Can Mr. Harper stand on his record?
The coming election's question will be: "Based on his record, will you place your country's future in Mr. Harper hands?"
Recently, Mr. Harper positioned himself as tough on terror claiming the opposition was "soft" for voting down extreme anti-terrorist legislation. His view in 2002, however, was this:
" The bill is a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. It worries me a great deal how the government has addressed Sept. 11. It has not in fact addressed the concrete measures Canadians are demanding in terms of security: a stronger military, air marshals, dealing with the problems in the refugee- determination process - and yet they are willing to come up with sweeping and vague government powers to deal with unnamed terrorist threats." (Montreal Gazette 22 March 2002.)
Seeking to renew "the sweeping and vague powers" was a 180 degree turnabout for no reason, other than political posturing. The sun set on measures never used.
During the last election, Mr. Harper made five promises. The most prominent was the creation of the Accountability Act.
What became law fell short of Judge Gomery's AdScam Inquiry recommendations. Additionally, sections have not been put into effect yet. The result? The New Government is operating outside of a weak Accountability Act. Yet, come the election voters will hear "Promise made: Promise kept".
In terms of other promises, wait-times guarantees have not been met - neither have promises on Income Trusts - for example. And, in office Harper's government cancelled *all* climate change programmes to the cheering of his conservative supporters. Now, under public pressure, he is promising to restore Liberal programmes newly named, The EcoTrust.
Based on his record, Mr. Harper says anything to satisfy popular demand - but only keeps the promises that suit him. Hardly a record to return him to office.