Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Stephen Harper and the Day of Reckoning
It seemed only appropriate that at one point in today's Question Period Stephen Harper looked like he was praying.
But who can blame him eh?
Because the day of reckoning has finally arrived. And as Paul Wells wrote today, you can't polish a turd.
Since February, Stephen Harper has had one job: sort the Senate mess and give his government an image of renewed energy and purpose.
This is the result. In Brandon-Souris a 39-point Conservative advance on May 2, 2011 shrank to nearly zero last night. Harper cannot survive many more such triumphs.
The Senate scandal has left him badly wounded.
Even if the PM’s story about not knowing anything holds up, he is a badly wounded leader. He cannot wash himself clean of what those around him have done. It was he who created the culture that has led his team to act like this – to spin a web of deceit, an attempted cover-up, a mockery of the truth.
His story just isn't believable.
Many people say they have difficulty believing Stephen Harper did not know at least something about the various plots hatched out of his office to pay off Sen. Mike Duffy and cover up his bogus expense claims. Maybe he did not know all the details, these people say, but that he did not know anything? That’s hard to believe.
It asks us to believe a prime minister famous for his controlling ways took almost no interest in what his subordinates were up to; that finding his almost childlike trust betrayed, he reacted with Christ-like forgiveness; and that, notwithstanding his own utter blamelessness, he has refused for months to answer the simplest questions about what he knew, admitting only as much as the belated emergence of facts demands.
It requires that we accept that a prime minister who says he would never have agreed to any piece of the plot — the payoff, the audit tampering, the Senate whitewash — somehow found himself surrounded by people who, on the evidence, tackled the lot without hesitation. Where could they have got the idea that this was acceptable? How could he have been so wrong about them? Why, it’s almost unbelievable.
And as I predicted last night, his Con followers are starting to revolt.
If we do not act, we embolden Harper. We increase the risk of further ethical scandals. Make no mistake: if Harper continues like this, he will fall, and he will take our party down with it. It will be hard to win an election for a decade. We should control the process.
Harper is no dictator. Call on Harper to speak the truth at last. If he can pull the party back from this slide, he can yet rescue his leadership. If not, he must go.
For years he has threatened the decent people of Canada with his contempt for the truth and his thuggish behaviour. Now he's a threat to his own Party's future.
And if you listen carefully you can hear the sounds of knives sharpening in the shadows.
Once just a glance in their direction could silence the Con sheep. His hapless collaborators.
Now look at him...
And look at them.
Once he lifted them, now he's dragging them down.
The day of reckoning is finally here.The writing really is on the wall.
He will lash out like a cornered beast before he is done. He will try to drag us into the darkness where he prefers to play.
But after eight long bestial years, his savage reign is almost over....
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