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A 12th ad, stating that Harper would put “soldiers with guns” in Canadian cities, disappeared from the Liberal party website late this afternoon.
One of the ads however, suggesting Harper would put military personnel in Canadian cities, was later pulled, with the Liberal Party saying the ad had been circulated in error.
The new ads each feature unflattering close-ups of Harper's face, are accompanied by war-like drumming, and end with the newly-minted Liberal campaign slogan, "Choose Your Canada."
A female announcer challenges his credibility in a number of areas. Perhaps the most far-flung of the ads suggests conservative U.S. donors played a key role in Harper's career.
"Who paid for Stephen Harper's rise to the head of the party?" asks the voice. "We don't know. He refuses to reveal his donors. What do you suppose he's hiding? We do know he's very popular with right wingers in the U.S. They have money, maybe they helped him. We just don't know. He just won't say."
The ads also attack Harper's position on Atlantic Canada. One ad quotes Harper as saying "unfortunately many people in Atlantic Canada feel that it's only through government favours there will be economic progress."
Another closely compares Harper to former Ontario premier Mike Harris.
"Like Stephen Harper, Mike Harris had a right wing agenda. Remember the Common Sense Revolution? Remember the environmental neglect, the shattered social programs, the crumbling schools and hospitals, the huge deficits? Yeah, that Common Sense Revolution. Do we really want to go down that road again?"
The ads also:
* Attack Harper's comments to an American think-tank in Montreal when he called the U.S. a light and inspiration to Canadians and the world;
* Claim Harper will either have to raise taxes or run a deficit to pay for his campaign promises;
* Claim Harper and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe have a close relationship that will not benefit national unity;
* Claim that Harper once said Liberal ridings in the west of Canada are either dominated by recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada;
* Report comments Harper made to an American audience, advising them not to feel bad for Canada's unemployed, who receive "generous social assistance and unemployment assistance," and that Canada is content to become a second-tier social country;
* Quote a U.S. newspaper editorial that described Harper as the most pro-U.S. leader in the western world.ctv.ca
In this election campaign, Mr. Harper has torn a page from President George W. Bush’s campaign strategy of 2000.
He is running on a platform of “conservative choice,” away from his right-wing record on taxes, federalism and rights in an attempt to lay claim to the Canadian centre.
This is what President Bush did in 2000. He ran on a platform of “compassionate conservatism,” away from a record of religious radicalism in an attempt to lay claim to the American center.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says major cities across the country should be given a regular army presence by creating territorial defence units to help deal with emergencies in urban areas.
At a campaign stop Tuesday on Vancouver Island, Mr. Harper said such units would be composed of 100 regular troops and 400 or more reservists if the Tories win the Jan. 23 federal election.
“A large number of our cities have no military presence,” he said after announcing plans to beef up the military's capabilities in the West.
globe and mail
Mr. Harper seeks to move us toward a Canada where people are forced to fend for themselves.