(The Guardian) -- I frequently tell my American friends, who know little about Canada, that Stephen Harper is the last remnant of the George W Bush administration in North America. The response I get is usually a mixture of dismay and pity. Bush’s worldview and politics of fear have been rejected by Americans in the last two elections, many of whom now lament his era as a period of folly and hubris.
My American friends are also confused. How could Canada, a country widely regarded as being full of socially-progressive and tolerant people, elect someone from a party so antithetical to that image?
Harper doesn’t represent the values my neighbors and I grew up believing in: collective responsibility, generosity, multiculturalism, multilateralism, the championing of peace and human rights and the importance of environmental stewardship. For ten years Harper has steered Canada away from these values, and many Americans, indeed many Canadians, don’t understand how far he has shifted the country.
Advertisement - story continues below