But Harper's choice of reading material has disturbed even some of his own party members.
The senior Tory recounted being told Harper had "read and mastered" the biography and leadership style of Russia's Communist dictator Josef Stalin, and said the prime minister has adopted some of the same tactics.
"He plays people off against one another, he attempts to inspire fear rather than respect, he is unpredictable and he is 100 per cent focused on eliminating the opposition," the senior Conservative explained...
"You can either say he's a good leader and decisive or you can say he's a bully, but it amounts to the same thing," he said. "He knows what he wants to do and he makes people do it, or tells them that if you don't like it then vote against it, or lump it, and that's fair enough."
Quite the contradiction for a man who's Reform roots suggest a grassroots, representative approach to government. Emulating a totalitarian, repressive leadership style should be quite alarming, but hardly surprising, given the record to date. Harper is a bully, that demands rigid compliance from surrogates and shows a complete paranoia on message control. Free media is scorned and manipulated to be mere propaganda faciliators.
The Stalin angle might help explain Harper's unprecedented obsession with obtaining a majority. Unchecked power is the ultimate goal, and only when this condition is achieved will we see the true character revealed. Policy is a means to an end, not a moral discussion, but one that gets its impetus from a lust for power. It really is staggering that the man who leads a democratic Canada has the same mentor as the likes of Saddam Hussein.