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Victory speech by new Canadian leader Stephen Harper
Conservative Party of Canada web site ^ | 23 January 2006 | Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

Posted on 01/24/2006 7:26:46 PM PST by Heatseeker

Tonight, our great country has voted for change, and Canadians have asked our party to take the lead in delivering that change. To Canadians I say this – we will honour your trust, and we will deliver on our commitments. There are no individual victories in politics. Politics is a team sport, and there are a number of people I would like to thank. First and foremost, I would like to thank the people of Calgary Southwest, for having given me the great privilege of serving another term in the House of Commons as your representative. Though I am not often in Calgary or even Alberta, Laureen and I always take you with us. No matter where we go, this remains home. So to my local campaign team, I say thank you for a job so well done.

I would also like to thank our campaign team in Ottawa which I know is celebrating at their own party right now, and to the thousands of Conservative candidates and volunteers across Canada, I thank you for your labours, your donations and your prayers. I congratulate you for working so hard to bring our great party together, and for running solid campaigns in every corner of our country. We came together as a party, and now we will govern for all Canadians.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my family. To my mother, my father, my brothers and so many other relatives, and close friends, thank you for your unwavering support and encouragement over so many years. To Ben and Rachel, your dad’s heart aches when he does not get to spend as much time with you as he would like, and I love you very much. To Laureen, a day never goes by when am not in awe of how you have managed the surprises of this marriage. Your love and support keeps me going.

Earlier this evening, I spoke with the prime minister. He offered both his congratulations and his cooperation as we begin this process of change. Since 1988, Mr. Martin has worked hard for the people of Canada as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Finance, and Prime Minister. I thank Mr. Martin for his service to Canada and to Canadians. To Mr. Layton and Monsieur Duceppe, I congratulate you for running solid campaigns. All of our parties have different philosophies but we are all democrats. But we are all stronger because you, our opponents, have put yourselves on the line and advanced the policies and values you believe in.

I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate each and every Canadian who put his or her name forward for public office in this election. To those who were successful, I look forward to working with you in the House of Commons. To those who were not, I salute your efforts. Having run and lost in elections before, I know how difficult it is to pour your heart into a campaign and come up short. Thank you for putting yourselves forward in the service of your country.

During this campaign, we talked a lot about values. One of the oldest and enduring Canadian values is democracy – the principle that we can change our government without risking our freedoms or our lives. Despite the divisions and discord of an election, the ability to peacefully change and renew our nation’s leadership remains one of our country’s great strengths.

This is a freedom for which our ancestors perished and our veterans fought – for which those in our armed forces today still sacrifice, for which too many in our world still yearn, it is a freedom which we must always – always – cherish as Canadians.

Today, for the 39th time in 139 years, Canadians have elected a new Parliament. And as we have done many times before, Canadians have selected a new government. Let me say here tonight, that through all of these different governments, with all their different priorities, in all their different eras, one constant binds us from Macdonald’s coalition of Tories and Reformers to the modern Conservative Party. Canada – strong, united, independent, and free. Those who did not vote for me, I pledge to lead a government that will work for all of us – we will move forward together.

Our national identity was not forged by government policy. It does not flow from any one program, any one leader or any one party. Our Canada is rooted in our shared history, and in the values which have and will endure. Throughout this campaign, I have been inspired by the thousands of Canadians I met who embody those values. Individuals, families, workers, and business people trying to get ahead. Parents – doing their best to teach their kids right from wrong. Immigrants discovering new opportunities in a new land, seniors seeking security, the young promoting their ideals, East and West, English and French, city and country, men and women, new Canadians and old. This is the Canada we know, in asking us to lead change, the Canadian people have asked us to pursue our priorities.

Throughout this campaign, we were crystal clear about where we will lead. First and foremost, we will clean up Ottawa by proposing and passing the Federal Accountability Act. We will do this because shuffling the deck in Ottawa is not enough. We need to change the system. And we will change the system to strengthen our institutions and make them more accountable to you, the Canadian taxpayers. We will reduce your tax burden, starting by cutting the GST from seven to six percent immediately and to five percent over our mandate. We will reform our justice system to make it stronger and to ensure that we turn back the growing plague of guns, gangs, and drugs in our cities and communities. We will offer parents choice and results in child care. And we will work with our provinces to give Canadians the health care they’ve paid for by developing a patient wait times guarantee.

Perhaps most importantly, we will begin the task of re-building federalism in the province of Quebec. I am especially proud of the fact that both Anglophones and Francophones worked together to bring about real change in Quebec. Our government will build a new and dynamic voice for federalism in Quebec.

To the people of the West, let me say one thing and let me be clear: the West is now in. Canada will work for all of us. To people in Atlantic Canada – the very different provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia We know that made-in-Ottawa solutions are not the answer. We will work to give you more control over your resources because I know that for my ancestral home the best is yet to come. To the people of the North – including the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories – I say we see your potential and we look forward to helping you achieve your dreams.

And finally, Ontario. Thank you for your increased support, and your confidence. A strong Canada requires a strong Ontario and our government will keep our economic heartland moving forward. To those around the world who have followed the campaign, our message is the same – the result tonight signals a change of government, not a change of country. We will stay the course of balanced budgets, low inflation, debt repayment, and economic stability. We will continue to help defend our values and democratic ideals around the globe. As so courageously demonstrated by those young Canadian soldiers who are serving, and who have sacrificed, in Afghanistan.

While always charting a path in the best interests of Canada, we will seek to work cooperatively with our friends and allies, and constructively with all nations of the world. Tonight, although Canadians have voted for change, they have not given any one party a majority in the House of Commons. They have asked us to cooperate, to work together, and to get on with tackling the real issues that matter to ordinary working people and their families. I look forward to working with all of the parties and all members of parliament to build consensus and move Canada forward.

Friends, I have never been so proud of our great country, and I am honoured and overwhelmed to be asked to lead it. We will govern as we campaigned - in a spirit of hope, not fear. We will do all we can. We will give it all we’ve got. From time to time, we will even make mistakes. But each and every day, I can assure you one thing – I will dedicate myself to making Canada a united, stronger, more prosperous and safer country. The time has come, the moment is here, and tomorrow we get down to work – for individuals, for families, and for communities, for all of us.

Thank you. Goodnight, and God bless Canada.

TOPICS: Canada; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alberta; canada; canadianelection; canadians; conservatives; harper; stephenharper; tories; transcript
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1 posted on 01/24/2006 7:26:49 PM PST by Heatseeker
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To: fanfan; GMMAC

Thought this was a great speech and deserved to be reprinted in full here.

2 posted on 01/24/2006 7:27:47 PM PST by Heatseeker (Never underestimate the left's tendency to underestimate us.)
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To: Heatseeker

Great speech! Thanks for posting it.

3 posted on 01/24/2006 7:32:52 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Heatseeker

alot of canadian blogs are in full freak-out mode.

the typical big city types,curled up in their blankies,

wondering when the gestapo is going to round them up

4 posted on 01/24/2006 7:34:22 PM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: Heatseeker
Well it's understandable that the liberals are freaking out..
Our new Prime Minister mentioned 3 things in his speech we haven't heard in a long time.

1) Family
2) God
3) Thanks to our men and women fighting overseas.

Very nice speech!
5 posted on 01/24/2006 7:44:32 PM PST by NorthernConservative
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To: NorthernConservative

Hopefully he will be the "Ronald Reagan of Canada".

Congrats to all you Canucks.

6 posted on 01/24/2006 7:47:37 PM PST by no dems ("99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name." Steven Wright)
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To: Heatseeker

With a thin minority, it's not going to be easy. I'm sure he's up to the challenge and will make Canada proud.

7 posted on 01/24/2006 7:51:56 PM PST by GiveEmDubya
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To: Heatseeker

No more Canukistan jokes anymore I suppose!

8 posted on 01/24/2006 7:53:59 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Heatseeker

Congratulations. If the speech is a measure of this man, you have done well.

9 posted on 01/24/2006 7:59:59 PM PST by marron
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To: Incorrigible
"No more Canukistan jokes anymore I suppose!"

Countries should be upright with each other. Mexico I have a problem with. That is a really corrupt country and is becoming dangerous. And maybe to you too.

10 posted on 01/24/2006 8:28:02 PM PST by BobS
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To: Heatseeker
As so courageously demonstrated by those young Canadian soldiers who are serving, and who have sacrificed, in Afghanistan.

Let's not forget that some coffins that have flown back from Afghanistan have had Canadian flags draped over them.

11 posted on 01/24/2006 8:44:48 PM PST by RonF
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To: no dems; fanfan; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; Ryle; ..

Prime Minister Elect
Stephen Harper
"Stand With America"
Toronto ~ 04-04-03

(BTW, I'm there in the crowd somewhere.)

12 posted on 01/24/2006 8:47:37 PM PST by GMMAC (paraphrasing Parrish: "damned Liberals, I hate those bastards!")
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To: NorthernConservative

I picked up on those same points. I was very impressed by the speech.

I woke up this morning thinking the victory was just a dream, and then I realized it had actually come true. Stephen Harper, our PM-elect, will be good for Canada and great for western Canada. We're finally a power player in federal politics and we won't have a government who is trying to destroy us.

"The west is in". "God Bless Canada!"

13 posted on 01/24/2006 8:59:22 PM PST by plushaye (President Bush: W-2-4-4!! God Bless him. God Bless Canada too!)
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To: marron; no dems
Don't congratulate me, I'm just a Yank who's followed Canadian politics for awhile.

Hopefully he will be the "Ronald Reagan of Canada".

At least one of the Canadian bloggers has already pointed out that Harper's situation is somewhat similar to Reagan's in 1980. Both were elected in large part because people wanted to dump the incumbent - it was only after he got into office that Reagan showed the great majority of Americans that he was not only a 'safe pair of hands' but (in future years) a truly great president. Reagan had to contend with a "minority parliament" as well; the Senate was Republican-majority only 1981-1987 and the House never was during his 2 terms.

If Harper plays his cards right, he can repeat the performance many Canadian Tories are hoping for: in 1958 Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker converted a minority parliament (when he was first brought to power, a year before) to a majority.

14 posted on 01/24/2006 9:04:39 PM PST by Heatseeker (Never underestimate the left's tendency to underestimate us.)
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To: Heatseeker
It's a tremendous speech ... trmendous.

15 posted on 01/24/2006 9:11:32 PM PST by NorthOf45
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To: RonF

Nine so far ... let's hope it stops there.

16 posted on 01/24/2006 9:13:21 PM PST by NorthOf45
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To: NorthOf45

I am sure that we will hear about tampering with the voting process. This is only because the leftist use when they cant win. You wait you will see this on the news.

17 posted on 01/24/2006 9:23:22 PM PST by lndrvr1972
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To: NorthOf45
Hehehe, I trust the gentleman, whose comments I quote below, will probably want to dump his Canadian passport now that his Prime Minister says the very words he dread in public? ;-)

US and Caanda (a 2003 post - by habsfannova)

A bumper sticker on my car:

"One of the reasons I love my country is because we don't say God Bless Canada"

18 posted on 01/24/2006 9:25:44 PM PST by NZerFromHK (Leftism is like honey mixed with arsenic: initially it tastes good, but that will end up killing you)
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To: lndrvr1972

It's kind of hard to mess with paper and pencil ballots. Not impossible, but a big challenge, even for the determined.

There are also registered scrutineers from any or all interested party(ies) allowed to observe the counting process. Difficulty of shenanigans factor increased thereby.

All ballots are also supposed to be counted twice, by different people.

Recounts do happen, and occasionally might change a result, but it's extraordinarily rare for a recount to change the outcome. Unless you're "Landslide Annie", who was FINALLY turfed this time.

19 posted on 01/25/2006 12:01:06 AM PST by Don W (Stress is when you wake up screaming, and then you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.)
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To: NZerFromHK
I wonder if that fellow has read the Canadian Constitution...
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

20 posted on 01/25/2006 3:30:57 AM PST by kanawa (Freaking panty wetting, weakspined bliss-ninny socialist punks)
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