Volume 93, Issue 29

Thursday, October 21, 1999


Tan-man's comments were off-colour

Premier Harris: National Man of Mystery

Premier Harris: National Man of Mystery

In an event that is reflective of our premier, the honourable Mike Harris recently slithered through campus, artfully dodging almost all attention.

Of course, he did permit some to gaze upon him, but only those who would dutifully support his presence and applaud after he spoke.

Harris visited the University of Huron College, or whatever it's calling itself these days, to meet with his Progressive Conservative groupies and boost morale among his young supporters. His arrival, stay and exit were all carefully orchestrated to insure that very little attention would be paid to his excellency.

Was Harris just concerned his visage would direct students' attention away from their important studies and lectures?

No, Harris doesn't care that much about post-secondary education. He simply wanted to be sure his many detractors and opponents wouldn't be given the chance to demonstrate their disapproval with his actions over the last four and a half years. The premier, a man for all the people of Ontario, was only willing to hear the happy, supportive voices of his disciples.

If this were just an isolated incident, it may be permissible. If, normally, the premier was interested in being an upstanding human being and making himself accessible to the public, one could forgive Harris for ducking a few bullets.

However, this was just another case of Harris choosing political interests over living up to honesty and accountability.

Earlier in the summer, Harris and his wife divulged that their marriage was on the rocks and that they were currently separated. Oddly enough, this information was witheld until after the election. Harris wouldn't have wanted something like a broken marriage to taint his image.

The premier sacrificed the truth and living up to one's choices in favour of maintaining a political image and fostering support among his predominantly middle class, privileged followers, who would have frowned upon such a sin.

This cowardice is what Harris has thrived on for four years and will most certainly rely on to get him through the next term. He is not the caring, generous, bold man his party promotes him to be. Harris is a crafty politician with his eyes set only on his own image and success.

The premier is reliant solely on smoke and mirrors to convince a gullible public that he only pursues their best interests. Sadly, too many voting citizens fall for his Copperfield-esque act. This is how a man who has made numerous cuts to funding, which negatively affect thousands of people, could be re-elected.

Incidents such as the Huron visit should be examined more closely. A wise man once said it is the small things you do in life that define your existence.

For Harris, these little deceptions go a long way towards indicating what type of man the province relies on for leadership.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999