Thursday, December 15, 2005

Harper's 1997 Speech

The complete text is here.

Some quotes you won't see in the Star:

Harper loves Canada: "Let's start up with a compliment. You're here from the second greatest nation on earth".

Poke fun at both Americans and Canadians: "It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians."

Ohh yeah about language:"So it's basically an English-speaking country, just as English-speaking as, I would guess, the northern part of the United States."

Makes fun of Lawyers: "It's about a constitutional lawyer who dies and goes to heaven. There, he meets God and gets his questions answered about life. One of his questions is, ``God, will this problem between Quebec and the rest of Canada ever be resolved?'' And God thinks very deeply about this, as God is wont to do. God replies, "Yes, but not in my lifetime.'' I'm glad to see you weren't offended by that. I've had the odd religious person who's been offended. I always tell them, "Don't be offended. The joke can't be taken seriously theologically. It is, after all, about a lawyer who goes to heaven.''

Our system compared to US:"However, our executive is the Queen, who doesn't live here. Her representative is the Governor General, who is an appointed buddy of the Prime Minister.

Of our two legislative houses, the Senate, our upper house, is appointed, also by the Prime Minister, where he puts buddies, fundraisers and the like. So the Senate also is not very important in our political system.

And we have a Supreme Court, like yours, which, since we put a charter of rights in our constitution in 1982, is becoming increasingly arbitrary and important. It is also appointed by the Prime Minister. Unlike your Supreme Court, we have no ratification process.

So if you sort of remove three of the four elements, what you see is a system of checks and balances which quickly becomes a system that's described as unpaid checks and political imbalances."

Not afraid to call out the Reform Party: "Last year, when we had the Liberal government putting the protection of sexual orientation in our Human Rights Act, the Reform Party was opposed to that, but made a terrible mess of the debate. In fact, discredited itself on that issue, not just with the conventional liberal media, but even with many social conservatives by the manner in which it mishandled that."

He was right on gay rights: The Liberal party "believes in gay rights, although it's fairly cautious. It's put sexual orientation in the Human Rights Act and will let the courts do the rest."

The rest is a good read, discussing the various parties andf how they fit together currently and in history. It is obvious that the speech was geared to a right-wing U.S. think tank.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This speech is a real problem if a video exists that can be aired in clips.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing. When I first heard the report it made Harper out to be the Anti-Christ. But when I read the speech I was blown away at how much of a nothing issue this is. The speech was obviously very sarcastic in nature and obviously so. Even if he was discussing serious issues, it was obvious that he was doing it with a great deal of humor.

It amazes me to what length people will go to discredit this guy.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was amazed at how accurate the speach was. The bilingualism issue just rings of truth. We are a nation with two official languages, but very few of us are bilingual english-french. At the time, we were running deficits for 25 years and just starting to reverse that. We had unemployment problems. I think many of us felt the same way, although we would have phrased it differently. I think his biggest mistake was not differentiating enough between Canada, and its people, and the Canadial government.

I do think it will hurt tbe CPC because of some of the language, which I hope Harper apologizes for. It doesn't seem to be getting a huge amount of media attention though.


9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think his biggest mistake was not differentiating enough between Canada, and its people, and the Canadial government".

10 years ago??? a non-politician???

6:49 PM  

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