"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Harper's Hail-Mary History

There is no shame in Harperland
As I write this, we are in the final week of Federal Election #42. If we are to believe the polls, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is running in second place behind Justin Trudeau. 

Not that I put much faith in polls mind you. They failed to predict the last B.C. election, two of the last three Alberta elections, the last Quebec election or the "Orange Tide" in 2011. 

But I would bet dollars to donuts that Citizen Stephen is keeping a "weather eye" on the polls. You see, at this stage of the game, it appears highly unlikely that he will grab another "false majority". And with both Justine Trudeau and Tom Mulcair saying there is no way they would prop up a Conservative minority (And equally unlikely that Elizabeth May would support him either), the chances of Harper governing, even with a minority, seem equally improbable. 

Depending on how things play out in Quebec, Steve may be able to get into bed with the Bloc if things are close enough. But that also seems pretty unlikely. 

It would appear that we are looking at the twilight of Stephen Harper. And Stephen himself, sees that same setting sun. 

So we have to ask ourselves, would a power hungry, "win at all costs" kind of guy like Harper just sit back and let nature take it's course when faced with immanent death? Not likely. He will surrender 24 Sussex only under a cloud of tear-gas and a hail of bullets. Harper's own history has demonstrated that fact. Consider:

- In 2004, when Paul Martin was leading his own Liberal minority government and Steve was opposition leader, a potential non-confidence vote in the house of commons was so close, that it came down to one vote. Martin's government hung on the "yea or nay" of one independent M.P., Chuck Cadman.

But Cadman had inoperable cancer. Though he was still able to hold his
Chuck wouldn't take the bribe
seat in the House, his time on earth was rapidly coming to a close. So what did Citizen Stephen do in order to ensure he got his non-confidence vote and a shot at the Prime Minister's residence? He tried to bribe Cadman with a million dollar life insurance policy that named Cadman's  wife as beneficiary. Cadman refused the bribe but nothing ever came of the whole sordid affair.  

 - In 2006, Harper finally got his shot at an election against Martin. It was a close run campaign, much like this current one. In the final stages of that election, the RCMP suspiciously announced it was investigating several Liberal Government personnel, including Finance Minister Ralph Goodale in what became known as the Income Trust Scandal. 

Goodale and the Liberal Party were eventually exonerated in the scandal, but much too late. Harper rode the negative Liberal publicity to his first minority government. Then RCMP Commissioner,Giuliano Zaccardelli, was believed to have been "sympathetic" to the Conservative cause. He never explained the timing of his explosive announcement and was never held to account for it. Harper was Prime Minister by then you see.  

Dion, an decent man but an
easy target for Harper's
hate machine
 - In 2008, when Harper was contesting his second Campaign, also a close run affair, then CTV news journalist Mike Duffy, aired an interview with Liberal Leader Stephane Dion. After promising not to air the first dismal takes of the interview. Duffy broke his promise and what eventually aired, made Dion seem like a bumbling idiot. Many believe that interview was the turning point in the election. Duffy of course, went on to be appointed to the Senate by Citizen Stephan. And Duffy is of course, currently on trial for fraud as a result of his Senate shenanigans.He never answered for the damning interview with Dion.

 - Also in 2008, shortly after winning his second minority government, Harper faced a Palace Revolt by the opposition parties that would have seen him turfed out of office and replaced by a coalition government. So what did Harper do? He prorogued government with the Governor General's blessing and waited out the storm. The coalition dissolved under Harper's relentless negative spin doctoring and he retained power. 

A year later, Harper prorogued Parliament once again to avoid accountability over the Afghan detainee issue. Harper never accounted for the prorogation, nor the potential torture of the detainees. 

 - In 2011, when Harper knew he needed a Majority government in order to implement his ultimate agenda or face expulsion by his own party, we saw the largest case of fraud ever committed in a Canadian Election. The Robo-Calls affair. Despite damning evidence of a coordinated effort to thwart voters seen as hostile to the conservatives through the use of misleading automated phone calls, The Harper Government (as the Canadian Government is now called) never accounted for this misdead either. They went to great lengths to stonewall any and every investigation into the matter and in the end, the only one held to account was a minor Conservative party operative. Harper had his majority and he rapidly and ruthlessly began reshaping Canada in his own image. 

So as demonstarted above, Stephen is not one to run a clean campaign when the stakes are high. And in Harperland, the ends always justify the means and there is no such thing as shame. 

So we have to ask ourselves, with the stakes being just as high in this election - Harper's political life hangs in the balance -  just what trump card does he have up his sleeve?

He brought in the "Lizzard of Oz", a divisive Australian spin doctor extraordinaire, to breath life into a sagging campaign. Initially, it seemed like Harper had pulled himself out of the fire one more time by use of the "Niqab" issue, thus stoking the xenophobic flames of discontent within a small portion of the Canadian population and diverting attention from his dismal economic record. 

But to a certain extent, this ploy seems to have backfired as we are 
now seeing a much wider debate based on the general issue of "values" - an area where  Harper is at a distinct disadvantage with all but his most loyal base. 

So what will Harper do in his final days in order to ensure his
continued existence? Will it be a terror based event? An arrest? Another dire warning from an alleged extremest group? 

There is also a possibility that, like the Robo-Calls affair, we won't know what ace Harper played until after the election. But rest assured, Harper will not go queitly into the night. He is dying and he needs to play one last Hail Mary. One last desperate, loathsome gasp from a man with no shame.  

So what will Harper's last big play be?

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