Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Will He Or Won't He?

2015 is not very far away. It may be the year of liberation, the year Canada reclaims its collective soul, or it may be the year in which Canadians elect to continue their enslavement to the neo-conservative agenda. (Please forgive the rather overblown rhetoric in the previous sentence, but in my heart it sums up what lies before us.)

The question of whether Stephen Harper will run in the next election is on many people's minds. Some are entirely convinced that he will, while I am of the view the public opinion surveys and their consistency will be a heavy influence on his decision. If they suggest that he is held in wide and consistent public odium, I suspect he will choose to forgo another election. Like Brian Mulroney before him, and the detested former Ontario premier Mike Harris, whose massive egos didn't blind them to the likelihood of defeat at the polls, I suspect Harper will decide to cut and run (the contemptuous term Harper always used to when anyone suggested we get out of Afghanistan) rather than confront the truth about himself: that despite his delusions, he is a leader who has failed abysmally in inspiring anything but division, rancour and selfishness within the country he was elected to serve.

A letter in today's Star offers this view:

Re: Harper resignation no longer a far-fetched notion, Aug. 25

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not risk the humiliation of losing the next election as the momentum is building against him across the country. Harper will not run in the 2015 election.

He may be able to prorogue Parliament to avoid a confrontation in the House of Commons and the intense questioning over Senators Pamela Wallin, Mac Harb, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau. But he cannot prorogue the fact of his alienating Quebec.

He is unable to prorogue the 2015 election and will not want to preside over the break-up of the country.

Robert G. Sheehan-Gauthier, Ottawa

Of course, my political instincts are not what they once were, and I could be completely wrong. For a more nuanced and detailed analysis of the factors that will influence Harper's decision, take a look at the CBC's Greg Weston's piece here.

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