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Beyond next steps -- the future

Maybe Canadians' addiction to the nanny state would have caused such a platform to fall over flat. But then maybe it would have made people realize they had a choice. We let the Liberals and the NDP frame the most basic question of all: What does it mean to be a Canadian? They have convinced everybody that it means high taxes, lots of government services, lots of government interference in our lives, and a blaise attitude to personal and civil rights. To keep your own money, to pay your own way, to make your own choices, and to tell the government that it has no right to tell you what you can say, think, or do, is so very American. And therefore it can't be Canadian. So if you are Canadian, you only have one choice when you vote: Liberal (not NDP, because that's just a wasted vote).

Frankly, I'm not sure the Conservatives can ever win unless we wrench that question away from the Liberal-NDP and redefine it so that it does not exclude conservatism.

Can Stephen Harper redefine that question? I'm not so sure, because I think to attack something as basic as that, we need an ideological demagogue. An Anti-Trudeau, as it were. Flashy, charismatic, fiery, but Conservative. A Ronald Reagan or a Maggie Thatcher, each of whom in their own way didn't just earn votes, they each earned a following that lives to this day, long after each left the political scene. Then the Conservatives can win an election not on the basis of punishing the Liberals, but on the basis of leading Canadians.

Can you imagine someone having a picture of Stephen Harper up years after he is no longer the leader of the Conservative Party? I know Americans who still have a picture of Ronald Reagan in their offices.

The problem is that we may never find that person. Canadian social programs and attitudes fostered by Liberals have made us complacent as a people. How are we going to breed such a firebrand from such gentle and non-confrontational stock? Where are we going to find a group of Canadians who have been raised without depending on the government and imbued with an appreciation of self-reliance? Do they exist? If they do, is there one among them with the oratorical skills to become a leader?

I don't know, but I fear that we'll never find that person. Generations of Trudeau-style Liberal rule (interrupted occasionally and briefly only by Red Tory governments) may have eliminated that genetic strain from our population (they probably high-tailed it to the US years ago). Instead, we meekly pay our taxes and nod our heads when a hate tribunal tells us we're thinking wrong thoughts, and no one, from any party, is going to tell us it could be any other way.

[Thoughts along the same lines at Captain's Quarters: "Lastly, though, Harper may have been undone by his own basic honesty."]

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Angry in the Great White North by Steve Janke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License. Based on a work at
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