"I can understand the passion that the leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for the Taliban prisoners," Harper said. "I just wish occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers."
His comments were quickly followed by boos and jeers from Liberals in the House. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said he was shocked by Harper's suggestion and demanded an apology.
Harper continued with his barrage.
"I would like to see more support in the House of Commons from all sides for Canadian men and women in uniform," he said. "I think Canadians expect that from parliamentarians in every party. They have not been getting it, and they deserve it.
Historically, has this been as typical in Canada as it is in the US? I know everyone likes to say that Harper's team follows the Bush playbook, but Bush didn't invent the support-the-troops bait, and the Liberals are the ones who sent Canadians troops to Afghanistan in the first place. Is the phony with-us-or-against-us mode new and imported?
We can support human rights, fair treatment of prisoners and the country's own troops, you know. They're not mutually exclusive. I hope Canadian voters know that.