Wishing our leaders had some passion

While the people of the United States have been working themselves into an election fever since
January, 2007, our political leaders only stumbled into the election this past Sunday morning.
In the U.S., it takes almost 24 months to elect a president (some of our minority governments
haven’t lasted that long). Here in Canada, we are going to do it in 37 days.
While Prime Minister Stephen Harper had promised that elections only would fall on prescribed election days set by Parliament, he managed to sidestep the very legislation his government passed.
His claim that the House of Commons had become dysfunctional is questionable.
The Conservatives, with the Liberal members absenting themselves from any major legislation, have been able to have pretty much their way for the last 30 months.
It is a remarkable run for the ruling minority government and set a record for time between elections.
No other minority government has lasted this long.
For the past two weeks, I watched both the Democratic and Republican parties nominate their
candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency.
The speeches, not just on the final night but almost every night, were upraising.
Yes, they pilloried their opposition, but the eloquence, passion, humour, and thoughts had audiences not only in the halls, but also in homes throughout the United States, excited.
Our leaders, while the House of Commons is sitting, debate daily in the house and are interrupted by catcalls and desk thumping.
Everyone is trying for his or her 15-second sound bite on the late evening news. In public, they are
pedestrian orators.
Our leaders are poor speakers in comparison to those south of the border who spoke for the two
previous weeks. I am told that John Diefenbaker was an outstanding speaker who could raise the
excitement in Canadians with his passionate and forceful style. Old film clips of his speeches show his abilities.
Since Diefenbaker, who of our leaders could get us up out of our seats to action? Today of the five national leaders, who would you suspect might motivate our nation to action?
Frankly, our leaders just lack the skills to gallop people to action.
During the last two weeks, both the Republicans and Democrats managed to get more than 30 million viewers to watch their leaders speak. Could Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, or Elizabeth May ever attract even two million viewers?
A great line from Barack Obama was: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America—there is the United States of America.
There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America—there’s the United States of America.”
John McCain, last Thursday, said, “Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valour. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and
who rely on you in return.”
Both lines brought people to their feet clapping, cheering, smiling, and excited.
Are there any memorable lines from Canadian politicians? Could any of the four bring Canadians to their feet?

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