Friday, February 27, 2009

Return to form...took about a month

In addition to his taunts of the opposition as "soft on crime" yesterday while in B.C., the PM brought out the really good nuclear stuff, threatening another election! Here's the clip (within first minute) and here's the report, "Harper demands MPs put rush on $3-billion in stimulus spending."

There's not much one really needs to say about the whole dynamic here. The Conservatives are in a box of their own making. Denied the country was in economic trouble through the fall election campaign, produced a partisan and misleading fall economic update that wrongly represented a surplus position for the government, prorogued parliament...the delay on stimulus spending is something they now wear. If you watch the clip, the PM's self-induced frustration is understandable. But the threat attached to it is not. Consider the reaction:
Strategic Counsel pollster Peter Donolo said it makes no sense for Mr. Harper to stir up election talk right now, particularly with the economy listing. “I don't think you should be threatening an election when you're dropping in the polls,” he said.

“It's difficult for a combative politician to always mind his Ps and Qs ... [but] sometimes they can't help themselves.”

The $3-billion fund will be part of an interim supply bill to be voted on by March 26 and, although the Liberals are supporting the 2009 stimulus budget, Mr. McCallum said they've not yet committed to backing the supply bill – which is also a confidence vote.

Mr. McCallum said he wasn't willing to give Mr. Harper a pass yesterday and said the Tory Leader's “super-aggressive” bully tactics were puzzling and irritating. He said if the Tories had moved sooner to offer stimulus spending – last fall, for instance, when other countries acted – then there wouldn't be a rush now.

“We don't want to penalize Canadians for this laziness on the part of the government, but neither are we going to cave to pressure from Stephen Harper to do what he wants us to do,” Mr. McCallum said.
Prediction, some kind of a climb down off the ledge. Big misread of the present mood where there is little appetite for threatening, my-way-or-the-highway politicians. Very "un-Obaman" in fact!