Mr. Harper, we hardly knew you.

As we read and listen to the various obligatory farewells to Canada’s former prime minister, there seems to be lots of hypocrisy going around. The Hair and his hairpiece have left the building in Ottawa and that is that. He was not liked while he was there and he left with no wisdom to share with us.

But he is for sale. Business can hire him. If you like his brand of solutions, he has advice to sell. Business can have him on their boards for a substantial fee. He is certainly not riding off into the sunset in poverty.

But Canadians have had enough of him. He never liked them. He was never there for them. He is an ideologue. He has never been motivated by anything other than dogma. He believes in a dog-eat-dog world of right-wing economics and that was all he was willing to share. He is an unfeeling, uncaring economist of the Milton Friedman School and he was hardly out to save anyone from anything more serious than government regulation.

He is a user. He is cold and calculating. He created and ran an imperial PMO (Prime Minister’s Office). He used back benchers as drones to carry out his wishes in parliament. There was no warmth wasted on his cabinet colleagues either. He flew out of Ottawa with his hairdresser at every chance he got to get away. He is an ugly tourist vaunting his supposed wealth and privilege on the world stage. He made an embarrassment of Canada’s foreign affairs.

He despises the news media. He put some who pandered to him in his sham senate only to find them accused of running rampant on perks and privileges.

He abused parliament. He had parliamentary secretaries make a farce of answering questions for him. He obfuscated with the best of them. He shut the place down when it headed towards censuring him. He manipulated the governors general to his bidding.

He left time bombs for the incoming government. He made the National Energy Board native to Calgary and extended its appointments. He ran out the clock on Supreme Court rulings. It will take years to bring serious improvement to Canada’s environmental problems.

The challenges he left to his successor in the Langevin Block can hardly be solved in a single session of Canada’s parliament.

All there is left to say at this time is: The King is dead. Long live the King.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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