Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Liberals and the Budget - How Not to Handle a Confidence Vote

It appears that the Liberals will vote against the budget... but not in enough numbers to bring down the Conservative government.

Or, in other words, we're going with the two-faced strategy of say one thing, and do another.

This strategy reeks of weakness. If we cannot present a coherent plan of attack, then how can Canadians take the Ignatieff Liberals seriously? It would have been better had the Liberals decided to universally abstain from the vote - that at least presents a consistent view that we don't like this budget, but we're not going to the polls over it.

But even that's just a lesser evil. I believe the Liberals need to be activist in their position as the Official Opposition. Instead of holding back and waiting for the Harper government to implode, we need to stoke the fire. Ignatieff said so himself: "we need to be the alternative Canadians are looking for." And yes, I get that we're not exactly in a position to go into an election, but it ain't called a bluff for no reason.

So instead of having a two-faced strategy, lets say to the government, you're going to put in these amendments, you're going to talk about the environment, you're going to start paying attention to the pension crisis you helped create, or you're going to face a bruising. Show Canadians we are the alternative. Let the Bloc and the NDP pussyfoot with the Conservatives. Let's show them our (golf) balls, so to speak. Let's be the other governing party.

We showed we were during the prorogation. We're showing we are with this Montreal conference. Why does the party decide now to play the fool?

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