...sources within the Conservative party have been telling me of an internal faction eager to see Andrew Scheer gone in order to make way for the return of Stephen Harper as party leader.
...So who might be next up? As the Christmas ditty goes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Harper, everywhere you go.
As one Senator put it to me on background, “While the avalanche of criticism mounts, no one is talking up a successor. Who is waiting in the wings, ready to go, straight out of the box? Only one person is ready. Stephen Harper, come on down!”
...Despite their various talents, none of these potential candidates [Lisa Raitt, Michael Chong, Peter MacKay, Erin O'Toole and Rona Ambrose] has anything like the network that Harper maintains to this day within the CPC. That includes a coveted spot on the Conservative Party Fund. Perhaps that’s why Harper himself had this to say to an audience at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in February 2018, less than a year after Scheer became leader:
“I think I probably could still easily be leader of my party if I wanted to. I mean, I’m the de facto founder of my party.”
Hubris or honesty? Both actually.
A guy named MacKay had a little to do with creating the CPC back in 2003. But Harper’s vaunted opinion of his leadership prospects may be accurate. It gained major traction from a November 2019 Abacus Data poll that asked 3,000 respondents over the age of 18 this question: Andrew Scheer or Who?
“Our test of potential alternatives to Mr. Scheer finds none, except for Mr. Harper, are preferred over Mr. Scheer among those who voted Conservative in the last election,” wrote David Coletto, one of Abacus’s founding partners.The very idea of another term in power for Sideshow Steve is pretty dreary, especially with the holiday season approaching. It's more than dispiriting. It's infuriating.
It's not that hard to remember back four years when Justin Trudeau came from third place to a majority win, largely on the strength of his solemn promise to implement electoral reform. He assured us that would save and protect us from another thug like Stephen Harper. No more First-Past-the-Post shenanigans to defeat the popular will of Canadians, no siree. Those days were over.
Only Justin had other plans. Once in power with an admittedly false majority he figured he was set to repeat his victory in 2019 so long as he kept FPTP alive and kicking. So he conjured up a feeble excuse that convinced no one except his most ardent fanboys and reneged on his solemn promise. Then he proceeded to break other promises and sully himself in scandals to the point where he almost got his ass handed to him in 2019 by a third-rater whose only claim to fame was a summer help counter-clerk job at an insurance agency.
If Michael Harris is right and I hope to hell he's wrong, it will be Justin Trudeau who paved the way for a Stephen Harper comeback. Who knows? When the part-time insurance clerk managed to garner more votes than Trudeau's Liberals, do you think Harper would fare any worse?