Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The king of partisanship

Imagine disdainful bluster from a guy like this:
Dion said that while he opposes plans for the additional GST cut, he and the Liberals did not bring the government down over the mini-budget because they feel Canadians do not want another election.

Earlier, during question period, as Dion accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of breaking a number of promises, Harper referred to Dion as the "king of abstention" — a reference to the Liberals' decision to abstain on the speech from the throne and now the mini-budget.

He said Dion on Monday had "drawn a line in the sandbox, the line was that he would never tolerate an increase in the GST, and today's he's gonna let one pass.

"Imagine lectures from a guy like that."
Dion's focussed on the substance of the GST cut and what it would mean for the future. He's set out his objections and why. Most economists agree with Dion. In our parliamentary system, he's free to lead his party to vote as they like, not as Harper would like. And what the Liberals would like right now is not to give majority-crazed Harper the election he so desperately wants as demonstrated by the Conservatives gaming the system to throw as much bait at Dion as they possibly can. Not takin' it and it's drivin' the Conservatives batty.

Harper's comments, in response to legitimate questions, are mocking, condescending and focussed on the procedural games that his party is leading the charge with. It's an instructive contrast that's being drawn.