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Rob hasn't been this giddy since his university debating days. I welcome the enthusiasm. Were this a mere student union debate that would be marvelous. Unfortunately it is not.

Perhaps though, my friend, you should look in your own Liberal mirror. Michael Ignatieff supported a carbon tax - now we are uncertain. Support of the Iraq war was a point of pride for him as was his advocacy of torture. His current views may have evolved, but who knows as he has not said a recent word on policy. Lightning might strike when Mr. Ignitieff is struck with an original idea he'll commit to.

The Conservative Party did not put Canada in this global economic tsunami. The Conservative Party is not so rigid as to believe it can stand alone and not participate in the necessary global stimulus initiatives of the time.

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Good governments, regardless of stripe, recognize that governance sometimes involves compromise. Compromise is not eschewing the ideology or orthodoxy that helps guide you. Rather it is being able to listen and respond to the needs of the people you serve while not abandoning your core. Tax reduction measures and incentives, investments in research, restraining internal government spending, a plan to return to balanced books in five years, and reducing the regulatory burden are all measures that are conservative in principle -- and they are found in the budget.

Harsh realities are not something conservatives are tepid about either. They confront them: forging free trade, fighting apartheid and bringing accountability to parliament. The harsh reality in this climate is that stimulus spending was needed. Spending is not anathema to conservatives if it is effective, managed responsibly, invested wisely leading to a return and ultimately reduced to allow the market to work as it should. The latter is paramount. Again, that is why the government outlined a spending reduction-balanced budget plan on Tuesday.

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