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Biased out the wazoo, and essentially a pandering paean of an apologia for a terrible P.M, but interesting for the quotes. It establishes on paper that Harper was a deeply ideological thinker.

Our argument is that Harper had the most well-developed view of government’s role since Pierre Trudeau and that understanding this worldview is critical to understanding his approach to federal politics and policy.

Harper did not seek power for power’s sake. He had a vision for Canada, a vision steeped in Canadian conservative history going back to Sir John A Macdonald, a vision that deeply informed his politics and his actions as Prime Minister.

At its core the intellectual basis of Mr. Harper’s agenda was a fusion of traditional conservatism (or as he often referred to it, Burkean conservatism) and classical liberalism that can be aptly described as “ordered liberty.”

His traditional conservatism was evident in his predisposition to “incrementalism” (a Burkean poise reflecting an epistemological modesty) and his policy agenda which saw a role for government to support key civil society institutions (such as marriage and the family) and socially-beneficial behaviours (such as educational attainment and personal savings), but did so by promoting choice rather than central planning and inflexible bureaucratic programs.

His classical liberalism came through in his relentless, though incremental, reduction in the overall tax burden, his focus on controlling discretionary federal spending, and a preference for incenting individual rather than collective action.

Indeed, Mr. Harper shifted the so-called “goal posts” of federal policy the furthest in modern Canadian political history and has created a solid intellectual foundation of ordered liberty from which future Conservative leaders can build.

This essay will contextualize Stephen Harper’s governing record in his ordered liberty philosophy as articulated over the course of his time in public life. It will draw from his speeches and writings to show his well-developed and clear conservative worldview on a range of subjects, including tax and fiscal policy, social policy, criminal justice, federalism, and restoring the country’s historical consciousness...

How Harper’s Philosophy Transformed Canada for the Better

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