Friday, February 19, 2010

The budget games begin

And the nation rolled its collective eyes: Layton and Harper meet to discuss the upcoming budget. Had the distinct feeling when reading these reports on Harper and Layton meeting that this minority parliament play acting is just sooo over. How many times have we seen this from Harper? I suppose we could be nice, but come on. Harper tries to look like he's being cooperative, the NDP tries to boost itself among the opposition parties. What would be really nice would be if there were a governing party that genuinely worked with the others instead of engaging in four years of gamesmanship and partisanship.

Apparently there was some loosey-goosey feel good agreement verbalized about the need to create jobs. Uh huh. The question is what the budget will do about that task. What are we at, about 300,000 jobs lost since late fall of 2008? And an expensive, deficit creating Economic Action Plan that's created an unknown number of jobs along the way. There's no progress reporting from the government on that. That's the record. So let's wait for the specifics rather than putting much stock in present machinations.

One other item to take note of here:
Conservatives say that while Harper has never struck a deal with a political opponent to win support for any of his government's previous four budgets, there may be more of a willingness to include something in the budget that could provide other parties with the political cover they might need to vote in favour of the budget.

"There is some appetite to incorporate something the opposition parties could hug on to and say, well, at least there's this," said a Conservative political aide, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Note that first highlighted part. Why hasn't he ever sought cooperation on his prior budgets? It's not a point of pride in a minority parliament. The my way or the highway thing has never gotten him closer to the promised majority land but he has never learned. On the latter point, that they're supposedly willing, now, to extend olive branches at this budget time, it's just so difficult to believe any signals from this government. We've seen this movie before and we still don't like it.