I'm sorry, but Jason and Bryon Wilfert are wrong. Unless the speech from the throne includes something dramatically unexpected, like state-run day care institutions for all, then the Liberals are going to have to vote against it. And all our MPs had better be in their seats.
The Liberals are “never afraid of a fight” but should not pull the plug on the minority Conservative government to trigger a fall election, says Toronto-area MP Bryon Wilfert, a close confidant of Opposition leader Stephane Dion.I don't know if Wilfert, who was one of Dion's few original caucus supporters for the leadership, was freelancing here or if he was asked by higher-ups to float a trial balloon. I hope it's the former and not the latter, because I think this is a really bad idea.
Wilfert proposes an unusual tactic of partial abstention by the Liberals if they have the deciding vote among the opposition parties on a confidence motion over the government’s Oct. 16 speech from the throne. “We could register our displeasure without bringing down the government,” he said.
It's time to fish or cut bait. The Liberals, at this point, can no longer afford to be seen as propping-up this Conservative government. Particularly if the NDP and BQ both vote no. We will be pilliored by our base and by the undecided/swing voters we need if we're going to gain seats.
It would be different if there were to be something substantial in the speech to support. But there's not going to be. Now, more than ever, Harper wants a fall election. If we vote for the speech only because we don't want an election now our credibility in the eyes of Canadians will be shot. It will be done.
The fact is, the Harper government no longer has a mandate, and to let it continue governing would be an abdication of our responsibility to Canadians. It's time for the Canadian people to have their say on where we go from here, and we can't be the ones to deny them that say.
And a partial abstention? Ludicrous. I don't care if the Cons have done it before. We're some 18 or 19 months into a rudderless Conservative government. The time for such tactical moves is early in a government, not this late in a minority mandate. Such a move would just confirm to all that we're weak, scared, in internal conflict, and willing to do or say anything to avoid going to the polls. Including abdicating our duties as official opposition to the BQ and the NDP. Who would, by the way, have a field day. Particularly Jack Layton. Get ready for round three of 'not a leader' ads, brought to you by the Cons AND the NDP.
A fall election isn't ideal obviously. And it won't be easy. However, we're backed into a corner, and we don't really have a choice. Also, it's the best thing for us. An election will force the party to stop this petty bullshit and come together, and I think with the exception of Quebec we are together and ready to go. We're in good shape in the polls, we have some good issues to hammer the Cons on, and we have some good growth potential across the country.
What we need is a strong push from the leader to rally around the standard, and a strong policy vision to articulate to Canadians, a different vision for the country, an alternative vision to the Harper lack thereof.
The fact is, there is going to be a fall election. The sooner we all accept that and get to work, the better. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers