Diane Francis on Canadian Politics

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canadian Politics: Tory Triumph!!

What's most important about the Tories taking control of the federal government is that the public at large will be able to realize the Liberal scare tactics (i.e. Harper's a fascist, Bush lapdog who will gut our welfare state) for what they are. Decades of destructive lies that have robbed Canada of proper policy debates and choices.

The Tories should avoid any controversial platforms which may result in another election and simply show that they can govern properly. This means attendance at important international events such as the G8 in June and elsewhere so that Canadians can see that Harper can deport himself with dignity and prime ministerially.

The Tories must understand that they have to overcome and put to the lie these decades of Liberal propaganda, that the Grits are the only governing party. So they must stay away from divisive votes. My guess is that the only winning platform for the Tories to pursue is the proposed reduction of the GST and the only way that Harper will get Bloc support, which he will need, is to agree to a compromise.

Bloc leader Gilles Ducette suggested in 2004 that the entire GST be assigned to the provinces, which is something that I don't disagree with. It will force the federal system to shrink, give required funds to the provinces for health, education and welfare (which is their constitutional responsibility, not the federal government's) and make Canadians realize that the federal government is bigger than need be.

If they distinguish themselves over the next two years -- and gain credit for what should be a booming economy -- they can convince Canadians there are choices at the ballot box. And, more importantly, their success in steering carefully while in office will create chaos in the Liberal party where the knives will be drawn for Mr. Martin.

The Grits are also hugely in debt now which makes a new leader more nervous about challenging Martin. And Martin as a leader will continue to prove to be an unmitigated disaster.

Finally, the Liberals have gone too far.


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