The Evolution Of Stephen Harper And His Party

Posted on Friday, January 20 at 12:03 by Ed Deak
Harper cut his political teeth in Ottawa working for a Progressive Conservative MP. But believing then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney wasn't doing enough to move Canada in a truly conservative direction, he left the Tories. After a chance meeting with Reform leader Preston Manning, Harper became active in his Western-based, grassroots movement. But by 1997, he left over differences with Manning. After a break from politics, Harper returned in 2002 to head Reform's successor, the Canadian Alliance, and was instrumental in merging that party with the Progressive Conservatives. The new Conservative Party of Canada lost the federal election in 2004 when the Liberals successfully painted Harper and his MPs as scary extremists. In response, Harper has now remade himself as a Conservative moderate. Today he's even taking advice from Mulroney, and some of the former PM's key associates have joined him on the campaign trail. [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 22, 2006]


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