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Harper invokes ghost of Trudeau Add to ...

Stephen Harper invoked the ghost of Pierre Trudeau Sunday to warn Canadians about the dangers of granting him only a minority government.

The Conservative Leader, who alleges the Liberals and NDP will form a coalition if he fails to win a majority of Commons seats, charged Sunday that these two parties will run up federal government spending if given a chance, just like the former Liberal prime minister.

That’s what happened in the 1970s when a Trudeau minority governmented relied on the NDP for support, Mr. Harper said during a campaign stop in south-central Quebec.

“I think it’s a bit unfair to bash somebody in the grave - he’s not here to defend himself - but as you know Mr. Trudeau did have a different philosophy of government: a high-spending philosophy, a centralizing philosophy,” he said.

“The comparison I’m obviously making is the fact that as we all know in 1972 ... we had a Liberal government that relied on the NDP for ongoing support,” the Conservative Leader said.

“All they did was spend money [and] that led to two decades of ... runaway spending, higher taxes, double-digit unemployment and double digit interest rates.:

The Tories are trying to frame the ballot question as a choice between Mr. Harper’s prudent approach - tax cuts and spending restraint - and risk of switching horses in a fragile global economy.

A key target group for the Conservatives this election are Canadians who are comfortable with the direction of the economy and like Mr. Harper’s managerial skills but have so far been leery of handing him the keys to a majority government.

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