This tactical flexibility is one reason Harper has been prime minister for nearly a decade. Anything is on the table, provided it makes life easier for his team and harder for the other teams. It’s a useful quality in a politician. In a statesman? Not so much. The effect of Harper’s shifting Senate policy so far has been to preserve the worst of all possible worlds: The institution carries on as it always has, while Senate appointments only serve the political whims of the prime minister, and no other purpose. We can see the results.
Harper is a tactician; that's why he wins. We hear that all the time.
Strategy, however, isn't so much his forte. He hasn't managed to make the CPC the natural governing party of Canada - instead, it's been a constant tactical game from his team, with tactics increasing in severity and questionable nature as time goes on.
Culture? Forget culture. Harper's culture is "my way or the highway", under the assumption that there's no real such thing as culture at all.
As a result, Harper's approach has resulted in policy misfires, avoidable battles and added significantly to Canada's structural deficit.
Nothing he has done is permanent; we've already seen that a lot of his shrink-government initiatives are being ignored by lower tiers that are simply filling in the gap.
Harper set out to re-engineer Canada to fit his ideology. It hasn't happened. If anything, Harper has only served to pour gas on citizen-led collaboration and institutional disruption.
Which just goes to show you - tactics and even strategy in the absence of culture is low-hanging fruit-picking on a withering tree.
It's not about winning battles; it's about conversion.