Friday, April 08, 2016
Michael Harris on the Resurrection of Stephen Harper
The other day I told you how some members of the Con establishment are so desperate they are even thinking of resurrecting Stephen Harper.
Bringing him back from the dead, to try to keep the party from splitting into two factions, the Reformers and the Red Tories.
And avoid a catastrophic civil war that could tear the Cons apart.
Now Michael Harris weighs in on that story, and wonders like I did, whether the Cons have gone insane.
Is Stephen Harper about to rise, Lazarus-like, from the political dead? On the face of it, the very idea seems like absurdity in hot pursuit of farce.
That said, perhaps Harper is sufficiently distressed at watching his misbegotten political heritage deconstructed brick by brick by PM Trudeau to contemplate the unthinkable — a run for the leadership. All Harper has left to his legacy at this point is his reverse takeover of the party, and he may not want to risk MacKay or anyone else dismantling his last remaining political accomplishment.
Especially since Peter "Dumbo" Mackay is no real threat to the Alberta Oil Party.
Peter MacKay is no Red Tory. He’s just a creature of the security, intelligence and armament sector with a case of terminal political ambition.
And bringing Harper back would be tantamount to committing political suicide.
Now hear this: If Harper ever did that — if he ever chose to run for the leadership — he’d be diving head-first into the woodchipper. It would serve only to complete the destruction of the party which started with its shellacking in the 2015 election. (I don’t think there was a run on Stephen Harper “Miss Me Yet” buttons at the recent Manning Conference in Ottawa. Maybe Ray Novak bought them out.)
For he was the worst and most politically depraved Prime Minister this country has ever known...
If MacKay’s legacy is a run of disappointing retreats from principle, the Harper legacy remains an unreconstructed nightmare.
Harper was the prime minister who created his own personal ministry of propaganda, paid for by Canadians. He censored and muzzled and bullied and berated anyone who opposed his notion of government by personal fiat. His exemption for political parties on the copyright of all news footage had journalist Don Martin remarking that the then-PM was flirting with “fascism”.
And nothing the Cons try to do to buff up his lugubrious legacy, or try to renew the party with the zombies he created in his own image, will work.
The party might accept Harper-era hacks like MacKay or Kellie Leitch as new leadership material, but Canadians never will. Nor will voters buy the proposition put out by Harper loyalists that Harper was just a misunderstood statesman whose tenure will be viewed kindly by history.
He was a rogue, an outlier, an authoritarian and an anomaly. The real job is not to dry-clean the Harper years, but to reject them.
He was a monster, he did foul things to this country, his name will live in infamy, his legacy will be shame.
The Cons are still the living dead.
And they're still going nowhere...
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