2006/02/16

Are the Liberals bluffing?

Media pundits have postulated, post-election,that the Liberals will do nothing in the coming year to upset the Harper minority. Given that they will be in the process of selecting a new leader for most of the next year, on the surface that seemed a reasonable assumption.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, interim Liberal leader Bill Graham has declared that the Liberals are unwilling to prop up Harper and will hold the Conservatives' feet to the fire. Graham said he will not be afraid to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government, even though the Liberal Party will spend much of the year in a leadership race.

He further declared that Harper must either accommodate Liberal positions on key issues such as child care and income-tax cuts or turn to the New Democratic Party and Bloc Québécois for support in the House of Commons.

Graham said the Liberals intend to push their vision of child care — transfers to provinces to create subsidized daycare spaces — over the Conservative plan to send monthly cheques to parents. The Liberals will also oppose Harper's pledge to cut the GST, if it means a reversal of Liberal government income-tax cuts, he said. "When they find out the consequences of this, people are going to be astonished."

Since the NDP has already stated its opposition to the Conservative daycare initiative and announced its intenetion to introduce a new daycare Act in the new Parliament, this sets the scenme for an interesting confrontation.

The key question is: are the Liberals bluffing? Are they willing to take a chance on the Harper government falling early and hope to repeat Trudeau's feat of 1980 or are they just blowing smoke? I think they're bluffing. What do you think?

5 comments:

Liberal No More said...

Yep, i think they are bluffing. Paul Martin is no Pierre Trudeau and Bill Graham is no wily Allan MacEachen getting rid to bait the trap for the Conservatives.

Chuckercanuck said...

I hope not!

Henry said...

I tend to believe that they are not bluffing. They are arrogant enough to believe that they can bring down the government early in the game, bring back Martin from the wilderness, and get a majority.
They did it before didn't they? The Canadian people fell for it once, they might fall for it again.

cardinal47 said...

Henry, I regret to say it but you might be right particularly if Harper ignores the Clarke/Crosbie lesson and governs as if he has a majority.

jacobin said...

yeah there bluffing

they'll wait for the alberta party to dick cheney itself in the face, then they'll make there move