Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harper - Mulroney

The federal conservatives seem to be having a problem with success. Prime Minister Harper seems to be always trying to get another election going so he can gain a majority. The recent fiasco over the dispute between the former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney and his former business associate, Karlheinz Schreiber, and the related Public Inquiry that has been ordered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is beginning to create some division within the conservative ranks.

Mulroney was instrumental in bringing the old Progressive Conservative party and the Canadian Alliance together as the Conservative Party of Canada. Mulroney is well connected and has many allies. He is not a man to be messed with. Harper has a “my way or the highway” approach and has a record of cutting conservatives loose at the first sign that they may hinder his chances of forming a majority government. Harper has a ruthless and intimidating approach to governing and to holding the party together. He has his MP’s under his thumb and uses threats against his opponents just to pass legislation in the House of Commons. A good example of this is how he made it clear to the Senate that if they didn’t rubber stamp his Bills to reform the Senate then he would simply adopt the NDP’s policy and abolish the Senate entirely.

Harper has got away with his style of ruling over the nation, but he may have crossed the line by ordering his MP’s to refrain from fraternizing with Brian Mulroney. It is becoming clear that Harper is less sympathetic to the Progressive side of the Conservative Party. I find this ironic since it has been Harper himself who has moved the Conservative Party to the left for the sake of power. You would think he would want to champion those in the Conservative Party who are less right wing in their politics. This is the way to a majority government, but Harper seems to be showing his right wing hand before he gains a majority government. Appearing to snub a former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister, who many still respect for the good-natured manner by which he governed, will not gain the majority government Harper so desperately seeks. At the very least, it is in stark contrast to the hard and insensitive style Harper seems to be displaying.