In just a very few days the Conservative Party of Canada will have a new leader. It will, I am almost 100% certain be one of these three (I put how I, personally, ranked them on each image ~ and I explained my choices a few weeks ago):
The pundits have been saying, from the start that Peter MacKay is likely to win, that Erin O’Toole will finish a very close second and that Dr Leslyn Lewis will be a surprisingly strong third choice. Whoever wins will have to act quickly to reunite the Party and to to establish an election platform because Prime Minister Trudeau has prorogued parliament until 23 September when he will deliver a new throne speech, filled with lavish promises and may then take us into an election as early as late October.
I have a wish list:
- I hope the new leader will get out quickly and give Canadians a message that Conservatives are honest, ethical, practical, compassionate and, above all, ready to govern;
- I hope the new leader will tell Canadians, loudly and clearly, that the Conservative Party has plans, sensible, affordable plans to dig Canada out of the holes into which Justin Trudeau has pushed us. Those plans have to include e.g. dealing with the impact of global climate change and with development and fielding of cleaner and greener energy sources, including Canadian nuclear energy and Canadian oil and natural gas;
- I hope the leader will tell Canadians that we cannot keep borrowing and spending mindlessly … the Conservatives supported the Trudeau government in making funds available to deal with the global pandemic. But all that borrowing must be repaid, with interest, by you and me and our friends and neighbours, through the taxes we pay. The new leader will, I hope, tell Canadians that (s)he is NOT going to take a chainsaw to the budget but that (s)he is going to tell our civil servants that they must, each of them, wield a sharp pencil and a sharper eyes to ensure that we borrow and spend ONLY what is really needed;
- That will include defence spending; I hope the new leader will tell Canadians that while Conservatives favour a stronger, larger, more effective military, they also demand a more efficient one and the military, especially its bloated, even morbidly obese command and control superstructure, will get a lot of trimming before it will receive new ships, planes and people;
- I hope the new leader will tell Canadians that (s)he will streamline the cabinet so that there are fewer ministries and it is crystal clear, to everyone, which minister is responsible for which programme;
- I hope the new leader will tell Canadians that ministerial responsibility will be restored. Ministers, not officials, will answer, to Canadians in Parliament, for the actions of their departments, top to bottom, and ministers whose departments screw up will resign;
- The new leader will, I hope, tell Canadians that the conflict of interest code is the law, not just guidelines and that (s)he and every Conservative MP, minister or backbencher, will be held to the same, high, ethical standards. The new leader needs to tell Canadians that their watchdogs, like the Auditor General and the Ethics Commissioner will always be fully and adequately funded so that they, on our behalf, can hold a Conservative government’s feet to the fiscal and ethical fires, demanding, always, the highest standards of personal ethics and fiscal probity;
- I hope that the new leader will tell Canadians that the Conservative Party of Canada is for ALL Canadians, coast-to-coast-to-coast, regardless of race, creed, gender or language. Jobs in Québec are no more nor less important than jobs in Alberta or Nunavut or Newfoundland;
- I hope the new leader will stress that our border must be secure and under our own jurisdiction. Canadians will make decisions about immigrants, refugees and migrants as they deem necessary to met Canadian goals and for Canada’s advantage. I hope the new leader will say that (s)he plans to grow Canada even faster than Justin Trudeau imagined because we need millions of new, productive Canadians to pay taxes and strengthen our social safety net; and
- I hope that the new leader will promise to implement a principled foreign policy that aims to restore Canada, as former Prime. Minister Paul Martin put it, to A Role of Pride and Influence in the World.
Of course I have many other hopes for the Conservative Party ~ especially that it will restore honest, clean, ethical, sound government to our country ~ but that’s enough for the new leader’s first speech, isn’t it?