Mr. Harper said, in announcing the prorogation, that the three 'national parties' must now work together to build a budget that focuses on the economy. Such conciliatory language is welcome. Canada deserves the best efforts of all 308 MPs in devising a plan that helps the country avert, or at least ameliorate, what many fear could amount to a painful depression, not just a recession.
Can we trust him to follow through? Coalition leaders have been quick to repeat their lack of confidence in the PM. In the heat of the moment, they're still talking about defeating the government. But they're also saying they'll continue to champion policies that deliver a strong economic stimulus. Judging by the coaliton's policy accord, their ideas have merit and should be given serious consideration. As one of Canada's most respected economic players said yesterday in Montreal, "Canada needs a government that provides massive stimulus to diminish the recessionary harm to the economy".
Mr. Dion has the right way of it. "Mr. Harper must now do as says he will do, not what he has done in the past." All Canadians must surely agree. Mr. Harper has one more chance to prove he's worthy to govern Canada.
Posted On Dec 06 09:10PM
runesmith, I absolutely agree. I couldn't agree more, in fact.
I'm still FURIOUS that Harper would dare raise the specter of separatism to save his own butt (at the expense of his country he claims to love so much).
What is he thinking? This is not good for the country and it is not good for his or his party's prospects in forthcoming elections in Quebec.
Another serious miscalculation.
Posted On Dec 04 11:02PM
I still find it astonishing that, even after all this, Stephen Harper refuses to accept any responsibility for this situation, or even admit that he may have miscalculated. All he had to do was say five simple words and he could have helped to defuse this entire situation:
"I WAS WRONG. I'M SORRY."
To me, the most compelling evidence that Stephen Harper will not do things any differently in the coming weeks is the fact that he doesn't think that he did anything wrong in the first place.
Posted On Dec 04 12:27PM
smiles, I was disappointed. The Bloc's suggestions for dealing with the economic crisis have been reasonable; Duceppe has never suggested they be adopted for Quebec only, and many of them would benefit all Canadians. So Harper's insistence that they have no role to play in putting a budget together is a low blow. He's needlessly fueling the fires of disunity, in my view, and the repercussions are likely to be negative for some time to come. Was it a sign that Harper simply cannot resist having at least one enemy, even as he talks friendship with the others? Perhaps ... if so, then my optimism for the new Parliament will be proven entirely without foundation.
Posted On Dec 04 12:02PM
Senator, what do you think about Harper's insistence that he'll only work with the Liberals and the NDP, leaving the Bloc out in the cold?
Posted On Dec 04 12:00PM
PenGwen, the coalition has succeeded -- they've forced Harper to say he'll turn around. The pressure is definitely now on him to produce an economic stimulus package, and should be kept there. I also think it's very bad for our system of democracy that Harper was allowed to avoid a confidence vote. So, the coalition is right to keep that threat alive.
I wonder if the GG actually did put conditions on the prorogation, and Harper's not telling us about them. If she said "I'll only do it if you work with the other parties", then that would explain why it took 2 hours for their meeting instead of the usual 2 minutes.
Posted On Dec 04 11:53AM
I was hoping to see the coalition succeed. Unlike some critics, I enjoyed Dion's speech last night. It was sincere and I saw the Dion I was wanting to see all throughout the election and last parliament for that matter. However, the HOC has moved in a different direction and although it was not the direction the coalition was hoping for, they must now do their best to work with the PM. I think you are right to say this is the PM's last chance. The coalition must remain strong in their convictions, should Mr. Harper not follow through with his promise to work together in Canadas best interest.
Posted On Dec 04 11:41AM
I am very disappointed. I would have preferred the GG to listen to 161 MPs who apparently sent her a signed letter expressing their non-confidence in the government. However, the coalition must not fall into the temptation of being as rigid as Harper usually is. They absolutely must be seen by Canadians to make the effort to work with Harper.
My guess is that Harper will soon abandon his latest 'nice' face. You've put the most optimistic interpretation on events; I'd like to believe the best possible outcomes will follow, but I'm more pessimistic than you are.