Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Breaking the golden rule

The golden rule of leading a minority government: You have to come up with compromises that people outside of your own party will vote for.

This is why Harper is going down.

In the end, it's not about party financing. It's not even about the lack of a stimulus package, although the (still) opposition needs to pretend it is. It's about the last two years of the Liberals rubber-stamping everything the Conservatives wanted to do, with no interparty consultation beforehand except on Afghanistan. It's about hearing the Conservatives claim in the first week after the election that they wanted to make this minority parliament work right, and people actually getting their hopes up that it could maybe, just maybe, be different this time around, only to have them dashed when the Conservatives tried to ram controversial things through yet again without even a whiff of consultation outside of his caucus. It's about saying that Stephen Harper's had his chance to actually govern like the head of a minority parliament, and he blew it.

It's about saying enough is enough. It's about saying: "You can't lead a minority government, but we can."

[Update: The Globe's Lawrence Martin says the same thing, more eloquently.]


Anonymous said...

I like how you linked all this turmoil retrospectively to the Liberals past "rubber stamping." It makes me feel like those past two gut-wrenching years weren't all for nothing. Good post, IP.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

The golden rule of leading a minority government: You have to come up with compromises that people outside of your own party will vote for.

If we could get that through our heads, then I'd be for all-minorities, all the time.

Tyrone said...

I'm more optimistic about a coalition. It's hard to see it any worse than the Conservative government, and the Liberals' leaderless state will sideline them at first.

Even later on, the presence of a detailed accord, worked out in advance, gives the government an agenda to work from. This would likely provide much more coherence than the divided Liberals or inexperienced NDP could provide alone.

For the NDP, having cabinet seats gives them a legitimacy they've never had before, while being a junior partner prevents them from making the silly inexperienced mistakes they made in Ontario in the 1990s. This may be the chance of a lifetime for them.

Rick Grimm said...

Here, here! I look forward to seeing 10 NDP cabinet ministers in a coalition government. My truest deepest hope is that a coalition not only forms but works!

I'll be keeping my eyes on your posts as this develops :)

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

I actually wrote something similar on my train ride up from Philly this morning...

Oh well. It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

Then it's a sport.