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The Article

Conservatives gain ground—but it’s no revolution

DENVER—I had to disappoint many of my growing number of Republican friends this past weekend in explaining there is no right-wing Conservative revolution in Canada.

Ah, if only there were.

What we did on Jan. 23—at least, those with common sense and conscience—was to vote for a prime minister and government that are moderately and pragmatically conservative.

Nothing akin to Ronald Reagan’s victory in the U.S. in 1980 or Margaret Thatcher’s victory in Britain 1979. They really were determined to turned their nations right-side-up in a hurry, and did so, too. The faces of both the U.S. and Britain were changed dramatically, with both Reagan and Thatcher following Sir Winston Churchill’s dictum of, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”

The results were, as we all know, a revitalization of both nations. Confidence was restored, their economies boomed, and in a final triumph, the dreaded Soviet Union was brought to its knees with hundreds of millions of men, women and children freed from enslavement.

Our own Stephen Harper isn’t in a position right now to put similar dramatic-style scenarios into place.

But, I tell my GOP audience, Harper and his cabinet ministers will slowly move incrementally to do just what Reagan and Thatcher did in rapid-fire action.

It’s harder to explain to an audience that a political party or government in a nation with a four-party system can’t act in the same way as a party and government in a two-party system. OK, it’s true the U.S. has some fringe third parties, but they rarely amount to much, except when on the right they syphon votes from the Republicans and on the left syphon votes from the Democrats.

Especially until he wins a majority—and he will—Harper has to juggle to get his legislation passed, making deals with the Liberals, New Democrats or Bloc Quebecois, in much the same way as when a president hasn’t got a majority in the Senate or the House of Representatives, and has to try and pull any number of diverse senators and congressmen onside.

Yet I hearten my GOP friends by distributing printouts from the Calgary Sun and my main U.S. outlet, The American Thinker (www.americanthinker.com) demonstrating just how swiftly Harper and the Conservatives are moving even under the hopefully temporary constraints they face.

They now know Harper—and all patriotic Canadians—regard the U.S. as “Canada’s best friend.”

Harper stamped that into the Speech from the Throne. No more derogatory remarks about the U.S. from has-been Liberal prime ministers.

That Harper now ends his speeches with “God bless Canada” equally delights my U.S. audiences. Remember, 40% of American voters are said to be on the ‘Christian Right’—and almost all of them are Republicans.

I explain about Harper’s and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay’s lightning sorties to the front lines in Afghanistan, and the $5-billion boost in military spending. The financial aspect needs to be put into context since Canada has roughly only the population and economy of California, hence this boost might seem puny by U.S. military standards.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day’s profile is rising here, particularly since he met with his U.S. equivalent, Homeland Secretary Secretary Michael Chertoff. That MacKay cut funding to the Palestinian Authority since the terrorist group Hamas took it over, and Day slammed the Tamil Tigers on the list of banned terrorist outfits, also raises applause.

I tell how Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is kicking the bogus Kyoto Protocol into the garbage can and Canada will likely join the U.S., Australia and others in the rational climate change organization, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and they applaud that.

Though the average American knows nothing about the softwood lumber dispute, I explain just how essential it was to solve it, and Bush and Harper did in three months what neither Jean Chretien nor Paul Martin could do in 13 years.

By the end of the day, they know Washington again has friends it can trust in Ottawa. Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Paul Celluci, would no longer be scorned in Ottawa. Current ambassador David Wilkins is going to have a much more fruitful time during his stint.

My Conservative friends, we’re winning in Canada. Winning big—but it’s no revolution. Not yet anyway.

Paul Jackson
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