Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Five Things Canadians Can Take Away from Stephen Harper's Time in Politics

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Five Things Canadians Can Take Away from Stephen Harper's Time in Politics

Article excerpt

Five takeaways from the Stephen Harper era

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OTTAWA - Stephen Harper, Canada's 22nd prime minister, officially left political life Friday by resigning his seat in the House of Commons. Here are five ways he's changed politics in Canada:

1.Prime ministers take away less. Harper presided over a change in 2012 that substantially slashed his own pension. For one thing, he must wait until he's 67, unlike prior PMs who started collecting at 65. For another, he'll now only get three per cent of his salary per year of service, when previous PMs pocketed two-thirds. So, between age 67 and 90, he'll make about $1.6 million, as opposed to the $4 million he would have collected under the old system, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. That's on top of his MP pension.

2.They reach past the mainstream media more. That Harper chose social media to send his farewell message befits a trend he began while in power of centralizing government communications and communicating directly with voters through websites, emails and the like, as opposed to traditional methods of press releases, interviews and news conferences. Current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already become notorious for his use of direct-to-the-public photographs to shape his image.

3.No more big money. One of the first changes Harper made as prime minister was the Accountability Act of 2006, which, among other things placed limits on political donations; he would later go on to eliminate the per-vote-subsidy to political parties. …

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