Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Take 'em Down?

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.


bgilliard said...

And it doesn't necessarily mean a vote. The gg should ask the liberals and ndp to form a coalition if the tories are defeated. They don't have a majority, but they have more seats than the conservatives.

bigcitylib said...

I've heard that theory alot. Does the gg have to do that?

Dave said...

The GG does not have to issue an election writ. Even if Harper goes to her and advises an election, SHE makes the decision and, if the country has had too many elections or, if the cost of yet another election is likely to create a burden, she can go to the leader of HM Opposition and ask if he can form a government. If he can, then HE is appointed Prime Minister.

The problem, of course, is that the Conservatives would do everything in their power to bring the government down.

My take on Harper's threats... Bring 'em down! We have nothing to loose by doing it.

Anonymous said...

Michaƫlle Jean will probably not have to resort to that -- I think Harper will cut a deal with the Bloc and NDP -- but as head of state she has a duty to make sure there isn't too much instability in government.

I agree with Dave that she'll probably figure out that Canadians are election fatigued and give the Liberals another go if Harper were to fall. It'd make for an interesting scenario, however -- can't remember the last time we had an "interim" Prime Minister while waiting for the leadership convention.

Anonymous said...

The NDP won't vote against it. Their platform included a $1000 family allowance to help fight child poverty. Harper's $1200 trumps that. Harper is negotiating with the provinces not to claw this allowance back from welfare recipients.
The BLOC hate the fact that the Feds are meddling in provincial matters which day care is. They just want money with no strings attached as Quebec already has a day care plan. The Qubec system, however, only benefits 7% of children using day care with wait lists yars and years long.
Quebec might be interested in Federal bucks to build new spaces which the province manages like they do now.
The point that this is provincial jurisdiction is being made by many provinces. Like-give us the money and butt out.

Anonymous said...

Well as someone with a normal family with a wife and 3 children at home the liberals think i should take $666 from my children and give it to my rich neighbours who have 2 incomes and make a lot more than me. Just like they do in Quebec.

Entzoa she never did that a year ago when the libs lost 3 such votes why would she now?