I know it shouldn't matter what an analysis in The Star says about Stephen Harper, because the paper is predisposed to being anti-Conservative. But I can't help but be irked when I read such vitriolic diatribes such as the one by David Olive on Sunday.
Olive's piece was headlined on the front page as follows:
David Olive on why children don't like Stephen Harper.
Can the Star get any more absurd -- that's as bad as the Globe's recent nonsense about Christians.
Olive's analysis takes several Harper quotes, and seeks to impute meaning to them.
When Danny Williams nudged Hearn and Doyle to vote with the government on the budget, Harper said:
"What's the next thing? We're going to have a bunch of mafia people working for the government because it might give Danny Williams money a week earlier?"
Olive suggests Harper was referring to Liberal MPs:
'Who are these organized crime figures on the public payroll? Carolyn Bennett? Ken Dryden? Right-to-lifer Roger Gallaway?'
Apparently Olive doesn't have cable, and hasn't watched any of the Gomery inquiry. Besides, the people he listed don't work for the government -- they are the government -- therefore they supposedly work for the people.
Olive says that Harper questioned the patriotism of Liberal voters a few weeks back, when he said voting for the Liberals is:
'quite frankly imperilling the future of the country.'
Harper is one of millions of Canadians who see the Liberal Party of Canada as corrupt, self-serving, anti-democratic and irresponsible. It stands to reason that if you view those characteristics as bad, you would see voting for a party whose foundations seem to have been replaced with these dubious pillars would tend to imperil the future of the country.
Olive seems to forget that during last year's election campaign and since, Paul Martin has openly suggested that anyone who votes Conservative is unCanadian.
This is a quote from Paul Martin from March 4, 2005:
We stood up for the Charter in the last campaign. We’ve stood up for it in this session of Parliament, protecting rights with the civil marriage bill while at the same time safeguarding religious freedom. Let me renew our pledge, my pledge, here before you tonight: We will always stand up for the Charter of Rights. I will always stand up for the Charter of Rights.
All of us here this evening, Liberals, are united – by an unshakeable belief in the values that have made our country one of the fairest, most respectful and most progressive in the world.
I am proud to follow in the foot steps of those who have come before – men and women whose great vision and hard work made the Liberal Party the party of multiculturalism and medicare, the party of bilingualism and the Charter, the party that led this nation in wartime and then committed it to keeping the peace.
Now, there are those in another political party who hold a different set of values. They too will be gathering for a convention this month. And Canadians will again be reminded, as they were during the election campaign, that the government and the opposition in Parliament – that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition – present two starkly different visions of what this country can be and where this country must go. The choice was clear during the election. The choice is clear today.
And when Scott Brison looked to the new Conservative party for modern Canadian values, and when he could no longer find them there, where did he turn? To the Liberal Party.'
There are times when I look around the House of Commons. At the Conservatives, a party that no longer calls itself progressive, and for good reason.
And, here's another quote from a speech by Paul Martin, from June 2, 2005 in Montreal:
'We do not share the Conservative ideology of every man for himself . . .'
'The person I cannot understand is Stephen Harper.
He doesn’t appear to realize that his underhanded dealings with Gilles Duceppe are threatening our country’s stability.
We know that he wanted to take part in the Iraq war and re-open the anti-missile shield file, and that he does not believe in protecting the rights of all minorities, but how to explain his common agenda with the separatists?'
Martin's quotes all tend to suggest that as a conservative, my values and my patriotism are suspect. As Prime Minister, Martin has a responsibility to represent all of us, not just Liberal voters. His comments are insulting and disparaging to all who continue to vote Conservative.
How convenient are the memories of Liberal journalists.