"You're travelling through a Canadian political dimension, a dimension of minority governments and cynical ambitions, a dimension where Stephen Harper, a one-time, socialism-hating, conservative ideologue transforms himself into a free spending, deficit creating, big government-loving Liberal."This quote brings up the question: "If he 'transforms himself into a free spending, deficit creating, big government-loving Liberal.', how is this like something that would transpire in a Twilight Zone plot? I have said it before: "If at the first time you face a major crisis you are forced to abandon your economic philosophy does that not mean your economic philosophy is bollocks?
The stages are:
Mind you, I doubt even Rod Serling could have dreamed up a scenario as bizarre as the one that's currently unfolding in Ottawa.
Who would have thought that Prime Minister Harper, the former Reform MP, the noted fiscal hawk, the man who once led the right-wing National Citizens Coalition, would ever be the one who would recklessly plunge Canada into a sea of red ink?
As conservative author Tasha Kheiriddin recently told the media, "There's a lot of feeling of betrayal. We don't need a second Liberal party."
Of course, Ms. Kheiriddin and other Canadian conservatives should not be too surprised by Mr. Harper's spend-happy budget. After all, the Harper Tories sold their ideological soul a long time ago. In fact, they never were a truly conservative party.(Ow Snap. That's got to leave a mark - CV).
Of course, Harper defenders will point out that it's difficult to execute conservative policies when you lead a minority government. Certainly that's true.
That's why during the 2008 federal election the Conservatives didn't even try to present Canadians with conservative vision for the country. Instead, the Conservative election strategy was built around one idea: Liberal leader Stéphane Dion was a wimp, whereas Mr. Harper was strong.
And compared to Mr. Dion, Mr. Harper was strong. That's why for the last three years he could basically govern like he had a majority, taunting the cowering Liberals to bring down his government.
But now things are different. Ever since the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition nearly toppled his government late last year, Mr. Harper has become the political equivalent of a 98-pound weakling.
The arrogance is gone; the days of bullying the Opposition are over; the prime minister is in full retreat.
Yet Mr. Harper's desire to keep his job remains as strong as ever, which is why he will now willingly kowtow to the man who controls his government's fate, new Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
If Mr. Ignatieff says jump, Mr. Harper will say how high on his way up. Kowtowing, by the way, is remarkably easy if you have no guiding principles.
Just look at how readily and eagerly the prime minister enacted a Liberal-pleasing budget that went against everything Conservatives are supposed to stand for.
And don't kid yourself, that budget was not about kick-starting the economy or providing a fiscal stimulus or fighting the recession -- it was about one thing and one thing only, ensuring the Tories keep power. This is why we can expect the Tories to introduce more Liberal-pleasing initiatives in the weeks and months ahead.
Eventually, of course, when it suits his timetable, Mr. Ignatieff will force an election which Mr. Harper will likely lose. So the Tories who jettisoned their principles for power, will ultimately end up with neither.
As Rod Serling might say, that's just the kind of thing you would expect to happen in the Twilight Zone.
P. S.: (I wonder if Mr. Nicholls wants to re-think the title of his upcoming book: Loyal to the Core: Stephen Harper, Me and the NCC)