Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Stephen Harper and the Great East-West Con War
These are the last images most Canadians have seen of Stephen Harper, after his humiliating defeat, at the hands of Justin, the Son of Trudeau.
His face even more waxy than usual, his eyes staring eerily into space reflecting his inner devastation, shaking hands with his shocked cult followers without even looking at them.
No doubt boiling with barely repressed rage, at the thought that Canadians had dared strip him of his precious powers after only TEN years in office !!#@!!!
Because no doubt by then all the voices in his head were screaming at each other. Or as it turns out at Jenni Byrne.
As far back as Thursday, campaign manager Jenni Byrne was packing up her office in the Ottawa party war room. In a sign of how tense things have become inside Harper's circle, Byrne was not in Calgary on election night, and is out of a job this morning.
"There's a tremendous amount of antipathy towards her on the part of the leader," said one source. "You don't run a campaign by surrounding yourself by sycophants, interns and family members," grumbled another.
For apparently scaring too many people, daring to fight with the Con heavy Guy Giorno.
One insider said Byrne refused to hand over a list of candidate contact details to Giorno in the final days. Eventually, their hostility spilled over into bad blood between Byrne and Novak, who is the person Harper trusts the most.
For having the nerve to bully his beloved Robin, Ray Novak...
And no doubt for interpreting the instructions from Harper's Lizard of Oz, Lynton Crosby, too literally...
And leading the campaign first into the swamp of depravity. And then into The Abyss.
But of course all that infighting, all that screaming and hissing, or bellowing...
Is almost certainly a sign of a larger struggle going on in the Con cult, as its different factions prepare to replace their Great Leader.
Or as Michael Harris writes, prepare to go to war for the dark soul of the Conservative Party.
The biggest loser of all in Election 2015 is the Conservative Party of Canada. That party is now a tangle of angleworms in a jar. That’s what happens when an organization allows itself to become a cult and the cult leader fails utterly. It’s always the flood after a Sun King falls.
The fingers are pointing everywhere in the Conservative camp now, assigning blame. The party is already returning to its bitter old divisions — with Reformers in the West blaming Ontario for betraying them, and the remains of the old Progressive Conservatives in the East convinced that the job of reconstruction has to be taken out of the hands of Albertans.
Which leads to the question, why did Stephen Harper rush out of the building after his graceless concession speech, without mentioning that he intended to resign?
Some say that was because the defeated PM did not want to give the media a clip of him actually resigning. That’s possible; Harper has always been full of malice when it comes to the press. But other stories are circulating. One suggests that Harper plans to retain the leadership in order to have a say in who his successor will be. The country may be rid of him as PM; it’s not clear to me that his party is.
Is he STILL trying to force his will upon the party after leading it to catastrophic defeat?
Is he going back to his Reform days, or trying to turn the Cons into the Bloc Alberta?
Harper’s heart is in the oilpatch and in Alberta. But his brain is still very much in Ottawa. And that brain has one obsession: the exercise of power. Harper wants his successor to symbolize the triumph of the Reformers over their more progressive eastern cousins. More important, he wants the power of the CPC to run through Calgary. As the late Arthur Porter put it, with Harper it was always party first and country second. Steve may have led the party out of power, but he still believes it is his creature.
And could he really be setting up a brutal confrontation between Jason Kenney who wants his job so much he can taste it, and Harper's new favourite Pierre Poilievre?
And is that why John Ivison says the Ontario good ol' boy Larry Miller, who is called the "Keeper of the Flame" by the Con caucus, is calling for the leadership convention to be delayed until next fall?
To try to cool things down, or whatever....
You know good ol' Larry, the voice of moderation.
And of course whatever the answer, all of the above couldn't be better for progressives.
For if the leadership campaign lasts a whole year, the Cons will be too busy fighting themselves to fight the Liberals.
And a bitter year-long campaign, at a time when the Cons are out of power, could split them into their original components.
Or if we fan the flames, or pour a little gasoline on them, yield the ultimate result...
For let's be clear, this story or this struggle isn't over.
And we will not be truly safe, until the Reform Harper Party is finally buried...
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