Andrew Coyne: The Harper leadership cult

Andrew Coyne wrote an interesting, compelling analysis of Stephen Harper’s leadership. “Everyone knows Harper is a strong leader. But where would he lead us?”, asks Coyne in this Macleans article.

On the Conservative party website, it’s all about “Harper Leadership 08.” Tory campaign ads show us Sweater Steve, shyly revealing a fondness for veterans, immigrants and his kids. Party message-trackers hammer home the point at every turn: this election is all about “leadership.” Or as an early campaign slogan has it: “Strong leadership on your side.”

Everyone agrees Stephen Harper is a strong leader. He dominates his party as few other leaders have; he is more or less a one-man cabinet; he has manoeuvred adroitly through 2½ years of minority Parliament, often through sheer projection of will; his personal strengths are undoubted. Leadership polls put Harper ahead of his nearest rival by 25 points or more. So overwhelming is his advantage that even other party leaders acknowledge it. An NDP ad suggests that, while “Harper is a strong leader,” so, too, is Jack Layton — surely one of the more bizarre attempts at borrowing an opponent’s clothes in electoral history.

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Read the rest of this Macleans article here.

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