Rick Mercer on what's to come in 2014: 'Stephen Harper will resign' - Macleans.ca

Rick Mercer on what’s to come in 2014: ‘Stephen Harper will resign’

The CBC’s ranter-in-chief predicts the Conservative Party’s future


Chris Young/CP

Rick Mercer is the creator and host of The Rick Mercer Report and is the author of the bestseller A Nation Worth Ranting About.

Stephen Harper will resign.

He will go on his own, he will not be pushed. He will, in an elegant statement, say the decision was personal and that he wishes to spend time with his family and future fellow board members of Encana. An important chapter in Canada’s political history will come to a close. Canadians will never see his like again; his rock piano will fall silent. A terrific leadership race will follow. All eyes will be on Jason Kenney, Peter MacKay, Rona Ambrose, Lisa Raitt, Michael Chong and Jim Prentice.

Jason Kenney will be the front-runner. Years of attending every ethnic cultural event in the nation will have paid off with adoring crowds at all appearances. When it is revealed that the omnipresent Sri Lankan gentlemen who throw rose petals at Kenney’s feet are unpaid interns from Canadians for Ethical Oil wearing full blackface, Kenney continues unfazed.

John Baird’s leadership will never properly take off. He and 12 wise men will meet for a two-day off-site strategy meeting at Canada’s official residence in Mexico. Once inside the residence, with hurricane shutters closed for privacy, he and his advisers will seem to lose all track of time and not emerge for the duration of the month-long campaign. The only sound coming from Team Baird during the race will be the ever-present thumping of Lady Gaga emanating from the luxury abode.

In a shocking turn of events, Jim Prentice will stumble immediately out of the gate. As Prentice left federal politics in 2010, the kids in short pants in the PMO have no idea who he is; most of them were in high school when he was in cabinet and so they have never heard of him. To these party commanders, he is viewed not only as an outsider but an interloper. They dismiss his candidacy with an original smackdown: “Jim who?” As the only leadership contender who has spent any time in the private sector, Prentice finds himself open to ridicule. Dimitri Soudas, working for Jason Kenney, delivers a death blow to Prentice when he says, “Private sector, folks! That’s all you need to know. He admits it! He admits it! You know what else is done in private? Shameful things!”

Renegade parliamentarian Michael Chong will form an exploratory committee for a leadership race but, after seven cars in his driveway explode in massive fireballs, he will determine he doesn’t have the support needed.

Rona Ambrose will be the first one to give up her leadership run. Halfway through the first all-candidates’ debate, it will dawn on her that she is the only one in attendance. Everyone is running a classic “front-runner campaign” and thus refusing to attend any event where they may have to answer questions. When asked whom she plans on endorsing, she punches a reporter from Global News. The entire thing is live-tweeted by Kady O’Malley.

Lisa Raitt will run an intelligent campaign focused on the issues of the day. She will be ignored. Peter MacKay positions himself as the man who can bring the party back to its progressive roots. He is booed loudly whenever he floats the idea. Surprise entry Bob Rae is never expected to win, but his candidacy entrenches his reputation as a political chameleon.

In a stunning example of how far the party has come on social issues, traditionally divisive issues such as gay rights will not be factors. Candidates will outdo each other to show how gay-positive they are. Not a day will go by without one of the candidates attending a gay marriage of some sort. Young men in MP offices all over Parliament Hill will be ordered to randomly marry each other so candidates can be seen attending their weddings.

In a Hail Mary pass, Tony Clement will divorce his wife of many decades and marry a 20-year-old roofer named Dwayne. The photo of Tony and Dwayne in their “gazebo of acceptance” will make all the front pages. It will fail to take him over the top. Jason Kenney will become the 23rd prime minister of Canada. He will dazzle the country in his acceptance speech while wearing a kimono and a simple Indian headdress.