The new Conservative government of Stephen Harper is more bilingual than Paul Martin's Liberal one was.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new cabinet reportedly has 15 of 27 ministers who will be able to answer queries in both official languages during question period, compared with 19 of 39 in the previous Liberal one.
So the Conservatives' critics can no longer criticize them on the matters of respect for bilingualism or respect for Quebec. The Cabinet, in fact, has five Quebec ministers.
Paul Martin's cabinet was perhaps as bloated and imbalanced as it was due to his desperate need to have as many of his loyalists as possible in high positions in his caucus. Apparently when it came to appointments to Cabinet, Martin's desire to win the next election trumped the need to have a Cabinet of balance, emphasizing knowledge, competence and representation of the reality of the Federation.
I, for one, am pleased at the balance of Mr. Harper's cabinet. Never mind the couple of inexplicable appointments of last week which have surprised and annoyed many Conservatives, including myself; what we witness here is, one by one, the stereotyping accusations our opponents have always made against us are being put to rest and we are indubitably a better-balanced governing party than the Liberals' ever was.
Granted, it might not be the sort of thing that is a priority in the minds of ordinary voting conservative Canadians, as is accountability (yeah, I know... the two appointments of last week make some have their doubts); fiscal responsibility; serious economic expansion; getting the taxes lower and lower as fast as practicable; paying down the debt; reestablishing Canada's credibility as a serious international player, including improving our relationship with our closest friends the Americans; cleaning up the crime problems the Liberals never cared at all about; rebuilding the Armed Forces, which the Liberals deliberately allowed to crumble to a core of excellent, courageous men and women who had far, far too little in the way of decent equipment to work with, if any, dangerously hampering Canada's ability to defend itself; fixing the health care system with a view to shrinking waiting times and improving access to more services and to higher quality of care than before; and on and on...
The image stuff is easily taken care of. We've got the balance, with members elected in all regions, the demographic diversity, the bilingual abilities, etc. Now begins the long, difficult task of turning around the lazy old diplodocus of the Canadian federation after decades of Liberal neglect and abuse.
So from now on our critics will have to work harder than ever to criticize us. No longer can they credibly point to the superficial and image stuff; they will now have to attack us on substance and policy. Heh-heh... the tables have turned, all ye Librano bums and MSM sensation-and-fluff-pushers.