Here On Earth
As the Reform party began to merge into the Canadian Alliance in 2000 and Stockwell Day began taking power from Preston Manning, Harper began criticizing him too, accusing him of ‘socialist views’. I think Mr. Harper read all about how McCarthy used these tactics in the USA and tried them out with great success in his political career. After Pierre Trudeau’s death he wrote a scathing piece accusing Trudeau of unabashed socialism amoung other things.
This privileged Ontario boy dug his heels into Alberta writing that Alberta had “chosen the "best of Canada's heritage—a combination of American enterprise and individualism with the British traditions of order and co-operation" while Canada "appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country… He opposed the separatism movement of Alberta with it’s new found oil wealth, instead focusing on Alberta taking the reigns of Canada.
He endorsed a private school tax credit at the expense of what he called ‘union run’ public education,
warned about any alliance with Quebec nationalists, opposed french Language rights and the rights of special status to French in Quebec, endorsed greater provincial control of medicare and argued for parental rights for corporal punishment and the raising of the age of consent
He described his support base as ‘similar to what George Bush tapped’. Harper went against Day and won 55% of the vote.
He then took Preston Mannings riding of Calgary South West ousting the candidate who was there and got into the House of Commons as the Liberals did not field position following a tradition of allowing Opposition leaders to enter the house unopposed. The PC candidate Jim Prentice stepped aside as well and Harper got in.
During the campaign he insulted every other leader, would not debate with his co-contender in his riding a he ‘despised him’ saying he would not co-operate with anything the Conservatives put forward as long as Joe Clark was in, and called Stockwell day amateur. He became leader of the opposition in 2002 insulting the Atantic Canadians by saying they were trapped in a culture of defeat perpetuated by Liberals and progressive Conservative governments. Despite massive condemnation of the insensitive and inflammatory remarks he would not apologize saying most of Canada was trapped by defeatism. He also condemned the Canada’ policy to not invade Iraq.
He resigned as leader of the Opposition in 2004 to announce his running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada which he led into the 2004 elections, that he lost. I found this interesting. From Wikipedia..
“Two months after the federal election, Stephen Harper privately met Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe and New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton in a Montreal hotel. On September 9, 2004, the three signed a letter addressed to then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, stating, "We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority."
On the same day the letter was written, the three party leaders held a joint press conference at which they expressed their intent to co-operate on changing parliamentary rules, and to request that the Governor General consult with them before deciding to call an election. At the news conference, Harper said "It is the Parliament that's supposed to run the country, not just the largest party and the single leader of that party. That's a criticism I've had and that we've had and that most Canadians have had for a long, long time now so this is an opportunity to start to change that." However, at the time, Harper and the two other opposition leaders denied trying to form a coalition government. Harper said, "This is not a coalition, but this is a co-operative effort."
One month later, on October 4, Mike Duffy, who was later appointed as a Conservative senator by Harper, said "It is possible that you could change prime minister without having an election", and that some Conservatives wanted Harper to temporarily become prime minister without holding an election. The next day Layton walked out on talks with Harper and Duceppe, accusing them of trying to replace Paul Martin with Harper as prime minister. Both Bloc and Conservative officials denied Layton's accusations. On March 26, 2011, Duceppe stated that Harper had tried to form a coalition government with the Bloc and NDP in response to Harper's allegations that the Liberals may form a coalition with the Bloc and the ND. ..wikipedia.
He changed his tune on opposition to abortion and bilingualism as his audience changed and began to get more endorsements.
He still lobbied against same sex marriage and for stronger ties with the USA and a tougher stance on crime. His party was caught trying to bribe Paul martins Chief of staff to defect to their party What did happen though was one of theirs defected to the Liberals.
On November 24, 2005, Harper introduced a motion of non-confidence on the Liberal government, telling the House of Commons "that this government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons and needs to be removed."
As the Liberals had lost NDP support in the house by refusing to accept an NDP plan to prevent health care privatization, the no-confidence motion was passed by a vote of 171–133. It was the first time that a Canadian government had been toppled by a straight motion of non-confidence proposed by the opposition. As a result, Parliament was dissolved and a general election was scheduled for January 23, 2006.
During the toppling there were many accusations of bribery and corruption including offering a million dollar life insurance policy to a terminally ill Liberal MP to cross the floor. Scandals involving breach of trust and insider trading came to the public attention and Harper took the position of Prime Minister by toppling Martin with just barely enough seats to do it.
In his first address as head of government, he reinforced his bonds to his paternal ancestors by paying tribute to the British queen, Elizabeth II, and her "lifelong dedication to duty and self-sacrifice." He also said before the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce that Canada and the United Kingdom were joined by "the golden circle of the Crown, which links us all together with the majestic past that takes us back to the Tudors, the Plantagenets, the Magna Carta, habeas corpus, petition of rights, and English common law.”