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Next election may not be as far off as we think

October 25, 2008

News today that the Liberals are done with supporting the government by abstaining from votes in parliament.  Well, looks like Jack’s job just got a lot harder.  Given Harper’s second win in a row, and his increased support I don’t get the impression that our Prime Minister will be really big on compromising on important votes such as the budget.

…it was very clear from everybody at the microphone that abstaining is no longer an option and so, therefore, we will let the third parties, who hold the balance of power, decide.

If the Liberals stick to this new policy, which frankly they must do if they want to survise as a party, then the NDP and Bloc will need to do some soul searching to decide if they can support Conservative initiatives.

Now clearly, none of the parties want to rush to another election, but that means that someone will need to sacrifice their principles.  The NDP and Bloc got very used to loudly voting against government policy knowing full well that the Liberals would blink when it came down to the vote.  But the Liberals are the official opposition.  And as long as they can make it to the point where they’ve chosen a new leader, the simplest policy for them to rebuild their image is to simply vote against the Conservatives on everything.  Then the other parties have to make up their mind about what will happen next. If the Liberals can get their act together quickly it may even be beneficial to let someone else make that onerous choice.

Of course, anyone who triggers an election in the next year will pay a heavy price and a high bar to explain why another is needed when this one didn’t really change anything.  Harper himself may have to explain that regardless who’s ‘fault’ the election is.  So if the opposition parties can stick to their guns we may be all surprised to see something that we haven’t seem much of in a long, a conciliatory tory regime.

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