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Harper, Stephen (Canada)

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Introduction

Stephen Harper’s victory in federal elections in Jan. 2006 represented a shift to the right after 12 years of Liberal government overshadowed by allegations of corruption. The free-market economist and leader of the Conservative Party cast himself as a moderate, progressive, centre-right politician, intent on tackling corruption, reducing taxes and leading a more efficient government. He retained power following the Conservative victory in further elections in Oct. 2008 and May 2011.

Early Life

Stephen Harper was born on 30 April 1959 in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from Richview Collegiate Institute in 1978 and moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where he worked as a computer programmer in the oil and gas industry. While studying economics at the University of Calgary in the early 1980s, Harper was influenced by the right-wing monetarist ideas espoused by Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK. He graduated with a BA in economics in 1985 and began working for a...

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