Thursday, March 10, 2005

David Frum dinner in Edmonton to support Laurie Hawn

Laurie Hawn who has a wonderful blog called Strong and Free , is the candidate of record for Edmonton - Centre and got within a whisker of inflicting Anne McClellan upon me as a professor at the Faculty of Law - in that respect I'm one of the casulties of Laurie's potential sucess. However, he's working hard right now to see that Landslide Annie, is buried by a landslide of Conservative support and I wish him all the best in that regard. We need more strong voices to speak up for the importance of Canada's military and our role in the world and Laurie's background as a colonel in the airforce gives him the background, experience and inclination to do just that. I'd also like to thank him for hosting an entertaining and informative evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

As I mentioned in the title David Frum was the keynote speaker for the evening. As one might expect from someone whose wrote speaches for the president in the past Frum was an engaging speaker. He spoke primarily on the role of Canada in the world, and stressed our relations with the US as being our most important relationship diplomatically. He rather accurately stated that our relationship with the US is "Very good, but its very good at a time when very good isn't good enough", and stressed the fact that the restrictions on the border are costing both the American and Canadian economies money although more so the Canadian economy. The delays at the borders are costing millions upon millions of dollars and the fact we haven't been working on the problems presented by American security concerns has been hurting our trade. Frum pointed to the rather different notions of the Canadian - American relationship on opposite sides of the border. He stated that to Americans there were a list of problems where action needed to be taken and a desire to work towards a solution. While in Canada it isn't a problem solving exercise its a opera or a theatrical production where all sorts of irrelevant considerations are entertained which really aren't pertinent to the issue, missile defence being a prime example of that sort of behaviour where some strange assertion of differentness seems to have overridden good public policy, and good diplomacy.

Frum was asked what he thought the Conservative Party needed to do to bring itself to government, and his chief advice was to talk about the problems Canadians were facing rather than talking out our own internal problems. He said that we all needed to move beyond factionalism and talk about lowering taxes because real income has stagnated in Canada over the past 15 years, while following well below the purchasing power of our American counterparts. He also stressed the need for the Conservative party to pursue some private involvement in health care as its not right to seek to stop people from paying for an operation if they can afford it and it will shorten the line.

I also through happy coninsidence was seated right next to Vitor Marciano, you really ought to check out his blog What it takes to win. He's currently running to be a national councilor for the Conservative Party. If your a voting delegate at the conference in Montreal and your from Alberta, I'd encourage you to vote for Vitor. Few people I've met have shown his kind of dedication and commitment to furthering the conservative cause, he ardently believe both Canada and the party can do better and he's infectiously affable, you really can't help but like the guy if you meet him. At any rate it's always great to be in good company to discuss blogging and politics, and Vitor was at a table with myself some members of our U of A campus conservative club and from his own EDA so it was entertaining dinner conversation. Although I must insist that I'm not seriously hoping that any of the delegates to the Montreal convention from my EDA have anything bad happen to them as the first alternative delegate - I'd send them a very nice get well card while I started packing my bags.

While speaking of people seeking election and throwing out endorsements like my personal cudos carry much in the way of weight, I had to chance to speak to Ted Morton at the dinner as well. He was in attendance and he's fairly opennly letting it be known now that when Ralph decides to step down as premier he means to run. I had the opporunity to speak with him for a few moments and he's working at building an organization and thought that as Conservatives we've all invested alot of time and effort into the federal party but we can't afford to put all our eggs in one basket and there is alot we can do right here in Alberta. He also mentioned that he's sure if we simply send the right signals to the people who voted Alberta Alliance in the last provincial election they will all come back home to the PC party.

All in all an exceptional evening.


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