Opinion Editorial

Harper needs to meet promises with action 0

So Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper wants the G8 to honour past promises instead of making new ones. That's what our country's leader is telling other countries leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

This sounds like a great idea. Why go running off at the mouth making promises that then disappear into the cold thin air.

Talk is cheap. Actions, speak louder than words. Ah, these sayings, so much wisdom in two sentences.

It's so short and sweet and to the point. Anyone can understand these things.

So let's back the prime minister and hey, let's make it a part of our creed that this day forward, anyone who wants to make a promise to you has to have had backed up their previous promises with action to make the old promises come true.

And while we're on the subject...

Promise: Harper campaigned for an elected senate. His first act as Prime minister, he appointed his campaign co-chair Michael Fortier as a senator.

Promise: As leader of the Opposition watching some high profile members of parliament flee his benches for the Liberals, Harper led the fight to ban floor-crossing without a byelection. Once he won the election and his party was installed as the government, Harper overlooked the hard work of fellow candidates and stole David Emerson from the Liberals, rewarding him with a cabinet post. Neat note: Helena Guergis, a very vocal opponent of floor crossing worked closely with Emerson when he was made minister by Harper.

Promise: Harper pledged prior to the 2004 election to abolish the GST on gas as the price went above 85 cents a litre. As Prime Minister, he told us we just had to get used to higher fuel prices.

Promise: Legislation would be brought in to regulate when Canadians would vote and prevent governments from calling elections before they had lost the confidence of the House of Commons. The legislation was passed, but the prime minister ignored it and went to the Governor General in 2008 and asked her to dissolve parliament so he could have an election. She did and he did.

Promise: Prior to the 2006 election, the Conservative election platform said: "A Conservative government will...stop the Liberal attack on saving and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them. Once in office, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Income trusts would be taxed like corporations starting in 2011. Thousands of seniors lost their savings as a result.

Promise: Harper as part of the 2006 election campaign, promised to clean up government polling. He had regularly beat up the Liberal government for its spending $18 million on polls. In the first year as the governing party, the Conservatives spent $31.2 million on polls.

We could go on, but we have limited space. Let's just say if Harper could just meet these

promises with some action that would make them come true, he can consider his feet firmly planted on level moral ground and then he can start telling other people how they should behave.

Until then, he really needs to stop lecturing. He needs to stop promising.

Talk is cheap.

Actions speak louder than words.


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