Another long but worthwhile article. This one is about the history of Stephen Harper. It also gives a good synopsis of the changes in the Conservative movement in Canada since the Trudeau era.
Stephen Harper and the road to power
But when it comes to Canada’s future, Harper has often spoken of the need to redesign the political equivalent of the entire electrical grid… the Toronto-born Harper has been a staunch believer in smaller government, traditional values and letting citizens have greater control over their lives. To him, that once meant whittling down or eliminating some social programs, business development agencies and the costly gun registry in order to reduce taxes and put money and power back into the hands of Canadians. It also meant giving MPs the right to vote freely in the House of Commons on matters of social conscience in order to represent the views of their constituents…
Trudeau [a Liberal prime minister known in the US as the Magus of the North] was one of the young Stephen Harper’s earliest political inspirations, in fact. Admiration for the then-prime minister led him to join the Liberal student club a friend founded in the mid-1970s at Richview Collegiate in Etobicoke, Ont. That admiration ended when Trudeau enraged the West by bringing in the National Energy Program in 1980… Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and William Buckley left him with a profound respect for the workings of a free-market economy and a set of neo-conservative beliefs that were being put into political practice by… Thatcher and… Reagan…
The old parties didn’t seem to have room for reform along those lines, so Harper was intrigued when he heard about a new political movement that was starting up in the West, a movement he would soon help to become the Reform Party of Canada. He drafted much of the party’s original policy and later accompanied its first MP, Deborah Grey, to Ottawa to help craft her speeches as he continued to be Reform’s chief policy officer… When Reform became the Canadian Alliance and Stockwell Day imploded as leader during the 2000 election campaign, Harper started thinking about party politics again.
What followed was a hard-fought campaign during which his volunteers managed to stave off an influx of new party members the Day team recruited from conservative church congregations, a development that Harper deplored in one interview. “My view is that the purpose of a Christian church is to promote the message and the life of Christ. It is not to promote a particular political party or candidacy. I don’t think this is good religion, besides being bad politics at the same time.” In the end, he defeated Day to take the Alliance’s top job in 2002. A year later he succeeded in his quest to reunite the right, striking a deal with PC Leader Peter MacKay to merge Canada’s two conservative parties [the [color=red]Alliance
and the Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party of Canada].
*Stephen Harper *
*laces up for the *
*Leaside Lions, *
Put an envelope over the photo of Harper at the top of this post, from the bottom of his eyes to the top of his head. Who does he look like?
**Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, by William Johnson, published in 2005 by McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
The Day B.C. Quit Canada, by John Haskett and Michael Haskett, published in 2003 by Durango.
Democracy Challenged: How to End One-Party Rule in Canada, by Howard Grafftey, published in 2002 by Vehicule Press.
Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics, by R. Kenneth Carty, William Cross and Lisa Young, published in 2000 by the University of British Columbia.