I hesitate to kill more virtual trees over analyzing the May/Dion thing but I'll say this, in typical Liberal fashion: it will either go really well, or really badly.
The more I think about it though, the more I think it's a good, although risky move. On reflection I think the whole running in each riding thing is more important to politicos than it is to regular Canadians. The one part I still have trouble with is the plight of the Liberals in Central Nova, I know if this happened in my riding I'd be pissed. Hopefully I'd get over it, but I'd be pissed.
I certainly understand the objections of Liberals that have concerns with the move, like my friend Ted. I don't agree with them all, but I understand. I think though that, as I said, what we as political junkies feel is important aren't necessarily what most Canadians feel is important.
And I think most Canadians are tired of the partisanship and the rancor of three years of minority governments. They don't care about long-held political traditions, they have other things on their mind. But they do see politicians as increasingly childish, and they want to see politicians try to work together. I think they'll welcome, and applaud, moves in that direction.
If, that is, the messaging is done right here. The spin war has already begun, the battle for the hearts and minds if you will. Hopefully we can pull this one off. As I said, it will go well (seen as working together for the greater good) or it will go badly (seen as political opportunism). Time will tell.
This certainly seems to have many grand Liberal mucky-mucks upset, given the large number of anonymous “senior Liberals” being quoted by the gossip columnists. Pretty chickenshit to be hiding be hiding anonymity to make comments like: "In Monty Python lexicon -- we are the silly party." Anyway, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this “insiders” nonsense, their motivations are far from pure.
I did laugh out loud (it deserved to be spelled out rather than LOL'd) at this line though:
The criticism from senior Liberals also focuses on what this deal says to the grassroots...Yes, because senior Liberal insiders have always been sooooooo in touch and concerned with the grassroots before. Trust me friends, the grassroots are liking this.
That brings me to the Conservatives, who for some reason sent Monte Solberg out to spin on this one. I thought it was a pretty weak performance, and this bit was particularly amusing:
He also says Dion must explain to Canadians whether he endorses the entire Green Party platform - and agrees with them that Canada should leave the North American Free Trade Agreement.Yeah, hey, look over there! Sponsorship, and what not! Pay no attention to the man behind the mirror, or my logical contortions! Oppsy.
The Tories have co-operated with the Bloc Quebecois to pass their budget and keep Parliament alive.
But Solberg quickly dismissed a suggestion that - by his own logic - that means the Conservatives could be accused of supporting Quebec independence.
"The Bloc Quebecois thinks it's in the interest of Quebec to support the Conservative budget and we agree with that. This is about Stephane Dion's leadership," Solberg said.
The Cons though only see this as an opportunity to gain some ground though, they don't stand to lose from the Dion/May deal.
Now, the NDP on the other hand...which would explain Jack Layton's rather angry response. Long story short, he's threatened. He needn't have been, it seems May wanted to work with him to and he refused to take her calls. One hopes if we ever see the kind of electoral reform the NDP advocates, he'd be more willing to work with the other progressive parties.
I can't blame him though for trying to maximize his gains under the current system. Disappointing, but entirely understandable. I will, however, say this. If we're picking dance partners and the Liberals and Greens are doing the tango, I wouldn't want to be the NDP left on the dance floor with the Harper Conservatives... Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers