It is an interesting irony that Margaret Thatcher is one of the great heroes of many of the members of the Conservative Party of Canada. The irony comes in large part from the fact that Thatcher's leadership style is much like Harper's - she brooked no dissent, she tried to muzzle her own Cabinet Members, and she would override any decisions she didn't like. But, of course, Thatcher's strengths eventually became her weaknesses as other politicians who hoped to express themselves were never allowed to do so. She gradually built up great resentment in her own party and eventually left the House of Commons in tears when she was pushed out in what she considered to be a serious betrayal by her onetime allies. But if, as a politician, you can't rely on your leader, why should he or she be able to rely on you?? As the Conservative Party support in England crumbled with Thatcher as leader, her members turned on her. Once she was a liability rather than an asset her party jettisoned her like so much garbage (which is a polite word for what she was).
So (as Mound of Sound talked mentioned here), how long until Harper faces the same kind of ignominious rejection from his party? In the end, despite the image she has among some, Margaret Thatcher was a desperately weak leader. She alienated people where she should have created solidarity, she fostered only obedience where she should have fostered loyalty, she created resentment where she should have maintained respect. History will, and to a degree already has, judged Thatcher quite harshly. One needn't be a careful reader of history to understand that Harper is facing a similar fate. He possesses very little of the kind of loyalty that a great leader needs to be considered well by history's standard, and none of the sort that he will need to maintain power once his sheen has worn off. It will only take one or two serious challengers to Harper's leadership and the entire facade will crumble like a house of cards.
The difference between Harper and a leader like, say, Pierre Trudeau or Jack Layton is that while they all might be strongly opposed by the members of other parties, in the long run the real leaders engender real respect by their opponents.