Monday, March 07, 2005

The Big Guy Speaks

There’s not a lot I can add about the PM’s Friday night speech. By now, most Canadians have heard a few of Paul’s speeches, and this one wasn’t remarkable in any ways (but, then again, are any of them?). I did find it better than his acceptance speech when he won the leadership for a few reasons reasons. One, he emphasized the “team” aspect of the party. Right now, the PM isn’t popular so he emphasized out Brison and Dryden and Dosanj and Emerson and, gulp, Jean Lapierre. Also, we didn’t hear the wild promises about changing the very nature of government that would be impossible to keep. If the Liberals are going to make “promises made, promises kept” their slogan, then Harper just needs to run commercials with excerpts of Paul’s acceptance speech: “fix health care for a generation”, “politics of achievement”, “better US relations”, “fixing provincial-federal relations”, “making history”…

But most important was that he actually talked about the Liberal Party. In the past, it’s been all about the Paul Martin Party and it wouldn’t be a stretch to conclude that the big guy was embarrassed to be a Liberal. But he ended the speech with “I’m proud to be a Liberal” and I think that was nice. Like Warren said, we heard nary a word about Jean Chretien, but it’s not like that was a huge surprise. But saying he’s proud to be a Liberal and emphasizing the party’s rich history is a step in the right direction.


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