Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The PM's impossible position

Today, the Globe calls on Stephen Harper to resign. What a mess Mr. Harper has made to have it come to this. While they're not exactly in favour of the coalition, what's significant is the incredible call for him to resign given that they endorsed Harper just prior to the October 14th election. It is truly a momentous turnaround in fortunes for Mr. Harper.

They conclude that Harper should leave for a Conservative replacement who would be better than Dion. I would respectfully disagree on that latter point. But I'll agree that having pushed the opposition, in a minority parliament to the point of no return, Harper has beyond demonstrated that he is no longer a workable PM at the moment. Let's remember that his lawyer in the Cadman affair up and disappeared from the case just a few weeks ago. That case looms in the background for Mr. Harper and the Conservative party. The point being that his minuses are certainly outweighing the pluses for the Conservatives at the moment. I'm sure there are those doing the tallies today. Speaking of major minuses, did you catch what Harper had to say Monday night to Conservatives:
Harper did not speak to reporters Monday but at a Christmas party for Conservative staffers at an Ottawa hotel, Harper told supporters the country's very unity was at stake.

"We will use all legal means to resist this undemocratic seizure of power," Harper said
. (emphasis added)
A declaration of more partisan war? How refreshing. Sounds like a good time was had by all at the company Christmas party. His caucus and party need to take stock. How long are they prepared to hang with this character?

As for his inflammatory rhetoric above, let's just leave the country's unity out of the PM's personal salvage mission. The nation will withstand the loss of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. It is patently irresponsible for a Prime Minister to be inciting division in the country for his own political gain at a time when economic challenges are enough of a problem for us.

And by the way, bit of a tangent here, did you know that Germany's Angela Merkel leads a coalition government at the moment? Her Christian Democratic party argues with its coalition partner, the Social Democratic party over policy but by all accounts, her coalition leads Germany in a stable manner. I'm sure most Canadians know her as its leader and some have no idea that it is a coalition government. They do somehow manage to survive as a leading western democracy.

As for Mr. Harper's helpful characterization of the "undemocratic seizure of power," it's once again the resort to Nixonian type. He's blatantly inciting Canadians to view their politicians in a treasonous light. And his lemming cabinet ministers oblige. Attempts to smear the opposition as somehow plotting a "coup d'etat" were heard on Monday:
Earlier in the day, National Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said prorogation was an option the government was considering.

"We're realizing that no matter what we had come out with in the economic statement, their game plan was set. It's a kind of coup d'etat," Blackburn said.
Mr. Harper should not be enabling mob rhetoric. There is no coup d'etat going on here. Just the natural swings of democracy.

As the Globe nudges along today, it would be preferable if the Conservative party were to decide it is not worth it to put the nation through a p.r. war that will be damaging and time wasting. Not to save this kind of leader.