October 15, 2007

Dion is Forked

In chess, when your opponent is poised to take two of your pieces with his next move, you have to choose which one to save, knowing that you will inevitably lose the other. The dilemma is commonly known as a fork.

One can only imagine the fun filled booby-traps that Stephen Harper will put in his Throne Speech tomorrow. Buoyed by two polls which show the Tories emerging from a deadlock with the Liberals, (one which places the Tories in majority territory), Harper can afford to be bolder than usual.

The one lesson we have learned from the Ontario election is that people will value leadership over broken promises. Promises matter. Leadership matters more.

Jean Chretien taught us that a confident leader with a vision will overcome a broken promise on the GST or the Billion-dollar HRDC boondoggle. We can all agree Paul martin had a different style…

So Harper will give a pretty boring speech. He will have new priorities, including a limitation on the infringement in provincial jurisdiction of the federal government, something the NDP and the BQ support whole-heartedly.

Harper will also include a little sentence in there meant to put Stephane Dion in a tough position. Harper will renounce the Kyoto Protocol, probably moving toward another agreement which included the US and Australia. Some are suggesting Harper will say the government wants to repeal Pablo’s Bill C-288, the Kyoto Implementation Bill.

Dion is faced with the most difficult decision of his career. He must choose between his principal issue, the environment, or his own career.

Do the Liberals go now or crush their credibility and wait for a better time. After a reversal of policy of this magnitude, could they possibly regain their credibility? Lose an election now or lose worse later?

Gilles Duceppe is Harper’s number one target in Quebec. He has also decided the Tories have nowhere to go in Quebec but up. He is taking his lumps and is going to the polls before the BQ heads the way of the PQ.

Back to the Liberals. I can hardly see how Stephane Dion prevents an election from happening, especially if the speech is something the Liberals could never support. No government has ever fallen on a throne speech. He can wait until the poison pill issue/bill comes to the house to defeat that. However, he would have had the ample opportunity to have previously stopped it.

My history teacher once told me “Great leaders have always been judged based on what they did when they were at a fork in the road.”


Stephane Dion, it is your move…

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8 Commentaires:

Blogger nuna d. above a dit...

A more long range "fork" is whether Dion should allow a popular budget in the spring, or risk everything now. With Chretien blaming the Liberal party and the Liberal cabinet for deaths in Afghanistan (Martin didn't act alone)it might be better to let things cool down.

10/15/2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger Bill D. Cat a dit...

Could be worse , he could have been sporked .

10/15/2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger KC a dit...

Where are you getting that the NDP will support limiting the spending power? I find that hard to believe.

Also I am still curious to hear how Harper plans to restrict the spending power. Can you name seven provinces that will come on board? And if Harper is planning on asserting that he can unilaterally restrict the spending power it can be unilaterally unrestricted by a subsequent government. If that is the case then isnt it really nothing more than a symbolic gesture with no real teeth? Im interested to hear the answers to these questions.

10/15/2007 10:02 PM  
Blogger KC a dit...

Also it has been reported that Harper may be planning to exert the federal trade and commerce clause to tear down interprovincial trade barriers.

How will that go down in Quebec?

10/15/2007 10:04 PM  
Blogger Mark a dit...

kc - you ought to believe it. the NDP has always pandered to Quebec Nationalists. It's what caused many CCFers to quit at their original convention (read Eugene Forsey's memoirs for a truly great account).

It's too bad that so many national interest groups, NGOs and coalitions have been blind to this tenant of NDP policy for so long.

10/16/2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger KC a dit...

Mark - I believe the NDP would be willing to pander to Quebec (which federal party doesnt) I just think--maybe I'm being naive here--that they care more about having a strong federal government to direct national social programs.

THATS why I dont believe that they will do it.

10/16/2007 4:22 PM  
Blogger northwestern_lad a dit...

Mark... I think that you need to review that comment of yours. NDP policy is for strong central government, much more so than the Liberals have been historically, which is one of the reasons why the NDP has historically done so poorly in Quebec. There is no way that the NDP will support the restricting of spending power.

10/16/2007 4:52 PM  
Blogger James Bowie a dit...

Um, the lesson of the Ontario campaign was to not propose funding for religious schools during the writ period. Do you live in Ontario?

10/28/2007 7:03 AM  

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