Friday, May 20, 2005

Vote for Stephen Harper?

It's been said that Stephen Harper is smart, strategic, accomplished -- he caused conservatives to come together to create the Conservative Party of Canada. Others say he's "scary." Why? How? Is it his close-set, deep-set eyes? Or just that any conservative by nature is scary?

The hallmark of Harper's leadership so far is his personal battle to oust Paul Martin and his poor treatment of Belinda Stronach.

Just as many find Harper scary, he finds Martin scary. And just as many vigorously want Harper never to get in, he wants Martin out. However, he cannot get Martin out just because he wants to, and he doesn't seem to recognize this. It's disheartening to see him say in response to the budget vote results, "I regret this decision deeply, it has shown more than ever the necessity for a united, strong, and principled opposition dedicated to replacing this government." He had a point up until the last five words. Then he shows he's missed the reason for the results: Canadians want the House to work together to govern our country, not to have an election. Even his own two Newfoundland MPs were strongly pressured to vote for the budget (which got the Conservatives to vote yea for the first budget bill) and Chuck Cadman was strongly influenced in his vote by the wishes of his constituents. Yet despite this evidence, he continues to pay blind allegiance to his one idea for Canada: to oust the Liberals from power and to put himself in power. This a poor reason to vote for him.

As for the Stronach issue...A good leader after winning a leadership race brings the other hopefuls into the fold and creates an atmosphere of inclusion and co-operation. Hubris gets him to oust them as Paul Martin did with Sheila Copps. Copps could not cross the floor, but Stronach was too new to the game to not have that option, and Harper ought to have known that. He was a fool to create the conditions for her defection.

Harper is not scary. He's simply poor Prime Ministerial material. He has articulated no vision for Canada. Nothing on the order of a just society or a gutsy free trading nation. He has demonstrated poor leadership with his treatment of Stronach. He's shown he's ruled by his emotions with his petty comments about her and his blind dedication to replacing the government now and not waiting another 6 months or so. The Conservatives need to find another Sir John A. Macdonald.

2 comments:

Martin Male said...

While Harper and the Conservatives are the lesser of 2 evils, Canadians had better start smartening up when it comes to choosing a government. Past history has shown that the Liberals are crooks and the Conservatives are idiots. Maybe it is time that people start to look at the Green Party as a viable alternative. Things will continue as they are unless both the Liberals and Conservatives are given that wake-up call. Oh yes, the NDP, too much government intervention for the imperialistic economy that we currently enjoy. The NDP have proven that their way of politics doesn't work in many provinces so why should they be any better as the government of Canada?

Anonymous said...

I think that it's definately the 'deep-set'. It's hard to trust someone who's eyes are obscured in shadow.