Thursday, April 21, 2005


Best Before February 1, 2006 - Your government

Well it was quite a night in Canadian politics. The Prime Minister of Canada postponed your nightly chance to see the former Prime Minister's weasel son on E-Talk Daily to address the nation. For 6 minutes and 50 seconds, Prime Minister Paul Martin stared out into Canadian homes and updated them on the comings and goings of the Gomery Commission. Essentially he pleaded with Canadians to reserve final judgment on the file until all the facts are known. This move was quite a gamble for Paul Martin. Should he have taken this unprecedented move? Did it work?

The answer to the first question is yes, however, he should have done it sooner. Any reader will know that I am not the number one fan of the current PM. He has many, many shortcomings, however, in this case he was justified to address the country. My advice to him would have been to make his case earlier. He should have done it when the trial shifted to Montreal. Everyone knew that some of the testimony was going to be explosive. Get ahead of the curve and address it head on. A poor choice in waiting to address it, but better late than never.

On the second point, the jury is still out. As I turned on the television I was expecting to see a man who looked defeated, however, that was not the case. My initial reaction was that he did remarkable better than I thought he could or would do. It was a good speech - forceful, direct and honest. He knows he is in shit and he admits it. He took responsibility and assured us we are voting soon. How soon is up to the opposition.

Overall rating: 6

So just how did the opposition responses look?

Stephen Harper missed a golden opportunity. Those that claim he came out looking the best didn’t watch close enough or are already voting Conservative. Harper was his usual charming self - aloof, smug, contrite and angry. I half expected him to jump through my television. Now, to be fair, his anger this time is somewhat justified. The Martin government is trying to govern like it has a majority, however, his tone was more school yard bully than Prime Ministerial. He did reach out directly to Quebec and framed the sponsorship file as a Liberal scandal and not a Quebec scandal. A wise move.

Overall rating: 4

Gilles Duceppe did what he had to do - show up. He made the right references and rubbed salt in the federalist cause by picking the scab. Looked like the future Premier of Quebec to me.

Overall rating: 9

Jack Layton was good, not great. The expectations aren't high for the Federal NDP, however, he gets full marks for linking real issues, and the lack of progress on them, to the paralysis that is government. A nice touch to re-state your drop the corporate tax cuts, invest in people and we will support you pledge.

Overall rating: 7

At the end of it all, nothing changed. I still want to hear all the testimony and have the Commission file its final report. Do you really want to rush to polls on the basis of testimony from Jean Brault? Remember this guy is awaiting criminal charges and doesn't exactly have the cleanest rap sheet. Like any good trial all witnesses should be heard and then the judge (and jury) can render a verdict.

Oh, you're comments are biased.
"aloof, smug, contrite and angry"

I used to say the same about Chretien a few years ago, if you recall. I also remember you telling me that he ran a good government with a decent economy, a "centrist" government. Well, you were right then: just because you don't like how a guy acts doesn't mean he can't run the government.If what he is saying is right, then that's what matters.

(Except now we know Chretien was a bigger crook than either one of us imagined.)

However, by expressing his anger, a response made following directly after Martin's prepared comments, I think he reflected what much of the country is feeling. He's pissed and rightfully so. I expect the man to show some emotion.

Martin had to call an election and he didn't. Harper wants one. That was the difference.
Junor you are bang-on, except for one thing - I truly do not think that Martin could have ever imagined how ugly it was going to get when it came to Montreal. I am in the camp of him being outside of the loop, witness Earnscliffe getting no contracts from Kinsella and Guite.

I love how you gave Duceppe a 9, and agree that he would be a great premier, if whipping the masses up into a frenzy is what you need to win a referendum.
Shaky, your dislike of Harper affected your judgement. He had a calm but angry tone (didn't sound scary). He attacked an unneccesary 15 min of Liberal propaganda and briefly talked about what the Conservatives would do in government (like bring in useful envio legislation not that Euro-centric Kyoto rag) as well as addressed Quebecers. If you gave snivelling Layton a 7, Harper should get a 10.

Mucky Muck.

Read carefully I didn't sat he would make a great Premier. I simply stated that he will be the next Premier.


Harper and 14% (the same % who believe Elvis is still alive) want an election. Be patient, if you are to crush the Liberals at the polls it will be on Canadian's time not the Conservative's.


I don't like any of the leaders that got television time. I am simply judging what I saw. Martin did better than I expected and Harper did worse. Gilles showed up and Layton stood tall.
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