Thursday, January 20, 2011

Could Stephen Harper's Fixation on the Liberals be a Form of Mental Illness?

It must be very frightening to be Michael Ignatieff these days, knowing that he has a stalker.

A man who hates him so much, simply because he heads up the Liberal Party of Canada.

Susan Delacourt calls it 'Harper's Liberal Fixation'. I mean the man is relentless and I think his obsession is clouding his judgement.

And at a time when he's trying to convince Canadians that he doesn't want an election because he's worried about the economy, then spends every waking minute wondering how he can destroy the Liberal Party. I think it may frighten some people.

And he's completely out of control, breaking rules right and left, including the use of his office in political ads and stealing footage from the CBC.

He might want to tone it down a bit.

I remember during the 2005-06 campaign, a reporter asked Paul Martin how often he thought about strategy, to which Martin replied "rarely". The same question was posed to Stephen Harper, who answered "24/7". And he hasn't changed.

As mentioned in Delacourt's article, he's governing like he's in opposition, shooting down every good idea presented, and answering criticism with something like "I know I am, but what are you?"

It's like watching Monty Python.


  1. That's what happens when the PM lives in a bubble. (Requests for an interview for this profile were ignored.

    Not declined, ignored.

    It's worth mentioning in an office where the PM sets the tone only because it's difficult to imagine his upbringing without an emphasis on courtesy.)

    Harper had known the day his dad would die. The Calgary hospital reassured him his father's heart and kidney problems were stable, but "I just knew. I often have a good sense for these things."

    He went west at 18 to work in an oil industry office (the mailroom at his dad’s office) and went back to school, taking his MA in economics at the University of Calgary. There, his life became entwined with the so-called Calgary School, a select group that included Flanagan and believed in free-market economics and that Ottawa discriminated against Alberta. Harper embraced the western alienation of his new home.

    In early 2001, while running the coalition, he'd been among the "Firewall Six," who urged Alberta premier Ralph Klein to build a "firewall" around the province. They advocated withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan, ending the province's contract with the RCMP, and running an autonomous health care system. Says the letter: "If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in the courts."

    In so doing, he sparked debate over his so-called hidden agenda. Is he an economic conservative, as Manning says, or a social conservative? One-time Alberta publisher Ted Byfield defined the two strands of the movement as "neo-con" and "theo-con."

    How much of the "theo-con" is in Harper? That's the central question about a Canadian politician raised in a home with modest, conservative values, a deep Presbyterian faith, and an older son, Stephen, who had to be cautioned by his father: "Try not to be puritanical."

  2. Mental illness often runs in family. Just a factoid. I look at mental illness the same as having cancer; just go get some help.


    snip snip: Since a body was never found, no one can be certain what happened to Harris Harper. But the consensus, said Mrs. Tippett, is that it was suicide from depression. A few months before he disappeared, she said, he had suffered a nervous breakdown. He then tried to return to his job at the school, but they gave him some tests to mark “and it was all marked wrong and he couldn’t conduct school.”

    In his biography, Mr. Johnson says Harris Harper’s disappearance had an “incalculable” impact on the family. Steve Harper is quoted as saying that it made his own father, the late Joe Harper, “appreciate that all the good things in life are still just passing things.” Steve Harper was extremely close to his father, saying he was the foremost influence on his life.


  3. …the tragic dis­ap­pear­ance of Harper’s grandfather, Harris Harper, in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1950. Harris Harper, a high school principal, was, like his grandson, of a gloomy disposition. His failure to return from a doctor’s appoint­ment led many to believe at the time that he had thrown himself from a bridge and into the Petitcodiac river, committing suicide. Harris Harper’s body was never found.

    There was a scandal surrounding his grandfather. Rumours said he ran off with a woman, but I always thought there was more to that story. Joe used to tell his co-workers that Stevie was difficult to handle and often sought their advice according to the author of The Pilgramage of Steve Harper.

    Read for 28 page free preview at Google books:


  4. Why Harper never mentions his New Brunswick family roots. Harper’s parents were born in New Brunswick. And now he never speaks about his family’s eastern roots.

    Snip snip: I live a couple of kilometres from a tiny village called Port Elgin. It's perhaps 20 kilmetres by highway to the causeway to PEI. Everyone here appears to know that Harper's father came from Port Elgin. Several older ones knew him - all of them only slightly, it seems. I gather he lived here well into his adult years. (There is also a street in the village called Harper Lane.)

    Strange things: the lack of local knowledge of Joseph Harper or of any interest in him. The fact that Harper in a campaign visit to NB never, so far as i know, mentioned any local connections. The lack of any people living here now who claim any connection to Joseph Harper.

    Port Elgin is a pretty small place. One would think a connection to the prime minister would be a matter of local pride or, at least, of some discussion. but nada.

    Does anybody know anything about Joseph Harper?