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Last summer, the pundits were saying PM Harper had run out of ideas. Yesterday's Throne Speech confirmed their opinion. Not only are there no major new initiatives, the Prime Minister's agenda continues to plow old ground. Bills that had been resolved after lengthy consideration (anti-terrorism provisions, Senate tenure) are to be re-introduced, forcing MPs and Senators to debate them all over again. Various crime bills in final stages of approval before the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament are to be re-packaged. Once again, the lengthy debate process will need to be repeated.
In addition, a number of old promises have been recycled. Many of them continue to keep us dangling, because we have no way of knowing when, or whether, the promises will be fulfilled. GST cuts are mentioned again, for example, as are broad income tax cuts. Whether you support one or the other or both, the government fails to tell us, in either case, just when we might get to reap the benefits promised. Worse yet, other recycled promises fail to acknowledge new information that strongly suggests the promise will never be fulfilled. The most obvious example is the Conservative's climate change plan. Nowhere does the Throne Speech acknowledge that the government's promises of significant greenhouse gas reductions have been soundly discredited both by the CD Howe Institute, and by the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (an organization appointed by the government itself).
I must say I'm disappointed. I was rather looking forward to a fresh start. In my more optimistic moments, I could imagine Mr. Harper had given us reason to believe he'd grown to understand some of the complexities inherent in leading a great country like Canada. Instead of strong leadership, however, I see only strong gamesmanship.
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What I can't believe is how the MSM is covering the Throne Speech, yesterday and today. Like they only have one story line, and that's conflict and who's going to end up on top. Excuse me, but that's not the only, or even the best, dramatic construct.
So just because Harper is standing 'big and tall' hurling imprecations and challenges across the floor, that does NOT make him a hero.
On the other side of the floor, Dion is saying here are all the things wrong with your program, but I'm not going to get into a bloody, physical fight with you over it. That's way too juvenile.
And what do the media do? Fall for Harper's line, is what. Good heavens, are they juvenile or what?