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Thoughts on the confidence motion passing today

The Conservative government’s Ways and Means motion passed today, as expected. That’s fine. The Liberal Party as the Official Opposition is now actually opposing the government, as it’s supposed to be doing. Let the other opposition parties decide the fate of the government and whether it survives or falls on non-confidence motions, and let them wear the burden of propping the government up.

Overall, continued good positive reviews for the Liberals and Ignatieff’s stance on this vote from the media, and some rather negative reviews over the NDP’s performance, including from some of their normally supportive folks, such as James Laxer:

Michael Ignatieff is a winner because his bluff paid off. The Liberals are now free to vote against the government on every confidence motion. They have succeeded in shifting the burden of determining the fate of the government to the two other opposition parties…Jack Layton delayed another trip to the polls, which may have been his short-term aim. He has lost his position as the stalwart opponent of a deeply reactionary government. Principle gave way to expediency. Chiding the Liberals for their previous votes of confidence in Stephen Harper doesn’t amount to much if the NDP backs the government when it really counts.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are continuing to work on making sure the NDP doesn’t have the EI excuse to prop up this Conservative government for any longer then necessary:

The Liberals are trying to quickly push forward the EI legislation ahead of its Opposition day in October, hoping to rob the NDP of its rationale for propping up the Harper government. Most bills take months to wend their way through the legislative process in both houses of Parliament. Behind-the-scenes manoeuvring on Parliament Hill on Thursday had the Liberals proposing to whisk the bill through all stages of the legislative process in the lower house by Friday. Liberals in the Senate have also tabled a motion seeking to allow the upper house to begin its examination of the bill without waiting for the Commons to finish with it.

There have been some folks up on the Hill saying to me in off-the-record instances that there are rumours that some of the NDP caucus has not been happy with this bitter pill they’ve had to swallow in supporting the Harper government and having the Liberals turn the tables on them. If the Liberals can help speed up this paltry EI bill’s passage in time for the next non-confidence motion, which they themselves will be bringing forward, it will again put pressure on Jack Layton to explain his rationale this time for propping this government up, if the EI “reforms” are passed – perhaps some internal NDP pressure on Jack and the NDP leadership as well, if those rumours are true.

UPDATE: Maybe the NDP should follow this poster’s advice if that next scenario were to occur. Just be honest with the public:

Why doesn’t the NDP finally give up the dance and announce Canadians do not want an election this Fall so they will be supporting the government to prevent one? They can point to several polls to prove that point. They can also state that the support is conditional on the Conservatives not introducing confidence legislation this Fall that is completely unacceptable to the NDP and it is conditional on the Conservatives not making every motion put before Parliament this Fall a confidence motion. State if those two conditions are not met then Stephen Harper can accept the blame for any subsequent election. Finally, state that they will revisit this decision after the Christmas holidays.

Done, problem solved. They will take some ribbing from some in the media but they are not the audience the NDP is trying to address. What they are doing now is not working. It makes them look weak and stupid.

UPDATE [email protected] 4:41 pm: Steve has his own source on the Hill it seems, and that source is also detailing the rumoured “split” in the NDP over disagreement of the “support the Conservatives” tactics being used.


7 comments to Thoughts on the confidence motion passing today

  • FREE

    Looks good on the Loser Liberano’s. May they spend eternity in hell.

    …and when are they gonna pay back all the monet they stole?????

  • Geordie Tom

    In fact Iggy just handed over the decision on bringing down the government to the NDP. The LPC will be forced to go long with the NDP when they decide. To me, that says that the LPC are now subservient to the NDP decision makers.
    Maybe by next week the press will be able to step back and see things this way.

  • Northern PoV

    Full marks for creative invention. The audacity of your claim makes me think perhaps it was tongue in cheek?

    Back in the real world, Iggy just switched places with Jack (as Laxer points out). Iggy just won this round, no contest….

  • jimmy

    I don’t why no one is pointing this out but this wasn’t a vote confidence for Harper it was one for Iggy. He couldn’t get the confidence of the parties he needs to bring down the government I now believe Ottawa is more stable with Harper then Iggy. See the problem is the other parties don’t think he can win and if Harper goes to an election and comes back with the same strength he gets a grace period of 6 months where the Liberals will let him force through whatever he wants. Canada can’t afford that at least now his feet can be held to the flames and he is bending to what 65% of Canada wants. Poor Iggy he came off as a bad leader showing he can’t win the Confidence of at least one of the parties he would need if he could (which he can’t) win an election. Liberals lose again no confidence.

  • Can i just point out that Jim Laxer is not normally all that supportive of the NDP.

    Certainly somebody ought to. He’s been concern trolling the NDP for quite a while. That doesn’t mean all of his criticisms are off the mark but it also means that “normally supportive” isn’t really how I’d describe him.

  • DL

    Can i just point out that Jim Laxer is not normally all that supportive of the NDP. In fact ever since he ran for the NDP leadership in 1971 and lost to David Lewis he has had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the party and periodically writes very negative screeds. In his column today, while he writes about how the current parliamentary “crisis” (for want of a better word) reflects on Layton, you seem to have chosen not to include all the very negative things he writes about Ignatieff in the same column.

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