Rae said Harper is assuming the Liberals will support the deal, or at least absent themselves from a vote that could bring down the government, rather than risk an election before a new leader is chosen on Dec. 3.
But he said the Liberals must not fall into Harper’s trap.
“The Liberal party cannot under any circumstances allow our own internal issues to get in the way of focusing on the importance of this question in the House of Commons,” said Rae, who once served as legal counsel to the Free Trade Lumber Council.
“This is a terrible deal. It should not pass. It should not be allowed to pass. If the prime minister is saying there will be an election over this deal, I would like nothing better than an election on the issue of Stephen Harper’s relationship — or perhaps I should say Steve Harper’s relationship — to George Bush,” Rae said, referring to Bush’s new nickname for Harper.
Rae said the Liberal party could move up the date of its leadership convention, among other options, if it needed to install a leader quickly to fight an election. (emphasis added)
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Rae urges leaderless Liberals to risk election, over the softwood lumber deal, that is: