The True North Times
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It’s February 2006. Green Day receives their Grammy for best record of the year: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.  The Canadian Men’s Olympic hockey team has one of its worst showings in recent history, and finishes without a medal in Turin, Italy. High School Musical airs on the Disney channel. The Pittsburgh Steelers are crowned Superbowl Champions. And, of course, Stephen Harper is elected Prime Minister of Canada.

2006 was indeed a memorable year in North America, especially for Canadians.  It marked a new beginning for the Conservative Party of Canada, since Harper would continue as Prime Minister for years to come.  This week marks his eight-year anniversary in office.  While he has garnered support from many across the country, Harper undoubtedly still has his share of skeptics.  One fact, however, remains glaring: Steven Harper has endured.

Among other challenges, Harper has survived the 2008 Prorogation Crisis. Despite major controversy, then Governor-General Michaelle Jean granted Harper’s Conservatives their prorogation, and suspended parliament until early in the New Year.

He has survived (so far) the hugely important Senate scandal, in which four Canadian senators were caught swiping their Senate visa for things that most definitely do not constitute “Senatorial expenses”.

Perhaps worst of all, he has represented Canada in ways unfathomable to the world of fashion.

Come on lassie and I'll lasso the...something...sorry.

All these jokes I’m not making right now? You’re welcome.
CP

 

And, while some say his approval ratings have dropped since his last election victory, there is little in the way of clarity with regards to who will become our country’s new Prime Minister in 2015. If anything has proven true up until this point, it is that Harper has managed to hold his own.

How has he managed to do so? That’s what is interesting about this utterly ordinary-looking man. He has bent, but not broken. He has redefined what it means to be a member of the Conservative Party by accepting defeat where necessary and finding victory when needed. Take the 2008 Prorogation as an example.  Rather than increasing government spending, Harper’s government amended their budget plans to tailor to the demands of the liberals, and ended the Coalition government formed by the Conservatives’ competitors. Other complicated situations have arisen: Harper’s Conservative Party faced a vote of non-confidence in 2011 for contempt of parliament, marking the first time in the history of a Westminster Parliamentary system that this has happened. Needless to say, he was confident, and has remained in his stronghold.

Now, in 2014, uncertainty looms ahead. Will we have more Harper, or is it time for Canada to be taken in a new direction?  The decision, as per usual, will be in the hands of Canadians.  No matter the outcome, it will be a wonderful day for Canada and, therefore, the world.