Monday, August 24, 2015

Stephen Harper – Progressive - NOT


What has raised the ire of the progressives in the way that Steven Harper has governed the country? What key concerns related to the progressive movement has he attacked – I mean really. There is a mountain of partisan rhetoric about the “the death of science”, or “the killing of the press” or “the gutting of the environmental review process”, but look around, is there science, is there press, is there environmental review – the answer in all three cases is of course YES and in spades.

Here is an important fact, the present Supreme Court is the most progressive in Canadian history, they read the charter and they are applying it; the majority of whom are appointed by Stephen Harper. So far it seems the only death that is apparent during Steven Harper’s tenure is “death” with dignity – an event I’m most grateful for. Did Mr. Harper do this, NO, but the product of some of his efforts in the Justice Selection process contributed; whether he agrees with it or not has no relevance.

When I peruse the progressive agenda and Mr. Harper’s record, the progressive agenda is intact, unscathed, forwarded in fact. The reason is in no way anchored in Mr. Harper’s affection for the progressive agenda, it is anchored in his ability to be practical and respond to political reality.  The political reality is the progressive agenda’s proverbial horse is out of the barn and there is no closing the door in Canada ever – we are a progressive nation FULL STOP. So now I posit to you, with the progressive agenda ensconced what is there to worry about.

There is plenty to worry about, the key element for Canada is an element the government has only a small influence over, the economy. Mr. Harper’s tenure as PM came at the end of the largest economic expansion in human history and, as expansions do, it ended in a contraction – a contraction of massive scale, unprecedented ever; even by the great depression. The causes of the 2007-08 collapse are many and complex, it suffice to say however, there was only one thing left to do for the Harper Government, react. React they did in a very effective way, granted they had the support of a strong petro sector - yet,  under the late Mr. Flaherty's lead this government responded appropriately to maximal effect. Canada weathered the worst downturn in a long time, better than most of it’s cohort.

Has the Harper’s government been a little over zealous in some areas of intelligence, to a degree I would grant you – Yes. Has Mr. Harper’s early experience as PM with the press and managing a few train wrecks molded the inclination to control strongly his government’s interface with the press – Yes. Has Mr. Harper responded to bureaucrats who got political with their mandate with some heavy handed action, YES – would I have done the same thing – probably, would have Mr. Chretien, certainly.

The point is, the key things that Canadians hold dear are, for the most part, unchallenged and or enhanced by Mr. Harper. The real determining factor for the near and middle term is the management of the economy, Mr. Harper is an economist. He has shown himself to be both tactical and strategic in his efforts on the foreign front; trade agreements have expanded greatly under his tenure. Government accountability still has a ways to go, but Mr. Harper has brought some advances. It is important to note, what he has done in his own interests, he can do for Canada’s interests.      
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