be the bigger man harper

Stephen Harper is acting in ways unbecoming of a prime minister. He holds the highest electable office in the land, but he isn’t interested in…

Stephen Harper is acting in ways unbecoming of a prime minister.

He holds the highest electable office in the land, but he isn’t interested in using his position with dignity.

He’d rather use a constitutional crisis in the middle of a economic downturn as a partisan rallying cry.

Harper has made no substantial overtures to calm frustration in the opposition parties.

He has not tempered emotions in the streets where future elections will be decided.

He refuses to accept his threat to eliminate public financing was a mistake.

And he has taken no responsibility for the recent crisis.

None.

In fact, he lays the blame on the coalition.

And if that’s not enough, Harper has wrongly asserted the opposition parties planned to overthrow his government no matter what was in the economic update a few weeks ago.

This is no way for a prime minister to talk.

Harper is demonizing a constitutional government-in-waiting by suggesting it harbours anti-democratic sentiments.

That’s a heavy accusation.

That rewriting of history serves his party, not the country.

It’s Harper who cornered the opposition in a life-or-death situation, regardless of whether you agree with public financing or not.

But somehow Harper wants Canadians to believe that he’s the one constantly being ganged up on.

The truth is, Harper’s the guy in power.

He’s at the helm, but he acts like he’s the little guy fighting for a seat at the table.

He just doesn’t want to work with people he’s deemed his enemies.

The prime minister should pacify needless division, especially during a financial crisis.

It’s how leaders develop a way forward, forging one future from diverse ideologies.

And after poisoning the confidence of Parliament with unnecessary brinkmanship, raising the quality of our political debate should be his first priority.

But it’s always election day for Harper.

Representing a party is necessary in our system, but pushing the partisan envelope to its limits hurts the country.

And Canada loses its independence when the prime minister evades his opposition.

We get our independence from the House of Commons, where a majority of our MPs form the government.

If the will of the people cannot be harnessed, Canada reverts to its colonial past and must approach the Queen of England.

A prime minister should invest in the Commons. A prime minister should try to keep the Queen out of this.

But Harper closed Parliament — the one way our country governs itself.

This is no way for a prime minister to act.

In Harper’s political philosophy, you don’t work with others if you don’t have to.

A prime minister should believe people will unite behind him for his moral integrity rather than how much he froths at the mouth.

Canadians need a voice that’s above the fray.

A prime minister should limit anger and divisiveness among Canadians.

But Harper exploits divisions to push his agenda.

Through his recent actions, he suggests he doesn’t govern for anyone except his own supporters.

Instead of turning this crisis into a way forward, he’s turned it into a partisan feeding frenzy.

Harper must remember that the prime minister’s office is more than just a pedestal for partisanship.

It’s a place to command the direction of an entire country.

Harper has the authority to find a solution to this impasse.

From his lofty vantage point, the prime minister can influence the thoughts and feelings of his supporters.

He has the power to set a conciliatory tone and stop demonizing the so-called undemocratic coalition.

He can also find common ground with the opposition.

This should be the goal in the face of a global economic slowdown that threatens the well-being of all citizens.

But today, the House of Commons is empty, the moral high ground is vacant and Canadian hearts are filled with anger.

For the good of the nation, Harper should take responsibility and help everybody move on.