Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good, we need more piss and vinegar

Liberal MPs familiar with justice issues have been talking tough lately about not being willing to take a potential draconian Conservative crime agenda laying down:

Three Liberal members of the Commons justice committee are among the most adamant that the party will not stand by as the Conservative measures roll through the House.

Brian Murphy, a Liberal from New Brunswick, said it would be wrong to oppose bills that have not yet been seen by Parliament and they could be crafted in a way that the Liberals support.

But "I would say very clearly that abstaining as we did was not helpful in this election for me," he said. "And I would be very reluctant - given that I ran on the idea of being a fighter, being very strident, and having 16 years of always standing up for people - I would be very reluctant to abstain."

Larry Bagnell, a Liberal MP from the Yukon, said the question for both his party and the Conservative government will be whether these issues are serious enough to fight another election over.

"I can say that we will be making a strong case in our caucus against this bill, for sure," Mr. Bagnell said.

Derek Lee, a Toronto-area Liberal, said "there is no way I am going to sit on my hands. There is no way that these guys are going to get their way."

The Conservative plan is "an ignorant, uninformed vision" of the justice system and how it works, said Mr. Lee, adding that harsher penalties don't work because criminals don't know the precise sentences for the crimes they commit.

"I couldn't allow myself to vote in favour of such ill-advised legislation, whether they call it confidence or not."

It remains to be seen how the dynamic of this parliament will play out. If Harper decides to take a conciliatory approach, and show some willingness to give a little to get a little, then I think all the parties can work together to pass some good legislation on a number of issues. If he decides to be a jerk, and push through draconian crap we can’t support betting we’ll swallow it to avoid an election, then we’ll have some issues.

I think there is a thorough lack of appetite within Liberal circles for more abstention nonsense, no matter what the leadership situation. We should be willing to work with the other parties to improve and pass considered legislation. But if Harper tries to play games again, we should throw them back and his face and make clear we’ll vote no, confidence matter or not.

If it means an election, so be it. Coming so soon after an election though, one wonders if the GG would be so willing to grant a speedy dissolution…

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. More piss and vinegar like this from our caucus would be desirable. Ralph Goodale, I’m looking at you buddy.

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8 comments:

Carrie said...

I don't understand this worry about another election. Harper did not get that many votes. It was just that all the other votes were split among 3 or 4 other parties.

If the Liberals truly represent the majority of Canadians, or want to, they need to put this fear of election to bed. They need to stand up and vote no when anything is being passed with the Liberals KNOW Canadians don't agree with. That's what a proper elected party is supposed to do. Listen to the people. If they are voting no on something that doesn't matter much to Canadians, it will give them a lesson.

I'm really tired of the Liberal party being all about self-preservation instead of governing for the people. Is there nobody in that party left with a brain or sense of dedication to Canadians?

If they vote no on anything they know Canadians are against, and if it forces election, so what. Let Canadians vote again. It will tell us that we need to vote smarter and stop splitting votes. Or it will give the Liberals more seats and greater strength.

I don't think the Liberal party can or should continue avoiding their destruction by ignoring what they supposedly represent. Abstaining is ignoring the Canadian public. I won't vote for them again if they do that even once.

WesternGrit said...

If we are "on the ball", and are actually the first to respond the any new government measure, then, "yes we can" (to steal a now popular line) stop them. What the NDP and Bloc did last two years was to come out and oppose immediately after something was announced. Where were we? We should have said "no" first, and call the government's bluff. Let the NDP prop up the government.

The NDP is broke. Seriously broke. They cannot afford another national campaign. We can use that to our advantage by being the first to slam down idiotic Conservative proposals...

Koby said...

Look Carrie, if another election was held today the Liberals would loose and Harper would win. Is this "governing for the people"? Of course, not.

As for the law and order issue, the Conservatives are going to continue to kick the Liberals all over the lot. They want the Liberals to get all huffy about the Law and Order issue because they, rightly, think its a winner for them. The only recourse the Liberals have is not to get dumb when it comes to crime too. No, the Liberals need to promise to end the war on drugs by promising to legalize marijauna.

Dante said...

Koby is definitely on to something. There needs to be an alternative to battling crime that is not the status quo or the Liberals will get walloped over the issue.

Legalizing pot is more likely now that the new president was a former pot-head. The US would likely object far less. Who know...perhaps a deal can be made on trade liberalization ;-)

WesternGrit said...

We Liberals need to talk about the ECONOMICS of the Harper plan on crime. Talk about the millions of dollars/year on prisons. We need to have expert studies quoted regularly and often in our speeches...

Dollars mean more to voters than anything else (unfortunately)...

A BCer in Toronto said...

There's not the support within Canada, or within the LPC, for legalization. Decriminalization yes, legalization no.

Koby said...

BCer you flat wrong. The last three polls showed that a majority of Canadians supported Legalization, 53, 51, 55% and opposition was in the high 30s. As for Liberal supporters, Liberal voters overwhelming favor legalization. 69-27 if memory serves. The Conservatives are going use the crime issue to beat the Liberals like a bunch of sea monkeys. You know it. I know it. The media knows it. The Liberals have two choices. They can take aim at being “cool” again or they can be validate the Conservative position, and in so doing hand the Conservative party a major victory, by becoming Conservative light on crime.

MississaugaPeter said...

It seems Dion is adding some "piss and vinegar"...

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2008/11/06/7329121-cp.html

And from the same article, it seems Gerard and Rae are backing Vancouver as the site for the Liberal Leadership Convention.