Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

in their own words (part 2)

It seems next to certain that Scott Brison will take a stab at the leadership of the Liberal party. He is considered by many, even, to be a frontrunner.

Now one can talk about how wise it is, giving the current public climate, to choose for our leader a recent floorcrosser. One can question his loyalty to the Liberal party in lu of the vociferous attacks he launched as a PC. One can question whether he remains loyal only to his ambition. But all of these things are secondary, in my mind, to the vision he would actually advance as leader.

From his speech at the 2003 PC Leadership Convention:

“I have a vision of a Canada… with a tax system that rewards hard work and investment instead of attacking ambition and imagination… a leadership… with the courage to cut wasteful spending… a Canada trusted by the United States and trusted by the world… I believe we need to overhaul our tax system to unleash our entrepreneurial spirit… I want to replace Canada’s failed regional development programs and corporate welfare with dramatic corporate and small business tax reductions, because the market can do a far better job of picking winners and losers than the politicians and bureaucrats. I believe in a new EI system… and EI system that works for Canadians who work. I believe in a new Canada-US security and economic partnership… Our party will succeed because our ideas are right and the Liberals are wrong!"

I was selective here, but if I'm suspected of a deliberate misrepresentation by all means listen to it yourself. What we have is Brison in a nutshell - an unapologetic Progressive Conservative. His vision reaches far beyond the fiscal conservatism of even Paul Martin. I'm removed from him ideologically, but that aside - this would be nothing short of devesating to the Liberal party. Coming from a region that the NDP have recently stolen wholesale, I can attest to the excruciating nature of attempting to colour the Liberal party as progressive and socially-responsible when past budgets have been dedicated to corporate tax cuts. We lost that argument, and in the eyes of Canadians we will lose it again.

The centrepiece of Scott Brison has always been his belief in entering into some sort of North American security condo. I feel I can be brief here - the Maude Barlows of the world can tell you why that's a bad idea. Suffice to say, that is not what most Liberals - and more importantly, most Canadians - ever want to see.

But he's socially liberal, right? Well - he is, on certain issues. But don't confuse the man for the politician. During his time as a PC he was vocally in favour of alligning his party with the Alliance, and he voted in favour of doing just that. I'll allow him to define himself any way he wishes, of course. He knows better than I. But that does project a shadow of a doubt - if not on his social liberalism than on the importance he lends to it.

Now is not the time for Scott Brison.

UPDATE: I don't mean to be too tough on the ole' boy. He is a tremendous speaker, a dedicated Maritimer, etc. I am always extremely glad to have him aboard - I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.


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