Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wanted: Ideas

Remember last June, when the Conservatives were slumping through the final days of Parliament, bereft of ideas, openly soliciting responses from the rank and file for direction? The Conservatives needed the summer to "re-tool", "re-define", get their heads together and come up with a new set of goals, moving forward. The government delayed the return of Parliament another month, which meant they enjoyed a full four months to flesh out policy. Tonight, we wonder "where's the beef?":
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Government of Canada is pursuing a mandate based on five core priorities, including:

1)A Proud and Sovereign Canada in which the Government rigorously defends Canada’s place in the world including through the realization of our strong Arctic vision and a responsible, effective path forward in Afghanistan.

2)A Strong Federation in which the Government will continue to strengthen the federation – and modernize its democratic institutions – through measures including formal limits on federal spending power and long-overdue reform of the Senate.

3)A Prosperous Future in which the Government will provide effective economic leadership and a prosperous future by aggressively moving forward with broad tax relief that includes a further promised reduction in the GST.

4)A Safe and Secure Canada in which the Government will continue to tackle crime and strengthen the security of Canadians by reintroducing important crime legislation with the new Tackling Violent Crime Act, and by putting a strong focus on safe communities and youth and property crime.

5)A Healthy Environment for Canadians in which the Government will continue to improve the environment and health of Canadians by delivering realistic and achievable results in areas such as environmental enforcement and product and food safety.

The Arctic and Afghanistan are already well known priorities, hardly a fresh idea. A strong federation, wherein you mirror(how rich) the Liberal legacy as it relates to spending power, well short of all the rhetoric. A GST cut that was outlined in the last election campaign. A re-introduction of crime legislation, put in a different package. A commitment to safe food and products. Wow, it might take me days to digest the myriad of innovative ideas, from this gang of policy wonks. Weak, thin, superficial, re-hashed.

This throne speech proves once again, that the new Conservative Party was always more a statement of opposition, than direction. The anti-Liberal motivations only takes one so far, the memory of "13 years" fades and you are left with your own creativity and vision. I guess we shouldn't be surprised, after all it was this Party who's election platform began by attacking the Liberals, before it actually spoke on policy.

Today is the day the government officially drops the "new" portion of their moniker(already?). I would say that decision is quite timely, given what we heard tonight, "new" is apparently a foreign term.


liberazzi said...

60 to 70% reduction in emmissions in 43 years. What???? 20% by 2020 is not good enough either. Bunch of fuzzy statements, not very visionary, Duffy and Fife loved it of course, CBC and Newman more balanced as usual. Not sure what the Libs should do. Vote for it, look cowardly, vote against and risk being Turnerized. Not sure why the Dippers are acting so cocky at 16% and the Greens nipping at their heels.

Steve V said...

"60 to 70% reduction in emmissions in 43 years. What???? 20% by 2020 is not good enough either."

Baird has been spewing that nonsense for months, despite the fact he uses a misleading baseline, and every respectable environmentalist, economist and even the odd foreign bank has dismissed the claims.

Jeff said...

Not sure why the Dippers are acting so cocky at 16% and the Greens nipping at their heels.

They're counting on the Liberals to vote it down so Jack can keep strutting for the cameras and talking about principles. So way in hizeck the NDP want an election. They do however, want to have their cake and eat it too.

liberazzi said...

The Dippers have nothing to lose, so they can vote against it and keep their "principles" and their 16%.

Steve V said...

Ivision from the National Post cracks me up sometimes, with his bad spin and the odd slip up:

"So farewell, then, Canada's "new government" -- ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a more seasoned, mature ministry, which will focus on the long-term interests of all Canadians, not just the future electoral prospects of the Conservative Party.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper signalled last night that a government that has been in constant campaign mode since being elected 20 months ago is now intent on governing, rather than provoking confrontation with the Liberals by using the Throne Speech as a poison-pill laden campaign platform.

The impression being sought is of an assured, established government looking after the long-term interests of the country, not a party that is in a constant state of anxiety about being thrown back into opposition."

After all that grandiose phrasing, he then says:

"There was little new in the speech..."

This is the new Stephen Harper, not chasing the polls, but focused on governing and Canada's future, all that's missing is an agenda :)

ottlib said...

Mr. Dion would be silly to bring the government down on this speech. There is nothing to it so there is nothing that they can sink their teeth into during an election campaign.

Instead, Mr. Dion should use his response to outline his vision for Canada and then use the next parliamentary session to promote that vision while hammering the Conservatives during QP.

With the Conservatives delivering their Throne Speech now is the ideal time to deliver an alternate vision for the country. The Conservatives are very unlikely to steal any of those ideas so soon after their Speech and the MSM might actually begin to talk about something besides the troubles currently being experienced by the Liberals.

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

Shorter Throne Speech:

"Everything done before January 2006 was bad, Canada was not a leader of anything - especially on the environment question and on the world stage - and Canada was certainly not united. Now, all has been put aright since January 2006 and all is well and good - consequently, we will stay the course.

(Oh - and with more security measures to be implemented because, well, we must stay afraid of them baaaaaad terrorists! Which again justifies our staying longer in Afghanistan)

And God Bless the United States of America ...

(... um, Canada! Yes - that's it! That's the ticket!)

Thank you; good night."

- and good luck to all of us (sigh)

Anonymous said...

Dion has to oppose the Throne Speech and go into an election. Otherwise, he will be iggied to death. The Liberals should forget about getting more than a dozen or so seats in Quebec, and focus instead on Ontario and Atlantic Canada. If they wait, they could lose those two regions too.