Barry Cooper challenges presumptions of Canadians
One year ago this week, Canadians were getting accustomed to the reality of another Stephen Harper government, as well as another minority.
In It's the Regime, Stupid!: A Report From the Cowboy West on Why Stephen Harper Matters, Barry Cooper lays out his case for viewing Harper as a historic Prime Minister.
Cooper argues that Canada's regime -- defined as the entrenched political culture of a country, defining who is entitled to govern, by what means they are chosen, and what for -- is changing. He embraces the argument that a country's regime tends to coalesce around its economic centre. He argues that as Western Canada becomes the economic engine of the company, so will they also become its political engine, defining the values according to which the country will be governed.
As David Warren recently noted, Cooper doesn't seem to think Harper's tenure as Prime Minister is the source of these changes, but rather a symptom of them.
If this is truly the case, one is led to ponder what, precisely, this will mean for Canada.
There has been a good deal of talk recently about the emergence of a new "natural governign party" in Canada. The arguments Cooper presents in his book -- a great deal of it about how the politics of public virtue combined with the notion of the Liberal party as the "natural government" to create a sense of entitlement that led to the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars for the direct benefit of the Liberal party.
This should lead Canadians to wonder if having a natural governing party is really something they want at all.