Thursday, March 25, 2004

To turn my view from American to Canadian politics for a moment, Andrew Coyne reports that newly-elected Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper has fired a broadside into the sinking Liberal ship. (Full speech available here).

Mr. Speaker, this is the tenth budget of this tired, old and corrupt Liberal regime. The first eight budgets were delivered, as Canadians know, by the current prime minister. Before turning my attention to today's budget, I want to take a small detour through some of those earlier budgets.


In his 1995 budget speech, the current prime minister said the following:

The government has just introduced a new and much tighter system to manage its spending...
For the first time, departments will have to prepare business plans for three years forward...that transparency and that accountability will mark a major departure from the past. ...
Individual ministers are being asked to alter their funding approach accordingly. They will be held accountable for their decisions and those decisions will be reviewed annually.
Reviewed annually, one can only assume, by the minister of finance, or at least by Treasury Board, on which the minister of finance was the vice chair.

The year 1995 is significant. That is the year in which the Liberal government nearly lost the country. That was also the year in which the Liberal government decided to create a sponsorship program.

Allow me to rephrase that:

The year that the Liberals created the Sponsorship Program was also the year in which the current prime minister put in place "a new and much tighter system to manage its spending."
There's a lot more there, and it just keeps getting worse and worse for the Liberal Party.

But let me take this moment to say: Mr. Harper, welcome back to Parliament Hill.
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