If Stephen Harper received a report card for his recent behaviour I am sure it would read: “Little Stephen does not work or play well with others.” Harper is a bully plain and simple. He talks the talk about working with others but he is completely without skill or desire in this realm. What does he do when no one else agrees with him? He closes the sandbox. What kid should have that power? There is a reason we have a system of government complete with rules and conventions – it is so that politicians need to work together or they will be defeated. I think little Stevie needs to put down the Machiavelli and pick up the Ghandi.
Now, on to the rhetoric. I am so sick and tired of the Conservatives misinformation campaign. If I were a Quebecer I would be downright angry that he used the word ‘separatists’ when he spoke in English and called them ‘Sovereignists’ en francais. It is disingenuous. Does he think that no one in Quebec can speak, understand or read English? I am also sick to death of hearing that the Coalition is trying to steal power. They have conducted themselves correctly within a parliamentary democracy. All the scare mongering the Cons can muster is not enough to overrun the rules of Parliament.
I am worried for the Coalition. Some Liberals are sharpening the knives and they are all aimed at Dion. If the Coalition cannot stay together and agree on a leader then we are all in trouble. A bully running amok without someone to push back is a recipe for disaster. The Liberals need to unite behind Dion as he has government experience and will be very effective in government. Really, governing is what Dion does best. He is only the leader until the Leadership Convention in May and he is the Liberals only real opportunity to govern in the near future.
I am not sure how Harper convinced Jean to prorogue parliament. I will refrain from GG bashing as it is inappropriate. However, I believe this decision is bad for Canada and bad for democracy. It creates a dangerous precedent where a sitting prime minister can duck his/her responsibility to maintain the confidence of the House. Canada needed the confidence vote – after all Harper used to love to make everything a confidence vote to force the Liberals to abstain. Then his other tactic was to poke fun at Dion for abstaining.
Harper has made a serious political error. Dion has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He either goes down in history as the worst leader the Liberals have ever had (although I think that dubious distinction belongs to Martin) or as the bold, innovative leader who was able to build bridges with the NDP and the Bloc. In short, Dion is everything that Harper is not.
What Canada really needed the GG to do was to put Harper in a time out – perhaps with a dunce cap.
Here it is. I won’t hold my breath that he will call me back…
Dear Mr. Moore – I heard you on As it Happens yesterday and you said something that concerned me. You mentioned that you had not talked to any Canadians who support the new Coalition government. Well, Mr. Moore, I am a Canadian and I support the coalition. I would also like to add that you trotting out scare tactics only makes your party look weak. The Liberals and NDP are not doing anything that has not been done in parliamentary democracy since it was created. They are not ‘stealing’ power. Your party and particularly your leader has lost the confidence of the house therefore your party has lost the right to govern. If you want someone to blame please talk to Mr. Harper. So, if you would like to talk to a Canadian who supports the progressive coalition please call me at 604 xxx-xxxx. Thank you and have a nice day.
So, folks, it looks as though we are going to have an election. Nothing official so I guess we are in the official unofficial period before the actual election is called. The Conservatives (Cons hereafter) have already started their attack ads. It looks like the Liberals are in complete disarray and don’t stand a chance in hell of even getting a minority government….but…you never know what can happen and I would argue (and seriously hope) that Stephane Dion has been completely underestimated.
Now, the skeptics among you would definately laugh at me. I think the man needs serious pressure to actually accomplish something. Look at what he did in the Liberal Leadership Race. He was not expected to win it – he was fourth when the convention started behind an ex-hockey player. Yet somehow, through guile and wit he pulled it off. Granted he needed three votes to actually win it but he does have cred as a dragon slayer. He took down Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae both formidable politicial opponents. To their credit, they have remained loyal to him even though he took them out, so to speak.
Another thing about minority governments (here is where that Masters degree in history comes in handy) in Canada is that the party that forces the election generally pays at the polls. This realty combined with the fact that the Liberals were in shape to have an election has kept Stephane from pulling the plug. It has made him look like a patsy. I am hoping this is strategy on his part. He certainly didn’t look like leadership material going into the convention and he was seriously underestimated by his opponents. I seriously hope the Cons and Harpie make the same mistake. They are just arrogant enough (somewhat like Michael Ignatieff) that this is a real possibility.
One can also hope that one of Harper’s right-wing nutbars will shoot his or her mouth off creating a big gaffe for Harper to deal with. It is one thing to control a tight group of caucus members, it is quite another to control every candidate in every far flung area in Canada. I believe this is a reasonable hope as right wingers have a penchant for doing this kind of thing. Which is why Harper has kept such a tight lid on his caucus.
We shall all now start wishing and hoping (praying, meditating..whatever works for you!!) for a Liberal Minority Government.
I am going to hope that Stephane is going to be the little Liberal who could…either that or I am completely delusional and will require serious medication.