Okay, I've seen enough now to confirm my instincts. I know you can't trust Harper, believe me, but watching the body language, the tone, the way the government is now caving, this isn't a man who's feeling particularly cocky. Maybe the GG warned him, "get it right, or get the coalition", maybe he's read the polls that show his popularity plummeting, maybe he's own people are nervous about his leadership, whatever, Harper has seen a ghost.
I put the above picture up, because it's indicative of Harper's posture during the entire interview. Small, meek, the same way he's been in all interviews since this parliamentary crisis appeared. Even more amazing, in this interview, Harper talks openly about himself in the PAST tense:
"Make sure I can walk away from this, saying I did the best for the Canadian economy."
"I love this job, and the day I leave it I always be thankful to have had it. I'm not going to be a guy, who sits around and writes all kinds of memoirs about how everybody did him wrong"
"Enjoy it as much as I can. It's going to be a tough year, and do the best job we can. And, always be thankful for having had the opportunity. The day I'm through with it, and the day my party is through with me, I'll find a way of serving people in another capacity."
I'm reading the usual bluster from Conservative partisans, arguing that Harper will run over the opposition like a "freight train", a majority in his grasp, he holds all the cards. I believe this mindset is utter delusion of the highest order, as I mentioned earlier, people make a critical error using opinion of the coalition to comfort themselves. Stephen Harper is less popular NOW, than at any other time during his reign. The Conservative Party has no identity, it all revolves around their leader, Harper has made himself the central thesis. This strategy was a good one, because "leadership" was the Conservatives trump card, when faced with Dion, but that has largely evaporated now. The fate of the Conservative Party will largely be a question on Harper, and I suspect Harper's braintrust is now well aware that this is a risky proposition.
Every move we've seen to date, suggests Harper doesn't share the confidence of his minions, he looks and acts like a man trying to cobble together a solution to save his skin. Again, I have no trust in Harper, as soon as he sees his next opening, he will revert to his more genuine self, but that clearly isn't the case now. I honestly believe Harper wants to avoid an election, despite the nefarious results of some findings, he knows that he's damaged himself and needs time to regroup. Let's keep it real, Harper will never steam roll through Ontario, he would lose seats in Quebec, which means another election would bring at best the same mandate, but more probable a lesser one, maybe even defeat. Anything less than the same, and Harper is effectively done, his party will turn on him. So, why head to the polls now, when you chances are iffy at best. I would argue, Harper's moves to date, tell us he agrees with the above, this is a man trying to avoid a confrontation, not find one, because he's on the cusp of ultimate control.
Others may have a different perspective, but from what I've see, Harper is oozing insecurity and lessened stature. His own actions betray an objective truth, and it's why I can understand why Liberal MP's were "quite optimistic" today after meeting with Flaherty. A temporary circumstance, but one I won't be surprised to see hold true until after the budget delivery.