Now that the Conservatives have blinked, it’s more complicated.
They’ve dropped the funding cut to political parties. And also the ban on the right to strike. And, they pledge to bring forward a budget, with stimulus package, earlier, in January.
And yet the coalition agreement was signed, with Dion as prime minister, members of the NDP in cabinet, and the Bloc agreeing to support it for at least a year.
Politically, I don’t know how wise this is. The unpopular leader, the deal with separatists, leaving the party with the single most seats out in the cold — it’s just going to make a lot of people really angry.
On the other hand… It really is cooperation, isn’t it? And isn’t that exactly what a lot of people say they want? Three parties agreeing to work together for the good of Canada. Of course, their motives are nowhere near pure. But, it’s still a little refreshing.
And, I kind of like some the policy statements I’ve heard from the coalition side so far. Dropping the NDP demand to cancel corporate tax cuts (thank goodness). A stimulus package sooner. A blue chip economic advisory committee. Possibly restoring arts funding. Elizabeth May, Senator.
On the other hand (I clearly need more hands), it’s really hard to have great confidence in this group. The Liberals are still in a fair amount of disarray, and the NDP campaigned on a completely unrealistic platform. One hopes the NDP would learn from actually governing, but Canada isn’t in the best position right now for them to practice on. And Dion, despite some definite virtues, has not exactly shown himself to be a great leader.
I guess there isn’t any way for us to get Barack Obama as leader without actually joining the US? No? Well, OK then…
In this article I just found, Andrew Steele lays out Harper’s options.
- Preemptively Remove Michaëlle Jean.
To which I say, wow, he can do that? I don’t like that one. It’s not right. And I like Ms. Jean.
- Reschedule the Vote again.
How long a delay would be long enough? Eventually, someone has to govern…
- Appoint Opposition MPs to the Senate.
This option is too boring to even contemplate.
- Caretaker Prime Minister.
This apparently means admitting defeat, to some extent, and seeking to find a coalition partner. He would just be a “caretaker” Prime Minister in the meantime, with more limited powers. Interesting. Would he actually do this?
i.e. cancel this session of Parliament and start again. This is the one he wants, but which admittedly limited precedent suggests the G-G shouldn’t grant.
- Apologize, fire Flaherty, and reach across the aisle.
Is it a big enough gesture? And would he do this?
- Request an election.
No! Not another damn election! No!
- Convince Opposition MPs to support the government.
They’d need 12 turncoats.
- Seduce the Bloc to support the government.
They’re already running anti-Bloc, so doubtful this is still a viable option.
- Step down as Conservative leader.
Which is also what the Globe Editorial today recommends, and would, I think be a big enough gesture to appease the opposition (at least the Liberal party). But would he do that?
“May you live in interesting times.” Really is a curse, eh?