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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