Stephen Harper was flying back to Ottawa from Quebec City in a government Challenger on Tuesday afternoon when the earthquake reduced Port-au-Prince to rubble. Within minutes, his staff's Blackberries started buzzing, and as the plane touched down 30 minutes later, everyone had their marching orders: Get the disaster-relief teams ready to roll.The framing in the Globe following the above quote suggests exactly why such tidbits have been offered:
“He started giving orders about what was going to happen,” one official said. “And he was still in the aircraft taxiing.”
After four years in power, here was a PM who has matured in his role and learned from that experience. Where past governments confronting overseas disasters like the scramble to evacuate Lebanon have lost days debating options and fretting over obstacles, Mr. Harper was confident in driving ahead.That's quite the extrapolation of maturity in crisis situations for this Prime Minister. This is not meant to take away from the substance of the Haiti response which has been good. But let's not lose our heads here. Harper is also in the midst of the fallout from a very bad exercise in judgment, the prorogation decision. Let's keep some perspective and not let the hagiography take flight.
It was a moment that played to the Prime Minister's strengths: decisiveness and control.
Partisanship would be the worst mistake the government could make, Mr. Lyle said, and so far, Mr. Harper's government seems to know it.Worth watching.