Old Stephen Harper opposed big government and runway spending. New Harper has presided over a 22 per cent spending hike. Old Harper was critical of unchecked immigration and multiculturalism. New Harper brags about ratcheting immigration rates to 57-year highs. Old Harper felt no shame embracing the cause of social conservatism. New Harper couldn’t stand up for gay marriage fast enough the second the rumour mill started grinding against him.
Yet a CBC interview with the PM this week revealed that in at least one important realm Harper’s stripes have barely changed at all. Speaking of the nuclear threat posed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran, the Prime Minister declared himself officially “frightened,” before lapsing into the same sort of rhetorical bluster he’s used since his days as an opposition bench booster for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Well, he’s still pretty tough-on-crime and, despite recent increases, his government has been openly hostile to immigrants and refugees, but Mr. McCullough is correct to note his transformation to a booster of big government who no longer trucks with social conservatives.