The definition of a statesman

Stephen Harper’s eulogy for Peter Lougheed.

But it is quite a recognition, the recognition due and now unreservedly accorded to a statesman. And I do also use the term ‘statesman’. It is also an overused, as well as a misunderstood, designation.

For we think of the statesman as what he often becomes in later life, a gentle, wise and experienced advisor who has moved beyond the fray. But in his time of leadership, the statesman is not created by remaining above the battle, but by recognizing it taking shape on the horizon, by accepting the responsibility to lead the charge and by providing the vision and strength that brings eventual success. And that is what Peter Lougheed provided, above all else, to this province.




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The definition of a statesman

  1. Something no one will ever accuse Harper of.

  2. Nearer the beginning of Harper’s eulogy he included this observation:

    “Peter Lougheed took a moribund party and in a few short years led it to a
    majority government followed by three more majority governments, all by simply
    astronomical margins.

    “Now, for those of us who like strong, stable, majority Conservative
    governments, that is reason enough to call Peter Lougheed a great man.

    That struck me as a little out of place.

    • Maybe Lougheed had a legitimate, more than 4K vote strong stable majority? This is such a self-serving thing to say. Boo

    • Harper, classy to the end.

      It recalls for me last weekend’s Cross-Country Checkup, the subject of which was Lougheed and his legacy. I didn’t catch the complete broadcast, but a common thread running through the calls I did hear was Lougheed’s gentlemanliness, fair play and intelligence. Several callers contrasted him with today’s political class, though generally restraining to mention any names . . . but you knew who they were talking about.

      It was breathtakingly ironic for Stephen Harper to show up and eulogize Mr Lougheed. I wonder if Mr. Harper has the sense of self-awareness to reflect on how he (and what will be his legacy) stacks up against the respect and high regard Mr Lougheed earned from friends and political foes alike.

      • Classy to the end like these final words?


        You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal
        government with something better was by working together in partnership
        with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right
        decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the
        right decision right through to the next election

        we finally have a party system at the national level where there are
        real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can
        actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New
        Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in
        our party are an impressive, committed team.

    • That was out of place, but this was not?

      • Umm, I’m not 100% sure, but I gather the link is to your comment below?

        In either case, I’m not familiar with the particulars that you are referring to – is that someone speaking at Jack Layton’s funeral?

  3. Spoken by an elf in the workshop of a master.

  4. Stay classy Harper and never pass up the opportunity to give yourself a plug!

  5. If only Stephen Lewis could have delivered a real eulogy.

    • Good point.

      I listened to the whole memorial on the radio – so lacking the visuals. I thought Rex Murphy’s opening speech was a bit over the top. The other speeches by Lee Richardson, Jim Dinning, and Alison Redford were revealing as they shared personal experiences and anecdotes.

      I’m not sure PM Harper had the same personal connection with Mr Lougheed, so it seemed to me at least to be a bit more political, but not at all out of line. Still would have appreciated more of a tribute in the H of C.

      • I liked the speeches by Stephen Lougheed and Jim Dinning especially; Richardson and Redford were good; Rex Murphy was meh, though he did make a funny crack. You’ve put your finger on it that Harper’s speech was less personal and I think more self-serving. He claimed to have had advice from Lougheed, but I doubt that he has followed much of it.

  6. If anyone wants to gauge the extent of the drop in class, civility, modesty etc that has occurred between the Progressive Conservatives, Reform, and now Conservatives, read Bill Davis’ tribute to Lougheed in today’s Star.

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