However, Flanagan also reveals that when the 1997 speech surfaced during an election campaign, it hit them right between the eyes.
Who knew that a notorious right-wing American organization, The Council for National Policy, would have posted Harper's speech on their website?
But why wouldn't they? Harper was their ticket into Canada.
However, with a week before the election, the dossier compiled by Flanagan and his crew, has made it into the hands of the Liberal Party. Disgruntled or concerned former Conservative? Who knows?
A 500-page dossier of potentially damaging remarks by Stephen Harper has hit the election campaign, but don't blame the opposition parties — it was prepared by the Conservatives. The thick binder of material, obtained by the Liberals, is a treasure trove of controversial Harper quotes, listed alphabetically by subject matter. It covers everything from abortion to western alienation and reaches as far back as the 1980s.It has the potential to be pretty damaging, as Harper is still trying to paint himself as a moderate.
On the campaign trail now, Harper stresses that he has no hidden agenda to reopen the abortion file. But the Tory files include this 2002 boast from Harper, then a leadership contestant: "I'm not ashamed to say that, in caucus, I have more pro-life MPs supporting me than supporting Stockwell Day."And before anyone cries foul, remember that since Michael Ignatieff became Liberal leader, we have been subjected to nothing but "quotes" going back to his days as a lecturer, author and war correspondent.
Who can forget Harper's Nixonian line when the Opposition was demanding Flaherty's resignation after he misled them about the state of our books? He'd love to fire the leader of the opposition, but wouldn't because of all the old tapes he had on him.
Now we may have an even better chance of firing Harper with all the quotes we have on him. In alphabetical order.