The Prime Minister who was "once dismissed as a doctrinaire backroom tactician with no experience in government has emerged as a warrior in power," writes TIME contributing editor Stephen Handelman. "Defying conventional wisdom about how to lead a minority government (very, very cautiously), Canada's 22nd Prime Minister led Canadians on a bold, and discomfiting, journey of political change. He slashed more than $1 billion worth of federal programs, reshuffled the federal bureaucracy, and reopened the wounds of the national unity debate by supporting Quebec's right to declare itself a 'nation.' At the same time he has introduced a new standard of accountability for federal politicians, stewarded Canada's first major deployment of troops to a combat theater in five decades and, for good measure, negotiated an end to a long-simmering trade wrangle with the U.S. over softwood exports.
"If Harper wins the majority he craves, in the election expected sometime next year, he may yet turn out to be the most transformational leader since Trudeau. He has set himself the messianic tasks of remaking Canadian federalism by curbing Ottawa's spending powers and overhauling Canada's health care and social welfare system...For the way he has dramatically reshaped the national conversation, for restoring a sense of competence and integrity to high public office, and for proving that big ideas still matter in Canadian politics, Stephen Harper has been chosen by TIME as Canada's Newsmaker of 2006," concludes Handelman.
Did someone in the PMO write this overview? I'm sure if you asked the American lumber industry, they too would name Stephen Harper man of the year. Let's see how the "warrior in power" operates now that he actually has a credible opposition and poor polling. This overview gives an unbalanced impression that Harper has been a success story. The left-wing media strikes again.