Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I only half agree...

Peter Kent in today's Globe and Mail makes some interesting points while advocating that Ignatieff should not trigger an election in 2009.

However, his argument hits a major stumbling block when he writes:

Adding political uncertainty to the mix could only worsen our economic troubles. A responsible opposition would recognize that, for the present, steadiness is more important than changing the government through the conflict of election campaigning.

Well, perhaps, but such an act on the part of a "responsible" opposition only goes as far as the the governing party acting in a responsible fashion itself - something which we have not seen Mr. Harper's party do much of.

One can hardly call Harper's 'FU Canada' in November responsible government - it was a cheap partisan play, no more, no less. Given the times, it was among the most irresponsible things he could have done.

Such a statement would not give Mr. Harper a blank cheque. Further outrages would compel the coalition to defeat the government. But short of those, it should be held accountable not through daily debate and polling, but after enough time for the people to remake their electoral assessment.

I'm sorry, but debate in the House of Commons is very much a part of how any government is held to account. We should not lose sight of this reality - especially when the HarperCon$ are showing us a government even less accountable than that of Brian Mulroney's. Accountability is not just what happens at the ballot box, Mr. Kent - it happens every day that the house sits, and sit the house must.

Now, more than ever, it is vital to Canadians that Harper be held to his original commitment to "Open, Accountable Government", not the partisan shenanigans he has been playing since 2006.

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