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Friday, January 27, 2006

Reform Stalwart on Transition Team

Most MSM outlets have emphasised links that Stephen Harper's transition team has with Brian Mulroney and the Old Tory government. But one member of the team has been overlooked, although his presence is incredibly significant, even beyond being highly symbolic.

Ray Speaker is on Harper's transition team. He represents more than merely a nod to the Canadian Alliance side of the adoptive relationship between the CA and the PC's [ it was an adoption which brought the Tories into the fold, not a marriage of equals as the the modern revision goes]. Speaker epitomizes the original Reform party, almost as much as Preston Manning. Speaker was there from the beginning and gave the Reform party legitimacy as an MP in '93. As a seasoned politician, he adds to the collective wisdom of the "old hands" on the transition team quite nicely.

More importantly however, Speaker will provide an ideological anchor for the transition team that offers a uniquely Western perspective, and a principled Reform view.

Obviously the transition team is not the cabinet, and their influence will be felt largely in the next few weeks as they advise on Harper's transition to government, and less so beyond that.

Nevertheless, the addition of Ray Speaker to the mix shows that Harper will not abandon Reform's principles even if he is welcoming the older Tory power-brokers to his campaign teams and government ensemble.

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He's really got MSM all tied up in a knot trying to figure out the cabinet. We all just sit and laugh at the speculation. You can probably bet he'll pick some sort of balance for what will get his initiatives enacted the fastest.

It's nice to see a guy like Harper doing things 3 steps ahead of the media, instead of the other way.

Thanks for comments, ABF. Always appreciated.

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