Pimp My Riding

This won't be that long, b/c I've got a mountain of work glowering at me, but I can't resist paying tribute to some of the high-minded Liberal MP's out there:

"If [governing] means we have to form a coalition [with the NDP], then we need to form a coalition to ensure that the Liberal agenda is passed. That's something we must do at all costs" (emphasis added) - Ontario Liberal caucus chair Sarmite Bulte

"I have no problem negotiating wih and working with the NDP. My bottom line is Canadians want us to govern ..." - Toronto Liberal MP Maria Minna

"Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday he is open to changing the federal budget in an effort to win the support of the NDP" - Today's Globe and Mail, pg. A1

"I will be meeting with Mr. Layton. Both our respective staffs are in the process of trying to put it together and I'd like to do it sooner rather than later" - The man himself

Keep in mind that this is the budget that the Libs are screwing around with here. Heretofore, the Libs had treated its spending & tax priorities as if they were handed down on stone tablets from Mt. Sinai. What's up for grabs now is not even an ancillary piece of government business, like Kyoto or the new Atlantic Accord that has been tucked into the budget implementation legislation. The issue of taxation isn't peripheral to the budget - it is a fundamental part of it.

Now, in the hopes of hanging on to their limos for a few more weeks, they're willing to scrap a major part of that budget to buy off Jack Layton. Nice going, folks.

You can argue that the CPC is doing likewise as the grits, since they're working with the BQ to force an election. But that's a situation where different parties are working towards advancing their respective policies, using the same method (i.e., an election). The fact that the CPC and the BQ may vote the same way on a non-confidence vote is not a case where the leader of a governing party says "sure, I'll just screw around with what, almost by definition, is the most important legislative statement of policy I have."

Martin has a chance to get this right, by telling Layton to go jump in the lake. Heck, it's not as if Layton could, or would, prop up the Libs for long anyway, given the numbers in the house, and given his own musings that this would be a short-term thing. If Martin does tell Layon to get lost, I'll say good for him in advance. The problem is, Martin doesn't exactly have a history of showing a stiff spine. Let's see if he breaks his pattern of caving in now.

Oh, and one more thing: If the Libs do re-write the budget to satisfy the NDP, they'll have nobody to blame but themselves if the Tories vote against it. In other words, they've just given the CPC a perfect political reason to vote down the budget, if they're of a mind to do so.

More later.


At 10:37 a.m., Blogger Mark said...

You're bang on with the synopsis of Layton's demands vis-a-vis the budget... and Martin's willingness to change whatever as long as he can keep the reigns in hand.

At 10:38 a.m., Blogger Mark said...

Oh, and welcome aboard my fellow Newfie. I'm originally from Springdale.

At 10:53 a.m., Blogger Jason Hickman said...

Thanks, Mark. Glad to see one of my countrymen taking an interest in ye olde blog.

At 1:04 p.m., Blogger Mark Francis said...

Here's hoping my revised user name comes up correctly, since it was previuoiusly just 'mark'...

Thought I'd visit your blog, since you've beem visiting mine...

So, opportunistic Liberals? What else is new?

My gripe with Harper is that he knows that an election call right now will hand the Bloc to Quebec. It's hard for the Bloc to do any better at this point. Regardless of the continual Liberal mismanagement of the sovereignty issue, Harper has a duty here himself, and I haven't heard much from him on this, aside from a failed attempt to get Action democratique du Quebec onboard (politically, not a bad idea). He's willing to trade a sweep of Quebec by the Bloc to get a chance at the PM's chair. Tsk, tsk, in my books.

I'd rather see 10 months of attempts to define a direction for the country rather than just keep concentrating on these corrupt Libs, and to see some sort of 'third way' policy figured out for Quebec in order to start carving out a proper canadian-oriented constituency there. Keep in mind that half of Quebec doesn't vote Bloc. If it fails, it fails.

When the Gomery report comes out, the Libs will get creamed.

I realize that CPC supporters are salivating right now at the prospect of getting in NOW, but the only mandate they've truly receive is 'Well, you're not Fiberal...' Not exactely a mandate for change, other than adding some much-needed fiscal controls and oversight.

Wups. 1:00 p.m. EST, almost. Gotta work.

At 4:26 p.m., Anonymous Erin Airton said...

Jason - you've built a nest on the internet. Very cosy. Love the wallpaper....

What'll you write about after we get rid of the Libs, though?

Take care!


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