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http://www.cbc.ca/story/canadavotes2006/na...ican051212.html Harper says he has 'many differences' with U.S. conservatives
Last Updated Mon, 12 Dec 2005 21:18:37 EST
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper appeared to distance himself from the U.S. administration Monday, pointing out that his positions on many issues differ from those of American conservatives.
Harper sent a letter to the editor of the Washington Times in response to a Dec. 2 column by Patrick Basham of the Cato Institute titled "Gift from Canada?"
Basham wrote: "Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto and socially conservative."
"Move over Tony Blair," he continued. "If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader."
But Harper's letter said the "pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto and socially conservative" characterization of his policy was an oversimplification of his positions.
He said that while he supports free trade, Canada would expand its trade relationships with Asian countries if the United States didn't pay the $5 billion in softwood lumber penalties.
On Iraq, Harper said he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein and applauded the "efforts to establish democracy and freedom."
But he said he would not commit Canadian troops to the country and added his "great disappointment" at not substantiating pre-war intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction.
Regarding same-sex unions, he reiterated his position that he would vote to bring back the traditional definition of marriage. But he said those who already are married would continue to be recognized as legally wed.
Harper also pledged he would not initiate or support any effort to pass legislation restricting abortion in Canada.
"Despite my differences on many issues with some American conservative politicians, I look forward to a co-operative, constructive relationship with the United States as our principal trading partner and ally under a new Conservative government."
I totally disagree with his stance on gay marriage. They have been given that right (and I applaud that) and now he wants to take it away? That sounds unconstitutional to me. You cannot say - well you had this right last month, but now you don't. Doesn't work that way Steve-O.
You have nothing to worry about, the Conservatives will never win another election in Canada - this country is too far gone.
Regarding Harper's conservativism - I think of him as just BARELY right wing. He's more like a moderate compared to President Bush (who I adore and voted for!). I actually feel bad for Stephen Harper because I have a feeling he probably WANTS to be more conservative, but Canada is now so liberal that no one would ever take him seriously.