Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stephen Harper and the Incredible Shrinking Legacy

Once the swaggering bully must have thought that his monstrous legacy would last forever.

And that he would change this country and its values beyond recognition.

But only six months after he was defeated, what amazes me more than anything else is how quickly Stephen Harper's legacy is shrinking.

Or as Andrew Cohen writes, how completely it is being dismantled. 

More than any other, the political story of the last six months is the incredible shrinking legacy of Stephen Harper. His record of achievement in office is disappearing as fast as he is. Breathtaking.

John Ibbitson, the award-winning writer, calls Harper an “important” prime minister. He believes, as a biographer must, that his subject was substantial and consequential. 

Six months after his defeat, here’s another view: Stephen Harper was a failure in power. He created nothing lasting. Of prime ministers since 1945 who served a full term or more, his is the thinnest record.

And how small and ugly that legacy was.

His legacy is style: small, nasty, narrow, divisive. It was rooted in a one-man government with weak ministers (such as Kellie Leitch, clad in sackcloth and ashes, who regrets her role in “the tip line” on barbaric cultural practices). Harper’s modus operandi was explored brilliantly by Lawrence Martin in his book, Harperland. 

Hubris was Harper’s undoing. “When they told us in caucus six months before the election that the campaign would be built around Harper, I knew it was over,” says a Conservative MP.

As small and ugly as Harper himself.

The cowardly bully who swaggers no more...

And hides from his own people.

The feathered freak who never built ANYTHING.

Only sought to destroy everything he touched.

The alien thug who never understood this country.

Stephen Harper misread the country. His instincts were dark and conservative in a decent, progressive country. When Canadians had a choice, they discarded him. Now they’re discarding his legacy.

And was defeated by its values, and the righteous anger of its people.

You know, I'll always remember the Harper years as the Lost Decade. And I'll always resent the time he stole from me, by forcing me to fight him and his filthy Con regime.

When I would rather have spent that time writing poems or songs, or doing the many other things I like to do, or just playing with my friends.

But when I see how quickly and completely the monster's legacy is being demolished, it is a huge consolation...

And it fills my heart with joy.

We really did defeat the tyrant.

And we really did destroy him...

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  1. Now, if Trudeau only has the balls to raise taxes; corporate, personal and yes the GST, we can begin to get back to having some stability in the institutions and services we expect and quite frankly need. We have to absolve ourselves of this ideological bent that says "taxes are bad". No they're not. Quite the opposite actually. The same Canadians who bray negatively about taxation are the same ones who holler loudest when services are cut. You can't have it both ways. It doesn't work.

    1. hi Omar...I completely agree with you. This taxation phobia has to end. We need more revenue to maintain and modernize this country, or we are going to end up looking like a shabby Banana Republic. Once upon a time Canadians recognized the importance of taxes, but ten years of Harperism have made too many people too greedy for their own good...

    2. I agree. As a so called middle class retiree...the GST should be raised. Consumption taxes are paid by people who can consume...the rich. Because of the GST credit lower income Canadians really do not pay it. Harper has squandered a decade of Canada's social and economic development and the Liberals don't have the balls to raise the GST by 2 per cent.....

  2. Anonymous8:30 AM

    OK Simon Hitler Harper is gone. Good thing. Now lets move on to the current Regime (that I voted for). This current Regime have to stop the retreat, retreat, (we should start renting out those mostly empty offices on the hill to recoup money that was stolen by senators) Twitter, Twitter, and get down to doing some actual work on behalf of middle class Canadians as promised.... Not just the usual self serving agenda!!!!!!!! This opaque government really needs to be more transparent. I really do not think that their talk matches their walk. And yes the honeymoon is over, lets start seeing some results now!!!!!! Come on Liberal Regime give us a sign, just one little sign,that you are not just the same. SUNNY WAYS MY FRIEND, SUNNY WAYS..... for the KPMG clients and the tax criminals in the Panama papers!!!!!!! Screw all for the middle class Canadians that voted for them. See goes to show that while not all liars are politicians....all politicians are liars!!!!! Proven fact over and over again!!! and I bet Justin and his gang will certainly not prove me wrong.

    1. hi anon...there is no comparison between the Harper regime and the Trudeau government. The Liberals are not perfect but they are a million times better than the Cons...

    2. Anonymous6:07 PM

      Absolutely agree with you there. But at the same time the Liberals are not creating such a sunny way so far........ Not a transparent government by no means.

  3. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Thank you for fighting Simon. Even though I only discovered your blog on election night as I was nursing a fractured bone in my foot, I was on cloud nine with new government and all of your posts to catch up on :-)

    Harper had a bad effect on all Canadians. So, you are not alone. And as you and Suzuki have pointed out, he's had devestating effect on the planet with his tar sands.

    But we have hope now. Fortunately, his legacy is as lasting as rice paper.



    1. hi TS...I hope I didn't sound like some kind of martyr, because so many others suffered like I did, and if I hadn't done something to vent my frustration I probably would gone up in flames like the Hindenburg. But yes, we can all be proud of ourselves for finally dispatching the dictator, and watching his legacy disappear is the best spring cleaning I have ever witnessed....

  4. I still cringe when I hear/read his name or see his picture!
    Hope you are feeling well, Simon.

    1. hi Kathleen...yes it will be a long time before I can forget what Harper and his political thugs did to this country. I think I am suffering from a political version of PTSD. But apart from being on crutches after my knee operation which is really frustrating, I'm doing fine thank you...

  5. Harper spent most of his time Simon, trying to destroy the Nation Building legacy of previous Prime Ministers. Harpers pathetic legacy will always be about what he did to Canada, not what he did for Canada.

    1. Anonymous1:21 PM

      RIGHT ON

    2. Exactly. Harper was Bob The Unbuilder

    3. hi Pamela...yes, as you may know ever since Harper was in high school and tried to destroy the student council, he has only worked to tear things down and never to build anything valuable or lasting. It's a personality disorder, and when he got a majority he went wild. I only hope that Canadians have learned their lesson, and that something so horrible will never happen again...

  6. And yet, despite Harper's record of nothingness, the Cons are so bereft of any leadership-calibre talent that a good many of them would wish this guy back. I think they should resurrect Preston (half-days, he's old) or jet ski Stockwell. Maybe they can help BC take out the trash and recruit Christy Clark. I just checked - John Crosbie still isn't dead. They could probably get a year, 15-months out of him. How about Mulroney's boy, Ben? I think we're working out of the shallow end of the gene pool. Oh my.

    1. hi Mound...yes you're right, they are fishing in a shallow pool. But that's what happens when you have a monomaniacal leader who was too small and paranoid to groom any successors. Also when I look at the state of the Republican Party I can't help feeling that the right's glory days are finally over, and only mass insanity can keep them in power...