Harper Palpatine

“Stability! & Security!”

Stephen Harper channels the Dark Lord of the Sith…

The Wiki description of Harper Palpatine is quite appropriate: “a middle-aged politician… who rises to power through deception and treachery… he outwardly behaves like a well-intentioned and loyal public servant, yet underneath his affable public persona lurks his true identity…”


20 Replies to “Harper Palpatine”

  1. …yet underneath his affable public persona lurks his true identity.

    Heh. That’s almost Harper. A more accurate description would read:

    …underneath his affable public persona lurks nothing at all…

  2. If Harper is Cancellor Palpantine, then Ignatieff is Jar Jar Binks.

    No wait, that was Dion. I’d say Grand Moff Tarkin. After some leadership potential, he ignominiously gets blown up in a blaze of glory at the end of the movie.

    Does Duceppe get to be Count Dooku? He was a separatist leader too you know.

  3. The “Harper is eeeevil” meme is not going to work. Harper may be an asshole, because it’s really the assholes (Chretien was one, and he was a more proficient asshole than Harper) who succeed in Canadian politics. The last “nice guy” to be Prime Minister (Mulroney) was hated and despised when he left office because he tried so hard to please everyone.

    I notice liberal bloggers saying nice things about, of all people, Stockwell Day lately. Why is that? Because they beat him, and they used the other cheek he turned to beat him some more. Nature and politics prefer dirty winners over beautiful losers who fight cleanly.

    As for Grand Moff Tarkin, hey lay off of him. I know it’s cool for Star Wars nerds to only know of Peter Cushing’s role as The Moff, but he was one of the three certified top drawing stars of horror movies in the 1960s along with Vincent Price and Christopher Lee.

  4. hitfan, there is another word Canadians use for arrogant S.O.B’s. We also call them Prime Minister. Harper, Chretien, Mulroney, and Trudeau all fall into this category. I’d bet Pearson and Diefenbaker could be described as such also. And truth is you have to be one if you have any hopes of winning the leadership of a major political party and going on into election victories. Nice guys don’t win, just ask Dion (or Stanfield if he were still alive).

    As for Mulroney being the last ‘nice guy’, well I had the pleasure of meeting him way back in 1987, even it it was with a group of campus Tories and only lasted a few moments. In social settings, yes he was a very amiable and warm person; a schmoozer perhaps. He enjoyed meeting people and chatting, and he was genuinely interested in the well-being and personal lives of those working for him (unlike all I’ve read and heard about Harper who is an aloof leader). This is why Mulroney still has so many loyal former staffers regardless of Karlheinz Schreiber. But personal character aside, ask those who fell out of his good-book (or were never in them to begin with) about how nice a guy Mulroney was. His retaliations were legendary. When pressed, he was just as arrogant an S.O.B. as Trudeau or Chretien …and that is a necessary trait for the position he held.

    The job of the PM isn’t to be liked or to wish to ‘have a beer’ with them. It’s to be respected, confident, and authoritative …traits held by the average arrogant S.O.B.

    As for the “Harper is eeeevil” meme not working, of course it won’t – it failed partially in 2004 and totally in 2006 for Paul Martin. Likewise the “eeeevil coalition and eeeevil Iggy” meme won’t work for Harper either is that’s all he’s got for the next 5 weeks.

    At some point people will realize fear is all he’s got against charges of corruption, contempt and unethical practices. Trying to ride fear over an entire campaign campaign is a difficult prospect …provided your objective is to win the election.

  5. The unfortunate reality is that, for most Canadians, this is an election about nothing.

    Harper will raise the spectre of “coalition”, Ignatieff will raise the spectre of Government contempt, and, at the end of the day, there is little enough to truly choose from that not much is likely to change.

    The reality is that the Liberals ran the economy fairly well pre-Harper, and that Harper hasn’t come close to the levels of larceny in the Liberal party pre-Harper.


    What you end up with – almost guaranteed, is stasis.

    The same old, same old.

  6. Do most people think that if the Libs, NDP and BQ (and why not invite the Greens too) would run this election as a Coalition (uo-front not after the fact), we would be assured of a Conservative Majority? I truly think that these four could come up with a much better direction for this country than the Cons on their own, has the Harper propaganda succeeded in completely discrediting such an idea or is this something that has no value at all on its own (lack of ) merits?

  7. To iciu: if they ran as a coalition, Harper would win 170 seats so such hypothetical drivel is nonsense. The BQ, and NDP to a lesser degree, are political poison to 80% of the Canadian population. The Libs are better off on their own (with a palatable leader) and situated in the political centre, than with these leftist hangers-on.

  8. Harper hasn’t come close to the levels of larceny in the Liberal party pre-Harper.

    I disagree. I think the operative distinction is that, while Adscam involved just a provincial wing of a party, the CPC is rotting from the head. Harper’s corruption is personal, not structural, and thus deeper than Chretien’s and Martin’s.

    Now, I was rather disappointed to see Ignatieff miss a slow ball in his response to Harper’s flip-flop on the legitimacy of coalitions. I wanted to hear, “Mr. Prime Minister, you cannot suck and blow at the same time—unless you’re Bruce Carson’s girlfriend. And even then, you’re doing it to one guy at a time, not the whole country together”.

  9. If I can just make one comment about this “contempt” issue for a second – the opposition try to make it sound like some court of law, full of evidence and impartiality, decided that the Tories were “in contempt.” We all know this was a partisan committee dominated by opposition members who obviously voted for this. The margin was 10 votes. So perhaps we can add a little context into that whole notion of “contempt.”

  10. Grammins: first a bit of arithmetic based on facts: the NDP, BQ & Green had ~ 33% of the populat vote in the last election with the Liberals having another ~ 30% on their own; are you saying that of the 30% of Liberal voters, a majority would run to the Conservatives if a Coalition Govt would be a clear outcome of the election? Assuming you are a Liberal (or would vote for them – I am basing this assumption on your rather angry “hypothetical drivel” labeling :))), if your only choice would be to vote for a Coaltion candidate in your riding, would you automatically vote Conservative in disgust or you would you consider the platform and the candidate put forward by such a Coalition before making a decision? Equating about one third of the country as being “toxic” is rather weird, despite not being a Conservative lover at all, I would at worst label most of the people that voted for them as “confused”. Personally, I prefer to vote NDP (and in my riding they have a decent chance when we do not split the vote and the Conservative candidate wins with ~ 25% of the popular vote) but would have no problem voting a Liberal or Green (or even BQ !:)) candidate if they were to be the one chosen for practical reasons in this riding. Somehow, I feel that when push comes to shove, most people in this country would have similar feelings. How about all the other Liberal leaning people here, what would would you do in such a situation, would you really turn towards a Conservative Majority?

  11. Iciu: I am very much a fiscal Conservative and social moderate. I have no appetite for s Harper majority or an Ignatieff-led government of any kind. I would venture to say that most Canadians are of a somewhat similar mindset, because let’s face it – even the staunchest Liberals balk at the REAL price of such social projects as a potential childcare plan. They want to support it, but as soon as they gain power they govern as fiscal conservatives. This is what Big-tent politics is all about.
    With respect to Harper, he has done many things adequately, but several other things poorly. His minority government has been okay, but not fabulous and far too hierarchal for my liking. That said, there isn’t a decent alternative and a mishmash of opposition parties will only serve to galvanize the CPC voter base, and DEFINITELY send 20-30% of the liberal vote their way. I want a similar parliament returned and new leaders.
    I will say this though: what I do like about Harper is his longterm vision for our federal government, that is, one with less taxation power ,revenue, and ability to finance social engineering initiatives. Smaller government with less revenue will prevent the possibility of initiatives like national childcare from ever becoming a reality because NO ONE will accept the increased taxes required to follow through with such nonsense. (I apologize for the length of this post lol)

  12. Grammins: assuming you are correct (all Liberals around here, do you agree?) 20-30% of ~30% is just another 6% to 10% adder to their current ~ 30-35%, IMHO, a chance definitely worth taking, the Cons did almost everything they wanted while in a Minority position anyway (mostly due to the lack of spine for the Liberal opposition) so… IMHO, the chance of trying something else is worth the risk of a Conservative Majority, not to mention that we may be surprised by how the concept of “cooperation” may resonate with a majority of Canadians… more to the national childcare later :)…
    g2g now… family matters (despite being an NDP sympathizer :))

  13. TT:

    So, your “context” is that the motion was “partisan” and irrelevant because CPC committee hacks didn’t vote for it. Yeah, that’s a winner.

  14. …what I do like about Harper is his longterm vision for our federal government…. Smaller government with less revenue…

    Sure beats his short-term vision—bigger government, gargantuan cabinet, huge deficits, massive military procurements, wanton pork, a partisan tax-funded appointment for every sclerotic Calgary crony, Big Oil whore, and fart-catching media hack, colossal public expenditures on inactive, emasculated, or useless bureaucratic offices designed to make Harper look accountable, like the preposterous “appointments board”, the widely ignored Parliamentary Budget Officer, the ludicrous Integrity Commissioner, and the toothless Veterans Ombudsman. Have I missed anything?

  15. Hitfan: You may not have noted that one of the categories I put this under was “Humour”…

    I’m actually not one of those people who subscribe to the notion that Harper is eeeeevil.

    I was just joshing around. In fact, my daughter sent me the video link as a laugh.

  16. If anyone would like to indulge in the flippant ritual of reducing your complex political persuasions down to a 2-dimensional Cartesian plane or would like to figure out if they are more suited for the Empire or the Rebel Alliance, It’s another political compass test!. This time brought to you by those social science researchers who now have something to do now that the election is on.

  17. TofKW: thank you for sharing the anecdote about Mulroney. Of course, he had to be ruthless in pursuit of political power, he’s a politician. But his ‘nice guy’ tendencies tended to trust the wrong people (Bouchard comes to mind) and he was a bit of a pander bear trying to win voting blocs that only gave the PCs temporary political benefit–they would abandon him in the long run.

    “At some point people will realize fear is all he’s got against charges of corruption, contempt and unethical practices. Trying to ride fear over an entire campaign campaign is a difficult prospect …provided your objective is to win the election.”

    I think that anybody who follows politics knows that corruption, contempt and unethical practices come with prolonged incumbency. It is the accumulation of bad baggage that makes the voters eventually tire of the incumbents and vote the bums out.

    Is the mood of the country a “let’s vote the bums out” mentality? For that to happen, the Conservative base has to be unmotivated. The “coalition” meme that Harper is pushing is mostly directed at his base to motivate their butts to the polls. The “mushy middle” will probably go with the flow.

    Harper is not particularly charismatic. He just arrived at the right place at the right time and was able to run against 13 years of Liberal incumbency with it’s accumulation of arrogance and scandals in ’06. A well-trained monkey would have beaten the Liberals that year.

    The Conservatives have been in power for 5 years now. I’ve the feeling that it’s not the Liberals turn yet. Of course, I could be wrong and the “mushy middle” might decide to give the Liberals a chance once again if they can articulate the right message.

    redtory: sorry, I did not look at the tags. But I’m certain that the creator of that video probably thinks that Harper is the devil incarnate. But it was a funny video.

  18. Hitfan: I don’t really expect anyone to look at the tags. I guess I was just more hoping that you’d know that I wouldn’t take such an extreme position of thinking that Harper was some kind of eeeeevil monster. Quite frankly, I’m appalled at some of the virulent anti-Harper stuff that crosses my transom.

    I think your take on the current situation with respect to the mood of the electorate is spot on.

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