Skip navigation

Commentary

Here's how Obama can raise Harper's game

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

The two leaders will never be buddies. But they can still work shoulder to shoulder. ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Hmmmer ? from Canada writes: Neil B from Calgary, Canada writes:
    Calgary is Canada's most cultured city, one of its smartest cities (beats Toronto, Vancouver for sure), and is in the most educated province in the country.

    ---------------------------

    Yea Martin didn't you know Calgary is a person?

    C'mon smarten up! Don't you dare misunderestimate Calgary!

    Hmmmer. Things that make ya go, hmmm?
  2. Not Withstanding from Not Toronto, Canada writes: Neil B, you said it.

    Has Larry Martin even BEEN to Calgary?
  3. C. T. from winnipeg, Russian Federation writes: Hmmmer ? from Canada..... This person is clearly drunk. Please, do not comment on politics any more. Thanks
  4. siren call from Canada writes: If the PM plays it properly, he can share in Mr. Obama's winds of change. By building rapport with the new president, he can establish for himself a more moderate, modern and attractive leadership personality.
    ....................................

    Hmm. We'll see.

    Maybe Harper can manufacture a better personality; but what of his policies?. If the last 3 years of Harper are any guide; more style no substance. In the last election, Harper even had people holding signs saying; 'I've got a crush on Harper'. A clear rip off of the spontaneous youtube phenomenon of a real crush on Obama.

    Sorry -- Harper is fake. We'll see what Obama is
  5. siren call from Canada writes: Neil B -- oh, get off the poor us Albertans, we Calgarians are a victim hobby horse. If Harper was representative of the mainstream he wouldn't have run 3 elections in 4 years to no appreciable gains.

    Harper 'the North Star' is cold, distant and fading. Gawd willing.
  6. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Poor Harper, he has no enemies, but seems to be intensely disliked by his friends. He suffers from delusions of adequacy. He will 'pale' in comparison to the lustre of Obama.
  7. Hmmmer ? from Canada writes: C. T. from winnipeg, Russian Federation writes: Hmmmer ? from Canada..... This person is clearly drunk. Please, do not comment on politics any more. Thanks

    -----------------------

    What does C.T. stand for cold turkey?

    Even if I was drunk I would still notice that steve has actually had quite a few chances to make it happen yet he hasn't. In fact the last time he was up to bat he lost his nerve and ran away to hide behind a girl.
    Do you honestly think that's lost on Obama? Or Canadians for that matter?

    Rubbing elbows with Obama isn't going to help him unless he makes a paradigm shift and in that case we might as well vote for Ignatieff.

    Harper is just so uninspiring. For an economist to present(via Flaterme) an update so useless and partisan shows he really doesn't have it. He's not likely to get it from Obama.

    All this and he's from the smartest bestest richest most wonderfulest city in all of Canada maybe even the whole world!

    Hmmmer. Things that make ya go, hmmm?
  8. p m from Poitiers, France, Metropolitan writes: Sorry, but Calgary is Canada's most cultural city?
    I'm not knocking Calgary, I've enjoyed it when I've visited but GET REAL!!!!!!!
  9. Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    One myth that continues to be perpetuated is that American Democrats parallel Canada's Liberals and American Republicans mirror Canadian Conservatives.

    The reality is that Canadian Conservatives have more in common with US Democrats than the Liberals do.

    Amazing how everyone talks about Harper foot dragging, when we all know he got more done with a minority government in 3 years than the Liberals did with 13 years of majority government.

    You can expect more of the same when he meets Obama. Trust me on that one OK?

    The Martin article is partisan and unbalanced and generally only good for a cynical laugh.
  10. bilbo baggins from Canada writes: Bush is gone. Now all the whiners have to come up with something more inventive than Harper is going to be America's guy. First meeting is with Canada by Obama. The game changes then.
  11. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:
    Dry ice, lasers and dancing girls.
    The Obama Way.A catchy slogan.The crowd press.
    Did I mention the catchy slogan?
    Obama could teach Harper a thing or two, that's for sure.
    Harper's white isn't he?And male?
    Harper's hooped.
    Obama can teach him nothing.
    Posted 15/01/09 at 1:00 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    =======================================

    'teach him nothing' ?

    No more glaring example of the creepy leader worship syndrome than this by the creepiest adorer of all michael sharpe ...... .
  12. diane marie from Canada writes: Calgary is not Canada's most cultured city. It has it's fine points, but culture is not one of them. When it comes to culture, Edmonton and almost every other major city in Canada has Calgary beat..

    If Mr. Harper can make anything of Mr. Obama, it will be in the manner of a desperate man hanging on the other man's coattails.
  13. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Cagary the most cultured city ???

    Couldda fooled the other 7 billion inhabitants of the planet........

    Fine city and all that. Prosperous and stuff but cultured ? The most cultured ??

    I'd have to go with Dildoe Nfld .............
  14. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    the plastic smile harper displays is imitation plastic at best.

    He connects with people like a venomous reptile connects with it's victim. First the stalk, then the strike.........

    And I won't bother getting into the rubber ideology - the shape-shifter diagnostic he has made famous - now that the idea of liberalism has infected his heretofore National CItizen's Coalition psyche.
  15. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Cultured Calgary - a veritable Stratford on The Bow .............
  16. Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Vern still pines away for the days of Adscam, and the Gun Registry.

    Sucks to be him.

    I'm sure thinking about the last election results threatens to pull his psyche free from its moorings. Poor little leftie.
  17. Lawrence Hutchinson from Houston, United States writes: Another example of the media's slobbering love affair with Obama. Perhaps the president-elect's popularity has much to do with this and precisely with the fact that he has not yet served a day in office. Meantime, his Treasury-Secretary designate (who will head the IRS) doesn't know how to pay his taxes properly, his Attorney-General designate has lent support to a terrorist group in Columbia and his Secretary of State designate has a spouse who accepts hundreds of millions in funds for his foundation from the very nations she will be doing business with. As for the Obama administration's dealings with Ottawa, Senator Clinton was one of manywho spouted the falsehood that the 9/11 terrorists had crossed the border from Canada into New York state.
  18. keith c from winnipeg-sur-shoreditch, United Kingdom writes: Lawrence Martin keeps hitting new lows week after week - this time it is not a lefty critique but just weird. `Harper leaves Canadians indifferent' is about the funniest thing I ever read. He's as polarizing as Trudeau!!
  19. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Vern still pines away for the days of Adscam, and the Gun Registry.
    Sucks to be him.
    I'm sure thinking about the last election results threatens to pull his psyche free from its moorings. Poor little leftie.
    Posted 15/01/09 at 4:50 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ==============================

    Whatza matter singy ?? Adore your dear leader too ?

    Can't stand to see him in his true light ?? Refuse reality ?? Re-write history ??

    Attack others when you have nothing cogent to say ?

    Too many of you COns creeping the country out these days .........

    stevie must be creeping you out with his new liberal twists ........
  20. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    keith c from winnipeg-sur-shoreditch, United Kingdom writes: Lawrence Martin keeps hitting new lows week after week - this time it is not a lefty critique but just weird. `Harper leaves Canadians indifferent' is about the funniest thing I ever read. He's as polarizing as Trudeau!!
    Posted 15/01/09 at 5:29 AM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    ================================

    polarizing ?? Are you nutz ??? It's stevie's raison dtre .... his entire career .......

    stevie 's finest hour is when he divides up Canada into little factions he can control. And when he can't do that he pouts the great pout and runs home to mamma ........
  21. 4Cryin Outloud from Canada writes: Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    One myth that continues to be perpetuated is that American Democrats parallel Canada's Liberals and American Republicans mirror Canadian Conservatives.

    The reality is that Canadian Conservatives have more in common with US Democrats than the Liberals do.

    Sanjay Singh I ask this respectfully, what are the commonalities between these two? As I have a hard time making any sense of the Harper Party and what it stands for I would definitely be grateful for an insider's perspective on that and then some examples of how they resemble the Democrats. Do you also see a similarity between Obama and Harper?
  22. on the Plateau from Montréal, Canada writes: Why are people from Calgary so sensitive? Folks out West love to bash Toronto and Quebec, but some measured criticism of the prevailing CONservative dogma in Alberta is too much for you?
  23. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: More and more Canadian articles on that rock star Obama and another Obama praise article in as many days by the easily manipulated and easily influenced Larry Martin. Larry Martin whose only knowledge and reality of Obama is from what he sees on his US Cable TV channel in the last several months writes and incredible article on a man who isn't even President yet. Larry has become a uncritical true believer in the new Messiah and His message. Obama can do no wrong and his vision and words are sacred. I can see how Larry could have possibly been a easily influenced cult member of Charlie Manson or something. This continues the usual Canadian tradition of US envy and anything Canadian is just garbage and second rate. Larry have some freakin pride in your dismal country for freaks sake. In a couple of months Larry like most Canadians will be really dissapointed and will be writing anti-Obama articles much along the lines his typical Bush articles. I can see Larry's short term reasons for writing these recent pro-Obama articles is to get invited to Ottawa to see Obama when he is here for his first 'foreign' trip. In fact this 'foreign' trip is really a refueling stop for Air Force1 coming back from the more important matter of his daughter's 5th year birthday party with her friends in Chicago.
  24. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Or you can say, both are married long term to the same woman, both are fathers to two young children, both are Protestant, and not the usual PM/President mix of Catholic/Protestant....

    What category of life circumstances do you want to look at?
  25. Jordan W from Montreal, Canada writes: The Globe should take a way Lawrence Martin's pen/keyboard. He is a deranged Liberal partisan even by Globe standards.

    Side note to Globe editors: Would it be possible to filter out people who make more than 10 posts per day on the G&M boards? The regular posters on here make this place pretty toxic.
  26. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Sanjay Singh :

    Right on, and you can tell you are on to somehing by the vitriol the usual supects are spewing.

    Oh yes - the dems do not want universal health care, would not stand for the number of publicly owned companies, etc. A conservative from canada would be under suspicion of being a communist sympathizer by the Democratic party.
  27. trikebum from Peterpatch from Canada writes: The article sez:'One of his priorities is getting Americans off their dependence on foreign oil from unstable states. For that, he needs Canada.'
    ----------------------------------------------
    Tain't necessarily so....... One of their priorities is getting off dirty oil, which Canada has in abundance.
  28. Mooney Pilot from Constitutional Monarchy, Canada writes: Will Harper LAST long enough to share the limelight?
  29. kotter 49 from Canada writes: People are going to be very disappointed with how little things change under Obama. Hillary Clinton already sounds like Bush Jr. Jr. Tax cuts like Ronald Reagen. Gates still defense secretary. Lots of new Chicago style corruption though. Already back tracking on health care. Bailing out large corporations.
  30. James Ford from Hamilton, Canada writes: Call this Martin's contractural obligation column. What a space filler this is. He is a very creative writer, he should try fiction. The comparisons here are certainly creative and quite imaginary!
    People do forget there are only two parties down south and so there political ideas tend to span across the gambit of ideas that are divided up in our three party system. I think Obama and Harper probably have just as much in common as not.
  31. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: Getting along with Mr. Obama will present no problems for Mr. Harper. When you are prepared to lick the boots of any US President, then the fact that the person wearing the boots has changed really doesn't present a problem. Mr. Harper will do whatever he thinks can to gain favour from the new US administration and hopefully win a few votes in Canada.

    Mr. Harper may call himself a conservative, but when it comes to power, it is power for the sake of power and his Machiavellian tendencies will trump any notion of ideology or ethics.
  32. Jack Sprat from Calgary, Canada writes: Martin obviously dislikes Harper. Heck, Martin obviously dislikes Calgary and Alberta. That's fine. I obviously dislike Martin.

    Can we please, please just wait a year or so and see what Obama actually does. Of course, we really won't know for longer than that. George Bush was actually pretty popular early in his term. A war and a burst asset bubble later and he's pretty much demonstrated that he's an idiot.

    Martin's worship of style over substance is typical of a lot of people. However, we don't know how Afganistan is going to work out yet. We don't know what he'll do with Guantanamo yet. We don't know the results of him inflating a new asset bubble will be yet. We don't know what he'll do when the recession is over and he's left with a trillion dollar deficit and 15 trillion dollar debt.

    I wouldn't work too hard to be identified with Obama yet.
  33. Jack Sprat from Calgary, Canada writes: Peter Kells, please demonstrate how Harper licked Bush's boots with a few examples. I know Chretien caved on Afganistan while Harper would have preferred Iraq (which would have led to less Canadian deaths and an easier withdrawal).

    Martin was going to make the same softwood lumber deal as Harper - they had the same minister handling it, after all.

    So where does this boot-licking come in?
  34. Grace Gower from St. Andrews, Canada writes: This article is quite a load of crap. It remains to be seen what kind of President Mr. Obama will be, and being GQ is nothing to commend him for. Mr Harper is anything but a plodder, where do you get this stuff? He has shown time and again that he is decisive, shrewd and capable. He has something that Mr. Obama will never have to contend with; 4 opposition leaders with long knives, and now a very real agenda to usurp our election results.
    Please, stop the stupid comparisons unless you intend to compare our political systems also. And by the way, Democrat does not equal liberal.
  35. Vivaldo Latoche from Ottawa, Canada writes: Here we go again! Lawrence Martin as a true political masochist. I have lost count how many times he has written praising Barack Obama as if he were his President. It makes you sick this kind of journalism. One cannot deny that Obama is an elocuent politician. But let's wait and see what he is going to be able to deliver first. And then praise him for taking action or bedevil him for his lack of action. In regards to 'Guantanamo,' I do not think he will close it right away. Only an innocent person can think that this can be closed with the strike of a pen. Guantanamo has too many political ramifications to do it. Every sensible political observer has already pointed out that it would take more than a year to do it, at least. Obama's promise that he would withrow American troops in 60 days after his inaguration it would not happen. Again, like Guatanamo, it is a complex issue. It seems to me that Lawrence does not understand such complexity, either. This is what will happen if Obama withdrows the troops in 60 days. Iran will invade Iraq and the whole Middle East will up in flames. These two points show that political elocuency is good to win elections, but it does not help when elecouncy is put to the test in complex issues. Do you hear me Lawrence?
  36. JP Warwick from Canada writes: 'It's not just that one is liberal and the other conservative.'

    Lol. Which is which? Obama's policies are FAR to the RIGHT of Harper's.

    Canada's conservative's are to the LEFT of US Democrats.

    It's amazing how many people (including journalists) fall for labels. It's especially laughable when they're mislabeled.
  37. scott thomas from Canada writes: Correction: the article states 'the Iraq war; Mr. Harper didn't have much of a problem with it.' In fact, Harper was right behind the US war on Iraq, and if he were in power then, we would have more dead Canadian soldiers now, all for a big greedy lie.
  38. Was Canadian from New York (via Vancouver), United States writes: Grace, I think it is cons who confuse the political systems. All this complaining that the Coalition idea was an affront to democracy. In the US that would be true. In a Parlimentary democracy that's how the system works.

    Harper is decisive, until someone smacks him upside the head and makes him change his mind (see December Budget). But I do agree with you, he is shrewd - best thing one can say about little Stevie really.

    Oh and most cultured city? Calgary? saying that kind of invalidates everything else that Niel said.
  39. Matt Boudreau from Canada writes: I have been to Calgary, and I would say Halifax is more cultural than Cowtown,not to mention Van, Montreal, Toronto... That had to be the most ridiculous comment i`ve seen in awhile....
  40. Russell Barth from Nepean, Canada writes: Obama won't even consider legalizing marijuana. This policy will continue to criminalize non-violent people, subsidize gangsters, and cost taxpayers a fortune. It also has a lasting impact here, as we send a lot of pot south because of their insatiable demand.

    If Obama cannot admit to the absurdity and corruption of marijuana prohibition, then he is not the 'Change' that the world needs.
  41. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: I wonder if Obama has forgiven Harper over the fact that the latter tried to undermine him during his primaries. (Revealing confidential comments about NAFTA). I'm sure the great forgiver has forgotten all about it.
  42. JP Warwick from Canada writes: James Ford from Hamilton,

    'He is a very creative writer, he should try fiction.'

    What do you think martin's been doing? His screechings obviously have no basis in reality.

    scott thomas

    Yes, Harper was for the Iraq war. The liberal's new guy count Iggy was only for the war AND for torturing the prisoners. Even Harper drew the line at that.

    To all who bash Calgary,

    The place has seen a sea change in the last decade. My extended family lives in the area so I've been visiting for a few decades now. Formerly it was the most unicultural place in Canada (in every sense of the word.) Now you'll find that in the last 10 years or so, a MASSIVE wave of immigration and inter-country migration has completely changed the face of Calgary.
  43. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Actually, they do have something in common...

    They can both stare the cameras straight in the eye and say how they both firmly believe in little girls going to school!
  44. Brian C from Canada writes:
    Sadly, Lawrence Martin, I can't think of anyone that can raise your game.

    'Mr. Harper and other leaders suffer unfairly in comparison to Mr. Obama. The new president's gaining all these glorious notices without even having served a day on the job.'

    Ever hear of the 'honeymoon' phase? All Obama has had to do up till now is talk. Soon he'll be asked to walk through a minefield with bombs dropping on his head. Soon, people will realize that Obama can't walk on water and doesn't have money-growing trees and that the current US domestic, foreign and economic situations are indeed dire.

    Estimated $1,300,000,000,000 deficit? In my opinion, this is like Mulroney taking over from Trudeau, only a thousand times worse. No matter how good he is, Obama is bound to look bad for many circumstances that weren't of his making.
  45. Bart Farquart from Calgary, Canada writes:
    James Ford from Hamilton,

    Beat me to it. Chretien's biographer even got the obligatory dig at Calgary in. (should Martin ever visit Calgary he would be surprised to discover that most energy executives despise Harper for his decision to slap down the energy trusts.)

    But I do agree with the general conclusion that, to chagrin of Liberals and liberals, the Obamas and Harpers will likely get along just fine. But I'm sure if Harper declares a preference for hockey and Obama says he leans to baseball the media will blare long and loud about the huge 'rift'.
  46. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: scott thomas from Canada writes: Correction: the article states 'the Iraq war; Mr. Harper didn't have much of a problem with it.' In fact, Harper was right behind the US war on Iraq, and if he were in power then, we would have more dead Canadian soldiers now, all for a big greedy lie.

    =============================================

    Imagine if Iggy were PM then....right? As I recall? Or did you conveniently forget little Iggy the Iraq warmonger?

    Obama wants to take warmongering to an art form in Afghanistan.

    Harper wants Canada out of Afghanistan.

    Are we through the looking glass here, now that we have 2 liberals bent on war and 1 conservative bent on ending war?

  47. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Any takers on a bet that Obama will be asking Harper to extend the Canadian commitment in Afghanistan?
  48. Robert S from Toronto, Canada writes: The Globe should take a way Lawrence Martin's pen/keyboard. He is a deranged Liberal partisan even by Globe standards.

    Side note to Globe editors: Would it be possible to filter out people who make more than 10 posts per day on the G&M boards? The regular posters on here make this place pretty toxic.

    --------------------------

    I thought that most of the regular toxic posters were members of the conservative party saturating the Internet with their partisan script as in the call in shows courtesy of the Con website creating a smoke and mirrors perception of public opinion. Its hard to know whose opinion is free through and who is a con sitting in his basement writing comments on every political article online as a full time job. Its actually scary if these comment boards are starting to be used as tools of politics. Stevie wouldn't stoop that low would he?
  49. Mr. CanadianNorth from The North, Canada writes: It figures, the Liberals embrace an America but then again their new leader isn't much of a Canadian. Mr. Harper was a Trudeau Liberal before he moved west and had a front row seat at what the Liberals can do their own country and the people in it. Mr. Obama is coming here for a 'get to know' not a 'show you how'. He has spent his political life inside the U.S.A., he really needs to show all his supporters everywhere what he can do outside the U.S. Canada will be a good first step.
  50. A C from west vancouver, Canada writes: Beware of strangers bearing gifts.

    It boggles the mind to think that the average well educated minds in
    North America , have for whatever reason choose Mr Obama and
    Mr. Ignatieff , with no political achievments on either of their CVs.

    Therefore common sense tells us that we are having apprentices
    filling a skill trained tradesmans position.

    The only way that either of these two individuals can succeed is by
    having deligating skills and knowing that the ones they deligate to
    fill certain political positions have people skills.

    If either of these politicians perform below expectations they will be
    opening the way for foriegn disruptions in North America.that we will
    regret for generations to come.
    The thin edge of the wedge.

    Question What economic knowledge does either one have to
    combat this world economic crisis.?
    Will they learn on the job at our expense?
  51. Mark Spence from Canada writes: I hope all of you media types, Mr. Martin, would be as objective about Mr. Obama as you claim to be about Mr. Harper. Obama has yet to spend a single day in office yet you credit him with qualities that can only be truly demonstrated when you're on the job. I hope half of the hype surrounding Obama is true but save the unadulterated praise for him after he has been in the pressure cooker for a while. The unflattering language you use to sum up Harper, points to your poorly concealed political bias rather than journalistic integrity.
  52. Robert S from Toronto, Canada writes:
    Question What economic knowledge does either one have to
    combat this world economic crisis.?
    Will they learn on the job at our expense?

    -------------------------------

    Not sure Mr. Harper is one give any credit to regarding economic record or job creation or environmental protection for that matter. All he knows is throw money at oil = jobs = economy = happy Albertans = votes = short term gain and long term consequences which we are now seeing. Harper is all shrewed politics will someone please educate me on anything good Harper has done while in office?
  53. Not Withstanding from Not Toronto, Canada writes:
    1) For the record, I would agree that Calgary is not 'Canada's most cultured city' and that's fine. I don't take it as a knock.

    For whatever it's worth, I personally would give Montreal that crown, but I think it's worth less than the keyboard I'm presently typing on.

    2) It's OK to criticize Calgary or any other city. The point is, though, is that Martin doesn't seem to know what he's talking about.

    3) I think Obama is a decent person and if I lived in the US I would've voted for him, I believe he was the best candidate for the job.

    BUT, he is a mortal man, puts his pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us.

    I am SOOOOO tired of the various media types ooohing and ahhing and sighing over Obama the way a 13 year old girl giggles about her favorite celebrity crush. Enough already.

    Larry Martin, unfortunately, is just another in a long line of Baby-Boomer aged journalists who seem to think the most important attribute of a politician is his coolness factor.

    I guess I shouldn't be entirely surprised; this is the same generation that turns to rock stars for answers to life's heavy questions.

    4) As pointed out above, Harper and the Conservatives in general are closer to the US Democrats than the Republicans.

    Harper and Obama will get along fine, though I doubt very much that their relationship will be cozy. Remember, they're both middle-class family men in their 40's with young kids. Demographics count for more than specific ideological points and they have lots in common.

    5) Obama will no doubt ask Canada to extend our Afghan mission and it will be hard for any Canadian PM (Liberal or Conservative) to refuse if Obama (as expected) makes a major troop commitment to that theater.

    6) Harper's stand on the Iraq War? Please. Ancient history.
  54. Vincent Light from Calgary, Canada writes: I think, on the whole, this article has less to do with politics than it does with PR and image consultancy. Ideologically speaking, the 'bridge' needed to span the gap between Obama and Harper is not so great a distance. Image however, that is a different story, but no less a non-sequitur to the 'economic situation' that is all the more pressing. (I swear though, that 'economic situation' and 'stimulus' will be on the list of 2009's most hated words/phrases)

    To press the point of my post: Since when have Canadian politics ever been riveting anyway?

    To A C from vancouver: it's spelled 'delegate'. I don't mean to be rude, I'm just picky about spelling.
  55. Nada Chelvam from Edmonton, Canada writes: We know that Mr. Obama is not going to have friendly banter with our PM like his predecessor did on his first visit but there is still a possibilitiy they could lay the foundation for a good working relationship. One has to be trustworthy to be trusted. Mr. Harper has to earn the respect of the new American leader through his sincererity in what he says and what he does. This is an important characteristic of leadership.
  56. kK J from mississauga, Canada writes: I'm sure the new US President will learn a lot of things from our PM. After all, our economy is doing so much better than the States' economy and we are the number one performing Country in the G's 7/8/20.
    Canadian Conservatives are much closer to American Democratic Party policy than Republican. I'm not sure what the Libs./left stand for anymore - they have watered their whole party down - they don't have policy or principles that anyone really would be able to understand. There is no consistency - they change policy to please anyone and everyone (they think) - the Libs/left have no conviction.

    The GQ picture of US Prez. is great and recent. Too bad, Lawrence, you couldn't be more up-to-date with our PM's picture, then again your never up to speed on most things relating to our handsome Prime Minister.
  57. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Maybe we'll all get really lucky and get to hear them sing a song together...

    Not sure 'Irish Eyes' will work though...
  58. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: What a bizarrely biased article. The author's political leanings are so evident, that if a reasonable person is looking for honest informative writings they should go elsewhere. Firstly PM Harper and PE Obama have one thing in common that PM Diefenbaker never had with POTUS Kennedy. AGE. While Kennedy and Diefenbaker were over 20 years apart, PM Harper and PE Obama are 3 years apart. Lawrence Martin takes goes to great lengths to villify PM Harper using terms such as 'plodder', uncommunicative, 'divide and conquer', 'suspicious', 'indifferent', and suggesting PM Harper is a sour-puss warmonger. Mr. Martin tells us PE Obama as already a Great Leader, but it seems kind of premature since PE Obama hasn't even taken office yet. Mr. Martin could have simply said he thinks PE Obama is the Messiah and PM Harper is the Anti-Christ. Is it any wonder PM Harper will not speak with journalists like Mr. Martin. The tripe that the G&M publishes in the name of journalism is getting quite pathetic. It is obvious that the G&M are the ones worried that PM Harper and PE Obama will get along. The worst fears of people with Mr. Martin's political agenda are that they have alot in common and appear confortable together. PE Obama is proving to be as right-wing in fiscal matters and in foreign policy as PM Harper. It is because of politically slanted and even slanderous article such as this one by Lawrence Martin that I never buy the G&M.
  59. Robin M from Canada writes: Obama is poet and visionary .... Harper a cameleon that will attempt to adapt by osmosis... but Canadians have witnessed his cold political and dishonest nature and will never be able to trust him, no matter how hard he tries to pull the wool over our eyes..
  60. A C from west vancouver, Canada writes: Thanks Vincent re my spelling but am happy with common sense and IQ above 125 / thanks again
    I know friends of mine university grads 3 5 7 yrs with no common sense and cannot spell either.(CALLED PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS)
    are you one?

    Your pettiness is pathetic
  61. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Harper can impress Obama with his human rights, environmental and wire-tapping opposition caucus meeting credentials.

    I can't wait until the dog and pony show comes to Ottawa. I want to buy tickets early.
  62. Jackie Cruz from Canada writes: Obama believes in the right to bare arms and the right to arm bears. Harper is merely unbearable. Obama looks great bearing his teeth and chest; Harper is unbearable. Obama's sport is basketball; Harper's sport is draining three pieces of pumpkin pie. But fiscally they're sure to get along like carrots and peas. This is a great opportunity for Canada to become the 51st state.Now there's change millions of Canadians can believe in. They already live in the 51st state - the state of delusion. Millions of Canadians can't bare to admit it but they will grin and bare it.
  63. Robin M from Canada writes: Vincent Wright from Calgary writes: 'To press the point of my post: Since when have Canadian politics ever been riveting anyway?'

    Perhaps you are too young to remember... but the last time Canadian politics was riveting was the era of Trudeaumania...Whether you liked Trudeau or hated him, he caught the hearts, minds and imagination of Canadians, as well as the International community... he, was seen as not only PM of Canada, but an International leader...like the Kennedy's and now Obama... That was 40 years ago... since then our politicians have been uninteresting and with the election of Stephen Harper, the deep slide into partisan slime politics was solidified turning off the majority of Canadians...
  64. John Smith from Edmongary, Canada writes: Jack Sprat wrote: 'Martin's worship of style over substance is typical of a lot of people.'

    Correction - a lot of Liberals.

    This Obama-gasm is getting out of hand, so to speak.
  65. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Robin M from Canada writes: Obama is poet and visionary ....

    I'd say you should wipe your chin after that one.
  66. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Mr. Martin could have simply said he thinks PE Obama is the Messiah and PM Harper is the Anti-Christ.

    ==============================================

    Mr. Martin is funny to read though. He is still covered in defeated liberal flop-sweat and has that bitterness about him.
  67. Not Withstanding from Not Toronto, Canada writes: Robin M, if all Harper ever does is prevent another outbreak of Squandermania, er, Trudeaumania.....I would vote for him for that alone.

    Massive deficits, near-fiscal default, 2 secession referendums, the War Measures Act, Oka, Meech Lake, Charlottetown, 20% interest rates.....

    I personally have had enough of 'exciting' and 'visionary' Prime Ministers. Give me plodding and boring ANY DAY!
  68. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: PE Obama has more in common with Mr. Ignatieff....lol...Let's drill down on that point, shall we.

    PE Obama is 47 years old
    Mr. Ignatieff is 67 years old

    PE Obama wrote the The Audacity of Hope
    Mr. Ignatieff wrote the Lesse Evil

    PE Obama opposed the Iraq War
    Mr. Ignatieff was in favour of the Iraq War

    PE Obama opposes torture
    Mr. Ignatieff believe torture is an effective tool

    PE Obama opposes GITMO Bay
    Mr. Ignatieff is in favour of GITMO Bay

    ......Another piece of disingenuous crap published by the G&M. The LT must really be scared...lol...
  69. Paul Mullen from Canada writes:
    I hope Martin's flushed the Obama-Worship out of his system... all the guy is so far is a bunch of labels and slogans. He hasn't done anything, or been confronted with any real problems (except that half his appointees seem to be criminals).

    That all changes now... slogans won't hold up forever once Obama is forced to take real positions on controversial issues. His popularity will inevitably sink, and if he makes mistakes (as he is likely to do, since he has no real experience of any kind) he may even have trouble wrangling a second term.

    All the positive traits that are the opposites of all the negative ones attributed to Bush have been thrown his way.... Now we'll see how many of them will stick.
  70. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Poet and visionary??

    Economically Obama is just doing more of what Bush was already doing... throwing money at the problem without addressing underlying causes.

    For foreign policy he's slowly drawing down the US commitment to Irak and supporting Afghanistan. That's so different from Bush who was slowly drawing down the US commitment to Irak and supporting Afghanistan. Appointing Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State says it all... Senator Clinton is 100% Hawk! Ergo.. more of the same same...

    As far as I can tell the really big differences between Obama and Bush is that the former is black and the latter walks around dragging his knuckles on the ground. Policy wise though they are very consistent.

    Methinks the Obama gloss will wear off fast and a lot of people inthe US are going to be very disappointed...
  71. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Robin Adams

    Never underestimate people's willingness to cling to their delusions. It's much easier than to admit you've been had.
  72. Geoff Rogers from Canada writes: Mr. Martin you truly are a hack in the first order. Your analysis is that of a first year college student. Why don't you quit pretending to be a columnist and come out of the closet and admit what you really are, a pundit. Obama seems like a very competent guy and I wish him well but he is not the political messiah you and the rest the MSM 'professional' media people are trying to portray him as. It has been my observation over the years that the more a leader if puffed up by the press the harder the crash is when he finally comes back to earth. Most recent example Paul Martin
  73. L Lucas from Canada writes: I don't know which is worse -- the gratuitous and unfounded Harper-bashing, or the pathetic (and as yet unwarranted) uncritical adulation of Obama. This is a pathetic piece of journalism that distorts reality to reflect to Lawrence Martin's clearly myopic, elitist view of the world.

    I don't know when I have read a more superficial piece of analysis. This type of journalism does a disservice to all Canadians and undermines the credibility of the media as a serious contributor to political discourse. I know it might be more helpful to actually identify some of Martin's points to argue with -- but I am sorry, this piece is SOOO bad -- I really don't know where to begin. Perhaps it is time for Martin to retire -- I really think he has lost it.
  74. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Now let's take a look at the similarities between PM harper and PE Obama shall we.

    PE Obama is 47 yrs old
    PM Harper is 51 yrs old

    PE Obama's wife was a lawyer
    PM Harper wife was a small business owner

    PE Obama has small children
    PM Harper has small children

    PE Obama is a sports fan
    PM Harper is a sports fan

    PE Obama supports auto sector $, infrastructure $, and tax cuts
    PE Harper supports auto sector $, infrastructure $, and tax cuts

    And finally....

    PE Obama is the Leader of the USA
    PM Harper is the Leader of Canada
  75. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: I think the G&M is trying to distract people from the fact that the Liberal Party of Toronto is going to support the budget. If the LPT supports the budget what was the point of coronating Mr. Ignatieff? It seems to me that the LPT could have easily kept Mr. Dion as Leader, voted in favour of the budget, and held a democratic leadership convention.

    This article is just a red herring put out by the G&M to avoid talking about the real issues.
  76. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    If someone would have presented me this piece of junk to read without identifying the writer and had asked me whom I thought would have written it, I propbably would have answered some neurotic grade 9 GTA student whose parents and grandparents had been indoctrinated into the LPC group-think cult. What a shame, and thumbs down to the G&M for printing it!

    As for the last 10% of this 'opinion column' term used lightly, I'll quote the following:

    'On border barriers, a problem Mr. Harper unsuccessfully raised with Mr. Bush, he should be able to make more headway with the new president. ...which has led to America's putting up walls around the wall, including along the Canadian border.'

    Once again, a hollow unsubstantiated statement void of fact. Perhaps this same writer would like to write about the 'Causes' of American border insecurity with Canada since 9/11.

    Hint#1: OTTAWA--There are 41,000 people that Canada wants to deport but cannot find, Auditor-General Sheila Fraser announced Tuesday in her latest report on the efficiency of government operations..

    The US should be concerned!

    Hint2: Ahmed Ressam named the Millenium Bomber caught at the border!
    .
  77. Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: I agree with some of the points made. But I have a strange feeeling that we haven't even seen the beginning yet of how strategically gifted Harper is. Imagine any other leader in canada's past or present could have pulled off what he has so far 2 terms minority gov;t and all the while we are in a shooting war in Afghanistan and going through the most serious economic crisis ever. Each election the trend lines say it all LPC down CPC up .. it's that simple folks no rocket science needed. How he manages to create such strong emotions in canadians is a true mark of someone to watch and consider this no sucking up to the bay st. lawyers, no sucking up to Rick Mercer and fellow media darlings only dealing with the day to day business we need to have done. In canada we have 2 types of leaders boneheads and bastrds and Harper is without a doubt no bonehead - this puts him in a league with Trudeau, Chretien and Mulroney (most of the others whose names are becoming forgettable as they should be were definitely boneheads. I choose a bastrd anytime as leader.
  78. kotter 49 from Canada writes: Why does the Globe keep printing pro-Israeli opinion pieces? With a little balance you could pretend to be a newspaper. No editorial comment on the Israelis attacking the UN compound? Not even a quote from Peter Kent saying it didn't happen?
  79. Diogenes the Cynic from Canada writes: Geoff Rogers from Canada writes: Mr. Martin you truly are a hack in the first order. Your analysis is that of a first year college student. Why don't you quit pretending to be a columnist and come out of the closet and admit what you really are, a pundit
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Uhm..I thought most columnists are pundits. There is a reason that this appeared in the Opinions section of the G&M.

    Most of the comments on this thread seem to be of the 'You don't agree with me therefore you suck' variety. Also there isa strong tendency to think that namecalling can substitute for debating. If I was trying to make a case against Martin, I would try to come up with something about what Harper can say to Obama, perhaps about the need to avoid structural deficits.
  80. kotter 49 from Canada writes: I'm afraid Obama is the political equivalent of New Coke. Great packaging, massive advertising, no substance and doomed to disappoint.
  81. I'm Michael Ignatieff and You're Not from Canada writes: Liberals should be sending thank you cards to Lawrence Martin for his continuing support for the Liberal Party of Toronto and Ottawa.
  82. kK J from mississauga, Canada writes: I believe that our PM was born in 1959 which would make him 49. A great year for Canada.

    Ignatieff is too OLD and doesn't have much in common with the PE. The Libs./left are not a party with depth or integrity and they have said so many bad things about the States that I don't think just a change in the Oval Office will change the way Washington thinks of Liberals in Canada.
  83. Robin M from Canada writes: JP Warwick.... Touchee!

    I am the first to admit that I am impressed by Obama's calm, pragmatic and wise leadership skills... But what impressed me even more is the man himself and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life, young, old (that's me), of all ethnic groups rich or poor. So I read the books he wrote. Not only are they well written, they convey a honest insight into a man unabashingly searching for a way to help others and bring diverse and opposing groups of people together, as well as the delight he takes in his family. These qualities in themselves present a confident nature brought about by hard work, while at the same time being a good listener, deriving his speeches from history as it relates to his life experiences. He also appeals to the best in our natures.. If you see a negative in those qualities, I would be pleased to listen to them..
  84. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Diogenes the Cynic from Canada...The problem with the article is not that it is opinionated, but that the opinions are without a factual base. Mr. Martins spends half the article demonizing the PM by presenting the unquantifiable as the truth. Mr. Martin does not present any basis for his arguement other than to state PM Harper is an indifferent, warmongering, sourpuss of a leader. You must admit that this is more of a character assassination piece then an intellectual opinion based on the facts.
  85. Vanni Di Ponzano from West Vancouver, Canada writes: 'One's a visionary, the other more of a plodder. One's a renowned communicator, the other spent almost his first term trying not to communicate.'

    This applies to Obama / Harper.

    We would be on even keel, were it Obama / Ignatieff

    Indeed Harper's time has come and is about to go...
  86. JP Warwick from Canada writes:
    Robin M

    lol. Look, I hope for the best with the guy.

    I admit to being sceptical of the man given the shady characters he has associated with - past and present - and his earlier campaign promises/votes. So far though, he's moved solidly to the center, has chosen mostly pragmatic appointments (with a few overlooked crooks mistakenly chosen) and even his rhetoric has moderated.

    But the man is just a politician. Just cause he's charismatic doesn't automatically give him substance. Trudeau and JFK did much damage but are loved by some solely on the basis of style. In fact, given the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis and a host of other SNAFU's, JFK may have ended up the most hated pres if he didn't suffer the unfortunate fate of being murdered. People hate Bush (Iraq) but love JFK (Vietnam) and the difference is nothing but party affiliation and style. The substance was the same.

    I would hope a more in-depth look rather than a shallow, superficial reading of the man is attempted by all - soon.
  87. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: The more I think about it the more I'm starting to think that it is PM Harper who can raise POTUS Obama's game. Granted he has accomplished a wonderfully historic political victory in the USA, but what does that mean outside the US borders?

    POTUS Obama is charged with directing 2 wars and fixing an economy of life support. What he will need is a North American friend and partner with natural resources. In comes Canada. POTUS Obama needs us because we are a stable, democratic, and there largest supplier of crude. Also, POTUS Obama will be looking for the CF to extend the Afghan mission.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, PM Harper is a respected on the world stage. I also believe POTUS Obama is going to need a NA ally to help shore up support and offer guidance/advise during those very important first summits.

    If PM Harper plays it smart he could create a politically important alliance with a man who might be destined for greatness. And even if POTUS Obama is not destined for greatness, he will definitely be seen as a better US leader than GWB.
  88. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Vanni Di Ponzano from West Vancouver, Canada writes: We would be on even keel, were it Obama / Ignatieff

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please tell us what Mr. Ignatieff brings to the table that makes him an equal to PE Obama? To be honest the little that I know about Mr. Ignatieff suggests that he is opposite to PE Obama on Foreign policy matters, and Mr. Ignatieff vague economic statement seem more in tune with PM Harper.
  89. Brian C from Canada writes:
    To Robin Adams who writes:

    'Economically Obama is just doing more of what Bush was already doing... throwing money at the problem without addressing underlying causes.

    For foreign policy he's slowly drawing down the US commitment to Irak and supporting Afghanistan. That's so different from Bush who was slowly drawing down the US commitment to Irak and supporting Afghanistan. Appointing Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State says it all... Senator Clinton is 100% Hawk! Ergo.. more of the same same...

    As far as I can tell the really big differences between Obama and Bush is that the former is black and the latter walks around dragging his knuckles on the ground. Policy wise though they are very consistent.

    Methinks the Obama gloss will wear off fast and a lot of people inthe US are going to be very disappointed... '

    Well said. Truly, Bush increased spending while cutting taxes, and Obama is promising to further increase spending and cut taxes for 95% of americans. Obama promised change, then appointed old hawks. Very little difference in policy, huge difference in style.

    And the pundits are creaming their pants. Sad, truly sad.
  90. Alexis Savanarola from Canada writes: You whitebread Canadian settlers getting all excited over Obama, while; A tenured professor at one of your leading universities (UWO) preaching that black skinned people are less intelligent than white skinned people, as indicated by the relative sizes of their sexual organs. Statistics Canada has recently released three serious studies showing that in Canada, visible minorities are victims of prejudice and racism. (The Globe and Mail has yet to seriously respond to this.) Does the definition 'hypocrites' apply? Well it does not apply to everyone in Canada. For example, the cartoonist of the Ottawa Citizen, a newspaper owned by CanWest News, drew Obama with Joe the Plumber's toilet plunger stuck on his face, and the Citizen's popular writer Dr. David Warren, wrote 'America has now elected its demagogue.'
  91. Ursula Bruin from Over the Mountain, writes: Harper is a lawbreaking liar. His game needs to be abolished, not raised.
  92. Brent Hodges from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada writes: Wow. Lawrence Martin has gone off the deep end. Martin has a strong tendency to spout meaningless half-truths such as: 'The new president is soon to shut down the Iraq war; Mr. Harper didn't have much of a problem with it.' Ah what a clever trick, contrast Obama's view _now_ with the one held by Harper many years ago. And yet is that a fair comparison? Mr. Harper has publicly stated that support for the Iraq war was an error (as has Ignatieff). It is also convenient to forget that most U.S. Democrats initially _supported_ the war in Iraq. Yes, there are some differences in style between the two leaders. It should be remembered though, that some of that is necessitated by differing political environments. Mr. Obama's party controls the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Mr. Harper is PM but his party does not have a majority in the House of Commons and has a minority in the Senate. In the U.S., no election is on the horizon for years. In Canada, there could be a new election at any time. There's _bound_ to be more partisanship in Canada (from both the government and the opposition) than in the U.S.
  93. I Miss Democracy from Canada writes: Why doesn't the Globe fire all these lieberals and hire only proper conservative writers who will rightly praise Mr. Harper and recognize that Calgary is the best place on Earth?

    Why?
  94. Geoff Rogers from Canada writes: Diogenes - Your right, I guess a more apt description of Lawrence Martin would be a Chris Mathews wannabe. I wonder if Lawrence's leg tingles too when he hears Obama speak? If Chris Mathews Keith Olbermann and Lawrence Martin are indicative of the MSM then MSM is going to have an orgasmic reaction to Obama's inauguration speech. I just hope they keep their commentary family friendly.
  95. JP Warwick from Canada writes: John Smith

    'Please tell us what Mr. Ignatieff brings to the table that makes him an equal to PE Obama?'

    They're both American.
  96. Mike Keith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Harper obviously has much to gain by latching his sinking ship to Obama. But, I feel fairly confident his incompetence will be seen by the Obama administration as they have been seen by the Canadian public since the financial update.

    An Obama-Ignatieff duo could and would do wonders for our world. Ignatieff's immense knowledge in foreign affairs would definately be an asset and with recent developments in Russia, Gaza, etc. we need a PM with understanding on these issues.
  97. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Mike Keith

    'Ignatieff's immense knowledge in foreign affairs would definately be an asset'

    Heh. Sure, except he's had to disavow all knowledge of his past knowledge of affairs foreign or otherwise. I guess advocating war with Iraq, torturing prisoners and such things isn't as popular as Bush told him they would be.

    Some immense knowledge. Some asset...
  98. Robin M from Canada writes: No doubt, in time the fever over Obama will break and when it does, the U.S. will emerge as the beacon of hope it once used to be... What remains to be seen is - will Stephen Harper last as PM, or will he resign when he realizes that he will never get his majority..
  99. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Anyuthing close to a lukewarm relationship between PM Harper and POTUS Obama will make life difficult for Mr. Ignatieff if he becomes PM. If PM Harper forges an understanding with POTUS Obama, it will be up to the LPT to offer a contrasting approach to dealing with the USA. In the past the LPT has effectively bashed the USA and any PM that is seen chummy to their Leader. That will not work for Mr. Ignatieff this time because POTUS Obama's image is so favourable in Canada.

    If Mr. Ignatieff offers Canada the same relationship with the USA that Mr. Harper offers, then how does the LPT differentiate themselves from the CPC. Also, those of you who think POTUS is going to want to get invloved in Canadian politics are being foolish. POTUS Obama has too much on his plate to even begin worrying about whether the LPT or CPC have a minority gov't.
  100. Seth Feldman from Toronto, Canada writes: Obama has already worked harder at being president than Bush did over all of the last eight years. And as far as getting along with Harper goes, it will only be a warm up for getting along with Merkel and Sarkozy (not to mention Putin or whoever Putin is using as his figurehead). Harper is enough of a pragmatist to play along. The real fun will be to see Flaherty promoting New Deal North.
  101. John Longshot from Canada writes: Martin writes so much irrelevant drivel, the Globe really ought to give him the boot!
  102. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Robin M from Canada writes: No doubt, in time the fever over Obama will break and when it does, the U.S. will emerge as the beacon of hope it once used to be... What remains to be seen is - will Stephen Harper last as PM, or will he resign when he realizes that he will never get his majority..

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I suspect PM Harper will fight one more campaign. Win or lose. I also think that the Bloc is entrenched in Quebec and will continue to win 40-50 seats for probably 15-20 more years. That being said, I don't foresee any Party getting a majority in the foreseeable future.
  103. Pan de Monium from Montreal, Canada writes: As far as cap and trade is concerned why is it that there hasn't been one headline in Canada detailing Exxonmobil's CEO support of a carbon tax and his opposition to cap and trade. I am not trying to vindicate Dion but this is sheer bias by omission. The only Canadian newspaper that carried the article was the 'cultured' Calgary Herald. This should be front page news. Talk about giving Harper the kid glove treatment.

    http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/calgarybusiness/story.html?id=e8aecbbb-16c6-412d-8054-7e64e2b176ef
  104. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Pan de Monium from Montreal, Canada...I can't understand why the oil companies would be opposed to a carbon tax. All they will do is pass the cost down to the consumer.

    I don't think the Canadian MSM reports hard news stories because it takes a certain amount time and may distract from the politically slanted drivel being put out by people like Martin and Galloway
  105. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: To this list of differences we should add:

    Obama has been a long time champion of equal pay for equal work, while Harper attempted to erode this hard won women's right, despite equal pay for equal work remaining the number one goal of the women's rights movement. Obama is very well aware of the cost of the wage gap to the economy, while Harper's actions were both symbolically terrible and economically senseless. Obama would never do such a thing.

    Obama who had the luxury of turning down public campaign funding was very clear when he said he strongly believes in it and supports it as part of a healthy democratic system, and Harper.. well you get the picture. If only he showed half of Obama's understanding!

    I have recently read both of Obama's books and have been impressed by his character, wisdom and fair mindedness. He is extremely honest with both himself and other people.

    I agree that Obama has more in common with Ignatieff. Both are very good writers. Perhaps the new President will be kind enough to give Michael tips about turning his talent for producing so many award winning books into sales to boost campaign funds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrFtZF070UE&feature=channel
    Helping Michael Ignatieff. 'VERY intimidating' but 'romantic'! (-:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AZNeiq2e90
    Rick Mercer's rant: Parliament and the need to be informed.
  106. St Fort from victoria, Canada writes: What a waste of time this article is. What is this American Idol?

    Come back in a year from now and write a report. This is classic style over substance.

    Mr. Obama will have to walk on water to keep his followers happy. The guy has not even governed one day in his life.

    As far as Obama being left of Mr. Harper. Perhaps you should look at policies other than sound bites.

    We have a health care system that Mr. Obama would like to see in the USA. Take a moment and do the research . See how (during the election campaign ) this was 'framed'

    One thing the majority of Americans do not like is a socialist. If they did like socialism,Obama would have run on that sort of program.

    That is why Obama moved from the left of center to the center when it came down to the crunch. It reminds me of our Liberal Party. Mr Chretien use to say 'Campaign from the left and govern from the right'.

    If you would like to suggest who is more progressive,perhaps you should compare records on their past history of governing.
  107. Brian C from Canada writes:
    To Mike Keith who writes: 'An Obama-Ignatieff duo could and would do wonders for our world. Ignatieff's immense knowledge in foreign affairs would definately be an asset and with recent developments in Russia, Gaza, etc. we need a PM with understanding on these issues. '

    Mike, are you insane or just deliberately obtuse?

    Iggy said he wasn't losing any sleep over civilians being bombed in the last Israel/Lebanon fight, then he tried to back away from his comments by stating the Israel had committed war crimes for responding to Lebanon's rockets.

    Your thinking that this silver-tongued Harvard prof with immense foreign credentials can be helpful to anyone is truly frightening? YIKES!
  108. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl

    'while Harper attempted to erode this hard won women's right'

    Name the legislation Harper passed or introduced.

    Also, define 'equal work' rather than same job. I remember the federal public service's definition of 'equal' work. It was laughable. A female clerk was designated equal to an engineer. When Rae did the same in Ontario, my mother got a raise from the university because here office on campus was all women. She's a salaried medical doctor.
  109. liz fox from Canada writes: you know, you have a good idea here..Harper probably would be happier in Texas and Obama may enjoy some intelligent conversation with Ignatieff up here... can we do a swap?
  110. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Its hard to write about Obama's record while he's at the very beginning of creating it. However, thanks to the torturously long primaries and recent events we can glean a few things...

    The Whopper... the elephant sitting in the room... the trillion or so dollars he has just had released for spending. He isn't just gambling with taxpayers money and the global economy, he's staking his presidency on it. If it fails, he'll be run out of Washington on a rail...

    ... and there will be hell to pay on a global scale. Seriously.

    I think this is the real centerpiece of his talks with Harper or whoever is in charge here when he comes by.... He wants us to adopt his fiscally retarded policies.

    He'll also want to talk about Afghanistan but that's really small potatoes to #1 above... Sure Harper wants Canada to be there indefinitely, I just don't think he's prepared to see his government sink over it.

    The best way to judge a US President is by their domestic economic policies. They are all very consistent in foreign policy... remember it was the Kennedy Liberals who escalated the Viet Nam war. A key thing will be to see what Obama does with Social Security and US health care. For that we have to wait and see.
  111. A C from west vancouver, Canada writes: Mikey/Mikey Mikey

    Stop whatever you are smoking and sniffing

    Iganatieff,s IMMENSE knowledge of foreign affairs
    'us Americans' his constant phrase., for 50yrs plus

    Having worked offshore on most continents and the USof A I can assure you Mikey that the average American and Mr Obama no nothing about Canada never mind other countries

    I think the average American will agree that outside its borders they are not at all interested in what is going on.

    A Kansas politician once said 'Canada was in the Arctic'

    Pleeeese vote for IGGY and his immenseness

    Write out 100 times 'Fool me once shame on you, Foll me twenty
    times shame on me'

  112. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: If the PM plays it properly, he can share in Mr. Obama's winds of change. By building rapport with the new president, he can establish for himself a more moderate, modern and attractive leadership personality. ****************************************************** CAN THE LEOPARD CHANGE ITS SPOTS? Even the word 'Conservative' originated in Britain to aptly describe a party that was opposed to change. The word is still appropriate for the Canadian Conservative party. The great Canadian public is slightly left of centre as were the supporters of soon-to-be President Obama. The Conservatives hate change. They opposed the Liberal plans to reform the Indian question, the opposed early education plans of the Liberals, they disagreed with the Liberal idea of keeping enough in the kitty for the kind of emergency we are currently facing. One clearly frightened Tory in other place on the paper suggested pathetically without knowing anything about the realities of Canadian politics that the Conservatives and Liberals ought to combine to form a government to overcome the instability of the current circumstances. Although not a Liberal I would support the LPC if I thought the Tories were likely to form a majority governments so little so I think of their powers and wishes to govern wisely in the best interests of Canadians as a whole. Can Harper share in Mr. Obama's winds of change?Can he build rapport with the new president and establish for himself a more moderate, modern and attractive leadership personality? I quote Liza Doolittle (Pygmalian) : 'Not bloody likely.'
  113. Jim from Bowmanville from Canada writes: umm...umm...umm...umm...that's what you get from Barry Obama when he's without a teleprompter, great communicator NOT! Larry Martin's Obama is a smoke and mirrors illusion created by a U.S. media so deep in the tank for 'the ONE' that they need snorkels. Obama can no more raise Harper's game than Jumpin Jack Layton could, since both are lefty cradle to grave BIG GOVERNMENT is best idolizers. As far as Obama's consensus builder approach, there is no evidence of it in the Illinois legislature, or the US Senate. This entire article is an Obamination and thinly veiled Harper attack piece. In other words, it's typical Lawrence Martin fare.
  114. D Wiatzka from Canada writes: The author wrote 'On border barriers, a problem Mr. Harper unsuccessfully raised with Mr. Bush, he should be able to make more headway with the new president.'

    Hmmm - that seems incorrect. Bush and the Republicans have always been much more supportive of free trade than the democrats. Obama spoke of canning NAFTA, although it is widely reported that was campaign 'rhetoric'.

    The democrats in congress and the senate have historically been more protectionist towards trade.

    Given that they are in the process of dumping on the order of two trillion into their economy, they may throw up trade barriers to try and keep as much as possible of those trillions circulating within the U.S economy.
  115. Julie Swills from Canada writes: To Brian C - Ignatieff never said he wasn't losing sleep over civilians dying - the Star left out 90% of what he did say. His actual comment was:

    'I didn't react this way because of Qana. Qana was a tragedy and I refer to it in the piece [his statement on the Middle East]. It was a tragedy for the Lebanese and it was unfortunately a victory for Hezbollah. This is how this game is played. It wasn't Qana. Qana frankly is inevitable in a situation in which you have rocket launchers located within 100 yards of civilian populations. This is the nature of the war that is going on. What I say in the piece, Hezbollah is very deliberately sitting rocket launchers and military installations in the heart of civilian populations to provide it protection and also to set up situations in which Israel will commit civilian casualties that will reduce its international credibility. So this is the kind of dirty war you're in when you have to do this. I'm not losing sleep about that. What I'm saying is that there are escalation thresholds here which we are just about to trip. And it is very important that we understand what could be about to happen and that we take action to stop it.'

    He wasn't losing sleep over the nature of dirty warfare Hezbollah engages in - see the difference?
  116. Was Canadian from New York (via Vancouver), United States writes: All kinds of paid conservative trolls on this board
  117. D Wiatzka from Canada writes: John Smith / Pan De Monium - The main thing the Conservatives have been waiting for is a U.S policy on GHGs.

    Their position has always been based upon the assumption that any GHG program in Canada without a commensurate one in the states would be devastating to the Canadian economy.

    Harper's pragmatic enough that he will move forward on GHGs once there is something in the U.S which Canada can then match or model off of so that the two economies are working under similar constraints.
  118. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: Jim from Bowmanville from Canada writes: . Obama can no more raise Harper's game than Jumpin Jack Layton could, since both are lefty cradle to grave BIG GOVERNMENT is best idolizers.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You really should come up width better vocabulary. Those shopworn cliches you use don't work. They didn't work to get Harper a majority and they won't work in the future. Name calling and a boring political
    diatribe won't get the Conservatives into power. This is the 21st century. Your rightwing cousins in the USA, the Republicans, are undergoing a radical reassessment to discover why they lost so heavily in the recent election and I suggest that Canadian Conservatives should do the same. They too use the same vocabulary and 'time honoured' phrases you employ. I could tell where you went wrong but why should I help
    a party which is anathema to most of my fellow Canadians?
  119. Jim from Bowmanville from Canada writes: Paid Conservative troll? Why do those on the left always have to resort to name calling? I'm just a common sense guy who can see through the Obama hype, so get over yourself.
  120. Wanda Fyooka from Vancouver, Canada writes: I love how everyone claims Mr. Martin is biased! So what? His article is in the commentary section of the paper, after all, where partisan bias is allowed. It seems Canadians are just as foggy about journalism as they are about our parliamentary system. I'm beginning to despair!
  121. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: To this list of I add.

    Obama who had the luxury of turning down public campaign funding was very clear when he said he strongly believes in it and supports it as part of a healthy democratic system.....
    ----
    If you are 100% sure about that, perhaps you would like to peruse these news stories and get back and tell us what you think. More questions than answers. Just a few examples

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette that endorsed Obama

    : http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08279/917245-373.stm

    A compiled comprehensive list from official documents:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00009638

    Or the alleged illegal GAZA money to Obama from 2 individuals with the actual document showing the address as GA (like the State of Georgia..)with.......a 3 number zip code!!

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71431

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/07/obamas-gazan-co.html

    follow the links......
    .
  122. a l from Toronto, Canada writes: Harper has too much hot air to join the winds of change.
  123. Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Wanda, if you really want to experience despair over Canadian politicians you should try working for one! I've yet to meet a staffer who likes his/her boss...

    Incidentally, I'm not at all foggy about Canadian journalism and politics. I've studied both for years and I know how completely partisan and intensely concentrated they are in few hands. What surprises me is the reaction of other Canadians when they find this out. I can only imagine the shattered deer-in-the-headlights look they must have on their faces when they figure out this is not the perfect and superior society they thought it was.

    It turns out that the average Canadian has about as much say in their society as... the average American.. ouch!! Reality can be painful at times.
  124. Ursula Bruin from Over the Mountain, writes: Robin Adams from Ottawa, Canada writes: Wanda, if you really want to experience despair over Canadian politicians you should try working for one! I've yet to meet a staffer who likes his/her boss...

    =====================

    At least they get paid! Consider the poor voters!
  125. Green Canada from Edmonton, Canada writes: just read Neil B's comments up at top and had to respond...'most educated'...i'm not so sure...one of the highest high school drop out rates in the country...is this what you mean?
  126. helen sadowski from Canada writes: One area of agreement between Harper and Obama is most likely in foreign affairs involving Israel, where both 'politicians' will unconditionally support Israel.

    Both leaders are out of step with the majority of their citizens who don't condone such large scales of violence against civilians.

    One would hope that the funding mechanisms that the Democrats set up for the presidential campaign would make Obama less dependent on money from pro Israel supporters but time will tell.
  127. spicydoc, son of Uther Pendragon, with my trusty servant Patsy from Mercia, Canada writes:

    Disclaimer--I want to see Ignatieff become PM within the next 24 months.

    That being said, I cannot stomach the garbage LM spouts in his pro-Obama op-ed pieces. There are many issues, but one stands out:

    Martin claims that Harper and Obama will never be friends.

    How on earth can he say this?? Does he personally know both parties?? The fact is that Martin wants Harper and Obama to be 'unfriendly'.

    Martin should know that Harper and Obama share MANY important positions, especially about current 'hot' issues. When two people basically agree, but appear to be different, both parties often play off of it.

    Obama will benefit from being friendly with a 'conservative' neighbor; Harper will benfit from appearing to grow more 'statemanlike' re the US. Win-win.

    I suspect they will indeed be 'friends'---they will both benefit.

    Naturally, Ignatieff would be a more natural 'fit', but the shared backgrounds might actually be used against them ( 'Ivy League Frta Brothers', Ivory Tower, etc).

    PS--Don't ever say who will or won't be friends....it's a stupid thing to say.
  128. JP Warwick from Canada writes:
    helen sadowski

    just cause you think it doesn't mean it's majority opinion.

    Hamas is responsible for getting civilians killed by deliberately hiding behind and amongst them as well as firing from UN buildings. So much for the UN's neutral arbitrary, eh?
  129. siren call from Canada writes: The UN has lost its neutral arbitrary?

    Wow, I bet that stings.
  130. Rick Heuft from Vancouver, Canada writes: Obama conducted his campaign with honour and dignity; his current glory is rightly deserved. He has managed to capture the imagination of his citizens in a fashion that no Canadian politician has ever been able to do. I really hope he is able to continue being honourable, dignified and successful throughout his tenure as president.

    All Canadian politicians – especially Harper – would do well to raise their standards to Obama’s level. The last Canadian election was a totally unprofessional affair and I was not proud of any of the participants. I was particularly disappointed with Harper.

    I wish Obama and Harper all the best as they begin to develop a working relationship and hope it bodes well for both countries.
  131. John Oattes from Sudbury, Canada writes: Well you have to give Martin credit.At least he never said anything about Harper's piranha smile and his assassin's eyes as he has done before.Now folks do you think Lorny Martin ever saw a piranha smile or looked into an assassin's eyes ? Some expert,eh.
  132. siren call from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl
    'while Harper attempted to erode this hard won women's right'
    Name the legislation Harper passed or introduced.
    ..............................................

    Sorry to be a budinski here.

    Harper could not possibly pass legislation reducing women's equality. While he could count on his own members to softly chew their muzzles, the opposition would never stand for it.

    Instead Harper reduced funding to Status of Women Canada, cut some offices completely and changed their mandate to eradicate the term 'equality'.

    Speaking against women's equality has been standard for Harper up until the time he became PM. Now he has his sneaky means of putting policy into place.

    Once Harper leaves office, it will be illuminating/alarming to see what back room deals he has been hatching. He certainly hasn't spent his time governing.
  133. Richard Loiselle from Canada writes: 'In style, Mr. Obama is GQ, Mr. Harper Rotary Club. Mr. Obama is a fine wine, Mr. Harper lime juice. Mr. Obama is relaxed, Mr. Harper suspicious. One is inspirational, the other isn't.'

    You could not have gotten it more right. Americans are moving away from NeoCons and Canadians are keeping theirs.

    The Canada I grew up in is doomed.
  134. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: The writer seems to suggest that Mr. Obama is unintelligent and will not already have been apprised of Mr. Harper's inherent characteristics. Come on!
  135. siren call from Canada writes:
    Mr. Harper is 'rotary club' only if you ignore the good works that organization sometimes performs.
  136. JP Warwick from Canada writes: siren call

    Funny, I wouldn't call funding to radical, socialist political groups who pretend to care about women as an issue important to 99% of the women ever born.

    Sorry pal, but there is an enormous difference between frothing extremists and 'women's' interests.
  137. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Instead Harper reduced funding to Status of Women Canada, cut some offices completely and changed their mandate to eradicate the term 'equality'.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    True.
    But then he turned around and doubled the funding.
    You left that part out.
    But then I knew you would.
  138. siren call from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: Funny, I wouldn't call funding to radical, socialist political groups .....blah blah blah.
    ..........................

    Sorry, my bad.

    I shouldn't have bothered to respond to you.
  139. siren call from Canada writes: Mike Sharp -- true, Harper spun around and re-placed the funding to some of the organizations. I don't know about 'doubled' and suspect, neither do you.

    Harper never however restored the language of 'equality'.

    Dang near cost him political points!
    Fortunately the media rarely cover the mandate issue which Harper fudged.

    Just like it's rare to read that Harper's financial update not only proposed to cut funding to political parties but also to cut equal pay for equal work provisions.

    Funny dat.
  140. Ian Berg from Canada writes: 'The new president's gaining all these glorious notices without even having served a day on the job.'

    He'll quit gaining them in a very dramatic way. It'll be very painful for the media to end their honeymoon with him, whether it's a week, a month, or half a year into the Obama Presidency.
  141. Jon Thorpe from Toronto (Former centre of the Universe), Canada writes: To all of the folks from Calgary chiming in here in regards to 'Calgary being Canada's most CULTURED city' and therefor the center of the new Canadian universe (which was held by Toronto years ago).

    Please note that 'Cultured' is not to be confused by 'Cultural' and therefore does not imply diversity or a mutual consensus with that of the rest of the nation.

    Being cultured is highly tied with an affluent community which is also held in close relation to the monetary state of the specimen known as Calgary.

    When you can't pump the money out of the ground fast enough, you have to spend it somewhere. It should therefore also be noted that Alberta also has the highest cocaine usage rate and crime rate in all of Canada.

    But back to the article. Brilliant.

    It backs my reasoning for being extremely proud of this country in a physical sense (natural beauty, rich resources, heritage) , yet ashamed at our country from a political standing.
  142. Big Gee from Canada writes: This guy Martin sure is a tool. Lets see here folks, Obama wants to keep a private health care system, Obama believes in the right to bare arms, Obama doesnt want gay marrage, Obama beleives in capital punishment, Obama wants MORE troops in Afghanistan and the list goes on. You dummy left wingers need to get your head out of you a$$ and wake up and smell the roses. The Conservatives are so much more like the Democrats than the Libs.
  143. Louise Fribance from Abbotsford, Canada writes: Gosh, I think Mr. Martin is in love, as every other pundit in this country. Obama hasn't been on the job yet and they forgive him everything. As for vision, I would say Harper has much more of it than Obama. Obama is fluff, à la Trudeau, all talk and charisma and no substance. Let's see how he fares before fawning over him like little teenagers.
  144. joe commonsense from Canada writes: What a bunch of Harper bashing. I guess you are entitled to your views.
  145. John Smith from Edmongary, Canada writes: Where is that ghastly moaning coming from?

    Gross. It was LM and the other glassy-eyed pundits blowing a load in unison. Now that performance has more substance than this article.
  146. rob mason from Burlington, Canada writes: Despite Mr. Martin's claims, Harper and Obama have much in common. Although conservative by Canadian standards, Harper would be considered a fanatical liberal in America. As with most Canadians, he supports socialized Healthcare, something Obama has said he'll work towards. Harper and Obama are both strong supporters of the war in Afghanistan, and both are currently opposed to the war in Iraq. Both support a cap-and-trade system, which the Liberals did not in the last election. Obama and Harper are both excellent political strategists, and employ the necessary methods that have brought them to power. I am sure that Obama, as a student of Lincoln, would oppose a party commited to separating the American union, and I think he will admire Harper for doing the same in Canada. I think Jon Stewart summed up the American view to the conservative party best when he called it ' the Gay Nader Fans for Peace.' Canada is so far left of the States that it's rediculous to compare our 'right-wing' political party with the American right. It seems that Lawrence Martin has looked into Harper's eyes and seen his soul. I see no other way that he would know about Harper's private suspicions or his devotion to 'lime juice' (whatever that's supposed to mean.) Mr.Martin doubts, without supplying proof, that Harper can inspire, and needs to 'establish for himself a more moderate, modern and attractive leadership personality.' I would like to point out that despite this alleged unattractiveness, or perhaps because of an ability to inspire indifference, Harper has won two succesive elections.
  147. Don Whiteside from Canada writes: Neil B from Calgary illustrates why Calgary has become the 'new centre of the universe.' After years of Toronto/Quebec bashing Albertans are finally having to take a little well deserved flak - yet they can't take it. Generally speaking they are out of touch with the rest of country and are the most thin skinned of all Canadians. Reactionary and the true crybabies of the confederation. Go ahead seperate and take Stephan Harper with you!
  148. Frangesco Bernard from Windsor, Canada writes: Sanjay Singh, You don`t have to tell us what harpo did in 3 years, and we also know what the what the LIBERALS did in 13 years. It is a big contrast from one to the other. The LIBERALS cleaned the big mess that the Conservatives left behind, AND, they left a huge surplus behind them. Harpo blew the surplus that he inherited and brought Canada to RUINS. May God help ue to get rid of him because, if not, Canada might become a third world country in the foreseeable future.
  149. kK J from mississauga, Canada writes: Don White whatever - you have never been to Calgary or met a person from Alberta cause if you have you would know how great and open minded people from the west are. They would invite you into their home as soon as look at you. They love their Province and they love their Country. Alberta has wonderful cultural events and features to offer the rest of Canada. Alberta is not out of touch with the rest of Canada. We have ignored and not appreciated that Province. Ontario and Que. think they are the centre of the universe - this part of the Country is in a mess and is not managed well at all. Socialist have ruined central Canada. Just look at how juvenile Toronto is if it doesn't go their way. They throw money at everything and no one is accountable for anything. All they do is criticize and complain - this area of Canada will never be happy and Ottawa could never give them enough to satisfy. I guess I have West envy.
  150. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: I think PM Harper and Obama will be good friends. They are both well educated, have families with children and are serious about problem solving, unlike the Liberals, who play politics first and put Canada second.
  151. kK J from mississauga, Canada writes: Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae ..... thank you for those wonderful thoughts. I agree. Most would expect them to have a lot in common. Age, kids, sports, beautiful smart wives, dogs, cats, good minds and like you said serious about problems and will put their Countries first.
  152. joe louis from Canada writes: Calgary...most cultured? Albertans, particularly southern ones, fortunately have little in common with the mindset of other Canadians. A city with little history and shallow roots. Somewhat delusional about their importance to the overall Canadian scene. Albertans represent a mere 10% of the total population...just doesn't rate.
  153. Mike Abraham from Canada writes: A C from west vancouver, Canada writes: Beware of strangers bearing gifts.

    It boggles the mind to think that the average well educated minds in
    North America , have for whatever reason choose Mr Obama and
    Mr. Ignatieff , with no political achievments on either of their CVs.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually that is exactly the point. Thats all Harper has is 'politics', all he knows how to do is fight. We want 'governers' and 'visionaries'. It is not yet known whether Ignatiaff or Obama are great 'governers' but it is certain that Obama is a 'visionary'. Once the US election was over, he put the politics aside in place of the 'vision' and soon, the 'governance'. Harper just keeps on playing politics, no governance and certainly no vision.
  154. peter jones from Canada writes: lawrence says that 'By building rapport with the new president, he (Harper) can establish for himself a more moderate, modern and attractive leadership personality.'

    Impossible...and besides Harper has an agenda that most Canadians find unacceptable...We know about his agenda..he knows we find it unacceptable.

    Result will be prolonged instability in Canada,,unless Harper goes or is kicked out of his own party.

    bottom line don't let an evangelical religious nut (like Harper) anywhere near the realms of power in Canada ever again.
  155. Jim Pook from Tahsis, BC, Canada writes: Yet another G&M LM attack piece combined with more fawning over the Obamasiah.

    I can hardly wait until Obama has had a couple of years in office and the media turns on him because he really can't walk on water or bring peace to the middle east.

    My prediction: Obama will be involved in a serious scandal involving one or more of his old Chicago 'friends' before the end of his first and only term.

    He simply can not live up to the hype and expectations of his supporters.
  156. Vanni Di Ponzano from marpole, Canada writes: Mike Abraham and peter jones: gentleman you both hit the issue right on the head!

    We want 'governers' and 'visionaries': Yes yes yes! Harper cannot meet that challenge, and it is becoming increasingly clear that he has lost the confidence of the people.

    'We know about his agenda..he knows we find it unacceptable': Harper acts in his own self-interest first... he has not addressed the needs of Canadians. He plainly demonstrated that in his puerile attempts to diminish his opponents rather than help the Canadian Economy in his despicable partisan budget attempt. And he further showed his true colours with his divisive acts on a perfectly legal parliamentary process, and acted ill responsibly to divide the country rather than take the high road. No Mr Harper is not o be trusted with the responsibility of turning Canada around in these troubled economic times.

    This needs repeating: 'Poor Harper, he has no enemies, but seems to be intensely disliked by his friends. He suffers from delusions of adequacy. He will 'pale' in comparison to the lustre of Obama.'

    In Canada we need Mr Ignatieff ... he alone amoung the current political leaders has what it takes to take us forward.
  157. connie lai from Toronto, Canada writes: Harper is so smart , he knows how to change his wind.
    Harper looks like a Canadian, let him do his job, he is not prefect but better than our Hilter Layton and Next American President Iggy.
    .
  158. siren call from Canada writes:
    Is that like: Obama brings the winds of change, but Harper breaks wind?
  159. peter jones from Canada writes: Harper does not change his mind..Harper just makes tactical shifts...to get to the final destination..which NEVER changes.

    we all know that.....and he knows it too....
    For him ...Its NOT the economy....Its his agenda, ,stupid.
  160. A C from west vancouver, Canada writes: Mike Abraham The visionary is Harper,he has goals / so he made a few minor mistakes eg trying to do away with the voter subsidy $1.95 should have waited until he had a majority.The people of Canada would have gone along with it if he would have had a majority Harper first term in office goals/ achieved 5 out of 5 Talk is cheap Mike you are expressing your thoughts and it is not reality, you do not know anything about either Obama or Iggy you are.hoping for the best. (wishful thinking)be careful or you may get what you wish for. My idea of a strong leader with vision cannot be seen to be weak Strong leaders who achieved but were appreciated only after leaving office. personally disliked Churchill /Roosavelt/Johnson/ Reagan/Thatcher/ Blair/WAC Bennett Bill Bennett/ Klien/ Lee(Singapore) Harper will be after. Mike / your faith in the unknown Obama and Iggy amazes me please let us comment on their performances after 12 mths Certain people can handle job stress because they have experienced it as a inderstudy who has been asked to be supportive Are either of these two men capable of being responsible for their decisions right or wrong?????? time will tell/ never having to make a life and death situation It is called Having the balls to do it Mike as an American citizen did IGGY do any US military service???? if not why not???. William F Buckley said 'Having a professional academics in a political leader position is always a disaster'( we will have two) .Mike tell us what are the achievements and strong points of Obama and Iggy and what are in their CVs???? They do say 'Love is blind'
  161. Brian C from Canada writes:
    To Julie Swills who writes: 'He wasn't losing sleep over the nature of dirty warfare Hezbollah engages in - see the difference?'

    Yep. Iggy wasn't losing sleep over the fact that Hezbollah engages in dirty warfare tactics that ultimately results in civilians casualties and death is vastly different from Iggy not losing sleep over civilian casualties and death.

    So vastly different that Iggy quickly tried to justify his comments, and then ended up declaring that he thought Israel had likely committed war crimes.

    Which leads me back to my originial point; Iggy's 'foreign credentials' and his inability to articulate a clear position without offending everyone, as evidenced above, are likely to get Canada into a lot of hot water internationally.
  162. Blue is the Only Color for Me! from Canada writes: I'm tired of people slamming Mr. Harper and the great things he's done for this country.

    Let the man govern - we voted for him!
  163. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: During the campaign, he offered few signs of real policy change. On foreign affairs, he said he'd 'project' U.S. power, like all presidents. Domestically, he was for the free market and against universal health care. His appointments since the election have been wretchedly conventional, recycling officials not just from the Clinton era but the Bush one, too. Don't worry about change, he assured the worriers, 'it comes from me.'
  164. bo demmer from Mootown, Canada writes: Perhaps Harper will listen to Obama and copy his campaign financing strategy of not accepting government handouts for political parties.
    Oops, sorry that's already been tried.
  165. OAK ! from Canada writes: Obama is not even Present yet, other then giving a few good speaches what has he done? Once he fails to live up to his unrealistic expectations (this is inevidable) Harper will be celebrated for the leader he truely is.
  166. David Lepine from Montreal, Canada writes: Good comment Wanda Fyooka. So what that the G & M publishes a liberal columnist on its opinion page. I don't get the Diefenbaker comparison. Hardly anyone outside a 100 km radius of Prince Albert SK remembers him as anything other than a buffoon.
  167. Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Blue is the Only Color for Me! from Canada writes:

    'I'm tired of people slamming Mr. Harper and the great things he's done for this country.

    Let the man govern - we voted for him!'

    ===

    Well put. It seems that some people here are eternal critics, never once conceding that cutting the GST, apologizing for past abuses of First Nations, asserting Arctic sovereignty, and (trying) to reach out those crazy Quebecers, and resolving the lumber dispute, taking a clear stand behind Israel rather than sitting on the fence pretending to like both, and trying to reform the Senate under a minority situation are all praiseworthy things done within the last 3 years.

    Such people will continue to bleat and moan but I think more and more they are being tuned out.

    Am I right?
  168. K. B. from Canada writes: Another Gr. 12-level analysis from Mr. Martin. Here's one huge thing they have in common Larry: they're both slightly offside the mainstream political culture of their respective countries (Harper's centre-right in a centre-left country; Obama's centre-left in a centre-right country). Obama's hero is Abe Lincoln, a past Republican president. Sure, Larry, you might regard Lincoln as most do as probably America's greatest-ever president, but if you were a journalist in 1864 America there is no doubt that you'd be a McClellan shill, calling Lincoln incompetent, arguing the war could not be won, that it wasn't worth it, that the North should sue for peace, all the while casting aspersions on Lincoln (no doubt Lincoln's notable breakdowns would've killed him politically were he a politician today). Obama realizes that there are good people on both sides of the political divide, and really he will only be after a serious and articulate ally in Canada. With Harper he will have that. Harper hasn't foot-dragged on the environment. Repeat after me: his is the first and only gov't in Canadian history to enact climate-change regulations!! If that's foot dragging, then what term would be used for the Liberals approach after ratifying Kyoto?! Harper realized that Bush was having nothing to do with Kyoto, but knew that Canada could only go as far as the Americans themselves were willing to go on the file. Now that he sees a willing partner down south, he immediately proposed the idea of a cap-and-trade market. I really don't know how you continue to get your columns published. Obviously there must've been some body of good work out there in the past, that someone thought worthy of receiving regular ink in the G & M. But I sure don't remember any. Perhaps back at Southam? Seriously, I invite all to re-read this column, and then read Derek Burney's column (with Norm Paterson I believe), and note the gap in reasoned argument and analysis.
  169. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Chatham, Canada writes: Sanjay Singh from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    One myth that continues to be perpetuated is that American Democrats parallel Canada's Liberals and American Republicans mirror Canadian Conservatives.

    The reality is that Canadian Conservatives have more in common with US Democrats than the Liberals do.

    Amazing how everyone talks about Harper foot dragging, when we all know he got more done with a minority government in 3 years than the Liberals did with 13 years of majority government.

    You can expect more of the same when he meets Obama. Trust me on that one OK?

    ----------------------------------

    You are kidding aren't you ?

    Again, This needs repeating: 'Poor Harper, he has no enemies, but seems to be intensely disliked by his friends. He suffers from delusions of adequacy. He will 'pale' in comparison to the lustre of Obama.'

    In Canada we need Mr Ignatieff ... he alone amoung the current political leaders has what it takes to take us forward.
  170. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Chatham, Canada writes: K. B. from Canada writes: Harper hasn't foot-dragged on the environment. Repeat after me: his is the first and only gov't in Canadian history to enact climate-change regulations!! If that's foot dragging, then what term would be used for the Liberals approach after ratifying Kyoto?! Harper realized that Bush was having nothing to do with Kyoto, but knew that Canada could only go as far as the Americans themselves were willing to go on the file.

    ----------------------------------------

    This is disingenuous crap !!
  171. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Chatham, Canada writes: K. B. from Canada writes: Harper hasn't foot-dragged on the environment. Repeat after me: his is the first and only gov't in Canadian history to enact climate-change regulations!! If that's foot dragging, then what term would be used for the Liberals approach after ratifying Kyoto?! Harper realized that Bush was having nothing to do with Kyoto, but knew that Canada could only go as far as the Americans themselves were willing to go on the file.
    ---------------------------------------

    Harper realized that Bush was not having anything to do with a lot of important things, harper mimicked EVERYTHING Bush did ......and you think George Bush did the right things in the world and his own country in the 8 years he was president ?
    Profoundly Sad if you think George Bush was any kind of leader let alone a world leader which is what the United States needs to sustain being a 'freedom superpower'
  172. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: Sorry to say Steven Harper looks very uncomfortable now, and probably best to keep it that way.
    Obama knows what going on here and keep in mind he has America's interests first.
  173. livy ont from niagara falls, Canada writes: Do you actually get paid for writing this rubbish?
  174. Mike Abraham from Canada writes: AC from the Weast coast - your post replies to statements that I did not actually make - you are putting words into my post that are not actually there. I did not say that Ig and Ob were known to be good governers - I distinctly said that it remains to be seen. What is knows is that Harper is not a good governer because his party focuses the vast majority of its efforts on politicking (marketing if you will) their ideological agenda regardless of how much independant expert advice recommends against many of their actions. The bottom line is they take actions that are based on their specific goals (which in and of itself is fine) but when those 'Political' goals conflict with the 'governing' goal of bettering life for Canada and Canadians ', they are not governing with the best interests of Canada. No one disputes their acumen as politicians - clearly they are good politicians - clearly they are dismal governers. Obama is a visionary - but as I clearly stated is not yet known if he will be a good governer - I will pass judgement after evidence. The evidence for his vision is clearly there tho. He wants to unite all sides for the better of his country, he wants to listen to expert advice, not just political advice, he wants to effect a systemic change in governance. Big picture VISION ! If you call things like cutting points off a GST, placing responsibility for food safety to the private sector, and minor tinkering 'Visionary' then that is very sad. 'Visionary' is things that have a profound impact such as national health care, peacekeeping foreign policy, creation of fundamental citizen rights. You may or may not agree with the concept of any of those things - but either way, the ideas are indeed 'VISIONARY'. Harper, just an accountant - (not a very good one), and an antagoniser - ( a very good one).
  175. Strongarmlouis Rules from Canada writes: I think we know what lawrence martin thinks of our prime minister, and that is unlikely to change. I think we know as well what lawrence thinks of the president at this time, but is that likely to change? The president will have intense pressures from all sides. Now, he can detach his emotions or seems to, but time has a way bringing out our imperfections, especially when pressure is constant. I'm thinking it takes a special gift to be out in front in the political arena. Constant bombardment. How could most of us as husbands and wives, cope with even a little in the family? Maybe the president and the prime minister really are the cream, even though alot of the people and writers put them as the skim milk.
  176. greg stockton from toronto, Canada writes:
    Mike Abraham wrote:

    If you call things like cutting points off a GST, placing responsibility for food safety to the private sector, and minor tinkering 'Visionary' then that is very sad. 'Visionary' is things that have a profound impact such as national health care, peacekeeping foreign policy, creation of fundamental citizen rights. You may or may not agree with the concept of any of those things - but either way, the ideas are indeed 'VISIONARY
    ---------------------------------------------------

    Cutting the GST by 30%(5/7) was actually quite astute given that such a cut is more likely to stimulate spending than if left at 7%. I do not know where you got the idea that food inspection/safety is a private sector service. And actually if you look at the facts, it was the government agency that stalled before releasing the results from the testing at the Maple Leaf plant.

    Harper has vision but since it is not the vision that you want, you dismiss it. Vision is not defined by what one particular group says it should be. Secondly a vision or strategy, if you will, can only be evaluated after implementation. Obama's vision currently is quite superficial for this very reason.
  177. pik scott from Canada writes: This just shows how dumb the canadian left is, what has obama done besides being a african american, really people what has he done. I find it funny that there is ''no comment'' allowed on the hiliary story on how her goverment is on the same page as harper when it comes to Isreal, but yet harper is a bush clone or a war monger,but hiliary and obama come up with the same idea and there are visionary leaders. Martin and other journalists have risen right up the non- trust scales with used car salesmen. Obama will learn from harper who has made a fool out of martin and alot others, obama will learn from harper not the other way around.
  178. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: Articles like this go a long way to tell us why newspapers are going broke, what drivel, Obama is the Messiah, enough already. Where are the editors ?
  179. don willer from Vancouver, Canada writes: People are judged by the company they keep, Obama sat through years of Jeremiah Wright's rants, associated with Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko a convicted felon, and before too long Rahm Emanuel will pull some stunt that will disqualify him from being the new President's chief of staff. Chicago is a cauldron of exceptionally dirty shady politicos and crooks so it is understandable that a clean politician would have a tough time staying clean. I'm not saying Obama is dirty, I'm saying his judgment is suspect, he'll have his honeymoon and the new political pigs will have their nose in the trough, we'll see if his is judgment has gotten any better.
  180. R. M. from Canada writes: If it is Saul right with you Alex for the bonus points what is, "Road to Damascus Conversion."
  181. Dude, where's my Canada? from Canada writes: Harper's game couldn't possibly get any worse. It has nowhere to go but up.
  182. old gristle from Canada writes: This is too blunt and may be too optimistic. Some of us believe that Mr. Harper is a victim of his psychological makeup. Harper is a cold fish that eats other cold fish.
  183. Angus Elliott from Cambridge, Canada writes: Obama talks a good game, let's see what he does in the real world before we try to get the world cast in his shiny image.

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top