It is obvious the way Harper has been coached thus far that this is already a slick and well oiled (albeit fledgling) government.
One cannot help but be impressed with the strategy in delivering the throne speech where he placed the military and representatives of the Chinese community in the house to symbolize and offer support and forgiveness respectively and establish early that bond with the military and minority vote.
This is a very capable machine that Mr. Mulroney and staff have helped to assemble. They seem well focused on their '5 promises' and will remain diligent and focused on a simple well communicated plan. Garth Turner and the pending free vote on gay marriage notwithstanding, it also seems that Harper will hold a tight leash on his government, shielding them from the media's scrutiny where possible.
Making good on the 5 promises will present well to the Canadian public. So well that it is likely that this party will not only prosper through this term but likely call an election 3 year in and ask for a mandate to govern for 4 more on a platform that will likely see an additional reduction to the GST and more focused and good accountable government.
If this thesis is correct, then the Liberals will likely require a leader that can usher them through a two election strategy. A patient long distance runner who needs to keep equal focus on the task at hand, avoid peaking too early and be seen as experienced and competent when the position finally becomes available. As such, the age of the Next Face of the Liberal government could be a factor.
This next Liberal leader may not be Prime Minister for another 7 to 8 years. Any thoughts of a quick rise to power by a less patient and overly ambitious leader (read Ignatieff or Rae?) may prove to be disastrous. Whatever future lies ahead for the leadership of the party and whatever platform is developed over the next 12 to 24 months, it is best to prepare for a longer haul so as not to mistake this potential marathon for a 100 metre sprint.
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