Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why did the Opposition do it?

The big question of the day  has to be: Is the Opposition crazy?

I mean, it makes total sense for the Conservatives to want an election this spring. The polls look good, the country is in no mood to change governments,  the Liberals are weak. It all adds up to a Tory majority.

But why are the NDP and Liberals so eager to pull the plug? Yes, they look and sound confident, but General Custer probably looked and sounded confident before he took on Sitting Bull.

The answer, I think is the Opposition parties are victims of their own over-heated partisan rhetoric. For two years, they have been telling Canadians the Harper government was pushing a reckless "right wing agenda", that it was trampling our democratic institutions, that it was ethically challenged, etc.

In the process, they revved up their base, made them eager to take down the big bad Tories.

In other words, they painted themselves into a corner with their own words. Had NDP leader Jack Layton or Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff failed to oppose the budget after all their tough talk, they would have come across as wimps, undermined their credibility and angered their own supporters.

The Harper Tories understood this and manipulated the situation to their advantage. (Make no mistake, the Conservatives wanted the Opposition to oppose their budget.)

One other mystery is why did Layton show his cards on budget day? Why didn't he drag out the drama for a day or two just to ensure himself more publicity?

After all, once he declared he would oppose the budget, he went, in just a few minutes, from being the "most important man in Canada" to just the leader of a fourth place party.

The answer is probably internal politics. I suspect Layton's MPs were split between election doves and hawks. Perhaps Layton worried his party's unity might crack under the intense media scrutiny that would result with his playing coy.

By declaring he would oppose the budget, Layton, in effect, burned his bridges. His MPs would show unity whether they liked it or not.

Not that it matters now.

All that matters now is we are very likely heading into a federal election.

Should be fun.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nicholls, I think you are missing another point.

I think the Liberals are also using $300,000,000 of Canadians' hard earned money to get rid of Ignatieff.

The culture of Liberal entitlements continues and we're paying for it.

Anonymous said...

The coalition want to take down the Govt so they can replace it with Liberals/ NDP and the Block, that why. The fix is in.This is their "hidden agenda" coming forward. They have been working towards this for months with the help of the media and CBC/CTV re: faux scandals that add up to nothing below the surface, regardless of the media hype.
The kitchen table is out the kitchen window for self interests.

Ontario Girl

Anonymous said...

I think Mr Nicholls is bang on, and, I also think what we are witnessing is the begining of the NDP/Liberal merger.

"Expert" Tom said...

Basically Layton and Ignatieff have been forced by Ray and Mulcair into this. Either they go to an election and hope (pray) that they can keep the CPC to minority and form a coalition to keep their jobs or the knives are pulled out and a very bloody coup occurs. Either way its all cake for the CPC.

ward said...

Ontario Girl has it bang on.

The opposition know if not now then never.

This is all about the opposition gambling that another minority Conservative government will be the outcome and they will push their coalition agenda hard - how can they be refused a second time when 60% of Canadians still don't want a Conservative govt will be the angel.

And the media will be pimping hard for them.

The Oda "scandal" was the first act. It was supposed to be a coup d' etat, leading right up to the PMO.

Except it was an abysmal failure which anyone put a partisan Liberal hack can see was nothing more than kangaroo court with media support.

But despite that failure they are still going to force an election. They just have no grounds to really do so on, but they are anyway. Coalition.

The longer Harper stays in power the more popular he becomes.

This is the last chance the opposition will ever get to gain power in Canada for at least a decade, and by then the civil service will be remade.

Anonymous said...

if the coalition of idiots think that Harper has been pushing a reckless right-wing agenda I'd hate to see what they consider a non-reckless left wing agenda; hope I never find out

Anonymous said...

I thought the Liberals needed the subsidy money they get when there is an election because they are so broke.

Layton probably figures it is better to go against Iggy than Rae.

Edmund Onward James said...

I watched TVO last night and though Lawrencce Martin irritates me at times and I question Paikin at other times... Martin hit it right about why.

http://onwardjames.blogspot.com/2011/03/canadians-ready-for-federal-election.html

AToryNoMore said...

As a lifelong rght of centre voter, I couldn't care less how Harper is dealt with at the polls other than he loses, the mega defecit creating conservatives lose and the party starts all over again after dumping the non conservative, so called conservatives.

Alain said...

AToryNoMore, I suggest you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. As non conservative as you think Harper is, try giving a wee bit of thought to what the alternative offers.

Anonymous said...

As an immigrant to this country and now a Canadian citizen, my question is this: Why do Canadians tolerate traitors in Parliament? The Bloc are out to do one thing only, and that is is take Quebec out of Canada and become the ruling party of the Republic of New France. Yet, we allow them to sit in the House of Commons and vote on national issues which, in truth, are of no real interest to them.

Indeed, how can anyone take Canadian politics seriously at all when countless prime minister and prime minister is either simply not interested or too afraid to deal with these traitors?

Mike said...

Re : AToryNoMore , Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out !

Anonymous said...

Bye Bye Ignatiaff.Nice knowing you.The Bloc is the major reason to vote tory.Libs,Bloc and NDP all weak divided and lack any type of leadership, except raising taxes of course.

Joshua

gimbol said...

To Anon 3:40

There is a little factoid that you need to know about this wonderful country you've decided to call home.
Those folks that call themselves separatists do so for only one reason, and its anything but gaining an independant Quebec.
They don't want to separate, they only want to scare the rest of Canada into giving into their demands for more money.

AToryNoMore said...

I cant wait for the Liberals to assume the role of fiscal conservatives just as they had to do back in the nineties after our mamoth conservative defecit.

Odd isnt it? Conservatives offering a liberal budgets and liberals being fiscal conservatives mopping up the economic debt mess.

Anonymous said...

I was watching CTV's Canada AM this morning. They have a daily question where people respond. Yesterdays was who will you vote for in the upcoming election...66% are voting Conservative!!
Beverly and Omar (the hosts) were astounded by that number.
And what were some of the comments?
Why are we having an election?
No need for an election etc...
As long as there is no Harper misstep we are looking at a Conservative majority.
Gerry I do believe you are correct, the Conservatives have played this well.

Anonymous said...

This looks like an internal Liberal coup by the Bob Rae camp. Their plan: get rid of Iggy after a disasterous showing in the election, take over the party, then merge it with the NDP, creating a left of centre party so desired by the downtown imbeciles in every Canadian city.

Anonymous said...

"As long as there is no Harper misstep we are looking at a Conservative majority."

BWAHAHAHAHA no conservative misstep..that's hilarious! Just watch Harper the political incompetent blow it. Then it's 'bye Steve, hello real conservatism.'

Frank said...

What has become abundantly clear from the bizarre election call is that:

Ignatieff is an intellectual and Harper is intelligent ... not the same thing.