Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 01.26.05
Quebec City


Some free Canadian advice for the new Prime Minister, eh?

It's done.

Soon, Stephen Harper will actually be Prime Minister of Canada.

How long he remains prime minister depends on a number of factors at least three of which are beyond his control: the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Qu&ea;cute;bécois.

Maintaining his Conservative Party's control of Parliament is going to make Blondin's tightrope walk across the Niagara Gorge look like a cake walk.

Canadians haven't so much given him a mandate to run the country as they've made him a national intern.

They want to see what he can do before they take him on full-time.

There are several things though that are within his control.

And he pretty much better pay attention.

The alternative is another election and I reckon if he ends up calling one within the next two years, Canadian voters will take up torches and pitchforks and drive him, like a political dr. Frankenstein, from the castle, or at least from Sussex drive.

So here's a quick check list.

  • Check your caucus for someone who can count to 154. This will avoid the Joe Clark Syndrome since 154 is the number the Tories will need to win any vote in the house.

  • Whatever you do don't redecorate Sussex Drive. It's always difficult to justify spending cuts and at the same time claim your furniture doesn't match the carpets. Just remember the flak when Trudeau put in the pool and when Mulroney enlarged the closets for his shoes. It's drafty old place. Learn to live with it.

  • Wear your glasses more often. You'll look more like that adorable Harry Potter and less like a brunette version of the Man from Glad.

  • Don't buy a new plane for you and the Cabinet until you replace the aging Sea King helicopters which Mulroney promised, Chretien cancelled, and Martin ignored.

  • if you do buy a new plane, make sure it's a jumbo jet capable of carrying a couple of armoured cars and a division of infantry and make it available to the military as a loaner on weekends.

  • Don't pay advertising firms to save the country.

  • Don't allow members of Parliament to wear Stetsons in the House of Commons.

  • And finally, never, never deny saying anything that is already in the printed record or on somebody's video tape. They'll remember and so will we.