Thursday, April 30, 2009

Liberals: stop blaming the NDP for your problems.

This has been said many times before: Liberals got nothing for propping up the Conservatives. Nothing. No concessions. No progressive policies. Nada. The empty sausage.

The NDP have realized that the government can't be defeated as long as the Liberals keep voting to support them, a situation which doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. For the slow amongst you: that means it's your fault that Harper is still Prime Minister. So, what are the NDP to do? The only thing an opposition party can do in a minority parliament: the NDP are trying to apply pressure to the Conservatives to get something useful accomplished. As of yet, the NDP have not done anything to "prop up" the Conservatives -- and may never do so.

Some arithmetic, just for fun. Cons+BQ = majority. Cons+NDP = majority. Cons+Liberals = majority. The NDP and BQ are power brokers in this Parliament, just as the Liberals are. The votes of any of the other three parties would be sufficient to keep the Cons alive. Right now, the Cons have no incentive to deal with the NDP or the BQ, as the Liberals are helping them stay afloat. If the Liberals were to change their minds, though, I'm sure Harper wants to have a backup plan. Smart money would be that we'll see the BQ/Con alliance return, as the BQ's support is not that hard to get. However, the NDP might have an ace in the hole in the form of an informal BQ/NDP alliance, which would get some genuinely progressive policies passed.

Now, there are enough votes between the NDP and the BQ that this could have been a Liberal government. The Liberals have decided to sit this Parliament out, and so it's up to the NDP and/or the BQ to get the Conservatives to do some serious work for Canadians. That's the reality of the situation that the Liberals created when they walked away from the coalition accord. Again, keep in mind: it's your fault that Stephen Harper is still Prime Minister. Trying to blame Jack Layton for your own errors makes your party look ridiculous.

Given that the Liberals aren't polling anywhere near majority territory, I wouldn't be too quick if I were a Liberal to cast aspersions on the NDP and BQ supporting a government in exchange for getting policies they find valuable. After all, it's entirely possible that after another election, the NDP and BQ will decide that Harper as PM is more likely to pass the legislation that they want, and leave Ignatieff out in the cold.


Robert McClelland said...

Shorter Liberals to NDP and Bloc: Hey, stop looking at my girlfriend.

ADHR said... Well put. ;)

Chet Scoville said...

Well, to be really cynical about it, the Liberals did gain one thing: time. They managed to be out of power when the financial crisis hit, thereby avoiding the appearance of responsibility for it.

ADHR said...

True. But aren't they then going to have to take responsibility for fixing it? Or is the idea to stay out of power until all crisis has passed? (Which, one would think, would work in Harper's favour -- successfully weathering the storm and all that.)

Chrystal Ocean said...

Great post. Great points. Couldn't have said it better myself.

James Bowie said...

Jack Layton voted to defeat the Martin government. Wouln't you rather have national daycare, Kyoto, the Atlantic Accord, and the Kelowna Accord?

ADHR said...

If Martin couldn't sell the NDP on national daycare, why is that the NDP's fault? That should've been an easy thing to get the NDP to support. So why couldn't the Martin government do it?