Harper talks retirement

2 Mar

Speaking with Ottawa insider and veteran political correspondent Paul Adams, Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated he may be considering an early retirement. Here are the relevant excerpts from the surprising interview:

Adams – In an unexpected move, Pope Benedict recently resigned his lifetime appointment from God, if I can put it that way. Do you believe those in high public office should know when to quit?

Prime Minister Harper – I have nothing but admiration for the Pope and his courageous decision. But you have to consider his resignation in context. Unlike elected political figures, he had free rein to impose his views without fear of dismissal. It’s that infallibility thing — only the Pope, or God, can fire the Pope.

Adams – When it comes to someone less fallible than the Pope — you, for instance — does there come a time to quit; that is, before you are denied office by the electorate or, worse, deposed from within by members of your own party?

Prime Minister Harper – Well, I don’t think the latter is too likely. After all, I know where they live, don’t I? More seriously, the time to quit is when you’ve achieved your goals.

Adams – Can you see that day approaching?

Prime Minister Harper – It’s basically here. Consider what I’ve done to this country. Internationally, for example, we’re no longer seen as a bunch of wussy peacemakers. I’m proud to say that because of our Party’s bold leadership and lavish spending, Canada’s military forces can now invade with the best of them.

Adams – And on the home front?

Prime Minister Harper – Domestically, we Conservatives have reshaped the country. Look, study the electoral map. You’ll see that the pipeline terrorists in British Columbia, the Separatist Socialists in Québec — the S.S., as I think of them — and those pogey-addicted Maritimers are nothing more than the bookends of a great blue middle. There, in our treasured heartland, people believe in the sensitive exploitation of natural resources and know better than to speak out of turn. Self-sufficient, self-satisfied, and silent — that’s the kind of national identity my Party has grafted onto this great country.

Adams – Why do you suppose there are so few examples in this country of high level politicians, or even high level public figures, who willingly departed office before they had to? And, as a follow-up, do you intend to take the high road from office?

Prime Minister Harper – Well, Paul, that’s a remarkably cynical perspective if I may say so. Let me provide some balance. As you know, we just had the truly admirable example of my dear old mentor, trusted confidant and valued friend, Tom Flanagan, choosing to retire from the public eye because he felt he had said his piece. Departing with dignity is not easy, especially when the little people expect so much of you. But like Pope Benedict and my soulmate Tom, I’m certain I’ll receive a clear sign when it’s my turn to quit the stage.


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