Monday, January 31, 2011

On low points

I stand corrected on the question of whether Stephen Harper has ever been presented with any threat to his leadership of the Cons. But Paul Wells and John Geddes' latest revelations about Harper's response to the 2008 coalition only look to reinforce the view that it'll take the removal of the Cons from office to lead to Harper's ouster:
Haltingly, Prentice laid out the ops committee’s consensus: Harper should ask the governor general to prorogue Parliament, suspending the legislative session almost before it had begun. Only three days earlier, Harper had promised Canadians he would put his government to a confidence vote that would determine its fate. Prorogation would cancel that vote. It was for the good of the country, Prentice said. Give everyone a chance to cool down.

Harper was tempted by another path. Let them win, he said, with no great conviction. Let Stéphane Dion try to run the country, with Jack Layton calling the shots and Gilles Duceppe sitting in judgment over the whole mess. It’ll fall apart in six months. We’ll pick up the pieces in the next election. Come back stronger than ever.

James Moore cut in. Prime Minister, he said, you can’t be sure it will work that way. They’ll be so terrified of facing the voters they’ll cling to one another for a long time. They may even make this thing work. You can’t know.

The Prime Minister was unconvinced. It fell to Jay Hill to make the strongest appeal. “Prime Minister,” he said quietly, “If you give up power now, I don’t know if you can survive as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.”

It is hard to pick a highlight in Stephen Harper’s five years as Prime Minister, but that’s the low point right there.

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