Here's Chantal Hébert:
That Harper is more isolated and less in control today than a year ago is not in doubt. Consistently mediocre poll results; heightened caucus unrest; public cabinet squabbles; a poorly handled Senate scandal and what has turned out to be a bad hire for the top party job indicate as much.Here's Lawrence Martin, writing under the title, "Harper machine in is in disarry":
A more interesting question is whether, after a decade at the helm, the Conservative leader is inexorably becoming detached/distracted from the business of running the party and the country.
Evidence that the government is adrift is accumulating and the responsibility for that can be traced right back to the top.
More often than not over the past eighteen months the messes that the prime minister has had to mop up have been of his own making. The Soudas episode is just one case in point.
Few expected this. The bet would have been that the Prime Minister would have gone to the wall to protect Dimitri Soudas, as he has many other loyalists after acts of folly.Here's Susan Delacourt from last July on Harper's enemies:
But just four months after having been appointed, the Conservative Party’s executive director is out the door. He joins a lengthening list. In recent months, Stephen Harper has also lost his chief of staff, his finance minister and a Supreme Court nominee, plus several senators as a result of the expenses scandal.
“Creepy” was one of the words used this week to describe the existence of those enemy lists inserted into the briefing binders of new ministers in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.And here is my hero and as far as I and many other are concerned, the only one who truly gets what a sick basturd the PM is. Meet Michael Harris:
Here’s something potentially creepier, however. What if the government kept its list of friends and enemies on a huge, computer database, with names, addresses and personal information about millions of Canadians? And what if you had no right at all to see how you were listed?
Such a database exists. Up to now, it’s been called the Constituent Information Management System, CIMS for short, though the Conservative party is reportedly in the midst of building a better machine, called C-Vote.
And yes, CIMS does organize the political universe into friendly and not-so-friendly people. If you’ve been a friend to the Conservative cause over the years, volunteering, donating or even writing nice things about Conservatives in letters to the newspaper, a yellow, smiley face appears beside your name in the database.
If, however, you have put up lawn signs for rival parties, slammed the door or hung up the phone on the Conservatives, your name appears in CIMS with a frowning red face.
Friend: smiley face. Enemy: frowning face. It’s as simple as that.
Someone described Stephen Harper as a Sphinx without a riddle.(Read every word he writes. His work can be found at iPolitics and The Tyee and you can follow him at @HarrisAuthor.)
In Calgary, I ran into Bill Phipps, the former moderator of the United Church. Phipps, a lawyer, churchman and social activist, ran against Harper in 2002 as the NDP’s candidate in the riding of Calgary Southwest. Harper refused to debate Phipps and won in a landslide.
“I went over to congratulate him at his headquarters and he wouldn’t shake my hand. He told me he despised me! I couldn’t figure out how he could despise me, since he didn’t know me.”
The Fair Elections Act is almost like one of the dark novels of Evelyn Waugh. How absurd is it that the party that cheated in the In-and-Out scandal is now redesigning the voting process? What are they trying to fix — the system or the next election?
Have you noticed how everything to do with government in Canada these days is either secret, under investigation, or in court?
As Bob Rae put it, “Harper can be nasty, cynical, and has a deep authoritarian streak. If there is something these guys don’t like, they must pass a law to stop it. He destroys the freedom people should have to express themselves.”
Be advised. That will soon include elections.
Given all this, it's not surprising to see this yesterday.
Fascinating: Harper says he's running #2015, but today CPC is calling Cdns to ask; "Wd you vote for *Harper?" Note NOT CPC! Harper #cdnpoli— Red Mitten (@2010redmittens) April 2, 2014
The CONs are polling to see how viable their fading, out-of-touch psychopath leader is for the next election.
Here's what I propose. Whether you are friend or foe, more especially if you are foe, voice your solid, unqualified support for Harper.
In polls. Phone polls, online polls, whenever you are asked by professionals your opinion of Harper, show him some love.
In other words, lie your ass off. (As a point of pride, I always lie to pollsters anyway.)
He wants to suppress our democracy. Let's subvert his.
Let's fuck up his beloved CIMS database.
And the beauty of this is that even if his operatives get wind of the effort, they won't believe it. They will believe their own poll numbers if they are moving in the direction they believe they should. They will not believe that a few determined Canadians would or could subvert the process.
Further beauty: It may panic the FUCKING USELESS OPPOSITION®. "Whoa", they may think, "Maybe we'd better rethink our age-old game of slamming other Opposition Parties rather than cooperating to preserve what little of Canada is left."
(To this end, I have a new Twitter policy. I am unfollowing all Opposition members, professional or amateur, who prefer to denigrate other Opposition parties over rallying to defeat the vandals currently in office.)
Of course, this won't work with über-partisans. And it may confuse your less political friends and relations.
You'll have to explain that you are engaged in a campaign of disinformation, feeding bullshit to the bad guys, in order to encourage them to continue in -- indeed double down on -- their blithe democracy- and environment-destroying ways only to wake up on election morning with a Kim-Campbell result.
I can't think of anything else for ordinary Canadians to do. Petitions, letter-writing, rallies, demonstrations, fah! They don't give a shit.
What we can deliver is false confidence.
Then, when they least expect it, a totally gratifying knee to the nads.
I leave the last word to co-blogger deBeauxOs, speaking of Harper.
We will not appear to threaten his projects; we will subvert his most important one -- getting reelected.