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Harper’s supposed “strong leadership”

The tragedies in Paris this week were horrific, and rightly condemned by all those on the political spectrum in Canada. However, an unfortunate by-product of that which I’ve noticed is a lot of known Conservative supporters going to social media (Twitter in particular) and posting videos of Prime Minister Harper expressing their gratefulness at living under a “strong leader” and Harper showing “strong leadership” with his condemnations of the Paris terrorist acts – implying that the NDP or Liberals would not be showing the same “strong leadership” in this case. (They’re all using the exact same phrases and words too – curious that..almost if they were sent a directive.. they wouldn’t be political astro-turfing, would they? Not this lot! Surely!)

Official Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau released equally “strong” statements on the Paris terrorism; do my Conservative colleagues feel they weren’t being sincere in their condemnations?

Harper is no stronger a leader then anyone else; he said what every other leader said on these dreadful days. Make no mistake though; there is a pattern to this from the Conservatives and their supporters. We all saw the same thing happen after 9/11 in the ’02 and ’04 elections in the US. After a period of unanimity, Republicans turned the terror acts and used it as a cudgel and weapons against Democrats – accusing them of not being “strong” or implying disloyalty if they did not approve of certain acts.. and we are seeing the same pattern here in Canada.. or an attempt to by the Conservative government, and Harper, and their supporters. It is my hope that Canadians will not bow to fear and not let themselves get sucked into believing this, and that will be the job of those who oppose Harper to articulate that.

It will be our job as folks opposed to Harper and the parties we support, to point out that Harper has been a “failed leader” on other issues. For example (and I can give several, but I’ll give a couple only, to save this from being a thesis, rather then a simple blogpost) he has failed to take leadership on climate change badly; both in how he has refused to set hard climate change targets and withdrawing from international agreements… and this has affected other aspects of his foreign policy. Whatever you think of Keystone (and I know the official Liberal Party policy is to support it, though a great deal of us have reservations on that), he has managed to bungle that so badly in how he dealt with President Obama, both in no effective climate change policy, and his attempts of selling Keystone (“a no-brainer”! remember that quote to a US audience?), that it will be in large measure his own fault if President Obama decided not to let it proceed.

He has certainly failed our Veterans, for which all of his stomping on his chest how he supports the troops, he has certainly failed to show that when they come home wounded, either physically or emotionally, that he supports them. Belatedly firing an inept Minister like Joe Fantino and replacing him with another parrot does nothing if the official government attitude and policy stays the same.

When Harper and his Conservatives try to wrap themselves in patriotism and the Canadian flag on “strong leadership” on terrorism, it will be our job to point these other failings out.. and there is nothing “unpatriotic” about that.

5 comments to Harper’s supposed “strong leadership”

  • Pamela

    A man who hides in a closet during a crisis has shown himself to not only NOT be a strong leader, but in fact to be a coward.! The action of hiding in a closet summed up who Harper really is. It is in spontaneous moments, when we can’t plan ahead that our actions reveal our character. Harper and his team choreograph all of his movements. In this crisis he was on his own. You can’t choreograph bravery.

  • billg

    Optics. Not sure why voters lean right when national security issues come up, but, they do, and, Mr Harper will play on that for the next 10 months. As a right wing loon I don’t believe for one minute the Left is soft on crime, but, that’s the optics and general view of most voters. Its become a game, a game Mr Harper didn’t invent but he plays it well. President Obama is known as a staunch environmentalist yet, the US is almost oil and gas independent under his leadership, pipelines, fracking, drilling all have increased under his watch, but, he knows how to play and who to stroke, so, he’s a greeny. Regardless of who our PM, right or left, your longevity depends on outside occurrences, the murder of 2 Canadian soldiers, the slaying of French cartoonists, the daily bombings…all by Muslim extremists play into the Conservative narrative that we are at war with jihadists. Is it fair? No. But, its also not fair that Liberals paint themselves as environmentalists who can magically eliminate global warming or cooling. If Mr Trudeau can figure out how to dance like Mr Harper and President Obama then he is PM worthy.

  • I always want to ask anyone praising or craving strong leadership, Why do you need someone to tell you what to do?

  • Irene

    Great post Scott. I wonder if you have had a chance to read the book by Michel Harris with the picture of Harper called Party Of One. Everyone who is concerned about the Harper Government ought to read this book asap.

    How harper was coached and funded by the Republican party in the USA. It is a must read book. A Radical book of Harpers tactics when he begin and still quilty of doing so to this day.

    May we be rid of Harper on October 19th 2015

    Have a great day. Happy New Year!!!

  • Rockfish

    His record on accountability is a big fail… Deflect, deny then toss someone under the bus. And any so-called economist who cant account for $3 billion poured, or so intended, into security is not someone with any economic credibility whatsoever…
    Great post, as usual!

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