With a Grand total of 39% of the population ready to vote for him, Stephen Harper is making threats. From The Post:
BURNABY, B.C. -- The Tory election promise to give parents cash for child care will be included in the upcoming federal budget and will be subjected to a confidence vote, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
Harper challenged his Liberal, Bloc and New Democrat critics to take his minority government down over the pledge.
My first response is: if the Tories won't negotiate on this, take 'em down. Last I heard (and sorry I don't have a link), the vast majority of Canadians support Federal government attempts to work out something that might pass for a national daycare program over handing out cash and hoping for the best. And I would frankly look askance at Jack Layton and the NDP if they were to sell out the principle of National Daycare for nothing more than a bigger handout than the Tories are currently offering.
Now, what do I mean by negotiate? Well, the actual part of the Tory plan aimed at creating spaces (20% of the total budget), will apparently "go ahead after consultations." Harper says,
"It's going to take us a year to put the space creation plan in place. But as I say, we're willing to consult with parents on the best way to proceed over this year.''
Of course that's the part of the plan that will fall by the wayside. So lets see the space creation plan moved up, and lets see it rejigged so that the Canadian government is actually creating spaces, rather than merely passing out our tax-payer dollars in Corporate Welfare to the private sector if they create spaces out of the goodness of their hearts.
Now, how wise is confrontation at this point? Harper seems to want a fight, the Libs would be without a real Leader if a vote were called this summer. But on the other hand, nobody wants an election, and if it looks like Harper has forced one out of stubbornness, then he'll be the one holding the hot potato. After all, the nation gave him a minority; he is expected to compromise.
So, for the moment at least, this Toronto boy is ready to rumble.