MP’s resignation lands Stephen Harper face-to-face with his own lost ideals

canada.com

OTTAWA – Of such moments, revolutions are made. Edmonton MP Brent Rathgeber’s resignation from the Conservative caucus, which dropped inside the Ottawa bubble like a little concussion grenade late Wednesday, represents more than the loss of a single MP among the 164 Tories in the Commons. It is a dagger straight to the heart of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Unless he responds dramatically, effectively and soon, the betting on his stepping aside before the 2015 election goes from even to odds-on. It also becomes not only possible, but likely, that the caucus will suffer further defections. Such is Rathgeber’s standing among his colleagues, and such is the degree of unhappiness on the Conservative backbenches, that pressure will now mount for others to bolt.

To gauge the importance of this, we must first appreciate where Rathgeber comes from, whom he represents, and why he quit. This is no feckless Atlantic Red…

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