Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jack and Gilles fall off the hill and need something stronger than water!

It’s never easy to be spurned, in any relationship comes that time when sometimes things just don’t work out, such a time has come for Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe, their hopeful three amigo dream with Michael Ignatieff apparently not to be continued.

As Ignatieff waited for the National Press theatre technicians to fix the sound (never a good thing for a politician when no one can hear you and offering up reminders of Stephane Dion's last public appearance), Jack Layton was doing is Sonic the hedgehog hissy fit thing in the foyer of the House of Commons.

Declaring that the coalition a brave attempt at nation building (and perhaps the only chance Mr. Layton will ever get for a cabinet position) was dead, the Liberal leader deciding that a Conservative budget that looked like a Liberal budget was better than a couple of swings around the dance floor with socialists and separatists.

It was not an unexpected move by the Liberals, after all they had been putting the signals out there for two to three weeks now that as long as the Conservatives brought in a sensible budget, one that didn't fill the bank accounts of the rich with more money, then they were likely to give Mr. Harper a reprieve from his self inflicted near death experience.

As it is, the budget which looks rather familiar to Liberals with a bit of a memory of the eighties, covers off most of what the Liberals would have wished for, perhaps a few more dollars for their target groups would have been nicer, but in the end the prospect of bringing down a government because they didn’t have a larger than 80 billion dollar deficit over a few years probably wasn’t going to wash.

Now, the Liberals having shed themselves of the optics of securing the favour of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, or worse having to actually coexist with them in governance, will be able to concentrate on rebuilding the war chest for the next election.

At the moment that wasn't something that they were ready for, mindful no doubt that the idea of them taking power with the NDP and the Bloc without benefit of an election probably would have been something that would have lost them votes in the long run. So better to prop up Mr. Harper today, in order to topple him another day, one day when the party is better placed to offer up a more palpable alternative than the alliance that Mr. Dion had hurriedly cobbled together with Mr. Layton and Mr. Duceppe.

Even more important for the Liberals probably is the realization that the next year for the nation as far as its economy goes will be a very ugly period, better to let Mr. Harper stew in those juices, suffering the daily announcements of job losses, unemployed Canadians looking for work that may not be there and the many other storm clouds that always gather when the economy stumbles as it is suspected it will.

In about a year (maybe sooner depending on their patience), the Liberals could then begin to turn the tables on the Conservatives, ready to bring down the government and of course ready to resume what they seem to believe is their rightful place as the governing party of the nation.

Subject to the voter’s endorsement of course, something that this would be coalition wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about seeking it seemed.

As for the dynamic duo of coalition building, they now will be turning their attentions on two targets, the Conservatives over their handling of the economic troubles of the year to come and their former counterparts in the coalition process, who have thrown them under the bus in their return to the traditional political structure in the capital.

If they're looking for a friendly ear we suggest they look east, Newfoundland Premier
Danny Williams might find some common ground with them as far as enemies go.

Reuters-- Canadian government survives budget crisis
National Post-- Layton livid as Tories likely to support Liberal budget amendment
Globe and Mail-- Tories put on probation; coalition declared dead
Canadian Press-- Coalition implodes
CBC-- Ignatieff puts Tories 'on probation' with budget demand

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