Both Bloomberg and the CBC (and others) are reporting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will resign his seat in the House of Commons today. Bloomberg says, citing an unnamed source that “Harper, 57, will launch a Calgary-based consulting firm, Harper and Associates, providing strategic advice with a focus on developing international business.” Prime Minister Harper was, and will remain, controversial … amongst Canadians and even amongst Conservatives.
Canadians, by and large, never really “connected” with Prime Minister Harper; he was seen as cold, calculating, a ‘policy wonk’ and a secretive manipulator … false memes that the media, broadly, were happy to transmit to viewers, listeners, readers. He was introverted, introspective, focused on policy and politics ~ as successful governors must be ~ and careful.
Many conservatives, especially social conservatives, were deeply disappointed when Prime Minister Harper, who they presumed was “one of them,” steered his government on a moderate course. That course was never moderate enough for many Canadians (say for 25% of the electorate) but it was far, far too moderate for about 5% to 10% of voters ~ perhaps as much as 20% of the Conservative “base.”
Stephen Harper gave Canada, generally, good, sound fiscal management. When he erred, and I think he did, albeit less than many other prime ministers, including the current one, it was, either, under pressure from opposition parties when he had a minority government, or to appease part of the conservative base.
But, in general, for nearly a decade, Prime Minister Stephen Harper proved to be “worthy of his hire” as Jesus is reputed (John (10) to have put it. He gave us good government, not as good as some, including he, himself, I suspect, might have wished but better than most dared hope. Canadians owe him a debt of gratitude.
I am confident that history will be kind to him.