Saturday, May 28, 2016
Stephen Harper and the Verdict of History
I'm going to spend some time this weekend filing away or deleting some of the more than a thousand photoshop creations I made of Stephen Harper during his hideous years in power.
Because after his pathetic speech the other night, even I am now convinced that he really is gone, and that he won't ever be back.
So after so many years I can finally relax, settle back in my hammock, and await the verdict of history.
Because I'm sure it will be a harsh one.
Especially since Canadians, as Jeffrey Simpson points out, delivered their own harsh verdict last October.
The verdict was not kind, at the polling booths and in the polls. Outside the Conservative Party core, Mr. Harper was unpopular, to put it kindly. Critics didn’t just disagree with him, they despised him. Seldom in recent Canadian political history has a leader produced so much political spittle from so many people.
So they won't easily forget what he did to this country. Or forget how much they loathed him.
And as for all those things he bragged about in his farewell speech.
They were just more lies or more hot air...
Balancing the budget? The Chrétien Liberals actually did that trick years before Mr. Harper took office. Tough on crime? Many of those laws are being overturned by the courts or the new Liberal government. A “principled” foreign policy? Already scrapped by the Trudeau Liberals. A reduced size for the federal government and lower taxes? Again, already being scrubbed by the Trudeau Liberals. Building up the armed forces? Sorry, the Conservatives in real terms cut the military budget in their last years in power.
And even Andrew Coyne admits Harper did more for his party than his country.
Any honest examination of Harper’s nine-odd years in office would find a government that wandered all over the intellectual map, boasting of its commitment to balanced budgets while adding $150 billion to the national debt, talking of its respect for free markets while launching 1970s-style industrial-subsidy programs, praising the military while denying it adequate equipment, and so on.
What he did do to the country is being rapidly healed or demolished.
There was much that it did that it shouldn’t have — a long list that would include abusing the prerogatives of Parliament, packing the Senate with spendthrifts and cronies, and attempting to skew elections via the Fair Elections Act — and much else that it tried to do but failed, from reforming the Senate to building pipelines. And whatever it did do, for good or ill, is rapidly being undone, either by the courts or by the government that succeeded it:
And since this is the state of the party he left behind...
That's nothing to brag about either, no matter what Coyne says.
Harper’s ambition for the Conservatives, it was sometimes said, was to replace the Liberals as the country’s “natural governing party.” He may not have succeeded in that. But he can fairly claim to have left them, as no Conservative prime minister since Macdonald has, with a decent shot at governing again.
Because if we play our cards right there will be nothing left of the Cons, just a heap of smoking rubble.
But the main thing is Stephen Harper has left the building.
And after so many years of following him closely, at the end all I can say is this:
How small and pathetic that swaggering bully looked when when his power to hurt others was taken away from him...
And that will be the verdict of history. A nasty little man who left nothing but his own evil behind to remember him.
And as I file away or delete my many pictures of that little monster, I'll also be thinking this:
How sweet does freedom feel now that Stephen Harper has finally gone?
And we can live again happy and safe and clean in our beautiful Canada...
What a journey it has been, hasn't it?
Have a great weekend everybody...
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