September 6, 2008


Harper's 'political pit bull' (Linda Diebel, 9/06/08, The Star)

Doug Finley has a puckish face and a macho swagger. He loves the two-fisted Celtic rock of the Pogues, likes to laugh at himself and wears the weirdest ties and a wistful comb-over.

He is, according to former Liberal MP Rod Blaker, "a very gentle person – gentle to every human being I ever saw."

Such is one image.

But there are other takes on Finley. They are blisteringly negative and come from ousted Tory candidates with crushed self-esteem, blacklisted party members and former ministers struggling to grasp their inconsequence in the Conservative hierarchy of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

They attribute their fate to the bullying character of the most important man the Canadian public doesn't know.

Finley is Harper's hammer. He's No. 2 to the PM's No. 1, apparently with more clout than cabinet ministers and more access than anyone except, possibly, Laureen Harper.

At 62, his job is to win this election for "the boss" – his all-consuming passion since joining then-Canadian Alliance leader Harper in early 2003 and going on to orchestrate his leadership win of the merged Alliance and Progressive Conservatives later that year.

While we all have a fierce need to believe ourselves unique, our politics distinctive and our leaders extraordinary, to understand why Maverick will beat the Unicorn Rider you need look no further than the fact that the Canadians and Brits (soon) are running the same election and will render the same results.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2008 10:51 AM
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