Monday, May 21, 2018

What Does The Return Of Stephen Harper Mean for Canada?

In case you have been wondering whether Stephen Harper has come back from the dead to haunt us again.

Or will only be with us for a short time, before returning to well deserved obscurity in that musty coffin in his basement.

Well wonder no longer.

For it seems he's here to stay, and attempting a full blown political comeback.

By among other things, inserting himself like a catheter into the Ontario election campaign.  

Former prime minister Stephen Harper is injecting himself into the Ontario election campaign, the Star has learned. 

Harper will speak on May 28 at a private $1,222-a-head Toronto fundraiser, hosted by former premier Mike Harris for his son Mike Harris, Jr., who is running for the Progressive Conservatives in Kitchener-Conestoga.

And trust our shabby Con media to make his return sound like a good thing. 

Stephen Harper is back! 

Those words will send shivers down the spines of many Canadians but not all. In fact, there are undoubtedly even old critics of the former Conservative prime minister who now miss his bland, plodding leadership style. A few years of Justin Trudeau’s travelling roadshow will do that.

Say what you want about Mr. Harper, you knew where he stood on issues. He was a fundamentally serious individual who took the job seriously too. One of the knocks against his successor is that he’s an intellectual lightweight, more focused on building the Trudeau global brand one selfie at a time. It’s wholly unfair, but a perception that exists among many nonetheless.

When in fact Stephen Harper was the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history, and we can't thank Justin Trudeau enough for turfing him out of office...

Thank him for depositing Great Failed Leader in the garbage can of history, making this country decent again, and restoring our reputation in the eyes of the world.

And anyone who thinks differently is either a Con, or an idiot, or out of his or her mind.

But at least the Con fluffer Gary Mason admits that the return of Harper is bad news for Andrew Scheer.

I’m uncertain if Mr. Harper’s public return is something he plans to sustain or not. If it is, it’s not great news for Andrew Scheer, who has yet to put his stamp on his party. The fact is, the Conservative base is dying of starvation. The only red meat it’s being offered is coming from Alberta and United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney.

As I pointed out in recently...

And I'm also glad to see Penny Collenette remind us that Harper still lies like a thief.

Stating that he did not abuse power, he then added that he “could have turned the party into essentially a personal political vehicle if I’d wanted. But that was not my goal.” Instead, he wanted to establish a long term conservative institutional force that would outlive him. 

In an otherwise polished performance, the “power” comments jarred. They serve to remind of the unhappy years when Harper pushed the boundaries of power beyond the norm. They serve to remind that although he is without power now, he is not without influence.

They serve to remind us all to keep an eye on Stephen Harper. Neither Justin Trudeau nor Andrew Scheer need two Leaders of the Opposition .

And that he needs to be watched like a hawk.

Especially since the new/nouveau Harper is starting to sound a lot like Donald Trump...

Wendy Mesley has an interesting theory to explain why this might be happening.

And Michael Harris weighs in with his belief that Harper's Trumpism is more of a threat than the man himself.

The more interesting question, however, is not whether Harper could be resurrected as Conservative leader. In politics, the Batmobile rarely runs in reverse. The better query is whether his ideas, his northern Republican far-right agenda, could be successful at the polls again in this country?

Donald Trump is now marketing the same brand of populist, fact-deprived politics that Harper could no longer sell after three terms in office.

If he succeeds, Harperism if not Harper might be making an encore.

And all I can say is that I know Harper well enough to know that he is dangerous, and that we live in a time when nothing can be taken for granted.

I'd like to hear what others have to say about what they think Harper is up to. But as for me enough is ENOUGH.

It's time to put an end to this Trumpian treason, and stand up for our Canadian values.

It's time to crush Scheer and his ghastly bigoted Cons, and that they stopped pretending they are not Harper's Party.

It's time to tell their Great Failed Leader that his day is done.

And that he should return to the dark place where he now belongs...


  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    In the Hill Times today Marilyn Gladu is quoted as saying this: “Stephen Harper is a very smart man, and if he sees it’s damaging to the Conservative brand, he’s smart enough to know that, he’ll back off."
    So the Cons are also freaking out, and realize as Nik Nanos said recently, that Harper unchained is like a "political Christmas gift" for the Liberals. This could get really interesting.

    1. hi anon@9:15 AM...yes, it's as if the Election Gods are determined to make sure that Justin Trudeau gets an even bigger majority than he got last time. And it's not just Trumpy Harper who is threatening to shrink the Cons. If Doug Ford gets elected Premier after a few months he'll cause a stampede in the direction of the Liberals. The fickle hand of fate it seems has it in for Andrew Scheer...

  2. As a monty python fan I miss the ministry of religious freedom.

    1. Hi Steve...yes, wasn't that a special experience? I wonder how many millions of tax payer dollars were wasted on that fraudulent enterprise before they realized that anti-Muslim bigotry would give them more bang for their bucks. The whole damn Con regime should have been put on trial, but somehow they got away with it, and we're still paying for it...

  3. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Good post Simon. Like you I don’t trust Stephen Harper one bit. All he ever cared about was power, and he’ll do anything to get it back.

    1. Hi anon @10:20 AM...I'm glad you liked the post, and as I'm sure you can tell I had fun writing it. Probably too much fun. One of my old teachers told me that in her opinion I would be better off if I was more serious. But although I respect her a lot, I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, I just enjoy mocking Cons too much to stop. As for Harper, I agree with you, all he ever cared about was power and you can be sure that if Scheer
      keeps failing he'll soon be hovering over him like a buzzard...

  4. Anonymous1:56 PM

    He “could have turned the party into essentially a personal political vehicle if I’d wanted. But that was not my goal.”

    Liar. He absolutely did want to turn the party into a personal political vehicle, and he did just that. He had "24/7," his personal propaganda channel; he ordered the civil service to replace "Government of Canada" with "Harper Government;" and he created a personal portrait gallery in the House of Commons.

    But watching Trump, Harper must now realize that he was too cautious and could have pushed things much further. I suspect that's really what's eating him up.

    1. Hi anon@1:56 PM...I agree with every word you wrote. The idea that he didn't want to turn the party into his "personal political vehicle" is a lie worthy of Big Brother. When I first read that line I couldn't stop laughing for all the reasons you list. It was a personality cult if ever there was one, and we all paid for it over and over again.
      I also think you're right about what has motivated him to attempt a comeback. I'm sure Trump and all those rampaging right-wingers in Europe have made him feel that he was too cautious, and he's now determined to make up for that. Never mind that his authoritarian tendencies were principally responsible for his downfall. That's our Harpie, as deluded and as un-Canadian as ever...

  5. Anonymous2:17 PM

    This blog is sooo cringe. The left really can't meme at all.

    1. HI anon@2:17 PM...Your sentence is illiterate, but hopefully you'll understand this. Anytime I can make a Con cringe is a good day for me, and time well spent. And of course the louder they scream the better. And as for this idiot line "the left really can't meme at all" it could only come from a Con. Meme isn't a verb, and this is a blog. I understand why you Cons communicate in meme language, it's simple enough for even your dumbest supporters to understand without resorting to grunts and groans or crude sign language. But if you're still following me understand this: we are going to destroy you, and when we do we're going to send you all to a maximum security kindergarden where sadly you belong...🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼

  6. John B.2:51 PM

    I'm ready to puke. They're all the same, only some of them are more of it. Trump has provided a clinic in making both the vulgar and the less obvious appeals necessary to exploit to the limit the CRAP Party's heretofore most undervalued assets and Doug is going to Harper for a dose of intellectual heft. It doesn't take much to be the smartest guy in a room full of libertarian milksops. Bring on the rest of the morons.

    I'm for ramming it down his throat if he opens his dangerous mouth once too often. Maybe the opposition will have the guts to force him to answer for the lies that were left standing and unaddressed when his coalition didn't turn out for him. He should stick to milking his contacts with the likes of Sheldon Adelson and enjoy the sinecure he was awarded as chairman of that wormy transnational gang of influence peddlers. He's going places; we should tell him to just keep going.

    1. Hi John...I know how you feel, those Cons are like zombies, you bring one down only to have another come lurching through the door, or the wall. Trump has corrupted the land and Harper clearly believes has created the conditions for him to attempt a comeback. It's hard to believe that he could delude himself into believing that even after what he did to this country we would still want him back. But if you read what Gary Mason wrote that is what he is suggesting. And what's so disturbing is that so many Canadians are falling for this crappy quasi fascist talk and simple solutions to complex problems. We are just going to have to take a deep breath and fight for what we believe in harder than ever. We are going to win but as the old saying goes, it's always darkest before the dawn...

  7. e.a.f.2:54 PM

    Ms. Mesley may be one to something. Harper is in his own way deeply religious, well its an odd religion, but who am I to criticise. The group he now chairs has an agenda. Old Steve there can roll his religious agenda right into it. If for no other reason Scheer needs to be kept out of the P.M. job based on his statement he would move the Canadian Embassy to Jerusalem. War monger that he is.

    Harper is too much of an egotist to run for the leadership again. He could loose. He could have much more influence in a non elected position. Meeting here and there. Speaking at functions, fund raising, etc.

    He is most likely back because he didn't get a job elsewhere. Quess they didn't recognize his "unique" qualities or perhaps they did and passed.

    What ever Harper is up to, we all might want to stay alert. Wonder when Ezra Levant is going to interview him? Wonder when he will hit the religious circuit to recruit more voters for Scheer. He may well be here to become the puppet master. People need to remember him for what he was and the damage he inflicted.

    1. HI e.a.f...Sheldon Adelson is Harper's godfather. Who can forget how Adelson summoned him to his Las Vegas mansion to see if he could provide a gathering of rich Republicans with ideas on how to bring together the warring factions in that party. He couldn't, but clearly he is still pulling Harper's strings. And Harper may have convinced him that he could still become Canada's Trump. When you think that Maxime Bernier is right now the leading contender to replace Scheer, you know that anything is possible...

  8. e.a.f.2:57 PM

    A. 2:17 p.m. if the blog is "sooo cringe" why come and read? The left isn't here to "meme" its here to discuss and that takes more brain power than "meming" or whatever that is. Simon's art work is great.

    1. Hi e.a.f.....thank you, but don't worry about that dumb Con. Every day about five of them turn up to leave dumb or ugly comments. Some of them are paid Con trolls others are just bigots or nut bars. I delete at least forty comments from them every week but they still come back for more punishment. They think they can wear me down, but all they do is motivate even more to drown them in their own excrement...

  9. Jackie Blue3:08 PM

    Good thing the Jedi has every intent of returning, because it sounds like the vampire wants to strike back. Keep Steev Palpatine and his storm troopers as far away from rebuilding the Galactic Empire as humanly possible.

    1. Hi Jackie...somewhere in my archives I have a hilarious video where Palpatine and Harper appear mouthing the same words about law and order. I 'm going to have to dig it up for I'm afraid that the mad emperor is back to stay. The good news is that Harper's reappearance can only undermine Andrew Scheer in the lead up to the next election. I think that explains why Scheer is sounding increasingly frantic and more and more extreme. Add Jason Kenney and Rob Ford to this explosive mix and we are going to have a real fireworks show....πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

  10. Anonymous3:18 PM

    What I find depressing is that a reporter like Gary Mason could find so many good things to say about Stephen Harper, and even suggest that he’s better than Justin Trudeau. It’s like something out of 1984, where good is bad and high is low. Our Con media is now so corrupted it cannot be relied upon for anything.

    1. Hi anon@3:18 PM....I feel the same way, especially since Gary Mason is one of the Globe's best reporters. I noticed that at times he seemed almost apologetic about putting down Justin Trudeau, which suggests that he is being pressure by his editors, and knows he must toe the line, or else. But still, as you say, it's just more evidence that the Con media cannot be trusted, and that social media will have to be as active as it was in the last election campaign if we are going to keep the truth from being distorted over and over again...

  11. "Out of nine governments studied, the Harper government finished last in job creation, last in exports, seventh in government debt, second last in personal income growth per capita, in business investment, in youth employment. All indicators were measured using annual data from 1946 through 2014, as obtained from Statistics Canada and other public sources."

    From @GlobeDebate: A new study sheds light on Stephen Harper's economic record

    The fact is Harper's government was THE WORST on all counts out of nine governments over a span of 64 years. Wingnuts will claim "it was the recession!" but the FACT is, the Liberals steered Canada through three major global recessions, the first in 1998 when the Asian markets tanked, the second in 2000 when the dot com collapse happened and the third was the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Harper conservatives generated their first deficit months before the recession hit and get this, Harper didn't even acknowledge the recession was happening as late as September 2008. In fact, the told Reuters in that month that "no recession was happening in North America" and "I doubt any recession will occur." When it had hit the states in December 2007.

    1. Hi Mackenna...thanks for reminding us about the reality of Harper's economic record. Every day Scheer and his gang go on about how Justin Trudeau is "failing" and ruining the economy, even though it's booming, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in forty years. It's the big lie and sadly to a degree it's working. So it's going to be very important for people like you to keep reminding Canadians that the Cons are lying and what the truth really is. The same thing is happening in Ontario, but it's now too late to correct the record. It's as if the facts don't matter anymore, our country could soon be drowning in lies just like what's happening in the United States, and only the truth can save us...

  12. Never forget, and if we falter

    "Stephen Harper is a corrupt, anti-democratic politician that is destroying the Canadian identity as a peace-keeper, environmental steward, and champion of human rights.

    He is weakening our democracy, sabotaging our future, and ruining our international reputation."

  13. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Like any Con buzzard, Harper is just circling in anticipation of benefiting from some liberal road kill. The closet dweller will not try and reenter the Canadian political scene until he is virtually assured of a win. Not to be overly pessimistic the likely date would be around 2021 providing Scheer is soundly defeated in 2019 and the US crime family manages to survive Mueller and win the 2020 election. Although the 2019 Scheer defeat is virtually a given there are disturbing vibes that the major world authoritarian powers may do a Faustian deal with Trump allowing him to rack up some short term political gain for long term American pain. The US, Russian, Saudi, Israeli oligarchs are already in sync, the country to watch is China .... have they concluded its best to take some short term pain in order to promote the internalized Trumpian destruction of America? How China addresses upcoming issues on trade, Iran and North Korea will be very telling. If it is Trump friendly even the cherished virtual memes of the right will be useless when the reality of a morally and financially bankrupt America eventually comes home to roost.
    Hope I am wrong, a future where Mueller does his job, the US, China and others develop a mutually beneficial existence, and both Trump and coat tail riding Harper are tossed into the dustbin of history is much more preferable.

  14. Anonymous4:55 AM

    "What Does The Return Of Stephen Harper Mean for Canada?"
    It means that his ass has healed enough from being kicked to the curb and is ready to do it all again.
    They say sequels are always better than the original so to outdo 2015, I urge JT to use his steel-toed boots this time.