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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Canada's Change Agent

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had an opinion piece about the election here in Canada. I'm always interested in how Canada is perceived by foreigners—it can be a more objective view of us.

The WSJ is, of course, one of the premier newspapers in the US and I think should be taken seriously.

Here's a quote:

Mr. Harper has restored the country's international prestige by demonstrating political courage on Afghanistan. The Liberals had sent Canadian troops there in 2001 but began agitating for withdrawal when things got difficult. Mr. Harper has refused to cut and run, and he has chastised those NATO partners in Europe who have shrunk from the fight. He has also boosted defense spending so Canadian troops are properly armed.

By contrast, Mr. Dion had sought to withdraw Canada's Afghan contingent "with honor" before 2009. His effort failed, even within his own party, and earlier this year Mr. Harper won an agreement with the Liberals to stick it out in Afghanistan until 2011.

And a final word about Stephen Harper:

The larger question is what Mr. Harper would do with a real majority. In 2005 his Liberal opponents portrayed him as a far-right extremist. Yet like his countrymen, he has shown little appetite for extreme positions, and if anything he has proven to be a steady leader who until recently has worked effectively across party lines. Even the separatist movement in Quebec seems to have lost its mojo during his tenure. That may be why Canadians are likely to ask him to stay on.

A nice piece, not too long and seems to sum things up pretty well. The WSJ is primarily a business newspaper, but I'm not sure if it's necessarily conservative in its editorial bias. After all, the Globe and Mail is a business newspaper and it's decidedly Liberal in it's editorial bias.

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