I think I understand Steve Harper's failure as a prime minister after reading parts of the transcript of his year-end interview with Global TV anchor, Dawna Friesen.
Harper stated the obvious, that his priority is the Canadian economy although he didn't quite say, "at the expense of anything and everything else."
The chilling part came when Harper discussed the future and fretted over 'getting it right instead of getting it wrong.' There seemed to be a profound timidity, perhaps outright insecurity, on Harper's part that may explain his glaring lack of vision.
Rather than dealing with the future, Harper has a wooden fixation on the present. It's no wonder he (and, in fairness, many other Canadian politicians) cannot come to grips with the gravest challenges to young Canadians and future generations, inequality and climate change. They simply lack the courage to deal with these issues and respond, instead, by simply turning away from them.