The Prime Minister pushed reboot on his government with prorogation, a new throne speech and a daring and brilliant trade deal with the EU.
Then he put the Senate scandals behind him, with that fair and balanced motion to suspend the three bad guys. A vote on that should come any day now.
Now, Stephen Harper can happily go to his party’s convention in Calgary to bask in the admiration of his fellow Conservatives and boast about his majority government’s lasting achievements.
The convention speech will afford the Prime Minister a chance to freshen his image, to show his more relaxed, "human" side.
He and his advisors have tried this before
Remember the now famous blue sweater?
Or, how about Harper’s singing of "I get high with a little help from my friends" at a National Arts Centre gala?
Not to mention the video of the Prime Minister’s devilishly clever and irreverent impersonations of previous Conservative leaders that his staff strategically released a few months ago.
Let's imagine that this time Stephen Harper will go big for humour and present his great record of accomplishment as a top ten list.
This is how it might look.
10. With the great help of my Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, I managed to gut a good part of Canada’s environmental legislation, including the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Act and the approval process for major projects, while the media barely noticed.
9. With the help of my wily Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney, I overhauled refugee rules making sure that sick and desperate refugee claimants can’t get health care and denying persecuted peoples such as the Roma any reasonable chance of attaining refugee status in Canada.
8. I rendered Parliament virtually irrelevant by bundling most of our legislation into monstrous "Budget Implementation Bills" and passing them in extreme haste with hardly any debate.
7. My government set a record for the imposition of time allocation on Parliamentary consideration of and debate on legislation. Isn’t it great to have a majority?
6. Public Security Minister Vic Toews and I not only got rid of the long gun registry, in the face of the anguished protests of many, including the police chiefs and the friends and families of the victims of the Montreal massacre, we even destroyed all the information gathered in the registry -- something we had not even promised.
5. I, with the valuable help of my Agriculture Minister, eviscerated the Wheat Board, despite a democratic vote among farmers to retain it in its current form. The only democratic vote that counts for us is the one that gave us our majority. Only 61 per cent of the people voted against us, after all.
4. My colleagues and I brought in legislation extending prison terms and imposing all kinds of minimum sentences -- legislation that not a single serious professional working in the field deemed justified. All of this despite a declining crime rate. We were not deterred by objections from the provinces, which will have to bear much of the cost. Under our federal system, we get to decide all this, and the provinces just have to stick to their knitting.
3. During the 2011 campaign, the people I appointed to key positions in the Conservative Party seem to have managed to use robocalls and other voter suppression tactics without getting caught. Special thanks to our Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton for his take-no-prisoners strategy during the Federal Court case brought by six citizens who wanted elections in their ridings overturned. Even though the judge said he believed there was credible evidence that "one party" (guess which one) had used voter suppression tactics never before seen in Canada, he did not overturn the elections. In other words: We won! Isn’t that all that counts?
2. Our government unilaterally cut the federal contribution to health care for the foreseeable future. The provinces can just figure out for themselves how to deal with an aging population and increasing health costs. While we were at it, we cut funds for international cooperation, and devoted much of what remains to assist Canadian mining and extractive companies in their foreign operations. That’s what we call real foreign aid.
And finally, my number one accomplishment is:
1. I resisted the temptation to name my great Conservative friend, "Hat Trick" Rob Ford to the Senate. I found someone else to represent P.E.I., even though he did not live there and I was well aware of that. That’s worked out just fine, don’t you think?
And those are my final words to you, Conservative colleagues, friends and fans.
Thank you for reading this story…
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