Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Harper Backs Dion into a Corner, Yet Again

For the third time in as many weeks, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has taken advantage of a gun shy official opposition to aggressively advance his agenda.

First it was a throne speech that thumbed its nose at opposition demands on the environment and the Afghan mission. Then the government put an election gun to the head of the other parties to ensure passage of its law-and-order policies. Now it will be implementing a GST cut that has been criticized by most economists and all the opposition parties.

Yesterday's economic statement was designed to launch the Conservatives' campaign strategy, big tax cuts. It may have been more appropriate to wait until the Spring Budget but with the large surplus and a weak opposition, why wait. Harper would dearly love to campaign on $60 billion tax cut package.

Although their record has been only fair, wrap some significant tax cuts and it will look dramatically better to voters when they go to the polls. The only question is when will the government "fall". The Bloc and NDP quickly announced they would vote against the GST cut. So again the Liberals will be backed into a corner and will either choose to abstain or be absent for votes which prevents an election but continues to ensure that the Conservatives' agenda is advanced.

Who says minority governments don't work.

UPDATE: Liberals ended up abstaining at today's non-confidence vote on the mini-budget.

No comments: