A man named Lyle called Rick Cluff on an open-line CBC Radio show and described Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a “con man”.
Cluff cut him off, saying this was an “extreme view”.
Lyle’s comments reflect how little trust some Canadians have in Harper. Here are my top five reasons why Harper can’t be trusted:
1. Harper went on national television on December 3 and falsely claimed that the Liberals and NDP formed a coalition with the Bloc Quebecois. That’s not true. The Bloc has only promised to support the coalition if there is a confidence vote in Parliament. The Bloc can vote against any legislation brought forward by the coalition. Harper declined to mention this in his televised address.
2. Harper stained Canadian democracy by running attack ads about Stephane Dion long before an election was held. The real purpose of attack ads is to drive down voter turnout in elections. It worked for Harper. He won the most seats with a measley 59-percent turnout on October 14, mainly because his party's ads convinced enough people that it wasn’t worth voting.
3. Harper’s government wouldn’t allow an Environment Canada scientist to speak publicly about his novel about global warming. Memo to the prime minister: a novel is a work of fiction. Moreover, Environment Canada scientists are not allowed to speak to the media without getting approval through communications staff, who can vet what they say. What does Harper want to hide?
4. Harper took advantage of global economic uncertainty to try to drive a stake through Canadian democracy by eliminating public financing of political parties. He backed off in the face of intense opposition, but he'll probably try again if he gets a majority.
5. Harper had plans to control all RCMP external and internal communications by appointing an assistant deputy minister who would vet everything. This plan has been put on hold, likely until Harper gets a majority.
Honourable mention: Harper lied about the Liberals' revenue-neutral carbon tax, neglecting to mention that it was part of a broader plan that included tax cuts and tax credits.
Those are the top five reasons. I invite readers to add to the list in the comment space below.