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Stephen Harper: Not A Leader

So it looks like Harper is going to blink on the vote subsidy.

Which is all well and good, and it removes the "impending apocalypse" impetus that was so visibly serving to drive the Opposition to band together (as an aside from that link: oh Jean Chretien, you cagey card. Come back, we miss you.) This might be enough to save the government from falling - but I emphasize might, and Paul Wells offers some insight as to why that is worth reading for snark alone.

Parliament has been sitting for a week, and Harper chose to use the first major decision point of this term to advance the odd symbolic gesture, propose a staggeringly bad idea that could only be motivated by ideology run amok (a major asset sale during a recession? Seriously?), and, oh yes, try and headshot the opposition parties - as opposed to either putting forward something genuinely useful or even just keeping Jim Flaherty's mouth shut.

He didn't do this because he needed to, but because he could, and because it was oh-so-clever of him. Playing vindictive political games at times like these? Nobody in Opposition should trust that he has any intention to work with them as a minority PM, or indeed to put the welfare of the country above winning the game up on the Hill and securing his Permanent Conservative Majority pipe dream.

So yes, they might well think they're better off cobbling together a coalition, however ungainly, and taking it to the Governor General as an alternative to yet another election. God knows I do.


Comments

( Walk among 5 shadows — Cast a shadow )
rumor_esq
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
The media blowback on yesterday's Fiscal Update (FU!) was the most I've seen, well... ever. Since I've been paying attention to politics, anyway. With the exception of Andrew Coyne, who's reader cut a strip off him in his own journal, papers, columnists and bloggers all came out pretty enraged. Even Paul Wells seemed to be popping a vein through the computer screen. This was a monumentally stupid play but a very revealing one for the Harper Party.
paleshadow
Nov. 28th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
This was a monumentally stupid play but a very revealing one for the Harper Party.

Exactly this. Last year, Harper was running roughshod over the opposition in hopes of forcing them into an election - then he got his election, didn't quite win it, and now decides to keep up the old tactic.

People assumed he was being a schemer and just trying to no-hands-manuever Parliament into an election that he couldn't be blamed for, ignoring the easier (though not mutually exclusive) conclusion that the PMO is full of bullies. Until yesterday.

Edited at 2008-11-28 05:51 pm (UTC)
rumor_esq
Nov. 28th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
\Oops. Spoke too soon.

I don't know whether this is empty barking or not. The history of this Liberal party indicates it will probably amount to nothing...
paleshadow
Nov. 28th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, but the history of this Liberal party suggested that they'd back down when this came down the pike, and look at us now.
paleshadow
Nov. 28th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
And I spoke too soon.: Harper is delaying the Opposition day and the Liberal non-confidence motion until a week from Monday.

But this doesn't seem to address the other confidence vote that's going to happen Monday, on the actual Ways and Means bill. If they want to topple the government Monday, they can do it just as easily there. I don't see what this gains him, and by all reports he looked rather off at the conference where he announced it.
( Walk among 5 shadows — Cast a shadow )