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Prime Minister Harper in Guelph

March 20th, 2008

As indicated by the last couple of posts, and possibly the next one, I wandered over to the neighbouring community of Guelph last night to hear the Prime Minister speak at a function for Guelph candidate Gloria Kovach. Guelph will be the site of the next federal by-election (along with a Quebec riding, I believe), a by-election that must be announced by Oct 10 – a lifetime for this government. Gloria Kovach is the Conservative candidate in that by-election, as well as being somebody I know, however informally, from outside politics. She in fact, used to work with Lady Hespeler.

Last nights event started off with the run through the usual cabal of protesters heckling the people entering the event. God bless their sincerity, it was a cold wet night to be standing outside being ignored for a couple of hours, but they kept with it.

Inside the hall, my MP Gary Goodyear kicked things off with a warm up speech that was, in my father-in-laws words, as entertaining as it was empty. But really, nobody was there to hear what Gary Goodyear had to say, so he got the meaningless lines and a chance to poke fun at the Liberals.

Next up was Gloria Kovach herself, who said little other than to introduce herself, thank everybody for their support, and introduce Prime Minister Harper. The two introductory speeches didn’t take ten minutes of the evening I am sure.

Then came the Prime Minister. He gave a fairly long speech, in the neighbourhood of half-an-hour I would estimate, and covered a lot of ground. He took a few jabs at Stephane Dion, particularly good was when he outlined all the times Dion swore he was taking down the government. But mostly he talked of the governments accomplishments, and what the Conservatives would like to do moving forward, including more crime legislation and senate reform. I thought the best line of the night was the most important (paraphrasing a little): in the by-elections Monday we did something very unusual for a governing party, we took a seat away from the opposition.

Overall it was a good effective speech for a partisan crowd. He hit all the right buttons, said most of the things a conservative crowd wanted to hear, and got an agreeable reaction. The night concluded with an opportunity to shake the PMs hand and get a picture with him. A nice opportunity, in which as I indicated earlier, I asked him where his wife was (I was hoping for a picture with her, actually). It resulted in a small, pleasant conversation about the kids schooling. I’ll tell you I had a far better chat with him (if 30 seconds = a chat) than if I’d asked him about tax policy or the Quebec question. If I ever get a chance to meet him again, I’m asking about Ben’s hockey

Gary Goodyear, Gloria Kovach, Pictures, Stephen Harper

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