Sunday, November 13, 2005

BIG POLITICAL DAY TODAY IN CANADA

Well, today is a big day for political intrigue and deal-making. There's a not-so-secret meeting taking place today between Stephen Harper, Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton to plot opposition strategy re: bringing the government down.

CTV News is reporting that Harper is planning to bring forward a non-confidence motion on Tuesday which could see the government fall this week and an election held five days before Christmas. This report is all well and good but the problem is that, ahem, CTV News has a habit of jumping the gun sometimes (hee hee hee). These guys once broke the big scoop that Lucien Bouchard kicked the bucket. Mind you, Robert Fife was dead-on when he reported the Liberals were trying to get Tories to defect during the spring confidence vote. So maybe this is an accurate story. But it looks like it's all speculation to me.

The problem as I see it is that Harper may be planning a no-confidence motion, but Jack Layton may insist on his goofy, nonsensical election-in-February plan which needs the Liberals' cooperation in order to work, or turn around and do something nutty again. It seems as if Layton isn't on the same team or even the same planet as these other two opposition leaders. So let's wait and see what happens before we declare what they are actually going to do.

I will say, though, that conservative bloggers want a no-confidence motion as soon as possible. They want the plug pulled now, and are tired of all the games. I keep reading these angry Blogging Tories and their constant ranting and raving, and they think that waiting around for a February election is just playing political games, that it's not a show of strength against the Liberals, that it will play into the Liberals' hands. They're right! Already Paul Martin is saying he's going to refuse to play any "political games" in reference to the supposed machinations about bringing about a February election date. He's making the opposition look like a bunch of political operators. So the opposition might as well call Martin's bluff and say OK, Paul, we won't play any procedural "games", either, we're bringing the house down right now! Besides, people are criticizing the plans to hold an election in February, wondering why the opposition would want to bring down the house and have an election only a few weeks before the one Martin originally proposed. It makes no sense.

Personally I think this government has to be brought down now for one reason: this opposition needs to take a stand and say it opposes what the government is doing, just to make a statement. It needs to be on record. And the government's big plans to govern till March have to be derailed, for no other reason than it would look like a big defeat for the entire opposition if they allowed them to do that. The opposition would look incompetent and ineffective, and the Liberals would get back in again. So they have to bring them down now, the opposition does, just for appearances' sake.

I happen to think, though, that people all over Canada don't want an election and don't appreciate that we are facing a situation of political deadlock on the Hill. We have a government that has alienated Parliament to the point where it no longer has the votes to govern. When the NDP is upset with the government, well, that says it all. But Canadians seem ignorant and all too willing to be herded around like cattle by the Liberal spin machine, who'll blame the election on the opposition. And then they'll be re-elected because Canadians feel inconvenienced and because people are ignorant that a political stalemate situation has developed in Ottawa.

Me, I'm not wild about an election. I'm not wild about it for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that I'll be bombarded with offers to go door-to-door and get yelled at by hostile Liberals. I have political friends who I am sure will be on my case to help them out, but my attitude is quite ambivalent this time, because I too am fed up with elections and with politics. But I am mainly fed up with these voters who keep voting Liberal. Besides, I can't go door-to-door anyway right now. I have a bad cold and I'll be out of commission for at least a few more days. The last thing I need to do is knock on doors when I'm in this state.

The PQ leadership vote is taking place today in Quebec, so that's another big event to look out for, today. I understand they'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

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