There was no doubt that Stephane Dion was up to something right after the election. When he heard that he’d lost it actually came as a surprise to him. The fact that his defeat was as much of a surprise as that of Joe Clark (or Jimmy Carter’s for US readers) in 1980 did nothing to soften the blow. He may have been the only one in the country to be dumbfounded, but he was dumbfounded nonetheless.
At the time, I expected him to try to mull over a non-confidence motion against the federal budget in February, be talked out of it by his caucus (as they’d threaten to withhold support), and move on. This would have been an insane move in and of itself, but he all but said that this was his plan, as smacking of desperation as it may be. But the stunt he pulled today is truly surprising for the magnitude of its depravity. It’s one thing to be desperate. It’s another to be clinically insane.
Now, just six weeks after garnering the lowest percentage of the vote in Liberal history, Dion is trying to unseat what is only the second Conservative government to win back to back mandates since 1962. What’s more, it’s not going to work in his favor. Even if he succeeds, the Bloc has demanded that Rae or Ignatieff be named leader before any coalition deal is executed. Thankfully for those two, Jean Chretien’s back to push through their scheme and personally anoint one of the two to take the place of Dion with or without the latter’s agreement; a sad fate for this escapade’s most notable instigator.
So the Liberals are not only willing to usurp the will of the people just six weeks after an election. (Hey, what else is new?) They’re also willing to silence the voices of their own party members, those who actually pay for the privilege, without whom the Liberal Party would be forced to apply to their Democratic cousins in the US Congress for a chunk of the bailout. The membership will not get a chance to elect their leader. Why, there’s Jean Chretien for that. It kind of reminds one of how Chretien ran the country for a decade.
And if that’s all they were doing it would be bad enough. But this is the Liberal Party of Canada we’re talking about. So wait, there’s more!
The non-confidence motion being tabled offers the following reason for the overthrow of the recently reelected Tories: “The government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada’s economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy.” Now that’s just Liberal-speak. Here’s the true reason. All of the opposition parties, all leftists by the way, are mad that the Tories want to cut the $1.95 per vote of the public’s money that each party gets to spend according to their political heart’s desire. It doesn’t matter that the Tories, who received the greatest share of votes, are hurting themselves first and foremost by doing so. The pampered members of the leftist elite are upset that their perks are getting cut too. That’s what happens when you try to take back a lollypop that’s been snatched by a baby, literally.
So as the Tories try to do the fiscally responsible thing, and cut back public funding to all parties, cutting more from their own coffers than from the funding of any other party, the others cry, scream and holler that it’s the Tories who don’t understand the “seriousness of Canada’s economic situation.” What exactly does that mean? That the Tories don’t understand how Liberal, NDP, Bloc and even some unelected Green politicians (yes, the Greens still get money even though they don’t have any seats) are having a harder time affording luxury yacht cruises and five course steak dinners? Oh, the horror. That’s definitely worth overturning the will of the people for. If only they knew how bad things really were.
On a serious note, here’s what Prime Minister Harper needs to do:
- Decry the usurpation of Canada’s democracy at the hands of a few greedy pols. Put them on defense. They don’t want to tarnish their brand forever, so maybe they wont act.
- Use procedural moves, even call new elections if necessary “to avoid the opposition’s usurpation of Canada’s democracy for the narrow interests of a handful of politicians.” (Use that line - It’s the truth, and it’s good for a few seats too.)
- Develop some of the suggestions outlined in Lessons for Canada’s Conservatives – Building a Lasting Base – a strong and lasting base will be needed to alert public opinion to the magnitude of the insanity now underway in the nation’s Capital. The piece also contains some crucial policy suggestions that will be needed to build a large base of reasonable voters.
As for the Liberals, what does the Ignatieff camp have to say about their leading role in the latest blatant attempt to usurp democracy and not just cancel out the votes of the Canadian public, but even take the decision making power away from grassroots members of their own party?
Well this is just a tidbit from an Ignatieff campaign email that discusses the current fiasco. It reads: “Save Canada’s Democracy - Stephen Harper is trying to undermine Canada’s fair and open political system. Take action now!” Now that’s someone on pot calling the kettle a drug addict. Either that, or it’s just more Liberal-speak.
(Canada Free Press, Nov. 28)