Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Harper and Ignatieff: Compare and Contrast

If you want to know how a leader will lead, look to how they respond when their followers screw up.

Harper’s closed-door campaign marches woman out of rally in London - thestar... - StumbleUpon

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has long been known for martial discipline, but his campaign may have crossed the line when someone frog-marched a young woman out of a rally in London, Ont., Sunday.

The first-time voter’s crime, apparently, was to have posed for a picture with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and posted it for all to see on her Facebook page.

About half an hour before Harper arrived at the crowded hotel rally, one organizer asked to speak with Awish Aslam and a friend outside the room. There, he ripped up their nametags and ordered them to leave.

“We know you guys have ties to the Liberal party through Facebook,” the University of Western Ontario student told the London Free Press. “You are no longer welcome here.”

The Tories say the incident was a mistake, though Harper himself offered no apology when asked about it Tuesday.

“The staff runs our campaigns and I can’t comment on individual matters like that,” Harper said.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has ordered an investigation into alleged racist comments made by one of his Quebec candidates, saying, if true, Andre Forbes would be dismissed.
"The reported remarks of this candidate are utterly unacceptable. They do not reflect Liberal values," Ignatieff said during a campaign stop in Compton, Que., on Wednesday. 
"As soon as I heard that these remarks were made or had been made in the past, I ordered an immediate inquiry. As soon as I find out the facts, we will take decisive action." 
Forbes, who is Metis and the Liberal candidate for the riding of Manicouagan, made a series of comments several years ago when he was president of an association for the rights of white people — but they are only now coming back to haunt him after the NDP brought them to light.

I'd say that the two reactions to followers acting in appallingly un-Canadian ways is pretty damn definitive. Despite all the Conservative hooplah about Iggy being more American than Canadian, I think that given the Cheneyesque arrogance displayed by Steven Harper, I think it's clear who owes more to the US tradition of leadership.

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