Musings —06.23.2016 10:56 AM—
Unlike some folks, I don’t hate Stephen Harper. All of my five reasons are personal.
- When my Dad was dying, he phoned me and my Mom to talk about fathers. He did this despite the fact that Yours Truly had ripped him, on TV and radio and in newspapers, for years. He was kind to my Mom, and I never forgot that.
- On the aforementioned TV and newspaper and radio and newspaper platforms, I predicted – as did others – that, with a Parliamentary majority, he would make abortion and gay marriage illegal, he would constitutionalize property rights, and he would send us into illegal wars alongside Republican presidents. He did none of those things.
- Unlike some Liberals I will not name, he was always respectful towards my political father, Jean Chretien, even when Chretien ran him down a bit. He told me he admired Chretien’s commitment to Canada, and his discipline, and his fiscal probity. And it showed.
- Even though I was a dirty rotten Liberal, he twice hired me to be a Ministerial Special Representative on aboriginal files. (He did likewise with Chretien’s nephew Raymond, too.) Under his watch, spending on aboriginal programs grew, dramatically. I discovered he wasn’t what some of his detractors said he was, at least in respect of those things.
- I thought he might wreck the place. He didn’t wreck the place.
In light of all those things, why did he still lose? Two reasons. One, he didn’t heed the Ten Year Rule – he thought he could defy The Rule, and beat the new kid. Two, he didn’t ever show, publicly, how some of us had seen him to be in private.
Anyway, fare thee well, Stephen Harper and family. They deserve now what they never got in Ottawa – privacy, quiet and no more bullshit.