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.”

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.”

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

Most Read