If Stephen Harper really wanted to be as "Mr. Hope" or a Canadian Obama imitation, perhaps he should have actually looked at Obama's most famous speeches. He might then have realized that Obama's best speeches resonated because they were unifying, not divisive, and were considered post-partisan, rather than partisan speeches.
If Stephen Harper really wants to reach out to supporters of other parties, perhaps he could just actually act like a Prime Minister for once and stand above the fray, rather than give yet another completely partisan speech, especially when his partisan arguments are so incredibly flimsy (as David Akin so easily points out - h/t to Jeff).
Mr. Harper, Canadians didn't give you a blank cheque in the last election, they gave you a minority. In case you don't yet understand our system that means Canadians wanted you to work with other parties to get things done.
Canadians want Parliamentarians to work together, but instead confrontation is what Harper has on his mind. He's the only one talking about causing an election over his unwillingness to have even a shred of accountability for $3 billion in new spending.
Mr. Harper likes to talk about other parties "not heeding the lessons of the last election," well look in the mirror Mr. Harper or break out a calculator because a clear majority of Canadians voted against you and the last thing they want is to give you unfettered spending power with no strings attached. And you talk about Canada coming out of this recession stronger than before but your budget did nothing to achieve that goal.
The irony is that if Stephen Harper actually acted like a Prime Minister and reached out his hand to the members of the opposition and ran his government in a more collaborative fashion, he'd actually be more popular with Canadians (I fail to see how his flimsy partisan attacks win over Liberal voters to his side), but he just can't help himself. The fact that he personally wrote today's speech really says it all.
It's just so clear now beyond a shadow of a doubt that Stephen Harper doesn't get it.
He didn't get that a recession was coming, so instead encouraged everyone to buy stocks just before they monumentally crashed.
He didn't realize he had a minority, so instead his first order of business after the election was to try to destroy the opposition while doing nothing about the economy and then delaying a budget by two months he now says must be passed immediately.
And now he doesn't realize that Canadians want more than anything to see politicians put partisan squabbles aside to address the economic crisis, so instead his "defining speech" about the recession is more about scoring partisan points than actually helping Canadians.
Stephen Harper is a Conservative partisan first and a Prime Minister second and in this economic climate that combination is toxic (especially when compared with the President across the border) and it's only a matter of time before it ends his career one way or another.
Recommend this Post