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The Article

Conservative values needed to take us in new direction

A political acquaintance whispers the federal Liberals remind him of a garbage truck ready to dump its trash on the Canadian people.

I disagree—real garbage can be recycled into something useful. Liberal garbage is like noxious weeds in that once they take a hold, they grow out of control.

Yes, you can pretty much guess where this column is going.

The federal Liberal garbage truck is overloaded with trash.

Scandals atop scandals. Political payoffs atop political payoffs. Misguided policies atop misguided policies.

So I’m not as gloomy as some about the supposed lack of a prospect of a wholesale housecleaning in Ottawa come the time when Paul Martin plucks up the courage to go to the polls.

In the columns “Right march” (Oct. 16) and “Poll vault” (Oct. 9) I praised Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and suggested his party wasn’t doing as poorly in public support as some opinion polls suggested.

Reaction was mixed to the assertions: Some readers were buoyed by my optimism.

Others contended Ontario voters are too dumb to realize just how badly Martin’s government—and that of his predecessor, the unlamented Jean Chretien—had ransacked our country.

Yet others blamed Reform party founder Preston Manning for splitting the Conservative vote in two, theoretically allowing the Chretien and Martin hordes to sneak up the middle.

Well, Manning certainly did play havoc with the Progressive Conservative base in 1993—but let’s not forget Kim Campbell started her leadership way, way up in the polls and then slowly disintegrated as the weeks went by.

She was a silly, silly woman and not at all in the mould of Britain’s hugely successful Margaret Thatcher.

I’m not quite sure what Campbell’s party stood for in 1993—she contended election campaigns were not the time to discuss complex issues—but we all knew where Manning’s Reform party stood.

That’s why, within just a decade, the Reformers came out of nowhere to become Her Majesty Loyal Opposition.

Manning took Conservatism back to its roots—bringing back its true philosophy after the wavering of the likes of Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

Campbell, not knowing a thing about true Conservative values, didn’t need to waver.

Manning did to Conservatism in Canada exactly what Thatcher did to Conservatism in Britain—and Ronald Reagan to Conservatism in the U.S.

This is where Harper’s Conservatives should be: Standing rock solid on principles.

That’s what the Republicans do in the U.S. and it’s why they have won seven of the past 10 presidential elections.

They boldly set out their policies and then, unwaveringly, go out and sell them to the voters.

There’s no backing off or watering down when the Lib-Left media or some shrill special interest groups start talking about hidden agendas.

After the Bill Clinton win in the U.S. in 1992, GOP adherents started to organize at every level across the country—municipal, state and federal.

They badgered newspapers, radio hotline and TV talk shows to give their people a fair hearing. They built up Conservative personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan and Col. Oliver North.

They were relentless in their pursuit of victory, and in not only selling their own policies, but drastically outlining the abuses committed by Clinton’s Democratic administration.

The abuses by the Clinton Democrats, by the way, would seem like peccadillos compared to the outright fraud of the Chretien and Martin Liberals.

Mr. Justice John Gomery’s AdScam inquiry alone contains enough sleaze to collapse the Martin government.

So that’s what Harper’s Conservatives must do—follow a a no-holds-barred strategy similar to the Republicans.

Promote their stands and point to new directions for the nation—and roll out an entire convoy of trucks overflowing with the garbage of the Chretien/Martin regimes.

The Grits may shout “Foul!”—a word highly descriptive of their own party—but this is a battle we have to win.

With that, as in former Democrat strongholds in the U.S., even Ontario voters would wake up and take notice.

The game isn’t over by a long shot.

Paul Jackson
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