Will Harper weather his winter?

Calgary, at this time of year, already tastes of winter. And as the Conservative Party gathers for its Halloween convention, there is a bite in the air. The real question of the convention is not whether the Prime Minister can handle the chill but what the convention foretells for his future.

Oh, he will be cheered in the hallways. There will be the appropriate ovations to his speech. He is still Prime Minister of Canada for goodness sake!

But the signs will be clear behind the scenes. What are the party apparatchiks quietly saying to each other? Are they lining up their choices for Harper’s replacement? Who are the people being listened to more for their speaking style than the speech content? Which ministers are making the more obvious moves?

What is a hopeful such as James Moore from Port Moody, B.C. quietly saying in the hallways and more eloquently in his hospitality suite? He has to work this convention for all it is worth—and without pissing off the boss. He knows that Harper might be on his knees but there is no way he is out for the count.

Will the Bobbsey Twins (Calgary’s Hon. Jason Kenney and Ottawa’s Hon. John Baird) flip a coin to see which one will go for the brass ring or will both just continue to sniff the air? Both want to be the heir but they need some encouragement.

And to the rank and file in Calgary, there is concern but not a sense of impending doom. Because, let us face facts, the rank and file of the Conservative Party are not that observant. They carry their ideology like a proud pennant. They are more worried about Liberal Justin Trudeau than they let on.

Their quibble, if any, with their leader is not that he has not done them proud but they know in their hearts that he could have done much more. If you scratch the itch of one of these party adherents, you will find that they want to bring back hanging. They want the baby killer abortionists castrated. They do not like having immigrants. They do not like paying taxes either.

If Stephen Harper were an honourable person, he would use the opportunity of this convention to resign as Conservative leader and ask the party to call for a leadership convention. His only problem is that he might not be that honourable.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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