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Friday, May 13, 2005

He just doesn't get it 

How to demonstrate your fitness to govern:
First, paralyze Parliament
Second, demand that the Liberals resign because Parliament is paralyzed.
And you know what this is all in aid of, don't you?
Harper himself is actually the one who is paralyzed -- paralyzed with fear about how his restless MPs will react when they realize that their leader's hysterical tirades against the Liberals have boxed them into an impossible position -- they can either vote in favour of the budget, after a month of pontificating about how the Liberals have lost the authority to govern. Or they can vote against the budget and bring down the government, leaving all those Conservative MPs. and candidates, to explain to their constituents why they didn't want Canadians to get all that extra money for the military, for cities, for day care. for equalization.
It sort of limits your campaign options when you cannot make speeches about how a Conservative government would spend extra money on the military, on cities, on day care and on equalization.
Oh well, I guess your MPs can always make speeches about how you stopped that awful gay marriage bill. That will go over well, particularly in Ontario and BC.
Steve, smarten up -- remember you cannot get any more seats in Alberta, that where you need them is in Ontario and BC.
All this demonstrates is that Harper seems to be incapable of thinking strategically or acting responsibly. Harper's over-the-top rhetoric had narrowed his options now to one -- to try to force a non-confidence motion before the budget bill can be introduced. And how is he trying to do this? By announcing he is going to adjourn the house every day between now and then. Huh?
Oh, Steve, if your're trying to prove to Canadians that you can do a great job of boxing your own party into a corner. where your MPs will continue to get paid for refusing to work, you've certainly done it with this tactic. Commons grinds to a halt
But Harper's problem could still be solved -- that Globe story points out that "The NDP has offered to pull one or more of its MPs on Thursday so that MPs battling cancer can miss the vote without affecting the final result. Conservative House Leader Jay Hill said the party will consider the offer, which is called pairing." Well, of course, this is the solution.
He should graciously accept this pairing arrangement for his ill MPs, which shows how mature and parliamentary and caring he is. Then all he has to do is hope and pray that the NDP and the Liberals pull a dirty trick and break their word.
This would get the budget passed and out of the way, so he could defeat the government later on a less popular bill when people would no longer care how his MPs voted on the budget. And it would also give the Conservatives an absolutely great campaign issue - the Martin liberals claim they have already cleaned up their party but look how untrustworthy they really are!
But no. He is resolute in rejecting any strategy which could help him or his candidates during a campaign. "Mr. Harper said he would prefer that the ailing MPs be allowed to cast their own votes. 'I am told, though, that [former prime minister] Joe Clark lost the vote in 1979 because people said they would pair and then they reneged on that commitment in the last minute,' he said."
He just doesn't get it. That's what he WANTS to happen this time.

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