The Wondering World of Stephen Harper.

It is unseemly for adult males to giggle but we recently read an op-ed in which a National Citizen’s Coalition apologist complained that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was no longer conservative enough.  It is important to explain that op-ed is newspaper jargon for opposite the editorial.  This has been the location which larger newspapers traditionally use for opinion articles that do not necessarily reflect the publication’s opinion.

Since we are referring to the Toronto Star, we can only assume that this is not the same opinion as is held by the Toronto Star editors.  Our very best giggle in the article was when the writer referred to the Fraser Institute as “a respected economic think-tank.”  Obviously the Toronto Star’s bureau of accuracy missed that typographical error.

But the article was funnier than that.  The writer assures us that Stephen Harper does not have some sort of a right-wing agenda.  He tells us that is the old Stephen Harper.  He introduces us to a new, kinder, gentler Stephen Harper who only wants Canadians to have the benefits of paternalistic conservative governments for ever and ever.

The writer denies emphatically that Stephen Harper has any intention of using his majority in parliament to embark on an ideological or right-wing crusade.  By this stage, the writer had this reader in paroxysms of almost wet-your-pants laughter.

He sees Mr. Harper as wanting his Conservative Party to occupy the “centre” or “moderate” political ground, a piece of real estate, the writer believes the Liberal Party once owned.  He fails to tell us how Mr. Harper could possibly find it.

A further bit of humour from this guy is that the Harper government will cut the deficit and balance the government’s books only, he assures us, if it can be done in a relatively painless fashion.  He notes that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has told Canadians that he can easily find $4 billion per year in savings.  Hell, what is $4 billion these days?

Mind you, he quotes some of those ‘thinkers’ at the Fraser Institute as saying the government’s plan will not work.  They say that drastic spending cuts are necessary.  They want “real and substantial spending reductions that either significantly cut programs or eliminate them entirely.”

Think about it.  These are the people who brought Stephen Harper to power.   We might not be in the majority these days but we can be proud we voted Liberal.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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