More to say... 
I thought her speech, or more accurately, her speaking, wasn't that great. Her inflections seemed somewhat forced and in general she seemed kind of flat. The substance of her speech was pretty good actually.

Her speech laid out her stance on some of the major issues.

Tax: "To create jobs, let’s scrap the tax on capital and reduce the burden of big government red tape. Let’s give Canada the most competitive tax structure in the world. To give hardworking Canadians a break, let’s make mortgage interest partially tax deductible."

Security / US Relationship: "To secure our competitiveness and to protect our interests, I would place Canada inside, not outside, an integrated North American security perimeter."

Military: "To defend ourselves and meet our international obligations, I would rebuild our military, giving our troops the equipment, the funding and the recognition they deserve. My government would honour the commitment they make to our country. As Prime Minister, I would never place our sons and daughters in harm’s way without adequate equipment. "

Education: "As Prime Minister I would promote the creation of industry-based technology centres, across the country, that allow young people to learn the technological skills that industry so desperately needs to compete internationally. We should support higher education by allowing both parents and students to deduct post-secondary tuition from their income tax."

Health Care: "Canadians must have universal access to health care but Canadians deserve better than equal access to an inadequate system. The federal government must fund health care adequately, but more money alone is not the answer. The system is not sustainable. As a first step, we must also encourage innovation by listening to the doctors, nurses and health care professionals on the front lines. To encourage openness and transparency, government should send patients regular statements, so they see the true cost of the services they have received from medicare."

Justice: "I oppose the decriminalization of marijuana. This is a question of public safety and public health. As a mother, I am scared by gun violence. I would stiffen the penalties for crimes involving guns. What I would not do is to penalize law-abiding farmers and hunters who use firearms as a tool. While strengthening gun control, I would scrap the gun registry. I would use the money to fight against illegal guns and drugs."

Democratic Reform: "I would restore Canadians’ faith in democracy by reaching out to consult with people, by allowing more free votes by MPs, and by creating an independent Ethics Commissioner who reports directly to Parliament."

Same-Sex Marriage: “I believe that all Canadians should be treated equally under the law, so I believe in same-sex marriage."

In her speech and on her website, she presented some of her qualifications:

1. "My experiences have given me a unique window on the world - a window on Canada's job creation, on Canada's competitiveness and what a country must do to remain prosperous. When I travel the world I worry about Canada's future prosperity and Canada’s place in the world. I see where investment is flowing, where manufacturing jobs are being created, and I see the entrepreneurial spirit that exists elsewhere in the world."

2. "Under her leadership, Magna International, employing 72,000 people in 22 countries, had record sales of almost $20 billion. In three years its share value nearly doubled." Personally, I think this experience is valuable as the 150,000+ public service is a big machine and understanding how to manage an organization that big from the top is important.

3. "Her keen interest in helping Canada compete globally is reflected in her work as a member of the Ontario Task Force on Productivity, Competitiveness and Economic Progress, as a founding member of the Canadian Automotive Partnerships Council, and as the Director of the Yves Landry Technological Endowment Fund. In February 2003, Stronach joined the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

4. "I am not a professional politician."

These are somewhat different than the insightful analysis given by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail today. Margaret said that Belinda's qualifications were:

"1) She's a dishy blonde.

2) She's really rich.

3) She's interested in public service.

4) She has a spectacular ability to attract the support of once-powerful, superannuated pols, who are often old enough to be her father.

This type of useless crap is frustrating. Similarly, I said a little bit about Craig Oliver's commentary on CTV Newsnet below and I'll expand on that a little bit here.

Craig had the following things to say:

"Frankly she's way out of her league.

It was very much like watching a movie scene about a young woman who could afford to buy herself a crack at the prime ministership.

One really doubted whether she really had the understanding of the kind of words she was reading.

I wish she'd back out. I think she's going to be embarrassed and humiliated by the time this is over.

She's a woman who has a lot of people working for her - she pays them well. Those aren't the kind of people that get no's. Those are the type of people that are surrounded with people that say yes without worrying how wrong it can be.

Someone should have told her that politics -- especially at the national level -- is not a game for amateurs.

Maybe four decades in the political arena has made Craig forget that it isn't the only place that people can learn the skills needed for leadership of a party or for the country. Listen to him - the more I did the more condescending he sounded - I may be over-reacting but this is her first speech and, unless he's known her for a lot longer than I expect, he's really reaching in making those type of comments.

Update: Read Trudeaupia's take on the media coverage, Glenda's thought's on Craig and the Middleman's take on it.

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