Arts & EventsMichael Moriarty’s Musings: Stephen Harper, Canada’s Best Leader

Michael Moriarty’s Musings: Stephen Harper, Canada’s Best Leader

Michael Moriarty’s Musings:  Stephen Harper, Canada’s Best Leader

Thank God I moved to Canada!

No, I had no idea in the late 1990s that Stephen Harper would eventually arrive in Ottawa to guide Canada out of the swamps of the sophisticated naiveté of Pierre Trudeau, the mixed messages of Brian Mulroney’s Conservatism and the warmed-over, second helping of Trudeau with Jean Chrétien.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, who preceded Harper, was almost a thing that never really happened. Almost as phantom-like as Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

“Just watch me,” declared Pierre Trudeau, and the world did indeed witness the Martial Embarrassment of Trudeau’s October Crisis.

That, of course, happened a few years before anyone in entertainment had even really heard of Michael Moriarty.

I was, however, hearing about Canada and Pierre Trudeau. The most legendary of French Canadian Prime Ministers soon symbolized all the “sophisticated” brilliance that… well… all sophisticated geniuses need in order to intimidate the rest of the world.

Pierre Trudeau had even frozen Marlon Brando in fear.

"That's the most frightened I've ever been in my life,” said Brando. “He's the most intimidating person I've ever met."

Brando is famed for intimidating everyone else! Trudeau, therefore, had to be the unsurpassed essence of a fearsomely sophisticated bully.

At that time, however, I was an utterly brain-dead Liberal artiste! Trudeau, to my mind at the time, could do no wrong. That is until 1993 when I met Attorney General Janet Reno of the Bill Clinton administration and… well… the whole experience was akin to shock treatment or Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT), which, during my youthful year in London, England, I was personally more than sufficiently acquainted with. It took me 10 years to recover from that experience.

A similar form of shell-shock followed the face-to-face meeting with Janet Reno: I plunged myself, body and soul, into seemingly endless vats of red wine, good and bad, until the memory of Reno and the reality of my subsequent expatriatism became a foggy blur within the accompanying stupor of a delayed but unavoidably inherited alcoholism. Not only was I no longer a Liberal, but I was soon to learn the horrifying implications of the word “Progressive.” In short, the Progressive Conservative Party of Brian Mulroney meant, in the crudest of terms, watching The Game being routinely dealt from the bottom of the deck.

Following that, Canada and Canadians thought they could reignite the Trudeau magic with Jean Chrétien… but… well… there was only one Pierre Trudeau as I hope there will prove to be only one Barack Hussein Obama.

I also pray that the Obama Nation in the White House will terminate the October Crisis in America 2012 by not being reelected in November!

This now brings us to the divinely welcome arrival of Stephen Harper.

I had been a fervent supporter and booster of Stockwell Day.

I stayed quite loyal to him for quite some time.

He retired last year, not seeking reelection.

Oh, well… as I’ve said, “Thank God for Stephen Harper!”


Here is Harper’s most courageous decision so far: closing Canadian embassies in Iran and expelling Iranian ambassadors from Canada.

His bravery was immediately rewarded by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

At the award ceremony and aside from the mistake of overpraising Henry Kissinger,

with whom I have more than a number of bones to pick, Stephen Harper presented the heart of his governing philosophy throughout this acceptance speech.

He begins with this:

“In a globe of conflicting

 and complex

 and competing interests,

 it is far too easy

to set aside the silent

 and subtle appeals

of the conscience.

“But, if we do,

the world is lost.”


Despite the low-key, Canadian style, Prime Minister Harper is more the poet than the politician.

However, he’s not one to live in a white tower. He’s on the ground wherever he sees threats to human rights.

As the classic Canadian, however, he knows how to help, when to help and when not to help. When to simply think things over before you act:

“You have made it your life work

 to take the horrors of your own experience

 and to use them

to remind us of something truly hopeful:

the freedom

 and human dignity

 of every person.”

Dr. Karl Menninger described sanity as “The Vital Balance.”

Here is Stephen Harper discussing The Vital Balance required for world leadership:

“We Canadians, for example,

are very conscious of our own sovereignty

 and we expect our governments

to make pragmatic decisions

 in Canada’s national interest.


 we also want those governments

to be good world citizens,

to try to understand other points of view

 and to act in concert with our partners,

 for the wider interests

of humanity.”


Then he strikes to the heart of the contemporary matter:


When confronted with evil in the world,

we do take a stand;

we take strong,

principled positions in our dealings,

whether popular

or not.


Canada pulled its ambassadors out of Iran four days before the 9/11 attack upon the American Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya. It was neither a popular decision among Liberals nor a panicky action prompted by one incident. The orders obviously came from Stephen Harper’s intensely weighed estimate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s insanely provocative and tyrannical reign in Iran.


“That is, of course, not the same thing, friends,

as trying to court every dictator

with a vote at the United Nations

 or just going along with every emerging international consensus,

 no matter




Now here he comes to the heart of his message:

“The years through which we are now passing

seem to be times of extraordinary change,

 as if some great hand

is spinning the wheel of history.

Nations with a history of shared values,

like many of our friends in Europe,


(and south of Canada’s border)


are weighed down by debts

 they cannot seem to control,

by entitlements they can no longer afford,

and by sluggish economies

that show few signs of growth.



new powers are rising,

whose commitments to our ideals

are often neither firm

nor clear.”


All of whom are involved in President Obama’s vaunted “Arab Spring.”


“What appears to some

a hopeful spring

for democracy

quickly becomes

an angry summer

of populism.


“Old resentments

seem to come back to life,

energizing groups who advocate terror

and dangerous,

rogue states

seek nuclear weapons.”


Only such wisdom in the Prime Minister could see the glaring contradiction-in-terms that we now live in:


“The world is probably a freer

and more democratic place today

when I look at it

 than at any point in my lifetime.

Yet, paradoxically,

rarely has the future

of the free and democratic world

 been less secure.”


Then Prime Minister Harper sounds the strongest alarm bell:


“Other countries, however,

constitute unambiguously

a clear and present danger

and thus demand

a very sober assessment.


“First among these

is the Government of Iran.”


Here is one of the few leaders of the world courageous enough to speak undiplomatically:



“I believe that the appeal of our conscience

 requires us to speak out

against what the Iranian regime stands for.



it requires us to speak

in support of the country

that its hatred most immediately threatens,

the State of Israel.”



Finally comes a one-sentence paragraph that demands a repeated echo from the loftiest pulpits we can find on earth:


“And we are also mindful

of a lesson of history,

that those

who single out the Jewish people

as a target

of racial

and religious bigotry

will inevitably

be a threat

to all of us.”


Stephen Harper is Winston Churchill without Churchill’s flair for self-promotion.

Harper is Harper.

Harper is, in essence, the best of Canada.

To my mind, the best leader that Canada ever had to offer.

Mitt Romney, God willing he should be elected, will have a challenge ahead of him to remain even neck-and-neck with what is now the greatest leader of the Free World: Stephen Harper.


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