Harper’s lost PostMedia

Since at least 2006, and potentially earlier, every Postmedia newspaper (then CanWest) has flat-out endorsed Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in each election.

While it looks like his arrogance is catching up with him and the cracks are forming.

From the Vancouver Sun:

For any government to be found in contempt of Parliament would be an affront to all Canadians. For one led by a prime minister who ran on a platform of openness and accountability, as Harper did, doubly so.

There can be no justification for denying MPs, or the public they represent, estimates for the costs that will flow from legislation they are being asked to approve. What little has come out indicates that sending more people to prison and keeping them in longer will cost billions of dollars in additional costs not only for the federal government but also for the provinces.

The Harper government’s reticence to release its cost calculations raises the even scarier prospect that they have been bringing forward these reforms without considering the cost.

His only option (and I’ll admit that it may be up his sleeve, although I don’t believe he’s the master strategist everyone seems to think)?

Harper can still have an impact on what happens next by showing his government is committed to the openness and accountability on which he once campaigned. He must release all of the cost estimates behind the prison reform package and commit to allowing MPs to do the job voters send them to Ottawa to do.

But even more scathing, from the ultra-Conservative (note the capital) Calgary Herald:

One of the Harper government’s favourite catchphrases is "truth in sentencing." We can support them on that, as long as the Conservatives also observe truth in budgeting.

Without question, the Chretien Liberals were parliamentary bullies extraordinaire. But Harper’s Conservatives promised to be better.

This really makes me think that we may be in for the exact reverse of the 2006 election:

Where as Adscam broke, the Martin Liberals dropped almost 10 points in the polls, and despite the public’s cool reception for Stephen Harper (and his sweater-vests), he still managed to win.

In this case, we have a perfect storm of Conservative scandals accumulating, in conjunction with past missteps, mixed with a lacklustre Liberal leader, whose only secret agenda would be fleeing to the USA if he loses.

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