’They make it very personal’

Linda Diebel surveys the scene five years after Stephen Harper took power.

University of Windsor political scientist MacIvor is pulling her punches. Asked about Stephen Harper’s style, she describes “an unusually unforthcoming government.” Previously, she’s criticized the PM’s “quite remarkable” degree of control and secrecy, with the same blunt, take-no-prisoners approach she adopts for politicians of all stripes … Instead, this time, MacIvor says she’s “become self-censoring on the subject of the Conservatives. Life is too short for so much stress.”

She expects to take lumps for her political opinions. What’s changed with this government is that she says she’s portrayed as “an enemy of the party” and “fair game” for vicious, personal attacks, which fill her inbox. “I should be able to speak my mind on political issues, but I’ve found members of the Conservative party seem to be more sensitive to criticism than other parties,” she says. “They make it very personal.”