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Former PM Harper Says Canada Needs ‘Conservative Renaissance’

Former PM Harper Says Canada Needs ‘Conservative Renaissance’

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that Canada needs a “conservative renaissance” to step out of the current economic situation, and he defended populism in the face of accusations it’s anti-democratic.

“That word ‘populist’ has taken on a number of imprecise and often negative meanings,” he told a crowd at the Canada Strong and Free Network conference in Ottawa on March 22.

“For instance, if you were to read liberal media around the worldwhich of course you should not dothere you will find that any election result that they like is ‘democratic’ and any election result they don’t like is ‘populist.’”

Harper said the original meaning of the word meant the representation of the broad interests of a great mass of people in contrast with the elites who hold concentrated power.

The former prime minister was making the case for a renaissance of the conservative movement with organized support across society.

Making a keynote address at an event established by Preston Manning, who also founded and led the populist Reform Party from the late 1980s, Harper drew examples from the work accomplished at the time and made some parallels between the eras.

He said governments and central banks have been implementing the economic policies of the 1970s, “and as a consequence,…

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