Saturday, April 11, 2009

Harper, the great LIBERAL strategist?

Ever since Harper entered politics, his defining characteristic as determined by the media and his supporters has been his strategical genius. Supposedly, our Prime Minister has a brilliant tactical mind that could win the world chess championships if he hadn't entered politics (okay maybe no one has claimed that... still).

However, ever since he took office, this well-built reputation has been taking a toll. From the Chuck Cadman bribing rumors to the underhanded attempt at cutting off party subsidies in his Fall economic update, Harper has been making poor tactical decisions, giving plenty of ammunition to his opponents. And now, hopefully, it has finally cost him.

The latest installment of his ineptitude has been this whole fiasco with the issue of whether or not Brian Mulroney, the most successful Conservative PM in 50 years, is a Conservative. Harper's intentions for announcing that the former PM is not a card-carrying member are obvious. With the Karlheinz Schreiber-Brian Mulroney inquiry taking place, the PM cannot, in his mind, afford to be associated with such a scandal. In other words, for Harper, the priority is to ensure that his government's image, such as it is, doesn't take a turn for the worse because of some party affiliations.

Therefore, to deal with the issue, he decided to proclaim that Mulroney was no longer a Conservative. I'm supposing that in the great strategist's mind, this move ensured no scandal could ever reach his party. How wrong he was. The strategic brilliance of this plan is equal to Obama deciding to go around the country holding rallies telling all those that voted for him "No we can't".

Sure enough, as with all of Harper's brilliant moves (Economic update anyone?), there were some unforeseen consequences to his actions. This further reveals how misplaced the label of "strategist" is. A proper strategist considers the consequences of his plans within a wide range of areas and possibilities. Harper has revealed himself to be very narrow-minded. That is the only explanation for the decisions Harper has taken.

One of the areas that Harper should have considered was the effect of a move to proclaim the false political excommunication of a revered leader with Conservative circles on his own caucus. Either he does not know his caucus, or did not think of this action possibly dividing caucus, both of which scenarios are of serious concern. Of even more serious concern is that it is highly probable that Stephen Harper is lying to the nation.

To continue, the effects of this latest Harper gaffe have been to create rifts within the caucus, such that prominent members such as MacKay are speaking up for the Prime Minister who gave his father a cabinet post. The party is clearly fighting among itself, and Harper has seemed to lose control of some of his party.

This all leads me to declare, in the final analysis, that Harper is after all a great strategist. It's just we didn't know he was helping the Liberals.
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