • You are a total brain dead idiot. You have no clue what is going on, what-so-ever. China has shown much more, than just hacking. That documentary was on PBS. Why are other country’s, booting China out of their territories? Read about China and the blood diamonds. China also sold, infected electronic components to other country’s. U.S. missiles and other weapons had, infected components purchased from China. There was a worry, planes could fall out of the sky. The U.S. and China were in a stand-off in the Philippines. In Ghana, they detained Chinese miners. They were mining illegally. China has no respect for other country’s mine claims, China just takes them. South African people, were cheated out of their wages by China. Those people were paid $100 per month.

            If you like Harper’s FIPA deal with China, that’s up to you. Most Canadians want nothing to do with China, what-so-ever. We sure in the hell don’t want China, in Canada for 31 years.

          • It’s my field doofus….what I do every single day.

            You have what…..grade 4?

            And a bad case of racism

          • I am baing stilly? You will never convince me you do anything, in any field…except pick tomato’s. Actually, I am a retired O.R.T.

            I have nothing against the Chinese people what-so-ever. I have had a Chinese family as friends and neighbors. Why do you think the Chinese came over here for? They detest the Chinese government. The last thing the Chinese Canadians want is, Harper’s FIPA deal with China. They know all about Chinese peoples Human Rights, they don’t have any. They came over here for freedom and, a chance for a better life. Much of China’s farmland is polluted. 40% of China’s water is poisoned. The Chinese people here, don’t want that to happen in Canada.

          • No, because you’re an ignorant loudmouth who knows nothing whatever about the topic.

            And kindly don’t pull the ‘some of my best friends are Chinese’, sonny…..cuz nobody’s buying it

          • Really? I have a sister-in-law, who is Chinese. The entire family, loves her to death. We love teasing Sue Chen because, she blushes so easily. We call her Suzy.

            Do you know? Child laborers in China, only earn pennies a day. Chinese going to an apple factory looking for work? They must sign, they will not commit suicide. Chinese pensioners get, $8.75 per month. China’s minimum wage is, $236 per month. China is a very wealthy country and, this is the way they treat their people?

            You had better be very careful, of what you wish for.

          • LOL oh now you’re even related to a Chinese!

            Sorry, not listening to your drivel anymore. You’re just mouthing off, and ignorance is boring. Ciao.

          • The Chinese people work for capitalist market-oriented state owned enterprises.

            So do a few Canadians I might add.

          • No dear, they’re not

            Where were you when the century changed?

        • Most analyses I have seen on FIPA agree it is a bad deal for Canada. There was quite a bit about it here on Maclean’s. Why do you think it is a GOOD deal?

          • China is booming, we are going downhill. Everyone in the world wants to trade with China…..and we have an agreement already in place!

            We are very lucky….and what we need now is expansion.

          • But not necessarily at any cost. You still say nothing to counter the widely held opinion of many experts that it is a bad deal. Will this really lead to expansion, or merely the wholesale export of our resources to China?

          • Why are you convinced Canadians are so stupid they’ll be bamboozled by a bunch of foreigners??

            Yo some po country folk with no larnin’ are ya?

          • I think FIPA is heavily skewed in China’s favour. That’s based on analyses done by others with a much better background than me in this knd of stuff. And getting out of the agreement is far more onerous than is normally found in such agreements.
            i.e. the playing field is not level, and once we enter it we’ll be stuck fighting an uphill battle for parity for years, even if we attempt to leave right away.
            I don’t think Canadians are stupid; I think they have been deliberately kept in the dark. About FIPA, and about the EU agreement in the works.
            I’m not sure if the CPC is collectively stupid or deliberately traitorous (remember those warningsfrom the CSIS chief a few years back about Canadian pols being under Chinese influence?). But FIPA, from all I’ve read, is not a good deal for us.

          • But you also think the EU one is heavily skewed in favor of the EU. And you said the same thing about NAFTA.

            In other words, you prefer protectionism….and you expect to get screwed.

          • NAFTA, over all, has been good to us – except when the Americans choose to ignore it. Its biggest flaw is a lack of teeth.

            But the process followed to put that in place was open and subject to lots of debate. Unlike the current two. And yes, given who is running the show, I think we will get screwed. That doesn’t make me “protectionist”; that makes me someone who wants a fair and even playing field.

          • LOL there wasn’t lots of debate, there was lots of screaming over things that weren’t true…

            Negotiators are running it…..same group that does other trade deals……and unless you have reason to think they’re ‘working for the other side’…..there is no reason to mistrust them

          • She just doesn’t get it. Harper gave huge chunks of the tar sands to China on China’s terms. China gets that oil, very, very cheaply. China brings their own skilled $800 per month oil workers. The Chinese send all of their money, back to China. That money doesn’t even get spent in Canada. Harper already gave Nexen to China. Harper is bringing China into, the rich resources of the High Arctic. China is bringing their own workers for those jobs too. China sued to take, the BC mining jobs. They brought their own miners over here. There are nine mines and mine expansions, going into, Northern BC. They too earn, $800 per month. With FIPA, China will take the timber and mines on, Vancouver Island. China will bring their own miners.

            She can’t see? All the money is going out of Canada, with very little being brought in. China outsmarted Harper and, are laughing all the way to the bank. Harper screwed up big time and, he now knows that. Harper also angered and insulted Obama. The Keystone could be very iffy as well. Obama and China, detest each other. Obama was really angry with Harper, giving Nexen to China. Obama has been, very chilly towards Harper. So have other country’s.

            $800 per month, doesn’t even pay the rent in this country. What part of that, don’t they get?

          • Harper’s FIPA deal with China, is a terrible deal. So is Harper’s Omnibus Bill that gives China permission to sue Canada if, anyone blocks China’s way into Canada.

            Don’t even try and get anything, through to her. She will absolutely, just not get it. She has no idea of the ramifications, of what will happen to Canada, nor to the people. Trade with China, no-one would object to. This is not trade with China, this is a takeover.

          • Yeah, they said the same thing about the FTA…..and then NAFTA

            Yawn.

  2. harpo’s response will be to tell everyone who is against him, that they are all pinko terrorist commie pedophile lefty extremist socialists.

    • Speak for and of yourself …..

      • typical ( btw are our tax dollars funding your insults?)

        • I bet your IP address would reveal you to be posting from the CBC, TO Star, G&M, universities, union HQs or the Ottawa-based opposition warrooms trying to hold the fort with your hatred memes…. soooo obvious.

          • you are wrong on all counts ( but surely you know this..)

            any hate I have is reserved for the polarization of Canadian politics. ( You didn’t answer my question.. are we paying your wages?)

          • So you believe that the Canadian Alliance and PCs should not have merged… and you also fervently believe that the Liberals and NDP should never merge because that will be too polarizing?

          • still no response. I guess I have my answer.

          • No wages … only investment income….

          • cool hey.. perhaps read about Bill C-377 before you invest.

            Did you know it impacts writers too? (I don’t believe they are all left leaning commie pinkos.)

            Writers Guild of Canada-

            http://www.wgc.ca/files/WGC%20Oral%20Presentation%20to%20the%20Senate%20on%20Bill%20C%20377F%20v4.pdf

            “This Bill will put even small labour organizations such as ourselves and writers working under our collective agreements at a competitive disadvantage if each disbursement over $5000 is made public.

            Much of what we do is resolve disputes between
            producers and writers expeditiously, in confidential settlements.This is the reason members and non-members pay dues.

            Under this Bill, producers will know which writers have
            been paid in a dispute and may blacklist those writers.”

          • Um what? The G&M, and all the Postmedia papers (22) endorsed Stephen Harper.

          • Base Talk (TM) for the media is bad

            ( they have to be, they are saying bad things)

          • Hahaha, so representatives of a large portion of the population? Is there a particular reason why someone posting from the CBC, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, Universities, Unions, or Ottawa-based opposition warrooms opinions are “hatred memes” rather than legitimate opinions? I have to laugh – you just listed some of the most major and populous institutions and groups in the country. Is it because their opinion diverges from yours that they must be wrong? This vast quantity of people are hate mongers because they don’t agree with you? People who have managed to become gainfully employed, or who represent the world-renowned higher-education systems in this country are ill-informed and incapable of forming a legitimate opinion? Sometimes I wonder if the internet has taken away our ability to read over and truly understand what we are writing.

      • dumb @$$

        • … the orifice from which you speak …??!!!

          • and yours? ( office from which you speak that is..)

          • Crap flows from his mouth like John Goodman after a night long binge of macdonlads.

      • What about Tom Flanagan who built Harper from the ground up. He actually supports the pedophiles.

    • When he shouts that we are all pedophiles, Tom Flanagan who made Stephen Harper’s career, will be standing beside him.

  3. Thank you, Paul Wells for some excellent points made!

    Yes, people do vote for party leaders as much as they vote for local candidates to represent the party within the House. I have voted for Harper and will do so again.

    If a new leader were to be elected now by the party, my support would indeed not be carried over automatically.

    My prediction is that bigger and bolder initiatives will come to the fore,if not immediately, then certainly by the time of the next CPC majority government. During that next mandate, after the next election, Harper could then slowly make room for other leadership to emerge. Doing things in a timely fashion is how it should be done.

    Harper is a very smart man. Some media pundits writing Harper off, may be just a teeny bit jealous that Harper is indeed a smart man, and not the kind of smarts the media has been exposed to for so long. Just sayin’.

    • So…not a Liberal hack anymore?

      • You mean Wells, or FV? Cuz she has been a rabid Harper supporter forever…

        • They have no idea of, just what they are supporting.

      • I will give credit where credit is due.

        • You vote for a guy in a nice suit who speaks well and says “for hardworking Canadians” a lot. But if you’re new to Canada, as I think you are, you don’t know that the success you see in the streets and people around you is due to progressive ideas and ideals, not polarising, every-man-for-himself-and-against-every-other, gutter politics. Harper is dismantling what makes us a wonderful country, and we will soon be just another US state.

          • Have you ever read this? Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations? This was Sept 25/2007.

    • Stephen Harper is so intelligent he convinced himself his vision for Canada will work. It is not his fault there is failure. It is the fault of others.

      • Have patience. Patience is a virtue.

        • My wife used to get angry at me for my disdain for Stephen Harper and his hidden agenda. No longer.

        • Once there was a time my wife scolded me for being so honest about my disdain for Stephen Harper and his hidden agenda. No longer. She encourages me.

      • Yes, thank goodness. None of us want to be Americans which is where he’s going.

    • Bigger and better things from Harper? I suppose once he has the govt’s depts all lined up so that the CPC has a solid basis for being the natural governing party, he will then really get going. 1) I always thought that it was the people of a country who define that, and 2) I would like to know if there are any examples of governments that go for divisive and destructive populism to secure their power (in a democracy), saying exactly the opposite of what they are doing – to which our bovine populations remain unable to answer – and then afterward revert to openness and transparency for a vibrant culture of brotherly tolerance and power sharing?

      One example will do.

  4. Agree. Will stay thru next election. May (?) win teetering minority govt. will step down and allow another a few years to solidify base.. But I don’t believe Harper will stay thru another minority govt. you forget the man has power control issues. He taints the brand & scandal will stick to him. Interesting however, if polling closer to 2015 shows he will lose. That’s the real rub.

    • “scandal” concocted by the desperate opposition parties and their media maggot cohorts …?!

    • Harper’s own team is calling Harper a control freak. They resent being, trained seals. They are dictated to, inside of Parliament and outside of Parliament as well. Some refused to send out Harper’s hate ad, against Trudeau.

      Canada’s image on the international scene, is in tatters. Did you read the comments on, Harper, Baird and on Canada? They were very embarrassing and shameful. At every meeting of Nations, Harper always manages to insult and anger every country present. World Organizations, have refused Harper. Obama is very chilly towards Harper. They were dead set against, Harper giving Nexen to China. They don’t like the idea of China, taking Canada’s resources over for 31 years. China and the U.S. detest each other. Many country’s are very peeved by Harper handing Canada and all of our resources over to China.

      I won’t be surprised if at the Conservative Convention if, they ask Harper to step down?

  5. Stephen Harper will do what is best for Stephen Harper. The possibility he won’t be around for the next election is very real.

    • Just based on your opinions. You have an opinion and so does Hebert, Tim Harper, Den Tandt and many, many others.

      But now let’s hear your reasons for those opinions being held. Hebert and Tim and Den Tandt have no solid reasons to give, as Paul Wells points out.

      • Of course, your opinion is always right on the money, Francien. Only your opinion counts and any other opinion that matches your opinion.

        You might want to scale back your inflated sense of self importance.

    • Harper is far too arrogant to ever quit. With a consistent popularity
      rating of -35 (that’s MINUS 35), the King of the Cock Block is on track
      to score another majority. He may need to ramp up the robofraud though.

  6. Ahhh, but in reviewing past history, you need to factor in personality type, because Harper is unique in this respect. As I have argued earlier, Harper would probably be classified as an INTJ. Read this full profile and see if it doesn’t fit, and perhaps provide some clue as to how things may progress.

    http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ.html

    A key excerpt on the risk of becoming increasingly isolated, a point raised earlier by others:

    Other people may have a difficult time understanding an INTJ. They may see them as aloof and reserved. Indeed, the INTJ is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t truly have affection or regard for others, they simply do not typically feel the need to express it. Others may falsely perceive the INTJ as being rigid and set in their ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, because the INTJ is committed to always finding the objective best strategy to implement their ideas. The INTJ is usually quite open to hearing an alternative way of doing something.

    When under a great deal of stress, the INTJ may become obsessed with mindless repetitive, Sensate activities, such as over-drinking. They may also tend to become absorbed with minutia and details that they would not normally consider important to their overall goal.

    INTJs need to remember to express themselves sufficiently, so as to avoid difficulties with people misunderstandings. In the absence of properly developing their communication abilities, they may become abrupt and short with people, and isolationists.

    • Harper is NEVER open to hearing an alternative way of doing something. So that whole comment is a total wash.

      • Well, obviously you don’t fit that personality type. And I presume you haven’t dealt with him directly, in person…

        Paul Wells has documented on more than one occasion where Harper has gone into hibernation during the summer recesses and invited criticism from invited individuals (ones obviously he trusts and respects) in an effort to take a different approach – revisit areas where he has failed.

        [u/d] Why the loss of Nigel Wright may end up being fatal.

        • Or perhaps PM Harper felt truly disappointed that he had to let Wright go. Perhaps Harper and Wright had a good working relationship of mutual respect, and that may have been difficult to let go off.

          Sad story, in some sense.

      • I agree Nadine. But, don’t you think Harper is an isolationist? Harper has alienated many people and even country’s away from him. I mean, for the very reason Harper does refuse to listen to anyone else, with their point of view? Gradually people have just stopped, trying to communicate with Harper? He is just, a one man dictatorship show. No-one else is even permitted to, have their own point of view.

    • Yes, indeed!

  7. If the stuff about people basing their vote on a leader is true, will Stockwell Day and that guy from the PMO start saying every MP should resign and run in a by-election if the leader of the party changes?

    (They might, but will probably only say it when OTHER parties change leaders).

  8. A voice of sanity in a world of hate!

    • Slinging the “haters” word around like you do just reminds me of Sara Palin

      • And there we go again: a whole new round of silly point scorers.

        See! Picngrin has 9 point so far! Good work!

        Keep it coming!

      • What an intelligent comment? Says more about you than me. Have you read some of the comments on some of the blogs? P.l.e.a.s.e.

    • A world of hate ? Anyone who is not a Concervative is called lefty/ pinko and commie.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • ahh.. that irks does it – well you haven’t heard it from me.

          mind you.. millions of unionized workers are feeling mighty persecuted these days.. scientists too –you know the skilled and educated folks the conservatives seem to despise. ( I can’t help wondering who will deliver our babies when this libertarian social experiment runs its course.)

        • The only people who call Harper “Hitler” are mindless partisans who enjoy accusing others of calling Harper “Hitler.”

          Case in point, the above comment brought to you by the PMO/PCO.

      • No! But you come close to it.

        • you say I am close to a lefty/ pinko and commie? Naw.. I just speak my mind.

          ( to make it easier for you.. I am more of an open-minded-swing-voter type .still waiting to be impressed )

          BTW why do Conservatives dislike scientists so much? ( Medical science is keeping the Minister of Finance alive..)

        • You prove the point made quite nicely!

          • lol indeed

    • “Hate”.

      Is that the most profound insight you can muster to analyze the motives of Harper’s critics?

      Deep down, that’s pretty shallow.

      • The Harper critics are organized to spew hatred as their deceptive meme weapon against Harper, but they never never reveal nor provide support for their covertly preferred leader from Quebec. They are vulnerable and cloak their intention in hatred and nothing else. They are organized to do so… believe it.

        • Judging from recent polls, I would suggest that support for either “preferred leader from Quebec” (Mulcair? Trudeau?) isn’t all that covert.

          As for being “organized”, isn’t that what any political party aspires to achieve? It’s hardly a conspiracy.

        • ‘As for being “organized”, isn’t that what any political party aspires to achieve? It’s hardly a conspiracy.’

          Exactly.

  9. If Harper resigns — and I don’t rule out that he might resign — it won’t because he doesn’t think he can win the next election. He hasn’t become a political liability to his party. Barring all hell breaking loose between now and 2015, he can win the next election.

    But… doesn’t he seem, I dunno, bored? The party seems listless, shiftless and generally lacking in direction. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that has fire in his belly, and his party reflects it. Reminds me greatly of the mid-mandate Chretien Liberals, actually.

    • Unlike a lot of PMs beforehand, what career options are there for a guy in his mid-40s with no career outside politics and a master’s degree in economics who didn’t see the recession coming? His only shot at high-paying employment (unless he HAS been guaranteed a spot on the board of Enbridge) would by lobbying,which probably appeals to him a lot less.

      • He’ll have directorships on 50 boards, a nice gig telling people about peace in the ME like Blair….. numerous jobs putting multi-billion dollar deals together…..Mulroney, Martin, Chretien etc are still going strong and wealthier by the minute.

        • Three lawyers with strong business connections BEFORE they entered office.

          • LOL they weren’t ‘hired’ because of previous business connections.

            Harper has a name….all that’s necessary.

          • if more scandals are in the cards then he might leave early to ensure his brand remains marketable?

          • No, millions of people hate Tony Blair’s guts….but he has become very wealthy all the same.

            People seem to think voting against someone is ‘punishing’ them…..but they just go on to other things. We even managed to punish Kim Campbell for Mulroney…..but both of them are in the history books, and well off…..and the voters aren’t.

          • Kim Campbell was made consulate general to America with a nice posh residence in L.A.

            So even if Harper is the least popular person ever and resigns in disgrace, the next government will reward him.

          • Not the same as being PM

            And you’re counting on Libs to be nice? Hmmm

          • It’s only Conservatives who act in such an ultra-partisan manner. For example, both Chretien and Martin appointed Conservative senators, Harper has only appointed Conservative partisans and party bagmen to the Senate. It was Chretien who appointed Kim Campbell to be consul general to America and she was a PC prime minister.

          • Hmmm that’s true. The only one I remember appointing another party member to anything was Mulroney, but he was PC. An entirely different bunch than the tribal Cons in there now.

          • I’d take Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives over the bunch on Parliament Hill today.

          • Oh gawd, me too. Their western wing completely ruined them. At least you could count on the PCs not to wreck the country!

          • You lefties are trying your best to tie the Senate spending scandal into a Harper did it moment. You have been trying since he was elected and none of it has stuck to Harper personally. Yes Harper appointed Duffy but I would challenge you to show where in Duffy’s background is there evidence he would try and fleece taxpayers. Harper may control the government but I don’t think he has clairvoyant abilities yet.

          • “Yes Harper appointed Duffy but I would challenge you to show where in Duffy’s background is there evidence he would try and fleece taxpayers. ”

            Umm, maybe the fact that he claimed to be a resident of PEI in order to qualify for the Senate? So, we have a case of at the least, a Senate appointee misrepresenting himself, or, what is more likely, a case of very shoddy vetting by the people the PM has in place to do that: they surely should have known Duffy was probably not qualified on that basis, but were probably so eager to have a fundraising star on the public payroll that they didn’t care.

            Similar applies to Wallin: what the hell kind of vetting process doesn’t check board memberships and the mandatory filings to see if the appointee’s residency claim is valid? We just learned this weekend that she’s actually a resident of Toronto, which, last time I checked, was not in Saskatchewan.

            Incompetence or Malice . . take your pick

          • You usual partisan rant. The fact is the rules about residency do not appear to be as clear as you suggest. I think the rule is they need to own property in the province they represent. Once again there is no evidence in Duffy’s background which would suggest he was a fraudster.
            Wallin is allowed to belong to boards of directors. There is no rule that disallows them. Many Senators have outside jobs. I don’t know about the Toronto residence issue. Could it be it was simply a mailing address. She does own a condo in Toronto. So you can chock it up to incompetence or malice but that is grossly unfair. However, that doesn’t matter to you because you support another party.

          • The rule is they are supposed to spend about half the year in the province they represent (I’m pretty sure I saw 160 days mentioned in relation to the Duffster, but feel free to look it up). It is supposed to be their primary residence. Your health card, licence, etc are supposed to be from the province in which you are ordinarily resident. If your IDs say you live in Ontario then by definition you are not residents of PEI or Saskatchewan.

          • Here you go…..”Senators must also maintain residency in the provinces or territories for which they are appointed.[1] In the past, this criterion has often been interpreted quite liberally, with virtually any holding that met the property qualification, including primary residences, second residences, summer homes, investment properties or even lots of undeveloped land, having been deemed to meet the residency requirement;[6] as long as the senator listed a qualifying property as a residence, no further efforts have typically been undertaken to verify whether they actually resided there in any meaningful way.”[6]

          • Cite, please?

          • Read my comment again.

          • No citation there. That’s why I asked.

          • I took it off the website which describes the qualifications for being a Senator. I am sorry I was not clearer and put quotation marks around the quote. If you don’t accept this then you are free to look it up yourself

          • .

          • Ah the old “It was not clear” defence . . . .funny, the audit of Duffy’s claims indicated the requirement was clear until that was removed from the report after Sen. Tkachuk spoke with PM Harper (but he assures us the two events are unrelated). In fact the audit reports on the other high rollers still used that language. As for Duffy’s background, his constant campaign to be named a Senator should be evidence enough to avoid such an appointment, and on top of that there are reports he was known for making high expense claims when he was with CTV. A prudent manager would avoid taking the risk of engaging such a person.

            Besides, Duffy also worked at the CBC in the past . . . and we are assured by many CPC supporters that anyone there is surely feeding at the public trough, so I suppose it was part of his being.

            In Wallin’s case, I did not say there’s anything wrong with a Senator being a corporate director, I was merely indicating that the vetting process was pretty poor if it did not establish that she reports her residence as being Toronto; this information was publicly available via mandatory filings by the corporation.

            So, my guess is a certain level of malevolence, leavened by a healthy dose of incompetence . . . hence your boys have been hoist by their own petard. Hardly unfair.

          • Harper is inseparable from the PMO. If he isn’t in control of the PMO, he is unfit to serve. Harper is a control freak who insists on knowing everything. He would certainly know everything going on at the highest level of his government.

          • You are simply speculating. You have no idea.

          • Why don’t you give it up? Your point is really not relevant. What happens to Stephen Harper when he does leave politics is up to him. You and the rest of the Harper haters can speculate but it serves little purpose. Blah, Blah, Blah

          • whether he can get a job with equivalent salary is a very important consideration for ANYONE leaving their job.

      • What career options are there for a former Prime Minister?

        Seriously?

        Dude…turn off the h8 once in a while and use your head. If you think Stephen Harper will EVER have to worry about where his next paycheck comes from after he leaves office, you’re deranged.

        • Anything is possible, but you’re not taking into account that this is the first guy since Clark to not have a career outside of politics first (he is NOT, as claimed, an economist). Maybe he’ll do OK, but outside of calling people who used to work for him and begging them to OK this or that project, the guy does not have a lot to offer an employer.

          • No, I’m quite certain I’m taking that into account. I repeat. Harper will NEVER have to worry about his next paycheque, and he won’t have to call a soul to beg. His Rolodex alone is worth 8 figures. He’ll have his choice of pretty much anything he would like to do.

          • I wish him well and hope for his sake you are right. he might just as easily find himself with a lot of unique challenges not faced by the guys before him.

          • Really? People still have Rolodexes?

          • Yeah, I guess I should get into this century. I meant virtual rolodex of course…contact list, whatever…

          • This comment was deleted.

          • lol, if there is any one unequivocal thing that Harper has done whilst in office it is to demonstrate that he is NOT an Economist. Not in any meaningful sense. I read the first page of his Masters Thesis years ago, so I am fuzzy on the actual title but the thesis was.. wait for it.. the impact of Politics on macro-economics. From the U of Calgary, so there are two strokes against him.

          • Economician peut-etre ….?

          • He could make $1M a year in a heartbeat on Bay or Wall St.

          • Perhaps.

            But I am inclined to think that Stephen Harper is really wedded to politics like nothing else, and I haven’t seen anything overt from him to suggest he loves money more than he does power.

            On top of that (engaging in a bit of amateur psychology here), he might harbour resentment or envy of the Bay Street types from downtown Toronto, so I think a job like that won’t be a good fit for him.

            If CPC lose the next election, and if the party will still have him as leader, I suspect he will stay, a la Diefenbaker or Clark until he is toppled internally. That said, if he becomes Opposition Leader, I would put the odds of him regaining the PM chair at 50-50.

            Maybe what’s more in the cards for him would be something international, that would allow him to be a quasi lobbyist while espousing conservative ideology.

        • You’re not wrong.
          He’s done a lot of favours to a lot of powerful people, corporations and China. He’ll be well taken care of.

      • Besides the host of cushy directorships from which he’ll get to choose, there’s a boffo, best-selling hockey book on the agenda, remember?

      • I don’t think he’ll have to worry about job opportunities post-politics. Being the prime minister of a country gives you some rather unique insight and knowledge (and I don’t mean that in a snotty way). I’m more interested to find out what he’ll choose to do after politics. He’s such a political guy, it’s hard to picture him just sauntering off and staying out of the fray. That might make him even more bored than he is (apparently) now.

        • maybe, and once he’s out of office I will most likely wish him all the best.

          • Hell, all he has to do is write a memoir and he’d have enough to retire comfortably and not have to lift a finger. He can sit back and work at preventing the sofa from flying up. (I might be mixing up my retirement dream with his.)

          • I have no doubt it would be a bestseller by Canadian standards but I am not sure it would set up a comfortable retirment by itself…

      • He’s already 54. Lots of people retire at 55.

        • yes should have siad mid-50s

      • Yeah, becoming a PM requires no skills whatsoever. Any tom, dick and harry could do it.
        And who the heck would want to hire an ex PM?

        Back to reality now.

        Are you nuts?

        • Every ex-PM has certainly done very well for themsleves by ordinary Canadians standards. But pretty much everyone except Clark had a useful skill set outside politics that was complemented by being PM. We just don’t KNOW what there is a for a skill-less PM outside lobbying/trying to call in favours.

          • Just being PM proves he has a useful skill set. There are skills involved in running a country. You’d think you might realize that, but apparently you do not. And of course, he has a Bachelor’s in economics, which according to you, is useless, which would be news to the thousands of people in Canada with that degree, and he holds a Master’s in economics as well.
            I guess I’ll answer my own question – yes, you’re nuts. The fact that you might even dispute the skills required to be a PM, and that those same skills would be useful in a huge multitude of jobs, high powered jobs, that really says something.

    • Chretien was clever.

      Harper is smart.

      Luckily for Canadians, there is a difference between having a smart leader or having had a clever leader.

      Patience is a virtue. Smart people are aware of that.

      • Other than getting in a shameless plug for your boy, what’s your point, F?

        • This comment was deleted.

          • I didn’t spew any hatred… although you’re doing a lot of spewing yourself.

        • Would you care to “plug” your own choice for leader and PM instead of just skirting the issue?

          • I started the thread, so I haven’t skirted anything. You, however, don’t have the courage to let your original accusation of me ‘spewing hatred’ to stand. I’m not sure if you’re the one who should be offering lectures on people skirting issues or spewing hatred.

  10. Maybe your explanation in part explains the tentativeness of the suggestions. It does not suggest a reason not to consider them.

    First, the logic presented here, suggests that there is no point in changing leaders to improve a party’s position, but surely that can’t be true. Changing leaders (except when the leader goes for personal reasons) is a mark of desperation. There is a cause and effect problem here. If the new leader is unable to reverse the damage using your logic we would blame the change in leadership for the loss. In fact perhaps it is more a question of overstaying. People like the job and the power and are reluctant to leave. If a leader stays till it is too late to reverse the trend the problem would not be with the change in leadership but the that it was done too late. All three examples you mention could be argued as overstaying leaders.

    Second, while I am not a Liberal, I can certainly attest to the fact that Liberals can win elections and are the most successful federal electoral franchise in history. To suggest the Liberals are not a threat seems naive. We are also comparing to a different Conservative party than what governed for many years. Harper’s support has always been a bit tepid and he has always gone up against Liberal leaders with massive disadvantages– carrying scandal, unable to speak English well, unable to connect facing a surging NDP and working without significant support from Québec. Most PMs come in stronger not taking 2 terms to get to a majority in extraordinary circumstances. Arguably Harper has very little cushion.

    Harper’s advantage is minimal against these leaders. Trudeau is perhaps not as formidable an opponent rhetorically, but Mulcair is expected to be. Even if people don’t elect an NDP government, Mulcair is going to do some serious damage. And Harper is presenting a pretty good target now. A narrative has taken shape. A Harper minority government in 2015 is inconceivable. None of the opposition parties will hold him in power.

    Lastly consider Ontario gave Harper his majority. Nobody has ever had a majority without either getting one in Ontario or failing that going almost wall-to-wall in Quebec (1988, 1980, 1972). The last time the federal Conservatives got back to back majorities in Ontario was 1958 when they did it in Quebec as well. History is not on Harper’s side.

    I believe that there is a battle between the NDP and the Liberals. If one wins that battle solidly that winner will govern. Only if there is a real draw do the Conservatives even have a chance and even then it is a slim one. I suspect none of the parties will get a majority. And Harper would not want to go out losing the majority that took 4 campaigns to build.Maybe your explanation in part explains the tentativeness of the suggestions. It does not suggest a reason not to consider them.

    First, the logic presented here, suggests that there is no point in changing leaders to improve a party’s position, but surely that can’t be true. Changing leaders (except when the leader goes for personal reasons) is a mark of desperation. There is a cause and effect problem here. If the new leader is unable to reverse the damage using your logic we would blame the change in leadership for the loss. In fact perhaps it is more a question of overstaying. People like the job and the power and are reluctant to leave. If a leader stays till it is too late to reverse the trend the problem would not be with the change in leadership but the that it was done too late. All three examples you mention could be argued as overstaying leaders.

    Second, while I am not a Liberal, I can certainly attest to the fact that Liberals can win elections and are the most successful federal electoral franchise in history. To suggest the Liberals are not a threat seems naive. We are also comparing to a different Conservative party than what governed for many years. Harper’s support has always been a bit tepid and he has always gone up against Liberal leaders with massive disadvantages– carrying scandal, unable to speak English well, unable to connect facing a surging NDP and working without significant support from Québec. Most PMs come in stronger not taking 2 terms to get to a majority in extraordinary circumstances. Arguably Harper has very little cushion.

    Harper’s advantage is minimal against these leaders. Trudeau is perhaps not as formidable an opponent rhetorically, but Mulcair is expected to be. Even if people don’t elect an NDP government, Mulcair is going to do some serious damage. And Harper is presenting a pretty good target now. A narrative has taken shape. A Harper minority government in 2015 is inconceivable. None of the opposition parties will hold him in power.

    Lastly consider Ontario gave Harper his majority. Nobody has ever had a majority without either getting one in Ontario or failing that going almost wall-to-wall in Quebec (1988, 1980, 1972). The last time the federal Conservatives got back to back majorities in Ontario was 1958 when they did it in Quebec as well. History is not on Harper’s side.

    I believe that there is a battle between the NDP and the Liberals. If one wins that battle solidly that winner will govern. Only if there is a real draw do the Conservatives even have a chance and even then it is a slim one. I suspect none of the parties will get a majority. And Harper would not want to go out losing the majority that took 4 campaigns to build.

    • The stronger Mulcair and Trudeau get, the more likely they will split the “left” vote and elect Harper anyways. Remember, it’s FPTP

      • But as Sean points out, unless the center / left pot is so small that the split gives Harper a majority, he is likely done. I don’t think either of the other parties would be willing to prop up another CPC minority.

        • If the other parties will not be willing to prop up another CPC minority, then we are faced with two options: — (1) a snap election, or, (2) another coalition junta attempt… but who will be the leader… Batman Mulcair or Robin Justin…??

          • 1) A coalition is not a junta. It is a recognized and well-established mechanism of governance within the Parliamentary system (as is, apparently, hyperbole within the Canadian Conservative subculture), and;
            2) Whichever party wins the most seats would be the senior partner and produce the Prime Minister.

          • So you discount a snap election after a vote of non-confidence in a minority 2015 Conservative government, preferring another attempt at a coalition ‘junta’ government led by two party leaders who also come from anti-Canada, separatist nation of Quebec…. to look after the welfare of all of Canada? Think again, because it will ever come to that after the 2015 election. It’s either another decisive Harper Conservative majority government , or the destruction of Canada as we know it now because the Libs and Dips would have to complete a Quebec-based MERGER to legitimize any attempt at gaining power. Choose yer poison … lol

          • I was not responding to your idea of a snap election. Read carefully.

          • Please give us your opinion on a snap election after a vote of no confidence in a Conservative minority government in 2015… as opposed to another coalition junta attempt to seize power as was attempted in 2006(?).

          • Since you say ‘Please’, my opinion is that a snap election, or rather an election following a vote of non-confidence, is the most likely possibility. And I remind you that a coalition is not a junta. See above.

          • A cobbled covert coalition attempt to seize power without prior Canadian approval and acceptance is a ‘junta’ in my books. If the Quebec-led Liberals and NDP try that trick again you can bet true and loyal Canadians will reject it vociferously and even violently… believe it.

          • One of the things I had to do to become a Citizen was learn about a parliamentary democracy. This was not hard for me having come across from the UK. But in refreshing my memory on our system of government, I recall reading that coalition governments are part of the Parliamentary system.

            An electorate that is educated and knowledgeable about its system of government does not need to be asked about whether a coalition can be formed because it is an inbuilt part of the process that one can form.
            Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and anyone who insists that it should be a question asked during the election is ignorant. Loyal Canadians would know how their government works; right wing knuckle draggers who watch fox news would conflate the US system with ours and get all huffy.
            Maybe some of the “natural born Canadians” should have a go at passing their own citizenship exams because some of your claims mark you out as dimwitted fools.

          • Is this the same informed electorate that have no idea where their polling station was, so waited for a robocall to “inform” them of it’s location? Are only left wing votors this thick that they can’t perform a basic task as to look for and vote in the proper location? Now you want them to know the complexities of Coalition Governments?

          • As usual a Con bagman telling untruths and half truths
            The Harper Robocalls didn’t tell them where the polling station was they told them that they had been changed.
            Also they did so against the express instructions of EC.

            Try again sunshine

          • Then you need better books.

          • Your commentary belies your screen name, and your “books” need updating.

            Please observe:
            1. The primary meaning of junta refers to rule by a small group of military leaders. Secondary meanings give you a little leeway, but not much: rule by a small group of men or council. However, the previous coalition attempt which so outrages you would have constituted a majority in the House, not a small group;
            2. Majority parliaments, minority parliaments, coalitions, accords, contracts, temporary alliances, case-by-case cooperation, etc. are all legitimate methods of achieving a parliamentary majority. If you don’t like these options, you can try Argentina, Chile, or even Spain, where they have experience with actual juntas;
            3. Your opposition to a coalition would come as a great disappointment to David Cameron, who currently heads a coalition government in the mother country, Great Britain. A coalition which was cobbled together *after* the British electorate had spoken. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, a country which is being praised as a paragon of virtue by our current Conservative government, might also like to have a few words with you, since that country works almost exclusively through coalitions, all of them cobbled together *after* elections, not before;
            4. As for a violent rejection of such a possibility in Canada, well that would certainly be a wonderful way to uphold the revolutionary ideal of insurrection. I’m sure CSIS would like to have a look at your emails.

          • A coalition is a normal part of our system of government.

    • “Liberals can win elections and are the most successful federal electoral franchise in history”

      Correction: Liberals used to have the most successful federal electoral franchise in history.

      • I almost gave you a plus 1 for that, but you’re not correct. Any other party has a long way to go before they can compare to the record the liberals have in winning elections over the last 150 years.

      • I almost +1 you, but then I realised we’re talking about records here. I think the record shows the Liberals as having much more success over the history of Canada. No?

  11. Congratulations on finishing your book, Wells. I look forward to reading it, will ask for it for Christmas.

    I think rumours of Harper quitting are just fanciful speculation, silly season starts now.

  12. Tthe very ANGRY Canadian voter walked into the voting booths on October
    25th, 1993 and ANNIHILATED Mulroney’s Party by reducing their 156
    majority status down to just 2 elected seats.

    Come next election, the ANGRY Canadian voter will get another
    opportunity of ANNIHILATING a Conservative majority government.

    There is the Barrack Gold – Nigel Wright – Mulroney – Harper issue from
    the Americas Summit in Colombia last summer which is still to come out.

    There is the Mulroney – Dr. Arthur Porter – Sen Angus – Harper – CSIS – Privy Council issue still to come out.

    And there is the full participation of the Harper Government in the
    massive NSA surveillance scam which will make the Canadian Voter very
    ANGRY come the next election!

    One guesses that Harpo will pull a Mulroney and get-out-of-Dodge before the next election.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/social/MyTake?action=comments

      • Heh.
        Of course you journalists have to maintain an even keel, but I admit I’m angry about what Harper’s done to our instituations. It’s him and people like him that are doing the bidding of the offshore $$$ to dismantle the middle class and concentrate the wealth upwards. He’ll get his payback of course, from dozens of paying corp board positions. Good for him and his. I’ll never understand how good christians can find that road so attractive though. Does it provide order, stability? Or is it for some other-worldly ideal from the bible? :(

    • The Huffington Post huffing and puffing. Preaching to the converted is the smart thing to do, supposedly. Except that it has not worked in the past.

      Good luck for trying again. Keep it coming. The more Harper-hate is being thrown around, the more Harper will be the one who benefits.

      • Ever notice that the Harper Haters™ never never utter one word of support for their favoured quebecois leader… nothing, nada, zilch… just a non-stop stream of hatred hatred hatred… as if they have a latent death wish …lol

  13. A well thought out argument by Mr. Wells

  14. Don’t forget that by necessity, Mulcair and Trudeau will be at each other’s throats during next election, while Harper stands back and muses “You want one of those to lead?”

    Don’t underestimate the ability of either or both of those rookies to blow it.

    • and don’t forget Bill C-377 – a tent buster if ever there was one!

      (eg many gun lobbyists work in the trades- this is a group of folks who apparently dislike registering guns.. how are they going to feel when their private information is on the net for all to see?)

      And what’s to stop this gov or the next one (there’s always a next one) from demanding the same disclosures from those who make political tax contributions?

      Privacy is important to all Canadians- whither we belong to unions or not ( I don’t)

      http://www.liberalsenateforum.ca/In-The-Senate/Statement/18610_Second-reading-of-Bill-C-377-An-Act-to-amend-the-Income-Tax-Act-requirements-for-labour-organizations

    • But Peter…. what if Justin and Thomas, les garçons quebecois, crawl into a conjugal political bed to consummate an unholy merger matrimony, to unite the Left thus totally polarizing Canadian politics between Quebec and the RoC… what happens then??!!!

      • I’m OK with that as long as they film it so we know who was on top.

  15. The wild card in this game will be the economy. if the Cons can slash, burn, deregulate, union-bust, and fire sale their way to a balanced budget by 2015 without triggering some calamity as a result (e.g., an environmental disaster, a major off-shore search & rescue failure, an epidemic of food contamination), a lot of moderately-engaged voters will simply support the Cons again because…well, you know…only they know how to “manage the economy”.

    OTOH, If the economy tanks, the deficits persist, and that myth of managerial prowess evaporates, on top of all the other accumulated grievances from years in power, I think the Cons will be severely wounded at the polls.

    And if Harper sees that coming, he’ll put on his parachute and leap before the crash.

    • yes, but who is leading the country right now.. we hear ‘young turks’ are calling the shots in the PMO and not the PM – this is VERY disconcerting.

      • With all respect, it’s also an OLD observation. The frat boys have been a fixture in the PMO for years. I doubt that they “call the shots” on anything other than routine issues – they’re more like Harper’s eager errand boys. They usually come cheap and they’re very loyal.

        • May be an OLD observation but I am NEW to the scene:)

          • Well then, welcome to the neighbourhood!

      • Was everyone not screaming for years that Harper was a control freak!

        What has happened to that theory, now that supposedly the ‘young turks’ are in charge?

        You want to have it both ways?

        • no – I simply want to know who is leading the country.

    • So if the economy tanks Canadians will flock to the dynamic duo from Quebec…… Batman Mulcair and Robin Justin…??!!!!

      • IMO, it would certainly eliminate one of the major reasons for not doing so.

        • Quebec supremacist Junior Trudeau… or… Quebec Liberal mafioso Mulcair??!!!

          • Indeed…and the prospect evidently p!sses you off.

          • Me and sane Canadians who are not steeped in the vile bile of Harper Hatred™….

          • Your ranks are thinning daily.

            And judging from the tone of your comments, it would appear that you and your fellow travelers are the ones who are “steeped in the vile bile of hatred”.

          • We just call it as it is …. a vote for the Liberals or NDP is a vote for another PM from greedy, corrupt, separatist, etc., etc., nation of Quebec. Are you comfortable with another PM from Quebec… one a Quebec supremacist and the other steeped in Liberal construction industry corruption and criminality??!!!

          • Wow. So clear and simple. Must be nice.

          • Say NON to another PM from Quebec.. simple really….

          • So your vitriol and bile is honesty, others pointing out the crooked nature of this government is Harper hatred.
            Any politician from a party not run by Harper is greedy, corrupt and not to be trusted; but the Harper government that has been shown to be venal in the extreme and corrupt in abundance is the only one who can see us through.
            You do realise that the fraud and corruption that is now being exposed was on your boy’s watch, in his cabinet and Senate and co-ordinated by his PMO, don’t you?

            I don’t care where the next PM comes from as long as (s)he isn’t an inveterate liar who wastes money hand over fist while shutting down oversight.

          • I’m totally comfortable with another PM from Quebec, thanks for asking. I’ve actually had more problems with the one from Alberta.

          • And being from Alberta, sign me up for the corrupt one from here rather than the corrupt ones from there!

          • God bless democracy, eh?

          • Coming from somebody calling themselves a “neurotic dog”, your twisted logic is now understandable… lol

          • Why thanks. It’s not “twisted logic”…it’s doggerel.

          • one refused envelope (or so I understand) and you can say someone was “steeped in Liberal construction industry corruption and criminality??!!!”

            really?

          • “vile hatred”? Who said irony was dead?

  16. When Paul wrote about how Harper was (by implication, since he would win the next three elections) going to end up being the longest sitting PM in the history of Canada I commented that this was flying in the face of history. Paul refrained from commenting.

    While the one thing we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history, Mr. Wells is pushing the envelope somewhere, so lets do it by the numbers:

    What is the most important thing to Conservatives? For those holding down plumb seats, I would argue their incumbency. For the rest, it is holding power, or more especially making sure that others don’t hold it. The tories have always had a reputation for eating their babies, and while one can argue ad nauseum that Harper has a new party, they are the same people and if anything even more paranoid and judgmental than the old P.Cs. Give us another six months of unfavourable polls and the knives will be sharpened. A year and Harper will be fed to the ravens amidst cackles of glee from those who were his partisans.

    Memo to Paul Wells: put plastic over your keyboard – all those tears could do serious damage.

    • I actually think those knives have already been sharpened and are, in some instances, trying to draw some blood. How long before an election would CPC want before having a new leader in place? They could not bring in a new leader with only six months to an election. Who is leaking information to Fife and to Weston? It must be coming from somewhere in PMO. Communications are a mess — that’s Jenni Byrnes, Andrew MacDougall, and Fred de Lorey. Why are communications so inconsistent and messy and leaky? Where is Jason Kenney in all of this — definitely a leadership hopeful and clearly refusing to answer to this in HoC, unlike Moore and Baird.

      Paul Wells is in Ottawa and hangs around these folks, so I cannot possibly come close to his level of knowlege. But from way out here on the prairies, things really seem to be starting to pile up on Harper. He would likely rather die than lose to Trudeau, should the young fella’s polls keep rising. His MO is to be totally cool and in control — well, that MO has slipped considerably lately.

      Chantal Hebert is also a very smart political writer, and so is Bruce Anderson — and Anderson tends to be more reasonable, more measured — and they both seem to think Harper may be on his way out. Anyway, what will be will be — predictions are silly when we cannot know the economic future of the country, or even what has still to pop up from PMO. What if more backbenchers splinter off? Too many variables.

      And where is that disappearing little PM anyway? Trouble is lapping at our shores, and he’s off in Europe, not signing agreements.

      • Yer trying to make mountains out of media molehills… just wait until 2015 because all yer doing is prematurely politically ejaculating over issues that are not considered significant to taxpayers and Canadians who will not/never vote for another prime minister from nasty, separatist Quebec.

      • No one is leaking information to Greg Weston: Weston is making up stories because he has nothing else to go on! Open your eyes and ears. Or listen to The House from last Saturday, when Solomon interviews Mulcair and Alexander about the invented ‘secret fund’ story.

        If you want some real answers coming from the horses’ mouths, not the words coming from a CBC reporter who has an ax to grind with the current government, then give The House a listen.

        • ‘sfunny, I thought Alexander had to admit he didn’t know what the inquiry would find, but was just very confident that the character of the harperites would prevent any other outcome, even though the CoS had been fired for lack of said character.

          • Francien lives in her own little world of CPoC ponies and unicorns. The very fact that Harper says it didn’t happen is enough for her with her “daddy knows best” complex.

      • Curious fact: the CBC At Issue latest segment is not available on the webpage, whereas all the other ones are. I wonder why.

    • I can’t find that piece you’re describing where I wrote that Harper would be the longest sitting PM in Canadian history. That amounts to a prediction that he’ll last 14 years longer than he has, starting today. That’s the sort of thing I’d normally remember writing. Can you dig up that article and post a link? Thanks.

  17. It’s bad enough having a “conservative” government that would apparently rather eat worms than aggressively reduce the size and scope of government (even as the Charbonneau inquiry reminds us that the single largest cause of bad government is simply too much government). But, the prospect of handing the reigns of govt. over to Mulcair or Trudeau simply so that they can increase the various ways in which taxes paid by us lowly private sector Westerners can be funneled into Quebec and thus into the hands of various Mob affiliates fills me with dread.
    We are roughly one election away from turning actual tax payers into an oppressed minority in this country.

    • Ah, yes, us tax payers who fund the CBC, the very CBC who takes the government to court each and every time this government wants to open the CBC books.

      Enough already. Let’s get rid of the CBC. NO need to have our own money spent on undermining this government.

      • Tax payers get very generous tax write-offs for political donations.

        Enough already. Let’s get rid of political donations. No need to have our money spent on undermining the opposition.(Or paying wages to monitor public online forums.)

        • From your mouth to our lawmakers’ ears…. please.

        • You’re not getting it, Gota Say. What we should be asking for is the elimination of anyone against the conservatives. I’m not sure what will happen and the next government needs to be reined in because there will be no investigative ability. But still….

      • A compromise solution would be shutting down the politicized CBC news network and reinvesting in a CBC that is devoted to Canadians at large through arts, drama, entertainment… and not politics other than neutrally reporting the news three times daily. Give the SUNN the CBC NN channel… and problem solved.

        • “A compromise solution would be shutting down the politicized CBC news network and . . . Give the SUNN the CBC NN channel”

          LMAO, no, that would not be politicized at all.

          • An off-topic starter followed by an intellectually bereft rejoinder; Francien and Observant a feedback loop of incredible ignorance and partisanship.
            If I hadn’t seen such breathtaking inanity I’d never have believed it.

  18. Well said Paul. Harper retiring now would be completely out of character for him. I don’t think he’s even close to improving Canada enough to be willing to walk away now.

    Harper’s always said he wanted to build a durable Conservative movement in Canada, and running away leaving the next guy holding the bag hardly seems to be the best way to accomplish that. Harper isn’t concerned with his own personal legacy as much as he’s concerned with the legacy of the CPC as a whole. I think Harper would much rather take responsibility for any scandals (the real ones, not the fake ones the media makes up) and leave a clean slate for the next leader.

    • Yeah but if he overstays his welcome, as determined by the huge portion of the population that is not invested in politics, he will poison the well for future CPC leaders, and that would blow the CPC brand out of the water, much like Mulroney and Chretien did for their parties.

    • I would like to know what that “durable Conservative movement” refers to, beyond that incredibly pungent mess coming out of Ottawa these days.

  19. I see Sheila Copps is predicting the proposed Senate audit is going to be akin to Gomery and the only folks who will look forward to it are the NDP who have no senators.
    Great! Let the chips fall where they may. I’m willing to bet long term Liberal Senators have much more to worry about.
    Copps also says MPs are probably next and again I say great – let’er rip!

  20. “That’s what Liberal voters did after Pierre Trudeau stopped leading the party, and then again when Jean Chrétien did. It’s what Progressive Conservatives did after Mulroney retired. ”

    But is it what they did after Pearson stopped leading the Liberals? (though admittedly Pearson’s tenure was short)

    Is it what Liberal voters did after WLMK left?

    Perhaps the example of Diefenbaker might provide a model of where Stephen Harper might be headed?

    As an aside, it would be interesting to see how well the situation described by Paul applies also to provincial politics (with the exception perhaps of Alberta with its peculiar habit of going full-on for a new dynasty that lasts a long time).

  21. I can understand why the dippers and liberals around here would like Harper to quit. It`s the only way they can defeat him.
    I cannot see any way Harper can lose the next election.
    Seriously , do you really think Harper is afraid of an election campaign against Trudeau and Mulcair—-he would relish it.

    If Harper had been able to bring the country back from the serious left turn it has made in the last half-century by 2015, then he might quit—-but it will take him longer than that—-much longer—he may still be PM in 2030.
    He will only be 71 then.
    You know what`s ironic ? If Harper had been allowed to spend his time implementing the changes needed to bring the country back to the centre instead of being preoccupied with this steady stream of fake scandals liberals seem to enjoy, then he would probably quit by 2015, feeling his work is done.
    Unfortunately I expect the same idiotic tactics from the opposition. But hey the good news is —Harper is not leaving for a long, long time.

    • I’m not so sure.

      Take Bill C-377 currently in the Senate for a dose of sober second thought.

      Elderly widows (for example) do not want their private financial information uploaded to the net where the information can be used to assess their worth. Non-unionized folks may have to face the same disclosure requirements simply because they own units in funds that include unionized members.
      This second point was discussed in the Senate – and if true then this is no faux-scandal!

      http://www.liberalsenateforum.ca/In-The-Senate/Statement/18610_Second-reading-of-Bill-C-377-An-Act-to-amend-the-Income-Tax-Act-requirements-for-labour-organizations

      • Silly talk.

    • Having lived through the Thatcher era, Harper may not have any choice about when he goes. The back bench is skittish and are unable to answer constituents because they have relied on talking points for so long. Now the PMO source of answers has been discredited they might start thinking for themselves.
      As for blaming the Liberals, you do realise they are the third party in the HoC and the charge has been quite rightly led by the opposition. I guess it’s tough to change to reality for the right.

    • Are you kidding? He’s cheated 2 times and committed so many crimes there is no possible way he could win another election. period! no exceptions. except if he cheats again.

    • LOL. Still PM in 2030? I have a few banana republics you might enjoy living in.

  22. The CPC brand has been shown to be all sizzle and no meat, Mr Harper’s PMO has turned off any centrist who was foolish enough to believe there was a modicum of integrity in that unholy alliance between Reform and the PCs, where the PCs got the dirty end of the stick. Perhaps time has come for the right to reinvent themselves again. But for me once bitten twice shy.

    • Harper was named a Neo-Nazi when he was with, the Northern Foundation Party of 1989. Harper has a very shady political past. He also tried to have Alberta separate from Canada.

      • yap yap yap ..yap on lefty.

        • Nope. I may do what some people did. You draw a box and write, none of the above and check that off. I likely won’t even waste my gas money, to go and vote.

          • Soooo… you might as well be dead for all it matters…. and why do you bother to even comment on political issues other than trolling.

      • Warren Kinsella has declared your nazi assertions a falsity… without truth or merit. Besides nobody believes your desperate accusations but Canadians will be made to believe that both quebecois garçons are not fit to govern Canada … believe it.

        • Harper was the one, who hired Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front, as security for Preston Manning. Do you not remember, Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation party of 1989?

          canadianmanifesto.blogspot.com

          pushedleft.blogspot.ca

          harpercrusade.blogspot.ca

          Quite frankly. There are very few Politicians in this country, worth the powder to blow them to hell. I used to vote for, whoever I thought told the least number of lies. However. Once they get into office, they all lie like hell anyway. Canada is a cesspool of corruption so, I am joining the rest of the people, who won’t vote because of the vile, disgusting corruption in this country.

          • You’re such an angelic and pristine person, and nobody can meet your standards so you might as well only vote for yourself… in your brilliant perfection…lol

  23. I sincerely hope the crooked scumbag continues to lead the party he has made rotten to the core and that voters are awake in 2015.

    Harper is far too arrogant to ever quit. With a consistent popularity rating of -35 (that’s MINUS 35), the King of the Cock Block is on track to score another majority. He may need to ramp up the robofraud though.

    • dream on..did you read the article? Trudeau is only polling in the 35 to 40 % range which means he would be at 25 if we were actually having an election.

    • … and Turdeau is a Quebec supremacist/petainiste … while Mulcair just shuts his eyes and ears to overt Quebec Liberal mafioso corruption and criminality …. while Harper comes through as a Knight in Shining Armour in comparison …!!!

      • What are you, 12?

        • Try “true and loyal Canadian”… as opposed to quislings like you.

  24. it is a fact. conservatives always poll low before an election. when the lefties lose they can’t figure it out and scream chet cheat cheaters.

  25. One more…if Harper quit what would the opposition have to complain about?
    They should be worried about who his replacement might be.

    • You can be certain it will not be anybody from Quebec…lol

  26. Harper’s stated political objective is to permanently devastate the Liberal Party.

    What would it say of him if he cut and ran before fighting an election against the son of the Liberal politician he hated the most?

    • Chretien immeasurably aided Harper in his quest to Kill the Liberal Beast …lol

  27. my two cents… Wells is right. The “quitting” punditry is quite the bandwagon.

    I can see Harper running in the next election. I would have thought it would have been a tough one to win. But I also cannot see him losing to either Trudeau or Mulcair. That being said, I though Ignatieff would be a tough opponent, so maybe I’m not good at judging opponents. On the other hand, back in 2002 I expected Harper would become PM, although it took a little while to get a majority.

    I think there will come a day when Harper packs it in, but not before the next election, in my estimation.
    My prediction: I think his most likely successor is Jason Kenney, whenever that day will come. Mackay and Baird might have a go at it but Kenney would have the upper hand.

    • After decisively winning the next election, Harper may decide to retire and pass on the reigns of leadership to another deserving conservative leader… and don’t discount that it may be a woman!! Then the Liberals and NDP will discard JuniorT and Mulcair as their leaders and seek a same leftist political sex unholy merger matrimony under a compromise and conciliatory leader (BoboRae??).

  28. I’m awaiting the Stephen Harper goodbye.

    • 2020..???!!!!!

      • That would be the fifth anniversary of his goodbye.

        • Ya wish … looser ….lol

  29. if he left the leadership and the Conservatives were routed, he would take this, not as proof of his irreplaceable greatness, but as evidence that he’d failed to construct a durable conservative political movement

    For some reason ( must be my bias) I read that as a less than confident thumbs up for the movement Mr W. If things were going all that swell with the master plan, why wouldn’t Harper be confident that his stepping aside would help the viability of said movement? All those other PMs you mentioned went because they had to – but they weren’t worried their parties would flounder; although a couple of them probably should’ve been in hindsight.
    I think you just answered your own question – he is the movement; at least in his eyes.

  30. Come the October 2015 federal election, the consensus amongst voting Canadians will be:

    “I may hate Harper but I will still vote Conservative because I don’t want another prime minister from Quebec, if I vote Liberal or NDP!”

    End of story.

  31. This one is bigger than Harper realizes. Hes shot himself in te foot, and everything he campaigned on before can be used against him. If the opposition pulls it together, Harper will have to go for the Conservatives to win.

    • Are you suggesting that true and loyal Canadians would vote to elect another PM from Quebec rather than re-electing All-Canadian Stephen Harper??? Seems that would be like selling the RoC to Quebec to satisfy your psychotic hatred.

      • Yes loyal Canadians would rather have an honest PM from Quebec than and liar and cheat from anywhere else in Canada. And speaking of psychotic hatred, what is it with you and Quebec?

        • It’s an undisputed fact that Quebec separatists hate the RoC and now have elected a PQ separatist provincial government who are actively promoting Quebec sovereignty. Under those conditions who do you want to protect the interests of the RoC… a PM from Quebec or a PM from the RoC? Your quisling Quebec preference just reveal how traitorous you must be to abandon Canada to another PM from La Belle Nation du Quebec … soooo obvious.

          • Quebec is part of my Canada.

          • Stay in Quebec after it separates from the RoC, because you will not be wanted here… ya quisling quebecois lover.

      • Harper? All Canadian? Are you kidding me?

  32. It might be an old and tired expression, but it’s very true in this government’s case: if you keep spitting in the air, it will eventually fall back on your face.
    From 28 year-old assistants pushing MPs around (many of which have years of experience in life and are highly qualified in their respective careers), to giving orders to your trained seals during Question Period, from an overleazous control of communications to a deep-seated hatred of the media and, especially, a lack of respect for Parliament — all of these things will evenutally catch up to you.
    You can push people around only for so long, and the Reform regressives thugs have gone too far. Remember: 2015 is coming up.

    • Assuming you don’t live in Quebec… would you vote Liberal or NDP to have another PM from separatist Quebec… and Canadian taxpayer $$$$$ are poured into Quebec in an attempt to buy off Quebecers to stay in impoverished Canada?

  33. So what do the opposition parties have to offer Canadians for leadership?

    Justin (Son of Pierre) Trudeau who emerged from the Liberal backbenches and snagged the leadershit using social media and his charisma to excite university girls in their nether regions along with the old PET groupies now in their sixties …!!! He is the Liberal leader-in-training and pedalling furiously on his training wheels provided by his backroom handler Gerald Butts. The obvious making of a prime minister from Quebec where he believes the best PMs have come from … St. Laurent, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin … and even his pater Pierre from whose groins he sprung.

    Thomas (Tom in the RoC) Mulcair… ex-Liberal, hopeful Conservative minister, but now non-socialist NDP leader backed by his horde of NPD crypto-separatist MPs from Quebec who control the NDP caucus and party too. He turned a blind eye to overt Liberal corruption within the Quebec construction industry for 17 years and then admitted his complicity only 3 years ago. He supports the NDP Sherbrooke Accord (50%+1) for Quebec independence and the subsequent destruction of Canada.

    So there you have it… deux garçons quebecois vying to be Canada’s PM… and both from La Belle Nation du Quebec..!!!

  34. Why did this journalist (and other media) call Harper a Conservative? He is not a Conservative. He is from the Reform/Alliance group. Get it straight.

    • Conversely, neither is Peter MacKay a “Conservative”… he’s was a “Progressive” nothing leading a party facing total demise if not rescued by the Reform/Alliance group. You get it straight.

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