If I had to come up with just one word to describe Stephen Harper's style of governance it would be "Sicilian." In fact, when you view his words and deeds in the context of a Mafia Don instead of a prime minister they make far more sense.
Like any top Mafioso, Stephen Harper's base instinct is to manipulate, corrupt. He corrupts people, he corrupts process and always to his immediate advantage.
He shrewdly corrupted the armed forces and the public service when he severed their connection to the Canadian people. He installed a cadre of political commissars to filter communications between these government agencies and the public. They decided what questions would be allowed from the public, what would be refused outright. They then crafted the responses to ensure they comported with government policy. This effectively transformed the government services, military and civilian, into partisan personal agencies of the prime minister. It was a coup and pretty much everyone settled down and went along with it.
Harper is a deceiver. As his BFF Tom Flanagan and others have pointed out, he achieves his ends by incrementalism. Instead of introducing policies he knows won't be tolerated by the public, he advances his goals a small bit at a time, knowing the public won't notice or be able to keep track. That is a corrupt practice.
Harper is a concealer. Despite his promises of accountability and transparency, Harper has governed behind bolted doors. More governance is done inside the PMO, safe from prying eyes, than in either the Commons or Senate.
Harper, like any powerful Don, is a ruthless authoritarian. To Harper, everyone is expendable and serves only to fulfill his directives. Those who fail are jettisoned, dispatched, thrown under a bus without hesitation or the slightest remorse. There's a powerful sociopathy in that.
Harper is supremely arrogant. As so many close to the man have said, Harper genuinely believes himself to be the smartest man in the room. That is probably his greatest weakness for it is the foundation of hubris. It is what is most likely to bring him down. Once you believe that everything you conceive is a stroke of brilliance, it's easy to become sloppy.
The Wright-Duffy-Harper scheme is rife with sloppiness and expedience. It carries the stench of hubris. It was madness to concoct a scheme that relied upon at least 13-individuals to carry out and yet expect it to remain concealed. That is madness laced with arrogance.
Cruel people tend to meet cruel ends. As they ascend to power they accumulate enemies and float atop a sea of sullen resentment. Mafia Dons rarely die peacefully in their sleep. When they come to be seen as vulnerable, a threat to the organization, they're usually taken out by their own.