Rebel young man, rebel


David Staples looks at the young Stephen Harper who left home in search of something.

Harper got on with Imperial Oil with the help of his father, Joseph, who was a top financial officer in Toronto, Frank said. “Stephen had broken with his family because they had wanted him to be a chartered accountant at the University of Toronto, where his brothers were. He decided he was going to be a pioneer, he was going out West. He was going to find his own way. I was virtually told to hire him, but I did. And he was a very troubled boy when he came. I think what upset him the most was rebelling against what the family wanted him to do.”

… Mary also could see Harper was dealing with family issues. “He was very self-absorbed,” she said. “I would say he’s absorbed by two things. One is himself and the other is: Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing the thing that I should be doing?”


Rebel young man, rebel

  1. He’s still self-absorbed.

    • And still believes he is doing the right thing.

  2. Just a lost little lamb he was….and then he met the Calgary Mafia.

    Tabula rasa.

    • Kind of like tofu, he’s absorbed the flavour of the koolade.

      • LOL a blueberry soy product.

  3. ” I think what upset him the most was rebelling against what the family wanted him to do.”

    This is so telling, like he needed to rebel against an authoritarian family structure to bring himself some kind of feeling of freedom. But what is occurring is that he seems to have absorbed that same authoritarianism in a fight for some kind of freedom from authoritarianism. Just about the only way out of this koan-like contradiction for him seems to be complicated lies, misdirection, obsfucation and complex stories of victimization and triumphalism.

    • Shorter version: He became a dick?

      Aren’t we all supposed to become our fathers or mothers or something? It’s alll so confusing.

    • Hah!

      When I came across this comment, against this headline, I assumed the story was about the younger Shafia son and the honour killing trial.

      I guess not!

      • Pretty much the same process. Pretty much the same results.

  4. Interesting insight – sounds like Frank and Mary Glenfield played a big role in his early development.  Oh well, let the Harper haters post their little hearts out and like each other to death, lol!!
     “My office boy was Stephen Harper,” he said. “He did very well in a very entry-level job. He sort of checked the cash, delivered mail and that sort of thing. He wasn’t above doing anything.”
    “Harper’s doubts were about his path, but not about his ability to get things done. He always had self-belief. “Because he sincerely believes he has something to contribute to people, to the country,” Frank said. “He wanted to do the right thing, and I think he still wants to do the right thing.”

    • Harper turned up in Edmonton at exactly the same time i did – he even looked like me. I might even have seen him around, although it is doubtful. I liked to go to stripper bars, blues bars…bars in general…and i wasn’t as fond of working as he was, although i was just as poor.
      I’m not surpised to hear he “worshiped PET”. His pathological loathing of Liberals and Trudeau always had the ring of the apostate or headhunter turned catholic zealot about it to me. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t right to question the Liberal orthodoxy of the time, but other bright youngsters at that time, such as M. Gladwell did too – difference being he didn’t let his dislike fester into something resembling a pathology – he just grew up.
      It looks like we’re being governed by a disfunctional teenager who’s nursed a hatred for a man he used to worship – boy the Greeks used to write some pretty good stuff about that sort of thing – Shakespeare too eh!
       And like many such pathologies it is all tangled up in a love hate thing with a father figure; come to think of it i don’t like my father much. You can all count youself lucky the other difference between SH and me is ambition…my lack of it.

      • So we’re going to blame you then, it’s time we found a scapegoat.  LOL

        • Sure go ahead. There are lots of SH’s out there. Luckily for us most of them don’t want to be PM all that badly.

      • You had hair like Harper???

        My take from this is that setting out as a rebel, escaping controlling parents, Harper was fortunate to end up with surrogate parents who were supportive, kind, stimulating and got him interested in live theatre. 

        • Hair like Harper? Looked a bit like him too. Although now i think about i may be thinking about another buddy around the same time. Best part is he was/is either a communist or more likely an anarchist – he hates Harper’s guts – probably Trudeaus too…just despised the owner class.
          Yes, of course he was fortunate in having the support of those folks.

  5. Well for a guy who was sleeping on the floor of his friend/s apartment 30 years ago, he seems to be doing allright for himself.

    Meanwhile amateur psychiatrists, worry about his motivations when they could be analyzing their own.

    • As interesting as I find Harper’s psychology, his devotees are as fascinating. 

    • LOL this from the party that plays at pop psychology with Trudeau, Chretien, Martin, Dion, Ignatieff….and can’t wait to publically analyze Rae.

  6. Stephen Harper doubted himself? Are they sure they’re talking about the same dude?

    • Who said he doubted himself? What he doubted was whether he knew what the right thing to do was.  Lacking any sort of innate moral compass, this is hardly surprising. But kudos to him for recognizing it.

  7. This is not the first time I wished it was Laureen as Prime Minister.

    • “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”  

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