Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:57 pm Post subject: Harper Speech from Ottawa
Very good speech! Watched in on CTV Newsnet.
Harper says 'right' not 'politically popular' will decide Afghan mission
Meagan Fitzpatrick , Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, January 25, 2008
OTTAWA - Canada's future in Afghanistan will not be decided based on what is politically popular, the prime minister vowed Friday, but on "what is right."
Speaking to a group of political supporters in Ottawa to mark the Conservatives second year in office, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had little to say about the release of the recent report on the future of Afghanistan, written by an independent panel led by John Manley.
In his first public comments about the report, Harper described it as "strong, balanced and realistic."
"The report reminds us that it wasn't even us - it was our Liberal predecessors - who first went to Kandahar because it was so critical to the United Nations, to the Afghan people, and ultimately, to Canada's own security interests," said Harper, according to a prepared text released in advance of the speech. "Friends, let me just say this: on a matter of national and global security like this, we will never make a decision based on polls. We will make our decision based on what is right."
Most of Harper's speech was focused on boasting about his government's record over the last two years. He said his party has followed through on its promises to give tax relief to Canadians, get tough on crime, unite the country, cut the GST and introduce a child care benefit.
Looking forward, Harper said Canada cannot "take progress for granted." Regarding the economy specifically, Harper said the country's economic fundamentals are strong, unemployment is at its lowest level in over three decades, debt levels are falling, and inflation and interest rates remain low.
"But we cannot be complacent about the continued growth of our economy," Harper said. "Recent volatility in financial markets, mostly emanating from the United States, may be with us for some time to come. Good jobs are threatened in some of our traditional industries."
Harper closed his speech by saying the Conservatives have no way of predicting when a federal election may come, but when it does, he will be ready and confident to run on his party's record.
"When the time comes, we will run on our record, on our clear direction and on our confidence in the future . . . and offer a stronger Canada for all of us," he said.
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:31 pm Post subject: Re: Harper Speech from Ottawa
Riley W wrote:
Glad to see a principled "hint" on Aghanistan
IMO this is a calculated move on Harper's part to further differentiate the Conservatives from the Liberals. As he said decisions will be made according to what's good for the country and not in accordance with opinion polls. It's a balsy gamble, especially with the emotionally charged Afghan question. In this speech, Harper has put Canadians on notice not to expect Liberal style decision making. I'm keeping my fingers crossed this strategy will work.
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