As much as it pains me to write this, I believe at 8am Vancouver time this morning, the federal Liberal leader will claim that Harper has shown enough conciliatory, cooperative gestures in yesterday’s budget to enjoy the right to govern for a while more.
I hope so much to be wrong, but the budget wasn’t as heinous as I expected it to be. While it did little of substance to make a real difference for the most vulnerable Canadians or women or first nations or working parents or or or or…you get the message, it had enough tidbits to make the Liberals look like whiners if they crash the government and form the coalition, since an election would cause massive political vomit from across the land.
Here are a few issues:
- The Liberals, as Conservative-Lite, could easily have come up with many of the stimulus package elements that Flaherty spewed out. After all, don’t forget that the Liberals brought us the MacDonald Commission which led to free trade with the USA, NAFTA, the GST, Paul Martin’s anti-social budgets, the Kandahar escapade and a host of other annoyances.
- Ignatieff didn’t enter politics in Canada to become a prime minister of a coalition government. His ego is all about the Liberal ruling birthright. He will get far more political capital for the bankrupt and desperate party he leads by slamming Harper as opposition leader than by suffering as a coalition prime minister. Harper’s budget wasn’t sufficiently anti-human for him to reject it and lead a coalition [which he would have to do since rejecting the budget and the coalition and causing an election would be blamed on him].
- Jim Flaherty demonstrated today that Conservative cluelessness will continue unabated: open season on how out of touch they are. During the last election campaign, Harper described the beginnings of the global economic crash as a good time to buy stocks: truly heartless and obvlivious to the reality of millions of Canadians’ fears. Today Flaherty put on his grinning smirk in announcing the tax credit for home renovations: “The home renovation tax credit is available for renovations to the house or the cottage, for everything from a new furnace to energy efficient windows to a new deck.” And his compatriots were grinning and giggling along with Flaherty’s nod to elites that love/control them so much. Hands up all Canadians who don’t have a cottage!
It all adds up to the Liberals biding their time, unless I’m wrong and we get a coalition government. So here’s hoping that I’m wrong!