G. W. Bush and S. Harper

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)

Subject: G. W. Bush and S. Harper
  Never a more true story.

Harper´s goal a right-wing Canada TheStar.com - Federal Election - Harper´s goal a right-wing Canada
September 25, 2008
Bob Hepburn

Stephen Harper is often accused of having a "hidden agenda" and yearning to form a majority government so he can implement it.

In fact, though, there is nothing "hidden" about what Harper wants, which is to change Canada fundamentally from a centre-left country into a small-c conservative, right-wing nation.

The only question is how fast he will be able to do.

If he wins a majority in the Oct. 14 election, the transformation may happen very quickly.

Indeed, Harper leaves no doubt what he wants to do.

"I said for a long time, and nobody listened to me for the longest time, that my goal was to make conservatism the natural governing philosophy of the country," he said in a recent interview with the National Post. "I think we´re moving the country in the right direction and I also think our party is becoming, I wouldn´t say centrist, maybe more pragmatic."

To drive home that theme, Harper told reporters on the campaign trail last week that he is fully convinced Canada has become more conservative over the last 20 years.

He also argued that Canadians are more accepting of his positions on crime, taxes, national unity and social policies relating to families.

Is Harper correct? Are we becoming more conservative, more right wing as a nation?

While Harper may have an argument when it comes to wanting better controls on government spending, especially after the runaway deficits under the last Conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney, he is way off base when it comes to social issues.

For years, Harper has talked about the death of the Left.

Such talk is conventional wisdom in the conservative movement, especially in the United States, where Harper gets his political inspiration. He particularly likes the anti-government, socially conservative agenda espoused by the late U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

His dislike for Canada as a centre-left nation with strong social policies was well illustrated in a 1997 speech he gave when he was vice-president of the right-wing National Citizens Coalition to a conservative American think-tank. He told the crowd that Canada is "a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it."

He went on to praise the U.S. right wing, saying: "Your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."

In Harper´s ideal world, he would give away most powers of the federal government, slash government funding of the arts (he claims ordinary folks don´t care about the arts), get tougher on criminals and further reduce taxes.

Also, he would ease regulations on businesses, promote more free trade, allow more privatization of essential services, cozy up more to Washington and abandon Canada´s traditional role as an "honest broker" on the world stage.

But as much as Harper would like to deny it, Canada has long been one of the world´s most successful small-l liberal countries.

And as much as he would like to ignore it, most Canadians don´t share his views. That´s reflected in polls that show that, while the Tories are ahead, some 65 per cent of us support the centrist Liberals and the left-leaning NDP, Greens and Bloc Qu?b?cois.

In fact, small-l liberalism remains strong in Canada.

Polls consistently show we are a compassionate nation, strongly supporting universal medicare, tough environmental laws and significant foreign aid. We back same-sex marriage, abortion and a ban on capital punishment, issues on which conservatives find themselves opposed to the mainstream.

The left and centre-left want more money to fight poverty, to help natives, to create more daycare spaces. They back racial and gender equality, multiculturalism and don´t consider the phrase "politically correct" to be a bad thing.

Not a bad list.

So, if voters in the centre and on the left fail to deliver a clear message to Harper on election day and hand him a majority government, will he really remake Canada in his own right-wing image?

For that, just listen to Harper himself, who, in the interview in which he touted a conservative governing philosophy, stated flatly: "I am not in politics to be loved, I´m in politics to get things done and make a difference."

That´s not a "hidden" agenda.

Bob Hepburn´s column appears Thursdays. bhepburn@thestar.ca


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
the Ontario based fear mongering machine is facinating. People don´t believe this crap, do they??????
(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)

Harper said it.

(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
the hidden agenda part? he actually said he has a hidden agenda???


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
R not elections fun though.

They just found a NDP enemy of Richard blogging anti war resister stuff.


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
I wonder
how come ROY has so much free time spending here in this forum, instead of working at his "job" in Scarborough...

I just think like this,

If I am a good immigration layer, I would rather spend time helping my clients and not spending time talking about politics in a forum


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
this is Roy´s entertainment...along with poker. Don´t you know that pointless political argument is the spice of life!!! Besides, Roy is just like me - an insomniac at 4:21am on a Saturday morning.

watched the debates tonight. Don´t you think it is interesting that some folks want to reach for a gun or a bomb before they try talking?

(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
Keep the political threads coming. For those who don´t like it, nobody´s forcing you to read them. I´d add that politics and immigration are connected, since whoever is running the government also decides immigration policy.

From my point of view and limited knowledge of Canadian politics, there´s much truth to Bob Hepburn´s assessment of Harper in "The Star". Canadian´s are not inherently like Americans, and don´t want to be, i.e., "Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values", auth. Michael Adams.

(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
Speedoflight you´re funny!!!

Have you made a decision yet on what APPLICATION to submit? Has it been more then a year with no decision? LOL

Today my son and a couple of his friends and myself really enjoyed standing in the pouring rain waiting for Stephan Harper to show up in Ajax, Ontario. My son who is eleven escorted the grade five student Betty Chen to deliver a letter from her to the Prime Minister.

The big bad ear plugged gun carrying RCMP jumped on these two kids and prevented them from delivering a letter to the Prime Minister. Nor would they take the letter to the Prime Minister themselves. Read the paper tomorrow.

The Chen family have been waiting five years to have CIC render a decision on their H&C application.

If they go back to China the parents will face a $485,000.00 fine for having three above quota children.

Once the fine is paid they will be eligble to get a household registration card.

The Household registration card (birth certificate) will only be issued if the three kids renounce their Canadian Citizenship.

My sons best friend said it best when we left. "It makes me feel good when I try to help people like them"!


Mr. Chen nor Mrs Chen have not hugged their daughter who was left back in China twelve years ago. Nor has the three Canadian siblings here ever met their sister.

Bad day to bad mouth me Speedoflight.


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)

Hi Roy,

No I didn´t submit my application yet, I am waiting for CIC changes for Skilled Worker and mean time I enjoy reading your posts only :), but bothers me a lot when you talk about politics...

as soon as I apply I will let everyone know!

Regards from


(in reply to: G. W. Bush and S. Harper)
Here is the article but like always the media gets it a little wrong. By the time the buses rolled in the reporter had been inside out of the rain for some time.


Richard has it right Politics and Immigration are very mixed especially in A25 H&C cases because it is an interpretation as to what was and is anticipated by the act and its regulations.