In his most recent column at ipolitics, Michael Harris recounts observations from people who have had to deal with Stephen Harper:
“You have to appreciate Orwell to get a feel for Harper,” former Liberal interim leader Bob Rae told me. “His government doesn’t like alternate sources of information. It likes to be the sole source of information.”
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair met Harper in 2007, and was struck by the “strange” character of the man who has made his party “smug, smart-ass, and full of half-lies.” His utter dismissiveness of opponents was striking to Mulcair: “He never looks at his adversaries. There is no eye contact. It’s robotic. He pivots when he rises and looks at the Speaker. He never looks at his interlocutors. Questions don’t interest him. He is less and less connected with the question. What you get to see of him in the House is his right shoulder.”
But perhaps the most telling anecdote comes from Bill Phipps, the NDP candidate who Harper ran against in 2002, and who he refused to debate:
“I went over to congratulate him at his headquarters and he wouldn’t shake my hand. He told me he despised me! I couldn’t figure out how he could despise me, since he didn’t know me.”
The prime minister is a man who appears to hate every other human being he encounters:
The list of people Harper hates, not counting the ones on the official enemies list the PMO keeps, is long: judges, journalists, environmentalists, professors, union leaders, scientists, federal bureaucrats, First Nations peoples, Palestinians, all opposition parties, and anyone or anything named Trudeau.
Remember, this is a PM who won’t talk to the premiers, wouldn’t talk to Chief Theresa Spence, doesn’t hold press conferences and won’t speak at the UN — except through his finger puppet, John Baird.
One has to wonder if his supposedly brilliant mind is also a diseased mind. He is, after all, a sore winner.