Vote On Harper’s Options…

Grand-Strategist Stephen Harper has backed himself into a corner of his own making. He has failed to create an economic plan, but used the occasion of national crisis to advance partisan interests and ideological designs. His lack of plan failed even to adhere to fundamental economic principles. As a result, we find ourselves in a major political crisis. Further, in order to show that the opposition separatists and socialists were plotting a coup, his office illegally spied on an NDP caucas meeting and openly released this recording to the press because they see nothing unethical in listening in on, recording, and publishing a private conversation by a major Canadian political party. His office also ignored that Harper himself had secretly negotiated such a “coup” with separatists and socialists only 3 years ago. Faced with defeat, he now contemplates prorogue and plunging the country into constitutional chaos rather than accepting the rule of the majority. His supporters (such as Chuck Adler) are on the radio calling for a military coup. He openly calls the rule of Parliament a “coup-d’etat”; the horrors of the English Civil War long forgotten and – at least for Adler – seriously contemplated.

In short, Harper deserves not only to be replaced as PM, but to face the reasonable adults of his own party. He couldn’t even get a standing ovation from his party today in the House. If they wish to demonstrate their worth to govern, they will surely pull out the knives for this egregious behaviour. Further, the more reasonable among the Conservatives should also be considered for cabinet posts.

Question: Is Harper’s strategic genius over-rated?

In the hope of helping Harper through his final week in office, Donald Street will examine his options and invites all four readers to vote:

(1) Prorogue: Harper could end the current session of Parliament, declaring that all the goals of the long-ago Throne Speech have been accomplished and that a new session is required. The is the nuclear option. In short, it would deny Parliament the power to pronounce on the fiscal update, it would prevent Parliament from acting to deal with the economic crisis for another month of inaction, and it would create a major constitutional crisis. I recommend against this option as it will only mean chaos and inaction.

(2) Beg on national TV: Not a great option. Harper could beg for survival. He could make reasonable offers and release an new economic plan that matches the goals of the coalition. Still, this is not much of an option. If he releases something reasonable after all this madness, the coalition could still adopt his plan and take power. The coalition would be weaker for it, but could still justify the move on the basis that Harper cannot no longer be trusted.

(3) Do Nothing: He could just go through the motions and hope for a coalition collapse in the next week. Since the chances of collapse now are near-impossible, this option is near hopeless for Harper. At the very least, doing nothing is perhaps the most dignified way to go and he should be commended for doing so. He may live to fight another day this way.

(4) Quit Now: This is Harper’s best option. Quit. The Conservatives could then retain power under a more reasonable leader, like Jim Prentice, who has proved both an able leader and a consensus builder. Faced with Prentice, the coalition would be wise to back down and let him try to rule. This is the only way I see the Conservatives holding on to power. But, whom among Harper’s advisers is going to knock on the door to recommend this option?

Honestly, I’m trying to think of a better option for Mr. Harper. I can think of none. He has proven Thucydides’ maxim that “The strong do what they can, the weak do what they must.”

And, now, dear readers, vote on Harper’s best option. If you choose other, please add a comment. I would love to know what other options he has:


22 responses to “Vote On Harper’s Options…

  1. I suspect that all four readers have now voted as there is 25% prorogue, 25% do nothing, and 50% resign…

  2. I would love to hear from the prorogue voters. How can you justify this option? Its chaos and inaction at a time of national economic crisis.

  3. Forget what you think, its about them and their survival…if its legal, then they will use it and spin it so that they are saving Canada from an unholy alliance with the seperatits.

  4. Man, you should have seen the look on Harper’s face when Prentice got up to speak. You can tell he knows that he messed up big time, and I sincerely doubt Harper is going to be allowed to face another election as leader. Prentice is a former Progressive Conservative, and I really do hope that he can make a more moderate Conservative party that I could consider voting for. Really, the resignation of Harper is probably the only way the Conservatives could possibly get out of this and hold onto power.

  5. 8 days ago, as Rex Murphy reminded us tonight, the parties would be more friendly in the House. Today’s antics were anything but. Harper is a better option than Dion at this point.
    This economic crisis will not be solved by dumping federal dollars into rich people’s pockets. Doing nothing is exactly what is required. Let people who made bad choices suffer, and we will recover. That is why I am voting DO NOTHING.

    Editor’s Note: 8 days is a long time. In this situation, that’s like quoting from Ancient Greeks.

  6. I agree, Timo, that if you think that this platform is the best option, you stick with it. I think that its a terrible platform, but if I believed in it I would go down to defeat on it.

    I can see voting any way above except #1. I just can’t believe that is reasonable and would love to hear from the reader(s) who believe it to be the best option.

    PS: I voted “resign”. If Harper does that the Conservatives can continue to govern under adult leadership.

  7. The only thin that could happen behind the scenes is the the ole Big blue machine in Ontario pulls out their knives again and harper will fall from within as Joe Clark, Manning, Day, dief did.

  8. I agree with prorogue – I wouldn’t like that option and it would be weaselly but you did as what HARPER’S best option would be !

    Aside from just the political “hang onto power – must…hang…onto…power” there’s a lot of people who gave up jobs and moved to Ottawa for him and the party, funders who stepped up etc.. Stepping down would be easy and almost ‘noble’ if it were just him but you’re talking about the whole “Tory Inc.” that’s been created in Ottawa over the past few years that would go down the toilet if he did. He and the party need to show them they did everything possible to keep them afloat if they’re ever planning on going back to them a year or two from now to work for or fund them again.

  9. I voted for resign, but he could try buying a nation-wide ad on national TV (with his own money) to try to being Canadians on-side.

  10. Prentice is such a twit. If they keep mouthing this Seperatist crap they’ll dig themselves deeper.

    How about admitting they made a mistake and would redouble their efforts to wrok with everyone….NAH

  11. Pingback: Globe and Mail Says Harper Should Go « Don Street Blog

  12. Add Brunogge to the twit list. How does this imbecile get elected.

  13. I wonder if instead of their non-confidence vote on the government, could the coalition table a new (and symbolic) non-confidence vote on Stephen Harper’s leadership alone? I think many in the Canadian public would be less angry if Harper were pushed to resign as PM, rather than having 143 elected MPs pushed out of government so soon after the election.

  14. One would have to be insane to prorogue.

    Oh. Sorry. Meant to say one would have to be BOTH cowardly and insane to prorogue.

    That being said, of course, Harper will prorogue.

  15. Hey Sigh at 11:29am – the answer is twice too many!

  16. Add Adler to the twit list.

    The NDP spokesman just mopped the floor with him.

  17. I vote “do nothing.”

    I still don’t like the idea of coalition government, and I still think the opposition is handling this equally as bad as Harper is right now. I don’t like Harper, but right now, I’m liking the opposition even less.

    I don’t think it’s such a long shot to hope for the coalition to implode on itself.

    Also, I find CJOB radio quite ridiculous at the moment. I found Roy Green on the weekend at least somewhat insightful, but can’t stand Chucky right now. If you are serious, and are not lying or stretching when you say that Chucky is calling for a military coup, wow, he should seriously be taken off the radio. Harper isn’t Charles II. Oh, this also isn’t the middle ages.

    And GUARAN-EFFIN-TEED Charles Adler would hold some crazy talk show denouncing ANY OTHER COUNTRY who’s next move was to call in the military to protect a minority House.

  18. Oops my bad. That’s Charles I, not II.

    (Check facts before posting)

  19. RE: Calling for a military coup.

    I’ll admit, that’s not exactly what he said. He was only calling on the military to “do something”. Any idiot knows what options the military have. He was only suggesting treason with a wink and a nod, but the message was clear.

  20. Still mike, even the notion that the military should somehow intervene is…well, let’s just say words can’t describe how outlandish that is.

    I don’t care if he’s saying it with a “wink and nod” sort of fashion, you just don’t say that kind of crap.

    I thought we were in the 21st century.

  21. Agreed.

    Over at Hacks and Wonks, the Hack quotes an Op-Ed from the National Post claiming that the coalition is so unholy that it would have been burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages! What total nonsense. The extreme Conservatives can’t seem to understand that there are rules to be followed and compromises to be made. That is why Harper failed.

  22. The Globe and Mail has a few more options, including crazy ones like asking Queen Elizabeth to change the Governor General with someone who will support the Conservatives:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s