So, the Conservatives released their party platform at lunch time today. I am looking around the web for a copy. I expect it will be available on their website soon, but for now I will have to be satisfied with perspectives from Canada.com, CTV and the Globe & Mail.
A few points of interest.
As previously noted, the Conservative platform looks like it's a lot of more of the same. As mentioned in the Canada.com article "That is the view that unless a plan is brand new, it's not a plan," Harper said in a prepared text of his speech. "But the truth is the opposite. If you are making it up in response to the latest news, or the latest change in the stock market, then it is obvious you really don't have a plan."
It's interesting that Harper has changed his plan with respect to arts funding. Personally, I agreed more with his original stance. However, it is clear that this stance could well cost the party the majority they are seeking, so I understand why they have opted to back track. This is not to say I agree with the move; only that I am understanding.
In that same vein, I am very interested by the fact they did not back away from their plan to make pregnancy an aggravating factor when sentencing if a woman is assaulted or killed. While this position does fall far short of what is actually needed, I do think it is definitely a step in the right direction. In time I hope people will be able to crawl out of their shells and have a sensible debate on the life of the unborn. To that end though, I must say that I think the responsibility falls more on the general public than it does on the government. If we want to talk about this issue, then we actually do have to start talking, rather than letting extremists speak for us.
I am pleased to see that the Conservatives plan to continue with their tougher sentencing on crime.
I also think that, given the economic crisis, their plan to spend meagerly and cut taxes is wise. People need to be able to use their money. As mentioned at the Globe, the Tories are spending less than half of the possible cash available to them over the next four years. The platform leaves $8-billion of surplus cash on the books. Average Canadians who are preparing to tighten up their own budgets will be pleased to see the government doing the same.
The move to abolish the chamber if the government is frustrated by Senators in their bid to bring in term limits and an election process for the Upper House is fantastic! These guys have had their opportunity to play nice. Tax payers have shelled out far too much for their cushy jobs and have gotten nothing in return. Too many Senators don't show up, don't do their job and waste our money, and average Canadians are sick of it. This sort of electoral reform ought to guarantee a majority for the Conservatives.
I plan to go through the platform as soon as I have a copy.
More to come...