I was pleased with the results of Tuesday’s general election. 143 Conservative seats was better than nothing—at least better than the 127 seats Prime Minister Stephen Harper first received as he ascended to power in early 2006. I believe there is an opportunity to make this parliament work and probably even make it a majority. Former Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King did that with his minority government in 1922 (which lasted until 1925) with a lot of floor crossings and by-elections. I am very well certain that the newly elected 40th Parliament will be no exception. Floor crossings and by-elections are the order of the day for any parliament in session. Prime Minister Harper would do well and benefit substantially if he grabs the opportunity. Yes, he needs to wine and a dine a few “Blue Grits” –Liberals who believe fiscal conservatism (perhaps a few social conservatives who are Liberals) is important and yes, oh yes, don’t be afraid of converting some elements of the Bloc Quebecois (who also take fiscal conservatism seriously as well). If Prime Minister Harper can get at least 12 more MPs on his side, PRESTO!!!—-majority government and doesn’t need to call another election until 2012.
On the other hand, he also must be prepared that some MPs can be set in their own ways and set in their own comfort zones and the amount of crossovers may not be successful in the immediate future. Prime Minister Harper might eventually learn to deal with a minority government for the long haul, again. If he desires a majority government someday, he needs to plead the case PASSIONATELY, what can a Conservative majority offer better than a Liberal government, this includes a destroying a perception (rightly or wrongly, sorry that’s neither here nor there!) that he is trying to mimick every single policy from the U.S. Republican Party. Canadian voters are not always stupid (despite anybody’s feelings and emotions and that including mine). Canadians have seen a Republican government in the U.S. for nearly 8 years who have shown a not a well received record of governing. The Republicans have screamed ,”Smaller government! Smaller government!” Americans got “weak government”. Bill Maher brilliantly again brought this point on Larry King’s show last night that they (Republicans) scream government doesn’t work, they got into power they were incompetent, thus showing in their perverse way government doesn’t work. Canadians may be a lot of things whether good or bad but they sure ain’t the contestants for The Biggest Masochist. Thank God. Prime Minister Harper needs to make a case that smaller government is good but it also “active” and it is there to “empower” the people. I know one of the weaknesses of Prime Minister Harper is that he is not prone to ask for advice (there is a first time for everything)and I would strongly recommend that he would research and read the columns and other works of Canadian expatriate David Brooks of the New York Times of what “small and active” government is and get with the program. If Prime Minister Harper cannot and/or will not articulate a positive vision for small but active government that can be beneficial for Canadians, he simply does not deserve a majority government at anytime. To be fair, I do wish the Prime Minister another successful term in his office and more importantly he can efficiently weather the economic storms ahead.