Mr. Harper's leadership skills have been exposed as average, certainly well below the advertised goods. His team is atrocious. There is the distinct possibility that tomorrow night he will lose three cabinet ministers (Lunn, Blackburn, Fortier) with little on the horizon to replace them - if he gets that chance. Battleground Ontario is yet to speak and we could have a much more interesting evening tomorrow than is presently the conventional wisdom. But back to the point...Mr. Harper, after over two years as Prime Minister attracted virtually no high calibre star candidates to his team. I wonder why?
The unfolding economic crisis caught Mr. Harper in defensive mode. Singing a happy tune, what me worry? Why is Mr. Dion panicking, he lectured us during the English debate. The voters recoiled and he immediately flipped on a dime. Strong, steady leader? In the past few days, he's following Dion's lead, having Deficit Jim suddenly hup to on speeding infrastructure funding and today, Harper is channelling Dion's points from the past week, telling Canadians he's now concerned about the economy, jobs and savings. Where have you been, incremental man? You swung and missed when you stepped up to a big fat leadership challenge that came at you, smack in the middle of this election campaign. He told us to buy stocks!
The tone employed by his campaign, for the past 36 days, in the days leading up to it and for over two years has been one of distortion, smearing, and lying. In other words, the same tone we've seen while governing. He's sued his opposition, sued Elections Canada, fired esteemed public servants, muzzled his cabinet ministers and candidates, taken advantage of taxpayer funding to send reams of newsletters across the country attacking his opposition...it's been a government like we've never seen before.
For the environment, he's a disaster. A feckless plan of 20% intensity-based reductions by 2020 that promises to do little to make a difference and a plan he refuses to tell Canadians how much it will cost. Reporters virtually ignored the hypocrisy of the whole situation, letting Mr. Harper point at the other guy without asking him, well, how much is yours going to cost, big guy? It's tough when the pool of reporters only gets to ask 10 questions a day, I suppose, and they put up with it. What Harper does dangle before the public on the environmental front is offensive. A poke in the eye to anyone concerned with the environment. In fact, he'll cut two cents from the diesel tax, pandering and electoral fortunes the priority for Mr. Harper, not the environment.
One last item on the leadership issue...have a listen to the former leader of the opposition speaking on audiotape about individuals in his party offering financial considerations to a sitting MP:
Wouldn't you feel much better if you awoke on Wednesday morning to a turfed Stephen Harper?
A resounding no, from this corner, to any more Stephen Harper.
A resounding yes to the intelligent, decent, honest Stephane Dion, a man that Canadians could be proud to have as their Prime Minister.