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Stephen Harper became Prime Minister of Canada in early 2006. Canada’s “new government,” as Harper insists on calling it, is no longer new but increasingly familiar. Yet there is a real sense that Harper remains an enigma to Canadians. We don’t really know him. There is behind Harper’s now familiar TV face a curious blank. Not the blank that George Bush registers: the sign that says “Nobody home.” The enigma of Stephen Harper is quite the opposite: hidden depths, concealed agendas, complex contradictions. There are any number of Harpers that flash by, and they simply do not add up.

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