Stephen Harper to chair global political alliance
Stephen Harper has been elected chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU), an alliance of dozens of prominent centre-right political parties around the world.
Harper, Canada’s 22nd prime minister, was announced as chairman Wednesday morning following a unanimous vote at a meeting in Madrid, Spain.
Founded in 1983 by George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Jacques Chirac and other world leaders, the IDU will be tackling the challenges of changing political landscapes in the years ahead.
“The challenge will always be effectively promoting our conservative values, offering alternatives to the bad ideas of the left, winning elections and governing well,” Harper told the Sun via email from Madrid, regarding the issues he expects to face during his tenure. “In this day and age, it is also, in many countries, ensuring that we address the concerns of frustrated conservatives and that they do not drift to extreme options.”
The IDU acts as a global networking centre for the world’s conservatives, with Harper poised to manage relations and wield influence with political parties around the world.
“I see the IDU focusing on having best practices and experiences shared across our more than 80 member parties around the world,” Harper, who is now CEO of the global consulting firm Harper & Associates, added. “This organization is the preeminent hub where conservatives can network and exchange ideas at the international level.”
Harper replaces Sir John Key, former prime minister of New Zealand, who held the post for for years. Former Canadian cabinet minister and current Conservative MP Tony Clement currently serves as deputy chair of the IDU.