Yes, in name, Stephen (or "Steve") Harper IS the PM of Canada, but what is a REAL Prime Minister like?
Real Prime Ministers CARE about the people they govern - ALL the people (or as big a swath as possible) they govern. From day one Mr. Harper's hyper-partisan verbal diarrhea has been anything but "all-embracing".
Real Prime Ministers build bridges and show leadership when working WITH the rest of the world, rather than against it. Embarrassing Canada on Kyoto (and other environmental discussions), being a Bush "lap-dog" on international relations (particularly the Middle East), and showing contempt for all other nations - even if you had never stepped beyond North American borders before becoming PM - shows disdain for everyone and everything, except your own narrow ideology.
Real Prime Ministers respect Parliament. They don't have manuals made up that teach their MPs how to hold up committees, then turn around and blame the Opposition for doing so. They don't run crying to the Governor General - a representative of a foreign power - when they can't have their way... When the Opposition - united in speaking for almost 70% of Canadians - says, "no" Mr. Harper, you are being juvenile and reckless with the livlihoods of Canadians...
Real Prime Ministers talk with their detractors - not "talk down to" them... You don't call people "defeatists", you don't insult them by telling them they live in "ghettos", and you certainly don't urge your Finance Minister to say not to invest in their province...
Real Prime Ministers offer apologies to members of the public IN Parliament, and let those apologies be a part of Hansard - the public record of the land. Mr. Harper decided he would not accord this justice to South Asians in the Komagata Maru affair.
Real Prime Ministers have more than one solution (tax cuts) for problems facing the nation. Even conservative PMs had some vision for Canada. Sir John A. MacDonald used Eastern money to open the West. His West included BC, and the North. Sir John was a good one. Perhaps that's why his party was known as the "Liberal-Conservatives" for some time... Today, Harper's party revels in the tax cuts they've offered Canadians, not seeing that these very tax cuts are the reason we do not have today, a financial bulwark against the ravages of recession.
Real Prime Ministers are nation-builders - not fire-wall erectors. Harper wants nothing more than a continuous "war" between Eastern Canada and Western Canada. He governs like he is the Prime Minister of the mythical land of "Al-sask-itoba". The mythical "West" Conservative/Reform/Alliancers love to speak of. Where they falsely believe everyone is blanketly conservative. It's the "West" that doesn't include Vancouver Island, or the Lower Mainland of BC. It doesn't include the Norths of any of the provinces, or the Territories. It is a mythical "West" which also does not include First Nations, or men with turbans in the RCMP, or the "ghettos" in which we immigrants supposedly live in "Western" Canada...
Canadians - a vast majority of them - rejected Harper as PM. Their elected representatives in Parliament were ready to toss him out late last year. These Canadians never truly accepted Harper as PM. Men like Joe Clark, John A. MacDonald, and Robert Borden may not have been "loved" by all Canadians in their day, but they did cultivate our respect, and continue to do so after office. Mr. Harper, on the other hand, has presented such a vehemently partisan "face" to the land, and to those who oppose him, that he will never receive the respect those other great leaders have cultivated.
Even in the mythical land of "Al-sask-itoba" Mr. Harper is being doubted. His killing of income trusts created some enemies in the energy sector. His "loss of ideology" should not be confused with a "shift to the center" as many Albertans and right-wingers are suggesting. No... he is still a right-winger. His "spend, spend, spend" philosophy is a hallmark of NeoConservatism. It is the Reagan/Bush/Bush view of economics and smaller and smaller government coupled with more and more spending. Observers like Andrew Coyne would like to pass this train-wreck of a PM off onto the center or left... Nice try.
"Al-sask-itobans" are starting to realize this is all about "him" (Harper). The egomanical "leader" has festooned the corridors of power with his images. True PMs actually shared the walls with portraits of other leaders... Not Harper. As "L'enfant terrible" he monopolizes the spotlight from his caucus collegues. He lays blame on others - party operatives and backbench MPs - even when he is the cause of the problem.
Stephen Harper will never be the Prime Minister of Canada, based on the true measures of the role described above. He will go down in history as a divisive, angry, and scornful man, with an agenda that he could not ram through because Canadians would not let him. History will show his deceptions, his misdeeds, and his rabid partisanship did more to drive Canada into the past... than any person's, or group's, actions since Confederation.