Harper “ensconced” in power for next 8 years??

“Ensconced” — I love that word.  But in this case…

As much as I might roll my eyes at the feverish fear and loathing Harper provokes in some of the more doctrinaire corners of Left Blogistan, even I have trouble with the idea of him being ensconced — or even sconced — in power for another 8 years.  Thirteen(13) consecutive years of Harpie??  Say it ain’t so:

After uniting the right, winning three consecutive Conservative governments, and now facing an opposition in disarray, Prime Minister Stephen Harper could be in power until 2020.

“I think he’s safely ensconced for at least another eight years,” predicts veteran Parliament Hill journalist and Globe and Mail national affairs columnist Lawrence Martin, who documented Prime Minister Harper’s (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) consolidation of power over five years of minority government in Harperland: The Politics of Control. The bestselling book was re-released last week with a new chapter.

With both the NDP and Liberals in search of leaders who can challenge the Prime Minister in 2015, it appears that the next election is already his to lose.

His to lose his to lose his to lose

In the absence of an aggressively charismatic opposition leader and/or an economy that goes completely to shit, incumbents are always hard to take out.  This goes double(x2) for Harper, who strikes me as the type who’d hang on by his ragged, fungus-laden little toenails simply because he’s got nothing better to do.  Former Harper advisor and remorseful wannabe hit man Tom Flanagan concurs:

“He doesn’t really care much about money,” Mr. Flanagan told The Hill Times. “He likes to watch hockey and so on, but he doesn’t have a lot of active interests that he wants to pursue. He doesn’t play golf. He doesn’t play tennis. He doesn’t care much for travel. He doesn’t paint. He doesn’t garden. He doesn’t fish. You know, he loves politics.”

Never mind voting:  now we finally know for sure how to remove Harper from office.  Find him a hobby!  Stamp collecting, home brewing, karaoke, bingo, sky diving, basket weaving, triathlon, anything that will rouse in him such a passion that he can’t wait to leave Parliament Hill behind so he can devote more time to it.

Suggestions, as always, are welcome!

31 Responses to “Harper “ensconced” in power for next 8 years??”

  1. 1 hemmingforddogblog Monday, September 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Our PM sounds like a fascinating guy. *yawn*

    He likes cats, so this would be the absolutely bestest job for him:


  2. 2 Alison S Monday, September 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’m thinking solo Antarctic explorer. That might just be far enough away and he could get permanently lost.

  3. 3 Neil H. Monday, September 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    How about BASE jumping sans parachute?

  4. 4 Bleatmop Monday, September 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I agree with the assessment that Harper is ensconced (had to look that up) in power for the next 8 years. So far he hasn’t starting burning the country down or anything horrible that the average Canadian would even notice. So unless, like you say, the economy turns to complete shit or if there are any major blunders (like a video tape of him musing how he hates Canadians and wants to sell our country to the USA might do it, not that I believe he thinks those things), he’s going to win the next election. Most Canadians don’t pay attention until the week or two before the election unless something affects them directly and that plays to Harper’s favour.

  5. 5 sinned34 Monday, September 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Since they’re essentially both centrist Republicans, perhaps Obama could introduce Harper to homebrewing beer.

  6. 6 BC Mary Monday, September 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm


    Looks like Stevo does hate Canada:

    How Harper really feels about Canada and Canadians
    “I was asked to speak about Canadian politics. It’s legendary that if you’re like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.”

    Harper speech at a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing U.S. think tank. Text from CTV.

    “Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.”

    Harper speech at a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing U.S. think tank. Text from CTV.

    “Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.”

    Harper speech at a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing U.S. think tank. Text from CTV.

    “I think there is a dangerous rise in defeatist sentiment in this country. I have said that repeatedly, and I mean it and I believe it.”

    Ottawa Citizen, June 3, 2002. Wiki Quote: Stephen Harper

    “I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome. … Atlantic Canada’s culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country.”

    New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, May 29, 2002. Wiki Quote: Stephen Harper

    When Harper first came to power he renamed the Government of Canada to: “Canada’s New Government.” Now he has gone so far as to rename the government after himself, the “Harper Government.”

    Globe and Mail: Tories re-brand government in Stephen Harper’s name

    How Harper really feels about health care
    “It’s past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act.”

    Quote from Harper’s NCC boss David Somerville. CBC: “But it wasn’t Harper who spoke the words cited on screen in the ad — it was his then-boss, National Citizens Coalition president David Somerville, a Conservative spokesman said.” Liberals say they’ll change health-care ad quote

    “Gratzer proposes a workable solution for the biggest policy problem of the coming generation ― government-controlled health-care monopoly. Canada needs Gratzer’s solution.”

    Globe and Mail: Jeffrey Simpson: What if Stephen Harper’s previous views were used against him?

    “I think [two-tiered health care] would be a good idea. We are headed in that direction anyway. We are alone among OECD countries in deciding we’ll have a two-tier system but our second tier will be outside of the country. I think this is the wrong way to go.”

    CBC News Sunday Night Report, 1997. Transcript: Q: “What do you think of a parallel private health care system for Canadians?” Harper: “Well I think it would be a good idea. We are headed in that direction anyway. We are alone among OECD countries in deciding we’ll have a two-tier system but our second tier will be outside of the country where only the very rich and powerful can access it and is of absolutely no benefit to the health care system. I think this is the wrong way to go.”

  7. 7 Scotian Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 1:44 am


    “As much as I might roll my eyes at the feverish fear and loathing Harper provokes in some of the more doctrinaire corners of Left Blogistan,” I really hope you were not including me as one of those whose opposition was “doctrinaire” in nature, because my reasons were almost anything but, well except for being “doctrinaire” in terms of respecting Parliamentary protocols and procedures including little things like election laws and such. My concerns were rooted in his words and deeds observed and heard since the late 80s when he first popped up on my radar screen, as I wrote so many times in the past. Indeed, I would have been far less freaked out if he was simply ideologically unsound/dangerous, but he is far more than that as you have heard me argue so many times in the past when I was trying to prevent this horror from coming about.

    As for him lasting through two more terms, well it depends on a couple of factors. The first one being how well the economy holds up under his government’s management (which considering how far he and Flim Flam had already gutted the government’s fiscal room before this majority is I think going to be a major problem for him and his crew if the newt few years prove out to be one fifth as bad as the general economic projection consensus is regarding the global economy. Things were already starting to show by the time of the past election, I suspect after four years a lot more will have.

    The second is whether he feels this is the only term he can get to make his radical/revolutionary changes to Canada that he has been aching to do for the last quarter century and had been so open and consistent about form the late 80s on through to 2004 when his loss to Martin despite Adscam then showed him he HAD to appear moderate and like the PCPC and he went into full out deception mode on this. I suspect that we will see a fair amount of this over the next few years because he knows that the economy overall may be enough to drag him out of majority territory next election cycle which given he has a very slim majority he got by a combination of factors he will not have next time out (Libs with an ex-pat leader with MAJOR issues not being viable to the electorate, and NDP no longer with Layton on the left with his personal charisma that got them so much support and his willingness to continue the mission of killing the Libs, they did so well last time out far more because of Jack than because of their party’s message/ideology) is far more possible than may appear at this time.

    I also think that depending on the respective leaders it is very possible for the Liberals to make a big comeback ESPECIALLY if Harper goes wild. I say that for this reason. Whatever else the Libs have the actual governing record of shaping this nation for the vast majority of its history, who created a very progressive nation for the most part when they had the power, and provided generally good government most of the time with corruption that tended to be fiscal as opposed to abuse of power and most of the time reasonably limited (yes I know, there should be none, but that is only in the ideal world, in the real world ALL governing structures inherently create corruption, the question for me and I believe many other political pragmatists is whether the corruption is too extensive for the quality of government being provided) and will seem very comfortable to many in the center/unaffiliated middle who make up the plurality of our voting electorate.

    The NDP will continue to carry its ideological perceptual baggage, especially now that Layton is no longer there, he was able to help many overlook that aspect with his personality and his personal record as a caring politician who actually wanted to help the mythical “little guy”, and this is not factoring in what the Quebec wing may cause them for perceptual troubles during this majority term given how soft nationalist so many of them appear to be, much like the Mulroney PCs in the 1980s who birthed the BQ in the first place..

    As well the Libs will have been out of power for well over a decade and obviously punished/humbled by this last loss at the polls, and therefore can credibly argue they have changed and can now be returned to power. That they are the party of sensible common sense good government and not driven by ideological fervor, which if Harper does go the way I (and so many that are familiar with his long term record) fear will likely have become a very toxic political factor for ANY political party. Then the environment looks very favourable for a party that can credibly argue it is not ideologically driven, has institutional governing experience it can use to start cleaning up the messes Harper will leave in his wake, and that especially after a decade of ideological government from one party that never governed before is it really sensible to give another unelected to govern ideologically rooted party whatever its flavour the next several years to try their theories of governing out too.

    Do I think this is a given? Of course not, I don’t think like that (contrary to the beliefs of some). Do I think it is at least as probable as any of the other mainstream notions like Harper being a two majority termer like Martin argues or that the NDP could finally become the government and finish of the Libs? Oh hells yes. I think the loss of Layton, especially so soon after the last election will be a major negative factor for the NDP for the next election, especially given the massive Quebec wing they have that suddenly dwarfs the rest of the country’s representation within their caucus.

    I think the Libs are far from as close to finished off as a political force federally as many on the left/Dipper side of the equation want to believe, and I think there is still a major misconception within the progressive/lefty elements of the political world, namely that most voters are progressive, they aren’t. They are centrists/moderates, and ESPECIALLY after one ideological government are not going to be looking to another ideologically rooted party to fix things, especially not when there is a much more pragmatic trusted with a proven record of governing party available, especially since it was so humbled in the last election and finally properly punished for a scandal which will be a generation old by the time of the next election.

    Sorry about the length JJ, but you have said in the past you don’t mind it from me, and this is an analysis I think should be pointed out as an alternative to the two main ones where either the CPC or the NDP are going to be the big gainers in the next election, especially since I think either of those outcomes are far from being written yet especially given the realities of our political culture, dynamics, what Harper truly is and has always wanted to do with majority power, the loss of Layton so soon after his grand “victory” (which I said at the time and continue to argue was a classic example of how to win the battle to lose the war) combined with the actual demographic makeup of the electorate just to name a few important factors.

    After all outside of Quebec the NDP didn’t really do all that spectacularly, and those gains were far more due to the leader’s pull than the party’s and since he is no longer there and the feeling of wanting to “win one for the gipper” will likely have faded by the next election (which is why I make the point about the impact of losing him so soon after the last election) for all but hardcore Dipper voters this strikes me as a very real alternate potential outcome. Now, can it be avoided by the NDP? Sure, depends on who becomes their leader, how well behaved their Quebec wing is on the topic of Quebec separatism/nationalism, how well they manage to handle being the OO in a majority where they have no power but the limited one of the mike (which under the Harper regime has seriously weakened) to do anything to stop Harper’s excesses and so forth, but I am not willing to believe they have changed all that much underneath the skin that Layton pulled over them, and it will be interesting to watch how they manage without his dominating presence within the party to keep factions and ideologues under control and not fighting in the public view, especially now that they ARE the OO the government will clearly spend more time treating them to the same media attack strategies they used so well on the Libs.

    The Libs have the chance to rebuild themselves without as much public scrutiny over the next four years, and depending on how they go about it they could come back either weaker than ever OR stronger at the base then they have been for at least a generation. It is almost certain that many that thought Liberal Tory same old story was true pre-Harper majority will feel they were sold a bill of goods when they find out just how untrue that really was with Harper and his CPC as opposed to the old PCPC. That all Layton said about protecting progressive values from the bad parties was so much hot air, ESPECIALLY in a majority government even with an NDP Official Opposition.

    There is very fertile ground for the Libs to work on both sides of their wings, left and right, and they now have the time to do so. The question will be in the end do they, and do they enough to win back power and their former position as a dominant political force. Only time will tell, I just think this is something too many people are thinking is set in stone, and I am far from convinced that it is, especially after so many Canadians saw what happened when the PCPCs were taken out of the picture and replaced with a robust ideologically driven party claiming to represent the same values and constituencies. I think with the loss of Layton the NDP gains are far less solid to begin with, and their ability to grow outside of their old limits has been seriously weakened if not destroyed altogether.

    Whatever I have (and had) to say about Layton’s judgment politically speaking regarding Harper and the Liberals I always acknowledged his raw political abilities and talents, indeed that was partly why I was so pissed off he placed beating the Libs as more important than preventing a Harper majority, it might not have been so embittering for me if he hadn’t had been as talented and politically capable, I could then have chalked it up to his stupidity and long term blindness for short term appeals, but he was simply too capable and grounded a politician not to have understood exactly who and what Harper truly was and what he would do given the chance and he STILL thought it was better for him and his party and the country to allow it if it helped increase NDP seat counts taken from the Libs, and that I simply could not forgive and refuse to pretend that I do now that he has passed on. I said nothing about it during the first several weeks from his death, but that is as much consideration I will give the man for doing what I have always believed was a massive disservice to this nation, the principles he espoused, and the core values the NDP were built upon and were pre-Layton believed to actually place ahead of seat gains, which was what MADE them a principled different choice from the other two parties in the first place.

    The NDP have eaten that cake (about supposedly being a different kind of party that placed principle first, which it actually had built up a track record of being over the decades until he came to be the leader) and had it throughout Layton’s leadership and got away with it because of his raw charisma, capabilities as a leader, and his salesmanship, but he is no longer there and I don’t see anyone approaching his level of multi-talent that way in their leadership likelies so far, which means it is far more likely now that this will be more noticed by voters that once trusted the NDP to be the party of principle first. As many troubles the Libs have the NDP are not all that far behind in themselves, especially now that the Layton glue which bound them together so tightly has now been removed. I suspect we are going to see some old factions start to come to the fore, especially that that they think they have a chance at real power, it is alas a very typically human thing to do in such situations regardless of political persuasion.

    Just some food or thought JJ, especially since I am not doing regular commenting/blogging these days, hope you didn’t mind me doing so here this time, I promise not to do this to you on a regular basis, that would hardly be fair to you and your regulars now would it? I did try to paragraph it enough to make it easier to read, hope it helped.

  8. 8 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

    No Scotian, you don’t strike me as doctrinaire at all… over time I’ve noticed your criticism ranges across party lines and ideologies. Same with most progressives who perceive Harper as a threat to the Canadian identity rooted in things like universal health care because it’s absolutely true that he wants to change some of those things. “Doctrinaire” refers to a minority who insist that there’s no difference between Harper and some murderous middle eastern dictator. While Harper is definitely an authoritarian of the highest order, secretive, sneaky etc., and likes to appeal to his base’s lowest instincts, it’s a stretch to call him a dictator. And I think the rhetoric is unhelpful to anyone but Harper because it just makes his opposition look like fruitcakes.

    More later, just wanted to get that out of the way…

  9. 9 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for that link, I didn’t know about the Parliamentary Cats. How cool is that!??

    It might be a good hobby for Steve, but I think most people want him a little farther away from Parliament Hill 😉

  10. 10 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

    If Herpie is one of those people who likes cold weather, we might just have a winner!

  11. 11 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Herpie” = Harpie
    (Though Herpie isn’t a totally bad nickname for him — he’s been just as hard to get rid of.)

  12. 12 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Well, I was thinking of something a little less fatal. We don’t want to kill him, after all, just get him out of the Big Chair!

  13. 13 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I find it hard to believe that times could be good enough, and the opposition lame enough, for Harper to hold onto power for that long, but I guess it’s possible. He might win the next one since the opposition is still somewhat in disarray, but if that happens it might be what it takes for the opposition parties to get serious about a coalition. (Not that it’s a given that an NDP/Lib coalition would walk away with over 50% of the vote: not everyone who didn’t vote CPC would vote NDP/Lib. But they could still win, in this weirdo system of ours.)

    like a video tape of him musing how he hates Canadians and wants to sell our country to the USA

    The USA can’t afford us right now 😉

  14. 14 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I want a halfsack of that beer!

  15. 15 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

    The problem is, a lot of people agree with him. (Not me.)

    As for 2-tier health care, we’ve already got it with people who jump the queue and go down to the states for treatment. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t keep that money in Canada by having a hybrid system with private options available to those who want them (but everyone’s covered like they are right now by the public system). It would sure take a lot of pressure off the public system, and probably make it even better.

  16. 16 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    …is I think going to be a major problem for him and his crew if the newt few years prove out to be one fifth as bad as the general economic projection consensus is regarding the global economy. Things were already starting to show by the time of the past election, I suspect after four years a lot more will have.

    This could be what gets rid of Harper because it will start to affect people directly, but it won’t be any picnic for the next government either. We are heading into a truly dark phase in the economy… something that’s never happened before… the world has run out of money. Uncharted waters is a term that comes to mind. (That and “Titanic”.) 😯

  17. 17 Bleatmop Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    “He might win the next one since the opposition is still somewhat in disarray”

    It’s starting to become a joke that the opposition parties, especially the LPC, are in such disarray. The NDP at least have an excuse why they are in disarray, but they should have been grooming future leaders for quite some time. The LPC, well, I don’t even thing PET coming back from the dead could save them now. What is it, 5 straight elections with less popular support every time?

  18. 18 Bleatmop Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    BC MARY:

    I’ve thought of a few responses to your comment so I’ll put them out there in multiple choice form and you can decide which one you like best.

    A) I stand corrected BC Mary, Harper can openly muse about how he hates Canada and still win a majority government.

    B) Those old tired quotes have been going around for some time and they haven’t worked yet. Best move on and try and beat Harper on something that actually sicks. Good luck getting anything to stick to his Teflon suit of his.

    C) Isn’t the Big Scary Harper ™ meme getting old? The truth of it is irrelevant because the perception is that he’s not. At least to the majority of voters in the majority of ridings in Canada.

  19. 19 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I think it’s been the last three elections that the CPC has won: 2006, 2008 and 2011. Also 2004 which the CPC lost because the Libs convinced everyone that Harper was scary. (I think that might have been where the Scary Harper meme originated. Before that, Harper was a fairly low-profile unknown quantity in spite of being opposition leader.)

    I tend to agree that the LPC needs a major attitude adjustment before it can win again. The CPC has glommed onto something that appeals to the average voter in the early 21st century, and unfortunately the LPC is missing it.

  20. 20 Bleatmop Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    JJ – I couldn’t find popular vote in my quite internet search, but I did find the number of seats. The LPC peaked in recent history in 2000 with 172 seats. Then 135 in 2004, 103 in 2006, 77 in 2008 and finally 34 in 2011. They are now just under 20% the number of seats they were 11 years ago. This is also their lowest total ever, as far as I can tell.


    So it’s 4 straight with a loss, but it’s just how big that loss is that seems even more significant to me now that I’ve seen the numbers.

  21. 21 JJ Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Right you are. This page gives the pop. vote from the last 2 elections, and this one shows the years previous. From 2000 to 2011, the LPC’s share of popular vote went from 40% to 36% to 30% to 26% to 18%. Hard to believe, eh. They’ve clearly fallen from favour with the folks, and I don’t think it has anything to do with ‘Adscam’.

  22. 22 Peter Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:18 am

    I also think that depending on the respective leaders it is very possible for the Liberals to make a big comeback ESPECIALLY if Harper goes wild.

    Surely it is ironic that in 2006 and 2008 the biggest fear on the left was that Harper would implement his famous secret agenda and wreck havoc across the land, while in 2011 they seem to live in dread that he won’t.

  23. 23 JJ Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    You really get a kick out of this Hidden Agenda stuff, don’t you? 😛 😉

    Come on Peter… those secret emails to conservatives from CPCHQ, outlining the Hidden Agenda… including that Lefty Re-Education Camp 😯 … we know all about them. (My concentration camp cruisewear is still packed and waiting by the door. When Harper’s jackbooted thugs finally show up I’ll say… “What took ya so long?”)

    But seriously, when people talk about Harper “going wild”, I don’t think they’re necessarily talking about the Hidden Agenda anymore, it’s kind of passe. They’re more likely referring to things that Harper has been pretty clear about wanting to do. ie. changes to healthcare, the CBC, funding of various groups etc. (Whether some of these changes might be valid in 21st century Canada is another discussion.)

  24. 24 JJ Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I suspect we are going to see some old factions start to come to the fore

    I think this is especially true because the NDP’s big victory was largely due to their attracting BQ voters, who from what I can see are primarily interested in getting out of Canada altogether. Keeping the NDP caucus all on one page is going to be like that old expression “herding cats”.

  25. 25 JJ Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    OK, dilemma resolved! Harper’s new hobby: Chippendoofus!

  26. 26 Scotian Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks, appreciate that, I thought you knew me better than that, but because of how vocal and hardcore I have been about stopping Harper at all costs since before there was a CPC I could understand how some might think that of me even given how detailed I have been over the years for my reasoning. I agree with you that comparing him to some middle east dictator is unfair (although some might argue it is the dictator to whom it is unfair in that comparison, I don’t) and unhelpful (and helped mainstream him to some extent) which in turn allowed him to get away with the scrubbing of his record for almost 20 years as a far right wing extremist in terms of the Canadian political dynamic. I never had a problem with Canadian conservatives and conservativism, but that is not what Harper is as I’ve pointed out in extremely lengthy detail repeatedly all over the place.

    BTW, you understood what I meant about running wild far better than Peter did, Harper has been showing his stripes far more than advertising them over the past few years, take the issue over the Afghan detainee docs, he argued his minority government was superior in power to the Parliament as a whole, a clearly and patently falsity, and an unConstitutional one at that given that power for government is derived FROM Parliament. This is the same sort of reasoning and arrogation of power that Cheney pulled when he claimed his VP’s office was a 4th branch of government unaccountable to the rest of the system of government’s branches of government during the Bush43 years despite the Constitution saying no such thing and clearly deliniating three branches alone. Look also at the way his government has been trying to dismantle the Wheat Board despite the wishes of the farmers that actually use it, the legislation that governs it, and the fact that once gone it can never be restored because of treaties like Free Trade and GATT/WTO. That is clearly what I meant by his running wild as a majority PM, he can now do legislatively these things which were blocked to him in a minority.

    As to your reply dealing with the economy, I don’t have quite as dark a view as you about the global situation, but it is not lighter by all that much at all. That said your comment about the government that follows Harper’s going to have little to no room and being in a real mess is quite true, if people thought it was bad after the Harrisites left Ontario for Ontario to start recovering they haven’t seen anything yet compared to what I fear is coming once they are out of the federal government.

  27. 27 Scotian Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    One of the things that really angered me in the last election was the way Layton was replicating Mulroney’s method for taking seats away from the Libs in 1984 to increase his own count by aligning with the soft nationalists (who turned out to be not so soft after all, a situation I am more than a little fearful of with the Dipper Quebec caucus) and pandering to their views in his rhetoric in what he said in Quebec. I was pissed that he was not being called on it in the rest of the country as he should have been ESPECIALLY since we had the Mulroney example only a quarter century earlier to show the dangers in that. I think that the NDP got away with a lot of things because of how charismatic Layton was, and how much he felt like he cared about real people more than politics for so many (not a feeling he gave me, but then I literally grew up around politicians and have a very finely developed sense of them, I have known some truly decent people in that field but he always came off to me as caring more about the politics of power than the need for it to help others, although I do believe that was his motivation, but I think he allowed his belief in the nobility of his ends to allow him to blind himself to the dangers/evils of his means), and now that he is gone that is going to open them up to a level of scrutiny they have not been getting for a long time, not including the increase becoming Official Opposition for the first time will also bring on its own of course.

    It will also be interesting to see how they keep their Quebec wing in line without alienating tradition support in the rest of Canada, because you cannot claim to be nationalist in Quebec and Canadian unity in the ROC and get away with it for long, and they have a good 4 years until the next election. As I said before I think Layton’s presence kept a lot of factions quiet, and I suspect now that he is gone they will re-emerge, especially now to prevent the total hijack of their party by this new Quebec wing which is the reason they are the Official Opposition. In many ways this Quebec wing can easily become the tail that wags the NDP’s dog, and given that there is clearly a nationalist trend within that Quebec caucus and outside of Quebec the NDP’s core supporters are anything but favourable to those views and you get the brew for some very nasty internal factioning and fights.

    Like I said before, I don’t know if all of this is going to happen, I don’t deal in certainties, just probabilities, and the probability of such I have to say is high considering all relevant factors. I also think that the Liberals regardless of how they deal with their internal issues or not may be well positioned for a comeback in the next election because of the actions of Harper and the CPC and the NDP and whomever they elect to lead them as I already outlined. I do know that this decade is going to be an ugly one for Canadians (especially for progressives/liberals/lefties politically speaking but far from limited to them) whoever wins the next election for a lot of reason externally as well as thanks to Harper holding power for a decade first in minority and now finally with his long coveted majority which Layton helped him obtain. There is a reason I claim that Layton won the battle to lose the war after all and why I think in the long run it will be his political epitaph (assuming of course Canada lasts as a nation for more than the next decade or two, something I am not so convinced of now that we have a Harper majority at the same time we have the worst international economic disasters for at least 80 years happening). This is a very dark time for this nation and its citizenry, which is why I cannot bear to watch in close detail, my health literally might not survive it because of how strong my own beliefs run.

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