Friday, November 28, 2008

CP: Conservatives back down on controversial party funding changes

And just as I'm posting the entry below, this news crosses the wire. While it will take some of the piss and vinegar out of the opposition, it won't be enough. The Conservatives still need to address a) the public sector strike ban, and b) speed up stimulus.

Conservatives back down on controversial party funding changes
Source: The Canadian Press - Broadcast wire
Nov 28, 2008 11:17

OTTAWA - The Conservative government says an incendiary plan to strip political parties of their public financing won't be included in a confidence vote on the fall fiscal update.

Government sources say only tax measures will be part of the ways and means motion that parliamentarians will vote upon on Monday.

It's a sharp reversal for the minority government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

When the fiscal update was delivered on Thursday, government officials and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressly stated the party financing measures would be considered matters of confidence.

But with the Liberals and New Democrats in deep discussions about a potential coalition government should the Tories be defeated, the Conservatives are pulling back.

The party financing measures would effectively gut the opposition parties, who are far more dependent on public subsidies than is the Conservative party.

(The Canadian Press)

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Greg said...

Looks like Harper's blinking... albeit slowly...

bigcitylib said...

Glad that happened cuz I was, like, totally bluffing.

Barcs said...

Blink... or rather a wink.. maybe.

The opposition parties spent the past almost 24 hours telling us how bad the fiscal update package was because it didn't contain a stimulus component. They ran around waving their arms in the air, called in the big guns Chretien and Brodbent etc and told us how if there wasn't stimulus attached they won't vote for it.

But with Harper's blink (wink) .... he backed up 2 steps and outflanked the opposition again.

The hand wringing has never been about the fiscal update, its all about doing away with the 1.95. (In my opinion atleast).

And this latest move by the Tories will expose it as such when the opposition back off the coalition talks and one votes with the update.

Once more proof pops up that it isn't just Harper that is putting partisan politics ahead of governing.

"Without a stimulus plan we will bring down this government!!!"

I've got some ocean front property to sell ya in Saskatchewan still.

Loraine Lamontagne said...

I don't think that what Harper has set in motion can be stopped. This government is going down - no matter what. Harper can blink all he wants - from the opposition benches.

Glen said...

Not good enough; there has to be a stimulus package.

penlan said...

Yep, they are NOT backing down! This is so good to hear as it's about time some level-headed people ran this govt.

The Rat said...

"This is so good to hear as it's about time some level-headed people ran this govt."

Like whom? Jack? Libby Davies? Pat Martin? Olivia Chow? Are these the level headed people you're planning on having in government? Honestly, I can hardly wait.

Oh, just one question, with all the open Senate seats does Dion fill them all immediately? Will there 33% Dippers in those appointment? Just wonderin' . . .

Jeff said...

The NDP doesn't want Senate seats, they want it abolished. Paul Martin offered then Senate appointments when he appointed a number of non-Liberals, including Hugh Segal. The NDP said no. IIRC Martin appointed a former NDPer, who sits as an independent NDPer and isn't recognized by the NDP caucus.

Jeff said...

barcs, the opposition isn't backing down. And now the Cons can't say it's opportunism, because they've taken the financing off the table. Care to try again?

Barcs said...

care to try again?


It is completely opportunism (by both sides).

Harper only said that the financing motion won't be voted on within the package of the fiscal update.

Obviously he took it out to be voted on as a separate motion later.. soon after, or long after. The opposition know, or atleast believe it to be still on the agenda for this session.

Which is why they must continue with talk of coalition or atleast defeat the government now before they are forced to vote on the motion asking if they want to keep their entitlements.

And while we are on the topic of coalitions......

Wasn't it only a few weeks ago that Dion asserted that NDP fiscal policy was based on monopoly money?

Not to mention what Bob Rae thinks of Layton:

Here is a nice shot of Dion on CTV campaigning...... "No Coalition... Period":

We even know how LAyton came to view such a coalition on the day before the vote:

So what changed? Did the NDP suddenly become good economic managers? Did Layton suddenly become enamored with Dion? Is it really possible that the liberals would give the NDP what they want in 1/3 of the cabinet including environment and finance?

Or is it just that they want to: "Defeat the government now before Harper forces us to vote on our own future and we are forced to support one of two choices that bode badly for us (someone help us... please)"

Maybe we could all curl back up into the fetal position and go back to the Martin/Dion tantric chant..... "Canadians don't want an election, Canadian's don't want an election"

Barcs said...

Here you go: CTV and CBC both asked the question about the funding being cut in their online polls. And both came up with the reason that the liberals must defeat the government before the tories force them to vote on a bill containing the same question.

Should the government slash public funding for federal parties?

Should public subsidies that Canada's five major political parties receive be scrapped?

Jeff said...

barcs, online polls? really? come on man, we both know better, don't we? and those questions assumed the financing being part of the ways and means vote on the economic update, so they're out of date with today's back-down.

Jeff said...

Harper only said that the financing motion won't be voted on within the package of the fiscal update.

And that it won't be a confidence matter. Therefore, nothing to do with the push to form a coalition.

As for things said in the past, do you really want to go down that route? Familiarize yourself with what Harper said on deficits a few weeks ago during the campaign. Stephen Harper has "pragmatically re-evaluated circumstances" far too many times for such attacks to be taken seriously by anyone.

Barcs said...

"Stephen Harper has "pragmatically re-evaluated circumstances" far too many times for such attacks to be taken seriously by anyone."

You know as well as I do that noone will pay any attention to it,.. just like the flip flop on the coalition,... or childcare, or GST or etc etc etc.

But why would it being a confidence matter... matter? as far as the coalition anyway? Its not about going back to an election, its about pushing the opposition to admit they are not relevant enough to Canadians that Canadians are willing to support them when it counts. As I have said in places like here:

Ideas are just a function of supply and demand and those that people feel strongly about will thrive while those that are not inspiring will fade away. Subsidizing them only serves to stagnate the process and prevent influx of new ideas or exiting of old ones. The attack on democracy is not the removal of the funding but the fact that it is there at all.

And yest I know what we think of online polls,... but I figgered it would be ok,... one of them being the Liberal homepage and all.