Prime Minister of Canada
Date of Birth: 30 April 1959
Birth Place: Toronto, Canada
Political Party: Conservative Party of Canada
Arrival in Power: 6 February 2006
Stephen Harper was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1959. Stephen Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada. Stephen Harper obtained a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Calgary. During his high school years he was a member of the Young Liberals Club, but eventually switched over to more conservative views due to disagreement with Liberal Party policies. In 1987 he joined the Reform Party and ran for them in the 1988 elections and lost.
Stephen Harper ran again in the 1993 election for the Reform Party and was elected. During his time as an MP there was some chatter about merging the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservative Party under his leadership, but this didn't materialize. He didn't run in the 1997 elections because of disagreement with party leader Preston Manning. In 2002 he ran for the leadership of the new Canadian Alliance Party and defeated Stockwell Day, he was then elected to parliament in a by-election in 2002, he then concentrated his efforts towards uniting his party with the Progressive Conservatives under Peter Mackay, a goal which he achieved in 2003, creating the new Conservative Party of Canada. This new party participated in the 2004 general elections and finished in second place behind the Liberal Party of Canada who obtained a minority government. In 2005 he passed a motion of no-confidence against the Liberal government and an election was called for 2006.
In the 2006 federal elections, the Conservative Party of Canada won the election but without enough votes to form a majority government, they thus formed a minority government at the mercy of the confidence of the other political parties in the House of Commons. Some of his policies include recognizing Quebec as a nation within Canada, and also one of his key policies was to reform the Canadian Senate into an elected body, however he has yet to achieve this and has since named several dozen new senators.
Stephen Harper was re-elected in 2008, but again failed to obtain a majority and had to form another minority government. At the end of 2008 a coalition was formed by all the opposition parties in order to take power from Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada. The coalition eventually failed when Harper prorogued parliament, effectively shutting it down for several weeks and removing the coalition's opportunity to bring down the government.
During the 2011 Federal elections the Conservative Party of Canada achieved majority status by obtaining 166 seats against 143 seats for the opposition. Stephen Harper's party had finally obtained its illusive majority after several votes that always ended up in minority governments. Stephen Harper's government has come under fire in 2013 because of the questionable expense claims of several senators, it remains to be seen how the electorate will react.
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Updated on: January 25th, 2015