In response to this post I thought I would add my two cents on the topic. I don't like Harper, primarily because I think he is fraud, the present a constructed calculation based on self-interest, with little regard for consequence.
Stephen Harper doesn't care a lick about Quebec, or Quebecers, any measure or outreach is simply a recognition of what is required to attain, keep or expand power. When he speaks of de-centralization, provincial jurisdiction, it all stems from the belief that Quebec has too much power in the federation, it's origin is actually anti-Quebec, as opposed to the presentation of greater flexibility.
Stephen Harper has the audacity to run on openness and transparency, market himself as progressive in that regard, and then when in office, institute the most repressive and stifling regime in Canadian history. No access to information, no access to the media, no access to MP's, no ability for anyone to speak freely, outside of pre-determined and approved talking points. The man who presented himself as the champion of open government, is in fact Stalinist in his approach.
Stephen Harper runs government, as though he is packaging a product and we are his potential consumer. Rather than develop sound policy, preference is given to measures which produce the desired perception, which can be sold. Expert opinion is largely irrelevant, empirical evidence is less persuasive than the idea of vote potential. Decisions are more about what is good for the Conservative Party politically, than they are what is good for the country.
Stephen Harper isn't a builder, his entire political career is predicated on negativity. Any ideas are developed in reaction to a perceived undesirable, a pessimism towards many of our institutions, a anger towards political foes, more about tearing down than moving forward. Stephen Harper hates the Liberals, he loves the gutter, he wants to destroy rather than compare and contrast. Anything that gets in Harper's way is subject to brutal assassination, threats, attacking without consideration for consequence, an inherent meanness.
It's not that Stephen Harper is a conservative, my dislike isn't necessarily kneejerk. I liked Joe Clark, I liked Peter Loughheed, I liked Bill Davis, I like John McCain. Philosophical agreement isn't entirely a pre-requisite for respect or acknowledgement of principled position. I don't like Stephen Harper because I don't like the approach, I don't see authenticity, I don't agree with the tactics or the motivations. I don't like Stephen Harper because he's a false prophet, what you see is edited fiction, a recipe for maximum digestion. The Harper model doesn't appeal to the best in people, it relies on divisions, it uses fear to force compliance, it requires an enemy, a foe, to find it's own union.