The neocons have done the impossible and have managed to largely exclude their normal partisanship and opportunism from this budget.
What does this tell me:
- Harper is under extreme pressure form the caucus and the party executives to tone it down a little since the ramrod approach clearly isn’t working with the vast majority of Canadians.
- They accept that their government is a minority and any budget items that would have pushed the limits of their situation would not be accepted by the House. In other words, they are trying to at least give the semblance of governing like a minority government.
- They are a bit scared about the outcome of another general election should the Grits push them that far.
What should Iggy do?
- Pump out his chest and say that dang-nab-it, we cannot support this thing in its current form but here are a few minor amendments that would make it more palatable… then, yeah, we’ll grudgingly support it.
- Build up the profile of his party and himself over the next 16-18 months. This will buy some time to sell the Liberals as a real alternative to the neocons and will also buy some time to build up the Grit treasury.
This budget should pass. The coalition idea, although appealing on many fronts does not have broad base support and, while it would stand for the short term, would harm the Grits for many years to come in the long term.
Plus, the country really does not need another election right now.
Do the right thing Iggy. It really ain’t so bad. And this is one long-time Grit who will support you on it.
In other news… talks broke down between the City and the ATU… yet again.