Canada's Big Foreign-Policy Shift Under Harper? No More Mister Nice Guy.
Can you picture Stephen Harper in the wee hours of the night in a tent in the Libyan desert putting on a veil-swishing dance performance for Moammar Gadhafi, as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once did? Of course not. And it’s not just because Harper doesn’t quite have the figure for it, either.
That's my contribution to the Ottawa Citizen's overview of where Prime Minister Harper is at, exactly, half-way through his majority-government term, the party convention just round the corner.
Andrew Coyne weighs in: The Conservative government's default demeanor is sullen, wary, bullying and moronic. "Toryism, in its current incarnation," Coyne writes, "resembles less an ideology than a pathology. If the party is to pull out of its current spiral it must be prepared to take a hard look at itself — starting with this convention. What is needed is less a change of course than a voyage within."
My deputy boss Kate Heartfield: "There are many paths to power, not all as prone to ethical pitfalls and ideological compromise. Perhaps, if Harper had come at a different time in history, leading a more confident Conservative party at the beginning, he would have been a different prime minister. But he chose the path he chose. His party, and much of Canada, was right there behind him the whole way."
Licia Corbella anticipates that the upcoming convention will have MPs commiserating with constituents from across the country, "trying to figure out if the Tory brand has been irreparably damaged." The question: Will The Big Shift in Canadian politics be shifted from its course because of Duffsterbuckskerfufflegate and other such "easy-to-understand, low-level scandals that seem to have plagued the once squeaky clean image of the federal Tories"?