Steve, It's Time for a Little Tough Talk

By:  Rachel Marsden

Dear soon-to-be Prime Minister Steve (PMS):

It's time, once again, for a ride on the Tough-Talk Express with one of the few conservative journalists who will actually tell you to your face if you're walking around with your fly unzipped.

Congrats. You did it. But let's face it -- this election campaign pitted the hardworking "A" student against the goof-off kid who dumped a package of Sea Monkeys into a cup of water for his science project. Still, the difference in final grades wasn't much. So PMS, I figured you could use a little advice to get you started on what will hopefully be a long, right-veering journey.

People are already suggesting that you "reach out" to your opponents. These folks are typically losers whose party wasn't elected. Now that you've finally won the cakewalk after more than a decade of starvation (obviously, I'm talking figuratively), everyone thinks they're entitled to a bite. Screw that.

Set a real conservative agenda and sell it to ordinary Canadians. To date, I've seen you do more flipping and flopping than a griddle jockey at the Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast. Don't make Paul Martin's mistake of selling out to other parties just to retain power. With a minority government, inevitably the other parties will want to pull the plug at some point. But if you have succeeded in reaching out to the people, you'll be rewarded at the polls.

You don't get urban voters in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver aboard your bandwagon by pandering to their leftie sensibilities. You do it by proving to them that conservatism works better. Ronald Reagan did it by kick-starting the U.S. economy and ending the Cold War. George W. Bush's post-9/11 policies have kept U.S. soil safe from terrorist attacks. Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani's tough measures reduced overall crime in New York City by 65% and murder by 70%. None of this was accomplished by conservatives listening to liberals.

Speaking of cutting waste, it's time to unplug the CBC's lifeline from our wallets. To not do so is an exercise in sadomasochism, if you ask me. Sell it to the Liberal party for a dollar, if they want to keep paying to run anti-American, anti-conservative agitprop, Michael Moore's greatest hits, and Trudeau movies. Few will truly care -- just as long as people can still find the hockey games somewhere on TV.

And you know those pricey, taxpayer-funded "academic" studies, supporting legalized polygamy? Nonsense like that comes to a crashing halt. Right now.

Finally PMS, choose competence over cronyism. "Experience" isn't measured by the number of years one has spent desperately clinging to the teat of Jane Q. Public. Any cabinet ministers you put in charge of a bureaucracy should have some real experience in the private sector -- preferably running a business, or at least a department.

One last thing, PMS: Get down to the Bush ranch, ASAP, never mind the optics. Dubya likes to exercise and will get you on a bike, working off your Tim Horton's honey crullers from the campaign trail. He can also teach you how to wear a cowboy outfit properly without looking like a reject from the Brokeback Mountain auditions.

Take heed, PMS, and you could be a political force to be reckoned with.