Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is the great unifier in this country

By Harold Jansen on Dec 2, 2008

Stephen Harper has been a transformative leader in Canadian partisan politics. First he united the right. Now he's united the left. Pretty impressive.

Cartoon: Canada Enters a Recession - Conservative Government Changes Tune

Find a political cartoon depicting Canada entering a recession, while Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty discuss whether Canada's economy is technically in recession.

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Cartoon: Conservative Cuts to State Funding of the Arts

Find a political cartoon depicting Prime Minister Harper trying to remove the Canadian arts community from sucking on teat of the Canadian State.

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2008 Canadian Federal Election: Results and Summary

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Oct 21, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians returned Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada to a second minority government. In this feature, learn more about the results of the 2008 federal election, including an overview of the results, discussions of key factors/non-factors in the election, and an examination of the election’s impact.

On October 14, 2008, Canadians returned Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada to a second minority government. On the one hand, the 2008 election did little to change the Canadian political landscape, as the major political parties were returned to Parliament with similar seat totals and percentages of the national vote as in the previous 2006 election.

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Cartoon: Media Pushes Prime Minister Harper over Possible Economic Doomsday

Find a political cartoon depicting the national news media pushing Prime Minister Harper to comment over economic crisis hitting financial markets and banks across the world.

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Why the Conservatives could sweep Saskatchewan...

By David McGrane on Oct 8, 2008

This op-ed piece will appear in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on Thursday, October 9th.

With Conservative support taking a nosedive in Quebec, it seems that they need to add a considerable number of seats in English Canada if they are to form a majority government. All of the sudden, a Conservative sweep of Saskatchewan's seats could be the difference between a majority and minority Harper government. While Saskatchewan is an important part of the Conservatives' pursuit of a majority, our province also plays a key role in Stephen Harper's quest to reshape Canadian political culture.

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Cartoon: Was Prime Minister Harper too Passive in the Leaders Debate?

Find a political cartoon depicting Prime Minister Stephen Harper being too passive during the 2008 federal election in Canada.

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English debate preview: pressure on Dion and Layton

By Harold Jansen on Oct 2, 2008

Tonight is the big show: the English language debate at 9 Eastern/6 Pacific. The dynamics here are a little different than in French. The Conservatives are in a stronger position outside of Quebec, so Harper mainly has to stay out of trouble. I imagine we'll see the relaxed prime-ministerial sweater vest version of Stephen Harper again. All four leaders will be gunning for Harper again. I don't expect we'll see the NDP and Liberals squabble too much over who is the real opponent to Harper. The way the Conservatives are poised to break through in British Columbia means they both have to dump on Harper big time. Harper just has to weather the storm. It's pretty much impossible for an incumbent prime minister to "win" the debate; you win by not losing, which is about the best you can hope for.

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French debate preview: pressure on Harper

By Harold Jansen on Oct 1, 2008

In an hour and a half, the French language debate will be starting and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. This really is the contest between Dion, Duceppe and Harper. Although the NDP is making some gains in Quebec, I don't see Mr. Layton as particularly relevant and Ms. May's struggles in French mean she'll be marginal for much of it.

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Cartoon: During the Leaders Debate, Will the Economy Bore all the Leaders but Harper?

Find a political cartoon depicting Prime Minister Stephen Harper boring all the other political party leaders while talking about the economy.

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Stephen Harper: Jiu Jitsu Master?

By Royce Koop on Sep 25, 2008

Melanee and lots of other commentators have characterized Harper's recent defence of arts subsidies as an "amateur mistake." I'm not so sure.

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Cartoon: Harper gets Biten by his Party, while Dion keeps Biting away at his Party

Find a political cartoon depicting Prime Minister Stephen Harper being bit by his political party, the Conservative Party of Canada, while Leader of the Official Opposition, Stéphane Dion, bites away at this political party, the Liberal Party of Canada.

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The Choice that Saskatchewan voters make will matter...

By David McGrane on Sep 19, 2008

 This article appears as  "Choice by voters in Sask. Will hold significant sway", Saskatoon StarPhoenix, September 18th, 2008, A11. 

When the Prime Minister called the federal election, the response of many people in Saskatchewan was undoubtedly: "What! Another election!" With two federal elections and one provincial election during last four years, a little voter fatigue is understandable. Nonetheless, we should not let our weariness allow us to fall prey to old, cynical arguments that we should not bother to vote because ‘all politicians are the same' and ‘your vote doesn't make a difference anyway.'  The votes cast in Saskatchewan on October 14th will be very important for the future of province and our country. The choice we make will make a difference.

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Impressions from Week One

By Royce Koop on Sep 14, 2008

First: Elizabeth May deserves congratulations for gaining entry to the leaders' debate. I'm not so sure that she should be so happy over this, however. Many people think that May has a good speaking style. This may be true in some contexts, but I'm not sure if she will perform well in a debate with four other party leaders. Harper, Dion, Layton, and Duceppe all have significant experience in Parliament and the first three have already participated in televised debates. May has no similar experience. "Elizabeth May," argues Kevin Libin, "talks faster than an auctioneer on a caffeine buzz." And we've already seen that her tendency to talk quickly can get her into trouble. As Harold Jansen observed, it may be Harper who benefits from May's inclusion in the debate, as he is left to look prime ministerial as the other four leaders natter away.

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2008 Canadian Election Issues and Events

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Sep 14, 2008

Find a detailed articled outline the key issues and events in the 2008 federal election in Canada, including the minority/majority government question, the economy, leadership, the environment, and Canada in Afghanistan.

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