Business leaders welcome Giuliani
Former New York mayor and Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani addressed Montreal's business community Friday afternoon.
His wide-ranging talk at the Sheraton hotel downtown touched on topics as diverse as fixing a city's economy to securing it from terrorism to partisan hits at US President Barack Obama's health care plan.
He also touched briefly on Montreal's municipal elections, pointing out at least one big difference between campaigning for mayor here as opposed to in New York:
"Three of the candidates and me were on the same elevator together and I said to them, 'This could never happen in New York City, that we could all be on the same elevator and not have some sort of dispute break out,'" he said. "So they seem to all be nice, civil people."
He also shared some advice given to him when he first ran for mayor.
"A friend of mine said, 'Govern as if you're a one-term mayor. Fix everything you can fix. If it's politically popular, fine, if it isn't, fix it anyway.'
"You have to go in and say, 'These are the changes I'm going to make,' and you stick with them. You can't worry if it's going to be unpopular."
As for the big issue facing this city's elections - corruption - he said government's have to be, and have to be seen to be, on top of the problem.
"When corruption does get revealed, as least the public sees that it's the government that's revealing it. So they can see that it's the government that's trying very hard to create an honest government.
"It's very different when the press finds the corruption. That's really bad. Because that means the government isn't looking."
The socially liberal, economically conservative told the audience that he didn't think another government shutdown is likely given that 2014 is an election year, and that the US should be keeping troops in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of withdrawing them, even if the war-weary American public does not want to keep paying for unpopular wars.
Convincing them otherwise, he said, "is called leadership."