Unable to contain his cat with the cream grin, Stephen Harper gave us a glimpse of our future as he sees it when he was in Fredericton a couple of days ago. "I think the Canadian public has grown more conservative," he declared.
He went on to observe that pride has revived in ideas and organizations that conservatives have backed traditionally, and not just the policies and organizations that the Liberals and New Democrats claim define Canada.
The old and the new are clear in Harper’s mind. Under a Harper majority, the Old Canada of medicare and the CBC will be on its way out and the New Canada of the military and the tighter alliance with the U.S. will be in.
Harper and his soul mates in the "Calgary School" such as Tom Flanagan, who believe Canada should blend seamlessly with the United States plan a root and branch transformation of the country. They are disciples of Leo Strauss, the intellectual guru of neo-conservatism who taught that his followers needed to be secretive because the ordinary people are not strong enough to bear the truth. They’ll get used to it later.
Those on the right who know Harper best are fully aware that this man doesn’t have a centrist bone in his body.
Ted Byfield, the godfather of Western Regionalism has said "If Harper gets elected, he’ll make a helluva change in this country."
Newfoundland’s Conservative Premier Danny Williams put it plainly: "What in heaven’s name will happen if he wins a majority? Stop, think and decide if that is what this country deserves."