You know, if you keep using that word, it won’t scare Canadians anymore

The Globe and Mail’s Jane Taber writes about the latest poll showing the Conservatives climbing in the polls. Here are just the first five paragraphs. What’s the story here?

Stephen Harper, the piano man and economic manager, is making Canadians so comfortable they want to see him win a majority government, according to a new national public opinion poll.

The EKOS Research survey released to the CBC shows that the Conservatives’ substantial lead over Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals is solidifying – a lead that now has the Tories knocking on the door of a majority government.

According to EKOS, the Tories now enjoy 40.7 per cent support compared to 25.5 per cent for the Liberals, 14.3 per cent for the NDP, 10.5 per cent for the Green Party and 9.1 per cent for the Bloc.

Two polls last week showed the same upward movement for the Conservatives, edging them into majority territory.

But EKOS has gone farther by plugging their numbers into a seat projection model that gives the Harper Conservatives 167 seats, a clear majority. They now have 143 seats.

(emphasis mine)

Making the same point over and over again?

Jane Taber is spelling it out her downtown Globe readers who perhaps have not yet discerned the gravity of recent news.

The Tories are on the verge of M-A-J-O-R-I-T-Y.

Mike Duffy hints at summer election? Or is the media election-biased?

In the mainstream media, they’re at it again! Everyone seems to be asking about the next federal election. To describe elections as the Superbowls of politics would be accurate in significance but overstated in frequency; unfortunately for those of us that live and breathe one writ-drop at a time, there doesn’t seem to be another one so soon on the horizon.

The Prime Minister has stated as much. In a recent press conference, Stephen Harper made mention that party leaders should be focused on the economy rather than hitting the hustings.

So, what’s got the media in a tizzy today? Well, it’s a weekday so it must be any desperate thread of a future election. The “news” today is that Sen. Mike Duffy gave a speech to the Charlottetown Rotary Club where he “hinted” at an election. Let’s take a look at the headline from The Charlottetown Guardian that followed.

“Duffy’s speech hints at looming federal election”

After unexpectedly taking notice to what would otherwise be a hum-drum article from the Island, we find ourselves somewhat disappointed after scanning Duffy’s quotes looking for an explicit or even implicit election “hint”. The article seemingly apologizes at the end but provides an excuse for misleading us,

“He made no mention of an election during his speech on Monday, but used rhetoric reminiscent of an electioneering politician.”

A politician speaking about politics outside of an election?
Dog bites man.

The media, trying to find any reason for us to take notice? Desperate for increased readership and future windfall of ad dollars that come during an election?
Also par for the course.

But was Sen. Duffy’s speech even filled with rhetoric? Let’s take a closer look,

The speech is hardly filled with partisan rhetoric and does not mention Stephen Harper or an election once. The most political item is where Duffy says that he and Minister Gail Shea will fight for Islanders.

Telegraph Journal apologizes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Today, we learn from the Telegraph Journal:

On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the Telegraph-Journal published a story about the funeral mass celebrating the life of former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc that was inaccurate and should not have been published. We pride ourselves in maintaining high standards of journalism and ethical reporting, and regret this was not followed in this case.

The story stated that a senior Roman Catholic priest in New Brunswick had demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the communion wafer which was handed to Prime Minister Harper during the celebration of communion at the funeral mass. The story also said that during the communion celebration, the Prime Minister “slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call ‘the host’ into his jacket pocket”.

There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now. Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them.

The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in reporting.

Here is the original story (portions highlighted in red concern content that has “no credible support” and portions highlighted in orange are therefore not newsworthy and are unsubstantiated gossip and speculation):

A senior New Brunswick Roman Catholic priest is demanding the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the sacramental communion wafer Stephen Harper was given at Roméo LeBlanc’s funeral mass.

During communion at the solemn and dignified service held last Friday in Memramcook for the former governor general, the prime minister slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call “the host” into his jacket pocket.

In Catholic understanding, the host – once consecrated by a priest for the Eucharist – becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is crucial that the small wafer be consumed when it is received.

Monsignor Brian Henneberry, vicar general and chancellor in the Diocese of Saint John, wants to know whether the prime minister consumed the host and, if not, what happened to it.

If Harper accepted the host but did not consume it, “it’s worse than a faux pas, it’s a scandal from the Catholic point of view,” he said.

Henneberry said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office is in order.

“If I were the prime minister, I would at least offer an explanation to say no offence was meant, and then (clarifying) what happened to the consecrated host is in order,” he said. “I would hope the Prime Minister’s Office would have enough respect for the Catholic Church and for faith in general to make clear whatever happened.”

On Friday, during the mass, Harper reached out with his right hand and accepted the wafer from a priest.

A television camera lingered long enough to show New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Herménégilde Chiasson, the next person to receive the host, raise his to his mouth.

But the tape shows that Harper does not consume the wafer before the camera cuts away several seconds later.

If Harper was unclear about what was appropriate during the funeral mass, said Henneberry, it “would say to me it’s time to get new protocol people.”

Harper and his senior spokespersons were en route to Italy on Tuesday for the G8 leaders’ summit.

Harper will spend five days in Italy and on Saturday he has an audience with Pope Benedict.

Requests for comment left with Harper’s media office were not immediately returned on Tuesday.

What Harper did or didn’t do at the ceremony quietly raised questions at the ceremony in Memramcook Friday.

When Harper took the host, “everybody just paused and said, ‘What did he do with it?'”‚” said one official who watched the pool feed with reporters who were not inside St. Thomas Church in Memramcook.

“You could see he was, ‘Uh oh, I don’t know what to do with this.'”‚”

The curiosity among Catholics has not gone unnoticed among Liberal insiders in Ottawa, either.

Henneberry said he has received a call on Harper’s actions from a concerned Catholic, and he doubts that she is the only one puzzled and perturbed.

“She said she was very upset,” he said, adding he had not seen the footage.

“She said, ‘All weekend long it has been bothering me and I know I can’t do something about it, but someone should.’

“She can’t be the only one in this country that is thinking that.”

Harper’s religious affiliation raises a separate but related question about his accepting the host: As a Protestant, should he have politely declined it?

The fact it was a national event that was televised live likely complicated the situation for everyone – the priests and Harper, Henneberry said.

“If the prime minister is not a Catholic, he should not have been receiving communion and if he comes up it places the priest in an awkward position, especially at a national funeral because everyone is watching,” he said.

But Rev. Arthur Bourgeois, who delivered the homily, did not have a problem with the prime minister accepting the host.

“Usually, to partake in holy communion in the Catholic Church, you have to be a member of it, but if you’re not, exceptionally sometimes at major occasions (it is different),” Bourgeois said.

“If you are up there and giving holy communion you are not going to stop and asked everyone if they are Catholic or if they are not Catholic.

“You say the Lord provides.”

Monsignor André Richard, who is Bishop of the Diocese of Moncton, gave Harper communion but said he didn’t see what Harper did with the host.

“I didn’t see anything wrong there “¦ because I was busy doing something else.”

Bourgeois said it is acceptable to decline the host by simply folding one’s hands, which signals the priest to bless the person.

Rev. James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of Winnipeg, said if Harper was not given good advice before the ceremony about what to do, it is a regrettable oversight.

“I would feel very sorry for the prime minister if he wasn’t informed about what the procedure is,” Weisgerber said. “I would find it terrible if we put him in an embarrassing situation.

“My concern is at a funeral of that level everyone knows what the protocol is.”

Harper could have simply consumed the host shortly after he was off-camera; or he could have hesitated because he expected a priest would soon invite everyone to consume the host once everyone present had received it, as occurs in some Protestant churches.

His own faith tradition certainly does things differently, says an evangelical Christian journalist who specializes in religion and politics.

Lloyd Mackey’s 2005 book The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper traces Harper’s political and faith journey.

Given his church background, Harper might not have known exactly what was expected of him as a Protestant at a Roman Catholic mass, Mackey suggested.

“I don’t think by himself as a Protestant adherent he’d be aware of the nuances,” said Mackey, who added there would be people in his inner circle who should have advised him.

For a number of years, in Calgary and in Ottawa, Harper has worshipped at churches within the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said Mackey.

Communion in Alliance churches is typically held once a month.

It would involve the seated congregation passing along wafers and, in small individual glasses, unfermented grape juice.

Harper grew up in a background with United Church of Canada and Presbyterian influences, but he was something of a skeptic until he was a young adult.

Mackey’s book says Harper’s journey to a committed personal faith was influenced by fellow politician Preston Manning, among others, and came after reading much-admired Christian apologists C.S. Lewis and Malcolm Muggeridge.

LeBlanc, 81, died in late June. He had been the country’s first Acadian and Maritime governor general, and before that, a senator, MP and press secretary to two prime ministers.

That’s quite an edit!

I’ve learned from a source close to one of the journalists that at least one of them may have gone so far as to seek advice and consider a lawsuit against the newspaper if the paper did not retract the story and absolve (no pun intended) the journalists of fabricating a significant portion the article.

Printing such a false hit piece can get a journalist frozen out of any future access to the PMO under the current administration. It’s a rare sight to see journalists defend their integrity against their senior management in the newsroom, however, in this case it may have been a matter of professional self-preservation.

What motivation was there behind torquing over three quarters of the story? Did somebody in Ottawa (or Toronto) pick up the phone and push a more interesting story to the editors instead?

Some observers will remember that “Wafergate” led CBC’s flagship newscast The National rather than the story about the Prime Minister’s participation in the G8 conference. UPDATE: Errr… this observer didn’t seem to remember correctly. My friends from CBC (yes, I shockingly still do have a couple of them — and they’ve been better to me than I have to them lately, but I digress) inform me that I am mistaken by the order of their reports (they did G8 and did “Wafergate” later in the broadcast). I also mistakenly made this reference on the Charles Adler show. I ironically acknowledge this and regret these errors.

Introduction to Canadian media and politics

If there is one constant in Canadian federal politics, it is the mainstream media process stories about how warring political factions are offending to key groups of voters. See here how stories are floated to underpaid reporters and columnists in order to tick off key Trudeaupian voter blocks as politicos tick off key constituencies off their lists.

Women:

“Meanwhile, there are rumblings among some grass-root Liberal women that Mr. Ignatieff doesn’t quite share that view. Mr. Ignatieff has few female caucus members in key critics’ roles and has one senior woman in his entourage: communications director Jill Fairbrother . (Stephen Harper doesn’t have a single senior woman.) The rumblings are that if more women were in high places, seeking consensus, we might not have come to the brink of another federal election this month.

Ukrainian-Canadians:

Ignatieff’s sin, the protesters feel, was to pen “derogatory remarks” about Ukrainians in his 1995 book Blood & Belonging.

The UCC’s press release cites two offending passages. “From my childhood in Canada,” Ignatieff wrote, “I remember expatriate Ukrainian nationalists demonstrating in the snow outside ballet performances by the Bolshoi in Toronto. ‘Free the captive nations!’ they chanted. In 1960, they seemed strange and pathetic, chanting in the snow, haranguing people who just wanted to see ballet and to hell with politics. They seemed fanatical, too, unreasonable. Hadn’t they looked at the map? How did they think Ukraine could ever be free?”

Gays:

Toronto’s Pride Week may have seen its last cheque from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government after this year’s $400,000 contribution provoked a backlash from within the ranks of MPs and Conservative supporters.

Chinese-Canadians:

Another controversy relates to comments made by a senior Ignatieff advisor, Warren Kinsella. In a Youtube video posted earlier this year, Mr. Kinsella claimed he was planning to enjoy some “barbecued cat” (Ottawa Citizen. January 31, 2009). After extensive coverage of his statements in the Chinese-Canadian media and pressure from Chinese Canadians, Mr. Kinsella apologized. (Globe and Mail. January 31, 2009)

Lebanese-Canadians:

During the Israel-Lebanon conflict in 2006 Mr. Ignatieff’s observations angered Lebanese-Canadians when he first said of civilian deaths in Lebanon: “This is the kind of dirty war you’re in when you have to do this and I’m not losing sleep about that.” This statement angered many Lebanese-Canadians. (Toronto Star. August 2, 2006)

Catholics:

A senior New Brunswick Roman Catholic priest is demanding the Prime Minister’s Office explain what happened to the sacramental communion wafer Stephen Harper was given at Roméo LeBlanc’s funeral mass.

During communion at the solemn and dignified service held last Friday in Memramcook for the former governor general, the prime minister slipped the thin wafer that Catholics call “the host” into his jacket pocket.

Korean-Canadians:

Past comments by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff are coming back to haunt him as members of the Korean community accuse him of suggesting he would starve North Koreans.

While at Harvard in 2005, Ignatieff said, “I strongly support reductions in food aid” to strengthen the international community’s negotiations with North Korea on nuclear weapons.

“Is that a difficult human rights problem? You bet. But that’s where I would go,” he said at the time. “I would look at the food aid, and all the bilateral stuff we are doing that keeps this odious regime going.”

Why are these stories written? Because they’re easy, because they sell papers and each side believes that on sum, they’ll emerge from the fray less thrashed and bruised than the other guy. Before you think that the end result of this is more people voting Green, consider my own entry into this theatre of the chronically offended.

Guilty of this myself, I suggest that there is wisdom in the following rap lyric (as I say in my most terrible impersonation of an ironic James Lipton): “don’t hate the player, hate the game”

And therefore, if the players remain constant, how do we change the game?

Click here to read my proposed solution. I’ve argued that it’s the way that our politics is funded.

An excerpt:

Under the current Canadian system, we give welfare to parties for being best able to convince Canadians of the other parties, “No They Can’t”. If we made politics about the positive (Yes), responsibility of self (We) and enablement (Can) rather than the negative (No), what one’s opponent would do (They) and a need to stop them (Can’t), perhaps we could reduce voter apathy both at the ballot box and when parties pass the hat. If we gave voters more power to finance those they support rather than sustain those they least detest we could shift Canadian politics for the better.

Hudak and Elliott campaigns protest party decision on London debate

I received news this evening that the PC Party had moved to prohibit recording devices from a leaders debate to occur today in London. I’ve verified with a reporter covering the race that this indeed was the case. The Elliott and Hudak campaigns were quick to protest the decision. Here are their emails (forwarded to me by the respective campaigns).

The Elliott campaign,

and the Hudak campaign,

Finally, I’ve heard that the party will go ahead and allow reporters to use recording devices during the debate.

UPDATE: This is confirmed. Here is the media advisory from the party.

If the Canadian media were a focus group…

…the Conservatives would never run negative ads. Heck, we’d just surrender to a few more decades of Liberal rule.

On Macleans Capital Read blog, journalist Aaron Wherry breathlessly tells us what our betters think of the latest round of Conservative ads. Wherry headlines the article “Schoolyard tripe! Poisonous! Demeaning! Anti-American!” and proceeds to list criticism from non-partisan voices such as Jim Travers, Angelo Persichilli, the Edmonton Journal, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star! Who are these voices of reason? Reading them makes it so clear that to armchair political analysts, the Conservatives have made a disastrous misstep in running negative advertising, because nobody likes negative ads, and of course, such ads don’t work.

Thousands of dollars worth of focus groups studying the reactions of average, everyday Canadians would seem to indicate otherwise. The decisions that go into these sorts of adverts are not made on a whim. Political calculations are much more involved than started from one’s prejudices against conservatism and then spewing under-informed analysis in 750 paid words or less. There is a method to the Machiavellian madness. From the gender of the narrating voice, to its tone, to the imagery of the ads and the theme, it would seem that the Conservatives have concluded through some expensive research that Canadians seem to have a problem with Michael Ignatieff’s seeming self-serving interest in returning to Canada. “The ads will backfire”, “Canadians are turned off by negative ads”, “This isn’t the United States (oops)” are the sounds coming from the Parliamentary Press Gallery and other members of the media elite in this country. They claim to tell us what we think when it’s clear that they’re out of touch with the effect that those ads will have on us as Canadians.

The other elites — those that reside in the Liberal Party — tell us who should raise our kids, what kind of cars we should drive and whose feelings we should not offend, are of course the producers of these ads:

This may only be the first government that Mr. Wherry’s has covered, but some perspective please. The difference between these two ads and the latest round of Conservative advertising? The Grit ads were baldfaced lies; how’s your healthcare, your “scrapped Kyoto accord”, your right to choose and who was it that was prepared to work with the Bloc Quebecois? Where are the soldiers with guns in our streets?. In contrast, the Conservative ads are true. Michael Ignatieff was out of the country for 34 years, has mused that taxes will go up and the video wherein he says “you have to decide what kind of America you want, right? You have to decide. It’s your country just as much as it is mine” is undoctored. These are Michael Ignatieff’s own words. In fact, they’re so true that the only line of defense is to attack the process.

Funny that the Liberals are silent on this and it is the media who comes to their defense.

Press Gallery off message

Sun Media’s Elizabeth Thompson:

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper described last Fall’s stock market dive as “a great buying opportunity,” it was seen by many as a bit insensitive, given the number of Canadians who had just seen a good chunk of their retirement savings melt away.

On Feb.10, when the S&P/TSX hit 8,817.89 – one of the lower points since Harper’s comments – an anonymous tech savvy individual registered the web address and created the Harperdex, which set out to track how much the $1,000 invested the day after Harper’s comments would be worth.
But stock markets are like public opinion polls and what goes down eventually goes up again. At noon today, the Harperdex shows that $1,000 is now worth $1,003 – probably not what the creator of the Harperdex had in mind.

Oh, Liz… you presume too much!

We learn from Canwest’s David Akin,

Ottawa Citizen reporter Glen McGregor quickly put up HarperDex.ca (mostly, he says, as a fun exercise in some Web programming techniques). The idea was simple: If you had invested $1,000 in the S&P/TSX Composite Index the day after Harper said “Buy”, the HarperDex will tell you what that $1,000 is worth.

It’s good to see that the Liberals are getting some help creating anti-Harper mini-sites. Now, if only we could find out which journalist is moonlighting as Perez Hudak?

We’ve been seeing a lot of the Prime Minister as of late. Why?

The Prime Ministership of Canada, by its very nature, is an all encompassing and busy job. Some note that this Prime Minister is hands on with a number of portfolios, taking ownership of a number of issues as they arise. Yet, this Prime Minister still must see some interview lights in order to present his case to the Canadian people. After all, at the end of the day, they have been and will remain the final judge of his record.

There is some tricky balancing to be done with the job and the public perception of the office. While the Prime Minister must do his best to show a good face to Canadians, he cannot appear to eager, or rather, too available to do so. This Prime Minister is handling Canada’s stake in the shaky global economy and therefore he can’t be yukking it up with Rick Mercer too regularly or be doing too much superficial glad-handing while Canadians are concerned about their economic future. In fact, as far as busy leaders go, Barack Obama was recently criticized for over-exposure for appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (a first for any President) while the bailout package was under full debate in Washington.

Though this observer notes that we’ve been seeing a lot of the Prime Minister of late in the sense that he’s been making himself a lot more available to media for one-on-ones. Canadian reporters will scoff at this observation, noting that they’re left holding the bag (or rather the remote and the mouse) as they watch the PM do interviews on CNN and Fox and read him on the website of the Wall Street Journal. But yet, while the PM’s message comes back to Canadians across the border through the CRTC-approved cable packages of Canadians, at least to the PMO, it does so more easily than it would if it had originated and filtered through a scornful yet context-aware Canadian news outlet. Yet, despite the PM’s American news tour, we are still seeing more of the man through Canadian news avails as well.

Why is this?

When Stephane Dion was leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservatives did their best to define the man and then allowed that definition to shine through the Conservative-adjusted lenses of the news media and electorate. Too much of the PM on the “leader stage” would provide too much distracting glare from the well-crafted stage show of Mr. Dion, presented by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Now, the Conservatives are dealing with a new leader in Michael Ignatieff. Though Mr. Ignatieff is still prone to gaffes and debates himself in public, he is a more serious opponent. As a leader, he is not so easily discounted by the news media and electorate. And while Mr. Ignatieff may stumble at times, he does so coherently without the media finding itself trying to explain what he really meant (again, Mr. Ignatieff does this well enough on his own). With Dion, Conservatives would have been glad to buy the hapless leader his own airtime, but to Hill watchers, Mr. Harper finds more of a competitor on the same stage — a stage he blissfully occupied alone until now.

Mostly unopposed, Mr. Obama is a leader largely crafted by publicity and the peripheral glamour of politics and for the US President the Tonight Show appearence was as strategy to do what had worked in the past. For Mr. Harper, the past was a stage gleefully given to Dion. The present, however, compels him to occupy the spotlight and enunciate his plan.

Censorship in Ireland?

It all started with a bit of an amusing piece on the evening news.  It seemed that a prankster was walking into Irish art galleries and hanging nude painted portraits of the country’s Taoiseach (the head of the government appointed by the PM).  The portraits were elaborately painted and could be somewhat passable among the other artwork yet gallery patrons asked staff about the pieces and the jig was up.

The country’s state broadcaster decided to do a piece about the interesting prank.

And that ended what must have been a rather uneventful day in Irish news. That is, until the Taoiseach’s office called the state broadcaster to complain. The next evening’s newscast contained this apology:

“On last night’s program we carried a report on the illicit hanging of caricatures of An Taoiseach in two Dublin galleries. RTE News would like to apologize for any personal offense caused to Mr. Cowen or his family or for any disrespect shown to the office of Taoiseach by our broadcast.”

Irish bloggers and columnists are calling the move censorship of the news and we’re already seeing predictable results of amplification caused by the government’s move to meddle.

Media endorsements

Globe and Mail
“On balance, Mr. Harper remains the best man for the job in the tough times now upon us. He deserves if not four more years, at least two more years.”

National Post
“Faced with these high stakes, we believe, Canada would be best served if Stephen Harper’s Conservative government were to receive a second mandate, this time in majority form.”

The Economist
And yet, in a sinking world, Canada is something of a cork. Its well-regulated banks are solid. Growth has slowed but not stopped. The big worry is the fear that an American recession will drag Canada down with it. Mr Harper says, rightly enough, that his government has taken prudent measures to help Canada weather a storm it cannot duck: he has offered tax cuts and selective aid to help vulnerable manufacturing towns. But it is his seeming non-reaction to what is so far a non-crisis that looks likely to deny him the majority he was seeking, and could even let in the opposition. In what is the first credit-crunch election in a big Western country, Mr Harper’s ejection would set a dispiriting precedent that panic plays better politically than prudence.

Toronto Sun
While we respect all the national party leaders, realistically, Canadians Tuesday must choose between Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion to lead us through tough economic times. To us, the choice for prime minister is clear. It’s Harper.

Vancouver Sun
So on the ballot box question that’s on everybody’s mind – the slowing economy – we trust Harper to navigate the rough road ahead. A majority government for the Conservatives led by Stephen Harper is our choice.

Montreal Gazette
“On balance, however, we believe that considering the Conservative record and the goals, policies, and personnel of the other parties, it is the Conservatives who deserve to be re-elected on Tuesday. Amid all the unfair and misleading advertising of this campaign, one Conservative message is truer now than when the writ was dropped: Constancy and prudence with the country’s finances are even more important when we’re in the economic doldrums.”

Ottawa Citizen
“We believe that Canadians should return the Conservatives to government on Oct. 14, but not because Stephen Harper is an inspiring figure. He is not. There are no Obama-esque promises to repair the world. But Mr. Harper offers the steadiest hand and clearest judgment to steer Canada through the rough waters that lie ahead.”

Winnipeg Free Press
“Under the shrill cacophony of the opposition’s cries for action, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have remained calm. Look at the last two years, the prime minister says, correctly claiming that he has offered generally competent government. In the face of this crisis, he promises more of the same. On Thursday, two major international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum, agreed with him, saying that Canada was on the right course to weather the storm. Mr. Harper’s economic policy is clear and practical and worth supporting on Tuesday. To turn the old saying on its head, this time, hard times should be Tory times. As The Economist said Thursday, if Canadians reject the Conservatives, it would ‘set a dispiriting precedent that panic plays better politically than prudence.'”

Edmonton Journal
“And in that real world, both Canada and Alberta in particular will be best served if Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are re-elected with the strength to be more than caretakers until we have to go through all of this again.”

Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Each voter will have to respond to this question as he or she sees fit. The way The Record’s editorial board views the situation, there are only two viable options, one coming from Harper’s Conservatives, the other from Stéphane Dion’s Liberals. And when we weigh things as fairly and carefully as we can, we conclude that Harper and his party deserve another term in government.

Ottawa Sun
In every election campaign there comes a moment when someone declares it to be the most important election in a very long time. This is that moment for us. What Ottawa and Canada need now is a strong Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.

Calgary Sun
But on the big question — who should be our prime minister — there’s no question. It’s Harper.

Edmonton Sun
Still, after assessing all the party promises, the Edmonton Sun believes the one that will inflict the least damage on our economy and way of life is the platform presented by Harper’s Conservatives.

Vancouver Province
Rather than roll the dice, protecting Canadians during these difficult and unstable times calls for proven, rational measures from a federal government that uses workable fundamentals, such as keeping taxes low, paying down debt and maintaining controlled spending. That’s why we are endorsing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives and urge voters to give them a majority on Oct. 14, a majority incidentally that should include stronger representation from B.C.

Winnipeg Sun
Harper has also proven himself on the world stage. He’s unafraid to make tough decisions and, unlike the Liberals, committed to properly funding our military and giving it a clear mandate and mission, before sending our soldiers into harm’s way.

Brantford Expositor
Like many Canadians, we have been fairly satisfied with Harper’s government since it took office in January 2006. The Harper government has cut taxes and the national debt. It has promised to remove our forces from Afghanistan. It has belatedly responded to the crisis on the stock markets.

Calgary Herald
“Thus, the choice is simple. The Calgary Herald endorses Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. They deserve to be re-elected based on their record, competence, and on the prime minister’s steady hand as Canada heads into uncharted, choppy economic waters.”

Windsor Star
“Harper has come under fire in some quarters for not empathizing more with Canadians fearful about their finances but Canadians don’t want their leaders to feign emotion and pretend to “feel their pain.” They want their leaders to alleviate it through sound policies rather than sound bites, actions rather than words. Canadians need sturdy leadership in these uncertain times and Harper offers it.”

Toronto Star
For all these reasons, Harper and the Conservatives do not deserve to be re-elected on Tuesday. We prefer Dion and the Liberals.