David Hilbert, one of the original and colourful minds of higher Maths, (1862-1943), is said to have loved music (like most mathematically inclined minds) and would always play his phonographs as loud as possible by choosing the largest needle. Upon hearing Caruso, an Italian tenor, sing live the disappointed Hilbert is said to remark that: "Caruso sings on the small needle."
Since coming into power upon promises of "fixing" government, Harper and his minions when confronted by difficult and controversial issues seem more intent upon pointing out the the previous governments (ie, the Liberals and, more quietly, the Tories) did the exact same thing rather than displaying political acumen and smarts (originality) that Harper's even sometimes dullardly predecessors were known to have flashes of in the most trying of times.
To quote Chretien: "If military action [in Iraq] is launched without a new [UN] resolution, Canada will not participate." and rather than overtly shutting things out on the issue of, again, Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction: "I don't know... A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."
John A MacDonald: "Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians."
John Diefenbaker: "Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong... Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent... The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words."
The underlying stream in all of these disparate sources have something of self-respect and extending the reality of differences and debate as a means of negotiating political living arrangements for people of differing opinions rather than declaring open war. There is a certain level of decorum, an appeal to "tradition" and "conventional wisdom", a certain authenicity and empathy for freedoms and rights of all, a certain level of mature sanity and thoughtful cautious regard for our political traditions. (as an aboriginal, I truly believe in the Westminster model and regard our present circumstances as rather more reflective of Canada's level of evolution than the mechanism's short-coming)
With Harper and the neo-cons there is little or no regard for liberal tolerations that has been Canada's political climate since its inception, imperfect as it is and was, with its suggested and practical promises to become better and more humane, to develop and evolve into higher forms.
Harper and his minions are baser forms of consciousness - anti-intellectual, easily made defensive and vitriolic - completely taken in by their own disguises. There is an immaturity and narcissism of Shakespeare's Count Malvolio in Harper: "O peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes!" (II, 5, 1059) "O peace! Now he's deeply in. Look how imagination blows him." (II, 5, 1070) - Twelfth Night