Harper, Obama have 'warm exchange': PMO

CTV News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday, congratulating the Democrat for his election win earlier this week.

Good stuff!!

Let's entrench and expand NAFTA.

Open the country for business.

Drop taxes and our borders.

And generally have a good time.

I can't wait to see these guys meet each other for the first time - it'll be like when Nixon met Elvis.

Watch out Harper. Wouldn't want to be accused of being too cozy with the Americans now. Oh wait, its perfectly OK to completely emulate Obama.

Welcome to Mulroney:Reagan era!

Both countries will greatly benefit from this relationship.

There is a Anti-American sentiment that has grown for too long in Canada.

One should always try and get along with their neighbour.

George (Montreal)
Prime Minister Harper is a class act and I have full confidence in him continuing an excellent relationship with our family south of us.

Allan Eizinas
Harpers Australian right wing buddy is history and Australia is moving to the left. Harpers American right wing buddy is soon to be history and America is moving to the left. The only right wingers remaining are dictators. The world pendulum is swinging to the left.

Stephen Harper is becoming more and more an anomaly.

I just hope he doesnít become an embarrassment.

Good for Harper and good for Canada.Thank God neither Dion nor Layton are speaking for Canada.

Mark in Surrey
Harper can finally be pro-American and not be accused of being pro-bush (which he isn't). This can only be good for Canada.

Also, given that Harper has a backbone we can have confidence that while he will work with the Americans he won't compromise Canadian interests.

Jolly good show!

Steve @ Sarnia
Harper is absolutely right! Whether it is a Republican or Democratic administration, it is in Canada's national interest to develop a positive and professional relationship with the US.

It would be nice if the Liberals understood this point. At some point in our history it is likely that there will be a Liberal administration in Canada and a Republican administration in the US, and we need to put aside partisanship and do what's right for both of our countries.

I have no doubt that Harper and Obama will have a productive relationship, which will benefit Canadians and Americans!

Paul Sees the Opposites
What a contrast in two opposites.

Obama is the President of the people, bright, articulate and personable.

Harper on the other hand is boring, awkward, stiff and out of touch.

I don't believe Harper can establish any significant relationship with any world leader. Most leaders of the world balked at Bush and even Bush was not exactly a good fit for Harper...a relationship between an awkward boy vs a party hard Bush. Obama is far too alpha-male for Harper. However, it'll be a polite relationship but nothing to write home about.

I think Harper will spend most of the time explaining Chretien's economics, and Obama will teach Harper how to win hearts & lead.

Harper's relationship with Obama will be very productive I believe. I can only see this helping Harper in the next election (whenever that will be). The Liberals are running out of attack material because being too cozy with the US might be a good thing now...

Allan Eizinas states that there are no right wingers left in the world now that Obama is going to the White House and Harper is alone now. Of course he is ignoring the leaders of France, Germany,Poland and Italy who are all from centre-right governments. He is also ignoring the popularity of Britain's conservatives and of Colombia's extremely popular right wing president. Finally in the USA, conservatism is still alive and well. A lot of conservatives ( 20%) didn't vote republican out of anger, doesn't mean they are not conservatives.

Back to the Future
Stephen and Barack are going to make North America financially strong and stable again. We don't need wars or army's, we need armies of doctors, teachers and workers back on the job...these two are great leaders and will make a difference.
I have hope now, Change is good!

Alberta Joe
I'm sure the relationship between our two countries will continue to prosper as it has during Mr. Harper's watch.

Ref Allan Eizinas' comment. Why don't you educate yourself and see what the basic policies of the U.S. democratic party are - I think you'll be surprised. If you want to see what some real dictator's do, go on down to the Army recruitment centre and we'll find a spot for you. When your eyes are opened, you'll appreciate what you have in Canada.

We'll see how long Canada's love-in with Obama lasts when the protectionism starts to take root and we lose jobs in Canada. He's already talked about taxing corporations that allow jobs to be sent to foreign countries so let's not forget that we have many US subsidiaries here in Canada. You think the US Cattleman Association is causing trouble now, just wait!

Chris Ont
Could this be the hidden agenda that people talk of, being civil to other leaders.

No, Allan Eizinas, these countries are moving closer to the centre, including Canada.

Jim in BC
Hey Allan Eizinas, the election is over, you can stop being a Liberal shill.

As to your comment, are you saying that Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi are dictators?

I have read your comments for months and I must finally say that you are an idiot.

Anyway, I think Obama and Harper will get along just fine. And a North American emissions agreement will hopefully shut the green weenies up once and for all.

I wonder who will be doing most of the talking, and who will be the one nodding his head, saying "YES SIR".

Stephen Harper:"Hi Barack, I wanted to call and congratulate you"

Barack Obama:"Who?? From where??

Followed by a dial tone.

Brad G - Edmonton
Harper will do well with his American counterpart and maybe now the Liberals & NDP will quit this childish name-calling everytime there is a reference to Canada's relationship with the United States.

In response to Allen's comments regarding Dictators, I would like to put the record straight. Dictators are NOT right wing or left wing. In fact, if you look at Cuba which is labelled communistic, it is in fact a dictatorship as the leader has absolute power and Cuba is anything BUT right wing.

Why is "right" wing offensive to you and others?

I think Harper is a good PM and he does what he says he will do. Wish I could say the same for past Prime Ministers.

Just my 2 cents.

@Allan Eizinas..

do you have ANY notion of the concept and underlying ideology of "left" and "right"? Do you have any political science education?

What you say is absurd and shows profound ignorance. ALL American politicians are considerably to the "right" of the most extreme right-wing Canadian politician. Moreover, as any Political Science prof will tell you, most legitimate American and European politicians are considerably to the "left" of the rest of the world and the standard definitions of "left" and "right".

Whatever your personal belief or definition, saying Harper is anything but middle of the road is nonsense. Its the sort of "fear" rhetoric socialists like the NDP and Liberals in Canada use.

I'm sure Harper will continue working with the US to advance Canadian interests, whether economic, social, defence, or environmental; with his American counter-part.

Obama may be a paradigm shift in American race politics but his election is far from revolutionary. This isn't FDR, Kennedy or Reagan. At best, he is a protest by main-stream America against the ruling elite..much like Clinton was. Like all US Presidents, he will be guided by the lobby interests that got him there.

Nonetheless, he is a most refreshing change.

I can't undertand posters like Allan Eizinas who keep saying that Harper and Bush were good buddies. Being cordial with our biggest trading partner is a bad thing? Why not focus on Chretien's infatuation with the Chinese, regardless of their human rights record, or Trudeau's love affair with Castro (speaking of dictators), and his human rights record. If he really understood US politics, and the American people, Eizinas would know that the Democrats are far from left wing. They are closer to the Conservatives in Canada. Also, look at California, which is probably the most "left wing" state in America, where even there they wouldn't vote for same sex marriage. The rhetoric is getting pretty stale. Try changing the record please. Harper is not perfect I admit, but he hasn't embarrassed Canada as much as Trudeau or the Chretien era Liberals did (remember Caroline Parrish anyone?). It was enlightening to see that Americans are American first and foremost and put away their partisan hats once the election was over. It's why they are a great country and Canada is still the little cousin to the north.

To Steve @ Sarnia. We've recently had a Liberal Administration in Canada and a Republican Administration in the US. Back in 2000-2006. We saw how this went didn't we with Liberal MPs calling Americans bastards and wiping their feet on the American flag. something to be proud about eh? And the Liberals say that Harper is an embarrassment!

Right on Steve.

What kind of blind moron compares Obama with Reagan?

Harper is a stuffed shirt in comparison
Obama is a class act. He is not the saviour of the world but he's a hell of a lot better than Bush.

Remember when Bush deliberately omitted thanking Canada for their help after 9/11 because Canada said "no" to participating in the Iraq invasion? On the world stage, George Bush did that even after Canada played a huge role in helping land all the planes in the air that day and help the passengers at our airports.

You think Barack Obama would pull something that petty, juvenile, crass, and insulting? No way!

Everyone out here feeling so bewildered about the anti-American slant from Canada and the rest of the world in recent years, open your eyes! No one liked Bush! He was hated. It's that simple! He was (and is for another 75 days) the worst president in US history and the vast majority of Americans share that view (Bush has the worst approval ratings of his own people in presidential history).

Kris D
Finally, a North American climate/pollution deal!

Perhaps even a North American auto/manufacturing sector renewal strategy?

Both of these men want to move their parties to the centre, which is fine with me.

Let's just get some things done for once.

Canuck in Bellingham WA
Canada needs to work with the US and at the same time stand strong to them. I give Chretien his due in not getting Canada into Iraq (though I disagreed at the time) and am confident that Harper and Obama stand about the same place on most issues. Obama's center left in the US is still right of Canada's center right that Harper is.

To Allan: just because Harper was elected as a conservative doesn't mean that his policies are right wing and are similar to Bush's. For some dumb reason idiots on here keep trying to compare Harper to Bush. Fortunately in the last election voters were smart enough to realize the difference.

simple math - Canada polls indicate 6:1 in favour of Obama. Many of these people also supported Harper.

Wendy In Montreal
Prime Minister Harper and President elect Barak Obama will work well together. I expect great things to happen between these two leaders and our countries. Let's wish them well.

So this is the same Stephen Harper whose own people did damage to the Obama campaign during the Primaries by spreading rumours about Obama's attitude toward NAFTA ???

So this is the same Harper who welcomed Obama's opponent John McCain with open arms to Ottawa as if McCain was already the President back a year ago or so ???

Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre Stevie ! You are quite the "liberal" now that Obama is President-Elect aren't you ?
Of course Stevie is an Obama fan ! At least he better try to look like one now or Obama will bury him for the next 4 years !
More of the typical smoke and mirrors-more of the typical Stephen Harper.

Doug BC
Actually I think Canada faired reasonably well when Bill Clinton was president.Not because of the USA bashing Liberals,but in spite of them.Although,it is always worth noting that what any of these politicians say in public has to be taken with a grain of salt.Most of their comments are aimed at a particular audience.Obama has already proved he has no problem telling Americans one thing about NAFTA,while telling Canadians another.
Maybe I'm hoping for to much,but I look forward to the day when a leader simply defines policy honestly.
I differ with "Allan Eizinas" on the political positions he described.And also the direction Harper is taking.Conservatives here are creeping towards a more centrist position.Certainly a lot more than the former Reform Party,although I concede they will always be a bit right of centre.It's a matter of degree.
And finally,it has to be recognized that,in Canada,if you are anything other than a bleeding heart socialist,you are certainly going to be labeled a "neo con"'
Mr.Harper would likely be considered a Liberal in the USA.I actually give Mr.Bush a passing grade for tolerance towards Canada in the face of Liberal and NDP USA bashing.My concern is mainly that Obama seems to have the same kind if international knowledge as Sarah Palin.So far.And that he could mistakenly believe that the USA is bleeding jobs to Canada,and thus fall for the protectionist lobbyists in American industries.
All people working with our government need to be able to enunciate how Canada can be a valued ally to the USA,and still have Canadian sovereignty at heart.

anti-tax dude
Who will the libs and Taliban Jack use as Harper's idle in the future? They won't be able to use their usual fear mongering of Harper having a Bush like policy. Dare they say he is acting like Obama in the future???

So this is the same Stephen Harper whose own people did damage to the Obama campaign during the Primaries by spreading rumours about Obama's attitude toward NAFTA ???

So this is the same Harper who welcomed Obama's opponent John McCain with open arms to Ottawa as if McCain was already the President back a year ago or so ???

Surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre Stevie ! You are quite the "liberal" now that Obama is President-Elect aren't you ?
Of course Stevie is an Obama fan ! At least he better try to look like one now or Obama will bury him for the next 4 years !

Evan in Athabasca
"Watch out Harper. Wouldn't want to be accused of being too cozy with the Americans now. Oh wait, its perfectly OK to completely emulate Obama."

Emulate in what way?

Harper has always tried to be a good speaker, please clarify why your anti American rant was started?

This is hilarious. Harper wouldn't normally be so cozy with his complete political opposite but he's forced to because Obama is seen as a God. Any indication from Harper that he dislikes Obama would be political suicide. Looks like Obama has a new puppet!

Harper called an early election because he anticipated Obama's win could spill into Canada, therby losing Conservative seats.

It will be interesting in the coming months and even year, what will happen when Obama wants to expand the war in Afghanistan and when he asks for Canada's participation. I don't think this guy has a clue that Canada has been at war in Afghanistan since 2002.

I think this is way better than Martin and Bush))))

I just wander if Jack Layton, Dion, Gilles Duceppe, and May, are going to call Mr. Harper, "OBAMA" like they called him, Bush. That was the most ridiculous comment during the campaign and at the Leaders Debate. Well, Mr. Harper boost the relationship with US since he was Elected because before that Liberals & NDP where always attacking US and George Bush like dogs & cats. I agree that Prime Minister of Canada and United States President need to have a good relationship in order to do business together.Especially that they are like nest door neighbours to Canada and N0.1 trading partners, with economy and the financial crisis, environment, peace and security. You can't work in these issues together stepping in George Bush hall like a woman of Liberal caucus did couple years ago.

David Corbett
It's not entirely correct to suggest that PM Harper is more right-wing than President-Elect Obama. Considerng the policies which the Conservative party has not moved against and continues to fund, such as national health care, nationally mandated marriage rights for homosexual couples and extensive gun control compared to the United States. These ideas would be received far more warmly at a Democratic party convention than at a Republican party one.

I'd say that on average the Conservatives here in Canada, at least on terms of their policy, are roughly comparable to the Democrats. The "big tent" nature of the parties mean that there are of course many Democratic party members who are far to the left of the Conservatives or any other mainstream Canadian party, just as there are Conservative party members who are further right than average for the Republican party. So I think the most reliable way to judge parties is on what they have done and what they have promised, not what some may fear or hope they will do.

Rick M
Harper is a horrible, horrible weasel of a man who has no business as the leader of our country... which makes it that much sadder that in the recent federal election, he was still the best candidate for the job.

NDP, Liberals, get your acts together!

Gord in Regina Sask
I wonder if Harper will soon be accused of being a puppet to Obama

I'm not a Harper fan BUT..... I do think Obama will bring out a different side to Harper that I feel could be beneficial to Canada. Like when a kid goes to live with a different parent! lol

Back to the Future was 100% on the money. The time for partisan cheap shots is over. It is time for Canadians to unite. Time for Americans to unite and Time for Canada and USA to put North America on the right track. Cheap Rhetoric spewed by some simple minded people here can never amount to anything positive. It exposes them for what they are. Stephen Harper IS the right man for Canada. Obama is the right man for the USA. They do not have to be the same person. They are both smart enough and professional enough to accomplish some great things over the next four years.

I was worried.

I was worried. I was worried with President Obama's protectionist attitude that the oil sands in Alberta would be blocked, the forest industry in BC would be blocked and manufacturing from Ontario would be blocked.

But the mere fact that the whole world appears to sit up and take notice of this man I knew for a long time represented change, I am hopeful he won't just look after his own country's interests.

I can't think of a better human to be head of the United States. I only hope in my lifetime Canadians get our Obama.

james from Vancouver
It was never an anti-American attitude. It was an anti-Bush and his brand of neo-conservatism that was rejected here in Canada. When 9-11 happened thousands of Americans were warmly greeted in the homes of regular Canadian citizens across the country when the borders and air was closed to travel and US bound international travelers were forced to land in Canada.

The Bryd Amendment, Soft Wood, Mad Cow Beef, SARS, Iraq, Missile Shield...etc.etc.etc. That put the two countries at odds, Canada was not alone in its reservations about these policies.

I do not expect the same policies from Obama.

Hey Allan Eizinas, we now have to great Leaders in North America! You and your Liberal buddies can try a new mantra now....Harper Obama Harper Obama Harper Obama Har... To tough for a Liberal to say, right? Try first putting aside your Liberal partisanship and look at the positive side.

Rick (Alberta)...
Canada and the US will always need each other even if the US thinks that they don't need us. If Mr. OBAMA banish the NAFTA as he said, US will suffer more than us Canadian.

Canada is the Best Country
Obama said he was "even willing to meet the PRESIDENT of Canada". Wonder if Obama called Prime Minister Harper "President Harper".

CNN says that the American media is now going to put him under the microscope. They are now going to watch for even the slightest mistake. The world is going to watch his every move.

Joe Biden may be right when he says that the U.S. will get hit with a major international crisis because Obama is inexperienced.

Hopefully Canada won't suffer from the ripple effect of their attack.

Jim in The Great White North
It will be interesting an American President who wants to tear up the the NAFTA agreement and a Canadian Prime Minster who's party was the main platform was "Free trade remember Brian dam what was his last name"he has hidden in the shadows so long I have forgotten his last name,I know it had something to do with "money" could it be "Cash Mulroney"or something like that?

Dan Williams
You pro-cons just don't get it. Our largest trade partner is shifting to the left and you are still promoting the pro business right. When will you understand the damage of one-way trade deals and the unregulated free enterprise? We need Obama and then our relationship can change the world.

Go Bob Go. Oh ya Bob sorry you caused the 1990 recession so you can't win.

Take your heads out of the sand harperites

Once again, excellent leadership from Mr. Harper...

Both men have family values. Nice to see some kids will be playing in those big houses.

After PM Harper went SO FAR in supporting the wars GW got the world into, I am now wondering how he will justify his support for President elect Obama's, closing of the same "theatres of action"?

people have such short memories.

Steven Harper has NEVER been pro American PEOPLE, anymore than he has been pro Canadian PEOPLE. He was pro GW!

I hope Mr. Harper's French, continues to improve. He should be learning the well know phrase "let them eat cake"! It seems to fit his policies, ideals and personality.

Benny Guan : from Edmonton
Steven Harper and Barack Obama had a talk on the phone .I hope it will translate into good things and plans that will work good for both Canada and United States.I wonder if Steven Harper will be friends with Barack Obama like he was with George Bush.

We must never cozy up to the Yanks no matter who the president is. We should all wish remember that the United States are "friends of convenience and enemies by stealth". I have long advocated that we turn our eyes north and trade with our Arctic rim neighbors. It is never good to put all ones eggs in one basket especially if the basket is increasingly full of holes and ragged about the edges.

Alan Eizinas: "The only right wingers remaining are dictators." -- Yeah, "right wing" like Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong", the Castro brothers.

Also, Keith: This "awkward boy" vs. "alpha male" fixation you seem to have exists only in your imagination. I'd keep quiet about it if I were you.

Lastly, I think the Obama win will make things a bit easier for Harper as he won't perpetually be accused of selling out to the Americans just for being diplomatic.

What are the poor Liberals and NDP going to say about the Afghanistan war now that the new president wants to ramp up forces there? Are they going to continue to chastise the prime minister like they did when it was Bush's war?

Broken Arrow
Harper should treat the Natives better, for in the future we could have a Native leader. Now wouldn't that be something, just like the US of A with the first African-American president.

Obama's victory feels like rain after a long drought. But beware the cult of personality because after all he is just one man and there is a lot of work to do.

Obama and USA are more right of Harper anyway so I don't see the big issue. In fact, Canadians were constantly USA bashing so no Canadian leader could befriend the leaders of the US. Finally, they see someone who possibly thinks more Canadian and for this I am grateful.

For you left of centre or the world, why not move to Cuba or North Korea. The people are still in the dark ages but you think that is a good thing. They could really use Left thinkers like you. Might make them more acceptable to the world. Oh, Hugo from Ven, IS a dictator and he isn't right wing. And neither is Cuba's Dictator, or North Korea, or Iran, or ...

Anti-Americanism is nothing new in Canada. We became a country in response to the biggest external threat Canada has ever had, our huge, voracious neighbour.

This is a great day. Harper and Obama will work very well together. Harper is smart and Canada is fortunate to have such a leader.

I think Obama being more left( by American standards) will help bring Harper's policies more to the centre which is where most Canadians sit on the political spectrum. If our PM could learn that he must represent all Canadians not just the 38% that voted for him, he might garner more respect here and grow into a leader we could all respect whether we agree with all his policies are not. In this way, Obama has brought hope to us as well.

Niagara George
Anti-American thought is based on Canadians' reaction to American machoism. Perhaps not always justified, but try working in tourism and you will quickly see many example.

Anti-Bush is something completely different. Harper's perseved coziness with Bush is based on Harper's agreement with the war in Iraq. Fortunately, he was not in power at the time.

For those who think Canada's right-wing is still far left of anything in the US... try reading some of Stephen Harper's early writings. He had, and perhaps still has, views far right of anything North America has ever seen.

I am very very proud of both these men.we have nothing but good things to come.

Darren McEwen
I want to address the central theme expressed by most right wing commenters on this thread.

Harper was accused of being too cozy with the U.S. when the U.S. was lead by a man who had the intelligence of a fire hydrant and the same level of popularity as the plague.

It wasn't that he was too cozy to the U.S. that was the problem it was that he was too cozy to a man who governed the U.S. entirely in the wrong direction.

Canada is the Best Country says: "CNN says that the American media is now going to put him under the microscope. They are now going to watch for even the slightest mistake."
I doubt that this will happen. Obama was strongly supported by the media (including CNN) in the campaign and I think they will likely give him a pass unless he totally screws up. Really, if they were going to put him under the microscope they should have done so more during the campaign.

Astou Kaba
For Obama
Why am I Black
When I am half White
Why canít I be White?
When I am half Black
Tell me why you always call me Black?
I was born 50% White
I was born 50% Black
Why do you reject my other half?
After all,
Black or White doesnít matter.
What matters is the sum of 50% Black and 50% White that makes me 100% of human being.
Astou Kaba

Yes we all realize that Obama has the ability to part the oceans,but a what cost?Keep in mind that the Democrats raised record amounts of cash during the rise of the great one including untraceable internet donations.Obama's intentions might very well be positive for both countries but how about the big donors he is indebted to?Harper needs to stay on his toes or better yet stand on a ladder while dealing with the new guy until he indeed proves himself.

Steve G
Ever the opportunist, Stephen Harper is trying to align himself With Obama.

Obama is a true leader. Harper is no Obama.

Lets see how long it takes Harper to embarrass Canada .
Well, thanks for repeating what other people have to say Scratch...do you have any thoughts that we couldn't read from the article?

I'm hopeful that Obama and Harper will actually work on the climate pact. I'm sure Harper will, because up until now, he's been gutless to do anything meaningful. If Obama takes the first leap into the pool to show Harper the waters aren't that chilly, he'll follow...the issue still polls high with Canadians, and an approach that focuses on the middle of Canadian politics is more leverage for Harper's next attempt at majority.

Similar Threads

Obama To Harper Its Payback Time
by Liberalman | Jun 13th, 2009
no new posts