Pity poor Rex Murphy. He doesn't understand what he calls the "unbalanced and disproportionate" antipathy Canadians feel for Stephen Harper:
For, step back a little, make a little space, and you will see that in his personal and domestic conduct, Harper is almost stereotypically Canadian. He’s a mild, unobnoxious, hockey-mad fellow. He doesn’t boast.He shuns the spotlight he could be commanding every day. He keeps his privacy and doesn’t insist, like many public figures, in conducting a soap opera around his position or his family. He’d be the ideal neighbour — he wouldn’t just drop in, too reserved for that (which is great), but I’m sure he’d lend a shovel when needed. Probably even help dig out your car if you were stuck, and take your thanks with a self-conscious smile and reassurance that it was no trouble.
Really? Murphy advances this opinion in the same week that the cost of those F- 35 fighter jets was revealed to be $45 billion instead of $16 billion, and that Mr. Harper approved the sale of Nexxen Energy to China's state owned energy corporation. Two weeks ago Canada voted against recognition of Palestine at the UN.
There were those calls in Irwin Cotler's riding, which the Speaker of the House labelled "reprehensible" -- not to mention the robocalls in the last election. And there was Joe Oliver's claim that environmentalists were enemies of the state. In fact, Mr. Harper likes to label all his opponents enemies of the state. Remember "Taliban Jack?"
And then there is the business of Harper's hidden agenda. Rex writes:
Even though he is Prime Minister and has a majority, many still believe he keeps that damn agenda up his sleeve. Query: What’s the point of a hidden agenda that stays hidden? Will it still be hidden when he leaves office? If so, what was or is its point?
What, indeed, is the point of keeping government estimates away from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page? Why did Mr. Harper not want to release those documents on the treatment of Afghan prisoners? Why do the Conservatives insist that so many parliamentary committees meet behind closed doors? And why are Canadian scientists not allowed to speak with the media?
Why is Stephen Harper so deeply dispised by a majority of Canadians? The answer is as plain as the nose on Mr. Murphy's face -- and as old as the human race: What goes around comes around. When you treat people with contempt, they will return the favour.
Mr. Murphy simply hasn't been paying attention.