Speech from the Throne
On Tuesday, Prime-Minister Stephen Harper unveiled one of the shortest throne speeches in recent memory.
In stark contrast to the often-meandering Liberal speeches of past years, this one was very focused on the five priorities of the new conservative Federal government.
Expect the mantra of cleaned up government, tax cuts, safe streets, choice in childcare, and shorter health care wait lists to be repeated often over the next few months.
You’ll probably get tired of these priorities. You may even get bored.
But these tough, often unglamorous issues are the focus of Harper’s government. The new conservative MPs in Ottawa know that the way to convince Canadians to give them a majority government in the next election swing is deliver the goods on the things they care about.
Middle-class and working Canadians are pretty sure that, up until now, government wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing in Ottawa.
Every year we heard about tax cuts, but they never seemed to actually make it to our savings accounts. Every year we heard about this government friend or that government lobbyist making a fortune with inside information.
Every year politicians stood up and mouth platitudes about reducing crime or better health care. But when the press conference ended, they were off pursuing the next issue and the next photo-op and they never actually made sure their commitments were honoured.
Of course, talk is always easier than action, which is why our country continues to slip down international rankings in health care standards, savings rates, and corruption levels.
This is why Canadians loath politics and mistrust politicians.
Harper’s Conservatives are going to try to change that.
Instead of sucking up to each and every special interest group, they are going to work on these five key tasks.
It isn’t going to be easy, by any stretch.
They are going to have to develop relationships with the provinces. They are going to have to make the kind of tough decisions that send protestors into the streets. They are going to have to compromise against their better judgment to maneuver in a minority parliament.
And, inevitably, some issue will come up and they’ll face the impossible choice of staying the course with these critical priorities, or bending to the political winds.
There are always going to be issues the government isn’t dealing with.
The question is will Canadians accept the five priorities, or will they demand immediate action on everything? Because, as we all know from our own lives, too many priorities are a sure recipe for not accomplishing anything at all.
As seen today in 24 Hours Daily