When Stephen Harper visits the Governor-General's mansion to trigger an election, as he is likely to do later this week, he'll be banking many of his hopes on the issue of leadership. It's been one of his boasting points ever since becoming Prime Minister.Hmmmm...that's a real mind-bender...heh...:) I think we know the answer to that one around here.
In sitting down with Michaëlle Jean, however, he raises questions that run to the heart of his leadership style. His overturning of his pledge on fixed election dates touched off a bigger storm than many in his own party and beyond expected.
To critics, it showed him as all too eager to discard principles for political gain. It was hardly a one-time example and it pushes to the forefront an issue that could loom large in the campaign: ethics and character.
A question many Canadians will decide in the polling booth is this: Is Mr. Harper an upright, honest and principled leader? Or is he a cynical operator who occupies the moral low ground?
The punditry really could do to pursue such themes a little more often. Mr. Harper has shown himself to be a highly questionable leader by any definition. That he is actually running on that trait deserves a lot of scrutiny, much, much more than has been offered up anywhere. At least Lawrence Martin is kicking it off today.