Skip to comments.A Little Advice For Stephen Harper
Posted on 04/30/2005 5:38:14 PM PDT by ConservativeStLouisGuy
A little advice for Stephen Harper
By MICHAEL TAUBE
AN OPEN letter to Stephen Harper:
When we last spoke, you were the new opposition leader in the face of a minority government. Today, you are closer to becoming prime minister than ever before.
Part of it was your doing. You played a major role in bringing the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives together. And you spearheaded an effort to create a policy platform that most conservatives -- and many non-conservatives -- can live with.
But to be fair, the Gomery inquiry has played a larger role in tarnishing the image of the federal Liberals. The message has been clear: From the top down, many Liberals were likely involved in the greatest political scandal to rock our nation.
Don't be too concerned about what ultimately brings this government down, however. Sometimes a policy position can save a government, like free trade for Brian Mulroney in 1988. And sometimes a political matter will tear one down, such as the King-Byng affair in 1926 or, in this case, Liberal corruption.
What does matter, Stephen, is what you do with this golden opportunity. You have a chance to take the reins of power and make Canadian politics respectable once more. I've known you for almost a decade, and I firmly believe you are the right man for the job.
That being said, I hope you won't mind if I give you some advice. Unlike the way some Liberals act, my services are free -- no political favours required!
First, don't make the Gomery inquiry your biggest issue.
It's important to discuss corruption and scandal on the election trail. But an Ipsos-Reid poll this week revealed that 61% of Canadians don't want an election until after Justice John Gomery's final report is released in December.
What you need to do is prove that while Gomery's findings will be important, this isn't the only reason for Canadians to vote. The Liberals' meagre political and economic track record must be the main focus.
Second, expose the true meaning behind the unprincipled Liberal-NDP arrangement.
Prime Minister Paul Martin has deferred $4.6 billion in corporate tax cuts from his original budget plan for $4.6 billion in increased social spending.
NDP leader Jack Layton claimed these changes were "fiscally responsible and progressive." I don't know what he's been smoking, but these changes are fiscally irresponsible and regressive. Trading tax cuts that would benefit our economy for spending on wasteful social programs with historically bottomless pits proves that Martin isn't fiscally prudent.
You called this arrangement a "deal with the devil." I prefer a "deal with the ditherer." No matter what you call it, it was a clear act of desperation by Martin to stay in office at the expense of Canadian taxpayers. Pounce on this point, Stephen.
Third, keep party members focused. Sudden outbursts and controversial statements will only hurt the Conservatives and play into Liberal hands. Don't let that happen again.
Fourth, lay out the Conservative plan in great detail.
On the fiscal side, emphasize balanced budget legislation, tax relief for families, property rights, reduced government waste, and international trade. Show how better health care will be created with affordable drugs and a healthy balance of public and private delivery options. And how barriers to post-secondary education must be eliminated, and why scholarships and bursaries must be tax-free.
On the social side, continue to stand for traditional marriage and family values, while supporting civil unions for gay couples. Prove that your party is inclusive, supporting the values of all religions and ethnicities. Also, support the need for freedom of speech and the desire for intellectual discourse.
You're ready to become this country's next prime minister, Stephen. Conservatives -- and all Canadians-- need you. I wish you the best of luck.
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