Thursday, December 31, 2009
Stephen Harper: The man who would (not) be Prime Minister.
With this latest prorogation of Parliament, numerous pundits have accused Stephen Harper of shrieking, pants-peeing cowardice. And while that would be true, the real story here is not of Stephen Harper's cowardice, but his utter indifference to the job of governing. Quite simply, his heart just isn't in it anymore.
Consider that, after his victory with a minority government in 2006, Steve-O had (barring a Parliamentary no-confidence vote) four years to run things. And yet, after less than three years, a clearly bored Harper dissolved Parliament and called another election, effectively resigning his position of PM and walking away, waiting to see what the electorate would do.
Harper wins that election, setting himself up for another four years. Astonishingly, within only weeks, Harper decides he's not all that interested in that whole governing thing again, and prorogues Parliament.
Upon his return, you'd think Harper has his hands full, shepherding the country through a worldwide recession. You'd be wrong as, only a year later, Harper decides once again that running a minority government is hard werk and he'd rather kick back for another couple months and watch the Olympics, but maybe he'll check in once in a while and see how things are going and he'll be back in March, refreshed and all revved up for perhaps several more weeks of intense effort before once again succumbing to terminal ennui.
Yes, he's a coward. But more than anything, Stephen Harper clearly has little interest in being the leader of a minority government. Apparently, if he can't have total and dictatorial control, well, eh, what's the point? If he's not getting his way, his only reaction is to walk away, chill out for a while, then come back to see if anything's changed.
The irony here is that Canada's conservatives are currently mocking Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who can't seem to provide a single, compelling reason why he (Ignatieff) should be Prime Minister. What's amusing is that, while Ignatieff can't convince anyone why he should become PM, we have Stephen Harper clearly monumentally uninterested in the position himself. Which leads one to suggest to Mr. Harper -- if you're that bored with being Prime Minister, why don't you wander off and write your hockey book and give the job to someone who actually wants it?
P.S. Oh, and Steve? On your way out, take that useless waste of skin of a Governor-General with you.