Three quotes that are perhaps interchangeable:
“When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it’s rapidly losing its moral authority to govern.”
Stephen Harper shouldn't feel too bad; he has fallen victim to the same entitled to entitlements illness that hits all leaders who put their own personal agenda ahead of the good of the people they aspire to represent.
The things he once stood for with vigour have been lost as his focus shifts towards continuance. Where once he cried "reform" his new motto is "nothing to see here." Harper should take a lesson from true Free Market Capitalists - growth comes through creative destruction, starting at the top.
Then again - what would the Party he's worked so hard to build and rigidly control be without him? If and when he steps down, all the radicals that are already starting to chafe under his authoritarian control will push for a leader more in their image, the mold they once thought Harper would represent. Those MPs who are more traditional Conservatives will be held publicly accountable for what they choose to support - their beliefs, or their Party.
When these two groups with vastly different priorities don't get what they want, the Conservative Party of Canada, held together with duct tape and a common lust for power, will once again fragment.
One has to feel bad for Harper - his own deep-rooted fears and need for control have knee-capped his own ambitions. If only he'd taken the parents' creed to heart; "if you love them, let them go."
Perhaps he should have thought through his grand vision for a Conservative Canada in greater detail. Guaranteed, his successors will have to.
UPDATE: The problem is that the list of enemies keeps growing, and as it grows, starts to include more and more of the party's staunchest supporters.