Their approach to politics and governing couldn’t be further apart, but in their latest books, which have hit the bookshelves simultaneously, they do share an overwhelming desire to brag about their own self-described significant contributions while they were in power.
Not surprisingly, Harper takes a veiled swipe at the Trudeau government for its handling of NAFTA negotiations, yet, he staunchly defends the supply management system that Trudeau stood by.
He also cites his support of Canada’s strong banking system as a major factor in Canada surviving the disastrous global recession of 2009.
Interestingly, Chretien also attempts to take singular credit for rejecting bank deregulation on his watch, which protected Canada from further damage during that recession.
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The reality is, the stringent rules and regulations that protect our banking system were put in place about 50 years before either Chretien or Harper was elected, and in fact, all they did was not tinker with a proven and trusted system.
Of course, Chretien makes no mention of the sponsorship scandal, nor does Harper include any details about the Senate expense scandal, both of which contributed to the demise of their governments.
But that’s the advantage of penning your own story; you get to tilt the narrative to enhance your own legacy.
Churchill once said that history would be kind to him because he intended to write it.
It seems that both former prime ministers are attempting to do just that.
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