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American’s are in awe of George Bush’s speech, it seems.  Here is a man with big ideas, big agenda, a practical idealist, they are calling him.  In A Large Presidency, the Wall Street Journal says:

In his two years in office, Mr. Bush has confounded Washington and his media-Democratic critics, not just because he’s not as dumb as they thought but because he views the White House as more than a nice place to live. He means to accomplish big things, he is risking his capital to persuade the country to support him, and his fellow Republicans in particular should understand that if he and his agenda fail, so will they.  

Peggy Noonan writes:

This, truly, is a good man. And that is a rare thing. Agree with Mr. Bush’s stands or disagree, there can be no doubting the depth of his seriousness and the degree to which he attempts to do what he is convinced is right, and to lead his country toward that vision of rightness. We have had many unusual men as president and some seemed like a gift and some didn’t. Mr. Bush seems uniquely resolved to be as courageous as the times require and as helpful as they allow. There is a profound authenticity to him, and a fearlessness too.

Over the last few days I have been thinking back on the last time Canada had a Prime Minister with the same kind of vision and stature.  The closest person I can think of was Brian Mulroney, and before him Pierre Trudeau.  Pierre Trudeau is famous for many things, and beloved by our country.  Mulroney, however, was vilified. 

It’s time to rehabilitate Brian Mulroney, the man who brought us two free trade agreements, reformed manufacturing taxes, committed this country to Kyoto at the Rio Summit, and took two runs at fixing the Canadian constitutional crisis.  It’s time to ask ourselves what kind of leadership we want, and how we want our country to be governed. 

I want a government with a strong fiscal sense, a commitment to the Canadian identity, a social conscience, and a respect for Canadian tradition.  More than anything, though, I want us to be led by a leader, and not a flag that waves in the direction of the latest polls.

The only thing the Liberals stand for is winning elections.  Even Don Boudria’s electoral reform package, just introduced in the Commons, is nothing more than a cynical attempt to manipulate the system to ensure an infinity of Liberal governments.  By radically restricting fund raising, and then apportioning dollars to political parties on the basis of previous election results, the Liberal package simply perpetuates the results of one election ad infinitum.



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