The Globe and Mail calls for him to resign. The National Post just calls him a clueless bully who ignores the advice of everyone around him:
Conservative MPs look wistfully around their comfortable Center Block offices as they get ready for Christmas. Conservative staffers, some just hired, in the process of renting homes and moving families, rage against scheming packs of 'losers, socialists and separatists' but have no doubt about who to blame for the coming exile from power.
No one in the caucus would speak on the record, but a chat with former Conservative Bill Casey was revealing. The Independent MP, who was booted out of the Harper government for voting against a budget, said the great unravelling of the last few days is actually the product of a frustration that has been building on the opposition benches for the last three years. "Brinksmanship politics and pushing the opposition around has crystallized with this coalition," he said.
That attitude has also translated into Mr. Harper's relations with his own caucus, with the result that they are likely to prove as loyal as a pack of wolves turning on the one who falters. "His leadership style is not working. Ninety-five per cent of the Conservative caucus would have said don't make that statement [removing public funding for parties] if they'd been asked. But that's the problem. They are never asked, yet they'll carry the can for that decision," said Mr. Casey. "He doesn't understand people. He doesn't get that you can only push people around for so long before they push back."
The sweetest revenge of all, in years to come this is what Harper will be remembered for: The master strategist, the cunning partisan warrior who brought games theorists into strategy sessions (I guess they were busy last week.) and so clearly revelled in his image as an icy Machiavellian schemer, will be remembered for one of the most clueless and boneheaded political miscalculations in parliamentary history.
Joe Clark just thought he could govern as if he had a majority, Stephen Harper thought he could crush his enemies as if he had a majority.