Stephen Harper 1988 v. Stephen Harper 2010 -

Stephen Harper 1988 v. Stephen Harper 2010


The Globe editorial board has another go at explaining its disappointment.

The democratic ethos that gave rise to the Reform Party was instrumental in its 1993 breakthrough, leading to the ultimate demise of the Progressive Conservatives. It was carried by Reformers in Parliament; for a time, Preston Manning even sat in the second row in the House chamber to illustrate that he was an elected MP on a par with all others. It was maintained in subsequent party platforms. It catalyzed grassroots interest in the party, inspiring Canadians to get involved in politics. To this day, the membership of the successor Conservative Party of Canada is the largest of any party in Canada…

Today, Parliament is closed, while Canadians hang on to the notion that they live under a parliamentary system of government. We don’t elect our prime minister, we elect our MPs to form a government, and then to hold the prime minister and his ministers to account. But the present reality is one in which the executive increasingly directs the activities of the legislature. That’s something at odds with the ideals on which the country, and the Reform-Conservative tradition, were built. Canadians have taken notice.


Stephen Harper 1988 v. Stephen Harper 2010

  1. I hadn't realized until this morning that Harper scheduled his Haiti conference on the day that Parliament was supposed to resume business.

    Harper can try all he can to change the channel but it won't work. This one isn't going to die down.

  2. I have often wondered where all the Reformers have gone. I really don't believe they lack the substance/conviction/backbone to call Harper to task, rather I suspect there was never an appropriate time or a trigger.

    Well now the question has been asked by the NATIONAL NEWSPAPER (and in Aaron's blog!), so where are you guys?

    • To some extent they (current MPs from the Reform cloth) are talking quietly amongst themselves, trying to convince each other that they haven't really abandoned those principles that they used to believe with such vigor. As you mentioned, perhaps this will be the trigger that causes them to see the gap between those old ideals and today's view from out here.

      • Maybe. But I suspect they'll calm themselves with a nice warm cup of "we're still better than the coalition of traitors,separatists, and evil Liberals…"

        • Yes indeed, a very soothing brew. But I prefer green tea.

      • Is it possible that Ablonczy was less quiet than others?

        • Not sure…..has she said something related lately (that I missed), or just in general?

    • I was thinking about this too recently when I noticed that Harper's Cabinet has a decidedly Harris-ite bent to it. I'm trying to think of a high profile Cabinet post held by a Reformer…I'm coming up empty.

  3. I'm trying to remember why the Globe backed Harper in the last election.

    • Dion talked funny.

      • Do you mean he spoke with a French accent?

        Or does he have a lisp?

        • To have an accent when speaking in english is acceptable but the reverse is apparently not tolerable for an aspiring PM.

    • CTV/Globe had a "hate-on" for Dion, remember?

      • It's a miracle I can even remember how to turn on my computer.

  4. Hah! I'm loving this. You guys fell into another giant trap by Harper.

    Instead of developing economic policies and talking to Canadians about long term issues that matter the opposition and media have jumped on the latest shiny object.

    Throw this is the pile of chequegate, H1N1, waffergate, detainee torture, and whatever other procedural non-issue the opposition has focused on in the last couple years.

    • Yep, the plummeting poll numbers are just another example of how, when everyone else is playing checkers, Harper is playing chess.

      • Ordinarily I would let Jesse or Jarrid explain this to you. Laureen has devised a plan in which she has pulled all of Steve's upcoming gigs, the just visiting ads etc. She has also fed Steve an uncompromising diet of a special Polish dish to swell his bottom to enormous dimensions and force all of his jackets to bulge at the sides. Shallow Canadian media and voters have dropped his polling numbers, but that is the trap!

        Now when Iggy threatens an election, bang out come the Yo Yo clips, the liposuction surgeons jump in (reaping enormous profits for party coffers through sales to South American beauty products), the Globe endorses him and he gets his deserved majority. It is all rather straightforward once you get the hang of it.

    • "Hah! I'm loving this. You guys fell into another giant trap by Harper."

      How can you be so gleeful that he's tricked and fooled us so?

  5. I seem to recall that they thought he was "growing into his job", and that he had shown himself capable of playing well with others and curbing his partisan impulses.

    yeah…they might want to take a mulligan on that'un!

  6. Here's the thing: you're quite right that H1N1 was overblown, and that wafergate was silly (to say the least). But concerns about torture, anger over the government's attacks on Colvin, and the recent demonstrations against proroguation had precious little to do with the media, and almost nothing to do with the opposition.

    In many ways, the Conservatives are realizing what they've always desired: direct engagement with the citizens, unfiltered by opposition or media spin. It should be interesting to see how they handle themselves in the absence of any bogeymen to blame.

    • " Almost nothing to do with the opposition ". You will have to try to get a better grasp of reality.

      Colvin, Afghan prisoners, H1N1 were all attempts by the opposition to smear the gov`t Until you understand that you will never know why this recent protest against prorogration has no support with most Canadians. A real protest movement has to have a cause where the public feel they have been wronged. The public can see these most recent efforts of the opp. is just more fabricated hysteria.

      . Granted that the recent demonstrations were peppered with the usual suspects of Professional Protestors who need little encouragement to hit the streets, but the presence of Lib and NDP signs and personnel showed the continued efforts of the opp. backroom boys orchestrating the crowd.

      • You are really, really, REALLY reaching here common man… I understand that you are but one poor troll, toiling away towards an ends you neither understand or care for, but at least try to live in the same plain of existence as your fellow citizens.

        Your trolling will be much effective that way.

        • It is getting a little stale but when I saw this:
          "at least try to live in the same plain of existence as your fellow citizens"
          I couldn't help but think of this:
          "Reality has a liberal bias"

          BTW there was an NDP guy giving out signs at the Vancouver rally. Only a few protesters took and carried them. I proudly carried my country's flag.

          This was a most diverse looking crowd, age-wise and looked like very middle-class and very un-protest-march-like-types. Had ANY group been able to "orchestrate" this crowd they would have received an Academy Award.

          • I was at the Waterloo rally, and I was amazed by both the age range (I swear the average age was around 45) and the remarkable lack of zealotry evident. As you put it, "un-protest-march-like." Stunningly average, in many ways.

          • I was on the Hill and observed the same as you and Sean. The over 60 crowd was larger than the under 25, and there wasn't a trouble maker in sight.

        • Sorry if this is of-subject, but from what I understand about the internet definition of troll, would this Blog Central not have to be a Liberal Blog in order for a partisan Liberal like yourself to refer to someone who disagrees with you as a troll.

          So you can continue to imagine a massive protest after Mr. Wherry spent the entire week-end counting heads or you can realize now that this whole prorogation protest has as much traction as all the other phony scandals: wafergate, H1N1, the letter C, chequegate………………………..

          • Partisan Liberal?

            You really are off your game! Assuming you ever had game, that is…

            The day I buy into party politics is the day I cease to be a good citizen and officially declare I don't care anymore. I have my own voice which no party can represent and an outlook no party filters.

          • Sorry Nich, I missed that independent streak of yours, and I still don`t understand that whole troll thing.

      • That's right, keep telling Canadians they're apathetic losers who are easily duped by the media and the oppostion parties, deride all the Facebook group members and rally attendees as stooges, and above all never admit even the potential for a misstep on Harper's part.

        I can see nothing wrong with that approach at all.

        • Actually, rather then tell Canadians that they are apathetic or easily duped by the media and opp. I have done just the opposite. Canadians are quite capable of distinguishing between a legitimate protest movement and a manufactured one from the opp. some media, and of course your favourite Facebook members.

          As for any missteps on Harper`s part and how you could capitalize on them, I would suggest you concentrate more on economic measures the opp. would do different.

  7. Out of curiousity, what metric do you employ in reading the mood of Canadians?

  8. I know questioning power is a bad trait for patriots.

  9. I'll answer for common man;

    Anti-coalition rallies were a renowned success based on protest numbers, opinion polls and large Facebook participation and Conservative MPs using words like 'unholy' ' illegal' and 'treasonous'

    Anti-prorogation rallies are a total failure based on larger protest numbers, greater public opinion poll numbers and larger Facebook participation, with organizers using words like 'non-partisan' 'grassroots' and 'peaceful protest'

  10. I thought maybe his pseudonym gives him special insight into the views of ordinary (common) Canadians. If so, I'm changing mine to "well hung super smart man" or something like that.

  11. I start of by assuming they are not apathetic when they feel they have been wronged like when a coalition attempts to overthrow a democratically gov`t, and then I gage their good judgement in knowing they will not be easily duped by the media and opp. when another manufactured crisis appears around the corner.

  12. Fail.

    Thanks for playing, though.

  13. I prefer using the synonym 'Nich'

    • LOL!

  14. Overthrow is an interesting word to use.

    If a Prime Minister is permitted to rule against the expressed wishes of the majority of the House of Commons, the same House in which the Prime Minister is granted legitimacy and from which his powers stem, wouldn't the Prime Minister's government have been supported only by a Monarch's representative, against the wishes of the majority of the people's representatives?

  15. I may remind you in the next few weeks about your unwillingness to accept the futility of these fake protests as they fizzle into the dustbins.

    But I`m serious about the best move the opp. can make when parliament returns is to concentrate on the economy. If Iggy continues to listen to his backroom boys and their phony scandals and lets NDPers like Rae and Dosanjh be his front men the public will dial him out permanently.

  16. I miss Preston Manning.

    God. Who would have thought I'd ever say that!

  17. Never meant to speak for you E.B. I guess Most Canadians are part of the 99.9% of people who have neither the time or inclination to hit the streets on a Sat. afternoon to protest a governing action that has been used for 100 plus years. They don`t sign Facebook campaigns and most don`t even comment on blogs. And they know that a responsible opposition would be more interested in jobs for their kids and pensions for their parents then attempts to smear the gov`t with protestations about seasonal flu and Afghan prisoners.

  18. Couldn`t agree with you more; if more people thought like you in 1993 and 1997 then there would have been more than 1 Reform MP elected in Ontario in those 2 elections. However I`m sure Preston appreciated your support.

  19. Disinterest by 'most' Canadians does not indicate support for your side of the argument. If you could actually talk to most Canadians and, for example, ask them directly, "Do you think the Prime Minister should be able to shutdown Parliament on a whim and a phone call, do you really think that they would say that was acceptable?

    The fact that you haven't taken the time to ask most Canadians for their opinion should suffice that you shouldn't be speaking for them. It seems pretty arrogant that you have nominated yourself as their spokesman.

    Frankly, most Canadians only want to worry about putting food on the table. They are more than happy to let the people who care to 'work it out'. But, I certainly would never deign to believe that I could speak for them. It would be awfully presumptive.

  20. Not helpful, just plain arrogant.

    I don't see the issue of shutting down Parliament as either left or right. I see the potential for abuse regardless of which party forms the government.

    I think Mr. Harper has shown an appalling lack of judgment in shutting down Parliament for reasons that are obviously questionable. Whether he was Conservative or Liberal, I would be equally appalled.

  21. Oh, I'm not saying I ever, in a million, gazillion years would have voted for the Preston Manning, or his party, but at least one had to respect the guy. If Preston Manning had ever been elected Prime Minister, I think we would have gotten Preston Manning as Prime Minister. I don't think Stephen Harper was PM for a full year yet when he morphed into Jean Chretien (minus the sense of humour and the support of the legislature).

  22. There was lots of reasons to vote for Preston and his party but for a lot of other reasons Harper knew he would never win an election. Manning is guided by his principles and ideas and would have been an excellent PM. But Harper saw those principles and ideas win only 1 seat in Ontario in 2 elections.

    So if the Globe wants to analyze Harper they should look at the time between 93 and 97 to see what makes him the PM he is today.

  23. Ummm, ever hear of Jean Chretien?

  24. I'm not sure that there is a quid pro quo regarding Mr. Harper's lack of judgement equating to a constructive opposition. I certainly don't believe that the opposition has shown any competence in holding Mr. Harper accountable.

    "Economic Measures the country needs." You're kidding right?

    I would wager that the GST cut of 2% was a mistake. Any party that espouses increasing it back to 7% wouldn't get eleceted in this country; they would be pilloried and ridiculed by the oppostion and wouldn't stand a chance.

    For all the bad things said about her, Kim Campbell (to paraphrase her) was not far off when she postulated that an election campaign was no time to be talking about the issues.

    Voters don't want to hear that we can't have our cake and eat it, too.

  25. Commonman says: "Colvin, Afghan prisoners, H1N1 were all attempts by the opposition to smear the gov`t Until you understand that you will never know why this recent protest against prorogration has no support with most Canadians. "

    I'm sorry but I will have a problem accepting that Colvin was an attempt at smearing the government. I mean, really, what is Colvin's motivation in destroying his own credibility and career?

    Until such time as the government/Conservatives are prepared to substantiante their claims that Colvin is wrong, I will assume that he is stating his case in a truthful manner.

    And, Commonman? These references to real Canadians and/or Canadians in general that you claim to speak for, should just stop. I was born, raised, and have lived in this country my entire life. I have, until recently been a Progressive Conservative, and certainly think of myself as a real Canadian.

    There may be some percentage of Canadians who buy in to your claptrap, but I hardly think it is a majority.

    You, sir, do not speak for me.

  26. On the rare possibility that one of these disinterested " most " Canadians might stumble across a comment board like this one, it would be good if he saw a point of view that may be more like his own rather then the constant left-leaning group that seems to have gathered here. Not being presumptive, just helpful.

  27. Well if you are right about Harper`s lack of judgement then we should see a constructive opp. in March holding the gov`t to account on the economic measures the country needs and helping to reinstate the crime bills. This would resonate well with the public. They would feel Harper should never have prorogued. But that`s not gonna happen is it ? The opp. is going to continue to use Parliament as a tool to smear the gov`t.

  28. If you want the public to feel nostalgic about Parliament and you want to point out the lack of judgement of Harper and you want the public to feel that the Official Opposition are providing a viable alternative to the gov`t then they must be a constructive responsible opposition.

  29. Naw. The issue isn't what happened between 93 and 97. The issue is what happened thirty minutes after Harper sat down at his desk and realized he was actually the Prime Minister, and so he didn't need those all those inconvenient principles any more.

  30. I saw this on a another site and thought it appropriate to be spread everywhere:

    There is a strong message to arrogant Harper, but he will never get it. Just like the Puritans of Cromwell's day, their self-assurance makes rational reality an impossibility.

    Good for the protesters. Try to keep it peaceful, follow Ghandi's example, and wear the jerks down. Make them wallow in their own stew and reveal their emptiness as human beings. Their lust and need for power will eventually tip their psyche and they will show the world what they truly are.

    Steve's days are, like Nebachadnessar's, numbered, counted, and the end is nigh. Only he is incapable of seeing the truth. All the police security in the world cannot shield him from the people's will..

    Read more: