Another interesting comparison is how they handle people in person. Stephen Harper will have a convoy of guards with him at all times at his shoulders and even threaten to arrest and arrest journalists that don’t like his views – CBC was a victim of this. Michael Ignatieff, on the other hand, has made a tour of town halls where people could question him and meet him in person. I was at one of these town halls and it functioned by him entering the room and walking through the crowd, and going to his stage where he addressed the people. He did not have any visible security on him and when the town hall ended, he sat on the stage and welcomed people to come and talk to him in person. I met him myself, in person. Based on what I saw, he was a gentleman, a scholar. Can anyone other than Harper’s inner circle get that close to him and speak to him without security?
Free speech is not one of Harper’s strong suits as he strictly disciplines his ministers to follow script and conducts everything like the puppet master. On the other hand, Ignatieff allows his ministers to speak freely and even brings them to the crowd.
The next election will be a choice. With Stephen Harper’s closed caucus and visibly one man show, has he succeeded in keeping his promise on transparency? I don’t think so. Can we trust a man who goes back on his word?