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October 16, 2008

The Smartest Evangelical Politician You Never Heard Of

Update: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, 9 a.m.
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STEPHEN HARPER

Look to the near North if you want to take a glimpse at smarter-than-thou politics as executed in the recent nation-wide elections in Canada.

This week, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper, the current prime minister, achieved a very significant re-election besting his Liberal opponent Stephane Dion, whose signature issue was to call for a carbon tax. (Great move, Dion, in perfectly playing the role of tax-and-spend liberal.)

Granted conservatives are still a minority in parliament, but they have public opinion and trust on their side in terms of managing Canada's economy and its important role in fighting global terrorism.

Here's what The Wall Street Journal editorial page had to say about Harper in the Oct. 16 edition:

Since first taking the Conservatives to a national victory in 2006, [Harper] has reversed a pattern of parliamentary neglect of Canada's armed forces and made proper funding for the troops a priority. Rather than flee Afghanistan as Mr. Dion wanted to do, Mr. Harper's Canada is playing a crucial role in the international effort to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Mr. Harper's first government also cut the national sales tax, personal taxes and corporate taxes. His domestic platform in this race promised to cut corporate taxes further to attract capital and grow the economy. Mr. Dion promised to levy a new carbon tax on business. Mr. Harper was able to explain to voters that a carbon tax is a tax on them. John McCain, take note.


Harper's evangelical credentials are well-known (he's associated with a Christian Missionary Alliance church in Ottawa). But what's Harper's secret sauce for persuading Canada's electorate that he's not George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Pat Roberston, or Gary Bauer?

Let me suggest Harper is succeeding where other evangelical politicians (south of the Canadian border) are failing for the following reasons:


1. Harper actually is a conservative. As such, he has not muddied the waters between economic and social issues or preached big government, interventionist conservatism.

2. Harper has, for the most, part followed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's model of keeping his God talk below the media radar.

3. Harper, knowing the minority role of his party, has worked across party lines. Come to think of it, Harper has governed Canada sorta like Bush, as governor, ruled Texas for two terms.

Two notes of caution:

A. The prolife movement is no fan of Stephen Harper. Read this.

B. Harper's views on gay marriage are less than many conservatives would like. There is no evidence that I could see that he would make fighting same-sex marriage in Canada a first-order issue. Read this.

Smart? Yes. Faithful? You decide.

Comments

What the website you refer readers to does not mention, but ought to for the sake of context, is that the there is no abortion law in Canada. The old abortion law was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and since then, neither governing party has succeeded in crafting a new one that would withstand a similar Charter challenge. Sadly, it was the PROLIFE forces in Canada--in a devil's alliance with prochoice people--who ensured that no compromise bill would pass the House under Mulroney's conservatives. Not realizing that a bad law would save more lives than no law, we prolifers opted for no law. That is the mess Prime Minister Harper has inherited. Thanks in large measure to us.

Whatever his actual views on the matter, he will not change anything until there is a public mood to do so. And with the recent awarding of the Order of Canada to abortionist Henry Morgenthaler, it seems the public as a whole is in no such mood.

Far from not making fighting same-sex marriage a "first order" issue, it is a settled issue in Canada. It has been the law in most of the country for five years now, and there is no chance of reversal. It would be, as Harper well knows, political suicide, in addition to being absolutely unconstitutional.

As usual, the producers of this website place political stands on "evangelical" issue of greater importance than actual morality.

Stephen Harper broke his own law on fixed election dates by calling a snap election, claiming that Parliament was dysfunctional. What he failed to mention was that he had ordered his own MPs to sabotage it.

Why? Because a few months ago, a tape turned up of Stephen Harper offering a million-dollar bribe to now-deceased MP Chuck Cadman in return for supporting the Conservative's no-confidence motion in 2005. To his credit, Mr. Cadman turned him down, displaying more integrity despite his not being an evangelical.

Stephen Harper claimed the tape had been doctored, and launched a lawsuit against the Liberal opposition for digging it up. However, just three days before the end of the election, Mr. Harper's own ex-FBI expert certified the tape as genuine. So in other words, not only did he offer the bribe, he lied about it.

As a result, Harper will most likely be indicted on criminal charges and at the very least, be forced out of office.

I suggest the producers of Christianity Today do a little more research on their heroes beforehand.

http://www.cjbk.com/news/17/806395

In case you have any lingering doubts.

Reality Bites - To steal a line from Stephane Dion's election mantra - you poster are a liar. Stephen Harper NEVER offered Cadman a bribe for a $1 million dollar insurance policy in order to sway his vote. This is a bold faced lie. In fact, he WASN'T even there. In fact, it is STILL UNCERTAIN as to WHO the two men were. DONA CADMAN did not, NOR HAS SHE provided ANY DETAILS. Listen CAREFULLY to the transcript of the tape. READ each WORD of the transcript. I challenge you on this. Financial considerations - within normal negotiating political protocol were possibly being considered NOT A BRIBE. That is - to compensate him with something akin to a judicial appointment or the like. NOT A BRIBE. That is why Stephen Harper is going to court. READ HIS DEPOSITION. That is why he was cleared by the RCMP. And that is why the truth will come out. But let me assure you - it will be in his favour. YOU ARE SPREADING A LIE by maligning the actual evidence. God help you.

On same sex marriage - democracy voted. Stephen Harper allowed the vote to go before the legislative representatives. Approved. However, Stephen Harper personally believes in traditional marriage.

On abortion. This choice will likely remain. However, abortion definitely has to change in Canada. Presently a women can technically abort her baby at any time during pregnancy. However, it would be extremely rare to find a doctor who would.

Stephen Harper, although not as warm and fuzzy as some people would like, will likely gain a majority government in the future. He could very well go on to be the best Prime Minister Canada has ever had.

It is also important to note that Chuck Cadman's widow ran this past election as a candidate for Harper's Conservative party and won. She has been criticized for not saying anything and that Harper has gagged her but it is common sense not to speak about anything while it is under investigation. However, Cadman's wife has no problem not only having Harper as her party leader but also associating herself with the Conservative party to run against the same liberal party.
As for the tape, the most recent report states "Even though it can be argued that several sections can be considered complete in and of themselves, and hence the evidence they contain accepted as reliable, those parts that are missing could include information that counters such inferences," Hollien stated (who is the tape expert.) Quote is from the Canadian Press website.

Jules, Miles; you are in delusion.

The transcript of the tape:

"They were just, they were convinced there was, there were, financial issues," Harper says. He later qualifies his response to Zytaruk by saying: "Of the, uh, uh, the offer to Chuck was that, it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."

Let's see, an "offer" to "replace financial considerations" to resolve "financial issues". If that's not a bribe, what is it?

And if it's all innocent, why would Harper lie about the tape being altered?

And I've got news for you - the truth just came out, and it WASN'T in Harper's favor. Other agencies are probably looking at that tape right now, and when they finish, Harper will most likely be facing indictment.

And Miles - the sections of the tape which are considered key have been certified genuine. The only thing the expert found was that near the end, the original conversation had been taped over by a new recording, something which can easily be innocently explained by having the tape auto-reverse. The expert is saying that there's a possibility that in that last little bit, Harper said "Oh, by the way, I was joking about that bribe thing earler". Possible, but highly unlikely. As the expert said, the evidence contained is reliable and it's more than enough to get a conviction.

As for Cadman's wife, who knows? She's certainly no fan of Harper. Maybe she knows he's not going to be the leader for long. When she was asked about the tape on election night, she refused to answer by saying "the matter's before the courts". The courts? Uh-oh.....


Jules, Miles; you are in delusion.

The transcript of the tape:

"They were just, they were convinced there was, there were, financial issues," Harper says. He later qualifies his response to Zytaruk by saying: "Of the, uh, uh, the offer to Chuck was that, it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."

Let's see, an "offer" to "replace financial considerations" to resolve "financial issues". If that's not a bribe, what is it?

And if it's all innocent, why would Harper lie about the tape being altered?

And I've got news for you - the truth just came out, and it WASN'T in Harper's favor. Other agencies are probably looking at that tape right now, and when they finish, Harper will most likely be facing indictment.

And Miles - the sections of the tape which are considered key have been certified genuine. The only thing the expert found was that near the end, the original conversation had been taped over by a new recording, something which can easily be innocently explained by having the tape auto-reverse. The expert is saying that there's a possibility that in that last little bit, Harper said "Oh, by the way, I was joking about that bribe thing earler". Possible, but highly unlikely. As the expert said, the evidence contained is reliable and it's more than enough to get a conviction.

As for Cadman's wife, who knows? She's certainly no fan of Harper. Maybe she knows he's not going to be the leader for long. When she was asked about the tape on election night, she refused to answer by saying "the matter's before the courts". The courts? Uh-oh.....


The smartest evangelical politician I know is Obama. Why? Simple, he lives it. He does not cast aspersion on his opponents. He is calm when provoked. He inspires the hopeless.He is never shy nor hesitant to declare his faith in Christ and will not overwhelm you with that knowledge. He may disagree with you but will not demonise you, recognising that you are a creation of God and there is some good in everyone. He does not ascribe to himself what he is not. Others have called him a celebrity or a self appointed saviour. Neither, he says he is not. He reminds us of his imperfections. He constantly reminds us of his humble roots. He has reached out across to Democrats,Independents and Republicans, always reaching out. Not shutting others out with words like "real Americans", "pro America", never calling into question others' patriotism. He knows that a true patriot never challenges another patriot. He has been humble to accept that he goofed when in a moment of political stump the words "small towns" loitered out.I am yet to hear of anyone with whom he has dealt with in the past 46 years of his life, who has questioned his temperament, his candour and knowledge. He is quick to learn never forgetting the lessons of New Hampshire from Hillary...... his critics will insist on demonizing him because it is in their nature to do so. Interestingly, the more they do, the more they hunger for more,thus making Obama seems more larger than life. Yet, he says we can not be complacent. This is the moment. The time has come for change.

How typical - the two notes of caution you choose.

Can we please allow for more issues than these two? What notes of caution should be raised of his other moral leanings? Moral issues like how we treat the poor among us? How we treat the richest corporations? How we treat the environment we live in? How we go about military intervention in other parts of the world?

I'd like to post a comment on an older one from 'fonzi. His comment gives the best description of President Obama which I've yet ensounterd. Thank you , fonzi. President Obama is truly a good and decent man.

The article is surely right to introduce the two notes of caution. In fact, surely more should be made of the failure of Harper to support, even his move to discourage, dealing with the abortion question. His failure in the end to stand up for traditional marriage will cause an acceleration in the indoctrination of students into acceptance of homosexual "marriage" whether their parents approve or not. Please see www.BCPTL.org .

When I was young, millions of parents had to have the concept of African-Americans being subhuman & very inferior; crammed down their throats.These same people have instilled ideological sewage into their offspring for a couple of centuries. It continues unabated, but directed towards a different segment of humanity.It is no less erroneous & abhorrent.