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SPEECHES

This was written for an individual with great political ambition

Honestly * Seriously * Positively

There is a specter haunting our country. It is a specter that threatens to tear apart the fabric of our nation. It is a specter that threatens to destroy the principals that this great country of ours was built on. It is a specter that has been growing for the past decade and it is time to vanquish this specter before it vanquishes us

Rest assured that I am not going to tell you that this specter is capitalism. And I am not going to tell you this specter is communism, for that is an evil that was exorcised some time ago. The specter that haunts our land is the specter of cynicism.

From Cornerbrook to Tofino, from Windsor to Nunavut, Canadians are growing more and more cynical about the very ideal of democracy. As tragic as it is, it is predictable, for the only byproduct of cynicsm is more cynicism and the Paul Martin and Jean Chretien administrations have surely been the most cynical governments Canadians have ever had to endure. It is an astonishingly sad and bewildering state of affairs when we can live in the greatest country in the world, yet feel so cynical about our government.

The specter of cynicism will continue to grow until we elect a government that understands the fundamental principal upon which the concept of democracy is based. For the sake of Paul Martin and the Liberal Party – who have obviously forgotten – the fundamental principal upon which democracy is based, is that the people are sovereign. Not your friends, Mr. Martin. Not the boys in the backroom, Mr. Prime Minister. The people.

For more than ten years now, Mr. Martin and his predecessor have treated Canadians with a contempt that beggars belief. It is a contempt born out of arrogance. The Liberal Party are so arrogant that they actually believe that they rule this country by divine right. Now, after a palace revolt, Mr. Martin believes the throne is his and it is his right to rule his subjects until another plotting Liberal King emerges from the shadows, knife in hand, and deposes Mr. Martin. “The King is dead, long live the King,” cry the arrogant Liberals.

Well, Mr. Martin, I have some news for you: you are – for the moment, at least – a Prime Minister, not a King. It is not your God-given right to rule your subjects – it is your moral and constitutional duty to serve your people, who, let me remind you, are sovereign.

The cynicism that Canadians feel about our political system today is manifesting itself at the ballot box. Fewer and fewer Canadians are bothering to vote and, if this horrifying trend continues, no “government” will be able to claim legitimacy because it will not have a mandate from the people.

The reason fewer and fewer Canadians are bothering to vote is obvious: they feel disempowered. For the past ten years the wishes of the citizens of this country have been ignored by an arrogant regime, which always seems to think it knows better. Canadians have become disheartened because they have come to believe that, no matter what they say, the Liberals will do as they please.

And Canadians have begun to stay away from the polling stations recently because those of us who have a different vision for this country – those of us who do understand that the people are sovereign – have not been able to get our act together and give voters a united alternative. But all that changed on December 12 and we are ready to take Canada back from the arrogant, contemptuous, self-serving and cynical Liberals who have treated it as their own personal Kingdom for the past decade.

Canadians are tired of being lied to by their government. The Canadian people are not stupid. Canadians know they have been lied to by Jean Chretien and Paul Martin. When a government incessantly lies to its citizens, those citizens will, naturally, become cynical. Therefore, it stands to reason – it is only logical – that the only antidote to cynicism is honesty.

It takes courage to be honest. That is true in almost every aspect of life. It takes courage to be honest. And, as surely as courage and honesty are inextricably linked, so, too, are cowardice and deceit. Cowards lie their way through life. They have to because they lack conviction in their beliefs – assuming they truly have any. Great things are never accomplished by cowards. It is, in fact, impossible for a coward to accomplish a great thing.

Honesty, my friends. Honesty is the answer to what ails our ailing democracy. If we are to overcome the cynicism that has grown in Canadians over the past decade; if we are to accomplish the great things we all know Canada is capable of; if we are to dare to stand up to an arrogant and contemptuous government, we have to have the courage to be honest with the people of Canada. If it is true that the truth shall set you free – and, in our hearts, we all know it to be so – we must make sure that we are never shackled to poisonous lies.

All too often – almost invariably, in fact – the term, “He’s a dreamer,” is used in a negative sense. The implication is that the dreamer is not to be taken seriously. I don’t think that we, as a society, can make a bigger mistake, than to not take dreamers seriously.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Some people look at the way things are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream of the way things could be and ask, ‘Why not?'”

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