When things aren't going Shifty Steve's way he's said to get very ornery. Apparently he's got a special vocabulary, a lexicon he uses that you don't hear in his evangelical church. He mopes and by some accounts he likes to kick chairs and yell at the little people.
Word has it that Steve is in one of those funks today. Things don't seem to be going his way and he might be heading for the bum's rush this time next week.
CTV's Bob Fife reports that Tory campaign workers say Steve is verklempt at the very thought of losing to a Trudeau.
Does he think that losing to Mulcair would be easier to live with. The first prime minister in the country's history to lose to a New Democrat, there's something it would take a while to live down - a long while, a lifetime.
You see, folks, Steve's is going to be one of those political obituaries written for second or third-raters. He won't be enshrined with Laurier, Diefenbaker, Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, MacDonald or even Mulroney. Those prime ministers actually did something for our country. Odin knows they weren't perfect but they had a vision of making this place better and they brought change that mattered and lasted.
Shifty Steve won't be remembered that way. He never had any vision for Canada. His former BFF, Tom Flanagan, described Steve as a guy who positively abhorred vision. Leaders are people of vision. Rulers are mere authoritarians, hollow vessels, empty suits. That's our boy, Steve.
There'll be precious little wake when Steve sails out of Ottawa. The thing is, Steve & Co. never conquered the capital, they besieged it. They put the place under lockdown, curfew. Scientists were gagged. Libraries were sacked. The public service was corralled, cut off from the nation outside. When Steve and his minions are swept away, it'll be a lot like the lifting of the Siege of Mafeking during the Boer War.
Steve's legacy will rest on what he did to Canada rather than for Canada. Even on this score it won't be memorable for very long. Shifty's own approach to ruling ensures that he'll be forgotten fairly quickly. Again it was Tom Flanagan who observed that Steve's governance style was primarily incrementalism. He was a Sneaky Pete, introducing policy in tiny, little steps so that no one, especially our lapdog press, would notice. It was 'shop clerk' governance, hardly the thing likely to be remembered for very long.
There's no great moment that emerges from Harper's reign. He didn't forge a country. He didn't build anything monumental, lasting. He didn't defend the country or enshrine our democracy. He didn't unite Canadians and prepare them and their country for the future.
He quite deliberately weakened Canada and, at every turn, sought to divide our people. In lieu of vision he employed secrecy, deception and fearmongering. He lied and lied and lied.
It doesn't matter whether it's Trudeau or Mulcair who prevails next week. Either way, for Steve it'll be like swallowing broken glass.