Friday, June 24, 2005


Last night, the Liberals organized an alliance with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois to get the Bill C-48 amendment to the federal budget through. Basically, they got the NDP and Bloc to agree that the Conservatives were being 'obstructionist' in regards to this bill.

Sure enough, the Conservatives squawked about the deal (which strikes me as very much a well-organized ambush in many dimensions):

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, who was forced to rush back, blasted the three-way alliance.

"When push comes to shove, the Liberals will make any deal with anybody," Harper said after the vote. "And it doesn't matter whether it's with the socialists or with the separatists or any bunch of crooks they can find. That's how they govern the country."

Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay also expressed his outrage over the political manoeuvring.

"It's a very sour end to an acrimonious and bitter session and does not bode well for the future workings of Parliament. If this is the kind of diabolical, sneaky, treacherous, behind-the-scenes activities that are going to go on..."

Okay - the Conservatives were caught off-guard. It wasn't dirty pool - it was pretty ordinary politics. Under Brian Mulroney, the Conservatives invoked closure more times than most care to count. (To the howls of protest from the opposition Liberals at the time) It's notable that to this point, the Conservatives have had the Bloc "on their side" in the house. I don't know what changed, but it's a hint as to how well the Conservatives are adapting to the thrust and parry of deal-making in a minority parliament.

The blogosphere is surprisingly quiet about last night's budget vote. Conservative blogs seem to be more worried about comedian Rick Mercer's recent skewering of Jason Kenney. Apparently they don't like the idea that "" happens to point to Egale Canada's website (it previously pointed to the Marxist-Leninist Party website).

Of course, Mercer did this after Jason Kenney lectured Don Boudria over domain names when a religious conservative group acquired "" to use in their campaign against same gender marriage.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

Personally I think it's hilarious. It surprises me how humourless the Conservative party's supporters have become. Suddenly Mercer is "unoriginal", "unfunny" and "partisan". Even Jason Kenney seems to have taken the jibe in stride - an article in the Calgary Sun quoted him as saying he thought the joke was "hilarious".


Anonymous said...

Mayhap they have forgotten the definition of "partisan" politics.

It is much like a game of "Civilization" where alliances are formed and fall, what is convenient for the moment to forward immediate shared goals results in alliance, and allies turn against each other as the wind changes the direction it blows.

Right now it seems to be an ill wind for the Conservatives - we can welcome a new majority to the floor. But, this too will change - most likely as quickly as weather in Alberta.

Grog said...

I expect it will last until bill C-38 is dealt with in the house. After that, it's mostly a matter of time before the opposition parties topple the government.

(Of course, after summer break, most people will no longer care about C-38 - the world will still be there, more or less unchanged from its past)