OTTAWA — A visibly riled Stephen Harper backtracked on the promise to resign graciously if he lost in last week’s election, telling CTV that he will “go out kicking and screaming” if anyone tries to take his title away.
“Will I resort to getting physical? If I have to — yes,” Harper snapped in response to a Canada AM reporter. Harper lost the elections to the Justin Trudeau’s Liberals on October 20.
“I remind you that I am the Prime Minister of Canada today and I will be the Prime Minister of Canada on October 20th…and October 21st…and October 22nd…etcetera, etcetera, etcetra. No matter the outcome of election.”
“Only Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself can strip me of my title.”
“Doesn’t anybody read my omnibus bills?”
Harper’s about-face comes after repeated statements that he would “be a gentleman” and clean out his office immediately if either Justin Trudeau’s Liberals or Thomas Mulcair’s NDP win more seats than the Conservatives. Harper now reneges on those promises and pointed out that he said he would give up his office but never said he would give up the title of Prime Minister.
“Protocol says that the incumbent Prime Minister is first in line to form a new government,” said a spokesperson for the Queen’s viceregal representative, Governor General of Canada David Johnston, following Harper’s outburst.
“But that discretion is left entirely up to the Governor General of Canada himself and the Queen does not interfere in the affairs of government.”
“And, quite frankly, Her Majesty finds Mr. Harper a bit of a blowhard.”