In 2001 in the race for leader of the Canadian Alliance Party, the Globe and Mail reported that in a meeting with Tory Caucus supporters, Stephen Harper described himself as "A radical ideologue who wants to retreat into a right-wing NDP."
At a time when the right-wing of the political spectrum was fractured and the current leader of the Canadian Alliance Stockwell Day was floundering, numerous conservatives were testing the waters for possible leadership bids. On Sept. 25 one possible candidate and largest threat to Day Stephen Harper met with 38 members of the party's caucus in an effort to gauge support for his potential leadership campaign.
In an article in the Globe and Mail, reporter Brian Laghi reported that a source who was in attendance at that meeting heard Harper describe himself as having changed over the years from a moderate to a radical conservative. The source described a portion of Stephen Harper's speech:
"He said 'When I was an MP, I was a thoughtful moderate. Now I'm a radical ideologue who wants to retreat into a right-wing NDP."These words that are attributed to Stephen Harper in 2001 offer possible reinforcement to the perception Harper is more Conservative then he has recently shown in repeated Conservative minority governments.
A basis of that perception was in 1994 when Harper criticized the Progressive Conservative governments of Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney; not only suggesting that those governments were not conservative, but that they were anti-conservative. And this only begs the question of Stephen Harper, if he thought Mulroney was anti-conservative in signing NAFTA, creating the GST, privatizing over a third of Crown corporations, and supporting the first Gulf war, what does Harper think is conservative?
And any answer to that question will go far to suggest what Harper would do with a majority government.