Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stephen Harper Hates Canada

...at least, that's the Liberal spin for the day. And I thought the BQ's attack on Christmas lights was lame.




Today Stephen Harper was asked by a reporter: "Do you love this country? "

Instead of saying yes, Harper gave the following response:

"Well, I said Canada is a great country. You know, all of us who get involved in public life spend a lot of time away from our families to go across the country, probably get in many ways the most
rewarding experience you could have, you know. It's not tourist travel, you don't see all the hot spots and all the great sights but you get a real sense -- the kind old and the of traveling I've done, especially the last seven or eight months, you get a real sense of Canadians, where they live, who they are and what their challenges are. And I think the country has unlimited potential.

That's why I think it would be so exciting to take over at this point in our history. But I think it's necessary to make a change if we're going to realize that potential."


The simple answer is 'Yes', especially from someone who wants to lead this great country.

Saying that Canada only has great "potential" are not the words of a passionate, committed leader with a vision to shape the Canada's future.

Let me get this straight? Someone who wants to be Prime Minister is supposed to give a simple "yes" rather than a thought out paragraph detailing what sounded like, to me, reasons he loves Canada? Claiming Stephen Harper doesn't love Canada is as stupid as saying Paul Martin supports child pornography or saying the Liberals are involved with organized crime.

More fun is the line I bolded above. Saying Canada has "great potential" (or, "unlimited potential", which is what Harper actually said) are not the words of a leader with a vision for Canada's future? Umm...I tend to think this country would be a lot better off if our leaders started looking at Canada's potential. It'd be nice for a change.


  • I was watching and when the first word out of his mouth was not "yes" I thought to myself "oh-oh, you're going to forget to add it at the end buddy and this will be NEWS by the end of the day!"

    Sure enough, I am not disappointed by how lame the media can be and, like the child pornography thing, how stupid it sounds. Boy, this is going to be fun for the next eight weeks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 p.m.  

  • Yeah, it is a bit of a ridiculous story, but still. If someone asks "do you love this country" you shouldn't even blink. "Yes, absolutely, without reservation!'

    If you then go on to talk about what you think could be done to make this country even better, well, that's great. But answering the question by talking about Canada's "potential" really does make it sound like you're not too thrilled with the place, and wish it would change, rather than that you love the place and want to make it better.

    If someone asked Harper if he loved his wife and the first words out of his mouth we're "Well, I've said my wife is a great woman and I'm glad I married her" we would all fall down stupified.

    Does it matter? No. Was it an idiotic response? Hell yes.

    By Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own, at 7:30 p.m.  

  • A halfway intelligent leader would say something like, "Yes I do and here's why..."
    Mr Harper may be a pretty brilliant guy but he hasn't figured that out yet. It's well past time that he did.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 p.m.  

  • People have often spoken well of you CalgaryGrit but I must admit that this is my first visit to your blog. It is refreshing to read a blog that while partisan isn't blindly so. Great read.

    By Blogger ferrethouse, at 7:31 p.m.  

  • Of course you could never ask that question of Paul Martin.
    He pays his taxes -outside of Canada
    His party robs Canada blind, while he either helped(likely) or was just plain incompetant(possile)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 p.m.  

  • I see your point, but come on... that blather is worthy of John Kerry. Frighteningly similar to his aimless ramblings, in fact. Why the heck didn't he just say, "Of course I do! What a ridiculous question."

    By Blogger Red Tory, at 7:39 p.m.  

  • Two things:

    1. The release actually misquotes Harper - he didn't say "great potential" but rather "unlimited potential.

    And isn't it absurd that the issue turns on whether he said "great" or "unlimited"?

    To quote Trudea, we're so busy peering suspiciously at each other that we fail to see that we stand atop a mountain of human wealth and promise.

    I really want the Liberals to lose; ultimately I have to lay this impoverishment of public discourse at their feet (or, at least the inability to remedy it).

    2. Harper is going to lose lose lose: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/CanadaVotes/2005/11/29/1329069-cp.html

    By Blogger matt, at 7:43 p.m.  

  • Oh yeah. Harper should have included a "yes" in there somewhere. Obviously.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:45 p.m.  

  • Yeah, I'm with LK on this. I don't really need the spin, but the answer should be a reflexive "yes" with the follow up explaining why and here's how we're going to make things even better. It is possible to be proud to be Canadian even if you don't agree with the government.

    There is an argument made that conservatives don't really like Canada very much - this doesn't help. Adam Radwanski penned an interesting (and controversial) article on the subject last summer - see http://www.adamradwanski.com/column080705.html

    To look at it a different way... imagine a US political candidate answering the question this question in the same way. Wouldn't be a great career move.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 p.m.  

  • The consensus seems to be: Harper could have done a better job answering the question directly, but at the same time, it's a bit silly for this to be much of an issue.

    By Blogger Jim, at 7:46 p.m.  

  • The whole discussion is stupid. I seriously doubt that any answer would have been acceptable. Maybe it was a trick question?

    If he had said yes, I can only imagine the editorials:

    "A simple "yes" would not mean anything, he has to show how much he loves the country. But he showed no emotion! Maybe he should have gotten a little more choked up."

    But on the other hand, what is stupid about saying the Liberals are involved with organized crime?

    The whole adscam saga reeks of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 p.m.  

  • I suspect his bizarre willingness to open up the same-sex marriage issue on the first day of the campaign will hurt him more than him forgetting to say he loves the country.

    And, of course, by the end of this absurdly long campaign, both things will have been forgotten, because no one's going to care until after New Year's Day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:07 p.m.  

  • "Harper could have done a better job answering the question directly, but at the same time, it's a bit silly for this to be much of an issue".

    Replace "a bit silly" with "very very ugly" and I would agree.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:25 p.m.  

  • Lord, I'll bet Stephen's wife let him know what she thought too about this stumble. I can see the eyes rolling and the "what were you thinking", sound like I have experience? hehe Ah well, forward on, bigger mistakes ahead by all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 p.m.  

  • I'm thinking that this was a free pass day for Steve. It seemed like he committed 2 gaffes today, but the love thing is stupid and the SSM was going to come up, so why not have it be on the first day that's going to have so much going on.

    Scary harper doesn't love the country and is going to repeal the charter can't last. The grits are also making the same mistake as last week, by putting too many things into play at once. They just don't seem to have message discipline or good strategic communications.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:36 p.m.  

  • Harper missed a real chance here, which I think shows his lack of real political instincts.

    Harper could have turned the question back on the reporter and queled once and far all the questions about his dedication to the country.

    He could have said:

    "Yes, why do you think I want to be Prime Minister?"

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 8:44 p.m.  

  • This is serious foot in mouth stuff, and an example of how Harper is Paul Martin's strongest ally.

    First, it's foot in mouth because nowhere in the actual response does he say "I love Canada." That's just dumb; it's so easy to say, but he never made that part of his message.

    Second, and more importantly, it's foot in mouth because of the takeaway message. When asked "do you love this country," Harper responded with "if this country is to realize its potential, there has to be a change."

    The message seems to be "Canada needs to change." That's just dumb communications on Harper's part; he's handed people a club to smack him with.

    It may be a lame club, and I have no doubt that Harper does love this country, but it's going to leave a welt.

    Why? The "Paul Martin supports child porn" thing was dumb, high-school level argument that backfired because it was clearly out to lunch. But this, on the other hand, appeals directly to what turns a lot of voters off the conservatives, to the apparent disdain for Canada expressed by the wingnut arm of the conservative movement, and to statements (second-tier socialistic country) that Harper himself has made in the past.

    Look for the question to be asked again, but remember: even if Harper says "Yes, unequivocally," he still looks like he's covering a goof.

    By Blogger AJSomerset, at 8:58 p.m.  

  • I can't believe the BS that ALL parties indulge in!

    Just say Yes, and move on. Why spin the answer? Try, just once, answer the question.

    I have watched media sound bites on all three major parties. If I had a say in any party's stategy, I would start with: the liberals crewed up, they got caught, turf them out (revoke their pensions, put them in jail -- afterall, we can't lynch them) anyways, penalize them; then, state what you want to do if elected.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 p.m.  

  • Actually, on second thought, I was thinking my entire drive home tonight that I may be letting Harper off a bit light here.

    First, don't get me wrong, I don't doubt Harper's commitment to his country, so MOST of what I have to say here is more strategic and "political" than anything else, so please don't take any thing I'm going to say as remotely questioning Harper's patriotism. But here's what I'm thinking.

    First, I'm going to set aside the "potential" stuff, because I'm not actually criticizing that comment at all, I just think it is an insufficient response to the question. If we had received an unwavering Yes followed by the same potential stuff I wouldn't even be commenting, so the "potential" stuff is perfectly fine with me.

    That being said, if anyone ever asked me if I loved Canada, even if the first word I said wasn't "yes" I GUARANTEE that within three words you'd know that YES, YES, HELL YES!!! was the jist of my response.

    Harper's first sentence was "Well, I've said Canada is a great country." That's 8 words, and if that's all you'd read, you might still expect the next sentence to be "But, to be honest, I can't say I LOVE it". And actually, after that first sentence I almost thought that's where he was going.

    Now I don't think it's physically possible that I could get 8 words into a response to the question "Do you love Canada" and leave even the remotest hint of a doubt of whether my answer amounted to "Yes" or "No". And I'm not running for Prime Minister. But let's give Mr. Harper another sentence to answer the question. Do you love this country?

    (Sentence 2)"You know, all of us who get involved in public life spend a lot of time away from our families to go across the country, probably get in many ways the most
    rewarding experience you could have, you know."

    OK fine, you're working hard and really have found your travels throughout Canada and your meetings with Canadians to be a deeply rewarding experience. You still haven't said whether you love this country or not, and you haven't really said anything that I haven't heard from an American ambassador to Canada before, but maybe you're just warming up. Take another swing, I'm still pulling for you.

    Do you love Canada?

    (Sentence 3) "It's not tourist travel, you don't see all the hot spots and all the great sights but you get a real sense -- the kind old and the of traveling I've done, especially the last seven or eight months, you get a real sense of Canadians, where they live, who they are and what their challenges are."

    OK, so you're still working hard, and you know the country REALLY REALLY well. I'd even venture at this point that you're rather fond of the place. But based on the testimony alone, I wouldn't bet my mother's life on it.

    Care to add anything else?

    (This is sentence 4 now. By this point in MY answer, people would want me to shut up already about how much I love Canada) "I think the country has unlimited potential."

    OK. You know, I think space exploration has unlimited potential, but I don't love it the way I love my country. (Damn, sorry, I said the "potential stuff was fine... I take back that last snark... sorry).

    Now there's nothing wrong with any of that. But if you're being honest here you have to admit that he never answered the question put to him.

    I would be disappointed if ANYONE gave a one word answer to this question. But you have to admit, when someone asks "Do you love X" the essence of the question really is Yes or No. If you have to even pause, the answer is probably no, because if you love it, you KNOW it. Now, again, I'm not saying Harper doesn't love Canada, in fact I'm CERTAIN he does. But if you just had that 4 sentence quote in front of you, and didn't know who said it, I'm not sure you would think the speaker was trying to be polite, and not come right out and say "It's great and all, but no, it would be dishonest of me to say I 'love' it."

    If someone asked me if I loved the United States, I'd imagine I might start my answer with something like "I've always said the United States is a great country". And everyone within earshot would say "Ha! He didn't answer the question. He doesn't WANT to answer the question. He likes the U.S. but isn't sure "love" is the appropriate description, and so he's being polite, and extolling their many virtues, and why he's so proud to be their neighbour. Damn slippery that guy!"

    Now, in Harper's defence, I'm not so sure that Martin's response, while probably 1000% better RHETORICALLY, would necessarily convince me that he really loves this country any more than Steven Harper. But think of some of our other PM's (of all stripes). I don't doubt THEIR passion for this country for a nanosecond. Chretien, Mulroney, Trudeau, Diefenbaker, Laurier, Clark, I disagreed with a lot of what a lot of them stood for, but I don't doubt that everyone of them had a deep, PASSIONATE love of this nation. A "throw yourself in front of a bullet" kind of love. And frankly, that's the kind of passion I want from a Prime Minister.

    I hope the Liberals let this go, because trying to make hay from this will just make them look bad. And it's cheap an tawdry. But I'm not that impressed with Harper's response all the same.

    As has been pointed out here, many have argued that "conservatives" in this country don't really love Canada. In fact, it's even been argued that they don't really like it all that much. And really, that's been the election campaign of the Martin Liberals all along. How can you vote for "those guys"? They're not even "real" Canadians. They don't "share our values". They're Americans with more northerly addresses. And they want all of us to be Americans too. They're not proud of who we are, and they want to change our fundamental character. It's a repugnant strategy, to be sure. But one would think it's also easily fought. Step one? If someone asks you if you love this country, say whatever you like. But make sure if someone reads your answer the next day they have no doubt about whether the short answer is "yes" or "no". Because "probably" (even though I'm sure in his heart the answer is a resounding yes) just isn't a good enough answer from someone who wants to lead us. I don't require a potential PM to be terribly quick on his or her feet. But I don't think you need to be all that quick on your feet to answer the "Do you love your country" question.

    By Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own, at 9:25 p.m.  

  • A simply YES would have sufficed here. Harper has a lot of potential but it just did not come out on day one. Perhaps he will warm up over the weeks ahead.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 p.m.  

  • Dumbest ....... Discussion ....... Ever ........
    Comic Book Guy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:34 p.m.  

  • Isn't that more of a rhetorical question?

    Is there a single politician in this country who would answer no to it?

    Does it really matter how he answers it? Some writer will find problems with whatever he says.

    “Yes”, he lacks passion and seems emotionless.

    “Of course”, he is smug and superior.

    “Why would you even ask that question”, Mr. Angry.

    You have to face the fact that most of the press is out to bait him and it really doesn’t matter how he answers. Some nimrod reporter will try to twist it around to something else.

    Why don’t they ask Mr. Martin the same question. “If you love the country so much why did you move CSL offshore and put the Bahamian flag on all of your boats?”

    Bet you won’t see that ever happening.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 p.m.  

  • This is pathetic.

    Sadly the media will lump this in with Harper's "attacks" about Gomery as more "mudslinging." The difference being of course that Harper's "attacks" (actually more like observations of fact) are based on reams and reams of sworn testimony, thousands of pages of documentary evidence, culminating in findings by a trier of fact.

    The Liberals attacks are just dreamed up out of thin air.

    But now they're all just mudslinging.

    Kind of nice for the ones who actually did bad stuff huh.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • To the person who linked that Radwanski article (http://www.adamradwanski.com/column080705.html)

    Thanks, that was a great read. It pretty much sums up why I'm too uncomfortable with the Conservative braintrust to vote for them in their current incarnation. They're negative on Canada. I'm not. I like our country, I like our institutions, I like our emphasis on human rights -- including gay marriage. Conservatives seem to be uncomfortable at best with all the values that I hold dear.

    By Blogger Jim, at 10:05 p.m.  

  • "Conservatives seem to be uncomfortable at best with all the values that I hold dear."

    Theft. Corruption. Lies. More theft. Negative slander towards opposition. Ransacking whistleblowers' houses. Insider trading. Bribes upon bribes upon bribes. Being the most corrupt government in Canadian history. Doing nothing for 12 years except pushing the country closer and closer to breaking up, pitting region against region. Refusing to act on ethics reform. Destroying the military and healthcare.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:21 p.m.  

  • This is lame, really. Those that think this will do anything to sway voters is sickly in the mind.
    It may raise the debate on media bias and the types of questions asked Harper and spared Martin. But honestly, this is ridiculous.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 10:23 p.m.  

  • "They're negative on Canada"

    No. They're negative on the Liberal party, for good reason. You may not know it, or want to admit it, but there's a huge difference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:23 p.m.  

  • Theft. Corruption. Lies. More theft. Negative slander towards opposition. Ransacking whistleblowers' houses. Insider trading. Bribes upon bribes upon bribes. Being the most corrupt government in Canadian history. Doing nothing for 12 years except pushing the country closer and closer to breaking up, pitting region against region. Refusing to act on ethics reform. Destroying the military and healthcare.

    I find it amusing that in the midst of this attack on the Liberals, Anonymous includes a charge of 'negative slander on the opposition.' Wonder if he/she sees the irony? I suspect not.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 10:47 p.m.  

  • "Theft. Corruption. Lies. More theft. Negative slander towards opposition. Ransacking whistleblowers' houses. Insider trading. Bribes upon bribes upon bribes. Being the most corrupt government in Canadian history. Doing nothing for 12 years except pushing the country closer and closer to breaking up, pitting region against region. Refusing to act on ethics reform. Destroying the military and healthcare."

    Heh. You know, if I voted for the Federal Liberals, then maybe you'd have a point. I'm willing to give the Conservatives a shot, but if anything, I hope that they get in as a minority, throw the Liberals into complete disarray and collapse, govern as a shaky minority for a little while, while a new, charismatic, idealistic Liberal takes over and reforms the Liberal Party from the ground up.

    That's what I'm hoping for. I can actually sympathize when you tell me that I love corruption and theft. You see, I live in Alberta, where the current Klein-led Progressive Conservative regime is all about corruption and unaccountability. I like to think of the Alberta Conservatives and the Ottawa Liberals as two sides of the same coin. I don't like corruption, anywhere.

    But that's just me, I'm a maverick Albertan.

    By Blogger Jim, at 10:51 p.m.  

  • The question was meaningless at best, disingenuous at worst. It should have been met with a peremptory "Fuck off!" but I guess that wouldn't have made a very good sound bite, now would it?

    Occam's Carbuncle

    By Blogger no sleep, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • I love how criticsim that maybe Harper wasn't vocal enough with his love of Canada has suddenly been met by Tories in the blogosphere with "That was a trap!", "What a stupid question", and "This is why I hate this freakin country" and... wait for it... that's right... if you wish Harper had been more outspoken about his love of Canada it's because you "Support Liberal Corruption!!!"

    So the party that needs to fight the image that they're negative, angry and don't really like Canada respond to criticism on the first day with negativity, anger, and diatribes about how terrible the country has become.

    It'd be funny if it didn't make me think that maybe the Liberals CAN win a majority. One wouldn't think that even the Tories could mess this up. But it looks like they're gonna try!

    By Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own, at 11:37 p.m.  

  • I still like the lights better

    I'm clearly biased as it was my idea in the first place but nonetheless, i still think attacking Xmas lights is worse than that

    By Blogger Anthony, at 11:48 p.m.  

  • This is why Canada is in as sad of shape as it is.
    Stupid, setup question.
    Thoughtful answer and it is not acceptable?
    Tell you what. If the liberals fool you and other simpleminded Canadians into voting to bring Martin back in, then Canada is not worth loving. Lying, stealing, bribery, graft, holding onto power for powers sake. All things liberals are guilty of. Liberals have pissed off Quebec, Alberta is closely on its way and BC not far behind. Can a rump country with the maritimes, Saskatchewan and Manitoba survive?
    Shame on you and your ilk for destroying Canada, a country you profess to love.
    Shame on you all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:52 p.m.  

  • A lot of the spin on this board amounts to Harper is a sucker and it looks good on him.

    Nope, if Martin gets away with south-of-the-line-i'm-a patriot-and-your-not ugliness it looks bad on all of us.

    CG, thanks for your non-partisan commentary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 a.m.  

  • I find it rather amusing and somewhat quaint that various Liberals are so desperate to find some way to criticize Stephan Harper that his iteration of his party's policy, and stating he cares for his country in essay format rather than true or false are the best they can come up with.

    On the gay marriage issue, the party's position has been clear for some time. Conserveratives are by and large against it, however, in the spirit of democracy we'll hold a vote and people can vote their conscience or the wishes of their constituents. The rhetoric that's often used about it having been decided by the Supreme Court is false, and the legal scarecrow the Liberals used when passing their legislation was dishonest. Whether you agree with gay marriage or not, I tend to have more respect for those who lay their cards on the table rather than resorting to subterfuge.

    Furthermore, regarding the comments on whether Stephen loves his country if you boil down his answer it amounts to "I've devoted my life to serving this country, and you question my commitment to it? What sort of twit are you?" It was a partisan question, and it doesn't particularly matter how he handles some of these questions someoen will be trying to spin it in a negative light. I think the fact of the matter is that no one aside from members of the Liberal party has a morbid fascination with Stephen's patriotism. He's running to be Prime Minister of Canada, presumably he has some ideas about how he'd like to change public policy. You don't run for office if you think everything should be cryogenically frozen as is. And if your indifferent to your country you really don't spend your life trying to better it.

    Apparantly according to the Liberal party Stephen should respond to this sort of question like he was Julia Roberta recieving an Oscar and break out into crocodile tears while telling us how much he loves the country. Perhaps how he haunted Parliament as a young child, watching his apparantly sainted father or something simmilairly pathetic.

    By Blogger Chris, at 1:09 a.m.  

  • Just waiting for some clever reporter to ask the classic "Have you stopped beating your wife."
    That otta sell a few more papers.

    By Blogger Glen, at 1:39 a.m.  

  • Glen: And the Liberals would send out talking points to tell reporters how to spin he beats his wife stories. and then the pundits would write stories about Harper's stylistic gaff while ingoring statements from the liberal party that "Harper beats wife".

    Actually, I think we are very close now to the tipping point where citizens start to distrust media more than politicians.

    Quid custodit ipsos custodes?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 a.m.  

  • Oh brother. Canada is like a pubescent girl asking her boyfriend, "Do you reeeaaallly love me?"

    Grow up people. If Harper didn't love Canada, he'd be sitting in an office at the University of Calgary, not putting himself out in public life.

    By Blogger PR, at 2:55 a.m.  

  • Here's a liitle Trivia question for you all:

    What is the motto of the Order of Canada, which was added a decade ago to our national coat of arms?

    Give up?

    Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam - They Desire a Better Country

    It is an expression of the fact that our greatest civilian heroes do more than just preserve the national staus quo, they strive to make our country better.

    That is the ultimate expression of patriotism as far as I'm concerned.

    As Peter referred to, Stephen Harper could have remained in academia or went out into the business world to make money.

    That's what he could have done if he didn't give a damn about his country.

    But he does give a damn. He puts up with this and other such baseless attacks on his character precisely because he loves his country, and wants to make it a better place.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 a.m.  

  • This is such a non-story, and I'm glad you presented it as such. Once again, nice job on the reasonableness!

    Making an issue of it insults the intelligence of Canadians.

    By Blogger RP., at 9:39 a.m.  

  • Actually it let Martin scream "I Love Canada" at the top of his lungs, which should be a great visual when the Tories run it in ads that ask, "Then why are his ships registered in Bermuda?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 a.m.  

  • Harper's comments reminded me of that bank commercial with the bride and groom at the altar. The minister asks whether the groom takes the bride to be his wife. The groom rattles on and then the best man pipes up with "I do".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 p.m.  

  • Claiming Stephen Harper doesn't love Canada is as stupid as saying Paul Martin supports child pornography or saying the Liberals are involved with organized crime.

    I don't know, this is the guy who mused not long ago that it might be better for the country to break up. The co-author of the "firewall letter". The guy who thinks Maritimers have a "culture of defeat" and a longtime supporter of unilingualism.

    The funny thing is, I *like* Stephen Harper. I think he's weak, yes, and would rather run than fight; and I think he's dead wrong on social policy (and mostly dead right on economic policy). But I like him, I like his willingness to answer a question truthfully, I like his willingness to step forward and I like his brains.

    Do I think he loves Canada? Not really. His commitment to Canada seems paper-thin to me, always has since his NCC days. The reason Harper got (back) into politics - in his own words, was to counter the possibility that the federal government will redistribute Alberta's wealth. The statement "I frankly think there is nothing that Albertans can't do better in Alberta that can be done for them in Ottawa" seems to me to indicate that he thinks federalism, and Canada, is unnecessary.

    Ultimately, I think Stephen Harper's loyalties lie with Alberta, his adopted province, rather than with his country. Which is fine - I have no more problem with that than I do with a Quebecois who puts Quebec first in his heart, and I have friends who I respect who do exactly that, and there are public figures who I respect who do exactly that.

    But that's not loving Canada - not the way I do. If Stephen Harper says "I love Canada", I think his actions show that that statement is more like "I love cake" than it is like "I love my kids".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:37 a.m.  

  • Probably the most stupid question that will be asked of anyone during this campaign. It did not deserve an answer, only a cold stare.

    This is what you can expect from a liberal press and an idiotic liberal reporter.

    Wake up and vote Conservative

    By Blogger eaglefoot, at 4:31 p.m.  

  • From one Calgary Liberal to another I salute you.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • I have watched the politicians, heard their promises, and do like some parts of each platform. Of course I don't expect that all promises will be kept by any one candidate anyway. Every party has skeleton's in the closet. I can draw parallels of Mr. Harper to Mr. Diefenbaker which is scary enough. I have chosen to vote for the best leader for Canada. This leader must love our country and not be afraid to say it. This leader must put us first in the international spotlight. So far Steven Harper has failed on both counts. Mr. Layton perceived competance and passion best serves him in provincial politics.Our Bloc leader would be great if this country were called Quebec, but it isn't, it is called CANADA.
    Mr. Martin is the only one to show the most passion. Is he our best choice ? Well nobody is ideal or we would not need to have elections. Unfortunately as we all know, we must choose the lesser of the evils. Despite the corruption of some Liberal members, our country has faired pretty well under the Liberal government. This is probably not what some wish to hear at all. We have a great country, and to have a leader that won't project us as the great country we are, is unacceptable to me.

    Regardless of your views, make your choice count by voting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 a.m.  

  • Well, it just goes to show that many of us (Canadians) won't be voting for whom we'd prefer to see in the big seat, but rather against the individual we really couldn't stomach to have representing our interests.

    Lots of stupid things have been said by ALL of the big 4 candidates during this campaign, but let's not forget how the media manipulates the masses and leads us down a path of mediocrity.

    There are over a dozen political parties running in this federal election. Right OR left - it is in your own interest to become educated in their ways and place your X accordingly. I know the media will not be supplying much in the way of assisting us in this matter. It'll take some scrubbing around.

    If you are a partisan voter who is unaware of the myriad of parties existing in this democratic nation and plan to make the "not you" vote, get yourself to a toilet quickly, shove your head in the shit-stained bowl and flush profusely. You'll get what you deserve.

    I can think of 4 or 5 people living on my block that would sincerely make better leaders than ANY of the 4 foul-mouthed hoodlums we are expected to vote for next week. Unfortunately none of them are running. I have already placed my mark. It doesn't refer to any of the clowns I was forced to endure polluting my tube over the last several weeks.

    At least I will have my voice heard and won't share in the blame for the next 4 years!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:39 a.m.  

  • I'm not suprised mr.haper loves United States Of Amarica and canada well you know . mr.harper is a bad leader I want him to lose completely .If mr.harper and he was in apprentis and I was donald I would say your fired for all the disturbing things you do . mr.haper wants to be canadas prime minister you should show you can be one and he has not done that .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 p.m.  

  • How hard is it to say “I love Canada!”. Harper couldn’t say it.
    When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq for no real reason other than pure profit for the Bush family, Steven Harper wrote the New York post saying how ashamed he was to be a Canadian when Chrétien refused to back the US on an illegal war. I knew then that Steven Harper was going to be a real problem for Canada. How is this so? Let me digress …
    My parents lived in Newfoundland back in the 1960’s, and when my father was offered a great job in Boston, they packed up and made the move to the US. Very shortly after my brother was born in Boston my parents decided that the US war in Vietnam was a scary prospect. They didn’t like the thought of Government imposing drafts to force young people into military service to fill their quickly depleting ranks on a bad decision to go to war. So they quickly moved back to Canada before I was born.
    Now, near 40 years later, I find that my parents had backed the new PM, the self-acclaimed Canada lover, Steven Harper. Yet Harper’s first priority was to turn our Canadian ideology of Peace Keeping with the UN into Policing for the Bush Coalition in a US agenda. But Harper didn’t stop there; he wanted to beef up our military with US type propaganda ads for recruitment. Flashy high-tech military ads promising adventure, education and fun to young impressionable Canadian youth. Just don’t mention the people dying steadily in Afghanistan or the sudden withdrawal from UN peace keeping missions to fill up much needed US troop deployments in Afghanistan. And for what? To clean up the mess the United States had created in the first place. Not stopping there, he decided we needed to fill our shrinking ranks by quadrupling the recruitment quota from last year. And just for good measure, he want to make sure that he was keeping the White house happy by putting Canadian military posters all over Washington DC with the slogan “Boots on the ground” to reassure US citizens and politicians that Harpers “NEW” Canada would stand up for US interest and agendas, be damned the Canadian peoples concerns over the consequences to our own country and citizens.
    I find it ironic that my parents would support a Harper hell bent on Americanizing our Canada into a war nation that closely resembles a US draft type military my parents left the States over.
    But lets not forget Harpers brainchild, the 100 taxable dollars for every child under 6. Because we all know that less than 100 dollars a month will get you wonderful child care in Canada. It’s hard to believe I can’t find those less than 100 dollar deals in daycares locations for my kids. He didn’t even have the courtesy to put that small amount of money under a tax shelter like the former liberal childcare fund. What happened to all of the surplus Harper had told us the Liberal government had racked up? Were there no more funds to be found or fiscal room for establishing a sound childcare system for our Canadian children? Was it not a strong enough priority for Harper?
    It didn’t surprise me one bit when I heard that Bush, oops, I mean Harper decide that Canada was scraping the Kyoto accord as it’s lofty goals of reducing environmental contamination and regulation of emissions for Canada were unrealistic and unattainable for Canada’s companies and people. I can only assume Harper did this because he felt there was no evidence of danger to Canada’s environment due to this green house problem? I guess the 2 month west coast winters and snow, the east coast ice and rain and massive snow storms and the tornados, drought and flood disaster stricken farmers of central to western Canada showed no signs or effect from environmental impact.
    And the Liberal attacks against the trade violations and sanctions from the US by forming trade and connections with China went out the windows when Harper sank that ship by blasting the Chinese with allegations of spying on Canada. Does this Harper know no bounds of Canadian trade destruction and US ass kissing?
    Yes I can tell Harper is a Canada lover. It truly shows how he puts the needs and concerns of Canadians before any of the problems United States asks of him. I wonder how long it will be before Harper hands over Alberta's Oil to the Bush Coalition to insure his status of a hero to the American people.
    It’s mind boggling to see Harper fanatics rush to cheer this US wannabe when he doesn’t have the PR skills to win support from Harper critics. With my vicious attacks on Harper, you might think I’m real Liberal or NDP supporter. But it’s not the Conservatives I dislike; it’s Harper and his Bush like ways of unilateral decision-making without seeking the people of Canada’s support on anything. The PM’s position of Canada is not a presidency yet Harper seems to think otherwise. The PM is accountable to the people of this country. Isn’t that the reason the Liberal party managed to land themselves into trouble and controversy?
    Do I like the NDP? I wish I could. The NDP has some good … and some bad ideas of what Canada needs. But they have a better idea of what is good for the lower income Canadians then Harper does.
    Do I like the Liberals? There utter contempt for obeying the law and accountability to the people is astonishing. With that said, I would prefer to have a Liberal party in power while they are being watching like a hawk because of past mistakes, then having a Conservative party in power who has a fresh start with a clean slate and misplaced trust of the people introducing scandal and bad dictions all over again for Canada.
    I trust the Liberal about as far as I can throw them, but I know that if they had remained in power, they would have acted in the true best interest of the Canadian people for the simple reason that they need to restore trust in the party all over again. That would have been a great leash to have on the controlling government for real accountability.
    Yet some how Harper’s new “United CanaStates” seems to appeal to the majority, or is it that the majority just doesn’t care enough about the depths Harper can sink Canada into?
    I truly fear for my children under this new US loving PM. How much more of Canada will he be allowed give to the US? What will be left of our Canadian culture and our people when Harper is done?
    Does Harper love Canada? I can understand why he had problems saying yes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 a.m.  

  • Well, in the days that I worked as a journalist, I learned that most people who could or would not give a direct yes or no answer to a simple direct question were likely lying.
    Try it sometime. Honest people answer directly to simple direct questions.
    Dishonest people, including politicians and used car salesmen, have to think of a plausible answer. It is hard to think and answer at the same time.
    The question called for a direct answer. A positive or negative answer does not preclude explanation or elaboration.
    Especially when you are the Prime Minister of Canada and you own the floor.
    Look for truth not just in a person’s words, but in their actions. And look for truth not just in what a person says, but how they say it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 p.m.  

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