How do you solve a problem like Stephen Harper?
Wishful-thinking liberal pundits — no, if the Conservatives win and are actually allowed to hold a minority mandate in the 41st Parliament, Stephen Harper’s leadership is not seriously in danger.
Well, I’ve got to think that the people in charge of drafting the Conservative Party’s constitution — i.e., Harper and his people — took a look at the Chrétien-Martin mess and said, “We don’t want any of that in our new party!” Or they possibly are familiar with this book.
10.6 At the first national convention following a federal general election when the Party does not form the government and the Leader has not indicated an irrevocable intention to resign, the delegates will vote by secret ballot if they wish to engage the leadership selection process.
10.7 In the event of any of the following, National Council shall implement the leadership selection process at the earliest convenient date thereafter:
10.7.1 the death or retirement of the Leader;
10.7.2 the Leader indicates a desire to resign by submitting notice in writing to the President of the National Council;
10.7.3 more than fifty percent (50%) of the votes cast at a national convention as provided for in Article 10.6 are in favour of engaging the leadership selection process.
No, if you want to get rid of him, first you will have to remove him from government. Otherwise, Stephen Harper will leave the Conservative leadership when he has either lost a federal general election (and perhaps not even then — he’s still quite young, and he’s the best the Tories have got) or just done all he thinks he can as prime minister and feels that he has a worthy successor to pass things on to.