Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Could Northern Gateway be Stephen Harper's Final Act?
No sooner had I finished my last post, about Stephen Harper's decision to approve the Northern Gateway pipeline, when I was struck by a sudden happy thought.
Could that be his final act? Could that be his final gift to Alberta? And could he be planning to resign, before construction begins, and the shit hits the fan?
So he can get the credit for the idea, and not be blamed for the bloodbath.
But sadly that moment of euphoria didn't last long eh?
Because along came the guy who wrote Harperland to puncture that happy thought.
Given the Ontario election result, the chances that Stephen Harper will step down have just shot up, a veteran Conservative insider was telling me. “Odds have gone from about one in 20,” he chuckled, “to about one in 10.” That sounds about right. While it makes so much sense from so many points of view for the Prime Minister to realize that almost a decade in power is enough, no one expects him to do anything about it.
Because Lawrence Martin is probably right, logic dictates that he should resign while he's still ahead. Or still standing.
Hardly anyone is talking about it, but these and many other considerations suggest Mr. Harper should be seriously contemplating his future. It’s possible he can recoup enough of his support to score a minority victory next year. But where would that get him? Opposition parties would soon gang up to send that minority packing. As for the chance of Mr. Harper’s winning another majority, odds are not much better than for his stepping down.
Does he really want to risk the fate of so many other power-drunk leaders who overstayed their welcome and paid the price? Does he really want to face the possibility of the ultimate humiliation – a defeat by a Trudeau?
But he is power-drunk, his judgement is corrupted, he's come to believe his own propaganda, believe that he IS the Conservative Party.
And that he can bend reality to his will, defy the toll of time, and reinvent himself again...
And of course none of his cowed Cons dare challenge his deranged version of reality.
And his toadies in the PMO only tell him what he wants to hear.
Because he created them in his monstrous image, he is their Big Daddy, and for them he can do no wrong...
So he'll probably end up missing his cue, like clinical psychopaths so often do, who never know when to leave or where to draw the line. And like criminals so often do, end up screwing HIMSELF.
The logic of it all suggests the Prime Minister should call a leadership convention for this fall, orchestrate a smooth transition and collect the praises of Tories across the land.
But in the cauldron of power, one person’s sense of logic is not another’s. Instead, logic is sacrificed to ambition, to the eminence of high office. Toadies surround the commander, telling him what he wants to hear. There are too many hurdles to seeing things objectively. It makes the odds of Mr. Harper’s leaving no better than one in 10.
And you know what? Although I was briefly deflated to see the odds that he might depart this fall still so depressingly slim. Although not impossible.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that's probably just as well. And that if it's OK for the toadies, it's OK for me too.
For I'd hate to see Lord Harp sail off into the horizon, or into the relative safety of the Fraser Institute, before all the chickens came home to roost.
You know, the sordid Senate scandal, the sagging economy, the Bruce Carson trial with the former escort, Jason Kenney's insatiable ambition. And of course his desperate plan to shove an oily pipeline through the heart, or up the ass of British Columbia, without the consent of its citizens.
So let him stick it out, let him be defeated, and humiliated.
Let him take his party down with him.
May his pipeline show be warmly received.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be the focus of newly intense protests whenever he shows up in B.C. due to his cabinet’s Northern Gateway decision, a provincial native leader says.
“There’s been a lot of chatter about that today. Given the fact that, in our view, Harper has declared war on British Columbians and First Nations, he will absolutely not be welcome into this province in the future,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told reporters during a major anti-Gateway rally in downtown Vancouver on Tuesday night.
May it prove to be his final act.
May his awakening be brutal.
And his downfall be a hard one...
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