Bill Johnson takes apart larry martin's one sided unbalanced grit propaganda piece on HM PM Harper.
How must one judge a prime minister of Canada? Jean Chrétien, in his memoirs, set one test as paramount: "Keeping Canada united is the single most important responsibility of every national government and every prime minister."
Those prime ministers we consider great - John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, Mackenzie King, Pierre Trudeau - all created, shaped or preserved the country, against great odds. The most reviled - Robert Borden and Brian Mulroney - left the country dangerously split.
Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin, in his well-received book, Harperland: The Politics of Control, displays other priorities. None of its 19 chapters explores Stephen Harper's record on national unity. The index runs from "abortion" to "Youth for Christ" - but "national unity" goes missing.
Instead, Martin focused on Harper's psychology, his need to control, his secretiveness, his duplicity, his ruthlessness, his paranoia - what Martin calls "the dark, vindictive side of his character, a side that at times he could not subdue and that on several occasions, threatened to bring him down."
The book is not a biography, presenting Harper whole. Martin develops a thesis, identified in the book's subtitle: The Politics of Control. We are offered a dramatic portrait of Harper's psyche at war with itself, between its bright side and its shady side. The meticulous accumulation of evidence accentuates the dark side. The leitmotif explaining Harper's major decisions and actions since he became prime minister is his compulsive need to control.