Thus spoke Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Conservative party, when a small finger-painting child came near him while he was preparing for a photo-op at a   home for kids in rehab in southern Ontario.

That’s just not something politicians are supposed to do. Especially when they’re having the photo-op because similar ones for the Prime Minister worked wonders for his poll ratings. Especially after gambling on a vote of no-confidence a few weeks earlier, and loosing by the slimmest of margins. Especially when most of the country is afraid of him.

And especially in Canada, where we like small children, optimistic politicians, and a British-influenced sense of fair play.
The article that’s sparked all this was an interesting piece (reg req’d, use in today’s Toronto Star entitled “Too Angry To Succeed,” that centered on Stephen Harper’s failures as a leader of his caucus, failures to manage the “anger” coming out of his party, and (indirectly) the Canadian voter’s fear of him.

Some choice quotes from the article, and indirectly, from  the Man himself:

“What’s the next thing?” Harper exploded. “We’re going to have a bunch of Mafia people working for the government because it might give Danny Williams money a week earlier?”

In reference to Conservative Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams pressuring his MPs to support the Budget, as it contained a fantatsic resource revenue-sharing deal for the province.

John Reynolds, Tory campaign manager and prominent B.C. MP, was saying all Liberals “are whores. I don’t like to call them that, because there are probably some whores who are nice people.”

Saskatoon Tory MP Maurice Vellacott’s description of turncoat Belinda Stronach. (“Some people prostitute themselves for different costs or different prices. She sold out for a cabinet position.”)

And then there’s the issue of the press release during the last election that acursed Paul Martin of being a supporter of Child Porn.

In all three cases (and there are countless more in the article) Harper didn’t rebuke the members of his caucus, or retract the statments.

We like optimistic politicans in Canada. We like people who tell us how good we can be, how the other guy isn’t wrong – it’s just that his ideas arn’t as good as yours, and that the best is yet to come.

There’s a whole lot Stephen Harper dosen’t get about The Canadian Voter – and this is one of the big bits.

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