Poor Old Steve. When he jello-wrestled Peter MacKay into submission and a merger between the PCs and Alliance, Harper was adamant that "progressive" have no place in the new party's name. No sir, none of that Red Tory stuff for Harpo. He was going to lead a party and a nation along the path of Republicanism.
Global warming? A "socialist scheme" over "so-called greenhouse gases." Afghanistan? "Stay the course" and never "cut and run." On policy after policy, value upon value, Harpo quested to steer Canada to the far right.
And then he hit a wall. Thanks to the sponsorship scandal from the Chretien years, Stevie was able to squeak past Paul Martin and into power. The Liberals, or at least public anger at the Liberals, put Steve in power. It wasn't Harpo's doing at all.
Harpo took the reins of power like a real manly man and set about to steer our collective wagon onto his path until the wheels fell off. He began to realize that the Canadian people didn't want to go down his road and weren't going to put up with it.
Suddenly Steve had to reverse course and lighten the load. He couldn't quite shake his megalomaniacal grip on his own party and his caucus but he quickly began to jettison his vaunted principles, his purported integrity.
Instead of fighting Canadians' mild socialistic tendencies, Steve began to go along. The gun registry? My goodness, it's still here. Global warming? A socialist plot no longer. Even his most delicious red meat issue, Afghanistan, has gone by the boards. No more "stay the course" or pledges not to "cut and run" but, instead, a meek plea for consensus. Can't we all just get along?
How the mighty has been humbled. It's almost as though Stevie had a visit one night in his dreams, a visit from the ghost of Progressive conservatism. Something sure scared the hell out of him. Now he looks like nothing so much as a pretender to the old PC throne.