Why it's not a bad idea to bet that Stephen Harper will resign in 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a quitter in the past.
Just look at the record.
In his 20s, he didn't last long as a parliamentary aide to former Progressive Conservative MP Jim Hawkes, resigning long before the 1988 election.
Harper also quit the Progressive Conservatives and joined the Reform Party, later running against Hawkes in Calgary West.
In 1993, Harper became an MP, but he didn't seek re-election. He chose to quit electoral politics so he could take a job with the right-wing National Citizens Coalition.
Later, Harper quit working for this group and won the leadership of the Canadian Alliance in 2002.
His party later merged with the Progressive Conservatives, which was headed by Peter MacKay.
It's been more than a decade since Harper has resigned from a job or switched parties, so the aura of Harper as a quitter has faded from the public's consciousness.
But his office has seen a revolving door of communications directors and chiefs of staff.
And he's come off his worst year yet as prime minister, with his former chief of staff under criminal investigation in the wake of the Senate scandal.
Consider what his former girlfriend, Cynthia Williams, told Postmedia journalist Mark Kennedy last year.
She said that before Harper was bitten by the political bug, he used to dream of working for the United Nations or for a global international company.
In recent years, Harper has taken great joy in travelling to different countries as prime minister to play the role of a statesmen. He leaves Canada several times a year, most famously when he went to China to snuggle with a panda bear.
Harper gets treated with a great deal more respect in foreign capitals than he ever experiences from the media at home.
Harper is in Vancouver
Later today, Harper is expected to speak to the Vancouver Board of Trade.
No doubt, he'll make the case that his government is best-suited to promote economic growth.
He may even throw in some positive words about various pipeline proposals. This will fuel speculation that he's ready to seek reelection in 2015.
But there's nothing he would probably despise more than losing an election to a Liberal Party of Canada led by Justin Trudeau.
Harper is smart enough to know that in the modern era, few premiers and prime ministers last more than 10 years in their positions. After a decade, voters yearn for a fresh face.
So if someone offers Harper a parachute, such as becoming director-general of the World Trade Organization or senior vice president of a major chartered bank, don't be surprised if he grabs onto it.
That's because Harper knows he's probably already reached his best-before date in the eyes of the the Canadian electorate, and his party just might fare better with someone else in the top job.