December 5, 2008
I see a light at the end of Canada’s political tunnel. Unfortunately, it’s a train coming at us.
The Liberals, NDP and Bloc signed an accord that would see the Liberals and NDP forming a minority coalition government for a period of thirty months. The Bloc would hold the balance of power with no formal participation in government, but with a commitment not to vote against the government on confidence measures for a period of eighteen months. The cabinet would be comprised of eighteen Liberal and six New Democrat MPs.
Not only was Harper’s inclusion of party subsidies in his discussion on our fiscal circumstance poor judgment, it was poor government. Canada has been living in an insulated economic bubble, but with oil prices dropping and the US consumer not consuming, reality is quickly setting in for her. Tiny subsidies of political parties have no place in a discussion of our economic strategy. Notwithstanding Harper’s mistake, what the merry band of Dion, Layton and their separatist sidekick are doing is an atrocity. We have tremendous economic instability. Adding this to the mix only creates more uncertainty (look at what the Canadian markets have done thus far this week).
What Dion and Layton are proposing is to replace a party that has formed government after winning in accordance with our first past the post system with a government which will appoint a prime minister who will serve only five months (Dion steps down in May). A government that will stand only with the support of a party which has, as its primary purpose, the objective of breaking up the country. This is nothing more than a power grab by the Liberals. They are the heaviest drinkers of the “Liberals as Canada’s naturally governing party” kool-aid. I’m afraid they’re drunk.
I was impressed with Harper and, on balance, still am. However, Canada needs political leaders that are focused on Canada and not on themselves. This is particularly important at this point in our economic history.
At the moment I’m disappointed in all of them.
December 5, 2008
My take is that he needs to do three things:
(1) He needs to present a budget on January 26th/27th that shows the Canadian people he has a handle on the economic crisis, has accounted for sufficient stimulus.
(2) He needs to campaign hard between now and then and show the Canadian people that, if the government does fall on the 26th or 27th, the decision in respect of who forms government should be made the people and not by a back room deal comprised of the Liberals, the NDP and the separatists.
(3) He needs to do everything he can to drive a wedge into the coalition. There are numerous Liberals whose support of the coalition is very soft. He needs to show them that getting into bed with the separatists is bad for Canada. Moreover, he needs to show that the coalition would, ultimately, be bad for the Liberal Party (which is what the Liberals have shown themselves to care most about).