05.05.2012 06:12 AM

In today’s Sun (early): Harper’s defeating himself

Spare a thought, if you will, for a sad Stephen Harper, last week contemplating his first full year of majority governance. It is almost enough to feel some sympathy for him.


It’s been a year and a few days, now, since Harper’s Party — because, let’s be clear, the Conservative Party would not exist and would not be where it is without Harper — celebrated their big victory on May 2, 2011. The Cons vanquished their much-detested enemy, the Liberals, and reduced them to a rump in the House of Commons.

They received a clear mandate to kill the long-gun registry, and the Canadian Wheat Board, too.

They elected MPs in every province, including Ontario, where voters have long spurned the advances of Conservative candidates. And they did all this despite the hearty dislike that Quebec voters, and many media folks, feel for them.

But a year later, and despite the upside, all is not well with the Harper Party.


  1. Tiger says:

    Harper isn’t doing any worse against Mulcair than he did against Dion or Ignatieff in the early days of each of their terms as Leader of the Opposition.

    Ipsos-Reid, 18 January 2007: Dion Liberals 37, Harper Conservatives 33, Layton NDP 13.
    Nanos Research, 1 June 2009: Ignatieff Liberals 37.2, Harper Conservatives 31.8, Layton NDP 15.7, Bloc 8.0, Greens 7.4

    Maybe there’s something special about Tom Mulcair, and this’ll stick. Or maybe people will think that 9 1/2 years of PM Harper is enough. We’ll see — the population tires of even the most popular PMs around the 8-9 year mark. (The skillful ones find a way to win again even after that. Macdonald, King, Trudeau. Had he not been knifed by his own party, Chretien probably could have won a fourth majority.)

    But there’s nothing in any of these numbers against Mulcair that Harper hasn’t seen before with his previous opposition leaders.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      “(The skillful ones find a way to win again even after that. Macdonald, King, Trudeau. Had he not been knifed by his own party, Chretien probably could have won a fourth majority.)”

      IMHO Chretien blew it when he intimated that he would yield the leadership slot to Martin after two terms. He did not fulfil, and that fuelled the flames. The outcome was fairly predictable. The knives were out on both sides. He was one of the most skilful politicans in Canada in my lifetime, but made a few massive errors. I still remember coming home from the local Pub on referendum night, flipping on the TV, and seeing the referendum vote coming in, a few points in FAVOUR of seperation. I nearly had a heart attack.

  2. Dan says:

    I’m not sure how this can constitute Harper defeating himself. By all tokens — the private members bill on abortion, the Wildrose gambit, petty corporate greed, Rob Fucking Ford — Harper is being defeated by an unruly conservative movement. You know, the same movement that splintered the right-wing into two parties 20 years ago.

    It’s like people forgot just how hard it was to bring these groups together in the first place. Easy come, easy go.

  3. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Perhaps the start of ling chi?……”death by a thousand cuts”…..one can only hope…….
    At any rate, your piece was a nice way to start my day…..

  4. tf says:

    Two thoughts –

    • I don’t think there is a direct connection between the words “decade” and “decadence” but I propose that governments in power longer than 10 years become decadent – the moral compass gets corroded.

    • and I think you do a disservice to Jethro and Jed by comparing them to Ford and Harper ~ I remember Jed as being good-natured and tolerant of other people. And I don’t remember Jethro ever “steaming out the ears” and charging anyone in a rage: that sounds more like Granny!

  5. Nowadays we have to fight for our right to parle.

  6. Michael S says:

    1540s, from M.Fr. décadence (early 15c.), from M.L. decadentia “decay,” from decadentem (nom. decadens) “decaying,” prp. of decadere “to decay,” from L. de- “apart, down” (see de-) + cadere “to fall” (see case (1)). Used of periods in art since 1852, on French model.

    (My wife used to work on the OED)

  7. Transcanada says:

    Another case of unintended consequences:

    Bill C-309: Conservatives Back Private Members’ Bill Targeting Masked Protesters


    My question is would these guys get arrested?



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