While one can quarrel with these moves (and the opposition parties have), they don't suggest that Harper is planning a Mike Harris-style revolution after the election. Nonetheless, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams – a Progressive Conservative – was ringing alarm bells this week about a Harper majority.
"Even without a majority," Williams said, "he (Harper) has cut funding for minorities, cut funding for literacy, cut funding to students, volunteers, museums, and arts and culture groups right across the country. His government cut funding to women's groups and, in fact, his government actually went so far as to remove the federal mandate to advance equality for women. This all happened under a minority government. What in heaven's name will happen if he gets his majority government?"
While Harper is presenting himself as a kinder, gentler Conservative these days, in the past, as a Reform MP, head of the National Citizens' Coalition and leader of the Canadian Alliance (successor party to Reform), he staked out quite radical positions. He has called Canada "a northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term," has denounced the "moral nihilism" of the Liberals and the left for opposing the Iraq war, has suggested building a "firewall" around Alberta, and has called for "market reforms" for health care, "further deregulation and privatization," and "elimination of corporate subsidies."
Dudes - don’t tease me like that. False hope is worse than no hope at all. After almost two years of watching Harper’s CPC slide so far to the centre left, the only conservative I recognize in the CPC is the name. The only recourse I have left is praying for a Goldwater moment. If I could be convinced there really was a hidden agenda - I might even be tempted to vote for the PC candidate in my riding.