Their motto seems to be "Don't worry. He's not that bad."
The concern that everyone else in Canada has is that, under a minority government, Harper and his ilk have not been able to put forward their full platform. We're not just talking about the social conservatives and their anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage platform. We're talking about the man who hates Canada's status as what he calls "a Northern European welfare state". We're talking about a guy with an advanced case of America Envy. He wants private healthcare. He wants a big, aggressive military to play with.
The concern is that Minority Harper and Majority Harper are two different people.
The Globe and Mail editorial board recognizes his dominating streak:
"far too much a solo runner in the team game of politics"
"gratuitous characterizations of parliamentary critics as Taliban sympathizers"
"an underdeveloped appreciation for the basic tenets of pluralism"
"denigrations of the keepers of critical checks and balances in our political system"
They add this:
"Whatever you think of him, the Stephen Harper of today is not the Stephen Harper of 2004 or earlier."
Yes, so don't worry about that stuff about Canada being a horrific welfare state. The new Harper is actually okay with the way Canada works. He is no longer sickened by our non-capitalist ways.
But this bit takes the cake:
"There is no reason to think he won't continue along the same trajectory if re-elected"
Really? I think that there's every reason to think that his trajectory will change the moment he gets a majority. All that stuff about being too bossy? How do you think that's going to get better if he gets more power?
I have a hard time believing someone could write an editorial that starts by mentioning Harper's megalomaniacal domination of Parliament via the PMO and then tries to soothe us and tell us it's okay because he'll be softer and more communicative when he has complete control of Parliament.
But then, journalists don't always have to make sense. They just have to sell copy and satisfy advertisers.