Stephen Harper's government opened the new Parliament with an atypical tone of contrition, in a Throne Speech that spoke of compromise and consultation and borrowed phrases from opponent Michael Ignatieff.
Mr. Harper had used past Throne Speeches to launch games of political chicken with adversaries, daring them to vote against plans they disliked and then face an election.
Oh, yes. Harper is contrite. Harper is friendly. He's compromising and consulting now. Especially if you compare him to the guy who tried to bankrupt all of the other parties by taking away - retroactively even - their public funding. That works fine for the Party of the Wealthy and its big business donors. It doesn't work as well for parties supported by working people and the poor.
But how gullible is the Globe and Mail?
In the past election, they endorsed him. I wrote about how they highlighted his stubbornness, his vengeful nature and his my-way-or-the-highway history and still endorsed him on account of the fact that he was "a different Stephen Harper". They wrote that he deserved a majority where we would be stuck with him for five years.
Then the real Stephen Harper reared his head, spouting flames, and tried to destroy his opponents with a cheap, back-door bankrupting trick. This got their backs up so thoroughly that had to prorogue Parliament. Now Stephen Harper comes back "contrite" and "compromising" and the G&M headlines the article with "Harper's words carry a softer tone"?
There's a point where, no matter how apologetic he gets, you have to leave a guy who slaps you around.