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Monday, January 26, 2009

Stephen Harper: "a victim of his dark side"

The Toronto Star quotes Tom Flanagan, a long time Conservative party strategist as saying that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have become "a victim of his dark side" as he attempts to survive politically.

The article by Richard J Brennan and Bruce Campion-Smith lays out several ways that Harper seems to have betrayed his "conservative" principles in a bid to stay in power.

They quote Flanagan, a former Harper campaign organizer and strategist, as saying that Harper has been "transformed from a conservative ideologue to a political survivor, but remains a victim of his own dark side.

'Both sides are real ... but what you see more and more is the political Harper,' said Flanagan, author of the acclaimed Harper's Team: Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power, " according to The Star story.

Full story: http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/577188

One expects that the Toronto Star would be critical of Harper, but it surprised me greatly that Flanagan. who I have watched defend the Conservatives many times would say the prime minister has become a victim of his dark side, where political survival is more important than his principles.

As Canada`s parliament resumes today with a speech from the throne and a budget tomorrow, this is no time for survival games by the prime minister or for that matter the leaders of the opposition parties. Their responsibility to all Canadians must go beyond their own lust for power, and for once in their lives, let them put the country first.

I have been following Canadian politics since Louis St Laurent was prime minister, and I have seen a lot of things happen, but this is the first time I think we should be concerned about the truth of Lord Acton`s famous dictum that `power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absol├╣tely.

Therefore. let the House of Commons resume. Let there be a healthy responsible debate on the budget presented by the Harper government, and then let there be a vote on it. No games!

If the government is defeated in the House of Commons, the prime minister goes to the Governor General and gives advice. The Governor General has two options: call upon the leader of one of the opposition parties to see if his party can get the confidence of the house and form a government or dissolve parliament and call an election.

However, before we get to an election, or another party leader being called upon to form a government, throughout our history we have perfected the art of compromise to keep the country together. Given the economic climate today let each and every member of parliament say: CANADA FIRST!

Please feel free to comment here or email me

2 comments:

Hugh McGoldrick said...

Michael, Harper is no more a victim of the dark side than Vander Zalm was in Vancouver almost 20 years ago. At that time Vander Zalm's claim was that there was a witch hunt against him similar to when the Nazi's occupied Holland and terrorized the Dutch. Today we see a Prime Minster who has build a wall around himself and reduced the number his trusted friends to a bare minimum, so of course everyone else will be a part of a bigger conspiricy against "his" government. Sadly, in Ottawa we see that not only at the Federal level but the Municipal as well, with the 48-day bus strike. Conservatives in this country need to take a lesson from the Americans and begin to elect representatives that are more willing to work with all parties and consider all views. I do agree with you that they should vote and then let the rules of the land guide the outcome. And if Harper is to win he must begin to demonstrate a more inclusive form of government, otherwise he will be unable to retain power through no fault of anyone but himself.

Michael J said...

Thanks for your comments Hugh. Feel free to join the conversation any time.

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
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