I realize it’s early in the campaign yet and far too soon to be making any predictions, but it certainly seems that Conservative leader Stephen Harper has seized the momentum out of the blocks.
Thus far he has unveiled a new plank of the Tory platform every day including his promise to trim two points off the hated GST, something that resonates with most, if not all Canadians.
Prime Minister Paul Martin has stumbled out of the gate and even taken the first weekend off to regroup. But before he limped back to 24 Sussex, Martin came out with one of the most inane comments ever uttered in any election campaign in this country’s history.
This appeared in a “brief” in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen:
Martin Makes His Pitch to Asian Canadian Voters
"Sometimes election campaigns can travel to so many cities and towns in a day it gets hard to remember what time it is or where you are. But Prime Minister Paul Martin appeared to forget what country he was in yesterday. During a series of interviews with Chinese media organizations, Mr. Martin attempted to explain to the interviewer how important the Chinese Canadian community is to the country. In fact, he announced that Canada has geographically moved its borders to be closer to them. "What we really are saying is we're a major Asian country," Mr. Martin told Omni TV, to roars of laughter from the Canadian media watching the interview."
Canada a major Asian country? Geographically moved our borders to be closer to Asia? Has he lost all touch with reality?
Harper has been strong thus far in deliberately and methodically saying what a Conservative government will do. Martin is musing about Canada’s place in Asia? The 60’s were apparently good to him.
Then there was NDP leader Jack Layton in Vancouver on the weekend trying to justify having a convicted thief on the slate when he actually said disgraced former MP Svend Robinson was an example in his behaviour.
"Svend has a long history of serving his community and standing up for people on many issues, and I think his behaviour, given what happened, has been exemplary and Canadians and his voters will certainly understand that and appreciate that," said Layton in response to reporter’s questions.
Really? Well, this Canadian voter does not understand that. Robinson got caught stealing a woman’s diamond ring worth over $50,000. He claimed he had some type of brain cramp. Well, whatever. He stole and got caught. The last thing this country needs is another thief in Ottawa. The Liberals have provided enough of them.
This election was driven because of the systemic corruption in the federal Liberal party. The combined opposition said the government lost its moral authority to govern. If ethics is the primary issue, one wonders how Layton can possibly defend the actions of Robinson with a straight face. But then again, Paul Martin thinks we are no longer on the North American continent.
All in all, it would seem, a good week for Stephen Harper.