With the 39th Parliament underway beginning with the reading of the Throne Speech by the Governor-General, all eyes are now focused on Stephen Harper, the man who finally found a way to reach the average Canadian despite some in the the media’s best attempts to thwart him yet again. It is reassuring to see that my fellow Canadians, for the most part, finally saw through the hidden agenda phrases, although the Toronto Star is still suggesting them.
In a widely anticipated move, the Throne Speech zeroed in on the top five priorities of the Conservatives. They are: a clampdown on violent crime , daycare assistance, a reduction in the G.S.T., reduced wait times in our medical system, and of course, the Accountability Act.
With these five items, the Conservatives have the support of a majority of Canadians, or at least a majority of the one’s eligible who took the time to vote, and they are the only one’s that matter; the only one’s who have a voice for the term of this mandate.
Four out of the five priorities have given the Liberals a great deal of mileage, something that Mr. Harper will be able to remove from the next election campaign. In the simplest of moves, he will do it simply by keeping his word. For a very long time, the past four Liberal governments have promised to do almost exactly what Stephen Harper will do, the difference being that an attempt was only ever made to do them when power appeared to be waning. I hope Canadians are paying attention. They are about to see the difference between style and substance, sincerity and theatrics.
The NDP, under Jack Layton, seem to have learned a great deal from the last election. In reading the mood of the electorate properly, Mr. Layton has toned down his firebrand style of berating politics and has somewhat accepted the olive branch that Mr. Harper has offered to the other three parties. He seems genuinely willing to make our government work.
Gilles Duceppe has not wavered, and has said that he will still support the government on an issue by issue basis. He was vague on whether he would support the government on all five of their top priorities.
The Liberals, in a move that no one should be surprised by, came out full of disdain and bluster, warning that unless the Conservatives throw away their crown and become good little Liberals, they would not have the support of the opposition. It seems that they still haven’t realized they lost the last election. Get over it, Mr. Graham. Move on.
With much ado being made of the universal childcare proposal, which was a major theme of the last government, some are trying to convince the Tories that scrapping the program which has been hatched will be a huge mistake. Attempts are being made by proponents of the government run childcare program to make themselves look larger than they are. An online petition has been started by one of the public unions that would benefit greatly from such a program. I guess they can’t wait to go out on strike, thus being able to leave even more parents in a lurch. One can almost see them salivating.
The Conservatives hopefully know better, and I am sure that they recognize the attempt as what it is; desperation.
While the opposition and their cohorts continually try to drive home the fact that $1200/year will not solve everybody’s daycare dilemma, they intentionally fail to mention the fact that the Tories have also offered generous tax breaks to those corporations which support daycare initiatives and that the government will also move to create new spaces. They also fail to mention that the proposed now-dead Liberal scheme once again penalized those couples who find it worthy to leave one parent home to nurture their children. As with every other Liberal social scheme, it failed to address those people who chose not to abandon their young for the sake of their own aspirations. That is simply not fair and has gone on way too long.
One parent working families are every bit as much Canadian citizens as those who have two incomes, and it is about time that there was a social program that would help them out as well. It is about time Ottawa recognized the value of such families. It is about time that we had a leader and a party in power that didn’t despise people with traditional family values.