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A chastened Harper finally gets it.

Thomas Walkom touches on it a bit today, but I’ll add to it: Harper and his advisers have finally figured out that no matter how much they encourage Canadians to support the troops, and no matter how much they accuse the opposition parties of being anti-troops, the majority of Canadians just do not want to see the Afghanistan mission as it is in its current form beyond Feb 2009.

A cynic might suggest that it took a poll which showed an overwhelming number of Quebeckers opposed sending off the Quebec-based Vandoos to the Afghan theatre to finally get Harper to act a bit more contrite and diplomatic sounding then he has been on this issue – Quebec of course is key to Harper’s holy grail known as a majority government. I think however it might just be one in a long line of events that have occurred that made Harper and his advisers realize that voters aren’t buying his “you either support the mission or you’re pro-Taliban” spiel he and the Conservatives have tried to paint their opponents with. The Afghan detainee scandal probably was the last straw for most people.

Anyhow, the PMO has finally figured out this is a vote-loser for them and that people don’t buy their rhetoric, so they’re hastening to try and sound reasonable for the first time since they’ve taken office on this issue. I know it must pain Harper to do so -being diplomatic and non-partisan is not his strong suit. It’s just another attempt by Deceivin’ Stephen to try and fool enough of the voters into thinking he’s a changed guy. Anything to get that majority.

4 comments to A chastened Harper finally gets it.

  • Anon

    Leaders don't say: "We'll keep the troops in Afghanistan — but only if everyone else in the House of Commons wants to."

    Note this from a CTV News interview in late December:"I tell people I couldn't care less if the Opposition ultimately brings me down and defeats me in an election over this (Afghanistan)," said Harper.

    "I have to do what we believe is right for long-term security interests of this country, and right for the men and women who have put themselves on the line. Those are the interests I will defend regardless of what the polls are on this."

    Here's what he said Friday, according to The Globe and Mail:
    “This mission will end in February, 2009,” Mr. Harper said Friday at a rare House of Commons news conference held to mark the end of the spring sitting.
    “Should Canada be involved militarily after that date, we have been clear that would have to be approved by the Canadian Parliament. From my personal perspective, I would want to see some degree of consensus around that. I don't want to send people into a mission if the opposition at home is going to undercut the dangerous work that they're doing in the field.”

    That's weaselship, not leadership.

  • Oh darn, I was hoping to have seen something on Joe Comuzzi here. No luck, I guess.

  • foottothefire

    If he's changed his mind on Afghanisnam it becomes….what….change of mind # 42?  Harper cannot be trusted.  He's turned his back on so many of his 'principles' his is starting to look like the NDP party.  Only a fool would believe Steve isn't capable of betraying  his country, if he can abandon his principles with such relish.  He will revert to form.  Watch how this one gets cobbled into a back-burner item to be held in abeyance along with KYOTO waiting for a 'sunnier day'.
    And as far as Steve's foresight is concerned, he had that circumcised at birth.

  • This seems like a long pattern with Harper.  On gay marriage, Iraq War, just to name a few, he was uncompromising and insisted he would follow through on his policy and only backed down when public opposition was so strong and it was so blatantly obvious to everyone else he couldn't win on the policy.  Too bad we don't have a PM who can look ahead and lead rather than stick to bad policies only to change when they fail.

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