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Monday, December 09 2019 @ 01:12 MST

Man of the People he isn't.

Canadian PoliticsIt would appear that during his six day tour of Canada's North, Stephen Harper wasn't very available. He met only with some carefully selected people and everyone else was kept at bay by dark suited security guards. It would appear the Harper doesn't want any people that might disagree with him around him.

Stephen Harper is beginning to look more and more like Ralph Klein. Keep all but the sycophantic away. Don't let anything that might indicate that you're not totally correct in. All events with the PM were invitation only, and I'm sure that the vast majority of those invited held Tory membership cards, lest a dangerous non-conservative idea slip in. This is the MO of Ralph Klein as well as Harper's idol, George W. Bush and it worked for them so Harper's giving it a go.

The problem with this strategy is twofold. First, Ralph has an overwhelming majority in the provincial legislature and can pretty much do what he wants without consequence. Bush doesn't have to maintain the good will of the Democrats to stay in power. Stephen Harper needs the goodwill of the opposition to remain in 24 Sussex. The only reason they haven't pulled the plug is that the Liberals need to get a leader in place before they vote the government down. This hasn't stopped Harper from acting like he has a majority government ala Alberta. This will get him in trouble once the Liberals have a leader and are no longer trailing in the polls.

The second problem with the strategy is that the rest of Canada isn't Alberta. This type of activity works in Alberta for Klein because it's Alberta where you can get anything elected as long as you slap a Conservative sticker on it. So if you're a politician in Alberta, you can treat your constituents like dirt and still get elected. Since Harper is from Alberta, this is the formula he knows. Unfortunately for Harper, it doesn't fly in the rest of Canada. We've already got several of his MP's writing him letters that say that there'll be hell to pay at the polls unless Harper starts listening to people that aren't a part of his inner circle. Thats what his Western MP's are saying. I can only imagine what his Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canadian MP's are saying to him.

Harper will ignore them, of course, since they're not really important to him. He'll blindly continue on with his neo-con and theo-con agenda, thinking that Canadians will vote for him again because of his "principled stance". The problem is that being too inflexible will turn off the Canadian voter just as much as being too flexible. Harper has shown in the past that he has difficulty assimilating opposing views from anyone, so it is unlikely that he'll be willing to make the compromises needed to remain in power. It will be interesting to see what happens when the Liberals finally get their act together and there's a viable alternative to Harper in the eyes of Canadians. If he's smart, he'll start listening to the non-sycophantic voices in his caucus, let alone Canadians. I suspect he won't though, as that would take him away from his "principled stance". It would also take him away from the promises he made to his corporate friends who donated a lot of money in the form of fees to the Tory convention. It would also mean that he won't be as able to be such a sycophant to George W. Bush either. Harper is unlikely to stop either of these and that will cause him to alienate himself from the moderates in his party, the people of Canada and possibly reality as well.

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