I was a Stephen Harper fan, of sorts, but:
I thought Prime Minister Harper was far too cautious on the small government, First Nations and corporate welfare fronts;
I opposed many (not all) of his “boutique tax cuts,” but I thought (still think) his cuts to the HST/GST was good public policy as well as being good politics, because it makes it harder for any government to spend wildly; and
I supported him, broadly, on foreign policy, especially on freer trade with all and sundry, and I have expressed the view, elsewhere, that it was the MND, DM and CDS of the day, back in 2012, who failed a test administered by the prime minister (in the form of direction to cut the fat in HQs), not the prime minister being “wrong” on defence.
My sense of the CPC’s base is shown in the diagram below. I believe that the next leader must aim to please the 90±% of Conservatives who are somewhere on the Social and fiscal moderates through to Social moderates but fiscal hawks segments on the spectrum. I think we can, even should, be prepared to jettison the Red Tories and the Social conservatives, if necessary to preserve party unity, and the two extreme fringes if they cannot stomach the “mushy middle.”