This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tribute To An Exemplary Man

"Certain things didn't happen in the best way but that doesn't take anything away from the immense privilege and opportunity of a lifetime, serving one of the best prime ministers our country has ever had."
"I consider him a father figure and always will."
Dimitri Soudas, former Conservative party executive director, and Prime Ministerial director of communications

"He reminded me of Pierre Trudeau. You could see his intellect working. He was very at home on policy -- very sure-footed."
"It was an impressive performance and he [had] the potential to be influential as a world leader."
Allan Gotlieb, former Canadian ambassador in Washington

"His decade in power changed this country in immeasurable ways and you know whether you agreed or disagreed with his politics, Mr. Harper is a man of enormous integrity who has dedicated his entire life to public service and continues to do so."
"I wish him the very best of luck."
"I understand he's thinking of offers in the private sector which will be a switch for someone who's dedicated his whole life to public service. But really, he's had an enormous impact and we're very proud as Calgarians that we had a prime minister for a decade who hailed from this city."
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
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CBC News : Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, and (right) former Prime Minister Stephen Harper

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him try and carry on that work [influence on foreign relations] if there are donors who want to fund him to do that [set up his own foundation on international issues]."
"He had survived for almost ten years [as prime minister] which made him kind of an elder statesmen, so I think he was quite respected in those forums."
Tom Flanagan, formerly Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff
As Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper was viewed by many as stiff and unbending, a man who kept his emotions intact and to himself. That he was also a man of stern principles and great integrity was simply a recognition of the mettle of the man who expected much from himself as leader of the country and who delivered to the citizens of Canada his considered and appropriate responses to situations calling for them. Doubt greeted his initial minority government, to be swiftly replaced with trust and reliance on his judgement.

Certainly not from all quarters, but of a certainty from people who shared his thoughts and aspirations for the country and its people. It could not have been but a humbling experience for this man to suffer defeat in the October 19 election that brought Justin Trudeau to office as Canada's prime minister. For many, the disappointment of seeing Mr. Harper replaced by an amateur politician who had never before entering politics prepared himself in any way to assume that office, was a profound misery.

An intellectual, a man schooled in academic economics and with the experience of positions of significance behind him, replaced by a dilettante, a man with experience in snowboarding, bar-bouncing and drama classes, whose name-recognition offered him the entree to speaking engagements where his smiling presence seemed compensation to those who attended for his lack of knowledge and gravitas. Where Trudeau is egotistical and entitled, Mr. Harper has been unassumingly humble.

It cannot have been an easy decision to remain in the House of Commons, to stay on in his elected position as a Member of Parliament, from his former status as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Prime Minister of Canada, but Mr. Harper quietly took his seat and diligently took part in all Parliamentary votes. He has chosen now, to leave after the Parliamentary summer break, before Parliament resumes in the fall.

His was a steady hand at the helm of the ship of state. And those who supported him and worked alongside him speak now of paying homage to his decade as prime minister. "People who care about his legacy are rolling up their sleeves", said one of those in talks relating to sponsoring a think-tank in his name to focus on foreign policy directions for Canada.

Of a certainty history and the perspective of time will be kinder to his memory than the electorate that voted to retire this man who will be recognized as one of the finest Canada ever had as prime minister.

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