So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey:
“Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey?”
And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy:
“We’re going to tell the king the sky’s a-falling.”
With 2013 rounding to a close, the consensus has congealed. The sky, she’s comin’ down, boys. Get yourselves to shelter.
The normally sympathetic Rex Murphy, in the National Post, called 2013 an exercise in “retreat-to-the-base mentality” where the flow has ebbed away from the Tories, who’ve now been diminished to resemble lowly Liberals.
Postmedia columnist Michael Del Tandt ruminated that this year had been bad, dismal, horrible for the Prime Minister, but quite liked the put on airs of his year-end interviews.
Meanwhile, Sun wag and Liberal plant Warren Kinsella gave the Prime Minister a less-than-stellar report card: his numbers are bad, his supporters are revoting, and he’s “beset by the grubby Senate scandal.”
This is endtimes, it seems.
And so we go, Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey and Turkey-lurkey, to tell the King that his kingdom is to be destroyed.
Brush aside all the moves that mattered this year: Harper’s coup in securing the economic highground with the CETA deal, the Conservatives’ sly command of the consumerist agenda with their anti-telecomm tirade, and the masterful drawing-up of a suburbanite tough-on-crime wet dream.
Sweep that away. Below it is yet another year of an ever-professionalizing campaign of woo-ing cultural and ethnic minorities with good public policy and an activist foreign affairs regime — from picking fights with Putin over gay rights to stumping for persecuted pro-European protests in the Ukraine and going to bat for at-risk Syrian freedom fighters, Canada has won over swaths of Canadians who still have links to those tumultuous countries.
But cast that off. Beneath it is the positioning of a new generation of energized and affable Tories that will make up Harper’s front-lines in his final year in government (assuming he goes that far.) Michelle Rempel, Lisa Raitt, Kellie Leitch — just three of the freshly-promoted government all-stars who will be raising the money, recruiting the candidates and winning over the voters needed to cling to government.
Okay, but beyond that, there’s money. Lots of money. Because while Ottawa may have been intently glaring at Harper’s myriad of misdeeds (rightfully so) the party has not recalled its army of fundraising flying-monkeys that have long allowed the party to remain supreme. While the Liberals have been catching up, there appears to be little chance of them taking over the, supposedly, hobbled Conservative Party. And while the party’s expensive C-Vote voter-management database may have been scrapped, the party evil scientists are preparing some sort of Skynet-like system in advance of 2015 to replace its aging CIMS system — a system that will outplay the Liberals’ glitchy Liberalist, and the NDP’s archaic NDPVote.
You might not see the layers if you’re staring through the fog of the Senate boondoggle. You might, unlike the average voter, only see Paul Calandra or Irving Gerstein.
But there are divine machinations working in the background of this government, and it is not idle deckchair-rearranging. It is serious electioneering that stands to blow away its giddy, greedy competitors.
Ignore the fickle opinion polling, and forget about the theatrics of Question Period: this has been a good year for Stephen Harper.
The sky is not falling.
And the best thing Stephen Harper can do is to lure his opponents into a false sense of security. Just like in Henny-Penny, when the crew was tempted through a shortcut by a sly Foxy-woxy, things might not end so well.
The boss may have been on the ropes for the last meagre month of the Parliamentary year, but he’s not out. He’s laying in wait, in his cave, with a plan.
Myself and the chattering classes have already figured, calculated, conjured spirits, read the entrails and plain-ol’ guessed at what Harper’s next move would be, but — in looking back — you have to imagine that Harper doesn’t feel too badly about his record over the past year. And that alone, not the news-du-jour, might determine what his next move will be.
Perhaps his plan really will be the self-sacrificial route that involves his resignation, comforting himself in his years of work. Maybe he’ll call that snap election and fight to the death, running on his popular achievements of 2013. Or, could be that Harper has a more devious plan in mind and will make his return a spectacular one.
Then Ducky-daddles waddled down, and ‘Hrumph’, snapped Foxy-woxy, and Ducky-daddles’s head was off and Duckydaddies was thrown alongside Turkey-turkey and Gooseypoosey.
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