Thursday, October 12, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

That's something I've always enjoyed hearing. I voted for Harper and I'm glad he won. I think he's done an excellent job in his time as Prime Minister. Based on his record to date, he deserves a majority in the next federal election.

I've been a conservative for the last several years, after kind of finding it back in university. I was with the original Reform Party, so naturally I support the merged Conservative Party. It's great to see the old Reformer Harper now Prime Minister - we did it!

I remember going to see a Preston Manning speech back around the summer of 1992. It was in Halifax in the Queen Elizabeth High School auditorium. I recall there were around 100 people there. We opened the evening singing Oh Canada. Preston was greeted very enthusiastically and got a standing ovation after his talk. His speech was right on, the small c conservative line we all wanted to hear. I didn't walk up to the front afterward to try to meet him.

I don't think Harper has really been given the credit he deserves for what he has accomplished. Consider the situation Paul Martin inherited when he finally wrestled the Liberal leadership from Jean Cretien. He had a healthy majority. He had overwhelming support within his party. He had strong support and goodwill in the general public. He seemed a lock for another easy majority, if not a second one.

So given these tall odds, look what Harper accomplished. He took the Martin Liberals from a majority government, to a minority government in the first election, followed by defeat and official opposition in the conservative minority government in the next election. All in around a year and a half. Sure Paul Martin had a lot of inherited distractions from the Chretien regime, but Stephen Harpen just had his number and was the better man.

So all's well in conservative land right? Well unfortunately not quite. I'm increasingly concerned about the religious right. Based on recent US gambling legislation, they seem increasingly influential. I feel they are overly concerned with the private affairs of other people. As a libertarian, I feel their agenda is dangerous and regressive. The religious right is most active in Canada in the Conservative Party. So I need to reevaluate before the next election which party today is best aligned with my interests. It's probably still the Conservatives, but I will think about it.

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