Mr. Harper represents a doctrinaire Reform Party point of view that can be seen in his courting of the religious right, in dismantling gun control legislation, in voting to overturn same-sex marriage, in his bungling of the environment file and his arrogant flip-flop on the taxation of income trusts. In addition, his hasty initiative in having the Quebecois declared a nation within Canada is one of the most potentially destructive moves imaginable for a federal leader at this time. In addition, Mr. Harper has consistently ignored the views of his caucus – MPs and ministers alike – encouraging no debate of key policy initiatives, announcing major changes completely without discussion, and thereby disenfranchising millions of voters like you.
In short, I believe Mr. Harper is quite possibly the worst threat to the Conservative movement. He does not embody any of the socially progressive elements of Conservativism which voters in our region desire. In fact, my months of door-knocking in the last election convinced me I was elected in spite of Stephen Harper, not because of him. Worse, he has turned his back on those things that Reform should be lauded for – a deep respect for the voters witnessed by empowerment of MPs, referenda and other direct democracy initiatives.
Unfortunately I sense Mr. Harper’s narrow brand of Conservativism has little or no growth potential among Canadians, as it does not represent the mainstream.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Turner on Harper
Garth Turner, Independent Conservative MP, on Stephen Harper: