Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Stephen Harper.

The strategic, pragmatic, secure, proven leader.

Adjectives, repeated by journalists, conservative politicians and supporters during his nine-year tenure as Canada’s prime minister.

Adjectives, some of which, aptly describe his Machiavellian gamesmanship in the art and science of politics.

Adjectives and a positioning, in contrast to his administration and its implications for Canada.



From the time he prorogued Parliament, Act I, Stephen Harper pursued a high risk, low reward economic plan, focused on one industry.

One industry in need of a low-cost transportation method to move landlocked oilsands bitumen to refineries in the United States and markets overseas.

Calling himself a friend to this one industry, Harper proceeded to expunge environmental and waterways regulations and standards. In cahoots with Canada’s security agencies, the federal government spied on any parties objecting to oilsands expansion, and obstructed any and all attempts at legitimate carbon pricing.

He also used hundreds of millions of public dollars to advertise the virtues of Alberta’s oilsands in North America and Europe. Under cover. At least until recently.

Continue reading Harper’s Leadership: Not so secure, not so pragmatic, not so proven

Could Oil Prices Delay Canadian Federal Election?

Canadian media, political pundits and social media are rife with talk Prime Minister Stephen Harper might opt to use the cover of stronger polling statistics, the heightened security issues since the attack on Parliament and in Paris, to move up the federal election date to spring of 2015.

Could the declining oil prices causing budget woes, and in fact a delayed budget, instead suggest the Conservatives delay the federal election to 2016? By then oil prices might have recovered sufficiently to allow the tax breaks and spending options Conservatives wish to take to the Canadian public and Conservative supporters.

Would there be any repercussions for Mr. Harper and the Conservatives? What would be the implications for the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Green Party? Beyond social media, would Canadians at large care about any delays?

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