Harper's problems do not appear to be trivial. Clearly, for obvious reasons he wants a robust, conservative majority. Although his problems stem from the current global economic crisis, he also carries the lingering, fetid stench of Bush neo-conservative attitudes. A chief source of that is the American Tom Flanagan, an Illinois born Goldwater conservative with Leo Strauss defined political reflexes and a Rovian persona. He is one of the key players and a core advisor in Harper's political life. Following the last election, Harper put him on the payroll. If nothing else, that alone is a signal to Canadians that their Prime Minister has every intention of turning up the heat on his neo-conservative agenda. Of all the irritants Harper represents in left-of-center Canadian politics, the sulfurous odor of American neo-conservatism just might be one of the most potent.
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