Saturday, December 06, 2008

I agree with John Manley 

Well, well, will wonders never cease. I actually agree with John Manley -- The first Liberal step: Replace Dion:
Canadians have every right to expect that the politicians they elected so recently would be entirely focused on the issues threatening our economic security and well-being. Instead, they have been subjected to a sordid display of arrogance, hyperbole and incompetence that can only make voters wish a pox on all their houses.
This is too serious a time for games. . . .
[for the Conservatives] to have created a totally avoidable political crisis when the economy was the task at hand was highly irresponsible. This has only become worse in the past week as a government desperate to hold on to power showed itself willing to be reckless on the national unity file. That is one sleeping dog that should be left alone. . . .
The Liberal Party, with its worst result in percentage of vote in its long and proud history, was also given a message on election night. Namely, that since losing power, the party, its leader and its caucus had failed to regain the confidence of the people.. . .
Confronted by a political crisis that was not of his making, Mr. Dion became an obstacle to his party, and to the opposition, in dealing with it . . . in agreeing to the terms of the coalition with the NDP and the Bloc, Mr. Dion bound his successor to a controversial arrangement without even consulting any of the candidates to succeed him in the process, leaving them no option but to endorse it or break with him as party leader.
The government must be prevented from running roughshod over the opposition at all times, but especially when the voters have denied them a majority. The best way to do that is for the Liberal executive and caucus to choose a new leader immediately . . .
the first task should be to work collaboratively with all other parties to restore the confidence of Canadians in their Parliament.
The government needs to drop the ugly rhetoric that it reverted to so quickly and easily so soon after the election. It's not just about winning confidence votes. The confidence of the House of Commons needs to be earned on a daily basis, by being consultative, trustworthy and respectful. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper has put quite a dollop of poison into the well.
I do see a certain logic in a long-term relationship or merger or marriage or whatever between the Liberals and the NDP. However, we're not there yet. We're not even at the spin-the-bottle stage in this romance.
Right now, the rationale for our coalition is economic urgency -- without the economic crisis, the coalition would not, and likely should not, be able to persuade Canadians that its authority for taking over leadership of the government without another election is legitimate.
This makes it premature, I believe, for Liberals to continue to promote a coalition government takeover until we see whether the January 27 budget turns out to be as inadequate and ideological as the economic statement was.
And its abundantly clear now also that Canadians will not support Stephane Dion as their prime minister under any circumstances, regardless of how badly Harper is bungling the economy.
Whether we hang together or hang separately, Dion must go.

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