“It hasn’t always been pretty,” he acknowledged in an interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge this week. “But I think (Conservative minority rule) has served Canadians well.” Few will dispute the first part of that statement. Far from being pretty, much of his watch has been downright ugly. And as for the second bit, Canadians are deeply split on whether they feel well-served by Tory policies.Dare we dream? But we all know predicting another Harper minority without an election campaign is a bit of a stretch. Going into the 2005/2006 challenge, Paul Martin was polling at over 40%. I'm tired of pollsters trying to tell me the outcome of an election before one single vote has been cast.
As an Angus Reid poll for the Star confirms, voters have not really warmed to Harper despite his mastery of parliamentary tactics, his attack ads running down the opposition and his party’s impressive ability to reach out to grassroots voters.
Many Canadians are in a glum mood. And while some credit him with exceeding their expectations, three times as many feel he has fallen short. That leaves the Tories stuck at 35 per cent or so in the polls, no further ahead than in the 2006 and 2008 elections. It also leaves them vulnerable to a potential Liberal/New Democrat coalition in the next election.
But I would also like to challenge the notion that Stephen Harper has failed to inspire. He has inspired me to write this blog and he has inspired me to learn how to make YouTube videos. Me, who a few years ago barely knew how to turn on a computer.
He inspired marches against his aggressive trade deals, selling us out to the United States. He inspired protests not only in Canada, but in the UK, against his sabotaging of climate change talks.
He inspired Greenpeace to scale the Parliament Buildings, again in protest of his sabotaging the climate change negotiations.
He inspired not one, but two, Colossal Fossil awards at international climate change conferences.
He inspired the United Nations to choose Portugal over Canada, to be granted a seat on the Security Council.
And he inspired more than 200,000 Canadians to rally for their democracy, after his second self-serving prorogation.
Yes Stephen Harper is very inspiring.
Keep up the good work Steve. You're about to inspire yourself right out of office, which will "inspire" the biggest party this country has ever seen.