My Trip To 1998
June 1st, 2019 | CW
The following is a fictional transcript of a Poletical contributor's trip back to 1998.
The room was crowded with people from the Canadian Taxpayers Association and the Fraser Institute. There were representatives from Alberta Report and National Post. People from the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservative Party were standing shoulder-to-shoulder. Many others filtered in.
The year was 1998 and a highly anticipated guest speaker was about to enter the room.
The lights dimmed and the door opened. In walked Charlie Wang... writer for the website Poletical.
C Wang: I’ve been asked to answer some questions today about the future of the conservative movement in Canada. As many of you know, I have travelled back in time from the year 2019 and I have a lot of knowledge related to the future of the “Unite The Right” movement in this country. I’m willing to help provide a bit of direction and insight, but I can’t reveal too much for fear of horrifically altering the course of history. I’ll give you enough information to hopefully provide an edge in your endeavours.
PC Guy: Does the “Unite the Right” movement succeed in removing the Liberals from power?
C Wang: Yes. (The room bursts into spontaneous applause) In eight years Canada will see it’s first Conservative government!
PC Guy: Eight years!? From now?
C Wang: Yes.
PC Guy: Why so long?
C Wang: Canadians don’t really warm up to the notion for awhile. But it does happen. The next Conservative Party leader wins the tiniest minority government in history, in the year 2006!
Reform Guy: How long does this future Conservative Party govern for?
C Wang: From January 23rd, 2006 until October 19th, 2015. Almost ten years!
(spontaneous applause erupts again)
Taxpayer Federation Woman: What sort of tax relief was implemented?
C Wang: Well, you’ll be happy to know that the GST has been cut from 7% to 5%!
Taxpayer Federation Woman: You mean the GST is still around?
C Wang: Yes.
Taxpayer Federation Woman: It hasn’t been eliminated?
C Wang: No.
Taxpayer Federation Woman: What about income taxes?
C Wang: Ummm. They’re marginally lower... in some ways.
Taxpayer Federation Woman: Oh. That’s good... I guess.
Fraser Institute Guy: What about corporate taxes have they been lowered? Has our productivity crisis been solved?
C Wang: The future Prime Minister lowered the corporate tax rate down to 15%. Lower than the United States! It didn’t really solve the productivity challenges we face in Canada, but it certainly didn’t hurt. They’ve since been increased again.
Fraser Institute Guy: This move must have unleashed a massive amount of corporate, industrial and economic activity!
C Wang: Not really, but we got Burger King to move their headquarters from Florida to Ontario, so there’s that.
National Post Reporter: How did the economy perform over the tens years of Conservative government?
C Wang: It averaged about 1.6% GDP growth a year... which is low, but that was mostly because there was a massive recession in the U.S.
National Post Reporter: Caused by what?
C Wang: A housing bubble.
National Post Reporter: How did the Conservative government respond?
C Wang: Massive Keynesian economic stimulus orgy.
National Post Reporter: Did we pay for that with savings from the surpluses that we’re now running?
C Wang: Hell no. We wracked up $150 billion worth of debt! (audible gasps in the crowd)
National Post Reporter: What was the money spent on?
C Wang: Umm, like... hockey rink upgrades in small towns and roads and stuff. Halifax dug out their harbour I think, or something like that.
Retired General: Mr. Wang can you tell us how the future Conservative government goes about rebuilding our military?
C Wang: Ummm. Well... any specific questions?
Retired General: What do we replace our Sea King helicopters with in the future?
C Wang: Cyclones. We started to replace the Sea King helicopters with them last year..
Retired General: Last year! You mean they were still flying those things in 2018.
C Wang: Yes.
Retired General: What about our CF-18 replacement?
C Wang: Uh... it’s a work in progress. Let’s not get into it.
Retired General: The navy?
C Wang: Listen, we did participate in a multi-national coalition to bring freedom, democracy and security to Afghanistan. After 17 years I think one could say it was a noble effort.
Retired General: So Afghanistan is a bastion of freedom, democracy and security in 2019?
C Wang: Um... Let’s switch gears here. Any other questions?
Old Lady: Do we bring about an end to abortion in the future?
C Wang: No. It’s as prevalent as ever.
Old Lady: Well, what sort of social policies take place under this future Conservative government?
C Wang: Same-sex marriage I guess.
Old Lady: What does that mean?
C Wang: Homosexuals fight for the right to be legally married. The Conservative Party is against it at first, but it gets passed by Liberals. Then they try to rescind it when they have a minority and basically lose on purpose so they don’t have to deal with the issue anymore and can tell their constituents that, “Hey, at least I tried.” Now the party supports it.
Anglican Minister: Why?
C Wang: You’ll see.
Lawyer: What about law and order? Have we toughened up our legal system so murders and rapists aren’t walking around with a slap on the wrist?
C Wang: No, but... marijuana has been legalized.
Old Lady: Any other socially conservative policies?
C Wang: Not really, but that doesn’t stop detractors from using “social conservative” as a fear smear.
Young Stephen Harper: Do we have a Triple-E Senate?
C Wang: No.
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: How are things on the energy front in the future? Is Canada an energy superpower?!
C Wang: There was a big oil price crash and then people voted in governments hostile to oil and gas so...no...we’re not an energy superpower. The general political consensus is that we need to leave oil and gas in the ground in order to stop climate change... or global warming as you may have heard of it.
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Is energy being replaced by renewables then?
C Wang: Ha! No.
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Is this aversion to oil and gas development a global phenomenon?
C Wang: No, just us.
Roughneck in the crowd: Who’s the Premier of Alberta in the future? What does he make of this anti-oil attitude?
C Wang: Jason Kenney, but he has a big job to fill. He has to clean up the mess left behind by the NDP.
Roughneck in the crowd: Do you mean to tell me that Alberta voted in an NDP government!?!
C Wang: Yes.
Alberta PC Party President: How did this happen?
C Wang: It’s a long story.
Student: Who’s the Prime Minister then? Is he NDP too?
C Wang: No... but he may as well be.
Student: Who is it?
C Wang: You guys really don’t want me to answer that. Seriously. You’ll hate the answer to that question.
Reform Guy: Okay, it sounds like not much has been accomplished so far, but I assume there’s a new leader in charge?
C Wang: Yeah.
Reform Guy: What’s his vision? What does he stand for?
C Wang: Regulated dairy products.
(The entire room stares blankly.)
PC Guy: So what are we supposed to learn from all this?
C Wang: I don’t know PC Guy... I don’t know. Anyway, I need to go, but if you have any other questions about what Canada is like in 2019 just go talk to Libby Davies or Svend Robinson and ask them what they’d like to see in Canada’s future. Their vision will be pretty close to where we’re at. Later!
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