P.M.#22 – Bush Lite
||Stephen Joseph Harper
||April 30, 1959 in Toronto, Ontario,
||Currently the “Conservative Party of Canada”
- Canadian Alliance (2002-2003)
- Reform (1987-1997)
- Progressive Conservative (1985-1986)
- Young Liberals (c.1974-early 1980s)1
||Feb 6, 2006– present
|Best known for:
- he was a key player in the Reform Party: gave a speech at their founding convention, became the party’s Chief Policy Officer, ran unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1988 as a Reform Candidate, and then ran successfully in 1993
- he defeated Stockwell Day for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance party (what the Reform Party turned into) – during the campaign he said he wouldn’t work with the Progressive Conservatives as long as they were led by Joe Clark, he supported parents being allowed to hit their kids and he said his potential support base was “similar to what George Bush tapped” (hence the nickname of “Bush Lite”)
- he merged the Canadian Alliance with the Progressive Conservative Party (then being led by Peter McKay2 to create the “Conservative Party of Canada” (notice that this party likes to keep changing its name).
- recent reports suggest that Harper gave approval of an attempt to bribe Independent MP Chuck Cadman to vote with the Conservatives on a May 2005 attempt to bring down the Liberal government; Harper is suing the Liberal Party of Canada for libel in relation to this accusation
- he became the P.M. when the “Conservative Party”3 won the Jan 2006 federal election
- shortly after the election, while dropping his kids off at school, he shook the hands of his then 9-year-old son and 7-year old daughter. Shook their hands? No hug? “Wtf?!” cried the nation!
- since becoming P.M., he’s not been very forthcoming with the press – often telling the media at the 11th hour about his trips so that media can’t be there to cover it, and insisting on hand picking which journalists get to ask questions at press conferences
- he’s a closet Leafs fan
|Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M.
- he’s the first P.M. since Pearson to not have gone to law school
- he’s the first P.M. since Pearson that isn’t Catholic (he’s an evangelical Prostestant)
- he resigned from Parliament in Jan 1997 to take the VP position (later Prez) of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a conservative think-tank and advocacy group.
1This is from Wikipedia, listed as “citation needed,” so I have no idea if it’s true or not.
2McKay had made a deal with PC leadership opponent David Orchard that he would not merge the PC Party with the Alliance if Orchard agreed to step down in the leadership race. Then McKay merged the PC Party with the Alliance. Nice.
3I have trouble referring to this party as the “Conservative Party” as such without the quotations marks. To me, the “Conservative Party” was really the Progressive Conservatives, whereas this party is just the Reform-Party-turned-Canadian-Alliance in sheep’s clothing.