Friday, December 04, 2015

The Ghastly and Ghostly Return of Stephen Harper

It was like a ghostly apparition. After pulling a vanishing act for weeks, and causing people to wonder whether he was holed up in his basement, or being treated in a mental hospital.

There was Stephen Harper back in the House of Commons.

But one moment he was there, and the next moment he wasn't.  

Blink and you might have missed him. That’s how long former prime minister Stephen Harper was in the House of Commons on Thursday as members of Parliament voted for the new Commons Speaker.

Harper, who remains a Calgary Conservative MP, never took his new seat near the Speaker’s chair during the nearly three hours that MPs were in the House. Instead, he slipped into the chamber just long enough to cast his vote, exchange words and pose for selfies with a few fellow Tories. Then he escaped out the back.

But then who can blame him? He is a miserable paranoid coward, and he must be terrified that some of his own Cons might insult him, or even mug him, for leading their party to disaster.

Even though Michelle Rempel denies that.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, however, rejected any notion of blame. “Somebody who has given that many of years of their life to public service is accorded a great degree of respect. And I certainly think there’s many people in this place and across the country who will continue to give that to him.”

And is, as this commenter points out, still swimming with her Great Leader.

Or still doesn't get it...

Which has Michael Harris wondering whether the Cons truly understand why they lost. 

As any recovering addict will tell you, the first step towards getting clean is admitting you have a problem. By that measure, the Conservative Party of Canada is still deep in the throes of withdrawal — and the addiction to absolute power is the hardest habit of all to kick. Their thrashing on October 19 came about because of what they did with that power — that, and the fact that they allowed their party to become a cult led by a man who diminished them all. The lesson clearly hasn’t sunk in.

When they can't accept the truth.

The truth — and it’s a hard truth Conservatives are going to have to get past, if they want to get anywhere at all — is that Harper was one of the worst prime ministers this country has ever seen.

They can't understand that Rona Ambrose isn't part of the solution, she's part of the problem...

Rona Ambrose (and almost all of the full-time leadership hopefuls) sat around the cabinet table for every bum decision that was made — from deceiving Canadians about the cost of the F-35 fighter jet to abandoning the environment file. Ambrose does not represent renewal. She represents the same dead-end gang that Canadians rejected with glee.

She's as cruel and as evil as Harper himself.

And as long as the Cons keep deluding themselves...

They will have no future.

There will be no future in Canada for the Conservative party until it faces up to that legacy, and until those who were part of the last government accept responsibility for it. And that means changing a lot of things that went badly wrong on Harper’s watch. 

A new leader from outside the current caucus would send a signal that the party realizes its failings run far deeper than “tone”. But until Conservatives admit they have a problem, the solution will always sit just beyond the tree-line, out of sight.

And that's before we change the electoral system and drive them from power FOREVER.

Which of course couldn't be a more perfect ending to the monstrous story of Stephen Harper.

He brutalized this country and its values. 

He led the Cons to disaster.

And then he came back from the dead to destroy them...

You know, defeating the Harperite cult was great.

But finishing off the walking dead will be even better...

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  1. Simon, have you seen the latest column from Michael Den Tandt: How Rona Ambrose is leading the Conservative Party in a kinder, gentler direction? I knew Mr. Den Tandt was a conservative cheerleader, but not at this level. This puts him in its way of being a hard core conservative supporter no matter what, in the likes of chief conservative dinosaur Rex Murphy. This is another clear example of how Conservatives still do not get why they lost on Oct 19; that they no longer hold power. But I hope they still behave as Cons (i.e. attacking, being mean, etc.) and deny any chance for change, because if they keep doing that they will keep losing.

    1. Anonymous3:24 PM

      Hey there Riggs...I saw the Den Tandt headline on National Newswatch site but couldn't bring myself to read it..National Post is off my reading list..I read Michael Harris instead..There is nothing kind or gentle about any of these remaining reform-a-cons...kind and gentle people would have walked away from harper years ok..

    2. hi Riggs...yes I read the story, and like everything coming out of Postmedia these days it's nothing but propaganda. For while it's true that Ambrose has toned down the rhetoric, she's still accusing the Liberals of being ISIS stooges, her policies are the same, and her Cons have been telling peole they can't wait to attack the Liberals. So you can be sure that sooner rather than later they will start acting like the same old animals....

  2. "Public Service" ... Bah!

    The man was a criminal who debased our system of government.

    It's no surprise an imbecile like Rempel can't see that. She's a right-wing loon after all.

    These are the same disgusting cretins who will tell you with a straight face that Mike Harris wasn't a murderously incompetent liar and that Rob Ford was a man who kept his promises.

    There is no question but that harper was, as the journo Michael Harris says, the worst PM in Canada's history.

    1. hi thwap....yes Rempel is despite her Goldilocks looks, a real ideologue just like her diseased leader. She has swallowed the Kool Aid lock stock and barrel. There has been absolutely no acknowledgement that the Cons did anything wrong, so she's still humming the same tune, and will go down with the rest of them...

  3. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Stephen Harper campaigned on a string of lies: economic management (when we discover the deficit is at LEAST $3 billion more without fulfilling any additional campaign promises); program management (when we discover that the ship building program will pile on TWICE what was projected in original cost) and organizational management (where scientists across the country are literally shedding tears of joy about being able to speak about what they're doing) ... just to name a few things.

    These LIES were leaps and bounds above and more criminal than Justin Trudeau having nannies to let him do his day job that most of us hired him to do.

    Stephen Harper should be sent to jail for committing the level of fraud and deception that he did.

    That said, I am embarrassed for the Canadian media establishment as they pretend that this is an issue and the 'gotcha' politicians that are still Conservative MPs clearly haven't learned their lesson. The CBC has reached a shameful low and the entire management team should be fired for thinking this is an 'issue'.

    Oh ... and by the way? At the moment, no government in Canada is run by a Conservative party leader (although Brad Wall and Christy Clark are, but won't admit it).

    Let's make sure we keep it that way!!!

    1. Anonymous5:23 PM

      I am a person living in BC since 1970 and I also know that the economy has benefited with a liberal Government. Prior to that, real estate was not selling any homes at all, but after the Liberals took power, People were coming back to BC, a lot of them from Ontario and even a great deal from Alberta.

    2. hi anon 11:08...well you know how i feel. The Cons should be held accountable for their lies, their criminal activities, and their appalling incompetence. And the so-called nannygate affair is nothing but a mole hill which has been made into a mountain. And the way the media has tried to pump it up into a scandal is the real scandal. But as you point out the winds of change are blowing strongly in our favour, and the Cons are heading for the rocks....

  4. How can I miss him when he won't go away ?

    1. hi rumleyfips....yes that is a good question. But as I pointed out Harper is there but not there. His behaviour is absolutely bizarre, and I don't believe he will stick around for long after the Duffy trial ends....

  5. Anonymous3:34 PM

    You know, I can't equate Ronna with wicked witch status. She's just not bright enough to come up with stuff on her own - she runs on a set of mini cue-cards the PMO wrote for her over the last decade.

    The lack of independent thought genetic trait she shares with about 96 other Con MPs. I leave out the mad ex-leader, plotter plus grand and chief character assassin Growling Stevie Harper and Lisa Raitt, who seems like a normal no-nonsense person to me who may actually be DNA veried to be human. She's also got an MSc in chemistry. Cannot work myself up to think she's an idjut - well at least not yet. There's plenty of time. But was impressed with the gentle way she ushered Elizabeth May off the stage when May lost it and went off on a anti-Harper rant in public. Subsequent interviews haven't erased that impression. On the other hand I wasn't impressed with McCallum's brainpower in previous Lib governments and see no reason to change my mind there either.

    1. hi're right she does run on cue cards. And after reading what was on them after the Throne Speech, she turned on her heels and ran for cover. And yes I'm willing to concede that Raitt is both smarter and more human. But I live across the street from the Toronto Port Authority that she once headed, and I haven't the slightest doubt that an investigation into that body would reveal evidence of corruption and waste on a grand scale. Ratio was lucky to be cleared of scandal a few years ago, after a very dubious investigation. But if anybody investigated further who knows what might be uncovered. So she's not in the clear either. Like Michael Harris I believe the Cons will only have a chance to turn over a new leaf if some outside candidate can be brought into the leadership race. For none of the Harper gang are clean enough to be truly credible....

  6. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Stephen Harper is a bad smell that just won't go away.

    1. hi anon...yes that stench does seem to be lingering, but that's OK because the longer it lingers the less chance the Cons will have of convincing Canadians that they have really changed....

  7. If Harper is NOT called to testify at the Duffy trial, the Conservative Party (not Harper himself) will quickly announce his decision to resign as MP for the Calgary-Heritage riding.

    I wonder when Harper's official portrait (painting, not photo) will be hung, to join the other paintings of former PMs (within the Centre Block of the Parliament Building).

    Somehow I don't think it will be *this* portrait of Harper:

    Stephen Harper nude painting sold to Vancouver man for $20K

    1. hi David...that does seem a reasonable assumption. But then Harper is not a reasonable person. And he might believe that he needs to stick around in person to make sure that he can still have some influence in determining who will succeed him. For remember he still believes it's HIS party. So yes, it will be interesting to see what happens...

  8. Today I feel like a real Canadian again:

    Transcript of Throne Speech (Dec. 4, 2015)

  9. In Canada, the average length of one party in power is about 10 years.

  10. Anonymous8:47 PM

    Haven't read any other comments, but I will later. Simon and your anons and others are my happy place.

    Ok, all this stupidity about the PMs child care got me to thinking, and searching on the Internet. Of course the PM job and responsibility is like no other in this country. The PM should have full discretion on this household budget. I am the anon that recently said "...and he has a wife with a life outside of diapers". I believe that this subject is completely not my business, or your business.

    Ok, now let's look at Harper's household budget. It did involve a full time "hair" dresser, and make-up person. That's Harper's business. Maybe the cons have dropped the harpie (no pun intended) on the child care because the next question would be the "hair" dresser and make-up people.

    So now Harper is a lowly MP with no "hair" and make-up people. Maybe he just lacks confidence to be seen in public. What a sad life. I hope that one day we will be able to look back on him and just shake our heads. I'm not there yet.

    Thank you Simon! Hope you and your anons have a great weekend.

    1. hi anon...yes this whole nannygate affair only makes those trying to hype it look very small and petty. The Prime Minister should be able to determine what household arrangements are best for him or her. And you're right it should not be anybody's business. I also hope that one day I can just shake my head and forget him. But after what he did to this country for so long, I'm not yet prepared to forget or forgive...

    2. Anonymous1:54 PM

      Hi Simon, I don't think I'll be ready to shake my head any time soon either. I think that if the cons didn't let up on nannygate, we would have gone on to toupee gate. I like to believe that the only thing that kept us from that ugly scene is the decency of most Canadians. Kudos to Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau for keeping her cool during that ugliness. I am a very proud Canadian 🇨🇦

  11. Stephen Harper, the (almost) Invisible Man:

    1. hi David...thanks for the link. He is turning into an invisible man isn't he? Or the way he scurries around a bit like Dr Jekyl. But thanks for reminding me. I made some invisible man photo shops about five or six years ago, and I may have to retrieve them if Harper's weird behaviour continues.... ;)

  12. e.a.f.1:05 AM

    don't care if Harper is in Parliament or not. Don't care if he sits in his seat or not. All I care about is that he is not P.M., that there is a new P.M., new Cabinet ministers, a new Agenda and that the Veterans of this country will be looked after, that we just might have a new health accord, and that the federal government workers can get on with doing their job, not to mention a lot of those crazy court cases will now stop.

    Harper is finished. It remains to be seen if the Conservative party is "finished". They still hold 100 seats in the House of Commons. They are the official opposition. Time will tell, but at the rate they are going right now, in my opinion, the party will continue to go down hill. It is suggested the Conservative Party needs "new blood" and not a "blood letting".

    1. hi e.a.f....well I hope he does stick around, because as long as he does, it will be harder for the Cons to put him in the past, or pretend that what we are seeing is something new and different. Unfortunately I understand he is going to be seated in a corner of the Commons near the Speaker so it will be hard getting a look at him. I'm going to have to get one of my friends in Ottawa to try to take a picture of him sneaking out the back door...;)

    2. e.a.f.3:37 PM

      Simon, I would suggest it is a waste of time and energy to have some one take a picture of him going out the back door. I am a firm believer if we do not learn from history we will repeat those mistakes. On the other hand, there is so much to be done in our country, we need to move on and fix the things we can fix, because harper and some of his cons are not "fixable".

      I would rather you find someone to take pictures and write about how harper impacted some communities, i.e. the lack of housing in the north, the lack of clean water in all sorts of places because there was so little spent on decent infrastructure. You did a great job on bringing issues regarding Veterans to the front page.
      e.g.s of 10 yrs of damage by the Harper?Cons.........

  13. Anonymous9:23 AM

    In the first place National New Watch is partly owned by the Andersons who are committed conservatives so read some of their stuff with a grain of salt and Postmedia is on its last legs and so is the present CBC regime. The Andersons bought into National News Watch recently so we can safely say they have an agenda.

    AND Rona Ambrose has as big a sense of entitlement as Harper. She is not the leader, she is the interim leader and she has moved into Stornoway. What sort of staff does she have there that the public is paying for and what are the rules regarding this.

    1. e.a.f.3:39 PM

      Now it would be very interesting to read exactly what Rona is getting while living in Stornaway. She is carrying on about the "nannies", so lets see who is doing her hair these days and who is paying for it. It does look like her hair has had an Upgrade.

    2. Anonymous2:45 PM

      Yes, interesting about Ambrose, Stornaway, and hair upgrade. Last year her limo driver was paid 40 k in over time. In keeping the evil ones in line,
      need to keep up on these indiscretions.

      Thank you

  14. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Harper's legacy lives on through the economic policies of the Trudeau Liberals. Their positions on trade, tax policy and social programs are almost indistinguishable.