MR. HARPER MUST GOVERN AS A WINNER

The federal finance minister, in his last days as such, has conceded that the incoming government has been given a mandate to cut the G.S.T., and has stated that the Liberals will likely vote in favour of such a measure. Ralph Goodale has hinted that he would not be willing to see earlier Liberal tax cuts repealed or the much touted national daycare plan shelved. Too bad for Mr. Goodale that both of these measures will be in the same document; that little bill known as the budget. Incredulously, Mr. Goodale made a public statement that he didn’t feel that the Tories had a mandate to kill the proposed titanic childcare bill. I guess he missed much of the election campaign.

Anyone with any political sense knows that Mr. Harper should govern not by consensus in the first few months, but at full speed ahead. He will pretty much own the Commons for the first little while with none of the opposition parties willing to take us into another election so quickly. It isn’t because they don’t want it, but simply because it would cost them at the polls. On another front, the Tories are the only party in any kind of reasonable financial condition. The other parties simply cannot afford to go on another election campaign.

Knowing these two facts very well, you can be sure that the Conservatives will come out of the gate running, so to speak.

To his credit, Mr. Harper has stated openly that the Liberal daycare plan is dead, and I say hallelujah. The Liberals are so anxious to bully Mr. Harper on the daycare front for one simple reason. Once a national program is started, it is next to impossible to eradicate. As Ronald Reagan once mused, “The closest thing to immortality on this earth is a federal government program.” I’ll hand it to the Grits; they sure understand how the machine works.

Mr. Harper has stated that he will rule as a minority government should rule, with the consensus of the other parties, and by reaching agreements on the individual issues. He is to be commended for his stance, but he must also not be cajoled into forsaking the mandate and the agenda on which he was chosen by the people to govern. For their part, the Liberals and the NDP must simply grasp one simply fact, and Mr. Harper must help to drive it home. That fact is that they lost the election and by means of losing, they also have no real say in determining the course of our country or its government. They may simply try and oppose those things which they ought.

The NDP, for the most part, has that role pretty much wrapped up. Knowing how much Mr. Layton likes to be amiable, I am sure he will instruct his Liberal counterparts in the ways of the losing party.

Go get ’em, Tories.