Stephen Harper’s preeminence as the distant father, and often the bully-in-chief of Canadian politics, is finally being challenged by a group he ignores at his peril, Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders.
Let it be clear: one premiers’ meeting does not a Canadian Spring make, but the icy grip of the Harper regime is beginning to melt.
After all, it is one thing to intimidate, ignore, disempower or punish civil servants, NGOs, environmentalists, scientists, unfriendly businessmen and pesky journalists, quite another to ignore a level of elected government much closer to the people than any federal administration will ever be.
Oh, please. Can you blame Harper for ducking out on a chance to be savaged by this constellation of mediocrities? Charest, McGuinty, Redford, Clark -- they couldn't between them run an ice cream truck. Their remedy for everything is more money. If he gave them everything they wanted, they'll spend every last penny of it, and pile that same amount again on to their deficits and they'll be back for more the next year.
They don't speak for "the people." Their constituents are the same rapacious unions and special-interest parasites (or as the economists more genteely describe them, "rent-seekers") that have plagued this country for decades now.