Harper, and blankie, can sleep better

Prime Minister Stephen Harper insisted for five weeks that the election he has won so convincingly was “not necessary.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper insisted for five weeks that the election he has won so convincingly was “not necessary.”

As Colonel Potter liked to say: “Horse hockey.”

Harper wanted this victory so bad he could taste it. Some leaders shine on the shifting ground of minority government. Their force of character, their vision, their ability to bend carries the day. Not Harper. His strength is his inflexibility. His insecurity has rendered him a control freak. I am convinced that as a child he never wanted to part with his security blanket.

That said, he has his security blanket back and I believe he will rise to the occasion and serve us well. His acceptance speech Monday night certainly had the blush of statesmanship.

I would feel better about this election had it not been dominated by attack ads and fear mongering.

As I have stated in this space, these tactics serve only to suppress the electorate and, while the voter turnout was higher than 2008, almost 40 per cent of the eligible electorate refused to participate in what turned out to be a defining moment in Canadian political history.

Where will Harper take us now? He will stabilize the economy. He will rewrite Canada’s criminal laws to end house arrest for violent criminals. There will be tougher sentences and mandatory jail time for sexual offenders. There will be a crackdown on the cozy treatment of violent young offenders. He will collapse the long-gun registry.

We will sleep better at night.

He will also have the last laugh, ending federal per vote subsidies for political parties now that his party no longer needs them.

In the grand scheme of things, it has been Harper’s goal to shift Canada to the right and ordain his Conservatives as the “natural governing party.” That process can proceed unencumbered … for at least four years.

Sadly, the demise of the Liberals – Canada’s “natural governing party” for many decades — began well before this election. The bitter infighting between the Paul Martin and Jean Chretien camps and the patronage scandal set the stage. Michael Ignatieff’s inability to renew the party and communicate renewal just finished the job.

For me, the election will be remembered for the death of the Bloc Québecois and the defeat of its leader Gilles Duceppe.

I am no NDPer, but I was born and raised in Montréal and, right now, I want to give NDP Leader Jack Layton a big hug for wiping the floor with the Bloc and Duceppe. This was a party— determined to tear our country apart— that was accorded national party status.

My grandfather came to Montréal from Ireland in the early 1900s. He was a proud Canadian and a federalist. For me, the death of the Bloc is a gift I dedicate to my grandfather’s memory.

A note of caution is required with respect to Québec. Layton’s official opposition is now dominated by Québec MPs, most of whom never even suspected they might get elected. Many of them can’t even speak French. When Québec wakes up to this realization there is going to be hell to pay.

The NDP has its roots in the West. I fear that for the next four years it will have its back to the West as it struggles to cope with its new master. M

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