The Gann Moment -- Stephen Harper Promises to Listen to Back Benchers
CEF News-- Ottawa – In a remarkable change in management style Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at an unusually long press conference today where he took a number of unscripted questions from the assembled media, apologized for micro-managing his caucus since he became Prime Minister in January 2006.
The Prime Minister said that he changed his mind because he was so impressed by the campaign of Dale Gann in Victoria who on hearing that over 80% of Victorians polled were against the secondary sewage treatment plant had completely reversed his position from supporting the plan to opposing it because “this is what Victorians want.”
The Prime Minister added that he was not only impressed by Gann’s strategic sewage shift but also would welcome listening to Gann’s evolving position on legalization of cannabis and the Enbridge Pipeline since it seems “so many Victorians support the former and oppose the latter.”
“Gosh”, the Prime Minister said, “that really is what MPs are for, to communicate the wishes of their constituents and oppose the Government”.
Some in the audience thought that they actually saw the glint of a tear in the Prime Minister’s eye recalling no doubt the days when he was a Reform Member trumpeting the independence of individual MPs voting their conscience and views of their constituents.
Harper hinted that it was refreshing that someone with no experience in Ottawa and operating in a caucus where he was leader actually thought that they could have an independent point of view even if it was opportunistic and driven by circumstance and not conviction.
Harper chuckled at one point saying that it reminded him of cutting the GST which was really bad economics but great politics.
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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©
Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.
The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.
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Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?
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My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.
Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.
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Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.
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It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.