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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Barack Obama and Stephen Harper: two peas in a pod?

Over at The Prairie Wrangler, the blogger Olaf has put together the kind of analysis I was planning to do myself.

Olaf went and compared Barack Obama's actual policies with those of one Stephen J. Harper (you might remember him from the recent Canadian election.)

As it turns out, they're not all that different. For example, on taxes:

Obama on the personal tax cuts: Will offer ”a middle class tax cut for 95 percent of American workers… three times the size of McCain’s”

Harper on personal tax cuts: Will “allow families where one spouse is not working full-time in order to care for one or more family members with disabilities – whether children or adults – to split their income between spouses for tax purposes.”

On the environment:

Obama on the Environment: Will “implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”

Harper on the Environment: Will “implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases”

On the regulation of the telecom industry:

Obama on Evil Text Messaging Charges: “……”

Harper on Evil Text Messaging Charges: Would “prevent telecommunications companies from charging fees to customers for receiving unsolicited commercial text messages.”

Olaf has several other examples to prove the point (Obama's strident foreign policy rhetoric, compared to Harper's, should raise eyebrows, at the very least.)

What's ironic is that many on the left (though by no means all!) have treated Obama like he's a white knight, while attacking Harper at every opportunity for being some kind of evil neo-con Bush clone.

They're not all that different. In fact, I expect them to get along just fine.

Dr. Dawg is one person on the left who is having "sober second thoughts." (Or was never that enthusiastic about Obama in the first place, for just the kind of reasons Olaf picks out.)

The Globe and Mail today apparently carried an item making a similar point, but I can't find it online at the moment.

UPDATE: K Stricker in the comments points me to this rather humourous column in the Winnipeg Sun that satirically makes the same point. To quote:

We [i.e. the media] must explain why Harper is evil, cruel, mean, homophobic and a closet Christian bigot for having supported civil unions for homosexuals, but not gay marriages, in Canada, while Obama is enlightened, wise, metrosexual and -- excuse me, I'm tearing up a bit, here -- Christ-like, for having supported civil unions, but not gay marriages, in the U.S.

Nice. Very nice.

Posted by Terrence Watson on November 6, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


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Posted by: K Stricker | 2008-11-06 11:59:45 AM

Well Terrence you must understand that the problem is pretty much as follows:

Harper is white,
Harper is perceived as conservative (right wing) and the truth does not matter,
Harper is not simply a Christian but horror of horror a white Christian and
Harper does not possess the razzle-dazzle of a Michael Jackson.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-11-06 3:51:19 PM

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