...in recent days, a number of key Conservatives in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver have confided to Bourque they envision a late-winter announcement that the PM will step down, triggering a spring leadership convention to choose his successor. A telltale sign is the growing amount of time and energy Harper is spending on the world stage, finding solace in the accolades of his fellow world leaders as his party treads water in national polls back home. Such was the case with a number of his predecessors as they contemplated their own 'best before' dates, including Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Jean Chretien. Each, one will recall, was succeeded by a caretaker Prime Minister who quickly succumbed to the opposition at the first available opportunity. Such was the fate of John Turner, Kim Campbell, and Paul Martin, all effective and capable politicians in their day, but each of them left holding the odious bag of public contempt for a party that dared to stay on in power too long. It is thought the suitable successor to play that role would be Jason Kenney, an obvious candidate to take the party into its inevitable hibernation in Opposition. So, to recap, the tea leaves suggest a Harper departure after the much promised 'balanced' budget in Winter 2015, followed by a leadership convention in Spring 2015, and a general election in Fall 2015. Or so it is whispered.
So there you have it.