Liberals like to present their policies as an alternative to some kind of American-style Republicanism. But the truth is Steven Harper has run the government like a Paul Martin Liberal, from the silence on social issues, right down to the kickbacks and cronyism.
I agree. In fact, I'd even say in some respects we did worse under Chretien/Martin than we're doing under Harper. To deal with tough financial times, Chretien/Martin cut transfer payments to health and education, which (in Ontario anyway) led to closures of schools, hospitals, services, etc, accompanied by downloading. The reality is that the Libs never dealt with the economy, they simply transferred the woes to the provinces and cities. Harper's Cons have not cut transfers to health and education and have vowed not to.
I'd agree. The Harper government has been worse on procedural stuff -- prorogation and omnibus bills and elimination of the census. But the Liberals have been barely better. The OLP used prorogation in the same cynical way. The federal Liberals may not have destroyed the census, but they certainly ignored it when they made those cuts to transfer payments. And I fully agree with you that the Liberals were worse on the economy. The Harper cuts have not been nearly as deep as the Martin cuts. But the Liberal cuts have better PR, because they're supposedly agents of progress and champions of the middle class.