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He can change. Really.


 

Stephen Harper once again redeems the Globe’s faith in him.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended his government’s handling of the case of Suaad Haji Mohamud on Thursday, saying officials have made it a priority to ensure the Canadian woman, who has been stranded in Kenya for 2 1/2 months, returns home.

But rather than directly responding to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s criticism of the federal government’s conduct, the prime minister hit back at the premier by urging the province to deal with the ongoing scandal at its electronic health records agency.

See previously: “I have taken the view, as the federal prime minister very different than some of my predecessors as I don’t lecture the provinces publically on how they should be running their health care systems.”


 

He can change. Really.

  1. Harper never was the ideologue that his opponents, particularly the Liberals made him out to be – he's shown himself to be a pragmatic politician, and a brilliant political strategist.

    • How off-topic. Nice work, ConBot.

    • I don't know about that. He does have a very good strategic side to him, but just when he's got things going good he has an incredible ability to kneecap himself. I also disagree on him being an ideologue. He definitely was one, in fact it's one of the reasons he left elected politics in 1997, and that reputation only grew at the NCC. I would say however, that his ideology was much more rooted on the small-c conservative economic side than the social one.

    • LOL!!!!!!!!

    • He's playing chess.

  2. Candians Abroad?…. Uhhhhh E HEALTH, LOOK OVER THERE OMFG MCGUINTY EFFED UP BIG TIME YEAH.

  3. How can you defend an action that was clearly racist? The least he should have done was to apologize personally to Suaad Haji Mohamud, then fire the officials that called her an impostor.

    • lawsuit coming right up!

    • What if the officials at the Canada High Commission in Kenya were African-Canadians, just like Ms. Mohamud? Would you still feel that there was racism involved?

      • well done and said.

      • Good point, but I doubt it. What I originally meant by racism is the fact that if it was, for example, a white Canadian in the same boat as Ms. Mohamud, the government wouldn't have taken two months to fix the situation.

  4. Our illustrious Prime Minister is nothing but a cranky baby with dirty diaper.

    • Nonsense! The fact that McGuinty was the one taking Harper to task on this makes Iggy's silence even more noticeable.

      • I tend to agree with PolJunkie's sentiment. the first think that reading McGuinty's comments made me think of is 'why the hell is the leader of the opposition not pounding a podium with his shoe about this?' it was actually the first time i lent any credence to the where the hell is iggy this summer meme.

        • I'm not saying that Iggy shouldn't have been heard during all of this. Just that McGuinty managed to flush out Harper's petty, dickish, partisan streak (I swear Harper has no self-discipline in that respect)., in a way that renewed the sense that the Conservatives don't like Ontario very much. Iggy's invisibility aside, that has to help the federal Liberals to some extent.

          • ok. i def agree with that Sean. the more people easily baiting Harper into spastic Bush-like 'you are either with us or you aren't' outburst the better.

  5. Here's what Harper actually said:

    "The federal government had in its budget considerable funds available . . . for the expansion of and pushing forward for the project to make health records in this country electronic, so obviously I would encourage the provincial government to get on with rectifying problems in that area," said Harper.

    Ooh. So partisan. He announces Mohamud's imminent return to Canada, and later, in response to a reporter's question about McGuinty, he encourages the provincial government to rectify problems with electronic health records? The nerve!

    • Crit, so why is the Globe, the Tor Star, La Presse and Canwest all reporting the same thing?

      • Google News shows that only Canwest's Mayeda and the Star's Ferguson mentioned Harper's alleged "slam" to McGuinty. Feel free to provide links to the other articles.

      • Google News shows that only Canwest's Mayeda and the Star's Ferguson mentioned Harper's alleged "slam" to McGuinty. The Canadian Press and CBC articles made no mention of it. Feel free to provide links to the other articles.

        • Nice backpeddling, Crit.

    • It's not partisan. It's childish. Of course, that distinction is probably lost on someone who uses a puppet as an avatar.

      • The mature thing to do is hide behind anonymity.

        • You're right. I'm just not brave enough to sign up with a pseudonym and an avatar featuring a picture of Sailor Moon.

          • Good night, and good luck then,

      • We've had this discussion before.

    • What was the question that the PM was answering?

    • Even so, he clearly didn't bring that up due to his charitable spirit.

  6. So a jumped up little Premier lectures the PM on immigration/passport issues but a PM can't comment on the Premier screwing up health care, a provincial responsibility paid for in large part by Ottawa. OK, sounds fair.

  7. It's a little different when you have the PM saying this a week ago:

    “I have taken the view, as the federal prime minister very different than some of my predecessors as I don't lecture the provinces publically on how they should be running their health care systems.”

    • That is actually a very good point. I guess he made an exception in McGuinty's case.

      • Yes, this is the first time Harper's been inconsistent.

        • Harper's been inconsistent many times about many things. So has Ignatieff. So has McGuinty. I hate to generalize, but you could say that about almost every politician.

          • Yes, but the politician in question represents *all* of us and happens to be in charge.

  8. But rather than directly responding to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's criticism of the federal government's conduct, the prime minister hit back at the premier by urging the province to deal with the ongoing scandal at its electronic health records agency.

    I like the way that reads. It would be nice if this kind of topic-switching attack tactic — by politicians of whatever stripe — has become so obvious, so prevalent, and so annoying that it is now seen by media as worth including in their news reports.

    If so, over time this would help a lot to to discourage that kind of behaviour. The topic-switching attack tactic only works if media allow the attack to overtake the orginal story.

  9. I gather it's more a matter of you being too much of a coward to leave a record of your positions. It's much easier to troll without all of that pesky business.

    • I'm not concerned. Even anonymously, I'm very consistent.

  10. After this briefing I was also left with the distinct impression that Harper refused to say Suaad Haji Mohamud 's name.

  11. After this question I was also left with the distinct impression that Harper refused to say Suaad Haji Mohamud 's name.

    • Whenever I think that the trenchant observations of Harper detractors couldn't get any smaller or pettier, someone always steps forward to prove me wrong.

      • IIRC, he was also specifically asked if he could answer in both official languages. I also wonder if a strong statement from the Prime Minister couldn''t have been effective diplomatically and helped in the return of our fellow Canadian, Suaad Haji Mohamud. It is unfortunate, but it seems that he had refused to prepare an official statement about this case. Can we assume he intended to speak in generalities but to essentially avoid engaging with this line of questioning?

  12. It seems like just a few day ago that Harper was saying he wasn't qualified to discuss healthcare because it was a provincial matter.

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