Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Harper Chief of Staff "Resigns"

I have to say I like Stephen Harper, but his PR department is a mess. No matter what the man does, the Liberals and NDP have convinced the country that he is a monster just looking for power so that he can throw grandma out on the streets and make your children work in his friends coal mines (I'm paraphrasing here but that's essentially the message they've been sending). In fact, by all accounts I have read he is an honest, intelligent, straight forward politician (a rare breed in Ottawa) who just has a hard time selling himself to Canadians on the personal level.

Like many honest politicians, he seems to be more focused on doing the Country's work then trying to look good in the press. For me, that's good enough, but for most people they want to see their leaders out shaking hands and kissing babies, policies be damned. So it was with mixed feeling that I heard this morning about the fact that Harper has essentially asked his Chief of Staff to leave (CTV.ca). I just hope whoever comes in to replace Mr. Murphy does a better job of 'selling' Harper to Canadians but doesn't make him a laughing stock by putting him into totally unnatural positions. It's ok to try and get your face out there but not at the expense of your ideals or your credibility.

Of course in Canadian politics, the more popular a Conservative candidate the more the opposition parties attack. Remember Stockwell Day? While a lot of his problems arose from internal party politics (and an unfortunate Sea-Doo appearence), it's amazing how much he was attacked personally for such things as just being a Christian (amazingly enough by people who, when the need arises, have no trouble flaunting the fact they are devout Roman Catholics). The sad thing is, under Canadian Rules Journalism, the hypocrisy of those attacks are just lost.

So here's to hoping that whoever Harper chooses as his new right hand man (or woman), they know how to walk that fine line.

(H/T Captain's Quarters)

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