A Canadian's perspective on domestic and international issues. Independent coverage of Canadian federal, provincial and municipal elections and anything of interest in Canada.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What the Liberals Must Do!

Short of somehow talking the Conservatives into accepting a major amendment to the current budget, I don’t see how the Liberal Party can accept it.
Such an amendment would have to include removing the clause calling for the sale of federal properties and corporations, upping the entitlement period and payment schedule for Employment Insurance, financing current inter city construction projects, and taking a giant leap towards the introduction of large scale fuel efficient and sustainable power technologies, to name but a few items.
Other items include large scale green infrastructure improvements, a no nonesense environmental police, overhauling the countries social welfare and education systems, huge funds for metropolitan and rural transit, and nationalized daycare.
But glueing an amemdment to the budget is not the Grits only issue.
A major concern for the Liberal Party is their standing as the official opposition. Should they vote in favour of the budget, as is, or without significant amendment, they themselves will be the party propping up the minority. They will be in a coaliton with the Conservatives!
What happens then? They can no longer argue against the government, because they already gave the go-ahead. Nor will they be able to argue economics, because they will have already approved. What’s worse, in the long run, they would capitulating and saying to the voter, ‘this government has it right.’ That would be one heck of an endorsement for Stephen Harper to have in his pocket going into the next election.
Really, the decison Liberal Leader Ignatief faces today, is not whether to reject the budget or not, but to decide who he wants to climb in bed with! Does he go for the new improved more cuddly Mr. Harper, or does he stick with the parties he’s already arranged a pre-nup with?
I would suggest, if he turns his back on the pre-nup, and either holds his nose and curls up under the Tory blue sheets, or decides to refrain from voting, he will soon be wearing spectacles and studdering in Franglais.
Then there’s George Bush’s big buddy Steve, with his Winnie the Pooh smile, soft belly, and surface warmth. Underneath, he’s still the same old good old boy. Like a whale in a barnyard pond he is. Flopping this way on the Senate, flipping that way on the deficit, flapping around with his PR department, flayling about with his leaks and never speaks. For all his sudden amicablity, he continues to go after womens equity, the CBC, the arts and tax cuts.
Does anyone really believe this guy will give Iggy the chance to change a thing? Is he really going actually agree to equal pay for equal work, for help to fix the ceiling over adding a rec room, to keeping the CBC in tact and properly funding it, to alternative energy, to cleaning up the oil sands? No, if anything, the big Pooh Bah is more likely to try to find a way to co-opt his main opponent. He’ll give, but not too much.
And that will put the slim gym Ignatief in another predicament. Does he settle for less. If he does, once again, he will soon be wearing spectacles and studdering in Franglais.
Whatever the Liberals do is bound to be unpopular in many circles. Its a catch-22 in so many ways.
Perhaps it comes down to the rules of order. Parliament is set up in a manner that not only allows, but encourages coalitions. The voters haven’t moved much in years. If another election were held, we’d likely be right back where we are. With no one at the top really wowing the masses, that’s unlikely to change. Mr. Ignatief’s question then becomes, “who can I work with?”
There is one other question, that must be considered. Would Mr. Ignatief like to be Prime Minister of Canada by this time next week?
I think he would! And it may be his only chance!

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home