Stephen Harper likes to say that Conservative values are Canadian values. Lawrence Martin, however, calls that assertion into question. Recent polls which indicate that we would overwhelmingly vote for Barack Obama -- and that we'd seriously consider Justin Trudeau for the highest office in the land -- suggest that Canadians haven't moved as far to the right as Mr. Harper thinks they have:
Obama’s progressive values strike a chord north of the border, whether they be on social issues, war and peace, health care or the economy. He speaks to a rational — as opposed to an ideological — way forward. He speaks a moderate language that sounds quite Canadian — as in the Canada that was, before the arrival of the new Harper Conservatives.
And, although the younger Trudeau has not as yet nade a lot of policy announcements, he's not robotically following in his father's footsteps:
On the second day of his campaign he went to Alberta and trashed his old man’s National Energy Program. He has been pointed on environment policy and in some other areas. He has yet to say much on democratic reform but his camp is looking at it as a possible major policy area for him. He is the candidate of next-generation appeal and a plan to remake Canadian democracy would fit that rubric nicely. But we shouldn’t hold our breath for him to come out with anything that amounts to much more than tinkering.
It will be awhile before Justin gets specific. But make no mistake. When he does get specific, he will accuse Stephen Harper of casting the next generation to the wind. Mr. Harper will have a hard time deflecting that accusation.
One thing is certain. Conservative values are Harper values.