Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Harper's Master Stroke"

I couldn't agree more with this analysis...
Harper's master stroke
National Post - Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday 's Throne Speech was a master stroke, both as a policy blueprint and political stratagem. It enumerates a clear set of sensible priorities in five vital areas. At the same time, the speech also lures the opposition Liberals into tangles that benefit the Conservatives politically. No matter which way the speech eventually spins out -- into a full session of lawmaking on Parliament Hill or into a nationwide campaign -- it is a win-win for the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The speech's five broad themes were the economy, Canadian sovereignty, federal-provincial relations, the environment and law-and-order. On each one, the government has the Liberals over the same barrel. Opposition Leader Stephane Dion must now either convince his caucus to back policies most of them detest or force an election his party is unprepared to fight.

With their party in disarray, especially in Quebec, the Liberals would be foolish to force a national campaign now. And they seem to sense that. Reports out of Wednesday's Grit caucus meeting said just six of about 30 speakers advocated a vote of non-confidence on the Throne Speech. Mr. Dion's comments to media suggest he, too, is gun-shy.

But in order to keep the Tories in office, the Liberals will either have to vote for environmental and military options they have repeatedly denounced in the past, or else abstain. Either option would mark an embarrassing climb-down from positions Mr. Dion has clung to passionately even before he became his party's leader.

In the Throne Speech, the Conservatives committed to lowering the GST by another percentage point as well as bringing in broad-based personal and corporate tax cuts by February's federal budget, if not sooner. Last spring, Mr. Dion said a further reduction to the GST would be a disaster. Still he seemed to parrot much of the government's line on personal and corporate cuts during a preemptive address to the Economic Club of Toronto last Thursday. Sounding remarkably like a supply-side economist, Mr. Dion insisted, rightly, that among other things "a lower corporate tax rate is a powerful weapon in the federal government's [economic] arsenal."

No party is likely to oppose the Tories' plans to expand Arctic naval patrols or build an Arctic research superstation to enhance our northern sovereignty. But on crime, Afghanistan and the environment, Mr. Dion and his charges will have a tougher time finding common ground with Mr. Harper.

The government will seek a two-year extension to Canada's mission in Afghanistan, from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Dion has pandered so aggressively to the left wing of his party (and to potential NDP and Green voters), it is hard to see a credible way out for him on this file. He has demanded on several occasion that we stay to the end of our mandate in February, 2009, but not a minute longer.

The same goes for the environment. The Throne Speech ends the charade of Canada trying to meet its unrealistic Kyoto emission targets. Instead, it commits the government to working toward economically sensible alternatives to reduce our so-called carbon footprint, alongside other large-scale industrial emitters. But Mr. Dion has been Kyoto's most dedicated champion among Western leaders. He has accused the Tories of presiding over the destruction of the climate by not honouring Kyoto. How can he now keep a straight face and back a Throne Speech that tramples every bit of his earlier rhetoric?

But Mr. Dion's greatest troubles may be on law-and-order. Here, the Throne Speech promised to reintroduce five bills that died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued -- bills that would make it easier to keep violent criminals in jail, make it harder for gun-crime suspects to win bail, and establish mandatory prison terms for gun crimes. It was his Senate caucus -- over which Mr. Dion has little control -- that obstructed the Tories' crime agenda. Even if his Commons caucus passes it again, Mr. Dion may still find himself explaining to voters why his party is compromising their safety.

In short, the Tories hit one well over the fence with this speech, and have left their opponents scrambling to retrieve the ball.

© National Post 2007

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  • At Thu Oct 18, 04:31:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr. Harper has proved once again that good policy makes good politics!

  • At Thu Oct 18, 06:08:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If PM Harper was a genuine "tough of crime" small-c conservative, rather just another left-leaning political opportunists, he would pass two bills that would effectual decrease the crime rate:

    He would pass legislature eradicating, or at least limiting, the slaughter of unborn babies; stop the massacre. At the very least stop the "partial-birth" abortion by which a babie's brains are sucked out with a kneedle after it's head is taken from the womb.

    He would reinstate capital punishment; killers who are dead don't exterminate other innocent citizens who warrant protection from our Federal Government.

    If the PM was a genuine conservative he would abolish the Gun Registry Program by de-funding it as he appropriately did with the Court Challenge Program and other far-left, worthless, affirmative action, politically correct women’s' programs ; fire the employees, pull the computer plugs, lock the door and throw the key in the Ottawa River. Since the Liberals will not vote to defeat his government, the PM can govern as if he has a majority; therefore, its time to defund the gun registry.

  • At Fri Oct 19, 05:47:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon, You left one out. If he was a "real conservative", he'd be watching the gov't from the opposition benches.

    Geez, I can't believe there are still people who think we can elect a party with these kinds of policies.

    Especially as a minority.

    We will change things incrementally and get what we can done without rocking the boat more than Canadians will accept. Get some patience or be prepared for a Liberal gov't forever.

  • At Fri Oct 19, 11:28:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Incremental conservatism is just a polite phrase meaning cop-out and sell my principles for an eminent, well paid job.

    Some of us old Reform & Alliance members actually have some principles, and guess what: we actually live by them! Harper should try it some day.

  • At Fri Oct 19, 02:54:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    (sarcasm on)
    Yeah, it was a great time when there was a PC and a Reform/Alliance party! Both parties were pontificating from the opposition benches and fighting elections they had no hope in 'hell' of winning. It was just grand!
    (sarcasm off)

    I have no desire to go back to that. Loosing elections really sucks. So thank you Mr. Harper for listening to Canadians. The Conservative party and Canada are better for it.


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