Friday, October 16, 2015
UPDATED: Home Of The Whopper
Given that the unofficial organ of the Conservative Party, The Globe and Mail, has endorsed Stephen Harper in the last three elections, I don't think it is much of a stretch to suggest they will make it four in a row, either later today online or in tomorrow's print edition. Today, I hope readers will indulge me in a little extemporaneous speculative fiction, the kind the paper itself indulges in when they tell us that the Conservative Party is best positioned to lead us into an uncertain future.
One note of caution, however: my political prognostications have been grossly inaccurate in recent years, so please take all of this with much more than the usual grain of salt:
The last four years have been difficult ones indeed, not only for Canada but for the entire world. Economic uncertainty has plagued much of the world. Terrorism has been on the rise. And here at home, the decorum and the debates in the House of Commons have been marred by rancorous and rabid partisanship by all political actors, Stephen Harper not the least of them.
Do we wish that he had brought more statesmanship to his role as prime minister? Of course we do. Do we wish that he had led with grace and diplomacy rather than denigration of his opponents? No argument there. But to focus on his personal shortcomings is to ignore the broader picture. The fact is that under his leadership, Canada has become a far more outward-looking nation, boldly forging new alliances and trade treaties that can only redound to the benefit of all Canadians. Under his watch, this country is no longer confined to parochial backwaters. We are a nation of the twenty-first century.
There will always be those who pine for an earlier, simpler time, when the nanny state grew at an unsustainable rate. Under Mr. Harper's leadership, both the country and its citizens have matured to the point where tax cuts that respect people's ability to make their own choices are increasingly the norm. Many applaud this development, while others still yearn to be taken care of by the state.
Much has been made about Mr. Harper's personal style; his reserved aloofness stands in sharp contrast to the gregarious charm of Mr. Trudeau. But Canadians are urged to remember that charisma is not a foundation of good government. Vision and solid policy-making are. In these areas, Mr. Harper has proven himself time and time again.
With a still-fragile economy, voters need to ask themselves whether this is the time to embark on risky experiments that will further burden our children and grandchildren with debt, led by an inexperienced Liberal Party leader, or stay the course with a government that has a proven track record.
We at The Globe and Mail believe the choice is clear and therefore endorse the Conservative Party of Canada in this election.
UPDATE: Well, the Globe has outdone itself this time; as I predicted, they are endorsing the Conservative Party and its policies. However, take a look at what they want Stephen Harper to do. It seems like the self-proclaimed 'newspaper of record' wants it both ways; its cowardice and fear of public ridicule is palpable.
Also, for a real treat, take a few moments to read some of the readers' comments, which are quite justifiably contemptuous of this sad facsimile of a newspaper with integrity.
And if that's not enough, check out this Globe Q&A on Facebook.