I am fast approaching middle age. And I have never been so proud to be a Canadian and a Conservative.
And, as the biggest critic of Michaele Jean, I am now among her greatest supporters - what a performance. I see why she got the job. What a glorious example of how our traditions can add authority and grandeur to a process that is degraded every day in Question Period.
The details of the Speech from the Throne will be said in every blog and MSM outlet for the next twelve hours or so. So let me provide my observations that the speech provided to me and likely, Canadians.
First off Aboriginals: Even my buddy stageleft has to buy into this program. Massive investment in the north in infrastructure, in security and in people. Our government will guarantee that those on reserves will have full rights under the Charter and faster resolution to land claims. Clean Water!!! Programs to allow aboriginals to benefit from resource development. And, he will make a formal statement of apology for residential schools. Never has our legislated under class of people received so much respect. There are very few votes for a party that pays this much attention to the small number of voters that are effected by such proclamations. But never has a government been so right. Our treatment of aboriginal people under Liberal rule has been embarrassing and inhumane. Finally, now, we have a government that will do what needs to be done.
Internationalism: Support for the military. More funds for Reserve forces. More support for veterans!!! Canada is BACK!! Canada as an international leader with action! Respect for Human Rights - honourary citizenship for Aung San Suu Kyi. Continuance in Afstan until 2011 in supporting Afstan people and helping them help themselves. Heroic.
Quebec: Respect as a nation within a united Canada. Constitutional jurisdictions respected. Limits on federal spending in areas of exclusive jurisdiction - provinces can opt out with compensation. This will sing like Gilles Vigneault in la belle province. If Duceppe hates it it must be good.
Crime: Omnibus Bill - wants prompt passage - sounds like an election issue. 2500 more officers for streets. Safety is a big non-issue, but PMSH is on the right side of this.
Environment: Clearly stated that Kyoto is impossible to meet (targets January 2008). Enviro-maniacs will bellow, piss and moan, but the plan to set enforceable and binding targets will make sense to normal citizens (especially given failure of Dion as Minister). Especially when the costs of the alternatives are laid out.
The speech dealt with other areas that are big, but more in passing in this agenda. Tax cuts - yes. Elected Senate - yes. Support for needy - big yes - help for elderly parents, homeless, and a registered disability savings plan. Infrastructure - yup - Coastal gateways, roads and bridges. Marketing Boards: Dust.
All in all - this is a 5% surge speech across the country. Big win for PMSH.
Hilarious to see David McGuinty avoid the question - if the environmental plan is so bad, why not vote against it? And Iggy evade a similar question.