Buried at the bottom of this article on Stephane Dion's speech in Calgary is an interesting fact: 82% of Canadians now support the Kyoto accord. And...70% of Albertans. This from a province which supposedly was dead-set against the accord when it came in. Or, at least, was dead-set against it when the government spent dollars advertising against it and publishing push-polls. The point of the fact is, Canadians have come around to support what they now realize to be a wise move.
In Jean Chretien's last year, he made four incredibly controversial decisions. Each one could have gone the other way in a Paul Martin government and certainly would have in a Conservative government. In each case he was heavily criticized by the opposition and, especially, in Alberta. But all are looking like great moves. Pot decriminalization? No one even raises eyebrows over this one anymore. In fact, I'd wager support for legalization is now higher than opposition to decriminalization. Gay marriage? I know a lot of people are still opposed but every poll I've seen sees support for it growing. Yes, I know it was a Supreme Court decision but Chretien and Martin Cauchon campaigned for this feverously within their own party when they didn't have to. The war in Iraq? Harper was adamantly in favour of it, Martin was quasi in favour, and the country was split right down the middle. Now? Is there anyone out there who still thinks the war was justified? And Kyoto? Well, this latest poll shows Canadians now see it as the right move.
The point of this? As far as lame duck years in office go, 2003 was a very productive one.