With Friday’s announcement of the resignation of the MP for Calgary Heritage, the political career of Stephen Harper officially ends and the debate over his legacy begins.
The Alberta talk shows and Twitter traffic have been overwhelmingly positive. But like all legacies, Harper’s will be mixed. A balanced budget in 2015 has to be measured against the string of deficits that preceded it, after Prime Minister Harper inherited a sizeable surplus from the Martin/Chretien era. Over nine years as PM, Harper added significantly to the national debt. Harper ran deficits seven out of nine years and added over $150 billion in red ink…excerpt from the article in ipolitics magazine by Brent Ratheber.
Every politician “sacrifices principles to power.” No politician escapes this unless he (or she) leaves politics altogether. This is a fundamental reality built into ‘the game’ that cannot be undone.
Harper may have been rather more naked about this than other politicians but all politicians face this situation because politics is amoral. Personal ethics are largely irrelevant. Expediency is the prime consideration, if a politician intends to survive. A politician must do and say anything necessary to win and, the day after winning, begin a campaign to win again.
Justin is facing this too. If he can endure this 5 year term and the next one, he will have reconciled himself to so many personal compromises. His ability to survive will depend largely on his ability to hide those compromises from voters. He is an earnest, honest man who will find ducking the truth from himself about his choices much more difficult to accept.
I maintain that honest, good people leave politics; they don’t stay. They enter politics believing that they can make real, lasting change, unaware of the ethical minefields in the path of success. The good ones resist the moral compromises and find other careers where they can thrive.
You know what the others do who stay behind and hypocrisy isn’t the worst of it.
Professional. Retired. Canadian.