Patrick Brethour, in Friday's Globe and Mail, writes that Canadians see Stephen Harper as "nasty, brutish -- and competent." Nasty and brutish, yes. But competent? Only if you buy Mr. Harper's rewriting of recent history.
Paula Arab, writing in what the Prime Minister calls his "hometown" paper, takes issue with Harper's claim to prescient economic management. When he touts his government's stimulus package, Arab writes:
That’s rich — claiming credit for something his party was forced to do, under threat of a non-confidence vote and another election. The opposition parties were so frustrated with the Harper government’s downplaying of the economy, they agreed on their own stimulus package, forcing an about-face.
Here’s what Harper declared just four days before the Oct. 14, 2008, election: “This country will not go into recession next year and will lead the G7 countries. We have every reason to believe Canada will stay out of recession if Canada doesn’t start raising taxes and spending itself into deficit.”
Then there's the matter of Canada's superior banking system. Susan Riley, in The Ottawa Citizen reminds readers that:
it was Liberal governments that created the well regulated banking system Harper likes to boast about internationally - often in the face of criticism from anti-regulation zealots like the old Harper.
Finally, there is the minor matter of the $12 billion surplus the Martin government bequeathed to the Prime Minister -- which disappeared before the recession hit. It's worth noting that Mr. Harper claims to be an economist.
Anyone with a record like that is pitching into the dirt -- and he should be sent to the showers.