Harper, Stephen

Harper, Stephen

Harper, Stephen, 1959-, Canadian politician, prime minister (2006-) of Canada, b. Toronto. A founding member of the conservative Reform party (later the Canadian Alliance), he won a seat in the federal parliament in 1993, but broke with party leader Preston Manning four years later and left parliament to head the conservative National Citizens Coalition. In 2002 he was elected Canadian Alliance party leader and subsequently won election to parliament. With Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay he negotiated the merger of their two parties to form the Conservative party of Canada. Harper was elected leader of the new party, which failed to best the Liberals in the 2004 elections. In 2006, however, the Conservatives won a plurality of the seats, and Harper became prime minister of a minority government. New elections in 2008 increased the Conservative plurality.
in full Stephen Joseph Harper

Stephen Harper.

(born April 30, 1959, Toronto, Ont., Can.) Canadian prime minister from 2006. Harper received an M.A. degree in economics from the University of Calgary in 1991, after which he directed his career toward politics and public-policy analysis. He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1993 as a member of the western-based Reform Party, but he did not seek reelection in 1997. In 2002 he returned to the House of Commons and became leader of the opposition Canadian Alliance (the successor to the Reform Party), and in 2004 he was elected head of the Conservative Party of Canada, formed by the merger of the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties. In 2006 he led the Conservative Party to victory and became prime minister.

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